A week in the forest – late winter

Written and photographed by Marko Kübarsepp
Translation: SilverT

Hall`s Sunday. Perhaps this is the place where the first offspring of the wolf pair were conceived.

During last weekend and also still on Monday, late winter showed its might and power with a storm – more snow came, together with a blizzard and night-time frost. Some springtime sun and more winds during the week and the late winter shows no signs of retreating.
Once again, the weather has been fickle in terms of precipitation and temperature. It seems, however, that the predators like to move much more during such stormy weather. Who knows – maybe it is even easier to catch prey.
Hall (Grey) is still travelling from one side of the territory to the other with his chosen one, but the animals`movement is somewhat different from the usual. Each night, they stop for two to four hours to pay some more attention to each other, so the generations of wolves could continue. Since the average female wolf is usually in heat for 5-7 days, this time needs to be used with a purpose. The mating can take place 2-3 times per night. As evidence of succesful mating, the wolves leave icy trodden circles, 3-4 meters in diameter, on the snow.

Summary about hunting was compiled by Peep Männil 
February ended this year`s wolf-hunting season. According to preliminary data by the Environmental Board, 77 wolves were hunted during past season, 69 of them on mainland Estonia
It was only in 2007 when less than one hundred wolves were hunted. That year, winter weather conditions were very unsuitable for hunting wolves, this winter, however, was very favourable. 22 hunting permits were left unused from the maximum hunting quantity, 16 of those in mainland Estonia. In Ida-Viru, Tartu, Põlva, Võru, Valga, Lääne and Harju counties the allowed limits were not reached. The situation where there were many wolves in the central part of Estonia and few on the peripheries was very typical for last year. Let`s hope that the seemingly low hunting limits, which caused the hunters in central Estonia to grumble at times, will help to even out the wolves`distribution for the coming autumn.




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