Judge ponders rather than rule. Idaho wolf hunt begins Sept. 1; Montana Sept 15-

Idaho’s first wolf hunt will begin as scheduled tomorrow. Judge Molloy heard the arguments and said he’d decide as quickly as he could, but he did not issue an injunction.

Wolf hunts are on as judge eyes request to stop. By Matthew Brown. AP in the Idaho Statesman.

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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.

27 Responses to Wolf hunts are on as judge eyes request to stop

  1. avatar JW says:

    What nobody on this blog has mentioned is the likely the increased feelings for anti-hunting or for this hunt giving people/hunters a bad name. What I mean by this is that hunting is obviously becoming less and less popular.
    While this blog talks a lot of hunter backlash against wolves if the hunts are stopped by the courts, I bet there will be more and more people that view hunting as killing for sport since there is really no need to kill wolves like there might be for meat animals.

  2. avatar Save bears says:

    JW,

    comparatively speaking those paying any real attention to this issue is a very small percentage of the US, so I would suspect it will have very little bearing on how the general population feels about hunters…

  3. avatar JEFF E says:

    That depends I think. If a good number of hunters start parading dead pups up and down ” main street” much as then the big market media could very well pick it up if only for a short run

  4. avatar Jim says:

    Do you think the judge is waiting to see if the hunt gets out of control and there are more and more reports of potential poaching? Perhaps giving him more ammunition for an injunction. I tend to think that some people might get a little trigger happy…..

  5. avatar JimT says:

    Jim, you are on the right track, I think. Malloy is looking for some actual damages…ie, reports of gut shot wolves, or other violations of the rules, and that way he has political cover. I am hoping the enviro community will have lots of folks there with cameras to record the dead wolf bodies and go viral on You Tube. This bothers more folks than just us..look at the reaction to the DOW video on Palin and shooting wolves. That one video, along with Tina Fey, did more to discredit Palin than any other political ad. Let’s hope Malloy comes to his senses soon and rules based on the law and science, not yahoo politics.

    Layton once wonder about deifying wolves. I have to ask the same about the elk…Interesting that comments on the newspaper website are running anti hunt, and wondering why folks in Idaho think elk are endangered when numbers are up…

  6. avatar dave smith says:

    The lines between hunters and non-hunters were drawn years ago; I don’t think wolf hunts (or grizzly bear hunts) will change things one bit.

    Some so-called hunters are quite ignorant about wildlife, but Yale prof. S. Kellert did some sort of surveys that showed noboby knew less about wildlife than save the (choose your species) environmentalists.

  7. avatar JimT says:

    Sigh..we had this discussion months ago about that study, and came to the conclusion there is plenty of ignorance about wildlife among hunters and non hunters alike. I don’t buy the general assumption among some of the hunting group that learning how to kill an animal gives them a defacto degree in wildlife biology. In fact, I am betting that IF they did go through school and get a wildlife biology degree, the hunting would cease out of respect for the animals…~S~

    As for me, I am a non hunter, but believe that if one is killing prey animals on the same basis as animal predators…you need to kill to survive…I have no problem with that at all, and there are plenty of folks who really do need the deer or elk or caribou meet to feed their families through the winter. But the sport hunting, trophy hunting, even the “I eat it therefore it is ok even if I don’t need it to feed my family”…don’t buy it. I have always felt I would have more respect for the hunting community in general if they supported the restoration of their “fellow predators” like wolves, bears, lions, coyotes, bobcats….rather than generally resisting efforts to do so.

  8. avatar JimT says:

    meat, not meet. Jim Mac and I need to hit the Send button a little less quickly…VBG…

  9. avatar Save bears says:

    Jeff,

    they paraded limpy around as well as other wolves that were killed when they were delisted last time, I didn’t see on mainstream big media outlets say anything about it, it would be big news on small town news stations, but not much else, I just don’t see CNN, MSNBC, ABC, FOX really paying that much attention to this..

    Beings we all take about these issues everyday, we would like to think the rest of the country really pays attention to it, but just take the bison issue as an example, how many have really paid attention?

  10. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    That depends I think. If a good number of hunters start parading dead pups up and down ” main street” much as then the big market media could very well pick it up if only for a short run.

    I think that is very likely to happen.

    Some so-called hunters are quite ignorant about wildlife, but Yale prof. S. Kellert did some sort of surveys that showed noboby knew less about wildlife than save the (choose your species) environmentalists.

    I think that the word some should be changed to many.

  11. Save Bears,

    Last time, shooting “Limpy” was the one most significant thing that paved the way for the injunction.

    The Salt Tribune Tribune immediately got in contact as soon as they heard Limpy was shot. He was a famous wolf — the 3-legged wolf that went to Utah. The story really got around and fast!

    The person who leaked the story to me and a couple others perhaps should be acknowledged some day.

  12. avatar Ken Cole says:

    I thought Limpy just left where he was shot.

  13. avatar Rich W. says:

    I am pro wolf and have done many volunteer hours worth of wolf education in the Sawtooth area years ago. I am also a hunter and was out yesterday for opening day of elk for bow season. I do not claim to be a wildlife biologist nor do I think I totally understand the ecosystem in which I live in. I do understand that without a natural predator to keep the system in balance that the population cannot be as healthy as they should be. I am a meat hunter and do not go for trophy animals nor do I hunt predators the like. It makes me very sad to know that many wolves are going to be killed in the name of sport in fact it makes me just as sad to hear fellow hunters tell stories of bears and cougars they have taken but I keep my mouth shut as it is their right to do so.

