The National Elk Refuge feeds its elk alfalfa pellets, which are easy to distribute around the Refuge, and so reducing the concentration of elk. They think this might reduce the spread of elk and bison diseases. Nevertheless, a sportsman group (SFW-Wyoming) has taken to delivering hay to the Refuge the last two years on the assumption that the Refuge doesn’t understand that the elk are starving.

On the other hand, the long term average winter mortality for elk on refuge is only 0.05% — spectacularly low and not compatible with the notion that the elk starve

SFW had their hay day in Jackson, Wyoming on Saturday. This article describes what happened. Hay Day nets 55 tons. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

The Elk Refuge phased out the feeding of hay some time ago because it concentrates elk, is unsanitary, labor intensive, insufficiently nutritious, and spreads weeds into the refuge.

I’m not sure what they will do with this unasked-for hay. I heard (need to verify) that last winter they fed it to the bison to keep them away from the elk. I hope someone will report on the accuracy of this.

Presently the Elk Refuge is trying to rely more on native vegetation that grows during the summer and also with the state to reduce the size of the wintering bison population from 1,200 to 500 animals and the elk herd from 7,500 to 5,000. In years past, as many as 12,000 elk have wintered on the Refuge.

Many conservation groups and wildlife biologists are worried about the spread of chronic wasting disease into the Refuge and also the 22 Wyoming state-run winter elk feedlots. This prion-caused disease (similar to mad cow disease) is always fatal.

While SWF, executive director, Robert Wharff “said he thinks the threat of chronic wasting disease is overblown, . . . and we don’t know if it’s necessarily a death sentence,” I am not aware of any studies showing elk or deer survive the disease, although many of those infected are killed first by something else.

Worse, much worse, recent research indicates that contamination of the soil with CWD prions is permanent — these malformed proteins actually form mineral complexes with the soil that makes them even more infectious.

Soil Particles Found To Boost Prion’s Capacity To Infect. Science Digest. July 9, 2007

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

63 Responses to "Hay Day" at Jackson, WY yields 55 tons of what many say is unneeded hay for Elk Refuge

  1. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    This is a good account of the situation. Feeding pellets to elk on the NER was a move made in the early 70s, not only for the reasons Ralph mentions, but to reduce the incidence of necrotic stomatitis, or lumpy jaw, caused by sharp awns in hay that pierced the gums, allowing the bacterium that causes necrotic stomatitis, which occurs naturally in the soil, to get into the tissues of the gums, and eventually the jawbone itself. The resulting infection creates an ulcer in the gum around molars that is very painful, making it difficult for the affected elk to eat. Once the infection affects the bone, the bone is eaten away. (Thus, necrosis). If the infection itself doesn’t kill the elk, either starvation or predators will.

    Historically, necrotic stomatitis was the major killer of elk on the Refuge, on which mortality was already low since the elk were being fed. Switching to pellets reduced mortality further, but it also lowered elk densities on the feedlines, one of the other goals of the switch to pellets.

    Hay Day is a stunt; last year, SFW, through its representative on the Wyoming G&F Commission, Clark Allan, falsely claimed that the NER was deliberately starving elk, especially calves, a claim that was not only false, but ludicrous. But that’s the politics surround management of elk and bison on the Refuge.

    NER Manager Barry Reiswig, who has been a courageous voice within the FWS against feeding elk, refused to accept the hay last year, so FWS Regional Director Mitch King overruled him and drove up from Denver to accept the hay from SFW. Reiswig retired earlier this year, and his replacement, Steve Kallin, who I believe came down from the National Bison Range, is more in tune with the party line.

    To the best of my knowledge, the hay “donated” last year was used to divert bison away from the pellet lines. I do not know this for a fact.

    The Wyoming G&F Dept. still uses hay on its 22 feedgrounds.

  2. There are very few professions where people who know nothing about the science are given an equal (or greater) say than those who spend the better part of their lives studying the subject. It really sticks in my craw.

  3. avatar Dan Stebbins says:

    I’m not sure what exactly SFW is trying to accomplish with this deal. This is just a waste of time and effort to me. I wish these hunting advocate groups would finally get it through their thick skulls that larger herds are not necessarily healthier herds.
    If you are unnaturally feeding elk you are undoubtedly keeping the weaker and sicker animals alive artificially. This promotes disease and could ultimately mean that the herd numbers will take a large future hit because of such a disease. I really wish these hunting advocates would try to do something about diminishing hunting access, encroaching development, or protecting habitat. Those are the real threats to hunting as I see it.

  4. avatar Bob Caesar says:

    The full name for SFW is: “Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife That We Can Slay”. They are only interested in critters they can snuff! They are only “FOR” things they can kill! This hay business is just a stunt by Bubba. The USFWS goes along cause they have to! Politics as usual…

  5. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    As a hunter, I do not consider SFW to be a hunting advocacy group. If you look at its history, its structure, and its policies, it is clearly front for large landowners and outfitters who seek greater privatization and commercialization of wildlife for their own benefit. SFW is essentially a “multiple use,” commodity exploitation group.

    In general, their view is that if they can’t make money from it (big game), they spend your tax dollars to get rid of it (predators).

    They never breathe a word of conservation.

  6. avatar be says:

    SFW was represented at the initial Idaho wolf plan meeting tonight in Jerome ~ it is obvious that their concern is not conservation, it is big fat anthropogenically engineered trophies and the elimination of perceived competition from predators. In Idaho, they have also been willing to front for Livestock ~ they claim grass-roots, but their Idaho director, Nate Helm, is former natural resource advisor to Larry Craig. These people are a front for extractive industry ~ they are an extractive industry.

  7. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    If we could characterize the complexity of problems that we face, it would be in the phrase, “privatization and commercialization.”

  8. avatar Buffaloed says:

    Did everyone see this article about SFW in HCN?

    http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=17076

    SFW appears to like it since they have it posted on their website as well. They seem to be the “stick your head in the sand” crowd to me. Don’t worry about all of the parts just make sure that the parts which make money are in abundance. Don’t even worry about their health because after the guy has shot it you’ve already got your money.

  9. avatar JB says:

    Buff-

    Thanks for posting the link to SFW article. I posted these comments on HCN’s website, but given the discussion, I think they’re worth repeating:

    “SFW is known to conservationists in Utah as the Sportsment for Certain Wildlife; that is, wild animals that (1) can be hunted, and (2) are not predators. Their idea of habitat restoration is putting food on the landscape for wild ungulates…period. They care little for restoring native ecosystems so long as they have enough game to kill.

