Original edition published in 2001 as Keepers of the Wolves: The Early Years of Wolf Recovery in Wisconsin.
It was 1978, and gray wolves had been extinct in Wisconsin for twenty years. Still, there were rumors from the state's northwestern counties that they had returned. Dick Thiel, then a college student with a passion for wolves, was determined to find out. Keepers of the Wolves is his engrossing account of tracking and protecting the recovery of wolves in Wisconsin. Thiel conveys the wonder, frustrations, humor, and everyday hard work of field biologists, including the political and public relations pitfalls they regularly face.
This new edition brings Thiel's story into the twenty-first century, recounting his work monitoring wolves as they spread to central Wisconsin, conflicts of wolves with landowners and recreationalists, changes in state and federal policies, the establishment of a state wolf-hunting season in 2012, and Thiel's forecast for the future of wolves in Wisconsin.
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments to the Second Edition
Phantoms of the Forest
The First Winter
Dust, Mosquitoes, and a Few Collared Wolves
What's in a Name?
Deer, the Wolf's Bread (and Bane) of Life
All in the Family
Boy, Would I Love Your Job!
They Shoot the Messenger, Don't They?
Stepping Down and Moving On
The Wolves Return
Living with People
Richard P. Thiel is retired from a career with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, where he was team chairman for Wisconsin's wolf recovery plan in the late 1980s and later managed the Sandhill Outdoor Skills Center in Babcock, Wisconsin. He is active with the Timber Wolf Information Network and the International Wolf Center. He is the author of The Timber Wolf in Wisconsin and coeditor of Wild Wolves We Have Known.
"We follow individual wolves as they are born, mate, and form new packs; and we share the author's joy of finding new wolves, his excitement of following them with radio collars, and his sadness when some of them are shot [...] [An] excellent look at fieldwork in the wilds of the Midwest."
"Wryly recounts the days when blizzards, broken-down vehicles, misinformed politicians, and uncooperative hunters made 'DNR wolf biologist' a less-than-appealing career."
– Animal Keepers' Forum
"A wonderful addition to the library of any biologist, conservationist, or interested enthusiast for wolves."
– Quarterly Review of Biology
"[Thiel] fills his descriptions of fieldwork with humor and warmth."
– Capital Times