Commission will decide today whether an Idaho wolf hunt will be accepted by wolf conservationists or whether a bitter battle begins-

Update: Commission sets wolf quota at 220 wolves.
More information will follow when I get it. Here is some.
Idaho’s wolf hunting limit set at 220
. Idaho Statesman. From what I read, including the comments in the Statesman, it looks like I’m shaping up as a moderate on this one.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission meets in Idaho Falls today to set the wolf kill quota just 2 weeks before the wolf season begins. Tags will go on sale Aug. 24. In July, Montana set a wolf quota of 75 after seeking public comment and developing computer models of various quotas and their estimated effect on wolf populations.

Idaho hasn’t sought public input. As I write this, how the quota was determined is not clear.  Some indications are they will have a quota as high as 500 to 700 wolves. Idaho has the best wolf habitat in the lower 48 states as indicated by its current population of perhaps 1000 wolves compared to adjacent Montana with just half as many despite having wolves in the state since the 1980s, beginning with natural in-migration from Canada.

Some people think wolf hunting will prove difficult and the quota won’t be filled. Outdoor writers Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman is a well know person who holds to this school of thought.  Others believe there will be a slaughter — wolves being easy to find while elk or deer hunting coupled with a very long hunting season. I tend to the latter because of the length of the season and the likelihood that a fair number of hunters will shot two, tag one, and leave the other.

My view is that I am not against a wolf hunt, but a real hunt of any game animal does not as its purpose reduce the population by very much. If the Commission announced they were going to reduce the state’s elk population by half, for example, that would not be a hunt. Of course, they wouldn’t do that.

Because wolves have not been hunted before  in Idaho, and Idaho so much different geographically than Alaska, a lot of information needs to be gathered. It will be important to see if the Commission puts in place a mechanism to gather critical information, especially so that they can see if a wolf hunt (or reduction) has any effect on elk, deer, or moose populations. Will wolves become more wary of humans?

It is also important to see if the hunt has an effect on livestock depredations. Conventional wisdom is that a reduction in wolves will reduce the number of sheep and cattle killed, but others believe that because wolves are a pack animal and learn what is prey from their pack, disrupted packs will send orphaned pups, wounded wolves and subadults into the herds of livestock.

I for one, would not protest a quota of 100 or 200 animals (comparable to Montana), not that I think any hunt is a biological necessity. However, a high quota with lax oversight will spark a bitter battle. It’s all up to the Fish and Game Commission what they want. For those who want the wolf relisted, a high quota with lax enforcement is more likely to yield success in their lawsuit than a more measured approach. Montana’s Commission (Fish, Wildlife and Parks) seemed to sense that.

Idaho Fish & Game to set limits for first wolf hunt. By Roger Phillips. Idaho Statesman.

Idaho officials to set wolf hunt quotas today. Associated Press

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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.

125 Responses to Idaho Fish and Game Commission sets wolf hunt quota today

  1. Thanks Alan.

    Good news for sure, although we thought the Obama Administration was going to be open and move away from the Bush Administration’s methods on the Freedom of Information Act.

  2. avatar Tom Page says:

    Ralph –

    You should be writing the op-ed pieces. That’s an excellent summary of the situation here, as I see it anyway. My hope is that after a couple years of fairly heavy kill (not that I want that part, but I think it’s going to happen…) the hype will die down a bit and we can embark on a reasonable longterm plan with real tag fees (not the $11.75 joke for this year) supporting moderate take, a shorter season, and good program management.

  3. avatar JB says:

    Like Ralph, I am not opposed to a season on wolves. However, in practice my support or opposition will depend upon the details.

    The way I see it, Idaho has committed to manage wolves “like any other species.” If that is the case, they should be looking to set harvest limits at a level that wolf populations can sustain. Perhaps more importantly, Idaho can show a real commitment to managing wolves by (1) restricting or greatly reducing harvest in areas that are likely to serve as corridors to the Yellowstone population (thus allowing for genetic exchange between populations, (2) committing to providing at least one viewing area for wolves (i.e. an area where wolves will not be harvested and will primarily be enjoyed by non-consumptive users), and (3) using this season as an opportunity to study how human hunting affects the relationship between wolves and elk and wolves and livestock. That is, it would be ideal to randomly select certain areas/zones for heavy wolf harvest and no wolf harvest and see how wolf and elk populations respond, as well as monitoring any change in conflict with livestock.

    If, on the other hand, Idaho simply issues a bunch of “anytime/anywhere” wolf permits and allows wolf populations to be dramatically reduced, then we will have a good indication that they are not serious about conserving wolves, and they will make the job of those opposed to delisting that much easier.

  4. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    I was talking to an eleven year old the other day and he said to me “you know why hunting is not a sport?” No I said, why?
    “Because half of the participants don’t know they are playing the game.”

  5. avatar JW says:

    I agree Linda. If you want to hunt, esp. animals you eat, that is one thing. But using the word “sport” really isn’t fair. It most certainly isn’t sport when one team (humans) have such an advantage over others.
    JB makes great points which I agree with, altho I really do have reservations of people just killing them to “for sport” esp. since they aren’t eaten and are well known to be social, intelligent species…

  6. avatar Save bears says:

    I am a hunter, but when the term “Sport” is applied to it, it imparts a game, as most of my meat comes from hunting, I don’t consider it a sport, to me it is a necessity of life..which is why, I don’t use the term “Harvest” when somebody asks me, why I hunt, I always tell them to kill so I can eat.

    Unfortunately with the proliferation of TV shows on Outdoors Channels, Versus and others, it has become a game, and I can tell you right up front, taking a life is not a game, it is very serious….

    I will not stop hunting, because I enjoy the meat as well as the lower cost than purchasing in the store, but I do agree, people need to be honest when they hunt and tell the truth.

    I have no desire to shoot a wolf, because I know for a fact I won’t eat it, and I don’t hunt for trophies, that said, if the situation warranted killing a wolf to protect propert, I would not hesitate…

  7. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Montana has a good plan for a hunting season. 15% seems a reasonable compromise. Killing 50% or more seems like a joke and shows that people are not taking this seriously. (Although I guess it could be a step above Wyoming’s predator zone that keeps wolves listed.) The fact that they are not requiring hunters to retrieve the carcass also shows a lack of commitment to preservation. (By the way, if someone really is a sportsman or sportswoman, they will retrieve a carcass of what they shoot.) I would be interested to see if the wolves are easily hunted or not. I’m assuming baiting will be illegal.

    Save bears, I agree with your philosophy that taking a life is serious. I hunt mostly for the chance to get outdoors. If I happen to shoot something great, but if not I like the fact that I got to get out of the house for a while.

  8. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Check this site out: http://www.huntwolves.com/

  9. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    Wow I had no idea there were a 1000 wolves breeding like rabbits!

  10. avatar Ryan says:

    Pro,

    Its no different than any propaganda site. My personal hope is that those who do choose to hunt wolves, keep it quiet instead of trying to incite more animosity.

