Quota of 75 will be reached-

Updated Montana wolf hunt ends today. By Matthew Brown. Associated Press.

It looks to me like wolf hunting has been easier in Montana than Idaho. Although over 100 wolves have now been killed in Idaho, Idaho’s hunt began earlier and goes longer.  Idaho also has about 50% more wolves than Montana.

The AP story above is a new longer version. In it we learn for the first time that Idaho’s Fish and Game Commissioners are thinking of being duplicitous and extending the wolf season in some parts of Idaho’s already overlong season.  From my perspective, one that admittedly lacks information because Idaho Fish and Game has given out very little specific information about the hunt, I don’t think it has been all that terrible. However, changing the rules, such as extending the season, is exactly what critics of the hunt predicted would happen.

Montana wolf hunting season status page.
Idaho wolf hunting status page.

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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.

152 Responses to Montana wolf hunt to end today

  1. avatar gline says:

    Thank God.

  2. avatar Elk275 says:

    To the wolf people: As of noon today there is still a quota of 3 left in district 1 and a quota of 1 left in district 2 but all hunting closes tonight at sunset. It will be interesting to see what else is turn in tonight.

  3. avatar timz says:

    who are the wolf people?

  4. avatar gline says:

    lol timz

    my question would be are there any state biologists doing research on effects of the hunt on wolves now and in the near future. Guess that will come up in next years’ population numbers…

  5. avatar gline says:

    Interesting? ya so interesting.

  6. avatar Layton says:

    When it comes to being “duplicitous”, if F&G is changing numbers in mid-stream (and right now it doesn’t sound like it) they CERTAINLY don’t have a monopoly on doing that.

    Does anybody remember the old “30 breeding pairs for 4 years” scenario?

  7. avatar jerryB says:

    timz
    “who are the wolf people?”
    Ha! That’s great! They’re kinda like those bands of little people we used to run into in the Cascades. We called them “Monads”.
    They appreciated beauty and unlike those ignorant of it, didn’t kill it.

  8. avatar jerryB says:

    gline..
    “my question would be are there any state biologists doing research on effects of the hunt on wolves now and in the near future. Guess that will come up in next years’ population numbers…”

    That’s a question that needs to be asked of MFWP…doesn’t do much good here and that’s the problem……….nobody takes them to task over these issues. Write MFWP!!!!
    Copy to all these:
    casime@mt.gov
    kmcdonald@mt.gov
    jmaurier@mt.gov
    fwpcomm@mt.gov

  9. avatar Jeff says:

    Layton-Don’t forget the 30 breeding pairs was but one of three criteria, It was never THE criteria for delisting.

  10. avatar JimT says:

    Geez, Layton, can you give the whole anti-Fed a rest? Or find another dead horse to beat? Boring….

    IF Idaho does extend it, I can guarantee the plaintiffs will be immediately knocking on Malloy’s door, claiming bad faith and asking for an immediate injunction and summary judgment. And he might be just ticked off enough to do it.

  11. avatar steve c says:

    Do they want to extend the season until until January when Molloy rules and the party for them ends?

  12. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Since Idaho is considering extending its season, let’s just wait and see who has a season next year. At least Montana is attempting some responsibility. (Can’t say the same about Wyoming).

    On another note, wolves around the country might be doing a little sigh of relief.

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/33970359/ns/today-today_books/?GT1=43001

  13. avatar Cindy says:

    Well for any of you familiar with the Wolf Meditation I did yesterday morning, it went beautifully. I awoke at 5:00 am, went out and lit a small bonfire to keep away the chill as it read only 5 degrees on the thermometer–brrr. Having filled a small bottle with water from the Snake River, I visualized wolves along the river route, drinking and leaving their saliva and breath for me to capture in the bottle. After a 45 minute mediation, I opened my eyes and dawn was just starting to creep over the mountain above our home. I then sprinkled the river water onto the fire and thought of all the wolves that had been killed in this first legal hunt since they were wiped out. I imagined each wolf returning to where it originated. For some of you this will just plain be too “woo-woo”, but I must say, it was a powerful tribute to this magnificent animal. And to all you who supported me – THANK YOU. One hunt down, one to go.

  14. avatar jerryB says:

    Thanks Cindy……I had my own ceremony early that morning with my dogs in the Rattlesnake Hills as the sun came up.
    Jerry…..(the guy that distributed your beautiful cards at the Wolf Conference in Chico 2 years ago.)

  15. avatar gline says:

    Wolves won’t be sighing relief, they are wondering where their family members went… and yes they are “family” members.

  16. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    I just meant they will be happy not to have a president who endorses aerial gunning so rabidly.

  17. avatar Barb says:

    Check out the new DVD on top predators:

    http://www.lordsofnature.org/about.html

  18. avatar gline says:

    Thanks for the links jerry. no, doesnt do much good here, but wont do much good with them either, I dont think.

  19. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    ProWolf – you are correct, “their” President does not support aerial gunning – how could he – he is too busy rabidly destroying jobs for Americans.

  20. avatar jerryB says:

    Barb Says:
    November 16, 2009 at 11:46 PM
    Check out the new DVD on top predators:

    http://www.lordsofnature.org/about.html
    Barb…..this is the kind of educational information that needs to get out to the people because Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks does a miserable job when it comes to education.
    As shown in this film, Minnesota will spend 5 years on education before they even think about a hunt.
    I attended another showing of “Lords of Nature” yesterday at he U. of M. Law School……the word is getting around.
    I urge “wolf people” to contact Greenfire Productions for a copy and have a showing.

  21. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    JimT

    “IF Idaho does extend it, I can guarantee the plaintiffs will be immediately knocking on Malloy’s door, claiming bad faith and asking for an immediate injunction and summary judgment. And he might be just ticked off enough to do it.”

    What leads you to this conclusion? The quota apparently would not change, just the timeframe for meeting it. What is the basis for “bad faith?”

  22. avatar Cindy says:

    Jerry – Thank you for the kind words. I remember you’d help distribute my wolf cards last year. I’d love to be apart of a group that figures out a plan to keep the Annual Wolf Meeting going. Do I remember it has collapsed this year?

    Talks to Bears – Who’s “their” president?

  23. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    Cindy – ask ProWolf – I was just following the lead.

  24. avatar jerryB says:

    Cindy…….Yes, “Defenders” has decided not to go forward with the conference. I agree, it would be a benefit to keep it going, but will take a few non-profits to get it done.
    Maybe you can talk to “Nabecki” about putting something on her website.

  25. avatar Chuck says:

    Ok now this really ticks me off. Ok think about this in all of the other controlled hunting seasons in Idaho if the quota is not met big deal the season still gets closed. IDFG lack of caring about the wolves is rediculous. But on a lighter note if IDFG makes a mistake in their decision and more wolves are killed then suppose to be killed do you think they will not have a wolf season next year. Ya right. Also what ever happened to their talk about a wildlife viewing area, was that mentioned just to shut up the people who love wolves??? Oh and on another forum I go to often, the other day a 217lb wolf was killed here in Idaho. You know some of these anti’s don’t amount to anything more then knuckle dragger born in the wrong year. Ok am getting off my soap box now.

  26. avatar jerryB says:

    Chuck…good point, especially since they preach…”we treat them just like other big game animals”.

  27. avatar Save bears says:

    I want to hear or see more about this “217lb” wolf?

  28. avatar jerryB says:

    SB….those collars are heavy!!

  29. avatar Ryan says:

    SB,

    It was a picture of a wolf that was WS kill to my knowledge taken at the right picture angle. Much like the monster man eating bear killed by the army officer in AK or the giant moose crossing a walking path in AK. Just another internet email passed around posted on some board by someone who didn’t do any fact checking on it.

  30. avatar Save bears says:

    I was gong to say!

    I also saw one the other day about a 250lb wolf taken in Alberta, which I know was not true..

  31. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Chuck

    “Ok now this really ticks me off. Ok think about this in all of the other controlled hunting seasons in Idaho if the quota is not met big deal the season still gets closed.”

    Not sure you got that one quite right, Chuck. If I understand the way things work in ID and alot of other states, if a quota is not met, say for example not enough deer are taken in a critical management area, sometimes a game commission will extend a season to meet harvest objectives. A decision on extending a wolf season is no different, especially if, in their words, they chose a quota which was very conservative as against their management objective.

    And, if recall correctly, several of the USFWS and ID game biologists opined before the hunt started that the total harvest number might not be met. One can argue that indivudual management unit quotas may have been taken too quickly. The states have said they learned from this experience, and may make adjustments.

    And, if as most of us believe, the plaintiffs DPS argument will likely carry the day, the states will want to harvest as many wolves as is legally permissible during the pendency of the suit, just to try to keep populations near the minimum targets they were promised.

