What will this mean with 4 domestic sheep bands scheduled to turn out on top of the Phantom’s home range in the next week ?

Idaho’s Phantom Hill Wolf Pack has lost its alpha male, B333. He was hit by a vehicle north of Ketchum over the weekend and was found dead by Ketchum resident Lynne Stone on Sunday, June 14th. Stone said she had been watching two other Phantom wolves earlier that morning, chasing cow elk and a bull moose, when she got a tip that a wolf was laying dead near Baker Creek.

June 2007 - B333, before he was collared, near a road-killed elk on Phantom Hill, north of Ketchum, Idaho. Photo  Claudia Fiaschetti © 2007,

June 2007 - B333 "Papa", before he was collared, near a road-killed elk on Phantom Hill, north of Ketchum, Idaho. Photo Claudia Fiaschetti © 2007,

“I’m stunned and saddened for B333, a grizzled older wolf that we nicknamed “Papa”, and I’m especially concerned, more than ever, for his pack” Stone said.

“This is an especially terrible time for the Phantoms to lose B333, because three sheep bands (over 7500 sheep) are coming onto Sawtooth National Forest allotments north of Ketchum — into the pack’s home range — in the next few days,” says Stone. “I saw two Phantom yearlings this morning in the area where B333 was killed. By Saturday, there will be 2500 sheep there.”

During March, ten black Phantom Hill Pack wolves were seen almost daily by residents of the Wood River Valley, as the Phantoms hunted large herds of elk that winter from Hailey to Ketchum, and also near the resort villages of Elkhorn and Sun Valley.

Until a week ago, the pack had consisted of the alpha pair, a three-year old named Judith, a two-year old called “Shadow”, six yearlings, and this year’s pups. However, Stone says there’s a report that a two-year old black wolf was shot by Wildlife Services in the upper Sawtooth Valley, a few miles from Galena Summit a week ago.

Stone says she fears that this wolf might have been the beautiful Phantom called “Shadow”.

“There are no black wolves in the Galena Pack, which is the Sawtooth Valley’s resident pack,” says Stone. “I saw the Phantoms in the Salmon River Headwaters several times last summer and fall.”

B333 was an older wolf and his origins are unknown. He was trapped and collared by Wildlife Services in Summer 2007.

Baker Creek in the Smoky Mountains, north of Ketchum, Idaho. Phantom Alpha B333 was killed on Highway 75 near here on May 13th. Photo by Lynne K. Stone © 2009

Baker Creek in the Smoky Mountains, north of Ketchum, Idaho. Phantom Alpha B333 was killed on Highway 75 near here on May 13th. Photo by Lynne K. Stone © 2009

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game picked up B333’s carcass late Sunday night, and it’s expected there will be a necropsy, which eventually should provide information about B333’s age and genealogy.

Defenders of Wildlife will have four people, working in shifts, for their Phantom Hill Pack project, now in its third season, trying to keep the Phantoms from sheep and sheep dogs in the upper Big Wood River watershed.

“I wish the Defenders folks well, and I also wish there was money for someone to try and keep wolves out of cattle and sheep in the Sawtooth Valley”, says Stone. “If the Phantoms go over Galena Summit and kill any sheep or cattle, then we could lose a lot of Phantom wolves quickly.”

Wolves are relatively more safe near the Wood River Valley were support for wolves is widely known.  Should Wildlife Services kill wolves near Ketchum, wolf supporters are likely to raise hell.  But if the Phantoms move into the Sawtooth Valley, hostile public land ranching operations threaten the pack.  Wolf killing has already started in the Sawtooth Valley this year, just over the pass.

***

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Brian Ertz

49 Responses to Phantom Hill Wolf Pack loses "Papa", the pack's alpha male

  1. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    I’ve now heard that B333 weighed about 110 lbs. He’s put on weight since the photo shown above on this post. B333’s carcass has been taken to Boise for necropsy. First estimates on his age are somewhere between 6-8 years old.

    It’s a beautiful morning in the Wood River Valley, after several weeks of heavy rain. I’m going to take some prayer flags and hang them in a special place for B333 and the rest of his pack, that are in such great peril as thousands of sheep pour on to our public lands.

  2. avatar Dave Hanning says:

    Saddened to hear of the loss of the pack’s leader. Hopefully this summer season we will not lose more of the pack to avoidable human & livestock interaction. Their presence improves my wildness experience here in Ketchum and the great wilderness of Idaho. Their insecure existence troubles me because of all the hate focused on the animal because it is a feared predator. May we find harmony with all the animals we care for, domestic & wild.

  3. avatar Leilani Jones says:

    Just yesterday, (Monday, June 16), I was driving to K town from Stanley and as I came to the bottom of Phantom Hill, I pulled over to watch two black wolves dragging a carcass into the high brush. I was very close to them and rolled down the window. One of the wolves snarled at me, (something my dog always did if he was eating -just a warning to leave him alone), and I told him to shut up and closed my eyes for a second and slowly opened them. (lets animals know you are not a predator). He looked at me and blinked, then went back to dragging the carcass into the brush. Always makes my day to come across a wolf. So sad to hear about the wolf getting hit by a car. Sadder still to hear Shadow may be dead. (name of wolf in the book I wrote, “Island in the Snow”)
    If any of you are religious, google the “Gubio wolf”, or St. Francis and the Gubbio wolf. (one solution to wolves and humans) Also on UTube search “Romeo the lonely wolf” Great story on lonely wolf who interacts with humans and dogs in Alaska.
    BREED LESS AND SAVE MORE WILDLIFE!!!