    The SFW rallies members around the idea that “anti-hunters” in the cities out east are trying to take away their “right” to hunt. The irony is that most “anti-hunters,” as SFW would label them, are not oppossed to hunting per se, but the needless and wanton killing of wild animals. News flash: Most people are fine with the idea of harvesting deer and elk for food, what upsets them is the idea of mowing down predators with guns for the “fun” of it. In my estimation the SFW does not represent hunters, but people who like to run around the woods with guns and kill things. They only care about conservation in as much as it means more things to kill.

    The following quote succinctly summarizes the SFW’s position: “To think you can have a natural landscape with wolves and bears and other predators on it is romantic, but it’s not true.” Apparently, Don [that is Don Peay, the founder of SFW-Utah] thinks wolves and bears are not part of the “natural” landscape. This notion is not only false, it’s absurd. The fact that Don Peay and SFW hold as much sway as they do over wildlife management in the west is a travesty.”

  10. avatar elkhunter says:

    Did you guys happen to see the Million they donated to buy crucial habitat near SLC, or the sagebrush restoration they did in UT? Just curious?
    Elkhunter

  11. avatar JB says:

    I am aware that SFW has purchased, land, worked on habitat restoration projects, etc.–at least in Utah. I don’t know about their activities in Idaho. There’s no question that they’ve done a lot to increase populations of wildlife they find desirable–and likely even helped a few other species as well; however, that doesn’t excuse their advocating the view that predators are not a part of the “natural landscape.” Every time Don Peay opens his mouth, he says something that indicates just how little he knows, and how extreme a position he advocates:

    For example:

    “The return of wolves is the No. 1 issue facing sportsmen in the west…Sportsmen have spent millions to bring big game back. We don’t want wolves here.” (see: http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/56452)

    (Actually surveys indicate that people who hunt are split regarding wolves, non-hunters strongly support their return)

    and…

    “ Ecosystem balance is one of those Walt Disney myths.”(see: http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/56452)

    (Do I even need to say anything?)

    and here he brags about threatening to kill someone at a meeting…

    “I told him ‘Step outside, I’ll kill ya.” (see: http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=31492)

    (I hope your children are proud, Don.)

    In short, Don Peay and his organization spread lies to further their agenda: more things to kill [period].

    For rebuttal to Peay’s lies, read this:
    http://www.utahwolf.net/utwolforum/PEAYrebuttal.htm

    JB

  12. avatar Jeff N. says:

    “Crucial habitat” for what?

  13. avatar elkhunter says:

    Call and ask them Jeff N., if you live in UT, especially the wasatch front, you realize that winter range is in very high demand, not only for deer/elk but all wildlife. Do you live in UT?

  14. avatar Don Riley says:

    According to Kallin, who by the way, gave the “keynote speech at Saturday’s event” the hay will be used on the North end of the refuge in an attempt to keep the buffalo from migrating south into the elk feeding areas.

    Steve Meadows, the SFW’s Teton County representative states SFW did not protest the culling of the Grand Teton elk herd because the “refuge ultimately understood that there is only one segment of the herd that is over populated” Is that the “segment” that lives in GTNP or is that the segment that migrates from the Southern third of Yellowstone Park or the segment that comes out of the Wind River Mountains or the segment that comes from the East out of the Bridger Teton Forest.

    “THE REFUGE ULTIMATELY UNDERSTOOD…”

    SFW must have a way of differentiating to support a statement like that.

    Clark Allen, WG&F commissioner from Jackson ..”Kallin has done a good job of responding to the concerns of SFW…. (we) hope things continue to be managed correctly.”

    Kallin is not a Barry Reiswig by any stretch of the imagination. Reiswig used to remind these guys that science was supposed to be the basis of running the Refuge. I hope his retirement is long and enjoyable because he earned it.

  15. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Elk hunter – Nope, I live in Phx AZ.

  16. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Elk hunter – Since you are the one who posted that SFW – Utah, donated a miilion bucks for “crucial habitat” near SLC, and are a resident of Utah, I thought you could enlighten me, and I believe the correct term is “critical habitiat”.

  17. avatar elkhunter says:

    Jeff N. Here you go. http://www.sfwsfh.org/documents/SFH_Projects_2007.pdf
    That is a list of the projects they have done recently, if you want a complete list since the organization began you could probably call them and they can get that to you! Sorry I am not a english major.
    Elkhunter

  18. avatar Jeff N. says:

    There is no mention of a donation of one million bucks for critical habitat near SLC on that list. I see that the total of various projects in 2007 equals a little over a million but nothing concerning a single donation of a million dollars for critical habitat.

  19. avatar elkhunter says:

    Jeff N, I know you live in AZ, but the Wasatch front is the face of the mountains facing SLC. Also here is a link to the article that is mentioned earlier in these comments, if you scroll about 1/2 way down you will see SFW donating a check for $1,000,000. It was used to purchase “critical” habitat around SLC. Here is the link:

    http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=17076

    If you want me to walk you step by step through the article I can. Thanks

    Elkhunter

  20. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Thanks Elk hunter. After reading that HCN article I am amazed at how backward these morons are when it comes to predators. How sad that these outdoorsman/hunters have such a disdain for any animal that preys on elk/deer etc. “George W. Bush conservation” no doubt.

  21. avatar elkhunter says:

    Jeff N.: Its not disdain, bear and lion hunts are in a high demand in UT. If they just wanted to eliminate all predators why do we not have OTC tags for those animals? They just want proper management of all predators. If there system is so inferior to an alternative plan why are elk herds at or near objective? Deer herds are suffering because of loss of habitat. Thats the biggest obstacle that our deer herds face, The Nature Conservancy seems to think they do a good job since they partner with them in habitat conservation projects. They generate MILLIONS of dollars that go towards habitat improvement and other projects.

    Jeff N. what exactly are YOU doing to help out with conservation in your area? How much money have you generated that has been used for conservation? How many projects have you headed? I would like to know the answers to these questions. Your standpoint is like saying your dumping the Victoria Secret model because you dont like her feet!! Come on Jeff. The thing about SPW is they DO stuff!!! They actually DO stuff, its called action. They dont sit on blogs and BITCH.
    Elkhunter

  22. avatar Dan Stebbins says:

    I just read the article that Jeff N. provided the link to. It is nice to see SFW trying to do something to promote and protect hunting. However if this article is any indication of their ideas of conservation, they are more than a little out there for my taste. They apparently are the segment of the hunting population that attributes predators with damaging game numbers (even though there is little or no evidence to support that). Frankly I don’t buy into much of what they are selling. I definitely don’t share their views on predators being here to get rid of grazing or hunting. Not to mention their support of oil and gas interests in wildlife habitat.

    Either way though this “Hay Day” thing is still misguided in my opinion. Artificially feeding animals just doesn’t make any sense when you look at the potential problems.

