Increased mortality has stopped the wolf population growth says USFWS-

Tally shows wolves holding steady in region after Montana, Idaho hunting seasons. By Matthew Brown. AP

The 3 state wolf population growth has stopped. Wyoming’s population, where there was no wolf hunt, grew slightly. Montana’s population dropped slightly. Idaho figures are not in, but said to be comparable to last year. Although the article above attributes the halt to the hunt, it should be noted that wolf population growth had been dropping on its own for several years.

The article says “The number of breeding packs increased slightly, from 95 to 111.” [emphasis added]. This could be because increased mortality, especially with hunting might be expected to result in more pack, but smaller packs. However, the delisting plan requires each state to count its breeding pairs, not breed packs. They are not the same. A breeding pack is a group of wolves with some pups at the end of the year. The definition of a breeding pair is different. It has to be two or more wolves with 2 pups at the end of the year and the individual wolves that produced the pups have to also be alive too at the end of the year.

Here is an opposing view from the NRDC. Big Problem: Wolf Population Declining [see note] in Northern Rockies. By Matt Skoglund. Opposing Views. Note that this headline is wrong because NRDC doesn’t say in the article that the wolf population is declining. Skoglund had originally entitled it “The Northern Rockies Wolf Population Has Stopped Growing.” It was changed when Opposing Views picked it up.

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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.

74 Responses to Wolf population growth in ID/MT/WY halted in 2009

  1. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    The NRDC sure needs some serious PR help. Anyone here available to educate them before they turn anyone neutral on this issue against wolves?

  2. avatar Phil Maker says:

    Just noticed this comment from Mark Gamblin in another thread: “Yes, the IDFG is now footing the bill for wolf management and will continue to do so, as long as the state retains management authority.” I believe this is true only in small part. The bulk of the $$ to operate the State wolf program still comes from the federal gov’t. via an appropriation/ear mark through the Office of Species Conservation. The ID state wolf plan will only be implemented contingent upon continued federal funding: from pg. 23 of the ID Wolf Conservation & Management Plan; “If the ID Congressional Delegation is unsuccessful at providing ongoing adequate funding to cover the cost of wolf management, the State of Idaho is under no obligation to manage wolves.”

  3. avatar nabeki says:

    I saw this article from the AP the other day and I don’t believe for one minute there are 1650 wolves in the Northern Rockies. First of all they haven’t even counted Idaho. Secondly, how does the poplulation remain unchanged when over 500 wolves are dead from WS and the hunts AND Idaho isn’t done yet and neither is WS?

    So they are saying over 500 wolf pups were born last year and they all survived? Why in the heck should we believe these self serving numbers? It’s the hunters that are out there counting them with WS. If there was anytime for them to fudge on the numbers it would be now to bolster their case with Molloy.

    Thirdly, where is the science? Where are the reports on the impact of the hunts and the killing by WS. Alpha’s dead? Pups dead? Packs dispersed? Genetic exchange between the three sub-populations?

    Wolves have been reduced to numbers. That’s it.

    Wolf “management” in the Northern Rockies is a joke.

  4. avatar jon says:

    I agree with you 100% nabeki. Nabeki, have you heard of a guy named Toby Bridges? Every pro wolf site I go to this guy is spewing his anti-wolf message. He is one of the biggest wolf haters there are.

  5. avatar Gerry Miner says:

    “It has to be two or more wolves with 2 pups at the end of the year and the individual wolves that produced the pups have to also be alive too at the end of the year.”
    This is not the case…it only has to be 2 adults and pups–not necessarily the parents of those pups. Check the USFWS definition in the annual report.

  6. avatar nabeki says:

    Jon….
    I’ve never heard of Toby Bridges but I’m sure he’s a carbon copy of the anti wolfers and their BS I get on my blog, which all goes straight to spam.

    It’s the same talking points: wolves are killing all the moose, elk, deer and abominable snowman (well maybe there are a few abominable snowmen left) but the elk, moose and deer are definitely all gone. There’s one elk left in Montana out of a population of 150,000. Oh and wolves have also killed a million of their pets. And all the livestock. They’re gone too. So wolves must be controlled or they will take over the planet and we’ll sink back into the dark ages. Oh wait, that’s where these people live…lol.