  4. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Interesting, Leilani — Am wondering if there was a deer hit on Phantom Hill. There are many deer and elk that cross from the Boulder Mt foothills at dawn to water in the Big Wood River. That means they have to cross Highway 75 and the highway is so straight, that traffic is often going 80 mph. Did you notice collars on the wolves? I saw B439 (yearling male) and his sister, B445, that morning several miles to the West of Phantom Hill.

  5. While it is sad to see wolves or any wildlife killed by automobile, the pack should be able to sustain its numbers with the new pups produced this year. If the Defender’s sheep/wolf separation project works as well as in past summers, these wolves should make it through this summer. The big issue is the pending open hunting season on wolves starting in September if the challenges to delisting do not hold up in court. I testified before the IDFG Commission about a setting up no wolf hunting zones in the Ketchum area and in Bear Valley, but was not successful. We need more voices promoting those areas as no wolf hunting zones. The Phantom Pack will be very vulnerable to an open wolf season this fall. With all of the anti- wolf folks in Stanley and Bellevue, the entire pack could be killed in the first few days of an open hunting season.

  6. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Larry, you are right that there is a huge potential for a slaughter of that pack. Hopefully they can make it through the hunting season.

  7. Larry,
    Don’t you think Wildlife Services will get them first?

  8. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    whose to say it won’t be both ? you can imagine what the bottom-of-the-bucket personalities at Wildlife Services are going to do with those collar frequencies come hunting season. hell, i think they’ve already passed them out to the ranchers over the table, haven’t they ? as a part of the sleeping with sheep thing ?

  9. avatar Jon Way says:

    I am repeatedly amazed at how wildlife watchers have no voice in wildlife management from Massachusetts to Idaho. They say that hunters contribute to wildlife management (which they do) but non-hunters have no way to contribute despite often contributing 10 times more to the economy (at least here in MA). Unless you are in a national park (hardly any here in the east) you have to hope that the animals you like to watch aren’t shot and have no effective voice since state fish and game agencies ignore you and use the renewable resource argument to say it isn’t a big deal, the animal(s) you like to watch will simply be replaced by others. Fortunately more of us are catching on to their ways and their entrenched views toward hunting… The fact that Larry was ignored is disappointing (to say the least) but not surprising.

  10. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    A word on “wolf-watching zones”. The Idaho Conservation League worked quite a lot on this idea, and the result was that the IDFG Commissioners came up with a SEVEN month hunting season around Stanley and in Bear Valley. Another stab in the back by the Commissioners toward those who like wolves.

    As far the Phantoms getting shot during hunting season, I hope that folks who have firearms, will make certain that the wolves are running hard from the sound of gunfire, before any wolf hunt starts.

  11. avatar Sue Bailey says:

    This winter I felt like I knew Papa from watching him with the pack in Elkhorn, an unofficial wolf watching zone for several weeks, but I’m afraid it’s going to take a national park to offer Idaho residents an official chance to see unmolested wolves.

  12. I was at the IDFG meeting in Jerome, where the Conservation League rep testified and he was intimidated by the large anti-wolf crowd and he did not present or promote the nice map they had prepared showing the Ketchum and Bear Valley areas that should be protected for wolf viewing.
    Instead of suggesting people shoot at the pack to make them afraid, why not start inviting more people to come and see the wolves so that others might show up at IDFG meetings to testify on their behalf. Somehow, abusing wolves to save them doesn’t make sense.

  13. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    A lot of people have seen the Phantoms. But, to tell anyone and everyone exactly where the wolves are denned, at rendezvous, and are often seen, is inviting the anti-wolf crowd to come and shoot them. In Idaho, all a wolf has to do is be “worrying, laying in wait, or following” you, or your dog, or your livestock, or packstock, and you can legally shoot it.

    Larry, you were at the anti-wolf meeting in Hailey, hosted by the Mule Deer Association. I assume you grasped the hatred expressed there, led by the keynote speaker, Ron Gillett, toward wolves. Do you really want that crowd of 100 anti-wolf types to know exactly where to find the Phantoms? This isn’t Yellowstone Park. Wolves are shot in Idaho constantly.

  14. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Lynne, I agree, it is not good to tell everyone where the wolves are. Youa re asking for a slaughter. Lynne, while it may seem harsh, scaring the wolves might help them out in the long run, but I would not do it with guns like that.

  15. avatar jerry b says:

    Larry…..inviting more people to see the wolves might work in some places, but I can tell you in Montana they need to develop a fear of guns. I don’t like it, and I don’t like to hike or fish with one, but if it saves one wolf, to me it’s worth it.

  16. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Jerry, wolves need a healthy fear of guns everywhere. Until someone can carve a niche out of wolf tourism, that is going to be a necessity.