  11. avatar timz says:

    220 wolves is the limit set by F&G

  12. avatar timz says:

    “The commisisoners voted 4-3 for the hunter harvest limit of 220, rejecting a plan that would have allowed hunters to take up to 430 wolves.”

    From the Idaho Mistakesman

  13. Timz,

    I got an update saying that too. Looks like the legally savy commissioners outvoted those who were more willing to risk losing the lawsuit over this issue.

  14. avatar Save bears says:

    Based on current populations estimates in Idaho, I don’t think 220 is a bad number, it is far less that the 500-700 that many have been saying they would take, that is 22% of the population, is it perfect, no, is it reasonable, I think it is more reasonable, than the numbers people have been quoting…

  15. avatar jdubya says:

    Too bad they can’t just round up those 220 animals and send them where they are needed….like Utah.

  16. Save Bears is one of a declining number of folks who really do value and need the meat. I have had a number of relatives and friends who did count on getting a deer or an elk to help them through hard times.

    There are many reasons people hunt. In my view Save Bears’ is a really good reason why a person would hunt.

    Of course, no one will hunt wolves for meat. It will be, for some, the challenge of a new game animal. 2. To get a pelt. 3. Because they hate the “damn elk killers.”

    For those who really want a pelt. Hunting wolves in September is a bad idea because the good pelts start in about November.

  17. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Timz, do you have a link that says the 220 limit? That would probably be a lot more sustainable.

    Linda, I also didn’t know that wolves bred like rabbits.

    Ryan, I agree that it is just another propaganda site. I noticed they linked to saveelk.com.

    Jdubya, it would be nice if they could round up those wolves and send them to Utah, or to the southern Oregon, Northern California area, or to Colorado, unless Mexican wolves are more appropriate there.

  18. avatar Save bears says:

    jdubya,

    Your opinion of needed in Utah, may very well go against what others think is needed in Utah..People, unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on what side of the issue you are on, this hunt needs to happen.

    I think most of the hunting for wolves will be point number 3 in Ralph’s post…because they hate them damn killers..

    This may go against every bodies grain, but, if you don’t allow it to happen, the future is going to get worse, let the season happen, then weigh in on what happens, as I said, compared to what I have heard, 220 does not seem to be an unreasonable number, as long as IDFG actually monitors it and shuts it down IF the number is met..

    I would rather see a legal hunting season happen, than a free for all, which could happen..

  19. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Save bears, a legal hunt is a much better alternative than a free for all.

  20. avatar jdubya says:

    I too agree that a legal hunt for “only” 220 animals is better than a free for all, but I can’t help but think those 220 animals set to colonize other areas that they were in before extirpation would be a good thing. So send them to Oregon, to Washington, to Utah and Colorado….breed baby, breed.

  21. I checked out the huntwolves website. We have not been able to isolate the defective gene that makes these people think like they do, but we are working on it. What is going to stop these “hunters” from killing two or three wolves instead of one? I hope the USFWS will monitor this hunt closely. To be honest, I don’t trust Idaho Fish and Game to do the right thing here.

  22. Jdubya,

    I think the hunt will cause a lot of wolf dispersion into nearby states.

  23. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Jduybya, I agree, it would be nice for those wolves to be able to disperse into those states. I’m surprised there haven’t been more sightings in Utah since they can disperse from Idaho and Wyoming. Have you heard any reports about sightings recently? I’m guessing you live in Utah?

    William, it would be nice to isolate that defective gene. What amazes me is there are people who are otherwise pretty smart that have their IQs drop when they start talking about wolves. This hunt will definitely need to be managed. With the rhetoric that is posted on the Idaho Statesman’s site and the fact that many high level politicians agree with it, this hunt needs to be watched like a hawk. This number could probably be sustainable and perhaps if people see that they do have the option to hunt some illegal killings may decrease. Maybe some of the paranoia might die down a little, but you will still have the extremists.
    One thing not mentioned, are wolf tag available “over the counter” or do people have to submit applications for them. like moose in Wyoming and Montana?

  24. avatar JB says:

    “Of course, no one will hunt wolves for meat. It will be, for some, the challenge of a new game animal. 2. To get a pelt. 3. Because they hate the ‘damn elk killers.'”

    This brings up another interesting dilemma regarding the management of wolves. The North American Wildlife Model, prized by so many wildlife managers, was put in place to protect and conserve game species from over exploitation. Over the years, an “ethic” evolved regarding the practice of hunting (in this case, I am using the term “ethic” to denote a set of shared rules or standards regarding the practice of hunting game). What sort of ethic do we promote when we allow “hunters” to enter the field and kill an animal out of fear, hatred, and spite? What type of precedent does it set when fish and game agencies condone the use of a firearm for such a purpose? What will fathers teach sons while in the field hunting wolves? To fear and hate predators, or that wolves should be harvested with respect?

    I believe state agencies should at least consider these questions as the rush to promote the hunting of wolves. What sort of hunter will you make for the future?

  25. avatar Jeff says:

    I agree with Ralph and think we will see a good deal of dispersal when packs get broken up. Sounds like Save Bears and I have a similar ethic in terms of hunting. I too hunt to put an elk in the freezer. My wife and girls love eating it, it is healthier than mass produced meat and it is fairly inexpensive once one owns all the necessary tools and equipment. I do see hunting as a sport though as it requires fitness, strategy, skill, and practice. I hunt on foot with a rifle and it is very strenuous and just plain old fashioned hard work when you put a big animal on the ground. I too have said if I ever get to the point when the actual killing doesn’t bug me, I’ll quit hunting.

  26. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    What type of precedent does it set when fish and game agencies condone the use of a firearm for such a purpose? What will fathers teach sons while in the field hunting wolves? To fear and hate predators, or that wolves should be harvested with respect? JB, this is such a good point. When I was living in Montana I knew so many young kids who just spouted off what their parents said about how evil wolves were, etc. What do you suppose their parents are teaching them when they hunt?

    I too have said if I ever get to the point when the actual killing doesn’t bug me, I’ll quit hunting.
    Glad to hear two other people who agree with me. 🙂

  27. avatar timz says:

    “To fear and hate predators, or that wolves should be harvested with respect?”

    I can’t make the connection between harvesting a wolf and respect given the fact it’s being done, at best, for a trophy and not for food to feed your family.

  28. avatar Ryan says:

    Pro,

    I can say that, there not wanted in southern OR (atleast by the locals + nothing for them to eat there and the habitat is not that great) Utards don’t want em, send them to SO Cal. 🙂

    JB,

    The Fear Hatred and Spite started in the process in which they were reintroduced and the subsequent Lawsuits/BS thrown around on both sides. In AK there not hated by the vast majority, look at the yukon not hated there either and they both have liberal hunting season. Mostly hated here because of the situation. If they had natually recolonized from Canada like they were starting too, none of this bullshit would be going on like it is now.