  7. avatar jon says:

    I don’t believe for one second Idaho knows how to truly manage wolves. You wouldn’t be shocked speaking to some of these hunters from Idaho who hate wolves. In their minds, they think the elk belong to them. These hunters act like wolves are killing all of the elk herds in Idaho. The hatred hunters have for animals just trying to survive is beyond me. Wolves have every right to live on this planet.

  8. jon,

    The whole thing is so foolish because those who support wolves like elk as much as that group of elk hunters who hate wolves do.

  9. avatar Cobra says:

    It wouldn’t suprise me if there were 1600 wolves just in Idaho. They’ve been seeing and hearing them at night on the local golf course. Wonder what their handicap is?
    Nabeki,
    The wolves haven’t hurt our snowman population to much but they have had adverse affects on our bigfoot populations ability for genetic exchange. Seems like the big hairy critters are afraid to go out after dark and woo the ladies. We’re also starting to find out that wolves like chocolates and are stealing the treats before the males can get them to the females to seal the deal. Not many places up here to go out and have a nice quiet moonlight dinner, to much howling going on.

  10. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    It’s the same talking points: wolves are killing all the moose, elk, deer and abominable snowman (well maybe there are a few abominable snowmen left) but the elk, moose and deer are definitely all gone. There’s one elk left in Montana out of a population of 150,000. Oh and wolves have also killed a million of their pets. And all the livestock. They’re gone too. So wolves must be controlled or they will take over the planet and we’ll sink back into the dark ages. Oh wait, that’s where these people live…lol.

    The wolves shall rule the world! 🙂

    In all seriousness though, I can’t believe people who talk like this have not stopped for one second to consider that wolves would have gone extinct thousands of years ago if they really did this.

  11. avatar Ken Cole says:

    “A precise estimate for Idaho was not made available, but the state said it expects a figure “comparable” to 2008’s population of 846 wolves. Idaho reported its number of breeding packs of wolves increased from 39 in 2008 to 50 last year.”

    Why doesn’t Idaho want to give a number? They usually do.

  12. avatar Chuck says:

    You know come to think about it, since the wolves were re-introduced I have not seen a single Jackalope. Before they brought those 250lb Canadian killers down I would see jackalopes and the smaller native Idaho wolf playing tag out in the fields.

  13. avatar jon says:

    Here are 2 of the funniest anti-wolf websites out there.

    saveelk.com

    lobowatch.com

    Some wolf hating hunters love to portray wolves as these vicious killers who kill elk just for “sport” or “fun” of it. LOL

  14. avatar jon says:

    http://www.lobowatch.com/Warning.html

    Read what Toby Bridges has to say about wolves attacking pets. This guy is a lunatic to the extreme!!!

  15. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Nabeki,

    Toby Bridges is a very vocal and confrontive anti-wolf personality, based in Missouli, I think. He is as anti wolf as you are passionate about them. He has website that I expect you can find by typing his name and the word wolf. I challenged him vigorously a few times (as I have you) about a year ago, on some of his claims. I would guess he monitors this site. In short, in my opinion, the guy is an irrational wack job.

  16. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen – because someone has a different opinion than yourselves does not make them a lunatic or a whack job. You should be more tolerant of others – many here are tolerant of you.

  17. avatar Ken Cole says:

    “Including You Pet Dog!”

  18. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Sorry, I didn’t see jon’s more detailed post. At least we can agree about Bridges. And, the more one challenges his views, even with unrefutable facts, the hotter and more irrational he gets.

  19. avatar nabeki says:

    Prowolf..
    Yes, wolves will take over the world and it will be a better place. There certainly will be order, that’s for sure. And we’ll all know who’s boss…lol

    Cobra…
    Sorry the Bigfoot are under attack by vicious wolves. And to think they’re stealing all the chocolate…everything is going to the wolves…

    Jon…
    Toby Bridges proved my point….all the pets in the world have been killed by wolves.

    I swear these cretins must not have had enough pacifier time when they were little.

  20. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    TWB,

    With all due respect for your desire for tolerance (an admirable trait we should all aspire to), this guy is waaaaay on the fringe. I have seen enough of Bridges’ factually incorrect claims, groundless assertions, and in – your – face angry responses, that I truly would have to wonder whether the guy functions well in society.