  23. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Elk hunter – Clearly it is disdain for predators. Just read the article. If you need me to walk you through it I will. Let me know where to start. A quote concerning the “harvest” of predators: Once the predators are called in, Lansdowne notes, shot placement isn’t particularly important. “You are going for a straight harvest here. It’s about the numbers, and the more you take out of here, the better it will be,” he says. “Don’t be tentative, don’t get discouraged. Even if you fail all day long, it still was better than going to work. It’s about being able to enjoy Mother Earth and the things she’s putting out there for us to use.”

    That’s a valid predator managment philosophy?

    Another beauty: It’s a model of management that Peay thinks can be applied far more widely, and he does not understand why it is so controversial. “How can anybody say they are an animal-rights advocate, and say they want grizzly bears or coyotes or wolves that eat all the production of the young, tearing these calves away from the elk?” he asks. “Where’s the animal rights in that?”

    Predators behaving naturally is an “animal rights” issue?

    Um..Elk Harvester..kind of sounds like they want to “harvest” or as you say “properly manage” predators to the point of elimination to me.

    Elk Harvester, I’ve actually done quite a bit in my efforts to contribute to the improvement of the natural world whether through voluneer or monetary efforts. In fact, I volunteered in the reintroduction of the Mexican Gray Wolf in 1998. I helped build two of the acclimation pens with students from Prescott College and volunteers from Americorp, to name one of the things on a list of many.

    Harvester – I’m not questioning the fact they’ve donated time and money on deer and elk habitat improvement (yes I realize this also is beneficial to other wildlife). I couldn’t care less if they partner with the Wilderness Society or Nature Conservancy or the “Mature Bull Elk” Harvesters of Utah. Their intolerance of predators in nature’s scheme is as obvious as the sound of the pea ratteling around in your skull.

  24. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Jeff N. wrote: “Their intolerance of predators in nature’s scheme is as obvious as the sound of the pea ratteling around in your skull.”

    elk/coyote “hunter,” Josh X (I forget his last name), is a admitted member of Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife of Utah.

    Regarding Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife of Idaho’s coyote slaughter: “Once the predators are called in, Lansdowne notes, shot placement isn’t particularly important.”

    Yep, shoot ’em in the muzzle or give ’em just a nice gut shot or blow a leg off, it don’t matter – just kill ‘dem varmints.

    How can they call themselves “Sportsmen?” They should rename themselves “Gunners for Wildlife We Love and Wildlife We Hate.”

    Read all about ’em: http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=17076

    Maury Jones of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, another Wolf Coalition member, sees dire consequences if the wolf is not delisted.

    “There will be no wildlife left,” said Jones, an outfitter from Jackson.

    Read all about it: http://www.casperstartribune.net/articles/2005/03/22/news/wyoming/35d95e108811c82687256fcb00741e8e.txt

    I swear years ago I was at a Wyoming Game and Fish Department comment meeting and Maury Jones said: “There aren’t any deer left in Jackson Hole. Lions ate ’em all.”

    Mack P. Bray

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  25. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Elk Harvester’s default response is always “Well…how much money do you spend on the outdoors..blah…blah”. To him, and his ilk, nature has a monetary value…..period.

  26. avatar elkhunter says:

    Jeff N and Mack: The only reason you guys attack SFW is because they are in the forefront. They actually do something Jeff. You built a pen for a few wolves, congratulations! They shoot elk/deer so do they have a disdain for elk/deer? Just curious. Jeff like you said you dont live here, you dont know the challenges that are wildlife face. Do you? Have you been here involved for over 15 years? Or do you sit on your computer, donate a couple hundred bucks to DOW and once in your life fulfilled your dream to help some wolves by building a pen? I think I probably hit it right on the nose. SFW accomplishs more in a week than you will in your life! By the way I hunt coyotes about 3 times a month, so do I hate predators? And the quote you were referencing is during a coyote hunt, in a response on where the individual should aim. With coyotes it does not really matter, shot placement is not as critical. One other thing Jeff, Ralph has tried very hard to keep this blog as professional as possible and Mack and I both recieved emails from him wanting us to eliminate the personal attacks in our posts. I read your posts to Layton and me also, I would imagine Ralph would appreciate it if you kept your childish personal attacks to yourself. And Jeff regardless of the reason they buy habitat it still BENEFITS ALL WILDLIFE including predators. Jeff do you think that there should be any management of wolves at all? If you feel that no wolf should ever be killed then we can just stop our conversation and not waste each others time.

    Elkhunter

  27. avatar elkhunter says:

    Jeff, how would you know what my default response is? This is the first time I have seen you on this blog, so in a few days you know my default response. Can you please post the comments that you are referring to. I would appreciate it. I did not know that was my default but if you could provide some examples I would appreciate it. Thanks
    Elkhunter

  28. avatar JB says:

    Sorry, meant to say “insistence” not “instance.” Stupid proofreading.
    JB

  29. avatar JB says:

    Elkhunter–

    I agree with a lot of what you say about SFW, and they have done some good for wildlife in Utah. But your instance they only want wolves managed is incorrect. I have been to too many meetings with Don Peay and heard the same blather about how wolves will eat everything including each other and your children. I also know the former big game manager in Utah, who told me that Don Peay used to call him regularly and shout at him to increase the number of lion permits, calling him a “lion lover.” My friend is a life-long hunter who has a M.S. in wildlife management and was legitimately concerned that there were too many permits being issued.

    Again, I’ll end with Don’s quote: “The return of wolves is the No. 1 issue facing sportsmen in the west…We don’t want wolves here.” (see: http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/56452)

    I don’t see how this can be considered anything but anti-predator. If you still disagree, please explain.

    JB

  30. avatar JB says:

    Hmm…I’m not sure how my correction to my previous post got in ahead of the original? Perhaps I’ve entered a time warp?

  31. avatar elkhunter says:

    JB: I know that SPW does not love predators. That is very obvious. And Don Peay is a pretty strong advocate of predator control. And so am I. The wildlife in UT has come a long way, in large part because of the lobbying efforts of SPW. 15 years you would be luck to even see an elk, let alone have the chance to harvest one. And I am not saying that I agree with everything they do, his stand on wolves is alot more stringent than mine. I could care less if we had wolves, I just want them managed like every other big-game animal. I personally feel that the loss of habitat is the number one concern facing hunters. Thats why I appreciate what they do in that regards. Obviously they cant please everyone.
    Elkhunter

  32. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    elk/coyote “hunter,” Josh X (I forget his last name), is a admitted member of Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife of Utah.

    elk/coyote “hunter” said: “Jeff N and Mack: The only reason you guys attack SFW is because they are in the forefront.”

