Calf killed in first wolf attack of year in Columbia County

Calf killed in first wolf attack of year in Columbia County
Wolf  Rick Stevenson saw on his hunting camera

A rare southern Wisconsin wolf attack left a calf dead on a town of Arlington farm last week.

Rick Stevenson and his brothers farm 1,800 acres outside Poynette, but have never lost an animal to other wildlife. That is, until last Tuesday, when they found a dead calf in a pasture.

“They had torn the throat out of it, and broke the neck,” Stevenson said. “It made us sick. They’re our pets, you know.”

DNR experts investigating the incident confirmed it was a wolf attack because the calf was attacked at the throat. Coyotes and other animals often target the backside of an animal instead of the throat, according to the DNR.

The attack is also the first reported wolf attack in Columbia County this year.

While a wolf attack is considered rare in the area, Stevenson said it’s the second time he has seen a wolf on his property.

In May of 2014, a gray wolf was seen on a hunting camera roaming the area. Stevenson said he isn’t sure whether it’s the same wolf that killed his calf.

Stevenson has filed paperwork with the DNR and USDA to receive some reimbursement for his lost calf, which is worth $1,100.

Wolf hunts in Wisconsin have been banned since late last year, when a federal judge re-listed them as an endangered species in the Great Lakes area.