  21. avatar nabeki says:

    WM….
    I say ignore these people. I was just having a little fun but seriously, I rarely visit anti wolf websites or post on them. I really don’t care what they have to say. If they comment on my site, it goes to spam. Let them rage against wolves on their own time, not mine.

  22. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    WM – there are quite a few regular contributors on this site that many would say are waaaay on the other fringe – just sayin.

  23. avatar JimT says:

    Tolerance for views is one thing. Tolerance for ignorance that seeks to mushroom into hatred and eradication of a species is to encourage such behavior.

    I “tolerate” David Brooks and the now deceased Bill Buckley because their views, while I disagree with them, were matters of a different philosophy and sought to keep the discussion civil. Rush, Beck, O”Reilly depend on lies and appeals to the lesser parts of human nature and seek to spread that poison. I don’t see Toby Bridges to be any different that this latter group.

    Toby, if you are reading this…have a nice day…;*)

  24. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    Jim T – how do you know that Toby is ignorant?

  25. avatar Elk275 says:

    I have e mail Toby Bridges in the past and disagreed with him on Montana having a Muzzleloader season. The guy is a jerk. Montana is only state that does not have a specific muzzleloading season, there are some populated areas with muzzlesloading, acrchey and shotguns only such as the Bitteroot Valley.

    I believe that Toby come to Montana and was employed by Knight Muzzleloaders for the purpose of starting a muzzleloading season in Montana, he is from Missouri. Knight Muzzleloaders has since gone out of business. His proposal would have allowed muzzleloading hunting during archery season. You think that wolves have been tough on elk in Montana but a 6 week muzzle loading hunting season during the rut would have been many times worst. Well the archery hunters hate him worst that the pro wolf people.

  26. avatar JimT says:

    I checked out his website….not the type of content that speaks of historic and science-based facts, hence, the perfectly applicable “ignorance” observation. I can say with perfect honesty and without feeling attacked that I am ignorant as to sighting in a rifle, tying a fly, federal tax law, and many other things in life. But I don’t have a blog or website purporting to know about how these things should be done….

    As for being on the fringe…I guess the difference to me is that being on the Left Fringe on this issue mainly stands for restoring ecosystems and inhabitants. The Right Fringe stands for killing and keeping the status quo which is harming the general health of the ecosystems for profit.

    I choose the Left…;*)

    Related to wolves….

    Here is a link to a story I just found on Wyoming wolves and the latest court hearing…I am hoping Ralph posts the story here for comments.

    http://www.trib.com/news/state-and-regional/article_dece47cc-46bb-5718-b33c-9c9de303691c.html

  27. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Phil Maker –
    You are correct about federal contributions to Idaho wolf management actions. I should have waited (weekend post) to confirm what I thought I understood. Idaho has a committment from the federal government (USFWS) for five years of funding support from the date of the de-listing decision. The IDFG receives $700,000 per year, for the next four years, to help initiate state management of Idaho wolves. My apologies for the mistake. I wish I could say it will be my last but……

  28. avatar Ryan says:

    Jon,

    While I disagree with his a delivery and tone, as it sits under the 10j as I understand it dogs and pets are not lethally defensible. Wolves hate dogs as general rule and will kill them onsite if given the opportunity.

  29. avatar Cindy says:

    Ralph did you see the AP story that ran on the front page of the Jackson Hole Daily Saturday? Headline “Wyoming continues Wolf fight”? I think it’s similar to what JimT mentions only this article has the quote from a local outfitter using his highly skilled wolf biology/science to comment “wolf depredation on elk is forcing the state to weigh limited draw licenses in certain popular hunting areas bordering Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.” He goes on to say “he’s been outfitting in Wyoming for 20 years in the area and is seeing the ratio of elk calves to cow elk dropping quickly and the number of trophy bulls dwindling”. He finishes by saying “The only way we can approach it is to get delisted and start harvesting these large carnivores, it’s got to happen soon; we’re running out of time.” I repeat comments I made on this blog in the fall, (my own scientific study), every single person who I personally know that hunts elk, filled their tags this year and filled them with bulls, all hunted in the GYE area.
    Wew…

  30. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    Jim T – you, with a left leaning lens – no way.