    Bull shit. I post about Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife because they’re 100% anti-predator.

    elk/coyote “hunter” said: “…Mack and I both recieved emails from him wanting us to eliminate the personal attacks in our posts.”

    You’re a liar. I never received any such email from Ralph.

    elk/coyote “hunter” said: “With coyotes it does not really matter, shot placement is not as critical.”

    Yep, shoot ’em in the muzzle; give ’em a nice gut shot; blow a leg off, it doesn’t matter if they suffer – just kill ‘dem varmints.

    How can they call themselves “Sportsmen?” They should rename themselves “Gunners for Wildlife We Love and Wildlife We Hate.”

    Read all about it: http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=17076

    elk/coyote “hunter,” I’m tired of wasting my time with you so don’t even bother to respond to this post.

    Maury Jones of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, another Wolf Coalition member, sees dire consequences if the wolf is not delisted.

    “There will be no wildlife left,” said Jones, an outfitter from Jackson.

    Read all about it: http://www.casperstartribune.net/articles/2005/03/22/news/wyoming/35d95e108811c82687256fcb00741e8e.txt

    I swear years ago I was at a Wyoming Game and Fish Commission comment meeting and Maury Jones said, to the Commission : “There aren’t any deer left in Jackson Hole. Lions ate ’em all.”

    True story.

    Mack P. Bray

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  33. avatar elkhunter says:

    Mack: It seems your post are all cut and paste from all of your other different posts. Here is the email from Ralph that he sent to me:
    Subject: Mack Bray

    Josh,

    I don’t know how Mack found out your name. I didn’t tell him. I know I found it out because you used in correspondence with me a couple times, but knowing you name doesn’t tell me anything of importance. It’s a name.

    It seems to be getting too personal between you two. I’ll contact Mack as well. Of course, I don’t like that because it soon spreads.

    You did ask the same question twice today, but I think that was because the volume of posts has been huge. I can’t read them all and can hardly keep track.

    This is turning into a full time job. Damn!!

    Ralph

    He did not want personal attacks to be used on HIS blog so I am trying to honor that. So I guess if he just contacted me and not you thats his choice, but he did say he was going to mention that to you also, thats why I said what I said.

    Mack at least SPW actually does something, I googled your name and all I found was your name on who knows how many blogs saying the same thing you say here. Talk is cheap Mack.

    Elkhunter

    Don’t post my personal email again, or you are out of here. I didn’t email Mack because I decided to go to a meeting with him where we could talk about a lot of stuff. Ralph

  34. avatar wildlifewatchers says:

    1) You posted your full name on this blog.

    2) Ralph never emailed me re: above

    3) The way you blast coyotes, – elk/coyote “hunter” said: “With coyotes it does not really matter, shot placement is not as critical” – indicates to me that you’re NO “sportsman.”

    “Sportsmen” for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife should rename themselves “Gunners for Wildlife We Love and Wildlife We Hate.”

    elk/coyote “hunter,” I’m tired of wasting my time with you so don’t even bother to respond to this post.

    Mack P. Bray

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

    – – – –

    I met face-to-face with Mack and we talked about the blog and lots of other stuff, so there was no reason to email him. Ralph Maughan

  35. avatar JEFF E says:

    Elky,
    You put your name out there acouple weeks ago. Josh Souderland if I remember correctly.

  36. avatar elkhunter says:

    Sutherland

  37. avatar elkhunter says:

    Mack, shot placement is not as critical because they are so small, its not shooting an elk in the guts and 300 yards. They run away, you shoot a coyote in the guts at almost any distance, they go down very quickly. But that does not mean I still dont aim for the vitals, they are pretty small so sometimes its hard, I am yet to loose on though after I have hit it.

    I never said anything about my name, Ralph just emailed me because he saw my name on the post and did not want me to think that he gave it to Mack. I

  38. avatar elkhunter says:

    And Mack, you dont have to respond to me, you can ignore me.

    Jeff E: Did you ever go on your hunt up in AK?

  39. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Elk hunter –

    1) Just because I don’t contribute to this blog on a regular basis doesn’t mean I can’t read your entries. On numerous occasions you have asked how much money do people contribute to conservation, as if to say if we don’t spend money on conservation issues we don’t have a say on the issues. If you deny this you are a liar.

    2) In regard to my efforts in conservation – No, you didn’t “hit it on the nose”. I mentioned the Mexican Gray Wolf Reintroduction as one of many things I’ve done whether it is voluntarily or monetarily. I have a long list of things I’ve done over the past 15 – 20 years for the environment and I don’t feel I need to list them in order to please you.

    3) I acknowledged in one of my previous posts that the donation by the SFW to protect critical habitat does benefit other wildlife besides elk and deer but that doesn’t change the fact that this group is anti-predator. They pretty much come right out and say it.

    4) Sure I think wolves should be mangaged in regard to livestock depredation. Every non-lethal method should be exhausted first. If the livestock depredation continues then the wolves should be taken out. At this point I do not believe the management of wolves is necessary in regard to big game populations. I do not think any current scientific research supports this.

    5) In an earlier post above you say “I could care less if we have wolves” but in a post a few months back didn’t you say you don’t want wolves in Utah because they cause too much “drama”? I believe you did.

    6) So as a hunter you say “shot placement is not crucial” when hunting coyotes. Are you advocating that as a hunter you have no regard for the suffering on an animal that you didn’t hit cleanly? Please clarify/justify this comment if you can.

    Thanks – Jeff N.

  40. avatar elkhunter says:

    Jeff E:
    Heres your answers:

    1: That is the typical response of someone who wants others to foot the bill. But those that truly care contribute time and money, when people pull the “its my right, I can benefit off of someone elses work, and then complain if I dont like it” mentality that bugs me.

    2: It would not please me, goes back to my response in the first question, action is louder than words. If you have actually done something rather than just post on blogs then I can respect that.

    3: So there Anti-Predator, they seem to have gotten alot done in UT. 15 years ago virtually almost no elk. Now we have around 70,000 head. Deer herds are better this year than they have been in along time. They are protecting habitat that ALL animals use. Like I said earlier, you would not dump a Victoria’s Secret model cause you dont like her feet. Same thing here, you would gladly shut down SPW because they dont like predators. Steppin over a dollar to pick up a dime, but thats my opinion. You cant expect to get them to please everyone on all aspects.

    4: So if wolves/predators ARE harming populations, would you be the first one to promote a MASS killing to get their populations back down to a sufficient level, or would it be better to just manage from the beginning and avoid that sort of a problem? I think its better to prevent that problem than try to correct it after the damage has been done.