  29. avatar Ryan says:

    I hunt for meat like most others on this board, that being said I do trophy hunt in conjunction with it. No Elk, Deer, bear, or speedgoat has ever gone un eaten. I enjoy the challenge of looking for a big un and seeing all of other animals in the process. That being said as the season progresses, my standards drop and the trophy fork and spoon critters fill my freezer.

  30. avatar JB says:

    Ryan,

    So if I understand you correctly, what you’re saying is that wolves are fine, it’s liberal, east-coast, commie, city-slickers and the federal government that people hate?

    All I can say is I hope they keep this hunt quiet and legal and the killing limited to the 220 animals. Because if you think the liberals have their panties in a bunch now, wait until the video of some redneck on a snowmachine running down a wolf hits YouTube. Defenders will be swimming in cash.

  31. avatar Ryan says:

    JB,

    You hit the nail on the head, you must be from ID or close. Thats the feeling that is rampant across much of the rural west. The wolf represents this dichotomy pretty well IMHO.

  32. avatar Craig says:

    I think that 220 is a very reasonable number. I won’t by a tag because like Save Bears I only eat what I kill. I really don’t think a lot of people are just going to go out and waste money in todays economy to shoot a Wolf.
    I think they will buy a tag and if the chance is there they will kill one. Also now that there is a season anti Wolf people will relax and they will become just like Bear or Cougars over a period of time! If this would have got shot down in legal issues again it would have been a lot worse, this will ease a lot of tention. This is a win win for both sides IMO.

  33. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    JB, you know that Defenders is going to be monitoring this hunt. If some redneck does kill a wolf the way you mentioned you can expect huge lawsuits.

    I think they will buy a tag and if the chance is there they will kill one. That’s the way most people I know hunt for bears.

    Also now that there is a season anti Wolf people will relax and they will become just like Bear or Cougars over a period of time! If anything, that is the best result we can hope for.

  34. avatar Craig says:

    I really don’t think there will be that many people who will get a chance to kill a Wolf. Like I’ve said I’ve seen maybe 5 or 6 while Elk hunting and never would have had a chance in hell at getting a shot at one! I walk at least 5-8 miles off any trails or roads and I’d guess 90% hunt from trails or roads. Once Wolves learn people = danger they will change there habits, they adapt very quick.

  35. avatar JB says:

    Ralph,

    Any word about the structure of these hunts? I’m interested to know if any management units will be off-limits/protected, or if it will just be a free-for-all?

    Ryan,

    I’m not sure which is worse: Idahoan’s misplaced hatred of the wolf, or their hatred of the people who put them their?

  36. It will be illegal to ever kill any game animal by running over it with a machine.

    Because the weight of wolves is hard to judge for those who have never seen them up close, someone (maybe a number) will kill a 35-50 pound pup, tie it to their rig and drive around town showing off the dead “elk killer,” until folks begin to laugh.

  37. avatar Craig says:

    I also hope anyone who calls themselve a Sportsman would only take the 1 they are allowed by law and not shoot more
    and lie and say it got away! Wolves are a great tool in the natural system and are a positive. Hopefully F&G will manage them as such and keep everything in check.

  38. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Because the weight of wolves is hard to judge for those who have never seen them up close, someone (maybe a number) will kill a 35-50 pound pup, tie it to their rig and drive around town showing off the dead “elk killer,” until folks begin to laugh.

    If more people see them up close they may realize the big bad wolf is not quite what they think it is.

  39. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    The commission decided on the 220 number for 1 reason : the lawsuit. That’s it. All with the exception of maybe one, would have gone with the 4oo+ option had it not been for the judgement that it would deprive these men of their control ~ i.e. an injunction would have been better supported by a higher number. Some of them said as much at the meeting.

    That lawsuit saved hundreds of wolves this year.

    The vote was 3/4, with the clarification that the commission had ‘other tools’ to deal with wolves –

    The 220 is a reasonable number –

  40. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Brian, what did they mean by “other tools?”

  41. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    They used the analogy of the 10(j) management regime throughout their discussion – they alsomentioned the availability of Wildlife Services specifically & that the Department could ‘control’/MANage wolves itself – the hunt is one among many ‘tools’ to bring wolves down to the 500 that the management plan prescribes. It was made clear that the 500 number is the MANagement objective – that’s how they understood the plan – that they would MANage to depress the population to that level. The debate was whether it should be done in one year, or hold off & clear the injunction & wait til after the lawsuit.

  42. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    The details are not yet clear about IDFG’s proposed hunt. But, I was told that the 220 wolf number, stands alone. Last year, IDFG proposed an annual wolf mortality of about 426 wolves. (I don’t have my wolf files in front of me for reference so the numbers may be a few off).

    In other words, the number of wolves killed by Wildlife Services (124 appr in 2008) and wolves killed by other means or found dead, would be subtracted from the 426 count. So right off the top, IDFG was going to subtract something like 200 wolves from 426 to be “harvested”. What does that come to – pretty close to 220 wolves.

    Wildlife Service is busy killing wolves everywhere they can right now. They have issued shoot on sight permits to 12 people here in Stanley to kill three Basin Butte wolves.

    Before anyone applauds this latest IDFG commissioners monkey business, think about the wolf pups that are either going to be orphaned at 4.5 months of age, or the pups themselves that might be killed and paraded around Stanley, Challis, Clayton, Salmon, McCall — as “trophies”.

  43. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Apparently the Sawtooth Zone hunt will go SEVEN months, from Sept 1 to March 31, right up to denning season. Unbelievable. The wolves that survive the fall, are going to be faced with snowmobilers chasing them down and shooting. Several years ago a coyote was ran down by a ‘biler in the Sawtooth Valley. The head of the local snowmobile club commented to a reporter words to this effect: “wonder how fast you’d have to go to get a wolf”. Would IDFG prosecute someone running down a wolf with an ATV or snowmobile? Maybe. But local judges would toss out the case.

  44. avatar jerryB says:

    Our wolf hunt in Montana starts Sept 15th. Normally big game hunting starts the last weekend in October which would give those of us that look forward to hiking and fishing in beautiful fall weather a two month reprieve from the heat. Normally, it’s the best time of year for hiking, fly fishing, camping and wildlife watching.
    We now have to decorate ourselves as well as our dogs in orange, so as not to be shot by drunk, camoclad, redneck, bubbas, who unlike ethical hunters will be out vengeance killing and shooting anything that might be a wolf.

    They’ve taken away my favorite time of the year, and I’m pissed about it.

  45. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    If the 220 was a standalone number I could see a lot of people compromising. If they are trying to get the number down to 500, they can expect more lawsuits.

  46. avatar jerryB says:

    I agree with JB and his 3 suggestions that would show a “real” commitment to managing wolves, but I’d like to also add that the ecosystems as a whole need to be evaluated after a top predator is removed. What is the affect on the biodiversity of the ecosystems including mesopredators, reptiles, amphibians, fish, beaver etc.
    Do these wildlife agencies have any planned studies?