  31. avatar Devin says:

    Cindy, it seems that you are trying to debunk the outfitter’s own experiences with wolves with your own anecdotal evidence. Using anecdotal information to draw conclusions can be very dangerous in wildlife management when both sides have their own biases…..unless of course your own “highly skilled wolf biology/science” is for some reason better than his.

  32. avatar Layton says:

    Cindy,

    I don’t think it takes a lot of “highly skilled biology/science” to read the news here in Idaho and find out that there ARE a significant number of draw and regular tags being withdrawn from resident AND non-resident hunters because of wolf depredations on elk herds. Not everywhere, but in some zones where the wolves are a problem.

    Secondly, you either know a select few (very lucky) elk hunters, or you know some that don’t necessarily tell the truth. 8) (MY highly skilled, random sample of one, scientific opinion)

  33. avatar JEFF E says:

    re Toby Bridges.
    He is starting a chapter of SFW in Montana and already has the backing of Don Peay the big cheese in Utah, Bob Wharff, Nate Helm, and some other little cheeses.

    I have gone a round or two with Toby (Gillis) Bridges and it digressed to a point that he actually changed content on his web site and then claimed he had not.
    I still have the whole episode saved on hard copy.
    He did move here from somewhere in the mid-west where he was the head stink bait salesman at some cut bait shop or something of that nature.

    Any way if anyone had any doubts about SFW this should clear it up.

  34. avatar jon says:

    Jeff E, yes, I read that he had on his website saying there were 200 pound wolves, but when someone starting throwing real facts at him about the size of wolves, he took those 200 pound claims off his site. Is that what happened? LOL

  35. avatar jon says:

    Jeff E, I believe this is the discussion you are talking about. You and a few others threw the facts right in Toby’s face and it shows. LOL

    http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/a_1000_mile_journey_carries_montana_wolf_to_colorado/C41/L41/

    Ah, but there are 200-pounders…seen ’em with me own two eyes, shot in the Northwest Territories…same subspecies as the wolves turned loose on Northern Rockies deer and elk by the idiots of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Quite hionestly, it doesn’t matter if they are of the same subspecies…all wolves are of the same run it down…brutally kill it…rip it apart…each just a small portion…then go find another one culture. And it really doesn’t matter if they kill their prey before eating it…or if they eat it all. One of the biggest lies about wolves is that they only kill to survive. Hogwash, they kill for the mere pleasure of killing – leaving entire animals to rot. That’s why we have only about a third of the elk in Yellowstone that were there before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (yep, same idiots) reintroduced wolves into a community where they had been eradicated a hundred years ago – because they didn’t mix well with humans, pets, livestock or other wildlife. And they still don’t. It’s time to eradicate them again, before we lose all of our wildlife to these un-needed killing machines.

    Toby Bridges
    LOBO WATCH
    Missoula, MT

    I bet if you asked Toby for proof of these 200 pounders, he wouldn’t be able to produce any. It’s always, I saw them with my own 2 eyes. How can anyone who sees a wolf think that they can determine a wolf’s weight to be exact just by looking at it from a distance away?

  36. avatar JEFF E says:

    yes jon that was it.
    Now that same page on hs web site has been “amended” a couple times so that the claim is 130 to 150 lbs.
    A very pathetic individuale IMO.
    SFW deserves him

  37. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Cindy,

    If you read the recently emerging reports from the various state wildlife agencies, some game management units are experiencing significant changes in the age distributions of elk. Wolves and bears tend to get alot of calves, which means that fewer grow up to become bulls or bearing cows. If you are interested in anecdotal evidence, I have shared before here, that last year I saw more branch antlered bulls than spikes in an area where wolves had begun to regularly inhabit about three years ago. We also saw MANY more remnants of eaten carcasses of younger/smaller animals. This is an area where we have hunted over twenty five years, so we typically know what is there. In short, there may be fewer harvestable bulls in coming years.

    The real question you should be asking your elk hunting acquaintances is whether they have seen fewer spikes, fewer elk in general during hunting season, and whether they have observed lower body weight (less stored fat for winter) in teh animals they have harvested, and whether elk behavior has seemed to change. These are more likely indicators of the effects of wolves on hunting, even if they are anecdotal.