  17. avatar rose says:

    RIP papa, thank you for all the opportunities you gave to view you in this great wild valley we share, you will be sorely missed.

  18. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    I have an update on the black wolf that was trapped and killed in the Sawtooth Valley a few weeks ago. It was a subadult (yearling) female. I don’t know for certain that it was a Phantom Hill pack wolf, but Pole Creek, where the wolf was killed, isn’t far from the Phantom’s home range. The fact that the wolf was a subadult, means that the Phantom’s 2-year “Shadow”, is still with the pack, and will be a much needed member now that the alpha male is gone.

    The sheep are supposed to arrive tomorrow in the heart of the Phantom’s territory … anyone who is interested in this — this would be a good time to go camp north of Ketchum near the sheep and observe what’s going on. You might also do some target practicing at cans or paper targets, and try to make a lot of noise, to keep the wolves away.

  19. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Another update on sheep and the Phantom wolves. According to the Sawtooth National Forest, due to the abundant grass (because of all the Spring rain), the sheep are moving slowly along the Sheep Driveway, headed to the mountains north of Ketchum. The Sheep Driveway is a pathway that extends from Bellevue, Hailey, Ketchum and north over Galena Summit into the Sawtooth Valley.

    The sheep will not arrive tomorrow as I said in my previous email.

  20. avatar Brian Krebs says:

    A wolf died.
    Death happens in nature. People: get a grip.
    This wolf was not going to live forever. Where is your concern for the elk that has its guts ripped out while its still alive; or for the elk that are chased all winter; and end up giving birth to calves that are not strong enough to survive?
    Where is your mercy on the bears that are dragged from their dens and killed by the wolves in winter?
    Where is your mercy for an Eco-system that includes other animals other than those you feel are cuddly looking?
    Where is your responsibility to those other animals of the forest?
    You people make me want to throw up. Your self righteous; your armchair experts at ecology and conservation; and your just plain disgusting.
    Shame on you all.

  21. Brian Krebs wrote:
    June 19, 2009 =
    A wolf died.
    Death happens in nature. People: get a grip.

    The wolf was killed by car. This is not natural. Don’t you know the difference?

    This wolf was not going to live forever. Where is your concern for the elk that has its guts ripped out while its still alive; or for the elk that are chased all winter; and end up giving birth to calves that are not strong enough to survive?

    Wolves killing elk and elk killing wolves is natural.

    Where is your mercy on the bears that are dragged from their dens and killed by the wolves in winter?

    In the United States this is rare occurrence. So what? That’s nature for you

    Where is your mercy for an Eco-system that includes other animals other than those you feel are cuddly looking?

    Are wolves cuddy looking, and elk not?

    Where is your responsibility to those other animals of the forest?

    No person one can like elk more than a person who likes animals that eat them.

    You people make me want to throw up. Your self righteous; your armchair experts at ecology and conservation; and your just plain disgusting.

    I think you just described yourself.
    RM. Webmaster

    Shame on you all.

  22. avatar frank says:

    Krebs is funny. I know that it is wrong for me to laugh at delusional people, but I can’t help it.

  23. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Brian Krebs sounds like the IDFG commission.

  24. avatar Brian Krebs says:

    No I am not on a IDFG commission. I am a person that had a pet donkey killed by a wolf in my yard; and another that I have had since 1986 nearly killed by one not 20 yards from my cabin. I watch these wolves interact with elk year round. I care about the elk with its hindquarters ripped open; standing there in pain with magpies pecking at it until they hit an artery. I care about bears. I hunt them; but I care about the species very much; and I challenge you to say you know more about bears than I do.

    Ralph Maughan Says:
    June 19, 2009 at 10:29 PM

    Brian Krebs wrote:
    June 19, 2009 =
    A wolf died.
    Death happens in nature. People: get a grip.

    The wolf was killed by car. This is not natural. Don’t you know the difference?
    ~ Ralph: so you know the difference between the wolves that existed here in Idaho before the ‘reintroduction’ the wolves that were ‘reintroduced’ ? Why are elk hanging around roads more and more? Why are remote elk not taking cover from the wind; but laying on knolls in groups – using up reserve energy? Its wolves Ralph. Wolves introduced for what ? ~

    This wolf was not going to live forever. Where is your concern for the elk that has its guts ripped out while its still alive; or for the elk that are chased all winter; and end up giving birth to calves that are not strong enough to survive?

    Wolves killing elk and elk killing wolves is natural.
    ~So is hunting by humans- do you support that? And is letting one animal overpopulate to the point of endangering others a ‘natural act’ of wildlife management?~

    Where is your mercy on the bears that are dragged from their dens and killed by the wolves in winter?

    In the United States this is rare occurrence. So what? That’s nature for you
    ~Ralph – where is your data to support this claim? I see bears with three legs often now with wolves around; where I never did before. Not all bears are torn from the dens- some survive despite their wounds. And yes it is common in Alaska where biologists (not Poli Sci students) do research.~

    Where is your mercy for an Eco-system that includes other animals other than those you feel are cuddly looking?