  47. Thus a little bit off topic despite the hunting for meet subject being tackled above (Maybe Ralph can move it to an “Open Thread”): I´m curious what value game meet has in the American cuisine. Ok, I´m talking about the common game like deer and elk, not the exotics like bear or puma or coyote. You rarely find game on a restaurant´s menue in the US whereas this is fairly common here in Europe. If I understood that correctly, you are not allowed to sell the game you hunt? Again, here in Europe it´s quite common (and legal) for a hunter to sell his kill commercially or privately. How important is game in the rural American´s diet – staple food or luxury?

  48. avatar Save bears says:

    In the areas of the west that I have lived, it is pretty important to many that hunt, I have been to many restaurants that have elk and deer on the menu. I know quite a few families that consider it a staple of their diet.

    One other thing that I see, we have a program in the US, that many hunters take very seriously and that is the “Hunters for the Hungry” program, where is a person who does not like to eat the meat, but enjoys hunting will donate the wild game to food backs around the country to help feed those who can’t afford to buy meat..or they will donate part of the meat if they do like to eat wild meat…I know there are stories every year of people finding animals in the woods that only the head was taken, which does happen, of course it is illegal, but as with many aspects of life, that is a very small percentage of the population that actually hunts..that perpetuate this type of crime.

    For me, it is a staple as the majority of meat I consume is wild meat….

  49. avatar Save bears says:

    JerryB, actually hunting season starts earlier in Montana, the Bow hunting season normally starts right around labor day and several of the early season gun hunts start around the end of August in addition it is pretty much a year around free for all for coyotes, black bear season starts Sept 15th as well as some of the other seasons. In reading the seasons for 2009 on the FWP page, only the back country wolf season starts Sept 15th, the Wolf general season, starts October 25th as does many of the regular general seasons…

    http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/seasons/default.html

    Now of course if the quota is filled during the back country season there would be No General or winter season for wolves in Montana

  50. avatar jerryB says:

    Save Bears…You’re right…BUT, that’s where we go, to the back country, and the hunters that make the effort to hunt back there aren’t the ones we worry about……until now. Who knows what will show up to kill wolves.
    Are wolf hunters allowed to hunt from snowmobiles in Montana?

  51. avatar Save bears says:

    Jerry,

    From my understanding only disabled persons are allow to hunt from motorized vehicles…and that includes ATV’s your not suppose to shoot a game animal from a motorized vehicle.

    In my personal opinion, I don’t think there will be a big spike in hunter numbers over other years, just because they can now shoot a wolf, I think most hunters will do like they do with bears, it will become another tag in case they see a wolf. I have talked to a lot of hunters this year, and very few have stated they are going only for a wolf.

    Other than adding the wolf tag to the equation, the seasons have not changed, back country deer and elk are still starting on Sept 15th for gun hunters, so if your in the back country, it would be wise to wear orange anyway, I honestly don’t think someone hunting wolves legally are going to pose anymore danger than the guys hunting elk and deer..

    Of course I am talking about Montana, I think Idaho may be a wildcard, I hope I am wrong but Idaho hunters have been a lot more vocal about wolves than Montana…

  52. avatar jdubya says:

    In Wyoming the “sports” hunt from snowmobiles. That infamous picture that circulated last year of the dead wolf hung by his arm pits in front of a snowmobile after being chased 35miles in the snow got people plenty pissed off. Hopefully Idaho will not allow the same.

  53. avatar Save bears says:

    jdubya,

    The reason that was allowed to happen is due to the classification as a predator at the time that happened, I seriously doubt that Wyoming will be going down the same road again…

  54. avatar Wyo Native says:

    jdubya,

    That picture you are refering too was complete bullshit, that was used as misinformation to stir up emotion for the Anti Wolf Hunting side.

    The pictures that were taken with dead wolves standing next to snowmobiles were taken before de-listing of wolves even occured. The pictures were taken of USDA Aphis and USFWS control efforts a month before de-listing ever took place. And guess what USFWS and APHIS are STILL using snowmobiles and aircraft in their control efforts in Wyoming!

    The person from Daniel that admitted to tracking the wolf he shot after de-listing never posed for pictures with the wolf while holding it by the arm pits in front of a snowmobile. In fact if the guy would have never did an interview for the local paper nobody would even know about it.

  55. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Correction on my earlier post. In 2008, Wildlife Services killed 82 wolves in Idaho (not 124). I recall the overall mortality from WS control actions, plus wolves dying of other causes was about 124. This figure does not include pups that died because their mothers were killed by Wildlife Services.

  56. avatar Ryan says:

    “I’m not sure which is worse: Idahoan’s misplaced hatred of the wolf, or their hatred of the people who put them their?”

    JB,

    I think their hatred of the people who put them there is deserved. I can think of no other group of people who work so hard to shove there values down other groups throats and instantly label others with condesending terms for not agreeing with them. Proclaiming knowledge of things they have no clue about and choosing a moral superiority complex. I’ve moved closer to the center over the years and yet I still can’t palate most of the propaganda that comes out of the left. Now imagine if your from right of center getting an ear full. Its growing on a much bigger scale I think and the wolf is just a symptom, not a keynote.

  57. The question about hatred tells what much of the wolf issue is about — cultural conflict.

    That’s why a lot of talk about science and elk predation has not effect changing anyone’s mind.

    Cultural hatred is also why some people are not allowed to post on this blog. You tell someone you hate them online, you are not going to have a rational discussion after that point.

    I don’t say this as someone who thinks he is morally superior. I’d have to admit there are some categories of people I just can’t stand.

  58. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Jdubya, that picture stirred up plenty of emotion and it is no wonder Wyoming’s wolves were especially the target of relisting. I see those pictures have appeared on saveelk’s website and on huntwolves.com to further the anti-wolf cause. Saveelk uses that picture as claim that they are giant Canadian wolves. Friend of mine in Iowa saw that and the propaganda of giant wolves seemed to work on them. They thought that I must be afraid to go into the back country.

  59. avatar jdubya says:

    I first saw that picture in the KC Star with the caption that the guy holding the wolf had run it down by chasing on a snowmobile for 35 miles, shot it , and was doing a grip and grin for the camera. So the picture and story may have been complete bullshit but it entered the mainstream media as fact and not as a PETA inspired propaganda. Regardless, I would hope no state whether Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, etc would allow that kind of “hunting” to occur by private citizens. And if the Fish and Game have to stoop to it, it should only be under exceptional circumstances.

  60. avatar Kathy says:

    Just got an email from Defenders Of Wildlife….

    Late yesterday, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game made a tragic announcement:

    Starting Monday, the department will begin selling an estimated 70,000 permits to hunt and kill wolves in Idaho. That’s 70 guns for each wolf mother, father and pup in Idaho!

    Is this part true…70,000 permits?

  61. avatar Brian Ellway says:

    Kathy,

    I’m pretty sure there is no limit on the number of permits sold but the quota remains at 220 wolves killed regardless of the number of permits sold. 70,000 seems like a huge stretch. I can’t imagine them selling anywhere near that many.

  62. Yes,

    It’s the quota that counts, not the number of tags. If the Fish and Game Commission had not been so anti-wolf and wanted to help the Department, they would have charged $50 or $100 for a tag.