    5: In all the scientific studies that I have seen they state UT could sustain 200 wolves. Now obviously once they got here, wolf advocates would push for more, I would gladly welcome wolves if there were STRICT population guidlines in place and WE were in control. Because you are right they do bring drama.

    6: Shot placement on a coyote is not crucial, re-read my post, not as crucial as an elk, like I said in my first post. Do I purposefully aim to wound a coyote? Obviously not. I will give you an example, I called a coyote in on Saturday and he was quarting towards me about 125 yards away, I aimed at his chest, bullet hit a little far back in his rump, he flipped over, it took me about 1-2 minutes to walk over there, and he was very dead by the time I got there. They are very small animals, if I had hit an elk in the same spot he would of ran for miles probably. Of course I am not advocating taking unethical shots, but really almost anywhere you hit a coyote will kill it, so I generally feel that any shot on a coyote is ethical.

    Ralph: I did not post your personal email address, if your referring to personal emails from you to me, then I am guilty of that. I wont post correspondence between us.

    Elkhunter

  41. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Elk hunter – Different mentalities. I would have called the coyote in and snapped a picture. You killed it because it was there. What do you do with the dead coyote?

  42. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Elk hunter – I didn’t say wolves bring “drama”. I was quoting you from a post of yours from a few months ago. For the most part people create the drama. If you want to see people creating drama over wolves check out Catron County NM.

  43. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    elk/coyote “hunter” said: “…but really almost anywhere you hit a coyote will kill it, so I generally feel that any shot on a coyote is ethical.”

    What a “sportsman,” eh?

    Since we’ve been using firearms, I wonder if anybody has ever:

    1) shot a coyote in the muzzle, forcing a slow and painful death

    2) shot a coyote in the gut, forcing a slow and painful death

    3) shot a leg or legs of a coyote, forcing a slow and painful death

    I suggest the answer is YES.

    “Sportsmen” for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife are not sportsmen and should rename themselves “Gunners for Wildlife We Love and Wildlife We Hate.”

    Mack P. Bray

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  44. avatar JB says:

    A few things…

    Elkhunter– In your analogy the wolf is the foot of the V.S. model, who presumably represents the ecosystem. I like this analogy; I suspect she would still be quite attractive even without feet, but she’d have a whole hell of a lot harder time maintaining that attractiveness. Our feet get us around and keep us healthy–wolves as the “feet” of the ecosystem–I actually like that. 🙂

    In regards to the Utah to studies; the 200 number was suggested as what would be socially acceptable giving the amount of ranching that goes on in wolves primary habitat. The figure 700 was given for a number that would be biologically sustainable–and this was in reference to wolves in Northern Utah. Presumably, southern Utah would “house” its own population of Mexican wolves.

    Switalski, T. A., Simmons, T., Duncan, S. L., Chavez, A. S., & Schmidt, R. H. (2002). Wolves in Utah: an analysis of potential impacts and recommendations for management. Logan: Utah State University.

  45. avatar BW says:

    Ralph:
    I can confirm that the hay which we donated last year was used to hold bison higher and maintain standing available forage for elk in the South end of the refuge.

    It amazes me just how childish and rude some of your guests are on this site. I would bet that if anyone from Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife were to make these same statements, they would be reprimanded for their remarks. It’s okay; after all, this is your blog.

    Mack:
    I will try to explain this again although I thought I had already explained it in another post.
    Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife (SFW) is not anti-predator but rather pro-sportsmen. If I must explain it, I will. Sportsmen, for almost a century, have paid to restore huntable populations of wildlife. Many others species of non-game or unhunted animals have benefited from our conservation actions. It appears to me that many can not understand why sportsmen, who have restored and conserved wildlife, do not desire their role of wildlife managers to be diminished or eliminated. SFW has not called for the eradication of these introduced wolves. We have stated continually that wolves are here to stay. Wolf advocates would like to see wolf numbers maximized. Sportsmen would like to see there numbers minimized. We were asked to support ~30 breeding pairs in the Rocky Mountain Region (Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming). All three states (collectively) are now saying they will manage for ~45 breeding pairs. As I have stated earlier, sportsmen take can be controlled by license allocation (FYI – poacher is not synonymous with Sportsmen). If your take begins to exceed the sustainability of the herd, numbers can be reduced; seasons can be shortened or lengthened. This is not something new as I stated, we have been doing this for quite some time now. Wolves are taking opportunities from hunters. I won’t bore your with examples as you are unwilling to acknowledge that wolves in fact kill. Many claim the wolf to be the top predator. I would argue that man is in fact the top predator. Something many on this site probably refuse to concede.

    Back to the point of this blog.

    SFW did in fact hold another rally known as “Hay Day”. Since the early nineteen hundreds (~1903) elk have been fed hay to prevent large-scale starvation events which have occurred in the area. If elk starved to death when Jackson was a small town, why wouldn’t the same thing happen now? Jackson has definitely expanded and developed just about everywhere that it could. Had the local ranchers not decided to create the National Elk Refuge where would we be today? The refuge is definitely trying to rely more on native vegetation. However, when the snows get too deep and/or layers of ice cover the available forage, what happens? There is a fence which impedes their ability to come any further into the town of Jackson and the snow is too deep for them to go elsewhere. The refuge is plenty big enough to mimic what elk herds naturally want to do. Feed rows can be moved every day to allow for feed to be placed on clean snow, thus minimizing the risk for disease outbreaks. Elk are a herding animal and they will naturally concentrate around available forage. The former Dr. Beth Williams performed numerous studies looking at CWD. In fact, she was the one to isolate and identify this new life form (if you can call it that). The studies she performed where in a confined setting and do not necessarily apply to real world settings. Elk appear to be some what more resilient to the disease then are mule deer. Studies have been done by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department which have shown that eliminating elk feedgrounds would result in a significant reduction of elk numbers in NW Wyoming. Because of Brucellosis elk and cattle will not be allowed to commingle. This means that if we stop feeding elk and they wander into a livestock feed line they will be destroyed. The other component that no one wants to address is the impacts to other ungulate species which are already living on a limited amount of available winter range. Moose and big horn sheep are already struggling in the Jackson area. None of these outcomes are acceptable to sportsmen and nothing guarantees that CWD won’t come either way. Feeding elk sufficient quantities to maintain themselves will also allow them to be in better physical condition and hopefully more capable of warding off infectious diseases. Barely providing enough supplemental feed only weakens their condition and increases their chances for contacting diseases.

  46. avatar JB says:

    BW says:

    “Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife (SFW) is not anti-predator but rather pro-sportsmen…. SFW has not called for the eradication of these introduced wolves. We have stated continually that wolves are here to stay.”

    Bob, you’re being disingenuous…at the very least. SFW has consistently worked to drum up support for “controlling” predators among hunters, by spreading misinformation. I’ll admit, you’re great at sounding reasonable for a hostile crowd, but your claims are simply untrue.