    Are wolves cuddy ~(SP)~ looking, and elk not? To you.
    ~ Do you care what is happening to other animal populations do to the over population of wolves? Or are you just siding with the ‘money’ on this?~

    Where is your responsibility to those other animals of the forest?

    No person one can like elk more than a person who likes animals that eat them.
    ~Ralph: Grammar was not a poli-sci requirement: was it?~

    You people make me want to throw up. Your self righteous; your armchair experts at ecology and conservation; and your just plain disgusting.

    I think you just described yourself.
    RM. Webmaster

    ~Actually I have a solid education in biology; and I have studied animals in the field with biologists starting in 1964. I worked for the University of Michigan for years in a research lab – and I have hunted for many species ardently for 5 decades. I love all wildlife; and believe in wildlife and resource conservation.
    By the way- the father of modern conservation: was a bowhunter (Aldo Leopold).
    What you are doing is not conservation; its not good for the wildlife – and you know it.
    So indeed: shame on you. You are a blight on conservation and wildlife management.
    And the wildlife is suffering because of it.
    Shame on you all.~

  25. avatar Jay says:

    If you’re such a naturalist, you realize that animals killing others for food is, uh, natural. It’s ok for you to hunt and potentially wound deer and elk, but if it happens with wolves, they are to be despised? How many deer and elk run off with their guts blown out, never to be found by the shooter? You don’t seem to be too upset about that? That sucks about your livestock, but do you also hate bears and lions, because there are pets dogs and livestock lost to these animals too? You’re no where near as unbiased as you try to present yourself as.

  26. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Brian, you make it sound like wolves were sent here from the 10th level of Hell. Not everything that happens in nature is going to be kind like in “Bambi.” Elk sometimes get away with serious wounds. Magpies eat carrion and they will go after fresh meat that they see. I don’t know how common it is for bears to be dragged out of their dens, but is it less cruel for these same bears to dig rock chucks out of their dens or eat a fish while it is still alive? Elk are chased all winter long by all sorts of predators, not just wolves. What about humans who chase them during the hunting season? Is it less cruel? Wolves kill solely for food whereas humans are often killing for a trophy. I am seeing wolves as being nothing more than a scapegoat here.

    I am sorry that you lost a donkey to wolves and that one was attacked. I have never had that happen to a pet and I am sure it is tough. Hopefully you did all that you could to keep your donkeys safe. I know that is an unfortunate price to pay for living in wolf country and provided that people do what they can to keep livestock and pets safe, I do not think the wolves who did it should not be dealt with.

    I know that you did not have to deal with wolves before, but they are back in their rightful place in the ecosystem and yes these are the same species that existed in Idaho before and not this freakishly large monster that came out fairy tales. The elk that are hanging out in different areas are adapting to the wolves’ presence, plain and simple.
    I am not an expert, but I have studies these issues a lot to keep informed, and I am not some bleeding heart type either. I do hunt and fish and enjoy the outdoors in other ways and am not a vegetarian.

  27. avatar JEFF E says:

    Brian Krebs,
    The list of animals that eat or start to eat other animals why still breathing is far, far, far longer than those that don’t.
    But as you have worked in a research lab let’s set up a little experiment. Go in to the mountains and go for several days or more without eating, and just for fun have, oh say five or so young to feed too, and then go try and kill something that outweighs you by four, five hundred pounds give or take, with nothing but your teeth and see how that works for you. Report back with the results.

  28. avatar jerry b says:

    Brian….Sounds like you “didn’t get your elk” last year and if so that’s very unfortunate as I know many who’s self worth is dictated by whether or not they kill an elk each year.
    If there does happen to be fewer elk around, which would contradict the study done by RMEF, that’s actually a bonus for ecosystems. Being a biologist, you must know that elk are not nearly as important to ecosystem function and integrity as voles, beaver, or even coyotes. So, I say we can surely do with fewer ungulates and more beaver.

  29. avatar Brian Krebs says:

    In a way; wolves WERE sent here from the “10th level of hell”. Taken from places where there were excesses of wolves. Places like Denali National Park; where action was taken to control their numbers after the largest moose herd on the continent had a ZERO calf survival.

    Yes it is natural for wolves to eat meat; and it has been natural for people to kill wolves to protect their livestock and their lives. Yes; people are killed by wolves. Most times it not some one in Massachusetts sitting in their living room sipping champagne and eating a vegetarian diet.

    Normally its someone out walking in areas where there are wolves; and where a gun shot ends the situation in most attack cases. But not all; people do get killed by wolves.

    For the ungulates: a high population of wolves is hell.

    Native Americans had different views of wolves- but if you think the plains Indians that laid wolf hides over them while hunting bison – did so with car killed wolves is stupid.
    They killed wolves; and wolves learned to pretty much respect humans ability to reach out and do that.

    We do not live in a natural world anymore though. ‘Natural’ now- is highways; and toxins in the water and air. Its imposed barriers and forbidden territories; and shrinking habitat.

    We are stewards of the land. We have to decide what will live and what will not. You have probably decided your home is no place for flies; and mosquitoes and roaches; and mice and rats.
    Even though you spout one thing; the reality is you make decisions that effect the presence of these animals in your homes.