  32. avatar nabeki says:

    They already have the Sawtooth and Lolo gonig for seven months to March 31….right through wolf mating season. Looking at the numbers it looks like they might try to extend the Salmon (13), Selway (13) and Panhandle (19). Those are the remaining zones with any significant amount of wolves plus they have (55) and (27) in Lolo and Sawtooth.

    This is just wrong!! It’s bad enough the other two zones are open until the end of March but now they’re going to add a few more to that LONG SEASON.

    My theory is this. Montana behaved itself because they knew Molloy was watching. Idaho can hardly contain itself. If Molloy allows the delisting to stand the future seasons will be harsher in both states. They’ll have free rein over the wolves and that will be the end of the them, period.

    I’m feeling sick.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  33. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Nabeki

    The future is not quite as bleak as you portray. Your take on the comparison between MT and ID is also a bit off, in my view. There is no evidence whatsoever that MT was trying to placate Molloy because he was watching – except maybe the conservative total number of the harvest, and that was to be expected.

    MT achieved its 75 wolf harvest early – season closes as agreed based on total number (very sadly the Yellowstone wolves were part and MT definitely screwed that part up). ID does not achieve its 220 harvest, and is not even at 50%. The larger harvest number was based on their base of 2X the number of wolves as MT, and an apparent faster population growth rate. ID wants to adjust individual unit seasons.

    If, as some predict, the delisting will not stand based on the DPS technical legal arguments, the season may not go past the date of Molloy’s anticpated ruling, which may be in January.

  34. avatar nabeki says:

    Muse,
    I don’t trust the states to do what’s right by the wolves and that’s why I’m so skeptical. I can’t stand the way they talk about harvesting them, as if they’re a crop. Maybe hunting people don’t mind those terms but wolf people take umbrage to them.

    There is so much animus against wolves in the two states you’d think people were talking about terrorists. Even though I don’t trust the feds with them either I’d rather have wolves back under ESA protection. Wildlife Services will still be killing them, that’s not going to stop, We don’t need wolf hunts and that’s my position.

    I hope Molloy doesn’t let the wolf people down.

  35. avatar Save bears says:

    I don’t think I would get my hopes up to much with Malloy, if in fact these seasons show no detriment in the populations of wolves, which some have made the argument that is why he allowed the hunts to continue, I have learned the hard way over the years, to not get my hopes up when it comes to the Federal Bench.., no matter what side of the issue I am on. I think, just my personal opinion the lawsuits are being filed in the wrong direction, they should be going after Wildlife services, where the real harm has been done and will continue to be done, no matter what Malloy rules on listing.

  36. avatar hilljack says:

    Wow all hot and bothered about extending the season in one or two units. Not a very big deal in the long run but I think it is funny how crazy people get every time some little mention of wolves occurs. Its been 20+ years since wolf reintroduction talks began and its even more polar now than then when the rancher really did rule the west. I know they still do in areas but it seems pretty evident to me times are changing. I prefer them extending the season to sportsman rather than letting Wildlife Services go in a kill them. Either way they will get there quota.

  37. avatar nabeki says:

    Save Bears,
    I completely agree with you on Wildlife Services. They are the real problem but to me the wolf hunts are symbolic of intolerance. It’s the idea that we’re going to lord over them, that they’re seen as competition. So you’re right, Wildlife Services is a much bigger threat to wolves but symbolically the hunts are a disaster for wolves. And I still believe if we lost on the lawsuit, Idaho and Montana would become more aggressive with quotas and their approach.

    As for Molloy he doesn’t like the way the delisting was handled, cutting Wyoming out because their plan would never fly for delisting purposes. Since wolves can’t read state boundary signs that doesn’t wash.. For that reason alone I think he’ll restore ESA. I think he’s understands wolves are becoming genetically isolated from each other, especially Yellowstone’s wolves and the wolf hunts only furthered that.

    Wildlife Services took out the Sage Creek Pack which roamed the wildlife corridor between Montana and Idaho, they could have eased Yellowstone’s wolves’ isolation.

    So for both of those reasons I think we’ll prevail in the lawsuit.

  38. avatar Elk275 says:

    nabeki

    You have your opinion and we all have are opinion and they should all be respected. But, the poll conducted by MSUB indicates that 75% of the people are for a wolf hunt and I am sure that would be higher for the people in Wyoming and Idaho. These people have there feelings also. I think that these 3 states were forced to have wolves regardless what they feeling were.

    The Sage Creek Pack ranged on a checker board pattern of private, state and federal land. The pack kill domestic livestock on private land. I do not feel that a stockgrower has to take that kind of loss even if they are paid for there loss. If one can not have what they want, then they go to court and let on man rule, that is not right.

  39. avatar Jim says:

    If the hunt is extended and if the numbers are somehow manipulated to mean a larger number of wolves will be shot, there’s your bad faith…no scientific justification, no legal justification except they want more wolves shot under the auspices of a “legitimate hunt.”.

    Remember, Malloy now has the grizz case as well, and doesn’t like to appear as if he is being taken advantage of. No judge does. Look at what Brimmer does….the man should retire.

    No one was forced. There was a process, legal and everything. I promise..go look it up in the wolf history books…~S~

  40. avatar Jim says:

    If the ranchers are paid for the wolf kills, where is the damage to them? Certainly not financial, and they lose more cattle and sheep to poor husbandry practices, illness and environmental factors than any wolf pack has killed over the course of a grazing season. There has to be demonstrable harm, proof and a legal wrong that can be redressed in any lawsuit. What harm? Do they lose sleep wondering when the check will get there? C’mon….

    So much for the Marlborough Man tough guy image….VBG…looking for handouts and to be rescued…

  41. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Jim

    You are manufacturing a “bad faith” case, which does not exist. ID just wants to extend the season in specific units to meet the 220 quota. Are you aware of something tangible that says the state is going to increase the numbers higher than 220? If not, there would be no basis for your claim.

    And Jim, regarding you last post, there are additional damages potentially accruing to livestock owners (mind you I am not supporting the argument, just acknowedging that it exists) that are not compensated.

    Livestock in the presence of wolves that have harassed them, as well as ungulates, lose weight worrying about whether they are going to be eaten. Livestock prices at sale are based on weight of the animal. Then there are the increases costs to livestock owners for additional fencing, including maintenance and repair, herd surveillance (dogs, sheperds, riders, etc.), other animal husbandry practices to keep the place clean and free from carcasses, and the dead animals thought to have been killed by wolves but not found. The U of Wisconsin, Ag. Extension Department did a study on this. Don’t know whether it was quantitative.

    These costs ARE ADDITIVE to other sources of mortality and would not be incurred but for the presence of wolves.

  42. avatar nabeki says:

    Elk…
    Not sure about that poll, I do know many Montanans don’t love wolves but that’s because of all the wolf hating dogma that’s spewed here. If FWP would spend more money on education I guarantee hearts and minds would be changed. It’s always the same lame “facts” that are thrown around but the real truth is wolves kill a very small percentage of livestock. FWP is in a tit-for-tat type management of wolves. I believe in 2008 wolves in Montana killed 200 cows and 100 wolves were lethally removed. That is just unacceptable. Most cattle deaths are attributed to weather, disease and reproduction. But ranchers, who are reimbursed for wolf kills are constantly screaming to the feds and states. Coyotes and domestic dogs kill more cattle then wolves. So who is skewing facts to demonize wolves?

    Secondly, the Sage Creek Pack got in trouble initially because they killed ONE sheep at the dumb government run Sheep Experiment Station, that sits between Montana and Idaho.

    Who’s fault is it that wolves get in trouble with livestock anyway? Many if not most of the predation takes place on public land grazing lots. That land belongs to the American people and the wolf is native to those lands, not cattle. If we got the cattle off our public lands, wolf predation wouldn’t even be an issue.

    Besides who do these wolves belong to? Montana, Idaho, Wyoming or all Americans? Do we own them because they roam inside our borders?

  43. avatar Elk275 says:

    nabeki

    In the last 3 years there has been several times when I was hunting elk that wolves had scared off my game or have hunted the area that I just hiked into and chasing off the elk. Ten years ago this was not a problem, the elk have changed their habits. I have talked to several hunters this year who have seen wolves chasing elk and it has ruined there hunt. In the Bitteroots, south of Missoula either sex elk permits have been eliminated or reduce because of wolf predation. In the Beartooth’s moose permits have been reduced because of wolves.

    The FWP is funded by hunting and fishing licenses and I do not want my money used to to promote wolves. If you want to educate the public then use your money. Anyway one talks about it, wolves eat elk, deer, mountain goats and antelope. The state of Montana and the FWP since the early 1900 hundred’s has work to restore are big game herds to the levels that we have today. With out these animals there would be no food and no wolves.