    Read the following quotes (from Don Peay, SFW’s founder) and tell me again that your organization is not anti-predator.

    ———
    “The return of wolves is the No. 1 issue facing sportsmen in the west…Sportsmen have spent millions to bring big game back. We don’t want wolves here.” (see: http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/56452)

    “Peay says the power of hunters will grow as mule deer and elk rebound — unless the wolves come back. Peay worries wolves will chew deer and elk herds down to nothing, as they have helped cut the northern herd in Yellowstone in half. He says wolf advocates have a case, but should buy millions of dollars in habitat, as hunters have done, rather than “destroy what we have created.”
    (From SL Tribune, Monday February 17, 2003)

    Peay said. “We don’t want to see wolves destroy what has taken 30 or 40 years to restore.”
    (SL Tribune, October 23, 2003)

    “But Peay sees the wolves as a disease to Utah’s wildlife, one that the state Fish and Game won’t be able to control.
    “Why would you introduce aids into the society if you can’t control it,” he said. “Where Utah should spend its money is protecting what it has, not bringing in one more species to break the camel’s back.”
    (http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/56452)

    No Bob, you’re not anti-predator at all.

  47. avatar BW says:

    JB:
    Did you read any of those articles or just look at the pictures? Oops, I forgot, they didn’t come with pictures did they. You just don’t get it. Who will manage predators if not the top predator? You would supplant hunters with wolves. Explain to me how the wolf has helped benefit wildlife again. Oh yeah, they only kill the sick and the weak until they are all dead then they make their own sick and weak so that they can continue to kill the sick and the weak. I would guess that by the time they have all bled out or have been ran until they can no longer support the additional 250+ pounds of wolves which have been relentlessly pursuing them for hours elk finally reach that sick and weak status where they can finally give up the ghost.

  48. avatar skyrim says:

    “There are a lot of biologists that are full of bullshit. They make up a lot of convenient lies to support their own agenda.” Don Peay
    I’d have to agree with that as would many reading this thread. How ’bout you BW?

  49. avatar JB says:

    Aha! Now the real Bob emerges. Back to fear-mongering and old wives’ tales, eh?

    Actually, I never said that wolves were “good for wildlife,” but if you really want an explanation (which I suspect you don’t) then you can read for yourself: Scroll to the top, look in the right hand column, and under “Wolves” click on “Idaho Wolves: Myths and Facts.”

    Wolves don’t kill “only the sick and the weak,” they are opportunists, they kill what they can. Sicker and weaker animals require them to expend less energy, but they can/will kill big healthy animals when they are vulnerable (e.g. deep snow).

    Here’s where the rubber meets the road, Bob: What I despise is your complete misrepresentation of your organization’s consistent anti-predator position. SFW has tried to keep wolves out from day one. They’ve used fear-mongering and mis-information to recruit naive hunters who believe SFW’s babble about wolves eating up everything in sight.

    Not sure why your so angry? All I did was quote the Founder of your organization’s own positions. Perhaps the truth hurts?

    JB

    PS. Just to be clear, on this list I have advocated (sometimes vehemently) for:
    1) The state management of wolves.
    2) The hunting of wolves and other predators.
    3) Hunters and hunting in general.

    I have also conceded that SFW has done a considerable amount of good when it comes to habitat restoration (Gee, I bet I sound like a real extremist?).

  50. avatar BW says:

    JB:
    Like I said; SFW is not anti-predator, we are pro-sportsmen. WY SFW worked to secure a wolf management plan which allows Wyoming to manage wolves in a manner that doesn’t negatively impact current multiple uses. WY SFW has never taken the position to remove all wolves from within our borders even when some of our members would have liked to have seen us take that position. I believe we have been reasonable. Now that we have finally got plans for all three states which the USFWS can or should be able to live with it seems that wolf advocates are demanding we maximize wolf numbers. This is the same complaint we have held from the beginning of our involvement with this whole process. Give an inch and then they want a mile.
    As far as being angry, I am not angry. I get tired of saying the samething over and over again.
    I agree with your 3 statements as well and I appreciate the acknowledgement that SFW has done some good things for wildlife. As I stated earlier, possibly on another story line, I am most proud of the role WY SFW played in establishing the Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust Fund. That is a legacy that I am very proud to have played a role in not only as a hunter, but as a sportsman.
    I actually enjoy good debate. One thing people need to understand is that SFW is a western states association. Each state is independent from the rest. Don Peay, Nate Helm, and I don’t always agree; however, each one of us will do everything within our abilities to represent our members and our states interest in protecting our hunting, fishing, and trapping heritage. While most simply complain, SFW is getting things done in what I believe is a positive manner.
    Disagreement is healthy. Life would be extremely boring if we always agreed and never held debates. That is one reason I visit this site periodically. I believe that I can have some great discussions with people of differing opinion and hopefully, we both walk away with a better understanding of our respective positions, opinions, etc.
    Thanks for the civil debate, JB. Who knows, maybe some day we may even be able to share a fire as well as a few stories. My most memorable hunts usually are the ones where I learned something about myself or my quarry that I didn’t know. I would bet that you and I have a lot more in common then we have in differences.

  51. Bob Wharff,

    There are so many things about your post that are debatable or wrong, many essays could be written about them.

    Let me say a word about the Elk Refuge in 1903 versus today.

    Settlement of Jackson Hole was hardly limited to the town of Jackson. Much of what is now inside the national park, national forests and even the Elk Refuge was grazed by livestock and/or cultivated.

    This took a lot of food from the elk and it also disrupted their migration out of Jackson Hole to the south.

    Despite the huge amount of development today in the south (private end) of Jackson Hole, there is much more natural winter food for them now in and near Jackson Hole than then and for the next 50 years.

    Livestock grazing is all but gone from the Park. It is reduced on the national forest. Attempts to settle inside what is now the Park are long gone, leaving only some scenic barns for tourists to photograph.

  52. BW, You asked how wolves help wildlife?

    I’m not taking sides here (mainly because I don’t want to be sniped at) but there are numerous studies that have shown a direct link between the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone, and increased habitat quality at stream sides. The implication is that as predation on the elk increased, they spent less time loafing and grazing by the stream side. This allowed willows and other often chewed down vegetation to come back. This has benefited songbirds, and other wildlife that used the stream side zone. I can dig up the references if you’d like.

  53. Cowboy,

    As you pretty much say, it’s not so simple as helping wildlife. Wolves certainly don’t help coyotes!

    Wolves help restore and stabilize the natural order in places where disturbance has not been excessive.