    When they set the tag price, I think they were trying to demonstrate how worthless they thought wolves were.

    Some of the Commissioners are like folks who get angry, have a few drinks, and set out on the Internet to share their opinions.

  63. avatar Brian Ellway says:

    I will say that I hope they sell 70,000 permits as the IDF&G would get a nice boost in revenue from that many permits sold. Still, it would mean that 69,680 of the permits would go unfilled. It’s typical DOW putting their doomsday spin on things.

  64. avatar Brian Ellway says:

    correction, 69,780 unfilled. And math was my best subject in school.

  65. avatar Ryan says:

    “When they set the tag price, I think they were trying to demonstrate how worthless they thought wolves were.”

    Ralph,

    Thats not why they set the price so low, its the same theory as bear and cougar tag prices in Oregon. It to provide maximun opportunity to harvest an animal that is very challenging to hunt. Cougar tags in Oregon are around ~10.00 for residents with quotas for each area of the state. Those quotas rarely get filled I fully believe wolves will be the same way.

    The DOW propagand piece that Kathy posted is on par with what saveelk spews. Montana will have the same system I would bet for tags etc.

  66. avatar Wyo Native says:

    jdubya,

    There was a guy from Bondurant that did use a snowmachine to help hime take a wolf. There is no denying that.
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/topstories/2008-04-27-2642116967_x.htm

    But it is the likes of organizations such as Defenders that took the story that was reported in the Sublette Examiner and spun it with pictures that were from USDA APHIS and USFWS control actions of an officer holding the wolf by a snowmachine. Then sent out emails which eventually ended up in the MSM hands.

    The USFWS and APHIS pictures helped sensationalize thier efforts. Just as distorting the facts in an email by stating 77,000 wolf permits will be sold, while omitting the fact that there is a quota of only 220.

  67. Thanks, Brian.

    I think they should raise the tag price then, not so high that just the well off can afford it; but there is a lot of economic value being lost.

    Yes, the big question in everyone’s mind is, “are wolves easy or hard to hunt in a place like Idaho.” I reject Alaska comparisons. This isn’t at all like Alaska.

  68. avatar Ryan says:

    Ralph,

    Tag prices will be dictated by success rates in the future. If the quota fills fast, the tags will be more limited and the prices will increase. Just like anything else, the hoopla on this hunt will soon pass as well and tag sales will decline. I think it will be a economics thing and Supply and Demand will eventully set the price, just like any thing else.

  69. avatar JB says:

    Ryan,

    I would argue that their hatred is misplaced, as is hatred from the other side. The actual differences between people in this country are relatively small; unfortunately, they get blown out of proportion and exploited for the political and economic gain of a few.

    People on the far right have been especially adept at demonizing the left and anyone who sympathizes with them. In my view, the rhetoric from Limbaugh, Hannity, and their ilk borders on hate speech. But hey, this is America and we grant people the right to speak freely, even when they can’t (or at least refuse to) speak intelligently.

    It is a travesty that wolves have become a symbol in this cultural “war”. I think some day historians will look back on this mess and wonder what all the fuss was about.

  70. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    I will be interested to see what happens when the wolf season ends in both states. Maybe if it works well in Montana or Idaho Wyoming will have an actual plan for their wolves.

  71. IDFG has the wolf hunting rules posted and the limits for each hunting area. The Sawtooth Zone gets hammered with a Quota of 55 wolves allowed this fall & winter. That means the entire Phantom Hill Pack could be killed before the quota is filled and the season is closed for that zone. The wolf hunting zones and quotas for each are on the IDFG website: wolveshttp://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/hunt/wolf/wolfrules.pdf

  72. avatar Save bears says:

    Barring an injunction from the courts, the hunt is going to happen, and it does not matter how many tags are sold, both states have set a limit on how many wolves can be taken.

    One thing people need to realize, whether it happens now or next year or in the future, there is going to be a wolf hunting season, there has been so much rhetoric floating around for so long, let the season happen and lets look at the results, THEN reevaluate the season… and fine tune management…

    JB, I would have to say, the far left is just as adept at demonizing those on the right, there is NO front runner here, minds are made up on both sides and until such time as something actually happens, nobody knows what is going to happen..

  73. avatar Ryan says:

    JB,

    It could easily be replaced with:

    my view, the rhetoric from Marhar(sp), Moore, Garafalo, (take your pick) and their ilk borders on hate speech.

  74. avatar Ryan says:

    On a bright note Larry, they won’t be dieing from getting collared 🙂

  75. avatar JimT says:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/outposts/2009/08/idaho-wolf-hunt.html

    FWIW, I politely disagree about the timing of the hunt and its justification. I see nothing in any of the articles about science justifying such a large percentage of an ESA species, and when so many legal issues remain unresolved, the credibility shrinks to nothing, and it becomes what someone above said is a political issue. I am hoping the injunctions are granted and the hunts are prevented.

    The quotas seem like a viable measurement, until you start to think about the effects of random killings on intact pacts with social structures than can fall apart under such pressure. Do pups who are orphaned count as part of the quota since the likelihood they will survive a winter without the pack is zero? Are packs who fall apart as a result of the hunt considered anywhere in the Commissioners’ thinking?

    It is a vile business in both Montana and Idaho, fueled by hatred, myth, lies, ignorance, and more hatred by the grazing community and the large game folks who seem to deify elk and demonize wolves..all in the name of the almighty buck. I used to think I would be for re-introduction of the wolf to Rocky Mountain National Park, but the ugliness of the Idaho, Montana and Wyoming experiences over these years has put me on the other side now. Not because I don’t think the ecosystem there would benefit from restoring part of the natural order, but because I don’t want that kind of maelstrom to come here, nor am I sure anymore about the morality of taking wolves from Canada or Minnesota, and putting them in harm’s way as an experimental population to be vilified and killed. Let the wolves re-establish themselves. It will happen if the three populations are not killed back to such numbers as to count as defacto extirpation. Maybe that is why the urgency..to prevent nature from doing what it does best without the interference of man..re-establishing itself.

  76. avatar JimT says:

    Sorry..pacts should have been packs…

  77. avatar Save bears says:

    Jim,

    The key is they are not an ESA species in Montana and Idaho any longer…..remember they were removed

    I think far to many people are using speculation to say what is going to happen.

    As far as man not interfering, that is a pipe dream in this day and age, man interferes with every single thing, species or issue on the earth, there is no feasible way to go back to what it was..

  78. avatar Save bears says:

    Just to add, interference happens on both sides of this issue as well as many others…in modern society…

  79. avatar JimT says:

    The ESA status is in question due to the challenges in the court, and from what I have read, there is no legal or scientific basis for removing them in the first place. So, in my mind, until there is a final disposition of the issue, the science says they still deserve ESA status despite the political posturing that led to the de-listing.