    The wildlife has traditionally belonged to the state and court cases have establish that. I as a hunter do not want ANY REDUCED hunting opportunity because of wolves. Yes, I like a few wolves and I though at first that they would be great. The wolves would move the elk off of private ranches and on to the public lands; it has not worked that way.

    The way I feel about it is like this: There is going to be a pot luck dinner with hunters and their children and the wolf lovers with their wolves. Everyone loves the outdoors and everyone will get along fine. The hunters show up at the the pot luck bring their elk and deer, which they spend 100 years restoring todays levels. The wolf lovers show up with there token chips and dip and their wolves. Everyone sits down to eat and the wolf lover’s eat their chips and dip. Their wolves start munching on the hunter’s deer and elk, no one minds at first, it is a pot luck. But the wolves continue eating and soon the number of deer and elk are diminished. Then there are problems.

  44. avatar timz says:

    As a wildlife viewer and amateur photographer I do not want ANY REDUCED viewing or photo opportunities because of hunters killing wildlife.

  45. avatar Elk275 says:

    timz

    ++As a wildlife viewer and amateur photographer I do not want ANY REDUCED viewing or photo opportunities because of hunters killing wildlife.++

    Wildlife viewer and amateur photographers did not restore the wildlife. View Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks film “Back from the Brink” or read “Montana’s Wildlife Legacy Decimation to Restoration” by Harold D Picton and Terry N. Lonner ISBN 978-0-615-18849-2. Both of these works are about the early years of the Montana Fish and Game restoring are game animals. They were the department personel and rod and guns clubs that restore what you see and photograph today.

    The worst offenders of this are non residents that want to move out here and take up hunting and fishing guiding. They knew nothing about what it was like the early years when game was scarce. In 1974 there were 35,000 elk in Montana, today there are 150,000 elk and because of these elk wolves had a prey base. There were more deer then than today but elk can reduce the deer population.

  46. avatar timz says:

    So with more elk today than ever, and fifteen years of 200+ lb., killing machine canadian gray wolves it seems your hunting opportunities havn’t been reduced too much.

  47. avatar Elk275 says:

    They have been. I am not hunting in the Snowcrest anymore. I hunt in the Crazy Mountians and North Bridgers now.

    ++hunting opportunities havn’t been reduced too much.++
    Read what I said, the FWP has reduced cow permits in the Bitterroots. Reading hunting forums there has been reduce elk hunting in the Salmon area of Idaho. Ten years ago hunters would see elk every day, now hunters are lucky to see any elk while hunting.

  48. avatar timz says:

    I see elk almost every day and I don’t hunt. But I do get off my ATV and actually hike into the woods, which around my area have been trashed over the last few weeks by all those hunters who we owe so much to for their conservation efforts.

  49. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    timz

    Unfortunately, I do not have time to describe in detail my elk hunts the last two years in north central ID. Suffice it to say, the wolves moved in two years ago – three packs where none showed on the annual wolf status maps. My three hunting companions and I saw more wolves than elk last year. We have hunted this area for over twenty years. And no, we did not have wolf tags. I simply have no desire to shoot one.

    This year we scouted for two days before season opened, and hunted for ten more. That is a concentrated 48 hunter days in an area we know well, and know how to hunt under varying conditions. We have always gotten elk here before – not easy but we hunt hard, and hunt smart each and every day, and we don’t ride ATV’s all day. We tried areas we thought wolves would not have gone – guess what? They had managed to change elk behavior (and numbers) everywhere we went.

    The elk hunting was terrible this year. We saw few, and got one bull just by chance when it was run into me, possibly by wolves. The elk do not use game trails, they stay in the brush to avoid wolves. They stay out of the meadows and on steeper ground. We tried very hard to adjust how we hunted to do better. Well, sport, it just didn’t work.

    A couple of threads back I posed a question to see just how one adjusts hunting technique to accomodate for this modified behavior as a result of wolf presence. Well, I got one lame reply from somebody that said just hunt them like whitetail deer. Big help that was.

    I am pretty much with Elk275 on his views. I suspect as frustrated hunters weigh in with each state game department where they hunt, and where wolves are present and growing in larger numbers, the message will be the same.

  50. avatar gline says:

    Wilderness Muse: you seem say a lot that you don’t have time to describe X etc etc, but yet you are on here all the time. I don’t get it.

  51. avatar jerryB says:

    elk 275
    Like most 3rd, 4th. 5th or whatever generation of Montanans which erroneously call themselves “natives” and whose relatives destroyed streams by placer mining, who clearcut the forests, overgrazed the grasslands and polluted the rivers, you seem to have a dislike for the “non_residents”.
    Who do you think have come in here and cleaned up your ancestor’s mess? I’ll tell you who…..mostly the cursed “out of staters”, who have come out here, joined non-profits and volunteer groups and gone to work restoring all the damage.
    I also happen to know guides that have guided here for years…you know where they get their help?….from kids that grew up in Pennsylvania and New York, because these kids are tough and have both a work ethic and an environmental ethic.
    Maybe it’s time you take off the blinders and stop spewing your cultural hate toward anyone that moved here from a more diverse and progressive cultural society.
    See through the hate…there’s alot of positives.

  52. avatar Cordell says:

    gline,

    Very constructive conversation with WM. That’ll help a bunch.

  53. avatar gline says:

    what are you talking about cordell? It was an observation. you seem to be very defensive on this blog.

  54. avatar jerryB says:

    WM….
    “The elk do not use game trails, they stay in the brush to avoid wolves. They stay out of the meadows and on steeper ground. We tried very hard to adjust how we hunted to do better. Well, sport, it just didn’t work.”

    Well, gosh darn elk! Imagine that….. they’re behaving like wild elk used to, they don’t want to be eaten and they don’t want to get shot either. Have a friend that ranches in the Madison Valley. He was pointing out how the elk will flock to his ranch, and will stay in a known wolf area and take their chances with wolves rather than venture out where the hunters are.
    Tomorrow morning I can walk in 7 miles and see plenty of elk and I guarantee, I won’t see a hunter.

  55. avatar gline says:

    Wolves make the Elk more challenging for you to hunt “elk275” do you want MT to be a game farm?

  56. avatar Richie,NJ says:

    One state down and one to go ? Thank God this is over in Montana,makes me feel a great deal better. I know I am on the side of the wolf, I just love these animals. Down south is letting up on their wolves too, maybe the government is turning around I hope. I take my hat off to Montana.

  57. avatar Save bears says:

    Richie,

    Despite all of the speculation over the last couple of months, Montana, did in fact do what they outlined in their plan…

  58. avatar Elk275 says:

    JerryB

    Maybe I did not say that right. My favorite outfitter is Smoke Elsier (sp) since retired, I have been to several horse packing classes and he is from Ohio and played for the Buckeyes.

    It is the new outfitters and booking agents that operate with keys to a gate, ATV’s and 4 Wheelers they are not outfitters in my book. The reason they are here is that there are animals to hunt and fish to catch. I have worked with these people when I was a guide. Some of the new ones are good and some are bad. I have worked as a guide and been guided in BC, Alaska and Africa. There are the good the bad and the ugly. I was screw blue in BC on a goat and mountain Caribou hunt. The reason people come from other places is that working for an outfitter is an adventure and pay is secondary. Steve Ford did not work for “Smoke” when his dad was president for the pay. There are those with work ethics and those without, but to say that kids that grew up in Pennsylvania and New York, are tough and have a work ethic is a generalization. I would trust a Montana ranch kid before I would trust more a kid from the east.

    ++Who do you think have come in here and cleaned up your ancestor’s mess? I’ll tell you who…..mostly the cursed “out of starters”, who have come out here, joined non-profits and volunteer groups and gone to work restoring all the damage.++ The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation founded by hunters from Troy, Montana and the membership is now worldwide. They have some of the best work in Montana

    In the past years, I budget $1000 a year for non profit groups in Bozeman. They could always call on me for $500 , unfortunately things are different today for all of us. Do non profits create wealth? I have known several directors of non profits who quit to work in the private sector because of the pay.

    Let’s look at the mess in Butte the Beckley Pit — it is a mess. I showed it to a lady friend of mind who lives in DC and owns a co-op in Adams – Morgan, she thought that is was a mess and it is. I told her that was where the copper wiring for your co-op came from. To build America to what she is today we made a mess. But the same environmental mess was made in the steel mills in Pittsburgh and the coal fields of West Virginia. Why don’t the kids from PA and NY stay home and clean up there own back yard.

    I have spent many years traveling and been around the world twice. I would to go back to Torres del Paine but it would be this year.

