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Wolverine populations up #6445344
01/30/19 11:30 AM
01/30/19 11:30 AM
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Yukon
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yukon254 Offline OP
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Yukon
One of the main reasons I was against them shortening our wolverine season. Wolverine populations seem to be up right across northern Canada, and have been increasing for a few years now; at least trappers are noticing more sign and increased catches. That might be considered "antidotal information" to some, but its the truth nonetheless .


https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nort...P-TutYTXpsEJr-oSSUPpHPMtac_gxsudHMn8kRUs


do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6445381
01/30/19 12:09 PM
01/30/19 12:09 PM
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Manitoba
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Northof50 Offline
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Manitoba
Second part of story is "Dumpster Divers Relocation"

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6445470
01/30/19 01:11 PM
01/30/19 01:11 PM
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Posts: 3,099
NWT
Ryan McLeod Offline
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Population always goes up here after a busy forest fire season to the south.


If you take care of the land the land will take care of you
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6445498
01/30/19 01:23 PM
01/30/19 01:23 PM
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Northwest Territories
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muskrat411 Offline
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I disagree with the premis of this thread. This is the worst wolverine season I have had in a decade.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: muskrat411] #6445621
01/30/19 02:37 PM
01/30/19 02:37 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 33
northern Alberta
3
357xp Offline
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northern Alberta
Originally Posted by muskrat411
I disagree with the premis of this thread. This is the worst wolverine season I have had in a decade.

I think they moved just south of the border muskrat, trappers on the very north end of the province are having a Wolverine year like never before. Canít keep em out of the traps.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6446083
01/30/19 10:14 PM
01/30/19 10:14 PM
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james bay frontierOnt.
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Boco Offline
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james bay frontierOnt.
Whats the antidote to that.


Forget that fear of gravity-get a little savagery in your life.
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6446188
01/30/19 11:19 PM
01/30/19 11:19 PM
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Northwest Territories
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muskrat411 Offline
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Those wolverine they collard in Alaska on the report that I seen a lot of them moved into Alberta I have been trying to find an update on those collars but no luck so far.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6446273
01/31/19 12:38 AM
01/31/19 12:38 AM
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Juneau, Alaska 51
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mad_mike Offline
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I would have to say the numbers are on the upswing here, as well. Even though I havenít hung one up yet this season.

Muskrat, you mentioned animals collared in Alaska being caught in Alberta. Do you have a link to the source of that info?


Advice? Wise men don't need it. Fools won't heed it.
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6446316
01/31/19 01:22 AM
01/31/19 01:22 AM
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Posts: 1,017
Alberta
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Bushman Offline
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Yukon it was the field observations of Alberta trappers that wolverines were on the upswing a few years ago that spurred the ATA / ACA research project. It has led to the Alberta Trappers Association teaming up with the government and the ACA on other collaborations. We just got the results on some marten research, one female marten was 12 years old!

By the way, the picture of that mother wolverine and kit in the CBC story is from my company Compass Media. It reminds me that my CBC licensing agreement is over, they shouldn't be running that pic.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6446348
01/31/19 02:42 AM
01/31/19 02:42 AM
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Northwest Territories
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muskrat411 Offline
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Mad Mike Iím having a tough day today I messed up that Lewis and Clark thing on the buffalo thread. Now I confused wolverine research with wolverine research programs. But Bushman will tell you that Alberta trapper research has found that wolverine and lynx bot eat a lot of rabbit. So they probably have similar travel habits. But donít go by me Iím having a tough day.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: Bushman] #6446350
01/31/19 03:06 AM
01/31/19 03:06 AM
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Posts: 4,421
Yukon
Y
yukon254 Offline OP
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Yukon
Originally Posted by Bushman
Yukon it was the field observations of Alberta trappers that wolverines were on the upswing a few years ago that spurred the ATA / ACA research project. It has led to the Alberta Trappers Association teaming up with the government and the ACA on other collaborations. We just got the results on some marten research, one female marten was 12 years old!

By the way, the picture of that mother wolverine and kit in the CBC story is from my company Compass Media. It reminds me that my CBC licensing agreement is over, they shouldn't be running that pic.


I would love to look at that marten research. I wouldnt have guessed a marten could live that long, pretty incredible. Myyoungest daughter and her husband are just finishing up their first winter on their new trapline, and they found some preliminary papers written by a biologist that was doing some marten research here back in the early 90s. He never did finish the study, but one thing he found that I thought was interesting is that elevation has a lot to do with marten habitat. He found elevations between 3000 and 4000 feet to have the densest populations. Im not sure if that would hold true in other areas, but it sure does in our neck of the woods.