    I wonder at what point did the State seem to know how to manage other predators. What is a sufficient number of wolves or bears or cougars to condone a hunt for them. These are things I do not understand about my environment and the people who claim to be experts on how many predators should be aloud to live in a given area. I do not support the hunt for wolves but I do question both the State as well as the environmentalist as to where the number supports having a hunt. I read this blog often and rarely respond to comments made within here but obviously the State and the Federal agencies (though be it wolf haters) seem to think there is a viable amount of wolves to hunt. I am sure that decision came with help and pressure from the Cattleman’s Association and outfitters who have to actually hunt animals now instead of taking killers to the same meadows they have used for the last 50 years plus. What do environmentalist think is a viable amount to condone a hunt? I am sure I will take some heat for asking this question but I just feel as though I need to know the math behind all of this. I truly believe that the hunters are going to force the wolves back into Federal protection after this is all said and done just from the lack of understanding and a hatred that is very deep within themselves for wolves. I do not believe in killing wolves because of a few head of livestock was lost on public land and was not properly protected. Public land belongs to all of us as well as the animals, I believe that livestock producers take their chances on public land with predators. I have different views about grazing on private land however as a man must pay taxes to maintain that land for his business but that is a different conversation.

    So at the risk of being considered anti-wolf which I am most certainly not I would like to know what environmentalists think is a viable wolf population to consider for hunting or do we believe wolves should never be killed or hunted. This is what I do not understand about my environment.

  14. There many people like myself that used to hunt a lot, but feel that we have killed enough and prefer to watch or photograph wildlife today. I think it is something many hunters go through.
    I think this blog is too quick to depict all hunters as evil destroyers of wildlife, when the truth is that many former or less active hunters are the most knowledable and most ardent supporters of wolves and other predators.

  15. avatar jerryB says:

    Check out this video in front of the courthouse …Ron Gillette and “friends” with their Canadian Wolf signs.
    http://www.missoulian.com/news/local/article_a2b12514-962e-11de-bf0d-001cc4c002e0.html

  16. Larry, I hope you don’t include the owner of the blog among those.

    I try to keep anti-hunting extremism down in the posts, often by not allowing them to comment; just like with anti-wolf crazy comments.

  17. From what I have heard about the hearing this morning (folks’ impressions), the actual conduct and/or outcome of the hunts are going to have a huge effect on how the judge rules on the injunction and the entire case.

  18. Ralph-
    I should have said SOME on this blog are too quick to consider all hunters and hunting as evil.
    I hunted Idaho from the Lochsa to the Owyhees, from Palisades to Hell’s Canyon, and on both sides of the Middle Fork of the Salmon, all over the Stanley Basin and all of the Lost River Country, the Lemhi Mountains and others too numerous to mention, on horseback and on foot starting in the 1950s.
    I backpacked the Sawtooths, Copper Basin, the Bighorn Craigs, Woodtick Ridge, White Goat Lake and many other places. I hiked to numerous Idaho Mountain Lakes to fish. If I wasn’t hunting or fishing, I was picking up antlers or just exploring.
    In all of that time and in all of those places, (Before 1995) I never saw a wolf, heard a wolf howl, crossed a wolf track, or had one visit my campfire. I never met anyone who did.
    Now when I go out, I often hear or see wolves and enjoy every minute of it.

  19. avatar gline says:

    Do you think the judge knows about the wolves that were poisoned last week? That “old judge” is trying to be fair, but I agree with Earthjustice that Idaho cant be trusted because of what happened the last time wolves were removed from protection. There is so much hatred of them now and such a political issue that brings up civil war, I think it is insane to have a wolf hunt. Time will tell…and everyone is watching.

  20. avatar BrianTT says:

    gline, what wolves that were poisoned? There have been no lab results back yet on the cause of death of the six pups at Ditto Flats if those are what you are referring to.

  21. avatar Gerry Miner says:

    “they paraded limpy around”
    “I thought Limpy just left where he was shot.”
    in my understanding, no one ever knew who the hunter was who shot 253. and paraded him around? did you see pictures of him posted somewhere? other wolves, yes (and even some fake pictures of wolves from Daniel, WY that were actually from Alaska). i believe 253 was mounted by a taxidermist near Jackson.

  22. avatar JB says:

    “i believe 253 was mounted by a taxidermist near Jackson.”

    I’ve heard this about sheep herders, but never taxidermists?! 😉 Sorry, I couldn’t resist, Gerry.

    —-
    Have been away for a few days taking some time with my son (who just turned one). Looks like a lot happened while I was gone!

  23. avatar JimT says:

    Another weakness of that study is that it was conducted back East. Since I may be one of the few on this list who has spent considerable living time (Native Vermonter, undergraduate, DC work) in the East, I can tell you that most of the folks associate environmentalism with EPA issues…recycling, pollution of air, water, and land, water quality….and too many of them can’t conceive of the western land and species issues that are dominant here..especially water quantity.

    I agree with Ralph’s comment about the impact of the hunt on the judge’s ruling eventually, but it just goes to point out how skewed this process has become. The judge’s ruling should rely on the law and the applicable science, not appeasement of grazing and game industry advocates, or looking to avoid impeachment. The delisting wasn’t justified by science or the law, and look what Bush’s folks and their political sabotage of the law has brought us to..hoping “only” hundreds of wolves are killed.

  24. avatar timz says:

    The Statesman has already put up pictures of some hillbilly posing with his dead wolf.

  25. avatar gline says:

    Yes Brian TT and I guess we are still waiting for those lab results to see if those wolves were poisoned or not. What else would you think it would be? something like starvation? I’m trying to think of another cause of a mass die off like that…

  26. avatar BrianTT says:

    Starvation is a possibility. Drinking from an Algae Bloom also a possibility. Could be lots of things. It’s odd to me that only the pups died and no adults if it was poison or algae bloom for that matter. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

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