  59. avatar jerryB says:

    elk 275…OK, we’re straight. I get tired of hearing about how “we’re all created equal, but _?_ generation Montanans are more equal than the rest.”
    My son also took packing courses from “Smoke”. He didn’t know he played at Ohio State, or they would have talked football all day(he played college ball also).
    My job enabled me see most of the world also. If I were Canadian and younger, I’d be living in the Gulf Islands off the BC coast.
    There are some places in S.E. Asia I’d like to go back to under different circumstances.

  60. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    Elk275,
    How have the Crazies treated you this year. Lots of elk over there, have you seen the mega herd????

  61. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    And I wouldn’t say that the montanans destroyed the enviornment here and all the out of state folks came to our rescue and cleaned it up.
    Folks were making a living, and hopefully have learned from mistakes in the past, we are all in this together. The more folks that come, the more the land gets used, some good some bad.

  62. avatar nabeki says:

    Elk…
    I know you love hunting elk but I hate to break it to you, it’s not just about you. I mean what you just said is the state should manage wolves for hunters. Does that make sense to you? An entire species managed for one group of people? Besides the RMEF just came out with their twenty fifth anniversary numbers and elk are up 66% in Montana since 1984. There are between 150,000 and 166,000 elk in this state. That’s a lot of elk. True, their browsing behavior has changed. They don’t stand around with vapid looks on their faces, chomping on young aspen shoots and ruining riparian zones. Now they browse and move, browse and move, cause there’s a predator around called the wolf. That predator you don’t like is responsible for the fleetness and turn of foot of the elk. If it wasn’t for the wolf the elk wouldn’t be what they are today. I’m sorry they’re harder to find but they’re out there in big, big numbers.
    http://www.rmef.org/NewsandMedia/NewsReleases/2009/ElkPopulations.htm

    Hunters are always saying they’re conservationists so you must know that when the wolf came home to their native lands, which BTW they’ve been inhabiting way longer then your ancestors, they dispersed the elk. Doesn’t mean they killed them all they just changed them from lazy elk to smarter elk. When they did that the aspen and willow returned, cause they weren’t being tromped down by elk. With the aspen and willow came the song birds and a boat load of other wildlife. The soil is even influenced by the wolf, when the wolf isn’t around mesopredators take over, lke the coyote. Coyotes eat the ground squirrels who rototill the land, so when the ground squirrels decline the soil isn’t as rich. Coyotes also eat game birds. It’s called a “trophic cascade”. I’m not making this stuff up….here’s an aritcle by Oregon State researcher Cristina Eisenberg, who’s been tromping around the North Fork studying wolves for years. She states that aspen ecosystems are some of the richest song bird habitat anywhere. Wolves increase biodiversity, that’s a fact. Her research may change everything, especically the way the wolves and other predators are “managed”.
    http://www.missoulian.com/lifestyles/territory/article_3ec9fc54-c01f-11de-bf16-001cc4c002e0.html

    I see the wolf as nothing but a positive for the environment. They kill very few livestock but when they do kill them it gets headlines everytime. They haven’t eaten all the elk but that’s the dogma that hunters keep repeating even though their own RMEF is trumpeting the success of elk management and huge increases in their population.

    I think hunters want the woods all to themselves, they don’t want any competition. They just want a bunch of lazy elk out there that are easy to kill. So that means influencing politics in Montana and Idaho to see it their way. Well I say enjoy it while you have it cause it’s going to change one day. Wolves may be persuecuted for many more years but they’re not going away and neither are the Americans that care about them and want wild wolves in their native habitats. It’s just not only about hunting anymore. Wildlife viewers have as many rights as hunters and we like our wildlife living and breathing.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  63. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    I dont think people want the wolves just to be managed for elk. Some feel the wolf was put upon them and since 1995 have had nothing to make them feel like they could do anything about it. There are also folks on the other side, who feel the wolf should never be hunted, because they do nothing but good for the ecosystem. Some see the hunt as a way for the state to reach out to those who don’t have the same hunky dory view of wolves as many of us. Many of the hunters may not be anti-wolf. They just don’t like feeling like certain animals go unregulated. The hunt at least is some sort of compromise. At least they feel like they have something. And keep in mind this is coming from a very pro-wolf sportsman who will never buy a wolf tag and actually enjoys seeing predators when in the field. I am not arguing the presence of wolves being good for the ecosystem, we are on the same page completely.

    Much like the snowmobile issue in the park. I’m sure some would like to see no more sleds in the park. Others would like to see it regulated. A good compromise was reached, limited numbers, and cleaner machines. Not a free for all or a complete ban.

  64. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    And much like wolves not killing much livestock, but when it does happen we here about all over through the media. I’ve heard you bash the hunters etc. when grizz are killed in defense. Same kinda thing, it doesn’t happen often but when it does its all over the media

  65. avatar gline says:

    Wow, well said Nabeki.

  66. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Talks with Bears and Cindy, I meant that the wolves will be happy to not have a president that is for aerial gunning in 2012. I wasn’t referring to the current president, nor people for that matter…

  67. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    There are several important misconceptions in this thread:

    “…Idaho’s Fish and Game Commissioners are thinking of being duplicitous and extending the wolf season in some parts of Idaho’s already overlong season.”

    There is nothing duplicitous about considering or acting to extend the wolf hunting season. This statement misses the point. The Fish and Game Commission is the decision making body with authority to manage the state’s wildlife resources – in this case wolves. The management objective for this hunting season is the harvest/kill limit, apportioned among the wolf hunting zones – not the length of the season. Those management objectives are unlikely to be met by a large margin in several wolf management zones. Far from being duplicitious, the Commission would be consistent to those management objectives and it’s responsibilities to consider extending the season to achieve the objectives.

    “If Molloy allows the delisting to stand the future seasons will be harsher in both states. They’ll have free rein over the wolves and that will be the end of the them, period.”

    Of course, if Idaho and Montana retain management authority for wolves, those populations will continue to thrive, as they are now. It is not in any state’s interest to see a species return to ESA protected status and both states are solidly committed to managing for vibrant, healthy wolf populations in their respective borders. The size of those wolf populations, balancing the benefits of wolves with the benefits of other wildlife resources and private property for society is the dynamic process we are really discussing.

    “If the hunt is extended and if the numbers are somehow manipulated to mean a larger number of wolves will be shot, there’s your bad faith…”

    Extending the season to achieve the harves/kill limit objectives for key wolf management zones is the only potential change on the agenda for the Commission meeting this week.

    “So with more elk today than ever, and fifteen years of 200+ lb., killing machine canadian gray wolves it seems your hunting opportunities havn’t been reduced too much.”

    Hunting opportunities for the Idaho public are indeed being reduced by wolf predation in important portions of the state. The Commission and IDFG are balancing the needs and desires of Idahoans for hunting and wildlife veiwing opportunities with balanced wolf and other big game management plans.

    “It’s called a “trophic cascade”. I’m not making this stuff up….here’s an aritcle by Oregon State researcher Cristina Eisenberg, who’s been tromping around the North Fork studying wolves for years. She states that aspen ecosystems are some of the richest song bird habitat anywhere. Wolves increase biodiversity, that’s a fact. Her research may change everything, especically the way the wolves and other predators are “managed”.”

    Trophic Cascade as a theory has it’s origins in the discipline of aquatic ecology. While the theoretical concept of trophic cascade is widely accepted, the application of the theory to predict or identify the effects of one species (wolves) on a ecosystem is not. There is no research that I am aware of that provides a compelling argument for wolf benefits for aspen communities. YNP research has measured riparian vegetation responses, but not for aspen stands – that I know of. I could be wrong, but I don’t believe the OSU research has been written up, peer reveiwed or published yet. It is especially problematic to argue trophic cascade benefits for wolf introductions where top predators (mountain lions, bears, humans) have exerted profound influences on elk and other large ungulate populations for hundreds of years – outside of the National Parks. Broad, universal ecological benefits of wolf introductions is simply a theory at this time.

    “It’s just not only about hunting anymore. Wildlife viewers have as many rights as hunters and we like our wildlife living and breathing.”

    It has never been “just about hunting”. It’s been said numerous times in recent threads – contemporary hunting and hunters, through the North American model of wildlife conservation are more responsible than any other segment of society for the recovery and continued wealth of wildlife enjoyed by all Americans and Canadians – including non-hunters. Those healthy wildlife populations (today including wolves, bears, mountain lions and other predators) will continue to provide sustainable benefits for diversity of Idahoans and other citizens of our country.

  68. avatar JEFF E says:

    Mark,
    If we use a nice round fig of 1000 wolves in Idaho, and by some stretch of the imagination, short of a year round season, the 220 # is reached, that leaves 780 +/-. So how does the state intend to reduce the number to the stated desired 500 or so?
    Aside from the official politically correct but unrealistic “by hunter” method.

  69. avatar Jay Barr says:

    Gambiln,
    So if wolf season is extended another AMOUNT of TIME (possibly including birthing season, which occurs for no other species), yet the quota is still not reached, then it’s conceivable the IDFG Commission could extend it again, and again, and again, and again, until it is met in order to satisfy their mission of “managing” the numbers of wolves?

  70. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Jay it sounds like that might already be the plan…

  71. avatar jerryB says:

    Gamblin…
    “Trophic Cascade as a theory has it’s origins in the discipline of aquatic ecology. While the theoretical concept of trophic cascade is widely accepted, the application of the theory to predict or identify the effects of one species (wolves) on a ecosystem is not. There is no research that I am aware of that provides a compelling argument for wolf benefits for aspen communities. YNP research has measured riparian vegetation responses, but not for aspen stands – that I know of. I could be wrong, but I don’t believe the OSU research has been written up, peer reveiwed or published yet. It is especially problematic to argue trophic cascade benefits for wolf introductions where top predators (mountain lions, bears, humans) have exerted profound influences on elk and other large ungulate populations for hundreds of years – outside of the National Parks. Broad, universal ecological benefits of wolf introductions is simply a theory at this time.”

    Mark…are you kidding me? Where have you been hiding??
    Check out these links to begin with:

    http://media.barometer.orst.edu/media/storage/paper854/news/2009/10/07/News/Ripple.Receives.Spirit.Of.Defenders.Award.For.Scienc

    http://www.cof.orst.edu/cascades/

    http://www.cof.orst.edu/aspen/index.php

    http://www.cof.orst.edu/cascades/news-articles.php?articleview=aspen%20%26%20wolves

  72. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Jeff E –
    I am unaware of any management tool other than hunting being planned for use at this time to achieve the management objectives of the state wolf management plan. There may be other options being considered that I have not been briefed on.

    Jay Barr –
    The Idaho wolf season does not extend to the wolf birthing season. Wolves will not be whelping during the Sawtooth or Lolo hunting seasons. Most, if not all states, conduct hunting seasons for a variety of species during their breeding and gestation seasons. There is nothing unusual or inappropriate, from a wildlife management perspective, about the Idaho wolf hunting season. Conjecture about future Commission decisions this season or in future seasons is just that – conjecture. The management objectives for this hunting season are in fact, conservative and a modest start in the process of understanding how best to manage hunting as a sound and effective management tool and appropriate beneficial use of Idaho’s wolf resource.

  73. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    BigBrownTrout & Elk – I have spent less time in the Snowcrest this year and more time in the Crazies. The ranchers around Clyde Park seem to think some of the Yellowstone elk herd has made its way up to them due to wolves in the Park and Paradise Valley. Unfortunately for them, a few wolves have followed the elk herd. I have yet to see the “mega herd”.

  74. avatar jerryB says:

    Mark…more info on wolves and aspens authored by a student of Dr. Ripple at OSU

    http://www.missoulian.com/lifestyles/territory/article_3ec9fc54-c01f-11de-bf16-001cc4c002e0.html

  75. avatar Elk275 says:

    To be honest I have not hunted the Crazies this year just the north Bridgers. I have been busy. My cousin might be coming from Missoula and bring his mules, if that is the case then we will go up the Shields River to Goat Rock and ride north 4 or 5 miles. My horse needs to go to the canners and then I am going to find a good horse that can tie by it self or purchase 2.

    I do not think that the elk have moved from Yellowstone because of the wolves, there are a large number of elk in the area. This is has happen in the last 25 years. I do not know about wolves but I have been told several times that there are grizzly in the Crazies. There is lots of private land that is not availabe for hunting with very large elk herds.

    The former game warden of Park County told me that they have picked up mountain goats that have been killed on I-90 at Springdale so who knows what animal does what. I have tried to fine a secondary verification on these mountain goats kills on 1-90.

  76. avatar jerryB says:

    Mark
    “Most, if not all states, conduct hunting seasons for a variety of species during their breeding and gestation seasons.”

    Please provide some examples of species being hunted during the gestation period.

  77. avatar Cutthroat says:

    Gamblin,

    Much respect to you for coming on this sight and making yourself available. The insight is much appreciated. However, just because it’s said doesn’t make it true… “It’s been said numerous times in recent threads – contemporary hunting and hunters, through the North American model of wildlife conservation are more responsible than any other segment of society for the recovery and continued wealth of wildlife enjoyed by all Americans and Canadians – including non-hunters.” To whatever degree it is the case may be merely because it’s been the only model employed over the last one hundred years. It can be argued that it has failed in areas until public pressure from special interest groups have forced the hand of state and federal agencies in charge of administering wildlife conservation through the use of hunting and hunters. It may indeed be argued that it is a complete failure because it is a system that merely propagates itself, i.e. things are now so unnaturally out of balance as a result of the model that the unnatural model is required to maintain the balance.

    A little less bias might bridge some gaps….I’m guessing your degrees not in public relations?

  78. avatar Elk275 says:

    ++Please provide some examples of species being hunted during the gestation period.++

    Elk, moose and antelope. The peak of the rut is from mid September to Mid October. In the late season I have shot many pregnant cow elk, not that I like to. All cow elk and moose and antelope should be bred by now.

  79. I won’t respond to regional supervisor Gamlin. That’s because I still think, Idaho, not the Fish and Game Department, but the state politicians through Wildlife Services, plans a wolf reduction campaign to their goal level through planned killing of entire packs under the guise of controlling packs because they killed livestock.

    One lamb dies, two nearby wolf packs are fried.

    My opinion remains unchanged. Idaho, Fish and Game Department is not the problem, the problem is at a higher level — the result of the landed nobility that largely runs this state.

    Ultimately lack of wildlife in Idaho, game, or otherwise, lies at the feet of the livestock industry.

    It’s good to talk about trophic cascades. I think the idea is largely correct, but not relevant when the grazing effects of elk are so overwhelmingly trampled out by cattle and sheep.

  80. avatar jerryB says:

    elk275…bet you didn’t shoot any in the Spring when they were calving.

  81. avatar Elk275 says:

    No and I would not want to. I pity Lewis and Clark shooting those animals and having to eat them.

  82. avatar Cobra says:

    W.M.
    I’m the one that gave you that lame ass reply about hunting elk the .same way we do whitetail deer. As I said we’ve seen elk react the same way you have and it’s been frustrating to say the least. We have found that since we are hunting in the thick of things that whitetail tatics seem to work well. We’ve even started setting up climbing tree stands in areas since they are more portable and have had some sucess doing this. We’ve had to change our ways in some areas we hunt and we’re not thrilled about it but you have to do what you have to do. Maybe before writing someone off as being a dumbass with lame ass ideas you should try their methods, who knows you may just learn somthing new. I guess you struck a nerve, but my freezers full and has been all but 1 year out of the last 35 years of elk and deer hunting.
    Mark, Man you’ve got a lot of patience.

  83. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Cobra

    “lame-ass” is your term, not mine. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the advice (I do), it’s the technique that is the distasteful part. The terrain we hunt would not be suitable for treestands or other whitetail type hunting anyway. It has been our experience, elk, more than ever in the past, move in the dark from feeding to bedding areas in steep dark draws. This means two things. First, they move before shooting time in the morning, or after shooting time in the evening. Second they move to areas which are “safe” providing a buffer for any kind of stalk. They hear, smell and maybe see you before you are even aware they are there (Of course they have always done that, but with heightened senses it is even more frequent). They, then move off – you only hear them leave. Because of vegetation and the scale and variablity of terrain, the areas are not conducive to any effort to drive or direct them, as well.

    We have seen a couple of treestands in the areas we hunt, and they were accompanied by a patch of pawed ground that is the result of a salt lick, which of course we all know is illegal baiting.

  84. avatar timz says:

    “My opinion remains unchanged. Idaho, Fish and Game Department is not the problem, the problem is at a higher level — the result of the landed nobility that largely runs this state.

    “Much respect to you for coming on this sight and making yourself available. The insight is much appreciated”

    I disagree– they are a part of the problem when their lackey Gamblin gets on here and spouts what we all know is drivel. It’s neither respected or appreciated. I’ve talked to fish & game guys in the field and they talk about killing wolves with a gleem in their eyes. The whole agency is a disgrace.

  85. avatar Cutthroat says:

    TimZ,

    Much respect to you as well for your opinions and insight. Would you not agree that having all sides of an issue makes for healthy debate, especially from an expert in the field, even if you don’t agree with them?

    To quote Mike Corleone “Keep your friends close, your enemies closer”.

    Cutt

  86. avatar timz says:

    No I would not agree, when one side is complete B.S. Gamblin is a F & G flunkie who tries to convince people F&G cares about wolves and their management. Anybody that pays attention knows that to be nonsense.

  87. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    Elk275+ Talk with Bears,
    The crazies are interesting. On opener I saw a herd that I was estimating at around 650 elk, fairly low in the fields kinda near the CMR. I also heard a report from last week of someone seeing a heard of 1100 or so. I don’t think they are from Yellowstone/Paradise Valley. I still see a few large herds as many as 20 miles north of the Park. I guess its a possibility. I would think It has to do more with the private land issue. Talk w Bears, do you know of many ranchers other than Arthun, Pullis, etc that let many people hunt. I eventually usually get my elk on small bits of public land. But not yet this year. I have tried to get access on Private but its tough.

  88. avatar Cutthroat says:

    TimZ,

    I guess we can agree to disagree then. Maybe Gamblin wan’t come back and we can get all information with regard to what the IF&G is up to from carefully crafted press releases and public statements instead of off the cuff comments on blog. For example, where else would you get a supposed wildlife expert to expose his possible ignorance with regard to “trophic cascades”?

  89. avatar timz says:

    My how times have changed. This has gone from a wildlife advocacy blog to a hunters forum, and platform for IF&G to post their propaganda.

  90. avatar Save bears says:

    Actually I think Ralph has one of the best blogs on the net, he allows both sides opinions to be posted and contribute to the conversation, hard thing to do in this day and age..

  91. avatar timz says:

    I see little difference in his posts and carefully crafted press releases. I don’t give a rats ass what he know or doesn’t know about “trophic cascade.” Does this noot sound like the carefully crafted agency line or was this “off the cuff”?

    “It is not in any state’s interest to see a species return to ESA protected status and both states are solidly committed to managing for vibrant, healthy wolf populations in their respective borders.”

  92. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    jerryB, Elk275

    Actually, elk, deer and bear on Indian reservations are harvested nearly year round. These animals feed farily large numbers of people throughout the year. HArvests are subject to fairly liberal tribal wildlife rules. Think Wind River, Flathead, Colville, Yakama, Quinault, Nez Perce, to name a few. A couple of these reservations are home to larger herds in their respective states.

  93. avatar Cutthroat says:

    I would have to agree Bears…a place where even a rat’s ass is given an opportunity to share his/her opinions. Why even a newt is protected on this blog.

  94. avatar timz says:

    Yes and a few of us can even tell the difference between stating an opinion and trying to pass off bull shit as fact.

  95. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    timz- Maybe theres some far off chance that someone can be a hunter as well as a wildlife advocate….is it that soooo hard to believe???

  96. avatar timz says:

    No it’s not. I’ve actually met two.

  97. avatar Cris Waller says:

    As far as mammals hunted while taking care of young- of course it happens- but only to predators. Coyotes get blasted year-round. Mountain lions give birth year-round and cubs are dependent on the mother for quite a long time and thus any hunting can impact females with cubs. And then, of course, there are spring bear hunts.

    The hunters usually reply, “but regulations state that you can’t kill female lions or bears with cubs,” but, of course, if the cubs aren’t with the mother or aren’t seen, killings happen. With bears, for example, the 2009 Arizona spring bear hunt, according to a memo from Mike Senn, Assistant Director Wildlife Management Division, killed 30% female bears. A five year Utah study showed that 21% of spring bears killed were females.

    So yes, there is a precedent for allowing wolves to be killed, even if they have cubs. It might not fly for the inaugural, closely-watched season, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they try it in the future.

  98. avatar Layton says:

    “My how times have changed. This has gone from a wildlife advocacy blog to a hunters forum, and platform for IF&G to post their propaganda.”

    Ah yes!! The biggest advocate of “singing to the choir” speaks.

    Atta boy there timz. Is this some of the intelligence that you would claim to exhibit??

    If you can’t stand the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen!! Ralph has the patience and the class to let BOTH sides speak their opinions. Radicals like you don’t much like it.

    Someone like Mark G. comes on here with facts that you don’t like and you belittle/insult him. Where are your facts??
    Facts that is, not opinions, I know where you get those.

  99. avatar catbestland says:

    I am beginning to dissagree that bringing both sides to the table and trying to work together is productive. Has it been in the health care debate? No. There simply is no compromise from the side who has the most to money to lose. And if there is compromise it comes at too high a price, i.e. the 10j rules. Whole packs are wiped out for the loss of a sheep or two even though the ranchers are compensated for their losses. Just like there is no compromise on the Public Option by those who represent the interest of the insurance industry. Therefore if the ability to effect change exists, no matter what legal route has to be used, it should be employed by conservationist groups. Sue them until the cows go home!! Now is the time to effect that change. The Court system is the only weapon in the arsenal of the side that wishes to preserve and protect the planet and it’s wildlife. We do not stoop to illegal tactics such as SSS, rather we rely on the rights that God and this country’s constitution affords us.

  100. avatar timz says:

    Just when you think you’ve had enough the Village Idiot (Layton) shows up.

  101. I want to help keep hunters away from unintentionally supporting cows and sheep instead of what they hunt.

    Hunting is usually, like most outdoor sports and skills, learned when you are young.

    What you regard as the normal, natural condition of things is based on your youth. To me, the world is in color. Those things before I was born are in my mind like black and white movies.

    Living in a land that is degraded by livestock probably seems normal to most people. It was to me for a long time. When I was in my 20s, I learned how the West had been degraded by livestock and how the large animals had nearly all been killed off by 1900. Seeing even a deer at that time was an event.

    I knew this intellectually, but I didn’t feel it. I hope hunters will feel it.

  102. avatar Elk275 says:

    Catbestland

    From my government classes there 3 branches of the government: executive, judiciary and legislative All three of these branches of government work as checks and balances against each other. It is sad when one group or interest goes to the weakest of the branches, the judiciary, to get them to dictate court orders to the majority of the populace. JerryB got a little piss about non natives vs multiple generations, non natives or new comers have always brought in new ideas ways of doing things. They are good

    What disappoints me, as I get older, is that there are those who know nothing about the history or culture of a state, portion of the state or political body and try to immediately implement change. This can be wildlife, city/county government, schools, employment or business practices and many other things.

    In the early 1980’s I was living in Red Lodge, Montana for a few years and I got to know a young couple my age from the east that live in the town for 7 years, within the time frame they had file several lawsuits and fought with everyone in authority wanting things to change there way. After 7 years they left town defeated and went home. Red Lodge is Red Lodge and the beer is still cold at the Snow Creek and they are a distant memory. I am still in contact with them.

    Anyway I have to continue working.

  103. avatar JimT says:

    Wilderness Muse…

    One, I didn’t say the plaintiffs would win; I said that if the state does change the conditions of the hunt that results in increased wolf kill numbers that are significantly different, and there is no scientific reason or legal reason to support such a change in the conditions of the hunt, a colorable argument can be made for bad faith on the part of the decision-makers.

    Two, I am sorry, but I have no sympathy for the increased costs of stress, or fencing, or GASP, actually having to take some steps to protect their livestock from a restored and healthy ecosystem complete with predators. Tell me where it is written that ranching, especially welfare, government-handout, politician-coddled public land ranchers, are guaranteed to be able to make a living at taxpayer or nature’s expense? STRESS? Feed the damned cattle Prozac…they feed them every other kind of drug so why not that?

  104. avatar Elk275 says:

    JimT

    ++Tell me where it is written that ranching, especially welfare, government-handout, politician-coddled public land ranchers, are guaranteed to be able to make a living at taxpayer or nature’s expense?++

    The only way to make a million in the ranching business is to start with 2 million and finish when one has lost a million.

  105. avatar catbestland says:

    Elk275,

    I appreciate your experience in Red Lodge. However, conservationists have been trying to negotiate compromise for decades. The time to mollycoddle ranchers has passed. It is in the best interest of the planet, and it’s inhabitants-human as well as animal to disregard the unreasonable demands of the ranchers. The same was true of the Civil Rights issues in the south to which I am a witness. The time had come to put an end to the greedy standards of that racist society which benefitted no one but white industrialists, so that the benefits of freedom could extend to all. That civilization had existed for hundreds of years. It was the Federal Courts that ended that oligarchy. Do you think change would have come without legal action taken by of the NAACP or the SCLU?

  106. avatar catbestland says:

    Excuse me, I meant “ACLU”

  107. avatar Elk275 says:

    catbestland

    Montana is 29.9% owned by the federal govenment, 5.6% by the state. I would estimated that 1/3 to 1/2 of that is not being grazed. What are you going to do with large tracts of private land that do not have not federal grazing leases or have a isolated 160 acre BLM which is not accessable.

