A rancher south of Alexander in McKenzie County shot and killed a wolverine in late April that was harassing livestock. The incident was investigated and determined to be within North Dakota law, which allows a landowner, tenant or that persons agent to catch, or kill any wild furbearing animal (except bears) in protection of poultry, domestic animals or crops.
The 8- to 9-year old male appeared to be healthy, and was found with a radio tracking device in its abdomen. Records indicated the device was inserted in 2008, when the wolverine was captured south of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Internal radio tracking devices are often used in mammals that frequently crawl in and out of burrows, or those that live in water.
This wolverine’s last known location was Colorado in 2012. After which, the battery in its radio tracking device was likely depleted.
The last confirmed record of a wolverine in North Dakota was from the fur trading era during the mid-1800s. The closest population of wolverines occurs in the mountains of Montana, and the forests of northern Canada. However, male wolverines are known to travel great distances in search of habitat, food and/or other wolverines.
A full body mount will be displayed in the furbearer exhibit at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck.