Development of hunting bag data

Due to the interrelationship between wolves and their wild prey, wolves do, of course, impact on bag numbers.

However, it is very difficult to clearly show the resident wolves' sole influence on hoofed game bag numbers and/or population numbers since the wolf as a predator is only one of many factors regulating hoofed game populations. Moreover, hunting success as reflected by bag numbers depends, in turn, on other factors such as weather, food supply, hunting intensity or disturbance by humans.

Therefore, bag number analysis can only provide a rough indication of the wolves' potential impact if performed over a longer period of time and for larger areas.

Up to the hunting year 2008/09, after wolf packs had been present there for ten years, the hoofed game bag numbers in the Saxon part of Lusatia showed the same fluctuations and trends as in Saxon regions without wolves. Especially hard or mild winters make a significant difference. None of the Saxon regional districts that also included a wolf territory (former regional districts of Lower Silesia Upper Lusatia, Bautzen, Kamenz, the town of Hoyerswerda) showed a reduction in bag numbers with regard to the hoofed game species of roe and red deer as well as wild boar after wolves had resettled there. Since the wolf country only covers part of each regional district's total area, a wolf country-related bag number analysis was performed at TU Dresden (forest zoology) within the scope of several Master theses (1998-2009), with a distinction being made between areas with wolves and those without wolves. In this analysis too, bag number variations could not be solely attributed to wolves over this period of time.

Streckenentw1992 2009 Altkreise

The development of the hoofed game bag in percent for the former regional district of Bautzen (BZ) and the former regional district of Lower Silesian Upper Lusatia (NOL) where wolves have resettled compared to bag numbers for the Free State of Saxony (SN); hunting year 1992/1993 = 100 %.

As of the hunting year 2009/10, bag number representation changes as the district boundaries were redrawn in 2008. The numbers now relate to areas other than those in the hunting years between 1992/1993 – 2008/2009.

 

Table: number of roe deer, red deer and wild boar bagged in the given hunting years in the regional districts of Bautzen and Görlitz and, by way of comparison, in the whole of Saxony.

 

Red deer

Roe deer

Wild boar

Hunting year

Bautzen

Görlitz

Saxony

Bautzen

Görlitz

Saxony

Bautzen

Görlitz

Saxony

2009/10

361

700

3,517

5,849

3,867

36,930

2,801

3,622

24,416

2010/11

318

600

3,313

4,871

3,183

32,452

3,025

3,463

26,546

2011/12

304

629

3,252

4,509

3,433

32,268

2,756

3,202

22,610

2012/13

351

643

3,852

4,472

3,269

36,126

3,216

4,057

32,201

2013/14

307

664

3,581

3,982

3,124

32,864

3,102

4,081

26,173

A declining trend has only been noticeable for roe deer bags since the hunting year 2009/2010 in the regional districts of Bautzen and Görlitz. As mentioned before, factors other than the wolf may be responsible for this development too.

Please refer to the website of the forest zoology department of TU Dresden for more information on their respective research projects. 

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