    Do you want courts to tell a landowner what they can do with their land? That is scary thinking. On a selfish note I would love the courts to declare that hunters could hunt anywhere they wanted.

  108. avatar catbestland says:

    I do not want courts to tell landowners what they can do with their private land, only what they can or cannot do with OUR public lands and public wildlife. Our public lands and wildlife should not be degraded and destroyed to suit the selfish needs of private business. I want the courts to tell private ranchers to get thier private cows off our public lands because it has been proven that the pressence of those cows is detrimental to those public lands and our public wildlife.

  109. avatar Elk275 says:

    Catbestland

    Thank you, that is a very clear statement.

  110. avatar catbestland says:

    Elk275,

    Do you not think it was scarry for white southerners to accept having civil rights forced down their throats by the courts? Probably. Was it necessary? Yes!!! Did the white southern industrialists survive? For the most part. Those that didn’t needed to dissappear. There simply was no longer a place for that kind of thinking in that age. The same is true of the ranching industry’s backward thinking when it comes to the health of the planet and the rights of it’s inhabitants to benefit from healthy ecosystems.

  111. avatar Elk275 says:

    The congress has enacted various grazing acts and the most famous one is the Taylor Grazing Act of 1933, so do you want the courts to override a federal act, do you want one man in black ordering by decree or do you want an elected legislative body that represents the citizens of the jurisdiction deciding the laws. Personally, I prefer citizens initiatives.

  112. avatar Jay says:

    I want laws that regulate what you can and can’t do on private land. I don’t want a dump, a pig farm, or a toxic waste site next door to my property, and I bet most posting here would say the same.

  113. The Taylor Grazing Act specifically and pointedly applies only to public lands.

  114. avatar JEFF E says:

    Mark,
    thanks

  115. avatar JEFF E says:

    ….However what other species are hunted to within days of birthing and on the other end what game species is hunted where it is legal to take with dependent young present such as is the case at the first of September

  116. avatar Cris Waller says:

    Jeff- See my post above. Lots of carnivores, unfortunately, are allowed to be killed eve if they have dependent young.

  117. avatar nabeki says:

    Mark….
    Thanks for the reply…we’ll have to agree to disagree on every point…especially trophic cascades.

    Ralph..
    I really think this battle is being fought on two fronts. Ranching and hunting. I mentioned trophic cascades relative to wolves and elk and the profound effect apex predators have on their environment.

    I didn’t mention livestock grazing on public lands because we were talking about hunting issues….but I completely agree with everything you said concerning the destruction of our public lands by livestock grazing and the lethal removal of wolves by Wildlife Services in the tit for tat management style…one sheep killed, one wolf dies. Wildlife Services is the single biggest threat to wild wolves but they do get their marching orders form FWP or IDFG, do they not?

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  118. avatar nabeki says:

    Came across this little gem and wondering how this could be construed in any way as sportsmanship?

    http://www.sfwidaho.org/SFW/Idaho_Predator_Derby.html

  119. avatar Save bears says:

    No, they don’t get their marching orders from FWP or IDFG, see that is the misconception with Wildlife Services, they beat their drum to a higher authority…FWP and IDFG do not tell WS to go out and kill anything, it is the livestock associations with their power base at a higher level that pretty much controls what they do…

  120. avatar Save bears says:

    FWP and IDFG are in the business of managing the resource, much of what wildlife services does is to mitigate conflict with livestock, which often times involves killing, normally that is the last course of defence in the game depts..

  121. avatar Save bears says:

    nabeki

    The derbys have been talked about at great length on this blog..

  122. avatar Save bears says:

    Even though a twisted web of control, if I remember correctly Wildlife services come under the Dept of Ag, out of Washington DC, which one of its main functions is to oversee the protection of food resources as well as ensure food resources are safe for the public, and they work in conjunction with the food and drug administration..believe it, it is a very twisted path to actually get to the source of each of these departments.

  123. avatar nabeki says:

    Save Bears,
    Of course ‘the nobleman” as Ralph likes to call them have tremendous political clout here in Montana and Idaho but who gives Wildlife Services the direct order to take out a single wolf or an entire pack? It’s FWP and IDFG…

  124. avatar nabeki says:

    Save Bears…
    I had never heard of this derby until now until wolves were included this year. Also it’s an Idaho cliub, it just wasn’t on my radar.

    BTW the proceeds for the “derby” are being donated to their wolf litigation fund to fight the delisting lawsuit.

  125. avatar timz says:

    nabeki, notice Sportsmans Warehouse and Cabellas are sponsors of this. That’s why I don’t shop in those stores.

  126. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    derby– DISGUSTING in every way!

  127. avatar Phil Maker says:

    In ID, I think IDFG regional supervisors are charged with making the calls on killing depredating wolves, but you can bet that WS does a lot of arm twisting (This pack is chronic, so how ’bout we get to kill 4. No? How about 2 then? OK). Shoot for the stars in order to get what they wanted from the beginning. Prior to de-listing, the Final Rule called for all non-lethal methods to be employed before lethal control could be invoked- how many times was this actually done? Very, very few.

  128. avatar Cris Waller says:

    Thanks for finding that, Nabeki. I got an email about it this morning with no links to info and I was trying to find some.

  129. avatar Barb says:

    Yes, Jerry, I just ordered my copy of Lords of Nature. Can’t wait to get it. I’m from Michigan originally; lived real close to U of M in fact………

  130. avatar JEFF E says:

    Cris,
    Yes I know, My point is the “we will manage them just as we do cougars and bears” euphemism.
    Both of those “game” animals specifically prohibit killing an individual when dependent cubs are present.

  131. Thanks Phil Maker,

    I do understand that some regional supervisors are better at resisting Wildlife Services than others.

    It’s true the talk about non-lethal first was just talk. Even Ed Bangs now just says “kill em.”

    We don’t want to trouble those with livestock with management practices that cost them any time, money, or unease when the government can always comfort them instead.

  132. avatar Cobra says:

    W.M.
    Have you tried going into those areas in the dark or maybe even the day before and running a cold camp for a night or two? One area that we know has some really nice bulls is similar to what you’ve said, winds wrong to get in there etc. etc. etc. However by going into that area the afternoon before and spending the night we were able to score on a couple of occasions, not the bulls we were looking for but meat for th freezer just the same. Salt is illegal in Idaho also but a ton of guys still do it. One good thing I’ve found is the animals seem to quit using it around end of August and first part of september.Wish they would stop using it as it makes a good place for an ambsh from predators. Good Luck with the your hunts.

  133. avatar nabeki says:

    timz….
    How shocking Nikon is sponsoring them? I’m definitely writing them a letter!!

    Cris…
    You’re welcome, I’m planning on writing about it on my blog. Did you see the second picture on the bottom of the front page of the pile of dead animals, I’m assuming they’re coyotes?

  134. avatar nabeki says:

    Phil Maker….
    Does Wildlife Services contract out to private individuals to carry out the killing? In other words…Who are those guys?

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  135. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Cobra

    Yes, we go in the dark every morning, hiking up to two miles with headlamps, and get to where we want, usually 45 minutes to an hour before sunrise. The illegal salt licks I mentioned were left by bow hunters years ago, and are sometimes refreshed – ugly scratched bare holes in the ground. We would turn them in if we knew who they were.

  136. avatar JimT says:

    Ralph,

    Wasn’t the Taylor Grazing Act subsumed by FLPMA?

  137. avatar JimT says:

    Elk,

    Since the creation of the concept of private land rights in England because of the destruction of the commons, courts have been telling landowners what they can and can’t do, often at the behest of of adjoining landowners who wanted to enjoy the peaceful and beneficial use of their own properties. Nuisance and trespass law developed. So, there has never been an unfettered right to use your land as you see fit; it is a myth. Those restrictions vary, of course.

    I lived next to a person in Vermont who was a vehement libertarian. The homeowners on this particular 400 acre plus “mountain”…we would call it a hill out here…were subject when they bought their 4-7 acre lots to a common property provision of over 250 acres that was to be green space; the provisions traveled with the deeds. After some poaching, and some close calls with bow hunters whose arrows found their ways into people’s yards and sides of trees, the homeowners collectively got together and decided in the interests of safety, and because of the fragmentation of the mountain by lots so that clear lines of shot by hunters after deer were not possible, we posted the land. My neighbor took offense, and took it upon himself to tear down the posted signs, even after being chatted up by the local police and game warden. I saw him doing this again, and we had a chat about property rights. He was spewing forth righteous but wrong comments when I asked him if he would be ok if I started a dog kennel and rescue service on our property..say 75 total animals..since he was such an advocate of private property rights, and that I hoped the noise wouldn’t bother him and his family too much. Suddenly, the whole concept of the protective aspect of private property use restrictions became clear to him…..The signs stayed up, and we had only one more incident of poaching in someone’s front yard; the hunters were arrested, and had licenses yanked for a few years. Which, of course, really didn’t matter if they were poaching, but it was what the law allowed the game warden to do.