    Bill Ripple’s studies of the secondary effects of wolves are classic. Here is Professor Ripple’s web site. There are a lot of citations there.

  54. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    interesting to read this whole thing in one sitting, . . just a quick question: What is the difference between a “hunter” and a “Sportsman” With a last name like Hunter, I would like to know that.

  55. That word “sportsman” is a curiosity, not just because hasn’t been made gender neutral, but it is not sports neutral.

    I use the word, and most people know I mean.

    Everyone knows a sportsman is not a basketball player. It has to do with the outdoors, but it isn’t a climber, kayaker, bird watcher. It basically means a hunter and/or maybe a fisherman, . . . er I mean angler. 😉

  56. avatar Dan Stebbins says:

    “Explain to me how the wolf has helped benefit wildlife again. Oh yeah, they only kill the sick and the weak until they are all dead then they make their own sick and weak so that they can continue to kill the sick and the weak. I would guess that by the time they have all bled out or have been ran until they can no longer support the additional 250+ pounds of wolves which have been relentlessly pursuing them for hours elk finally reach that sick and weak status where they can finally give up the ghost.”

    BW,
    I have to second JB’s comments in response to your above quote. I hunt, so obviously I’m concerned with healthy game numbers. However, I’ve also spent time tracking with the wolf project in YNP.
    After looking at the research that is/was being done and also drawing from my own experiences, I can honestly say I have no problem with the current wolf numbers in the tri-state area. Wolves are beneficial to the local environment.
    The fact of the matter is that although human hunting is ecologically beneficial, it is not a substitute for natural predation. That seems to be painful for some hunters to digest, but that’s what the research shows.
    Now that doesn’t mean human hunting should be replaced, so to me the question is how do we strike that balance between hunting and natural predation? As a sportsman, that’s something I’d like to see groups like yours working on. Or maybe helping out research that’s being done in order to rid the area of brucellosis, or helping leverage the livestock industry into being better stewards of public lands. These are better alternatives as opposed to spreading “information” like your above quote.
    I would suggest looking into looking at research done by the Yellowstone Wolf Project. Their annual reports are available on-line, and here’s the link

    http://www.nps.gov/yell/naturescience/wolves.htm

    Just my two cents.

  57. avatar JP says:

    Linda,

    The names are synonomous IMHO. However there are different levels.

    Level one may be the ‘meat hunter’… Like a meat fisher, taking game for the table. A deer hunter in this mode could take a buck for the table annually though he -she may settle for smaller bucks or doe /cow.

    Then there is the more mature and more conservation minded sportsman, who catch – releases fish, and can go several years without taking an animal, waiting for a “Representative mature animal”, or in some cases if you draw the tag, and exceptional one.

    And then all in between. Both the starting hunter eager for experience and success, and the matured hunter waiting for an exceptional animal, naturally will despise unnecessary competition.

    The more mature sportsmen will see that there is room for the wolf but also be dissapointed in the politics and tactics which make managing the canine resource difficult.

  58. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Bob Wharff (BW), Executive Director for Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife of Wyoming wrote: “Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife (SFW) is not anti-predator but rather pro-sportsmen.”

    BULLSHIT.

    Folks, in January of 2004, Sportsmen for (some) Fish & (some) Wildlife of Wyoming organized a coyote slaughter in Park County, Wyoming. A bounty of $20 per dead coyote brought in was offered. The group donated $5,000 toward the cause, supplemented by another $5,000 from the Cody Country Outfitters. The bounty was available until the $10K ran out. 475 coyotes were killed and brought in.

    Go ahead, Bob – say it again: “Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife (SFW) is not anti-predator but rather pro-sportsmen.”

    Bob how about a direct answer to two questions: as Director, did the Cody event have your approval? As Director, did you help organize the event?

    Hey, Bob, how about one more direct answer to a direct question: what is Sportmen for Fish and Wildlife of Wyoming’s *official position* on predators and predator management?

    IMPORTANT:

    Should U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delist wolves, to the best of my knowledge (someone correct me if I’m wrong), there is NOTHING to prevent Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife from offering a bounty on wolves in Wyoming where they’re classified as predators JUST LIKE COYOTES ARE and could be killed BY ANY MEANS, AT ANY TIME, BY ANYBODY, no license needed. A $20 or $100 or $500 or $1,000 bounty could be offered by Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife.


    From your fearless leader, Don Peay: “Sportsmen have spent millions to bring big game back,” Peay said. “We don’t want wolves here.” Source: http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/56452


    “Wolves are taking opportunities from hunters.”

    Hunters are taking opportunities from wildlife watchers. Your group seems to be toally obsessed with trophy hunting and the predators that kill and eat them.

    “I won’t bore your with examples as you are unwilling to acknowledge that wolves in fact kill.”

    Bob Wharff says I am unwilling to acknowledge that wolves kill…! Yeah, right…!

    “SFW did in fact hold another rally known as “Hay Day”.”

    Your “rally” was nothing more than a publicity stunt. Your group claimed last year that elk on the National Elk Refuge were being starved, when, in fact, the mortality rates were within the norm.

    Years ago, Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife didn’t care for the actions of Bruce Smith, a Refuge biologist. It is my understanding that someone from Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife or Elk for Tomorrow (which “merged” with SFW, as I recall) threatened to “call Washington” and have him fired. Many people defended Bruce and he was not fired. I later went on a tour of the refuge and Bruce showed us what poor condition the range is in because of over grazing by elk. He said that, in his opinion, the optimal number of elk would be about 2,000; 3,000 tops. He also showed us early 20th century photos of Flat Creek, which was lush with cottonwoods and aspens. Back then, Flat Creek was a true riparian area. Today, outside of a few enclosures, the refuge is mowed by elk. The population needs to be seriously reduced, and not just the Teton herd.

    Elk on feedlots have a far high incidence of brucellosis than free ranging elk. Period. It can be seen that artificial feeding of elk leads to increased incidence of disease.

    “The former Dr. Beth Williams performed numerous studies looking at CWD. In fact, she was the one to isolate and identify this new life form (if you can call it that).

    Out of respect, you might address the late Dr. Williams as the late Dr.; not the former Dr.

    Ah, no, Bob, you cannot call CWD a “new life form.” The agent is a prion, a deformed protein which has no RNA – ribonucleic acid – it is not alive and therefore can’t be killed. Prions are very hardy and difficult to destroy. Bob, you might want to do a little research before pontificating about subjects you obviously know little about, such as CWD.

    Hey, Bob, CWD is a BRAIN DISEASE, and is in a class of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. One form has mutated from cattle to a form that kills humans. You might want to be VERY concerned about CWD.

    “Studies have been done by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department which have shown that eliminating elk feed grounds would result in a significant reduction of elk numbers in NW Wyoming.”

