Find the best places to hunt Wolverine in Canada and discover the Wolverine's Physical Description, Range, Habitat, Food Source, Breeding Habits, and Status.

Provinces with Wolverine Hunting

Province / Territory

Species

Season

Nunavut

Present

Season Available 

Northwest Territories

Present

Season Available 

Yukon

Present

Season Available 

British Columbia

Present

Season Available 

Alberta

Present

 

Saskatchewan

Present

 

Manitoba

Present

 

Ontario

Present

 

Quebec

Present

 

New Brunswick

Present

 

Nova Scotia

Present

 

Prince Edward Island

Present

 

Newfoundland

Not Present

Provinces with Black Bear Hunting

Yukon Resident and Non-Resident
North West Territories Resident and Non-Rssident
British Columbia Resident and Non-Resident

Wolverine Paw

 

Front Track

  • 3.625" - 6.25" (9.2 - 15.9 cm) long
  • 3.5" -5.25" (8.9 - 13.3 cm) wide

Rear Track

  • 3.625" - 6.0" (9.2 - 15.2 cm) long
  • 3.25" - 5.25" (8.3 - 13.3 cm) wide

Track Width

  • 7" - 10" (17.8 -25.4 cm)

Photo by - Subham Mahapatra – Google + Public

 

Wolverine Scat

Wolverine Scat - https://www.nps.gov/media/photo/view.htm?id=9DB15A06-1DD8-B71B-0B0D04A911AEBFAF

Range-Distribution and Habitat of Wolverines

Wolverine Range Map of Canada

Wolverine Range Map of Canada

Original map of canada: By Nzeemin [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Modified By: Canada-Hunts.ca

 

For Canada, the Wolverine inhabits most of the Boreal Forest south of the tree line, some of the tundra in the north, and mountainous elevations in the southern parts of Canada. One study came to the conclusion that the southern limit of the wolverine is defined by the depth of snow cover for mother wolverines to dig their natal dens in Mid-April to Mid-May. IE: if there is no snow at that time, there will be no wolverines.

Territories for this animal can be anywhere there are large ungulates and their remains from predation and natural death can be commonly found. The wolverines’ home range or habitat is not be defined by tree cover or geographic landscapes but rather by food supply. Being rather reclusive and somewhat of a solitary animal, the size of their home range will depend upon its sex and that availability of food. A male’s range or territory may be 230-1,580 Km2 and overlap several female home ranges that are considerably smaller in size at 50-400 Km2. Other wolverines may periodically share these home ranges too, but these individuals are most likely transient yearlings looking for their own range. They may have to travel 100-330 Km from their natal home range and average 3,500 Km2 of territory during this dispersal period.

Competition for food sources seems to be the underlying drive for a females’ range, whereas, males choose territories based on the availability of mates. 

Wolverine (Gulo gulo)

Wolverine

Wolverine_2
By Manfred Werner - Tsui (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

With a lifespan of 7 to 12 years, the Wolverine (Gulo gulo) is the biggest member of the Mustelids (Weasel) family and may also be referred to by the names carcajou, glutton, skunk bear, or quickhatch.

The wolverine can range in color from brown tones to black and will often have a buff-yellow or tan colored strip that runs along each side of its body from the shoulder to the tail. Some wolverines have other distinguishing features that may include a light colored facial mask that runs up the side of its head and up and over its eyes. Others may display white hair patches on their throats or chests.

It has a large head, wide forehead, short heavily built but strong neck, short broad and sturdily built legs, a heavy series of muscles in their body, strong teeth, and powerful jaws. The anatomy of this creature, especially about the skull is robust, gives it the power and ability to crush bones, chew on frozen carcasses, and dig up large carcasses buried in deep snow.

The wolverine does moult annually in the spring, but for the rest of the year, it has a long, coarse, and oily outer fur coat that is capable of resisting water. Under that coat of long, straight guard hairs is a dense undercoat that is woolly and coarse. Making its’ fur a prize for trappers and hunters alike.

Their feet are quite large in comparison to its body and with these large feet it is able to travel quickly on top of the snow pack. Each foot has five toes with long semi-retractile claws. Their ears are short and rounded, while their tail at 9.8 – 13.8 in (25 – 35 cm) is long and bushy.

Male wolverines weigh 24.25 – 40 lbs. (11-18 kg) and weigh more than females at 13.2 – 26.5 lbs. (6-12 kg). Males are also slightly larger in size with males averaging 31.5 ins. (80 cm) in length and females averaging 27.5 ins. (70 cm).

The wolverine is thought to be primarily nocturnal but can be active either day or night, and will have alternating periods of activity, sleeping every three to four hours. Their periods of activity can be driven by weather and food availabily. They are well-suited for digging, climbing trees, can travel for long distances, and are able to swim.

In a display of aggression they will often arch their back and try to make themselves appear larger.

Its Dental Formula is: I(3/3) - incisors, C(1/1) - canines, P(4/4) - premolars, M(1/2) - molars. 

General Description

Diet and Foraging Strategy of Wolverines

Wolverine

Wolverine_3
https://www.flickr.com/photos/92416586@N05>/22214459748

Wolverines do not have a migration, do not winter hibernate, but they are formidable carnivores. Known for their viciousness and ferocity, it is not legend but a fact, that this species is quite capable of standing up to a wolf or even a bear and has the ability to drive them off of a carcass in order to feed. Equipped with a very good sense of smell, it is able to detect a kill. Part of this animals’ success is derived from the fact that in the winter it prefers to steal a kill rather than get one of its own and is in part dependant of that other animal’s ability to make a kill that makes it a success.