    Some of you are vegetarians that consume products that are grown where animals used to live. Birds; reptiles; amphibians; mammals and insects all had to die for the space to grow your food that you consider free of the cost of life to animals.
    Of course your lying to yourselves about that.

    You eat soy bean products; and blind your eyes to the burning of the jungle forests that supply the room to grow the soy.

    On the big front; the decisions about what will live; and where it will live in the National Forests; and BLM lands and even private lands are up to us. WE as the creatures that make the biggest impacts; and try to allow for everlasting ecosystems where we can.

    You people have made the decision that wolves will be allowed to breed to levels where other animals cannot exist. You do not consider the ramifications of it; you just do it as a way of expressing.

    But what are you expressing? Power? Is that not the bottom line?
    How many of you hate the thought of a human hunter killing an animal and have fought to stop it?
    And how many of those that feel that way are now turning a blind eye to the suffering you are creating by not allowing wolves to be controlled?

    I do hunt; and yes I took my bow which looks just like the ones made 9000 years ago and used by Native Americans and humans for hunting since then. I did kill an elk; and a deer last year; and I have taken a deer every year for nearly 40 years. I have taken elk; deer; bears and more: and yet never have I killed a coyote or wolf. I do not want to ever kill a wolf. This is not about me wanting to kill a wolf. I don’t.

    I do though understand that we are responsible for balance in nature. You have decided the wolf is. I don’t know if its to spite hunters; or to flex your muscles; or feed your ego. But whatever the reason: you have forsaken the other animals to do it.

    I on the other hand seek to protect all animals. I understand that protection is more than standing aside; it is getting involved and studying what protection is: and how we implement it.

    In areas where deer have been allowed to overpopulate because of the desires of anti hunters; deer have developed diseases that threaten ALL deer. So protection of deer is more than standing back and watching; its getting involved in controlling the population.

    Twenty years ago I was camped out while elk hunting; and an wolf came in close to my camp- and howled. It was a wonderful sound; and I laid in my bunk and savored it.

    It was one of many wolves that were documented to exist in Idaho. Lewis and Clark mentioned in their journal that the wolves here were smaller than the wolves that they had seen in their travels.

    Those wolves; those wolves that lived here for so long; they are now either dead – eaten by the introduced wolves; or have interbred with them.

    Wolves from Canada were shown to migrate to Wyoming and back to Canada before the ‘reintroduction’ of the wolves we have now.

    But you care not for those wolves; you didn’t care to address them at all. You supported the introduction of wolves from a different area; wolves that were 1/3 bigger than the native wolves here.

    And now they are making a negative impact on the other animals here.

    And you think it is funny. And you assume that we all just want elk to kill; and deer to kill; and you find great satisfaction in ignoring your duties as stewards of the land; just to glamor in the light of your decision. A decision that all must suffer – including wolves- to make yourself feel like your a part of nature.

    And by the way I do not hunt for ‘trophies’ I hunt to be part of nature. Part of it by being there; part of it by watching and living in it; and part of it by being what I am: a predator.

    You cannot except that about humans; that we are predators. That is a personal issue for you. But to decide that your issue is so important: that you ignore your responsibilities as stewards of the land – your not doing the right thing.

    Your doing the wrong thing.

  30. avatar Jay says:

    The ol’ “Canadian” wolf argument. Sure there were a few wolves drifting around through Idaho prior to the reintroduction, and guess where they were coming from: CANADA!! Tell me Brian–this native Idaho wolf that those big, bad Canadians killed off and bred out after being brought in–where were they? Show me some proof of a different subspecies. If Idaho had an established population of native wolves, than it would truly be a miraculous species, because those wolves never touched livestock! Tell you what–show me a picture of a native idaho wolf–we’ve had hundreds of thousands of campers, hunters, hikers, etc., running through the woods every year, so surely one of them would have seen a wolf and taken a picture. Or how about an actual carcass from a road-killed “native” wolf, since wolves get hit on the highway from time to time. Surely these Idaho wolves weren’t miraculously able to avoid being hit by cars like EVERY other species native to this state. Or how about a carcass from a trapper inadvertently catching a ‘native’ wolf? Or were Idaho wolves too smart to get caught in snares and coyotes traps? Those Canadian wolves certainly aren’t. Or maybe you could pull up some records from Wildife Services documenting livestock depredations, because, after all, every species of canine predator has preyed on livestock at some point. But no doubt the ‘Idaho’ wolf was a miracle of nature in that it NEVER killed livestock, right? And I’m curious, where did you arrive at this “1/3” bigger number? How many ‘Idaho’ wolves have you actually had in hand and weighed, and how many ‘Canadian’ wolves have you had in hand to formulate such a precise number so as to compare body size of these two different wolves?

    You need to put down Ron Gillett’s pamplet for a while…

  31. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    You people have made the decision that wolves will be allowed to breed to levels where other animals cannot exist. You do not consider the ramifications of it; you just do it as a way of expressing.