Funny but I thought about you when I saw that picture. Hopefully they make it right with you, I've had a belly full of organizations / publications not paying for articles / photos this winter. All my trouble has been with Canadian publications too. After talking with a few writers / photographers about it I found out that it seems to be happening a lot here in Canada as of late.


do unto others as you would have them do unto you

www.grizzlycreeklodge.com
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: muskrat411] #6446673
01/31/19 11:16 AM
01/31/19 11:16 AM
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Posts: 3,879
Juneau, Alaska 51
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mad_mike Offline
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Originally Posted by muskrat411
Mad Mike Iím having a tough day today I messed up that Lewis and Clark thing on the buffalo thread. Now I confused wolverine research with wolverine research programs. But Bushman will tell you that Alberta trapper research has found that wolverine and lynx bot eat a lot of rabbit. So they probably have similar travel habits. But donít go by me Iím having a tough day.


No worries!


Advice? Wise men don't need it. Fools won't heed it.
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6446744
01/31/19 12:08 PM
01/31/19 12:08 PM
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Posts: 7,463
Manitoba
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Northof50 Offline
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Manitoba
So Bushman do I get a finders fee for pointing out that clip......Dumpster diving......if so........ I could collect it this summer at your Alberta convention.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6446747
01/31/19 12:10 PM
01/31/19 12:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 3,099
NWT
Ryan McLeod Offline
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A finders fee absolutely. I think Brian should give you 2 of those mesh produce bags he uses for Marten.


If you take care of the land the land will take care of you
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6446775
01/31/19 12:32 PM
01/31/19 12:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 34,667
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

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I have one male marten in my records that was 14 years old.based on tooth cross section


Mean As Nails
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6453391
02/07/19 03:38 AM
02/07/19 03:38 AM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 25
Dawson City Yukon Canada
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dawsontrapper Offline
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Dawson City Yukon Canada
Wolverine #'s are up significantly in my area (central Yukon); last winter and this winter.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6504923
03/29/19 09:50 PM
03/29/19 09:50 PM
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Posts: 1,591
alaska
3
3 Fingers Offline
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alaska
Numbers up where I work. All caught between February 1 and March 1. Hard to tell but middle one is missing about 4Ē of his tail. Healed over.

F25D0A5B-FBDA-416B-88F7-C0D57E53DB65.jpeg
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6505107
03/29/19 11:40 PM
03/29/19 11:40 PM
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Posts: 119
AK
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Bushwhack Jack Offline
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AK
Sounds like a great problem to have. I'd be happy with one wolverine in my area.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: 3 Fingers] #6505142
03/30/19 12:18 AM
03/30/19 12:18 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 10,887
Montana ,Rocky Mtns.
Sharon Offline
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Originally Posted by 3 Fingers
Numbers up where I work. All caught between February 1 and March 1. Hard to tell but middle one is missing about 4Ē of his tail. Healed over.







Amazing the variety in colours wolverine have , like marten. I see Stubby , too bad ! Really like the tones of the second one from left. Good copper darker halo.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: joepennanti] #6505557
03/30/19 01:16 PM
03/30/19 01:16 PM
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Posts: 1,591
alaska
3
3 Fingers Offline
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alaska
Originally Posted by joepennanti
3Fingers how many traps/snares were you running to get those 5 in only 4weeks?

Had 5 330 sets and 2 snare sets out for them. All were in 330ís. Mostly use double end boxes. Hang half a beaver up out of reach and half in the cubby box and a few small choice pieces buried in the snow to give em a taste. Last run had one that wouldnít commit so he tore out the side of a spruce pole box. Get him next year hopefully.

37EC49CF-D7B8-4D27-9CCF-A260D25BD663.jpeg
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6505559
03/30/19 01:18 PM
03/30/19 01:18 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,591
alaska
3
3 Fingers Offline
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alaska
Sideways dang it. Not sure why so many around. Usually get 1 or 2 a year. My theory is unusually deep snow just to the south where there is large untrapped good habitat. (inaccessible)

Last edited by 3 Fingers; 03/30/19 01:23 PM.
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: joepennanti] #6505610
03/30/19 02:34 PM
03/30/19 02:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,591
alaska
3
3 Fingers Offline
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alaska
Originally Posted by joepennanti

What's that white rope to the right of the tree for?

Ha. Thatís left over from when I tied the whole thing off so it wouldnít get carried away by spring floods. That set has been there for years and have even caught 2 lynx in it.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6505613
03/30/19 02:41 PM
03/30/19 02:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,591
alaska
3
3 Fingers Offline
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alaska
Same set, different angle. Sideways again - grr..

76FA829C-9FCC-469A-AD8B-E9B920B07B37.jpeg
Last edited by 3 Fingers; 03/30/19 02:42 PM.
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: 3 Fingers] #6506263
03/31/19 02:33 AM
03/31/19 02:33 AM
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Homer, Alaska
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Spek Jones Offline
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Nice, 3 Fingers. They are also starting the mating season in Feb, it's always the best month for trapping them here.