    I agree it is speculation, but based on the past behavior and attitudes of the state game folks, FWS folks, grazing folks, state politicians, and big game enterprise folks, positing that this will be nothing but a bad thing for wolves and those of us who advocate for wolves seems to be a rational point of view. If they don’t meet the quota, they will just say it justifies ratcheting it up because not enough hunters were out there. If they meet or exceed the quota…someone mentioned the tag one, leave one approach…it is bad for the wolf populations. I don’t see a positive outcome from this, SB.

    And while we can’t restore the pristine ecosystems, we can do better than repeat past mistakes over and over and over. Or…maybe the human species is simply incapable of living in balance with the very systems upon which we depend for existence. There are times the human species reminds me too much of a virus that is constantly adapting for its own purposes, but ends up dooming itself by killing off the host.

  80. avatar Save bears says:

    Jim,

    Basically ever single species that has inhabited the earth, has taken advantage of their position to future their agenda, you may not see a positive outcome, but for the most part, none of us have a clue as to what the outcome will be.. we are no more or no less opportunistic than any other species..we only have the ability to reason, but we don’t have the ability to see into the future…we may very well be a virus that will end up dooming itself..

  81. avatar JimT says:

    I would generally agree, SB, except for the observation about human species being “no more or no less opportunistic” than any other species. No other species that we know of in the millions of years of life on this planet possesses the destructive capabilities when it comes to ecosystem alteration and destruction, and the facts show on balance, from the natural system’s point of view, we are its most potent enemy. We have the most potential in terms of intelligence; we also continue to demonstrate ignorance about other species that endangers their very existence. We ignore science about the intelligence and social structures of creatures like whales, elephants, dolphins, and treat them as if they were no more than commodities to use as we see fit for our own purposes. When we disappear as a species..and it will happen just like it has happened to others in spite of our vaunted intelligence, the natural systems of the earth will benefit from our lack of interference…

  82. avatar Smitty says:

    Larry,
    Actually there are only 10 tags for the hunt that the Phantoms are in. It is the Southern Mountains hunt and includes a huge expanse of territory including 10 hunting units. The Phantoms hang out for a large part in Unit 48 which is big enough by itself. The other nine or so units will really spread the hunt out. This hunt also does not open until Oct 1st, a month later than most of the other state and closes Dec. 1st which is three months earlier than many of the other hunts. The Phantoms have more to fear from WS than hunters.
    Smitty

  83. avatar Layton says:

    “We now have to decorate ourselves as well as our dogs in orange, so as not to be shot by drunk, camoclad, redneck, bubbas, who unlike ethical hunters will be out vengeance killing and shooting anything that might be a wolf.”

    So — could you tell me who these “ethical” hunters are?? Or should I just assume they are ANY hunters that don’t target wolves??

    Give it up!! The original agreement to START delisting wolves was for aprox. 300. That number is so far exceeded that it is rediculous!! And it has been for a number of years!!

    The “we love wolves” side has lost any sort of credibility over the last few years and it has become apparent to EVERYONE that pays any attention that there will NEVER be enough wolves in the wild for them to allow ANY to be harvested, killed, controlled, or otherwise harmed.

  84. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Smitty – the Phantoms sometimes leave Unit 48, in the Southern Mountain zone, and go over Galena Pass into Unit 36, the Sawtooth Zone, where the hunt starts in 13 days, is for seven months, and is for 55 wolves. I think the Phantoms have more to fear from the rabid anti-wolf crowd, some of which live in southern Blaine County, than Wildlife Services. The Phantoms are the most visible and most accessible pack in the Southern Mountain zone. The anti-wolf segment is likely slobbering over the chance to kill these beautiful black wolves, and parade them around Sun Valley and Ketchum. Am hoping national and world media will come to document this atrocity. In the meantime, wolf supporters must be getting ready to do a lot of target practicing around the dawn hours in the Phantoms territory.

  85. avatar Save bears says:

    Lynn,

    I really hope your right, unfortunately, so many of the pro-wolf crowd have made these animals “pets” so there is no win, wolves that people care about, will be killed and wolves people hate will be killed…but everyone has to realize, they are not pets, they are wild animals, and many people have become to attached to them. The phantoms may be killed but in the order of things, if this is good habitat for wolves then another pack will form and take their place..

    I would far prefer to see a regulated hunting season, than the free for all some have predicted…

  86. I think the Phantoms are going to be killed, and it will benefit for those who want to discredit Idaho wolf management if they are.

    I would hope they are not, but in my mind their demise and the aftermath is an easy prediction.

  87. avatar Smitty says:

    Ralph,
    You think that all of the Phantoms will be killed? I am sure that some of them will be killed but the entire pack? If they go over the hill and are shot at I am sure they will head back to the Boulders. I just recounted the hunting units in the Southern Mountains hunt and it is 14 units. How possible is it that the entire pack of 10 plus wolves will be shot before the quota of 10 is reached in the other 13 units?
    Lynn,
    Be careful with the education that you are giving the Phantoms. YOU could scare them over the hill into the Sawtooth Zone or acclimate them to gunfire. Also I believe that Fish and Game could cite you for harassing big game. It also sounds dangerous to be out shooting around hunters who are armed. There is lots of passion here, I would hate to see it errupt into violence.
    Smitty

    Smitty

  88. avatar Cynde M says:

    Linda Hunter et al —

    I beg to differ — wolves do NOT breed like rabbits. Consider the source of this info — the entire website is anti-wolf. Visit Defenders of Wildlife’s site http://www.defenders.org/

    Wolves moderate their pups, only one breeding pair per pack is the norm, and many packs do not have even ONE breeding pair. How is that “breeding like rabbits”? The entire three state wolf population (WY, MT, and Idaho) have less than 1600 wolves total. And the damage to cows and sheep is far less than was projected by the ranchers, AND they are compensated by Defenders for documated wolf killed animals.

    Wolves keep the coyote population in check and coyotes killed far more of the ranchers’ animals than wolves ever had.

    Google “trophic cascade” to find the value wolves have brought to their environment.

  89. avatar JB says:

    Ryan,

    While Bill Maher and Michael Moore are beloved by a few, they have had no where near the impact of Limbaugh, Hannity, and O’Reiley, who feed the masses fear and hate five days a week while masquerading as real journalists. In my opinion they are truly dangerous men. It is hard to underestimate the impact they’ve had…I shutter to think about what will happen when the kids who have grown up watching these clowns become adults. What they must believe…

  90. avatar JB says:

    Sorry, I have no desire to usurp the conversation. Please just disregard (or delete) my post above and move on.

  91. No I don’t think all the Phantoms will be killed, but the pack will disperse. Some members could end up many miles away, even in another state.

    That is true of all packs. They will be broken apart and there might be displaced wolves all over the country. That could be very good for having wolves colonize new areas. It could also be bad in that displaced wolves are more likely to kill livestock, especially livestock like sheep.

    I didn’t see anything from the commission meeting that they are going to monitor this. Maybe the department has some plans.

  92. avatar John d. says:

    295 to be killed for no reason other than to add a ‘game’ animal to the list. Has civilisation not advanced at all?

