Many people don’t like to see the use of snare poles on dogs, coyotes or wolves who are cornered but difficult to handle. Dr. Mark. R. Johnson, DVM has developed a more effective and humane device, the “Y-pole.”

This pole mimics the kind of force (mostly psychological) that influences a canid by others of its pack.

Dr. Johnson explained its use at the Chico Wolf Conference, and I thought it useful to bring to folks’ attention. He kindly gave us a pdf file on the new device.

The Y-pole

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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.

12 Responses to The "Y-pole" for handling difficult dogs and wild canids

  1. avatar sal says:

    Mark has developed, and helped develop, numerous techniques and devices for handling canids over the years. He always keeps the psychological well-being of the animals in mind.

    We should be so conscientious in our policies concerning wild things.

  2. avatar JB says:

    They’ve been using similar devices at the Millville research station (run by WS) for years (at least since 2002) to handle coyotes. Not sure if they were produced by WS or ordered through some other manufacturer?

  3. avatar Salle says:

    The likelihood of WS “developing” anything that takes consideration of the animal into account is pretty slim.

    Chances are, they got this tool from Mark. SOME ethical wildlife officers at WS, Rick Williamson for instance, have worked with Mark over the years, thus the remark about helping develop some of the tools and techniques.

    I believe Dr. Johnson was involved with the reintroduction, post-reintroduction monitoring and engaged in finding better ways to handle the wolves than the techniques in use at the time.

  4. avatar Bego says:

    second to what sal wrote.

    I have worked with Dr. Johnson and used his y-poles and seen him use them. very effective and humane when done the way he’s done it and instructed others how to.

  5. avatar Jay says:

    Yeah, and I invented the internet…JB is correct, the Y-pole is not a newly invented tool.

  6. avatar Bego says:

    “Yeah, and I invented the internet…JB is correct, the Y-pole is not a newly invented tool.”

    don’t think anyone is seriously claiming Dr. J. invented the very first Y-pole.

  7. avatar JB says:

    “The likelihood of WS “developing” anything that takes consideration of the animal into account is pretty slim.”

    This kind of statement reveals and extreme bias. You seem to be suggesting that WS is incapable of doing any good? I don’t agree with their all of their methods, but I separate the method endorsed by the agency from the people on the ground. There are a lot of good people that work for APHIS/WS.

  8. avatar JB says:

    Sorry, meant to say, “…reveals an extreme bias.”

  9. I watched a National Geographic movie on Siberian Tigers many years ago, where Russian hunters used Y-poles cut from aspens to pin down a young Siberian Tiger. Maybe the folks at WS watched the same movie.

  10. avatar cowboy the cat says:

    any videos on this products affectiveness with aggressive animals?

  11. avatar Heard Enough says:

    Wildlife Services developed Radio-Activated Guard units- which have potential to reduce depredations. They also were trying fladry early on; though they obviously didn’t “invent” this techniqe. Unfortunate that they seemingly have gone away from these useful tools in favor of strictly lethal control. Hey Mack.

  12. avatar Mark says:

    I am glad to see there is discussion on the Y pole and I thank Ralph and Salle for posting this information. I offer my comments to hopefully clear a few things up.

    I did not invent the Y pole. I learned about the Y pole from Peggy Callahan of the Wildlife Science Center who knows canid behavior and canids as much as anyone I have met. Up until recently, there was no manufacturer for the Y pole. It has only been “home-made” and over the years I provided specifications for people so they could make this valuable tool themselves.

    But whether it is new or not is not the important point. People who care about how animals, especially canids, are handled should readily promote this tool for animal shelters and wolf research programs for captive facilities. It replaces most uses of the snare pole and involves much less force upon the animal by using it’s instincts to submit. For those canids who do not submit, it can distract the animal long enough to use a syringe pole to anesthetize it. There are many more ways it can be used. It is also an essential tool for spay/neuter programs for feral dogs.

    Feel free to bring questions forward. And I hope that along the way we always strive to speak words that are kind and respectful of all people. If we are striving to make the world a better place, it must start with this.

    Mark

    Ed. note. This is from Mark Johnson, DVM. Global Wildlife Resources.

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‎"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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