It's so easy to flip pictures on a mac that even I can do it!
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6506418
03/31/19 09:40 AM
03/31/19 09:40 AM
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Posts: 4,421
Yukon
Y
yukon254 Offline OP
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Yukon
Spek is spot on. Wolverine trapping is best in Feb and early March in most areas because they are traveling more, especially the males. I know guys who never see a wolverine track until later in the season. Thats why I was against them shortening up our season. The biologist got it passed so next year our season will close at the end of February despite the fact that her own study showed the harvest male/female ratio was prefect...


do unto others as you would have them do unto you

www.grizzlycreeklodge.com
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6506522
03/31/19 11:19 AM
03/31/19 11:19 AM
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Posts: 1,591
alaska
3
3 Fingers Offline
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Thanks Spek. Ya, Feb and March there is a lot of activity. For many years my average M/F ratio was 1:1 , but past 2 years combined is 6:1 . Seems that what Iím assuming are Females (smaller tracks) stick to the denser forest habitat up small drainages and the males work the valley floor sloughs and ponds.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6506550
03/31/19 11:37 AM
03/31/19 11:37 AM
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Homer, Alaska
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Spek Jones Offline
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You are right Yukon. Back in the 50's- 70's our season ran until the end of march for all species. Now, wolverine season here closes at the end of February . So we miss two good weeks of gulo trapping. IMO it could end about March 15th. (Towards the end of March they are sometimes losing guard hair). That's for here, other areas are likely different.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: 3 Fingers] #6506569
03/31/19 12:00 PM
03/31/19 12:00 PM
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Homer, Alaska
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Spek Jones Offline
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Welcome 3 Fingers. I see the same thing here. Males typically range farther than the females, Although it seems to me that in Feb some of the young females will travel a long ways. Maybe mostly because of mating season and also maybe got kicked out of the house so to speak and are in search of an area of their own to call home.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6506788
03/31/19 04:57 PM
03/31/19 04:57 PM
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Posts: 1,782
Northwest Territories
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muskrat411 Offline
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Northwest Territories
Three fingers:. Those log pens do you just use a chain saw and build them in place? Then leave them there?

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: Spek Jones] #6507121
03/31/19 10:30 PM
03/31/19 10:30 PM
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martentrapper Offline
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Originally Posted by Spek Jones
Nice, 3 Fingers. They are also starting the mating season in Feb, it's always the best month for trapping them here.


I,m thinking wolverine are like marten. Breed in fall, delayed implantation, birth in April/may.
MT

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: martentrapper] #6507137
03/31/19 10:55 PM
03/31/19 10:55 PM
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Posts: 34,667
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

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Originally Posted by martentrapper
Originally Posted by Spek Jones
Nice, 3 Fingers. They are also starting the mating season in Feb, it's always the best month for trapping them here.


I,m thinking wolverine are like marten. Breed in fall, delayed implantation, birth in April/may.
MT

Partially correct Mike.

MOST breeding takes place late spring early summer., Delayed implantation until late December through January. Most litters are born February through April. I also suspect that latitude and population density are responsible for the large variation in reproductive schedules


Mean As Nails
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507154
03/31/19 11:18 PM
03/31/19 11:18 PM
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Posts: 4,421
Yukon
Y
yukon254 Offline OP
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Yukon
Ken, when they were doing the wolverine study here and I could see where it was going I did some research. I found a study done here in Yukon back in the 80s. In that study the bio said that most Yukon wolverine litters are born in December. His thoughts were that was the perfect time due to there being more carrion at that time of year. In this new study the biologist contradicted that info, but IMO her goal was to shorten the season right from the get go. One thing is clear, most females are pregnant during trapping season.


do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507164
03/31/19 11:36 PM
03/31/19 11:36 PM
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Posts: 34,667
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

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Dave, I think a lot of things are possible where this is concerned. But I would be VERY surprised to see nature arrange things so that litters are born just before the coldest conditions occur. I just doesn't sound right from a survival standpoint. Also I would think that most mom wolverines would prefer deeper snow and warmer temperatures of late spring.


Mean As Nails
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507171
03/31/19 11:40 PM
03/31/19 11:40 PM
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martentrapper Offline
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So if litters are born in Dec. has anyone ever caught a lactating female? Anyone caught a female with fetuses in Nov. Dec.? I caught a female with fetuses around Nome. Well developed fetuses. Caught in April.
MT

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507178
03/31/19 11:53 PM
03/31/19 11:53 PM
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McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

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I think Len posted some pix of a uterus a few years ago but that might have been marten.

I really have problems believing the December litter scenario. Reproduction is so costly to the female 's health that she needs every advantage she can get. Additionally, the kits are mobile and following mom at 8 weeks. I just can't see that happening in late January/February.

Just a bare majority of females breed every year and the viability of the litters is dependent on food for mom. If she isn't in good shape she can't care for the kits and they won't survive. Personally, I think mom has a better chance of finding carrion later in the winter when moose are more vulnerable to wolves and sheep are subject to avalanche mortality


Mean As Nails
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507204
04/01/19 02:28 AM
04/01/19 02:28 AM
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Homer, Alaska
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Spek Jones Offline
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In a search I found several studies that state "it is believed" that breeding can occur anywhere from May through August, with most occurring in June/July, and birthing occurring from January through April with most occurring from February to mid-March. So there is nothing in that cycle of reproduction, that I can see, would account for the very noticeable up-tick in activity during Feb-March that
Yukon, 3 Fingers and I mentioned above. Wonder if it has something to do with the dispersing of the yearlings, (and maybe even the older males?) when the older females start denning in late winter?Or is it something else that triggers that increase in movement? Whatever the cause, February is my favorite month for wolverine trapping.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507357
04/01/19 09:53 AM
04/01/19 09:53 AM
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McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

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I suppose it could be our old friend Photoperiod that triggers the movement. The questions is why . What purpose does it serve? I think a lot of it is caused by females looking for den sites and nearby carrion piles or areas with a good supply of squirrels, porkies, pikas etc.