  38. avatar Cindy says:

    Well Devin you missed by “wink wink nod nod” on the science comment! “Anecdotal information to draw conclusions can be very dangerous in wildlife management .” Hello! My point exactly. Lets allow some science into the Wyoming Delisting conversation shall we? Having natural predators (wolves) help control over populated prey (elk in the GYE) is a more balanced approach to wildlife management, then say, Elk hunting. And for Wyoming – no dual status, trophy fine (see I’m not unreasonable), vermin, No Way! Sorry, but it’s my opinion. The outfitting trade and the the livestock industry are throwing around their own anecdotal information and it’s just not backed up by science. I love seeing less Elk tags, more power to the wolves to help us keep these overpopulated elk herds in check. The draw down is exactly what some of us prefer. Having spent time in a classroom setting with Doug Smith (he’s a wolf biologist) I learned some of the vegetation around here might just be a little healthier and oh yeah, the mere presence of wolves in this ecosystem which they belong in is important to some of us ole” Wyoming folks.

  39. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Nabeki, if wolves ruled the world that might not be so bad.

    Jon, I had never heard of lobo watch. The fact is, these people are lunatics who really are pretty scary. It seems strange these people consider themselves animal lovers when they are so concerned about having animals to kill. I guess a bullet is better than wolves, even though elk evolved with them.

    Chuck, were those native Idaho wolves eating grass along with the jackalopes? You can come down to Wyoming and see jackalopes everywhere but the northwestern corner where the locusts-I mean wolves-haven’t eaten everything.

  40. avatar Cindy says:

    And MW – important information you’re asking about, but I have to stick with my argument that only good, calculated science is going to help us come to an understanding on the ever changing, highly emotional wolf issue. Just as I can’t use my friends who had successful hunts or others who tell me they seem to be seeing less Elk, cloud the very important work of restoring wolves into this ecosystem. Of course there is going to be less elk, less elk calves and less cows and sheep if they’re not babysat more closely. And I know the severe hit that big changes can make to ones livelihood. Our small business is barely holding on right now (economy), so I understand that when we start messing around with business things get elevated. For me personally I’m learning to be creative, find new avenues of income within the structure of my businss and seek out new different ways of doing business altogether to insure our survival. That’s what creative people do. Now, back to where I live, the Elk population in this area was out of control and unnatural, that’s elk science 101. I know lots of money and time went into growing that population but does that make it right? Should we wrong the right now?

  41. avatar Cindy says:

    I have to run- I’m not ignoring any responses, just can’t see them until the am!

  42. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Cindy and All,

    ++Having spent time in a classroom setting with Doug Smith (he’s a wolf biologist) I learned some of the vegetation around here might just be a little healthier++

    Lots of very good scientists working on this stuff, in and outside Yellowstone/GYE. Doug Smith, of course, is with USFWS, the agency some here like to trash.

    This seems like a good opportunity to interject some recent research which addresses your comment. It seems there are different views regarding the extent to which wolves are directly or indirectly responsible for trophic cascade effects (as represented by the folks at Oregon State U -Dr. William Ripple, who most here quote for his positive findings that wolves help trophic cascade).

    At least two scientists in different studies have asserted that climate and resulting snow depth is much more important in determining recent vegetation changes (deep snow means more willow consumption). And, in fact, one study showed willow consumption INCREASED in the presence of wolves (elk graze less and browse more, eating willow and perhaps aspen). It is complicated, because a perceived decrease in consumption of willow (hence trophic cascade) is attributed to the fact there would be fewer elk.

    Here is a very recent study from Dr. Scott Creel at Montana State U. Read and draw your own conclusions:

    http://www.montana.edu/wwwbi/staff/creel/wolf%20elk%20willow.pdf

  43. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Sorry, for those wishing just the cite, but do not want read Creel’s study is:

    Creel S & Christianson D 2009. Wolf presence and increased willow consumption by Yellowstone elk: implications for trophic cascades. Ecology. 90: 2454- 2466.

  44. avatar JB says:

    “I bet if you asked Toby for proof of these 200 pounders, he wouldn’t be able to produce any. It’s always, I saw them with my own 2 eyes. How can anyone who sees a wolf think that they can determine a wolf’s weight to be exact just by looking at it from a distance away?”

