Posted by: csdailyblog | February 7, 2012

New Students Get an Up Close and Personal Glimpse of Nature

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This morning as I was heading out my door to go to work (just a two minute walk down the path), my neighbor Fran McReynolds, UWSP grad program coordinator, stopped me and excitedly explained that there had been a deer kill right in front of our house. We both ran to get our cameras and then headed out the door to see what we could see.

Right on the other side of the road, directly across from our driveway, a deer had been killed and then dragged up over the snowbank and back into the woods. Not too much was left of it, and the area was strewn with tufts of deer fur.

Jean Haack, Stewardship Coordinator, and Jeff Rennicke, English Teacher, had been out to look at the kill site earlier, and, based on the large tracks at the site and the distance the carcass had been dragged, they identified the predator as most likely being a wolf.

Now, before anyone gets concerned, let me say that we don’t worry about our own safety here on campus in regards to predators. As we explained to students yesterday during orientation, water is the biggest danger at Conserve: falling through ice or getting into trouble while swimming or boating is much more of a concern than an encounter with a predator. I have lived on campus for ten years, directly in front of the location of today’s deer kill, while raising three children — the youngest of whom had just turned two when we moved in — and have never had any negative encounters with wildlife. I think the most dangerous wildlife my children have ever gotten near were some good-sized snapping turtles.

We do have wolves on campus, but they are only rarely seen and do not pose a threat to humans. Coyotes, which we also have plenty of, are relatively small and light and never bother anyone. Bears are a problem only very, very rarely, and we have never had any issues with  them here on campus (and, at the moment, they’re in hibernation). So, parents, please, no worries.

Here at Conserve School we think that getting to see a kill is exciting and fascinating — a wonderful opportunity to see nature in action. Staff members will, I am sure, be using this opportunity as a fortuitous “teachable moment.”

– Mary Anna



  1. […] left by the time I got home to see it last weekend, but there are lots of photos on the school blog here. While we were excitedly perusing them I asked the other Tomahawk graduate assistant, “What […]

  2. This Makes no sense.. There is usually NOTHING left behind at a wolf kill sight.. They devour and use everything… I find this odd…… I’d be looking for Cougar tracks…

    • Wolves generally do not eat everything at one time – they return to the site until it is consumed. A cougar most often makes an attempt to cover its kill.

  3. Love the eagle pics too.

  4. We have some more photos in the first CS 4 album on the Conserve School Facebook page:

    My favorite so far is an eagle that found the carcass around noon.

  5. A wolf kill right across from James House?? Amazing!

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