    People are not allowing wolves to breed to levels where other animals cannot exist. Wolves and elk have evolved to coexist. If wolves were capable of breeding to levels that other animals could not exist then they (and lots of toher animals) would have been centuries ago. Wolves have one of the widest native ranges of any species. There are plans for wolf hunting seasons, and wolves get shot for predation on livestock. I think that most people are pushing for wolves to be managed, there are concerns with things like genetic exchange that make people want larger populations.

    I do though understand that we are responsible for balance in nature. You have decided the wolf is. I don’t know if its to spite hunters; or to flex your muscles; or feed your ego. But whatever the reason: you have forsaken the other animals to do it.
    I on the other hand seek to protect all animals. I understand that protection is more than standing aside; it is getting involved and studying what protection is: and how we implement it.

    I don’t think that this is some conspiracy to spite hunters. You say you want to protect all animals, it sure doesn’t sound like you want to protect wolves. It sounds like you value the animals that are fun to shoot more so. The idea to restore wolves was to restore an ecosystem so “forsaking” is a very inaccurate description.

    And lastly, the wolves of Idaho and Canada are the same species. There are only two species of wolves, gray wolves (like these) and red wolves that lived in the South. There is little difference in size between these wolves and what used to live in Idaho. Seeing as how Idaho is located directly south of the Canadian border, doesn’t it seem remotely possible that wolves would migrate down from Canada? The wolves from the Great Lakes region are not that much different from the wolves in Idaho. The only really distinctively different wolf from the Idaho wolves in North America is the Mexican wolf. Otherwise you will need to go to places like India to get something really unique.

  32. avatar Save bears says:

    Brian,

    I do have to say, your way out in left field, and I am a hunter, I say manage wolves, but man you are really getting out there, it sounds like the Ron G. way of thinking is getting to you…

  33. avatar JEFF E says:

    Brian(elf king, however maiden is probably closer to the truth)Krebs,
    Just to focus on one part of your descant for now.
    Lewis and Clark were comparing the wolves found in the west with the wolves found along the Atlantic seaboard. The only comparison they could make.
    The wolves found in the west are the same as was always here. that is the fact. For someone claiming a background in biology and boasting of research lab experience you sure seem prone to quote barroom biology.
    Maybe you will next post one of those photoshopped pictures of wolves that you seem fond of.
    http://www.mnh.si.edu/lewisandclark/index.html?loc=/lewisandclark/journal.cfm?id=984
    Anyway how about that little experiment I proposed.
    Just curious if you were on even footing with a wolf how you would go about making a kill. Without bloodshed and gore I’m sure.

  34. avatar John d. says:

    Brian Kerbs,

    Firstly
    It appears you do not understand the topic of this thread. This concerns a wolf that has a lot of interested persons watching it, enthusiasts if you will who would like to keep track of this individual’s pack’s activities without wanting to shoot, skin and sell their remains for a few bucks.

    Secondly,
    To shove a metaphorical potato up your metaphorical tailpipe: the number of prey available, weather conditions and terrain affects the size of litters and pups as well as the pack’s overall survival. If the conditions are not suitable, breeding will not take place or the pack relocates. Wolves are also maimed and killed by their prey and have pack rivalry which lowers numbers naturally.

  35. avatar John d. says:

    Correction: Krebs

  36. avatar Brian Krebs says:

    Firstly- the fish and game department had a gag order put on it in regards to discussing the existing wolves and anything related to the wolf reintroduction.

    A biologist in Salmon was studying the existing packs of wolves that existed; and was threatened with being fired if he tried to save them. That biology still exists. If you cannot ‘sunshine it’ then blame yourselves – you are the ones that wanted the door closed to all but your own pseudo scientific ideas.

    Second; if you are saying that the wolves that were here were the same as those that were brought in; then why was a ‘reintroduction’ needed ?

    Thirdly; once I killed a deer that was running around in traffic in A2 Michigan; with my bare hands. It had caused several car accidents- and so I know how much effort that took and what I am capable of.

    I hunt with a bow because it is instinctively a natural thing for me to do. I am not out to just kill things; I am out there observing and being a part of nature.

    You are coming from the angle of being an observer. You want to observe wolves; and apparently the rest of the animal kingdom be damned.

    In reality I think you are anti-hunters for the most part; and want to score a hit on hunters. I do not believe for a second you care about all wildlife- or you would accept not defend the safe population statistics on wolves.

    Jeff E. Your bravery in your insults is based solely on the safety of not spitting in my face in person.

    John D – what your saying is not reality. The wolves are growing in numbers as their prey declines.

    Meanwhile; I see wolf tracks where I used to see deer and elk tracks; and there are less bears; and you people make me want to throw up.

    I have seen a wolf pack tear the legs off a coyote; and then sit down and watch it die screaming.

    You – you just see what you want too.

    Meanwhile things are dying; and its your fault. Its elk calves this time of year. But – you don’t give a darn about that.

    You really need to do some soul searching.

  37. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Firstly- the fish and game department had a gag order put on it in regards to discussing the existing wolves and anything related to the wolf reintroduction.

    A biologist in Salmon was studying the existing packs of wolves that existed; and was threatened with being fired if he tried to save them. That biology still exists. If you cannot ’sunshine it’ then blame yourselves – you are the ones that wanted the door closed to all but your own pseudo scientific ideas.

