And now this message from nature

In his sobering message for the new year, the great nature photographer Jim Brandenburg says he hasn’t heard a wolf howl or been able to take a photograph of a wolf since hunting was allowed in 2013 (a federal court stopped the practice in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota).

Times are getting tougher for everybody, including those who photograph nature.

  • Ralphy

    When they first opened up wolf hunting, a couple of my buddies were very excited.
    I suggested that wolves are fast learners – and would make themselves very scarce very quickly. The best chance they had would be the first day of the first season.
    I spend 2-3 weeks in the BWCA every year, and another week in NW MN, and have been for over 30 years.
    I have had a similar experience as Jim Brandenberg. They know when humans are near, and are smart enough to go full stealth or leave the area.

  • Anna

    This is a powerful statement on why we should not take Mother Nature for granted.

    I’ve often wondered what the Arctic wilderness would look like now if the Industrial Revolution with its smog producing factories had never happened, if the combustible gasoline engine had never been invented or coal-fired power plants had never been erected.

    I suppose there would be another climate-changing energy invention and likely every tree on the planet would have disappeared like the old growth forests of Europe due to the need for fuel for cooking and heating.

    Of course the world’s population was a great deal smaller before the Industrial Revolution so that might have mitigated the effects of burning wood instead of fossil fuels.

    If you want a lesson in what dirty coal (brown/bituminous) can do to a landscape and the environment, one need only visit the former Soviet Bloc countries and look at the outside of the permanent structures there.

    When I visited the Czech Republic shortly after the fall of Communism, I made a trip to a mountain resort and looked down on the valley below. As far as you could see there was a thick brown cloud that hung over the landscape.

    For every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    We can only hope environmentalists throughout the USA will rise up like the Standing Rock Sioux and say in no uncertain terms, “Not in my back yard!”

  • mary

    Sorry, but this is pure baloney. I live not too far from Brandenburg’s place in Ely and have had wolves trot through my yard, watched them on the lake in front of my home, had them stop in the middle of the road to look at me and hear them howling frequently in just the last few years. My neighbor just had one on her deck, right outside a sliding patio door. Many who live right in Ely proper have reported them in their yards, just in the last few months. If Jim Brandenburg is not seeing or hearing them, then he is not looking or listening closely enough.

  • livewolf

    I live in a very remote area tucked in Nicolet National Forest. No other humans for several miles. Considering the escalated population of the Gray Wolf in WI which is hard to believe, I do not see them as often. I do hear them from time to time. They have been extremely discrete due to habitat loss and continual poaching. There is a hunting/trapping season almost continually on many species and unfortunately, many hunters take aim at our wolves if they see one. They don’t care whether they’re listed or not. They do not like the competition. How sadistic for humans to feel wildlife is depleting “their” deer especially when the deer kill this year in WI increased nearly 30%. I believe 5-collared wolves were recently poached up near Bayfield by deer hunters which is under investigation.