You cannot rule out its killing ability because it can and will take down a large ungulate by corning the victim in deep snow. And studies have shown that some individuals have gotten very good at it.

The wolverine does have the ability to go long periods of time without food, but when it does have excess food. It will either bury it or cache it in a rock crevice or tree. It will return to old kill sites in order to forage on bones and hides when times are tough.

In the summer, wolverines will eat almost anything but prefer fresh food. They will eat berries, insect larvae, small mammals, ground-nesting birds, roots, and even fish. Their list of smaller mammal includes: marmots, hares, mice, voles, birds, insects, porcupines, berries, beavers, and ground squirrels. Scavenged items will come from large ungulates such as moose, caribou, elk, mountain sheep, and mountain goats that have been killed by other animals.

In the winter, Wolverines rely on carrion and cached kills. These kills may be their own or may come from a large carnivore like a grizzly bear, cougar, or wolf. These carnivores will compete with the wolverine at a kill site and do present a potential source of mortality for the wolverine. . I don’t know if it is its’ disposition or shear muscular build. This little fur ball seems to come out on top most of the time.

Wolverines tend to frequently travel a regular route from start to finish of their home range. This animal may travel more than 35 km daily in search of food and will often roam further distances in the summer than in the winter.

Breeeding and Reproduction of Wolverines

Juvenille Wolverine

Juvenile Wolverine
By Johan Spaedtke (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Male and female wolverines become sexually mature at 2 to 3 years of age. And females have a litter production rate of one every 2-3 years. Mating of sexually mature wolverines occurs anywhere from April to August. Breeding pairs will come together for a few days and then separate. Both males and females may join with different partners at during this time period and mate again. It should be noted that the egg is fertilized at this point and developed into an 8 cell embryo. The female then carries that developed embryo and it does not implant it to the uterine wall until January or February. Gestation lasts for 30 to 40 days at which time she will produce a litter of 2 to 5 kits late March to mid-April. The largest litters are born to females over the age of 6 but these females also have lower pregnancy rates.

The female will choose an area under areas with lots of snow cover. Areas like a fallen tree, beside a boulder, under a rock crevices, or simply burrow out a den in the snow prior to giving birth. The criteria for this den is that it must have a thick snow cover in order to provide insulation (sometimes up to 5 meters of snow) for its young and protection from predators like golden eagles, bears, and wolves. Once the snow begins to melt or there are many disturbances about the natal den the female will move the kits to a maternal den that too is build using much the same criteria.

Newborn kits are born covered in a fine white fur and are in an undeveloped state, requiring care and feeding by its mother. It only takes 9-10 weeks to wean the kits and they are adult size by 7 months of age. The young will remain in the maternal den until the fall. Then they stay with their mother for about a year and in the months of January to late May will leave their mother and disperse from their natal range.

Except for the breeding season and when females have their kits, wolverines are very solitary. They also have a low reproduction rate which means that recovery after population declines is slow. 

Status of Wolverines in Canada

The eastern population of wolverine that inhabit Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador is listed as “Endangered” (May 2014). The western population that inhabit Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario has “no status” (May 2014).

The Wolverine is considered a plague by most trappers because it will wreck havoc on a trap line. Because of its natural scavenging tactics it will raid the trappers’ traps and destroy the animals that have been caught. With this in mind, trappers have been known to shoot, trap and poison the wolverine in retaliation.

Despite it reputation, Wolverines are preyed upon by bears, wolves, cougars, Golden Eagles, and other Wolverines.

Wolverine populations may be on a downward slope. Threats come from human activity like agricultural development, urbanization, and industrial developments that alters the landscape permanently and coupled with land use activities like forestry, oil and gas extraction and mining. The wolverine cannot co-exist in those environments.

Climate change could be a major killer. With this animal relying on the snow pack for its survival. This little guy may be in trouble if the amount of snowfall continues to decrease.

References

  • http://aep.alberta.ca/fish-wildlife/species-at-risk/species-at-risk-publications-web-resources/mammals/documents/SAR-Wolverine-FactSheet-May2003.pdf
  • http://www.biodiversity.sk.ca/docs/statasswolverine.pdf
  • http://www.hww.ca/en/wildlife/mammals/wolverine.html
  • http://lcvirtualwildlife.ca/index.php/wolverine
  • https://mthsecology.wikispaces.com/Wolverine 
  • http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/species/speciesDetails_e.cfm?sid=137
  • https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/education/wns/wolverine.pdf
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolverine

 

Photo Credits - Article

  • Wolverine Range and Distribution - By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credits - Background

By Birgit Fostervold - originally posted to Flickr as Wolverine, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6086761

  • Listing information on this website has been collected and presented as accurately as possible.
  • In case of any difference(s) between the information listed about outfitter's / resorts / guides.
  • The outfitter's website should always be taken.
  • This website should not be considered as the final say when it comes to hunting regulations.
  • Always consult the Provincial / Territorial jurisdiction that you are going to when planning your hunt.
  • Images on this site have been collected and used under Creative Commons License or are public domain images. 
  • Recipes are the work of Canada-Hunts.ca. You may reprint and distribute them for personal non commercial use. 
  • Please include Canada-Hunts.ca as your source on all copies.
  • Hunting Optics Blog information was provided by the generosity of Vortex Canada.
  • All work in that blog is their sole property and permission to reuse it should be directed to Vortex of Canada.

If you want more information use the form below and contact us.