  138. avatar Elk275 says:

    JimT

    What you had in Vermont is kown as a PUD. What you described is that the 250 acres is common land subject to the rules that created the PUD. I work with this all the time. I am hungry and must go to breakfast.

  139. avatar JimT says:

    Elk,

    What we had was a tenancy in common managed as if it was a land trust according to the language in the deeds…it wasn’t a separate entity that could be revoked or modified by a vote or common agreement. No Public Utility District there.

    It just came down to a family who owned the “mountain” at some point selling to an individual who created these building lots. Over the years they got sold, re-sold, built on, preserved, etc. The hunters resented the fact that they couldn’t just walk up the hill from downtown anymore and hunt. While I could understand their views, telling a few landowners they would shoot their dogs if they reported them hunting the deer yard near their house (nothing game warden could do with no proof), or poaching wasn’t the answer. Besides, it wasn’t as if anyone had to drive more than 10 minutes to find a piece of land to hunt on; it more about the old New England tradition of not liking change, not liking “outsiders coming in” and changing things.

  140. avatar Elk275 says:

    ++No Public Utility District there. ++

    What I met was a “Plannd Unit Development” which entails a Home Owner’s Association and HOA dues. The Home Owner’s Assoication is first created by the developer with by – laws and run by him/her until the majority of sites are sold, then the home owners take over the association. The ones that I am familiar with have land and streets in common that must be maintain. The original by – laws state what type of actives can be done on the common land. If the HOA wants to change the by – laws then a 2/3 majority must approve the change. I live in one and NEVER AGAIN.

    I am unfamiliar with what is done in Vermont. I agree “it more about the old New England tradition of not liking change, not liking “outsiders coming in” and changing things.” The big one is in Virginia and it is about horses, hounds and fox hunting. Apparently, Virginia law since the days of George Washington have allowed fox hunters to cross private property at will and now the new comers want the law changed.

  141. avatar Cris Waller says:

    Nabeki-

    Yes, I think they are coyotes. Did you ever see the film “Killing Coyote”? It covers such predator contests in great detail- it’s an excellent film.

  142. avatar izabelam says:

    Timz,
    Where did you see that Nikon is sponsoring the derby? I use all Nikon equipment. I will send the letter to them after making sure they realy sponsor the derby.

  143. avatar izabelam says:

    Ok..I checked the SFW site and yes, Nikon is sponsoring the derby..shame on Nikon. My letter goes to them this week. I am actually going to contact the account manager for Utah and get the name of teir public relation guy.

  144. avatar Save bears says:

    izabelam,

    make sure your letter gets to the correct division of Nikon, they have several different divisions/companies that operate with in the main company, I would imagine this would be their optics division, that market spotting scopes/rifle scopes/binoculars and not their camera/lens division.

  145. avatar gline says:

    Think I’ll be writing one too Izabelam- this is good information to know.

  146. avatar izabelam says:

    I will find out more but it is definatly NikonUSA.com
    I will call my Nikon guys here in Sandy (Utah).

  147. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Cutthroat –
    “To whatever degree it is the case may be merely because it’s been the only model employed over the last one hundred years. It can be argued that it has failed in areas until public pressure from special interest groups have forced the hand of state and federal agencies in charge of administering wildlife conservation through the use of hunting and hunters. It may indeed be argued that it is a complete failure because it is a system that merely propagates itself, i.e. things are now so unnaturally out of balance as a result of the model that the unnatural model is required to maintain the balance. A little less bias might bridge some gaps….I’m guessing your degrees not in public relations.”

    If there are examples of the North American Model contributing to conservation problems, please share them. I’m open to a good critical review and want to be un-biased. No, my degrees are Conservation and Zoology, though PR is an important part of my responsibilities. I’m likewise open to critiques there.

  148. Note to Gamlin and readers,

    I was gone up in the hills for a while, when came I back the moderation queue was pretty long.

    My apologies!

    Mark Gamblin had a couple long comments that had been sitting in moderation for some reason. Anyway, all of these are up now. I hope they are not too tardy.

  149. avatar jerryB says:

    Mark Gamblin….
    It’s obvious that your responses have been scripted by the will of the commission and the powers to be at IDFG.
    Have you EVER disagreed or questioned the policies of either the commission or IDFG? You seem to go along with, and or defend, each and every decision they make……..In the real world, this doesn’t happen. No one person or group is infallible.

  150. avatar Cutthroat says:

    Gamblin,

    Thank you for responding. The North American Model of Conservation places too much emphasis on managing wildlife populations as a resource, in general, (and mostly for the benefit of hunters) not on the health of ecosystems. It places too much emphasis on using hunters as a means by which to manage wildlife populations. A more progressive model of wildlife conservation might expand the use of predator prey relationships.

    Examples of conservation problems associated with North American Model of Wildlife Conservation Model: fewer predators throughout western ecosystems resulting in less natural ecosystems, i.e. griz bears, wolves only recently. If a more progressive model were employed sooner more natural ecosystems would exist today.

    Probably not as “good and critical a review” as you were after. In retrospect my statement “complete failure” was for sure an overstatement. I do believe there is a place for hunting in wildlife conservation and contemporary hunters have contributed.

    With regard to your PR skills, I feel you are in a position to “pull yourself out of the trenches” and bridge the gap between the hunters and the anti-hunters. Your comment, “It’s been said numerous times in recent threads – contemporary hunting and hunters, through the North American model of wildlife conservation are more responsible than any other segment of society for the recovery and continued wealth of wildlife enjoyed by all Americans and Canadians – including non-hunters.”, on a site frequented by both hunters and non-hunters alike only serves to foster the polarization that is talked of so frequently here. For me it struck a nerve.

    I do appreciate your willingness to accept feedback.

  151. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Cutthroat –
    Thanks for your thoughtful response. I disagree that the North American Model and the principles it is founded on is in any way connected with the disappearence of grizzly bears, lions, wolves or any other Norht American species. The decline and loss of native species is precisely the precitpitating event(s) that prompted the evolution of the model.
    THe last thing I want to do is contribute to further polarization. My point was simply that the North American Model has been/is the most successful system for wildlife conservation the world has seen and will continue to be. There is no other model or system on the near or long term horizon to fill it’s role, function and success. The conservation benefits of this system of wildlife management DO accrue to all users (consumptive and non-consumptive) of our public wildlife resources. I think – that should be good news for all of us.

  152. avatar Cutthroat says:

    Gamblin,

    Once again, thank you for taking the time to respond. Some thoughts regarding your comments:

    “I disagree that the North American Model and the principles it is founded on is in any way connected with the disappearence of grizzly bears, lions, wolves…”

    Hunting (a founding principle of NW conservation method) for griz in the Cabinet Mountains didn’t end until 1974, survival of this population of grizzlies, now so small, is considered, by experts, dependent on augmentation. Further, the recent death of a reproductive female by a hunter in the Cabinet is evidence of how hunting has/is contributing to the bears struggle across its former range.

    I realize you said “disappearance”, so I will point out that the one documented case of a griz making it to the Bitterroot/Selway Ecosystem in recent times, did in fact, “disappear” at the hands of a hunter. I also realize there are a variety of natural and human induced factors contributing to the grizzly bears decline in areas like the CYE and the BSE, not to mention the Cascades and the San Juans (where they have all but disappeared and disappeared, respectively), but it could certainly be argued that contemporary hunting, again, as a founding principle of the NW model of conservation has contributed.

    I’m quite certain one could make similar arguments for wolves and lions across parts of their former range as well.

    I realize from this commentary that it smacks anti-hunting, but I’m truly just pointing out its over-emphasis in the model at the expense of certain species, and in turn, I will concede, as you have pointed out, it has clearly benefitted others. I’m certain you would argue that without the model the bear and many other species would have been wiped out entirely and to that I would also concede.

    ”There is no other model or system on the near or long term horizon to fill it’s role, function and success.”

    I would also agree that the majority of the models principles are sound. But with regard to hunting (and the treatment of wildlife as a consumptive resource) as it has been and is currently applied within the model it will take visionaries to adjust the focus of our agencies and in turn our publics so that our western ecosystems are restored to some semblance of balance for the benefit of all species. I am hopeful there are those that can keep their minds open enough to see the model adjust.

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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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