If the females are moving, it sort of makes sense that the males will also be moving just to locate or keep in touch with the girls. I think when you have a species that uses huge territories as a home range, is generally solitary as well as occurring in very low densities..............it makes sense that there will need to be a good deal of searching to find mates. Also, there maybe some machismo going on.

If one or several females are located just prior to denning, it might make sense that a male will patrol the edges of that territory or territories more than he would normally. But let's remember that we same this same type of thing with marten movement in February.

I have seen pairs traveling together in March (twice).....from the air. I have seen them rolling and 'wrestling' with each other. It was clear from the size that it was a male and female.

BUT, when I think of the times that I have scored a multiple catch...........2 doubles and 2 triples...............all four times the animals in each group were same sex. 2 or 3 males or females traveling together. They were all adults too except for a group of 3 females caught in December. Two of those were clearly juveniles. I feel pretty safe in assuming that was a mom and 2 YOY females.

That makes me think again about Dave's biologist claiming December litters. Has anyone ever caught a wolverine that small or even seen a track that could be from an individual that young ??? I know I haven't.


Mean As Nails
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: white17] #6507464
04/01/19 12:16 PM
04/01/19 12:16 PM
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Homer, Alaska
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Spek Jones Offline
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Originally Posted by white17


I have seen pairs traveling together in March (twice).....from the air. I have seen them rolling and 'wrestling' with each other. It was clear from the size that it was a male and female.

BUT, when I think of the times that I have scored a multiple catch...........2 doubles and 2 triples...............all four times the animals in each group were same sex. 2 or 3 males or females traveling together. They were all adults too except for a group of 3 females caught in December. Two of those were clearly juveniles. I feel pretty safe in assuming that was a mom and 2 YOY females.

That makes me think again about Dave's biologist claiming December litters. Has anyone ever caught a wolverine that small or even seen a track that could be from an individual that young ??? I know I haven't.


_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A good part of the sign I see in Feb is wolverine running in pairs. And I have never caught a wolverine that was lactating, even when our season ran through March.

One of the studies I ran across made the claim that wolverine always den in holes dug in the snow at high elevations. Contrary to this, the dens I have found over the years have ranged in location from holes dug into the ground just below timberline, to holes in the snow up near the peaks. One was a natural hole in a jumble of big rocks just above timberline. One of these dens I found in late January, and showed recent use, but not what I would call heavy use. Another, found in June was in heavy use. The rest were found in May during spring brown bear hunting and all were in heavy use.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507467
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From everything I have read, wolverine are inherently difficult to age. Its pretty easy for us trappers to tell YOY from adults, but everything in between is a bit harder. Most of the studies that I have read acknowledged the difficulty in aging, yet agree that age is a factor in reproduction. I know that in the latest Yukon study, one female that was trapped was lactating. To me the whole idea that shortening the wolverine season to protect pregnant females is ludicrous. Every study ever done to my knowledge agrees that females are pregnant throughout the entire trapping season.

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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507480
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white17 Offline

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I agree Dave. Same is true of marten. It's just a matter of HOW we define the word 'pregnant' .

On the other hand..........what about protecting litters that have been born prior to the end of season ? Be a beneficial thing to protect mom in that circumstance IMO


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507488
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Ken, no one has chimed in that they have caught a lactating female at any time of the trapping season. So far, I'm the only one who has said they caught a female with developed fetuses. Can't protect something that doesn't exist (cubs) during the normal season. I know this is a small sample of trappers but there are other trappers here who trap northern wolverine populations.
Each trapper should be able to decide for himself how late he wants to catch the species on his line. I would not support any effort to reduce season lengths based on any supposed reason of protecting litters. Anyone trapping members of the weasel family is setting for animals in which the female has already conceived, or will not conceive, during the trapping season. Any female wolverine, marten, mink, we catch during a Nov. to Feb. or March season is likely already pregnant.
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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507496
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I can see a real reason to manage harvest with season length where people are too dense in both definitions of dense.


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507504
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Mike. Just to be clear......I am not advocating for a shorter season either. But there may be some other means of reducing the threat to those kits by reducing the likelihood that mom is harvested.

I was just agreeing with Dave that those females are pregnant the entire season ..........depending on how we use the term "pregnant"


Good point Dirt laugh


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507506
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Seriously, March is flying weather. No refuge safe from the airplane trappers (gunners?),


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507516
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That's true ! So are you saying we could reduce that potential illegal harvest by eliminating March as part of the season ?