    Jeff:

    I might have mentioned this before, but several years ago we arranged for a Colorado-based rescue group to come to Utah with their “ambassador” wolves. As part of their program (they ran three while in Logan) they asked people how much they thought the wolf they were viewing weighed. The lowest guess I witnessed was 175 lbs, the highest was 700 lbs! Most ranged from 200-300. In fact, the wolf in question was a very small female. She only weighed 65 lbs (small than my female GSD). Anyway, just goes to show the funny things wolves do to people’s minds.

  45. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    “I bet if you asked Toby for proof of these 200 pounders, he wouldn’t be able to produce any. It’s always, I saw them with my own 2 eyes. How can anyone who sees a wolf think that they can determine a wolf’s weight to be exact just by looking at it from a distance away?”

    Wolves are legendary in some people’s minds. It is like how people claim that they have seen wolves go on killing sprees and eating legs off of animals and leaving them to die. I’m always reminded of the story a coworker told me about a wolf attack in Yellowstone in the summer of 2008. Somehow the papers in Jackson, Cody, Livingston, and West Yellowstone didn’t report the story, nor did the Star Tribune, Billings Gazette, or Missoulian.

  46. avatar JEFF E says:

    JB,
    I remember that.
    I could post a few pics and start a contest right here and bet that the guesses would be on the high side by about 50+ percent.

  47. avatar Dawn says:

    Just wanted to let you guys know that Defenders emailed me about the Idaho derby’s , so go to Defenders website if you want to sign the petition against the companies involved in this sick derby .

  48. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    Fishing Derby in Havre, MT – any thoughts from the group?

  49. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Correction: My error in comment to Cindy above. I wrote too fast. Doug Smith is the wolf project manager for Yellowstone NP, and has been an employee of the NPS in the wolf program since 1994.

  50. avatar Devin says:

    Talks with Bears,
    The fishing derby seems fair enough to me. Here is a rules link: http://www.havremt.com/events/icefish/Fishing%20Rules%202010.pdf

    Unlike a predator derby, not all fish caught will be killed (unless it is in the spear category) and depending on the species, anglers will have usually have crill limits. Then those fish will go home with the anglers and be eaten, unlike predators.

    Just my opinion. I’m sure some will differ.

  51. avatar Save bears says:

    Toby is a nut case, I have met him in person quite a few times, he often posts to many newspaper articles around the state under various names.

    But he is in fact a nut case and most hunters don’t like him either, he is right up there with Ron G. and a few others, he is definitely at the at the far extreme of the anti wolf groups..

    The FWP don’t even like dealing with him and most offices have banned him from entering their premises…

    He did in fact work for Knight Muzzle loaders and his agenda was to get the Muzzle Loader season during the bow hunting season..which would have been a disaster…

  52. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    Devin – you can bet some will differ – how about the spearfishing division – is that common these days?

  53. avatar JB says:

    TWB:

    Personally, I don’t like the idea of making a contest out of killing. However, many of fishing tournaments are now catch & release and use pretty sophisticated methods to avoid killing. Believe it or not, I once worked on a study of competitive fishing tournaments, and was very impressed by the effort the FLW put into keeping fish alive. Very different than what goes on in predator killing contests. Again, I’ll take the opportunity to put in a plug for the film, “Killing Coyote.” If you want to know that goes on at this events, this film is extremely informative.

  54. avatar JB says:

    WM:

    I haven’t read Creel’s paper, but I’m curious. Is he actually claiming that the recovery of willows and aspen is due to changes in snow pack and not the rather dramatic reduction of elk? Frankly, I’m skeptical. Anyone that has seen one of the exclusion pens in Yellowstone will understand why. It wasn’t the snow pack that caused differences inside and outside these enclosures.

  55. avatar Devin says:

    I think spearfishing is a growing sport, although around here it is usually used mostly for carp fishing. Carp as also popularly fished using bows. Having never actually carp fished myself I have read they aren’t usually eaten. Carp are very boney and not a big eating fish in the states but I do know that they are eaten alot in some parts of the world.

    That aside, I don’t know where I stand on the spear fishing issue. I’m very opposed to taking life for the sole purpose of enjoyment and letting it go to waste…but at the same time…I can’t claim to know enough about the “sport” to form an educated opinion.

  56. avatar Save bears says:

    Actually due the increase in the Asian immigrants in many areas of the west coast, it is not that difficult to sell carp for human consumption as they do eat carp.