    Yep, fewer elk for your group to kill, but better for the range. That’s what it’s all about, eh, Bob? Maximizing the harvest, right?


    From a previous post, Bob Wharff said: “It is easy for those of you which do not hunt to say that you want to see more predators. Sportsmen have created the wealth of big game which exist today.”

    I hunt. I want to see more predators. How ’bout that.

    And actually, Bob, some of us believe that it was God, not “Sportsmen” that created the “wealth of big game which exists today”.

    Some of us believe that God created all the wildlife on the face of Mother Earth which includes predators which includes wolves and coyotes and some of us believe that all wildlife deserves to be respected as well as the predator/prey relationships that have evolved and been in existence for thousands of years.

    But some of us human predators don’t believe the above. Which group are you and your group in, Bob?


    The last time I checked, predators large and small are considered to be wildlife.

    You guys should rename yourselves “Gunners for Wildlife We Love and Wildlife We Hate.”


    Mack P. Bray

    The opinions expressed herein, both presently and in the past, are solely those of the author.
    Thank God for freedom of speech in America.

  59. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Correction: The (National Elk Refuge) population needs to be seriously reduced, and not just the GRAND Teton herd.

  60. avatar BW says:

    Mack P. Brayain:
    The Grand Teton herd is the segment of the population which needs to be reduced. The other segments are already being reduced hunters, wolves, etc.

  61. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Bob Wharff (BW), Executive Director for Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife of Wyoming wrote: “Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife (SFW) is not anti-predator but rather pro-sportsmen.”

    BULLSHIT.

    Folks, in January of 2004, Sportsmen for (some) Fish & (some) Wildlife of Wyoming organized a coyote slaughter in Park County, Wyoming. A bounty of $20 per dead coyote brought in was offered. The group donated $5,000 toward the cause, supplemented by another $5,000 from the Cody Country Outfitters. The bounty was available until the $10K ran out. 475 coyotes were killed and brought in.

    Go ahead, Bob – say it again: “Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife (SFW) is not anti-predator but rather pro-sportsmen.”

    Bob how about a direct answer to two questions: as Director, did the Cody event have your approval? As Director, did you help organize the event?

    Hey, Bob, how about one more direct answer to a direct question: what is Sportmen for Fish and Wildlife of Wyoming’s *official position* on predators and predator management?

    IMPORTANT:

    Should U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delist wolves, to the best of my knowledge (someone correct me if I’m wrong), there is NOTHING to prevent Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife from offering a bounty on wolves in Wyoming where they’re classified as predators JUST LIKE COYOTES ARE and could be killed BY ANY MEANS, AT ANY TIME, BY ANYBODY, no license needed. A $20 or $100 or $500 or $1,000 bounty could be offered by Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife.


    From your fearless leader, Don Peay: “Sportsmen have spent millions to bring big game back,” Peay said. “We don’t want wolves here.” Source: http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/56452


    “Wolves are taking opportunities from hunters.”

    Hunters are taking opportunities from wildlife watchers. Your group seems to be toally obsessed with trophy hunting and the predators that kill and eat them.

    “I won’t bore your with examples as you are unwilling to acknowledge that wolves in fact kill.”

    Bob Wharff says I am unwilling to acknowledge that wolves kill…! Yeah, right…!

    “SFW did in fact hold another rally known as “Hay Day”.”

    Your “rally” was nothing more than a publicity stunt. Your group claimed last year that elk on the National Elk Refuge were being starved, when, in fact, the mortality rates were within the norm.

    Years ago, Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife didn’t care for the actions of Bruce Smith, a Refuge biologist. It is my understanding that someone from Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife or Elk for Tomorrow (which “merged” with SFW, as I recall) threatened to “call Washington” and have him fired. Many people defended Bruce and he was not fired. I later went on a tour of the refuge and Bruce showed us what poor condition the range is in because of over grazing by elk. He said that, in his opinion, the optimal number of elk would be about 2,000; 3,000 tops. He also showed us early 20th century photos of Flat Creek, which was lush with cottonwoods and aspens. Back then, Flat Creek was a true riparian area. Today, outside of a few enclosures, the refuge is mowed by elk. The population needs to be seriously reduced, and not just the Teton herd.

    Elk on feedlots have a far high incidence of brucellosis than free ranging elk. Period. It can be seen that artificial feeding of elk leads to increased incidence of disease.

    “The former Dr. Beth Williams performed numerous studies looking at CWD. In fact, she was the one to isolate and identify this new life form (if you can call it that).

    Out of respect, you might address the late Dr. Williams as the late Dr.; not the former Dr.

    Ah, no, Bob, you cannot call CWD a “new life form.” The agent is a prion, a deformed protein which has no RNA – ribonucleic acid – it is not alive and therefore can’t be killed. Prions are very hardy and difficult to destroy. Bob, you might want to do a little research before pontificating about subjects you obviously know little about, such as CWD.

    Hey, Bob, CWD is a BRAIN DISEASE, and is in a class of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. One form has mutated from cattle to a form that kills humans. You might want to be VERY concerned about CWD.

    “Studies have been done by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department which have shown that eliminating elk feed grounds would result in a significant reduction of elk numbers in NW Wyoming.”

    Yep, fewer elk for your group to kill, but better for the range. That’s what it’s all about, eh, Bob? Maximizing the harvest, right?


    From a previous post, Bob Wharff said: “It is easy for those of you which do not hunt to say that you want to see more predators. Sportsmen have created the wealth of big game which exist today.”

    I hunt. I want to see more predators. How ’bout that.

    And actually, Bob, some of us believe that it was God, not “Sportsmen” that created the “wealth of big game which exists today”.

    Some of us believe that God created all the wildlife on the face of Mother Earth which includes predators which includes wolves and coyotes and some of us believe that all wildlife deserves to be respected as well as the predator/prey relationships that have evolved and been in existence for thousands of years.

    But some of us human predators don’t believe the above. Which group are you and your group in, Bob?


    The last time I checked, predators large and small are considered to be wildlife.

    You guys should rename yourselves “Gunners for Wildlife We Love and Wildlife We Hate.”


    Mack P. Bray

    The opinions expressed herein, both presently and in the past, are solely those of the author.
    Thank God for freedom of speech in America.

  62. avatar Let the elk go says:

    The only true way to handle the elk feeding at Jackson is to let the elk go to thier orginal feeding grounds. The roadblock that keeps them from reaching the real winter feeding grounds blocks the canyon used for migration. Remove the city of Jackson and let the elk go.

  63. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Remove the city of Jackson…! Brilliant idea…! Thanks for not wasting my time…

    “Let the elk go”, are you a member of SFW?

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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