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: white17] #6507519
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Originally Posted by white17
That's true ! So are you saying we could reduce that potential illegal harvest by eliminating March as part of the season ?


Only the legal harvest. There is no March season here. Probably for a reason. The wolverine density here is nothing like it was before the oil thing according to the old timers. It never will improve, it is the new norm.

Of course, if they are not flying to trap wolves and wolverine in March, they probably won't fly just to specifically gun one. Target of opportunity.

The bigger problem is planes can access the high ground in March and set anywhere. Not a problem if their wasn't 400,000 people 1 hr or less away by plane.


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507523
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so if I understand what you are saying you think maybe a restriction on airplane trapping in March, statewide, would be helpful ?


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: white17] #6507527
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Originally Posted by white17
so if I understand what you are saying you think maybe a restriction on airplane trapping in March would be helpful ?


If you want to provide some refuge and you have airplane trappers and you want to try an increase your wolverine population it should help. Sealing data tells you who trapped wolverine and got there using an airplane and when they harvested those wolverine and if they are females or males. This should tell you if you have a significant March airplane harvest.

Last edited by Dirt; 04/01/19 02:17 PM.

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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507528
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Itís always been my impression that young are born late winter early spring. I agree with Dirt in that with such a large home range they are more susceptible where traplines/humans are denser. Low reproductive rates and relative ease of trapping are a factor. My opinion is that rugged inaccessible habitat is productive for the population. How about correlation with hare cycles ??

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507534
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My problem with them shortening the season is that it takes wolverine off the table for some trappers. As an example, a few years ago I traded my old trapline up in the Logans for a trapline with easier access. My old line was excellent wolverine country but marginal for marten. The fellow that I traded with had had that line for many many years. His average over the years was about one wolverine every other year or so. Then he started doing wolf hunts in late Feb. early March and his wolverine catch skyrocketed.

When I got the line I was doing the guided trapping thing so I was out there all season. I wouldnt see a wolverine track until mid Feb. or so, then I would see sign everywhere. I would routinely take 3-4 every season there, all of them late in the season, and most of them males. My son has that line now and it hasn't changed. For whatever reason wolverines dont frequent that area until later on in the winter. There are a lot of trappers in the same situation, so next year when our season is shortened there will be some trappers that wont have an opportunity to catch them, even though the population is in great shape by all accounts.

Luckily for me, the trapline I have now has an excellent wolverine population and they are there all year so it wont effect me. Does anyone else notice that they seem to favour lower elevations later in the season??

Interestingly northern California has a decent wolverine population, or so I have heard...not sure that fits with the dense human population theory.?

Last edited by yukon254; 04/01/19 02:28 PM.

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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507539
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white17 Offline

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I agree completely about the lower elevation thing !! But........."lower" is a relative term. Where I trap the difference between lower and higher may be only a couple thousand feet over a large horizontal distance


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: 3 Fingers] #6507545
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Originally Posted by 3 Fingers
Itís always been my impression that young are born late winter early spring. I agree with Dirt in that with such a large home range they are more susceptible where traplines/humans are denser. Low reproductive rates and relative ease of trapping are a factor. My opinion is that rugged inaccessible habitat is productive for the population. How about correlation with hare cycles ??



There COULD be a relationship to hares but I'll bet it is very tenuous. The population dynamics of a wolverine population is apparently pretty 'weak'. By that I mean that reproductive rates are low. About 50% pregnancies on average and a less than one kit per mom survival rate...again on average. So a boom in bunny populations may not be accessible to solitary wolverines because the bunny boom might be localized in areas where wolverines are not available to take advantage of it.


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507567
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Makes sense. Hare cycle is pretty fast whereas it would seem to take longer for wolverine populations to grow. I trap mostly lower elevations and also see more activity in February March. I always figured it was due to more moose/moose kills down low that time of year.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507572
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I think you are right about moose kills Jarl.

When you think about it, the river systems are easier travel by that time of year and moose...at least in my area....are congregated on the willow bars.


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: white17] #6507595
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Originally Posted by white17
I think you are right about moose kills Jarl.

When you think about it, the river systems are easier travel by that time of year and moose...at least in my area....are congregated on the willow bars.



Good point Ken. Maybe they move into these areas BECAUSE they can travel much easier/ further at that time of year? I've always assumed that they moved more late in the season because of mating season. The fact that my catch ratio is heavy on the male side at that time of year would seem to indicate that is true, at least to some degree, but it certainly could be a combination of both.


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: white17] #6507601
04/01/19 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by white17
I think you are right about moose kills Jarl.

When you think about it, the river systems are easier travel by that time of year and moose...at least in my area....are congregated on the willow bars.

And there we get into the wolverine/wolf relationship. Donít know if my increased numbers are just animals pushed down due to higher than normal snow depths from areas they would have stayed at .

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507628
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I think both are significant factors but I have noticed too that when wolf numbers are up, so are wolverines.....at least for a few years. I especially noticed it around 1990 when the Mulchatna herd was so high and the wolves came with them.