    As you have stated Ralph, there is no biological reason for this to occur – so why is the ID F&G claiming that it is for ‘sustaining’ wolf populations/game herds? If this is for the livestock growers to think they are safe from the ‘big bad wolf’ then what kind of message are we sending our later generations? If this is for quelling wolf hatred and tolerance, there’s little chance of that happening with the ‘I’m killing the killer’ crowd. As for respect, I have yet to see one photo or story (verbal or text) that displays a respect for predators by persons who practice predator killing.

    As Mikarooni stated in another article is not that difficult to kill wolves. Alaska and Canada can vouch for that.

  93. Rocky Barker says the Commission based their ideas on an Alaska wolf hunt study. It was a study done in the Brooks Range, which is very similar to Idaho 😉

    I have the full article, and I am reading it now.

  94. avatar keith says:

    Hunting only occurs when you eat what you kill otherwise it is just killing.

  95. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    “We now have to decorate ourselves as well as our dogs in orange, so as not to be shot by drunk, camoclad, redneck, bubbas, who unlike ethical hunters will be out vengeance killing and shooting anything that might be a wolf.”

    While I agree that this may be a little far-fetched, hopefully it will not come to that, there is some genuine cause for worry by pet owners, especially if they happen to have huskies. There will be some people (there always are for any species) who will be trigger-happy and may shoot anything that looks canine. I hope that any pet owners in these areas have the sense to keep their dogs on a short leash.

  96. avatar Cobra says:

    I hope the hunters that do harvest wolves this year at least show a little respect, for the wolves that are shot and the people that don’t want to see them on the front of a truck. I’ve hunted elk and deer my entire life and have yet to strap an animal .to the front of my truck or leave the tail gate open so people could see the animal, trophy or not. The animals deserve better than that and people that do not want to see it shouldn’t have to. Most of the game has been hauled out on a back pack so I guess it is easier to cover it up, but I still think showig off an animal sucks for the animal and the people that it bothers. Hopefully successful wolf hunters will show a little respect this year.

  97. avatar JB says:

    Cobra,

    More importantly, such displays give legitimate hunters a bad name.

  98. avatar John d. says:

    Cobra,

    That’s highly unlikely because at the root its all done for entertainment.

  99. avatar Brian Ellway says:

    Cynde M wrote:
    “Linda Hunter et al –

    I beg to differ — wolves do NOT breed like rabbits. Consider the source of this info — the entire website is anti-wolf. Visit Defenders of Wildlife’s site”

    Cynde,

    Defenderes of Wildlife’s entire site is pro-wolf so what makes them more credible? That’s part of the reason this issue is so explosive because people rely on website such as “saveelk” and “Defenders of Wildlife” for their so called knowledge instead of doing research and spending time in the field with these animals to come up with their own perspectives. Both of the sites listed above have a definite agenda and both are guilty of severely stretching truth to achieve their agendas.

  100. avatar JB says:

    Brian,

    Do you really think the information at Defenders is on par with SaveElk? Defenders is certainly guilty of spinning the policy debate, but at least they’re honest about the science. SaveElk is full of misinformation and stuff that doesn’t even qualify as psuedo-science. I’d say comparing the two in the same breath is a considerable stretch–and the courts would seem to agree. Defenders has won a number of lawsuits–many of them NOT focused on wolves–by knowing the science and holding federal agencies accountable to the law.

    I also find your accusation ironic, as more than a few people who post here have referred to Defenders as a “Brown” (as opposed to Green) NGO–meaning they aren’t nearly aggressive enough.

    To each his/her own, I guess.

  101. avatar Brian Ellway says:

    JB,

    I’m not saying they are on par with Saveelk just that they both are guilty of misinformation and spinning the facts to benefit their position. I have to disagree with you about them being totally honest when it comes to science also. But, that’s the nice thing about this forum, everyone can their own opinion without being ignorant to each other.

  102. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    Cynde M . . to set the record straight I was just being sarcastic . . sorry you took me to be so literal. I guess that just goes to show you, you can’t be too careful what you type here.

  103. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    JB, displaying animals on your vehicle does give people a bad name. Displaying dead wolves will probably evoke more emotion given the already strong feelings on them. Cobra, you are right that this is mostly going to be for entertainment and I can almost guarantee some redneck (in both states) will be going round town bragging about shooting a wolf and Defenders will get pictures and/or video.

  104. avatar Cobra says:

    Pro-wolf,
    Actually John d said the part about the entertainment. I just hope hunters that take wolves keep everything above board and low key. We don’t need anymore fuel on the fire. All it takes is a couple of bad seeds no matter what side they are on. If these hunts go well it could be proof of a successful re-introduction and could pave the way for common sense sportsmen and non-sportsmen to find a common ground and all work together on projects for the future.

  105. avatar Layton says:

    JB,

    Just curious here — If you consider what Hannity and Limbaugh etc. put out as “hate speech” — what do you consider the type of speech that goes on around here when referring to Idaho??

    I see red necks, spud butts, retarded, backward, etc., etc., etc., used on a daily basis when referring to the state in general or residents or politicians in particular when I’m reading on this blog. I don’t hear that sort of language if I happen to come on those guys on a local network.

    Don’t I listen enough?? 8)

  106. avatar Smitty says:

    “Defenderes of Wildlife’s entire site is pro-wolf so what makes them more credible? That’s part of the reason this issue is so explosive because people rely on website such as “saveelk” and “Defenders of Wildlife” for their so called knowledge instead of doing research and spending time in the field with these animals to come up with their own perspectives. Both of the sites listed above have a definite agenda and both are guilty of severely stretching truth to achieve their agendas”

    Great point- both extremes have an agenda, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

    Smitty

  107. avatar JB says:

    Layton,

    When it is intended to intimidate and demonize people with opposing groups, then I consider it hate speech. Ralph does a good job of keeping that sort of thing from going on here. I would argue there is a pretty clear distinction between someone who uses the term “redneck” while venting on a wildlife blog and someone who uses their job as a host of a national television (ostensibly) news program to purposefully demonize the political opposition with half-truths and outright lies.

    P.S. My guess is that many of us have referred to ourselves as “rednecks” at one time or another. You don’t strike me as the type to have such thin skin?

  108. avatar Layton says:

    Nope JB, I’m not one that has a thin skin.

    That said, I get damn tired of the rhetoric that goes on – mostly unchallenged – about the ignorance of Idaho and her people on here. Fairly suprisingly, by a lot of people that evidently choose to live and/or work here. On another thread one of those detractors was moaning because he failed to get a job here. Seems kind of hypocritical to me.

    You said
    “When it is intended to intimidate and demonize people with opposing groups, then I consider it hate speech”

    I think I agree, at least if you meant “demonize people with opposing “views”. And that is the kind of speech about my home state that I am talking about!!

    I guess “hate” is in the eye of the beholder.

  109. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Sorry Cobra. 🙂 I agree that this if this works out well then hunting groups and environmental groups can come up with a reasonable compromise. Maybe this will pave the way for future reintroductions. 🙂 Wishful thinking?

