Sherburne History Center

Sherburne History Center
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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Wolves in Sherburne County

Recently, drinking with friends, the topic of wolves in Sherburne County came up for discussion.  Someone had seen two wolves running through their cut fields in recent weeks (this would have been in the middle of December, 2015).  It inspired me to seek a few details about the wolf population in the County. 

Reading the newspapers of 1900, particularly the Sherburne County Star News, there appears to be a very large population of wolves in the county.  The spring of 1900 the newspapers reported some success for the wolf hunters of Sherburne County.  In Blue Hill Township on May 10, 1900 the paper reported, “the wolf hunters are camped near Almond Thompson’s house and are doing good work.  Up to Saturday night they had secured 14 wolves.”  In the same newspaper, reporting outside of Elk River, “Eben and Elmer Ingersoll caught four young wolves one day last week.” 

Clearly a large population of wolves lived in Sherburne County.  Unfortunately, they were regarded as a menace to farmers and ranchers.  And, the local population enthusiastically hunted the animals.  Another report published on August 9, 1900 by the Star News: “Sherburne county has sent 90 applications for wolf bounty to the state auditor.  The amount available with which to pay these claims was $5000, and as the appli9cations call for more than double this amount, nom more claims will be paid until another appropriation shall be made.” 

Clearly, at one time a large population of wolves lived in Sherburne County. 

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