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507644
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Not sure what it is but we are seeing more the last few yrs especially late season males when the females are denning not just overall numbers but seeing them coming in closer to town. Our conditions have been less than stellar to trap them the last few yrs and am thinking that may have something to do with it


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507686
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Could the wolverine be hunting denning bears and beaver early on and later in the season these food sources are no longer available so they have to move?

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507786
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Dirt, have you looked at sealing data for wolverine in your area? Is there really a significant airplane trapper take? Or did there used to be? Otterman, when access conditions were better, were there that many more trappers out? Did they get farther away than now? If so, does sealing data show anything?
I'm thinking that even when conditions were better and us Alaskans could be out on our snogos in to April, how many trappers were out? Were they spread out or concentrated in to areas with in economical reach of town? How many of the trappers out were significantly targeting wolverine? When marten/lynx paid your bills how much time did a guy put in to wolverine? When the marten/lynx season ended, how many trappers stayed out and concentrated on wolverine? Maybe some years when beaver were paying some of the bill a guy would still be out and could up his wolverine take. I'm just really skeptical that over most of Alaska and in to Canada, trappers have any significant effect on a wolverine population!
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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507831
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No. I doubt you can look it up on the ADF&G website. Have to get it from the area biologist or get it from ARLIS. ADF&G may not have even collated the data?


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507862
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Wow, this is fascinating stuff, and great observations from guys in different areas. No wolverine here (anymore), but I joke with my youngest son (age 3) that he should be a wolverine researcher when he grows up. There's so much to learn.
I can't help but wonder though.....what's up with added harvest restrictions on a population with no evidence of decline??? I thought that only happened with fish.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: Dirt] #6507888
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Originally Posted by Dirt
No. I doubt you can look it up on the ADF&G website. Have to get it from the area biologist or get it from ARLIS. ADF&G may not have even collated the data?



About six years ago I got a data base frm F&G of the statewide wolverine harvest. Broken down by GMU but I don't recall that it had any info on transport methods. I'v had a hard drive crash since then but I may have it on a thumb drive. I'll look around.


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: Jeremiah Wood] #6507893
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Originally Posted by jwood
Wow, this is fascinating stuff, and great observations from guys in different areas. No wolverine here (anymore), but I joke with my youngest son (age 3) that he should be a wolverine researcher when he grows up. There's so much to learn.
I can't help but wonder though.....what's up with added harvest restrictions on a population with no evidence of decline??? I thought that only happened with fish.


To be blunt, whats up is that a lot of those doing the research and making the rules are anti trapping to a certain degree. Some are outright against hunting and trapping and make no bones about it.


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: Jeremiah Wood] #6507895
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Originally Posted by jwood
Wow, this is fascinating stuff, and great observations from guys in different areas. No wolverine here (anymore), but I joke with my youngest son (age 3) that he should be a wolverine researcher when he grows up. There's so much to learn.
I can't help but wonder though.....what's up with added harvest restrictions on a population with no evidence of decline??? I thought that only happened with fish.



I suspect that "climate change" alarmism is behind a lot of it. There are those who are pushing the notion that warming will reduce snow pack ( they should come here this winter or in the California Sierras) and thus denning areas for wolverine litters. Of course the assumption is that they can't den without snow. I don't believe there is evidence on that one way or another.

Shortening the season won't influence snow depth and it sure won't affect parturition dates !


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507899
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I know that top three targeted species in South central are Marten, wolf, and wolverine.

Source: Trapper Questionnaire.

Statewide Wolverine is 4th behind Lynx.

Remember wolves and wolverines are trophies. It ain't commonly about money.

Last edited by Dirt; 04/01/19 11:54 PM.

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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507912
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Originally Posted by yukon254
Originally Posted by jwood
Wow, this is fascinating stuff, and great observations from guys in different areas. No wolverine here (anymore), but I joke with my youngest son (age 3) that he should be a wolverine researcher when he grows up. There's so much to learn.
I can't help but wonder though.....what's up with added harvest restrictions on a population with no evidence of decline??? I thought that only happened with fish.


To be blunt, whats up is that a lot of those doing the research and making the rules are anti trapping to a certain degree. Some are outright against hunting and trapping and make no bones about it.



We see that same thing at the federal level here


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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507925
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martentrapper, I cant confirm, but have heard from several friends there is a trapper, letís just say on the slope and not where who has harvested around a dozen and a half wolverine. What effect does that have on the population?

3 fingers, does the second wolverine from the right have a tail rub? I am only curious because one of my wolverine this year that was caught toward the end of February had a rub at the base of the tail and I was told by friends with much more experience than I that that is a common rub come springs warmer temps. Nice catch and great thread.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: martentrapper] #6507928
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Originally Posted by martentrapper
Ken, no one has chimed in that they have caught a lactating female at any time of the trapping season. mt



I have. At least twice that I can remember, I caught a female wolverine in March that had already given birth. Both times were back in the '70's when the season was open until the end of March.


