Threat Number 5 - Cougars. A DNR camera photographed a cougar in Dunn County last week. The big cat recently killed a whitetail fawn, which it stashed under a pile of cornstalks and periodically returned to munch on. A reindeer could feed that cat for a month. However, a full grown male reindeer weighs between 220-700 lbs., much too big for a cougar to take down. Not much of a threat.
Threat Number 4 - Wolves. Some hunters in northern Wisconsin blame the state's increasing wolf population for this year's poor deer harvest. It's true that wolves are very good at hunting deer, and some wolves have been known to kill even moose. However, wolves are opportunistic hunters, and even a reduced whitetail population offers them much easier opportunities than eight healthy reindeer who will stand their ground together (since they are all harnessed to the sleigh). Not much of a threat.
Threat Number 3 - Bears. Because no threat-down would be complete without bears, and Wisconsin's bear population is growing. But black bears rarely prey on adult deer, so they are not really a threat to Santa's reindeer.
Threat Number 2 - Hunters. There is a holiday deer hunting season in the CWD management zone from December 24 through January 3. Santa may want to outfit his reindeer with blaze orange vests just in case they are still out after sunrise. While reindeer are visually distinct from whitetail deer, the occasional hunter with buck fever has been known to shoot an elk or even a cow, so better safe than sorry.
Threat Number 1 - Snowmobile Thrill Killers. Unfortunately, the law has not done enough to deter this despicable practice. Santa should take advantage of J. B. Van Hollen's published opinion and openly carry a firearm (loaded with lumps of coal) in his sleigh for personal (and reindeer) protection.