    Brian, that all sounds like a conspiracy theory to me. I doubt the feds are trying to put wolves in for some malicious purpose.

    Second; if you are saying that the wolves that were here were the same as those that were brought in; then why was a ‘reintroduction’ needed ?

    I will acknowledge that there easily could have been wolves in Idaho before the reintroduction. The wilderness areas of the west are vast. Obviously with North Idaho bordering Canada wolves can disperse. However, one or two wolves does not mean there is a population of wolves. It is just like saying that black bears are common in Iowa since they have occasionally dispersed from Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Missouri. They are hardly recovered in that state.

    As far as the same type of wolf, a gray wolf is a gray wolf. Are you going to tell me that a wolf that was captured in a habitat where elk are the primary prey is going to be so different in Canada than Idaho? The only wolf that is bigger than the wolves in Idaho are the arctic wolves which obviously would not have been chosen for the reintroduction since they are found in tundra and hunt caribou and musk oxen.

    To address what you said about cruelty. Nature is cruel. Animals prey on each other and they kill competitors. I have seen footage of wolves killing coyotes and no, it is not pretty. The family cat we had has caught birds and tortured them to where we have had to intervene. Nature is not pretty, the “Bambi” scenario does not exist. If you are on the subject of cruelly, I would say killing a deer with your bare hands is an example of that.

    For the record, I am a hunter myself. I successfully drew an elk tag for this fall but not an antelope. 🙁 And no, I am not to worried that there will be no elk for me to hunt. However, if I don’t get one I will not be upset because the getting out in the woods is why I like it the most.

  38. avatar John d. says:

    Mr. Krebs,

    Coyotes are killed in far more barbaric ways by mankind, ever choked on a snare recently? Oh by the way, look up Dr. Eli Geffen PhD. for that breeding behaviour bit.

  39. avatar JEFF E says:

    Brian Krebs,
    Aw come on Elfie, your getting a little defensive here aren’t you.
    There is no doubt that there were wolves in Idaho. Even with the extensive predator control programs that were in place in Canada a few managed to run the gauntlet every year and make it to the lower 48, where most were shot on sight in the old SSS that you and your buddies are so proud of, (and you have the gall to try and pass that same level of barbarity displayed by humans on to an animal doing nothing more or less than being an animal) however there was never enough that survived to form a “viable population”.
    And with your claimed background in biology you don’t understand that?
    Curious that.

  40. avatar JEFF E says:

    ……Elfie,
    You killed a deer with your bare hands to stop a dangerous situation, good for you, however how would you have killed it if you had nothing more than your teeth as the means and your intent was to eat?
    I notice you never answer questions or points made directly but always sidestep them i.e. your Lewis and Clark reference.
    I’m starting to believe that is just your nature

  41. avatar Save bears says:

    Interesting Rant There Krebs, of course it is a distorted view of the world, speckled with hate and no understanding of natural population dynamics, which surprises me, based on your claim of a biological background. You must have been trained in a different aspect of biology than I was, because none of the classes I took or the field work I did, even hinted at the stuff your talking about.

  42. avatar JEFF E says:

    Save Bears,
    Elfie(Brian Krebs) has come to this site for the sole purpose of trolling, he has no intention of engaging in any sort of serious discussion and as such deserves not the least consideration. He is certainly not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  43. avatar Brian Krebs says:

    hmmmmm. Wonder who ‘Jeff E’ really is. The insult of calling me ‘Elfie’ – well its only done by two other people in my life; and they are both anti-wolf.

    And Jeff E I have engaged in serious talk; I have mentioned that there WERE wolves in Idaho BEFORE the ‘reintroduction’. And that is relevant; because if wolves were here in Idaho; then why put wolves here that would kill off and interfere with the gene pool that existed already?

    I have mentioned how there was a limit established on how many wolves would be part of the plan of bringing the wolves into Idaho and other states; and how that has been surpassed; and how it is effecting other living things in the forest.

    I have tried to help people see how conservation of wildlife does include controlling numbers of animals; and how that is needed now with wolves.

    ‘Save bears’ – the need for population control was established BEFORE the reintroduction; and fish and game biologists are saying that the wolves are overpopulating in areas; and are endangering specific herds of elk and other game.
    You can dismiss my biology; but how do you justify dismissing the biology BEFORE the reintroduction; and as well the biology NOW that insists on controlling wolf populations?

    You all had the chance to discuss the issue of wolves from the perspective of wildlife management; and you have chosen a route of attempted assassination of the messenger.

    Nice ploy.

    Meanwhile; the wolves are breeding and growing in numbers; and they are eating animals to keep alive.
    Your lack of concern for how many animals; and how other species are effected ( like bears and elk and deer) is telling.

    You seem to have one single mission; and it has nothing to do with ‘kindness’ towards animals; or wildlife management; or biology.

    It is forsaking every other species for the chance to make an attack on hunting.

    And you should be ashamed of yourselves.

  44. avatar Brian Krebs says:

    By the way; I have the courage to state my name; I wonder why some hide their identities here ?