  110. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Smitty, you are right that the truth does lie in the middle concerning saveelk.com and Defenders. But I also have to say that is the beauty of living in the US of A. Groups like this are allowed to speak freely. (And we are allowed to disagree with them.)

  111. avatar JB says:

    “I get damn tired of the rhetoric that goes on – mostly unchallenged – about the ignorance of Idaho and her people on here. Fairly suprisingly, by a lot of people that evidently choose to live and/or work here.”

    Layton,

    People use the word “ignorant” when they believe others are uninformed about a particular topic. It is usually not used pejoratively, but apologetically (i.e. what can you expect, they’re ignorant). For example, if you wanted to make an excuse for someone you could say they were ignorant of local custom. If you wanted to insult them, you’d just call them stupid.

    In this case, I’m happy to report that I don’t think Idahoans are either. However, I think a fair proportion of them are profoundly mis-informed, at least in regards to environmental issues, and especially concerning wolves.

  112. avatar Layton says:

    Just one more little comment here and I’ll get out of hijack mode.

    JB,

    C’mon bud, are you REALLY trying to indicate that the word “ignorant”, when used to describe ANYTHING about Idaho or an Idaho resident on this blog, is used in ANY other way than pejoratively?? (the exception being your post above)

    I might have been born yesterday, but it wasn’t really late yesterday!! 8)

  113. avatar rick says:

    I know this if off of the main topic, but on the topic of civility in dialogue. I did a quick review of several different threads and found that very few groups are safe from criticism on this site. Happily, I can say in some cases people condemned some of the negative comments. In no particular order, here is the result of my quick search.

    “Confederate flag clenchers” – people from Catron County NM.
    “These bastards need to be stopped” -WS
    These people are sick and disgusting” -WS
    “dumb asses” -people in general
    “Ranchers are the biggest whiners and worryworts”
    “Idaho Nazi bird cops”
    “Whining greedy anglers”
    “Bait dunkin’ whiners”
    “I do realize that WS does some good stuff; of course hilter also did some nice things for his relatives as well”
    “Secretive lying killers”-WS
    “Inbred agency” -WS
    “Trash, absolute trash” -WS
    “…They are too busy harboring men that are married to five women and have 50 kids” -Utahans
    “Some would say they have been permenently traumatized for a long time due to other obvious reasons” -Utahans
    “idiots in bear country toting guns (by idios, avg AK tourists etc”
    “Spudheads”
    “Knuckle dragging legislators of ID”
    “Belligerent, self aggrandizing idiots” -tourists in YNP

    It is clear that I didn’t look at many posts regarding grazing or I would have a lot of euphemisms for ranchers and sheepmen.

  114. avatar JB says:

    JB said:

    “When it is intended to intimidate and demonize people with opposing groups, then I consider it hate speech. Ralph does a good job of keeping that sort of thing from going on here.”

    Rick: I suppose I deserve to eat some crow on this one…metaphorically, of course; we wouldn’t want to upset any of those half-baked, animal-rights types. Wait, did I just… oh, never mind. 😉

    But more to the point, again…”I would argue there is a pretty clear distinction between someone who uses the term “redneck” while venting on a wildlife blog and someone who uses their job as a host of a national television (ostensibly) news program to purposefully demonize the political opposition with half-truths and outright lies.”

    P.S. I have taken a lot of heat on this site for defending WS in the past.

  115. avatar Rick says:

    JB,

    My point in finding these was not to “prove you wrong.” On most of the posts that i got the WS comments from, you were the only one defending some of WS’s work. In fact, it was pretty easy to find the quotes I selected because there are a select few people whose posts I could scan for that were most likely to resort to name calling and the comments I selected. Most of the people whose opinions I am especially interested in on this website were not the ones making these types of comments. While people may not (and don’t necessarily need to) change their beliefs, I would hope to be able to have civil discussions and perhaps find some understanding of one another. Perhaps wishful thinking. I know you have commented on this before.

  116. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Rick, I see that there were no bad comments about Wyomingites and Montanans so I guess I’m OK. 🙂

  117. avatar rick says:

    ProWolf,

    I am from Idaho and currently living in Utah so I think I am in pretty rough shape.

  118. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    I don’t know who came up with the idea, that the Phantom Hill wolves are “pets” or “boutique”. They are a strong pack that happens to be visible because of the nature of topography of the Wood River valley. They live with the sights and sounds of vehicles, bicycles, campers and hikers all through their home range throughout the year.

    Smitty – the Phantoms sometimes go over Galena Pass on their own. The times I tried to scare them was when they were standing on Highway 75 at daybreak sniffing around a road kill. I am versed in how to legally shoot a firearm. I realize you don’t know me, or my experience, or the country, but there’s no way that firing a couple of shots to scare a wolf that’s 10 miles from Ketchum, is going to send it 20 miles away over Galena.

    Three of the Phantoms have been hit on Highway 75. The wolves should not be standing at the side of or in some cases, even the middle of the road.

  119. avatar JB says:

    “While people may not (and don’t necessarily need to) change their beliefs, I would hope to be able to have civil discussions and perhaps find some understanding of one another.”

    Rick, sorry I missed your reply. All I can say is that I agree. I don’t want to make excuses for anyone, but I think people (in general) have a tendency to lash out when they’re angry and feel like they have no power.

  120. avatar Cindy Fernandez says:

    Defenders of Wildlife is pro wolf BUT at least they get their facts straight. Wolves mate for life.The pack structure or family stays together as well. There are only one litter of pups born a year to one breeding pair in a pack.(The phrase “breeding like rabbits” would apply better to man than wolves.) If one of the breeding pair gets shot, the whole pack is displaced and of course the pups would not survive if it happens to be the mother. These are facts. How long will it take to wipe the wolves out under these circumstances? I think not long. Man, as usual, just likes to screw things up.

  121. Thanks for your input Cindy. You are mostly right, especially that they don’t breed like rabbits.

    Some packs do have several breeding pairs, although there is little evidence that this leads to rapid population growth except when prey is very abundant — most of the extra pups die.

    I do think the evidence shows that when both of the alpha pair die or are shot, the pack often disintegrates.

  122. avatar Ken Cole says:

    From reading reports over several years it appears that if the alpha female is killed during pregnancy or shortly thereafter the pack disintegrates.

  123. avatar Save bears says:

    Cindy,

    You are mistaken, Wolves may breed with each other for life, but they are also opportunistic and will breed outside the pack when the the right set of circumstances present them self..

    Yes, often times when the Alpha is killed a pack will disperse, but many times, members of the pack will again group up and start their own pack.

    wolves don’t breed like rabbits, but they are prolific breeders when the conditions are good, in times the conditions are not good, they are not prolific in their breeding patterns..

    Wolves are a lot like humans, we marry and breed with one(at least if your faithful) but when pack dynamics change and members are lost, they will in fact take another mate and breed again…wolves maintain first the need to eat and then the need to propagate, but they are not always faithful…

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