Originally Posted by martentrapper
So far, I'm the only one who has said they caught a female with developed fetuses. mt



I catch pregnant females all the time. I have no idea how many,... but enough to know approximately when they implant, and when they would typically give birth. I don't know how much this varies around the state, but around here, they typically would implant from late Nov to mid December.



Around Christmas time (last half of December) is about the earliest that I have ever seen a wolverine fetus that is big enough to able to be removed from the tubes and to see it forming into it's proper shape. Even at this stage it's very fragile and difficult to extract,... and I don't remember ever seeing even a round bump in the tubes before about mid-December. (But it happens, as you shall see).


[Linked Image]


Typically in January, they are formed well enough to be able to handle them without difficulty, and towards the end of the month, determine the sex, etc.

[Linked Image]


And by February, they are no longer transparent,... most of the time towards the end of the month they are looking like they are getting close to being viable,... if I catch a female with pups that look like this at the 3rd week of February, I think it is a safe bet to assume that these guys would have been born sometime in March,...

[Linked Image]


And then once in a while, I'll catch a female wolverine at the end of February that has pups that look like this,... just a day or two away from being born. They're about 6" long, fully furred, fully formed, nose-mouth open, claws harden,... fully ready to start life. I got these two guys last winter (male & female) on February 27 (according to my trail camera),.. and from the dozens of pregnant wolverines I have examined, I am convinced that pups this far developed, this early in the winter, is from a November implant. I have only seen this a couple times in my life,.. and wolverine pups like this can be worth half or so of what the adult was,... so at least at this stage, they are not wasted.

[Linked Image]

In 1983 (the date on the slide), I caught a pregnant female wolverine that had 5 pups, at this same fully-developed stage, in late February. I took them to the ADF&G office in Glennallen, and the area biologist told me at that time that this was the first documented case of a wolverine having 5 pups that the department had records of, at least in this area. I donated them to them, and as far as I know, they are still on display there.

[Linked Image]


"I'm sorry for hurting your feelings when I called you stupid,... I thought you already knew,..."
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6507931
04/02/19 02:13 AM
04/02/19 02:13 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,723
SW Alaska
otterman Offline
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SW Alaska
MT to answer a few of the questions you asked in order yes, Yes and I bet it would but canít say for certain I do know this 35 yrs ago there were maybe 4 or 5 taken in the village I lived in. Back then all the men trapped mostly for beaver but many had a few sets on the side and 4 or 5 of us went all out. Now days the amount taken that I know of is closer to 8-10 and only 3 or 4 guys trapping at all and primarily they are trapping marten wolves and wolverine. I know on my lines I have seen an increase in recent years where I seldom saw a track often times for several yrs in a row I now am regularly seeing tracks and catching them more often than ever before and in places I have never seen sign of them. To me that says there is an increase at least on my two lines that lay in completly different directions and cover 75 and 140 miles respectively. I know of two wolverines possibly three that were taken this year within 3 miles of town something really unheard of in the past Can trappers make a significant dent in the populations probably not but I firmly belive their numbers are on the rise around here


We get out of life only as much as we really want and work hard enough to achieve
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6508147
04/02/19 10:44 AM
04/02/19 10:44 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 10,557
Armpit, ak
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Dirt Offline
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Dirt  Offline
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Armpit, ak
Originally Posted by yukon254
Originally Posted by jwood
Wow, this is fascinating stuff, and great observations from guys in different areas. No wolverine here (anymore), but I joke with my youngest son (age 3) that he should be a wolverine researcher when he grows up. There's so much to learn.
I can't help but wonder though.....what's up with added harvest restrictions on a population with no evidence of decline??? I thought that only happened with fish.


To be blunt, whats up is that a lot of those doing the research and making the rules are anti trapping to a certain degree. Some are outright against hunting and trapping and make no bones about it.


If reducing the season to end of Feb. makes you an anti, I guess ADF&G must be real bad since most of the seasons in South Central end in Jan. and some even have llllllllllllimits. frown


Who is John Galt?
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: Wolverinebait] #6508166
04/02/19 11:19 AM
04/02/19 11:19 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 34,667
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

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Originally Posted by Wolverinebait





[Linked Image]









Those are some great pix !! The one above is really interesting because of the color of those kits. Were they really that dark or is it the photo ??

Kits are usually white when they are born


Mean As Nails
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6508253
04/02/19 01:22 PM
04/02/19 01:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,421
Yukon
Y
yukon254 Offline OP
trapper
yukon254  Offline OP
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Yukon
Very interesting pictures Wolverinebait. If the female you caught last year had implanted in Nov. wouldnt the kits have been born in mid to late December? Im assuming a 30-40 gestation period.

Dirt you're missing my point. From a management standpoint I think its pretty obvious that shortening the season with the stated intent to protect pregnant females is a bit far fetched since all females are assumed pregnant through the trapping season. If the intent is to reduce overall harvest, then thats a different conversation entirely. Shorter seasons and quotas would obviously reduce harvest. I think its safe to say that the bios are smart enough to put all this together, so Im left with my original thought which is why do they REALLY want to shorten the season?? I know there are a lot of people that think the wolverine should be on the endangered species list...


do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6508275
04/02/19 02:03 PM
04/02/19 02:03 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 16
Tonsina, Alaska
Wolverinebait Offline
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Wolverinebait  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2011
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Tonsina, Alaska
Originally Posted by white17
Originally Posted by Wolverinebait





[Linked Image]









Those are some great pix !! The one above is really interesting because of the color of those kits. Were they really that dark or is it the photo ??