  45. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Brian, the wolves that may or may not have been in Idaho were the same subspecies as the wolves that were reintroduced. The whole idea of subspecies is blurred as it is since there are no clear cut boundaries for the most part and wolves disperse long distances. Like I had mentioned in a previous post, a few isolated individual wolves does not constitute a recovered population. Jaguars have dispersed into Arizona and New Mexico, but would you say that they are recovered in those states?
    As far as population control, not everyone is against having some control over wolf numbers. A responsible hunting season is a good management tool, it is not good that states like Idaho and Wyoming want to kill such a large percentage of the wolf populations. As has been mentioned before, the wolves would not kill off every ungulate, otherwise they would have gone extinct thousands of years ago. Can you also please explain why Idaho would be having such a crisis on elk populations when Wyoming is not? There are wolves in both states so why should one be different than another. Why is Minnesota not having a crisis with white-tailed deer numbers?
    I cannot speak for others on this site, but I think that the “mission” that most of us have here is a restoration of an ecosystem that includes formerly extirpated species.

  46. avatar JEFF E says:

    Elfie,
    At the risk of wasting my time:
    “I have mentioned that there WERE wolves in Idaho BEFORE the ‘reintroduction’. And that is relevant; because if wolves were here in Idaho; then why put wolves here that would kill off and interfere with the gene pool that existed already?”

    Yes there were wolves in Idaho. That has been documented
    They are the same wolf, genetically or by any other measure. What do you not understand about that? You claim to have extensive training in biology to include actually working in a research facility but remain curiously deficient in actual biological fact.

    “I have mentioned how there was a limit established on how many wolves would be part of the plan of bringing the wolves into Idaho and other states; and how that has been surpassed; and how it is effecting other living things in the forest.”
    There was no limit on the number of wolves, however there was a MINUMUM which even that was a concession to the livestock industry. Should I give you a definition of minimum?
    And tell us how you feel about the Bighorn/ domestic sheep issue just as an aside.
    In addition EVERYTHING affects every other thing in the forest, yourself included.

    “I have tried to help people see how conservation of wildlife does include controlling numbers of animals; and how that is needed now with wolves.”
    With few exceptions(which will always be the case) the posters here agree that wolves should be MANAGED which is NOT what the states of Idaho, Montana, or especially Wyoming have in mind, but rather to reduce the numbers to the absolute minimum and keep them there, mainly at the behest of the livestock industry and various misinformed hunting interests.

  47. avatar Save bears says:

    Brian,

    There was no stated limit when the wolves were reintroduced, there was a target goal to trigger de-listing, and yes, that has been surpassed, and de-listing should have started quite a few years ago, but there was never a population limit stated.

    As far as real names, I am embroiled in a lawsuit against a state Game Dept I used to work for, so revealing my name, could be detrimental to my lawsuit, which also involves my retirement from the military, in which I spent 26 years and two bullets in combat, a replacement hip and a host of other situations that I am not at this time willing to jeopardize.

    As far as over population, I do agree, there are some areas that have high concentrations of wolves, of course there are several areas that have over populations of Elk and deer, Understanding the dynamics of predator prey relationships, I expected spikes in predator populations before they leveled off, it has only been 13 years since the wolves were reintroduced, I would expect they would over populate until such time as they take care of the overpopulation of ungulates, IE: Deer and Elk, once the balance is restored to a more normal relationship, we won’t be having these conversations anymore..

    Humans screwed it up to begin with, by wiping wolves out, which lead to an artificial population of Elk and Deer, now they have a natural predator that is feasting on them, but once things get back in balance, you will see the scale once again move back to center as it was before man started trying to control things..

    People in the west have enjoyed a out of balance situation for far to many years, and that is not to say, wolves should not be managed, but most have become complacent by seeing elk and deer, and still have hatred for predators that are indigenous to the area..

    Biologically there is no difference between the wolves that were reintroduced than the ones that lived here when white man came to the area, they are in fact the same species..

    And if you think I am trying to take a hit at hunters, you might as well pull your head out, because I have been hunting since I was 8 years old, killed my first deer and elk that year and have pretty much shot both every year since, of course I did miss a couple of times when I was in the service..but I understand predator, prey relationships and accept them with no problems.

    You however, seem to be a very greedy self centered individual who has prostituted biology to benefit yourself.

  48. avatar Save bears says:

    As far as kindness for wildlife that is a misnomer, there is no kindness in nature, nature is a very cruel controlling aspect of wildlife..in nature there is survival of the strongest, always has been, because humans want it, does not mean it is going to happen, wolves are going to kill, no one denies that, but they still account for a very small percentage of total death of both livestock and wildlife in the whole scope of things…

  49. Wow! This has been an education for me.

    The universe seeks balance – and in that seeking there is beauty and horror. I just pray that humans can find the center because we have the power to save or destroy.

    Nature has given us everything so – I just try as hard as I can to learn and do the right things – it does not always work – but I try.

    The BEST part of these posts is the passion.

    PS: yes I eat meat, yes my family hunts, yes I belong to environmental groups, yes I drive a hybrid, I am registered independant since the age of 18, I am spiritual not religious, I am very political…..it seems like all of this matters today.

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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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