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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In 1952, the New Hampshire Fish & Game Dept. published a book entitiled: A HISTORY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE GAME AND FURBEARERS...........Using town records and game commision reports, Fish & Game Dept. provided a "white mans" history of the animals known to have existed in this State going back to the Colonial Period.............Today we learn about the Wolf and its historical presence in this New England State


1952; Helenette Silver; Research Clerk; New Hampshie Fish & Game Dept.


-"The settlers dreaded the periodic appearance of wolf packs more than that of any other animal, and total expenditures(bounties) on their account have probably been greater than for all other species combinded"

-"The Wolf was the only species covered under the laws of the Colony; almost every town offered local bounties"

-"Since 1882, when bounty payments are first itemized in the Reports of the State Treasurer, only 20 wolf bounties were collected, the last in 1895, they year the law was repealed"

-"Quite proolific and posessing few animal enemies, the wolf, Canis lupus lycaon(considered a subspecies of the gray wolf C. Lupus) was extremely commonin all parts of New Enagland at the time of discovery"

-"It was of divverse coloures; some sandy coloured, some griselled, some black"(Morton 1637)

-"Morton wrote that an Indian would gladly exchange 40 beaver skins fo rth pelt of one black wolf"

-"Wood(1634) stated that black wolf was valued by the Indians at 5 or 6 pounds shilling"

-"Even in southern New England, where Deer were at less disadvantage from the deep snows, the numbers of deer may have been limited less by food scarcity than by predation of wolves"

-"These pray uipon the Deare very much"(Morton 1637)

-"It not to be thought into what multitudes(Deer) they would encrease, were it not for the common devourer, the Wolfe"......................"Moose, although better able to dewfend themseoves were likewise much devoured"(Wood 1634)

-"Hare, rabbit and other smaller species were also eaten"

-"Collectively, New Hampshire histories show that wolves occurred periodicially, both as a result of their wanderings and marked fluctuations in numbers, to which they apparently were subject"

-"Wolves came in swarms. they were not plenty at all times. They seemed to roam over a vast extent of country, remaining in aany one place only a short time. The Moose, Deer and small game devoured, they were off to pastures new and to other forests teeming with life. Wolves, in great numbers came howling from the north in 1744, 1764 and 1784...............occasionally, a few would be found in the intermediate years"(Little 1888)

-"Great hunts(of the wolves) were sometimes organized by a 100 or more men, who surrounded an area, driving the wolves before them toward the center"

-"Nevertheless, as late as the Revolution, Belknap(1812) considered wolves very common and very noxious"

-In 1662, the town of Salem voted a bounty of 10 shillings to any Indian who should kill a Wolf"(Gilbert 1907)

-"In 1751, Salem was paying a bounty of 10 pounds Old Tenor for every grown wolf's head, and 3 pounds for each whelp"

-"Under a town regulationset up in 1716, Newfields paid bounty on 138 wolves from 1735 to 1737'(fitts 1912)

-"A bounty of 10 shillings for both grown bear and wolfes was offered in 1751. A year of so afterward, this was collected on 5 wolves. They committed to be common long after this time"(McDuffee 1892)

-"At the time Barnstead was settled, bears and wolves ere troublesome to the flocks and plantations of John Pitman. It was voted to giv e 3 pounds bounty on a hide of agray wolf"(Jewett 1872)

-"Sanborton paid $10 for adult wolves.................The last wolf was shot in 1790"(Runnells 1882)

-"Gilmanton voted a bounty on wolves in 1788"(Lancaster 1845)

-"Wolves were thick around antrim for almost 50 years after settlement.......Most of the damage ws done to sheep; although rarely and without success, they attacked cattle--the winter of 1784, a damaging year by wolves"(Cochrane 1880)

-'In 1784, Loudon paid a bounty of 10 pounds for every wolf killed in town"(Hurd 1885)

-"Wolves were abundant in Boscawen around the time of settlement. They were not completely eradicated for nearly a century, the last being killed near Cook's Hill in Webster iin 1831"(Coffin 1878)

-"Wolf's Meadown in Hopkinton was named because of the frequency of wolves in that area"(Lord 1890)

-"Long after the bears and wolves were driven from the territory, they found a comaatively safe retreat on the almost inaccessible side an in the deep ravines of Monadnock"(Norton 1888)

-"As wolves rarely attack men, except when nearly starved, they were chiefly dreaded because of the depredations made by them upon the calves and the sheep"(Norton 1888)

-"The last wolf was seen in Gilsum in the winter of 1847-48"(Hayward 1881)

-"the reduction of game species(combined with human bounty persecution)around 1880 coincides with the disappearance of Wolves from New Hampshire,,,,,,although in 1883, 12 wolves were bountied and in 1895, 2 were bountied...........As late as 1930, one wolf skin was listed on a trappers report(a coyote, perhaps??)


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