Kits are usually white when they are born


It's the picture. That was taken with an Olympus OM-1 back in the 35mmSLR days. They're more of a grey-ish-silver color in real life. The 2 pups from last year have some rust-colored stains on them from the fluids in the sacks, which would have come off with a little rubbing (or "licking"), but I didn't want to risk damaging anything,... and didn't really want to lick them clean either,... smile

Originally Posted by yukon254
Very interesting pictures Wolverinebait. If the female you caught last year had implanted in Nov. wouldnt the kits have been born in mid to late December? Im assuming a 30-40 gestation period.







No, I don't think so,... I think the gestation period has to be longer than that. I think virtually every pregnant female is going to have developing kits that are obvious to see by late December,.. I have seen this myself many times, it's common. If the gestation period is only 30-40 days, then all those pregnant wolverines that are already underway with pup development in December would surely be giving birth by late January/early February,... and then catching females that are post-birth would happen with equal frequency by late Jan/early Feb and later. I've never had that happen even once! Like I mentioned, I've only had that happen twice that I can remember, both times in March. I don't know all the scientific details of how this all happens,... it's just that I've kept personal records of things like this that I have personally seen myself, for almost 50 years now,... and these are just conclusions I have come to, based only on what I have seen, which very well may not be the full picture. I would think tho too,... that these sort of things should be pretty much nailed down by now, because altho difficult, there have been enough successful wolverine breedings in captivity to eliminate a lot of the speculation of how/when/where this all happens. And I , like you, find this all to be quite interesting!


"I'm sorry for hurting your feelings when I called you stupid,... I thought you already knew,..."
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: nooksack] #6509481
04/03/19 10:54 PM
04/03/19 10:54 PM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 3,099
NWT
Ryan McLeod Offline
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Originally Posted by nooksack
martentrapper, I cant confirm, but have heard from several friends there is a trapper, letís just say on the slope and not where who has harvested around a dozen and a half wolverine. What effect does that have on the population?

3 fingers, does the second wolverine from the right have a tail rub? I am only curious because one of my wolverine this year that was caught toward the end of February had a rub at the base of the tail and I was told by friends with much more experience than I that that is a common rub come springs warmer temps. Nice catch and great thread.


I seen the rub too. I figured that one was caught last. Iíve always heard that they rub that area in the spring. People that sew just use the tail to fill in that gap.

Last edited by Ryan McLeod; 04/03/19 10:55 PM.

If you take care of the land the land will take care of you
Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: nooksack] #6509551
04/04/19 01:29 AM
04/04/19 01:29 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,199
Moved to Fbks, Ak.
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martentrapper Offline
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Originally Posted by nooksack
martentrapper, I cant confirm, but have heard from several friends there is a trapper, letís just say on the slope and not where who has harvested around a dozen and a half wolverine. What effect does that have on the population?


Sorry to be slow to respond there Nook. To answer your question, truthfully, I don't know what effect that would have on the population. I do know that a trapper can't catch lots of critters unless there are LOTS of critters to trap. If your info is correct, the guy is trapping a very healthy pop. of wolverine. I also know from years trapping around Nome in a similar environment that the guy likely covered a large area in his trapping. So the 18 wolverine would likely have come from a large area.
If you google "wolverine studies" you might come up with a study or 2 by Audrey Magoun. She lives here in Fairbanks I think. Her and I believe, Bob Stevenson, did a couple studies on wolverine in the Brooks Range. Check that out.

Wolverinebait: Cool stuff. Nice to have good data like pictures and written records. I think we can all get a better idea of wolverine breeding, pregnancy, and birthing times thanks to you.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6509671
04/04/19 08:42 AM
04/04/19 08:42 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 383
ak
nooksack Offline
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ak
Thanks for that tip Ryan, Iím tanning that one up to be ruff for my boys parkas.

[Linked Image]

Mt, thanks. Iíll look at those studies. I found the collaring done in the chugach to be interesting also.

Re: Wolverine populations up [Re: yukon254] #6509817
04/04/19 11:12 AM
04/04/19 11:12 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,421
Yukon
Y
yukon254 Offline OP
trapper
yukon254  Offline OP
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Yukon
I know a fellow up in the White River country that takes more than a dozen wolverine each season and has for years.

The best wolverine numbers I've ever seen was down in the Turnagain River country in northern BC. I spent the month of February 5 years in a row down there feeding horses and I've never seen anything like it. There were actually hard packed wolverine trails in some areas. That country doesn't get a lot of snow, and has the best ungulate population of probably anywhere in NA, so thats probably a factor. There were lots of fisher down there too. I would actually see them occasionally. Very few marten though.


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