    Over the Christmas holidays, we went fishing on Sauvie’s Island which is located in Portland, OR and I was amazed, every carp we caught, we bought from us for food.

  57. avatar Cobra says:

    I fish bass tournaments and have for quite some time. Fish are brought into the scales, weighed and then returned to the water. Fish that do die are cleaned and taken to needy families in the area. Also weighing a dead fish can take up to 8 oz. off your total bag of a 5 fish limit per day which can cost you dearly in a tight tournament.
    The guys that do spearfishing the right way and only take rough fish are fine, but, I’ve caught trout, bass and pike that had spear marks on them and I can’t say I agree with that.

  58. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Personally, I don’t like the idea of making a contest out of killing.

    JB, that seems so antiquated to me. Kind of like bear baiting.

  59. avatar Save bears says:

    Bear baiting is again, another one of those eruptive issues, those who are in favor, have made the argument that baiting them in, allows them to ascertain if it is a lactating female or actually ascertain if the bear has cubs…

    As I have not hunted a bear for many years now and I have never run them with dogs, or hunted over bait, I don’t know if this is valid..the last time I hunted a bear(I did eat it) was spot and stalk with a bow..

  60. avatar Jim Holyan says:

    Ken Cole,

    The Nez Perce Tribe and IDFG are in the final stages of getting aerial counts of wolf packs, which is used to calculate one of the variables that goes into the ID wolf pop. estimation formula. A pop. estimate could be available in a week or so (providing weather allows for the completion of flights).

  61. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    JB,

    You should read the study. The conclusions are more complex than I want to take on in a summary for this crowd – a tar baby indeed. This one is not a particularly easy read. Lots of issues raised.

    I will say, however, that Ripple’s work on trophic cascade is not without its critics, and Creel suggests that Ripple’s conclusions are not completely supported by his own (Creel’s) research.

    And, as Mark Gamblin has pointed out here before, trophic cascade theory has its origins in aquatic biology, where cause and effect are more easily isolated. Terrestrial biology, as we are learning, is much more complex, as Creel notes.

    A few things to think about however. In short, Ripple apparently says wolves change behavior which affects (reduces willow consumption) trophic cascade. Creel says, don’t be so quick. If snowpack is low, as it has been recently the elk won’t eat as much willow, and because the wolves eat the elk there are fewer of them, they also harass them so there is lower pregnancy rate, so its also a numbers game. The debate on wolf effects on trophic cascade will continue.

  62. avatar gline says:

    I think I will send an email to Ripple on the above comment and see what he thinks …

  63. avatar gline says:

    “The debate on wolf effects on trophic cascade will continue.”

    Really, it seems to be the debate on whether wolves have a place on our planet, which is absolutely ludicrous. Wolves have value- when will you realize this?

  64. avatar Save bears says:

    Value is defined by the person who is thinking about it, because they have value to you, does not mean they have value to another..

    When will you realize this?

    Value is a personal definition, not a public conclusion..

  65. avatar Save bears says:

    Often times, what you value, What I value and what Ralph values will have a completely different definitions..and what is so sad, what the rest of the country values is not the same…

  66. avatar Save bears says:

    Until such time as BOTH sides understand “Value” is a subjective term, we will never have a solution, because we can’t come to an agreement of what “Value” is.

  67. avatar gline says:

    god SB, you are placating wolf advocacy AGAIN. Isn’t this a pro wolf site? why do you do that? many people value wolves… it ain’t just me.

  68. avatar gline says:

    I suggest you stop being so personal. I am making comments as I see fit re: wolves. You are not the mediator of this blog.

  69. avatar Save bears says:

    gline,

    I am just making comments based on what I see. I don’t see this as a “Pro Wolf” site, I see it as a site to discuss wildlife issues, which is why I enjoy it so much, Ralph the owner allows both sides of the issue to discuss those issues, which really is a rare thing in this day and age..

    Those on the pro side, don’t seem to be able to understand those on the anti side and those on the anti side, don’t seem to be able to understand those on the pro side..

    If you don’t like that, then I don’t know what to tell you..as far as it being personal, take it as you want, wolves have a place in our world, but so do humans..

  70. avatar Save bears says:

    Many people “Value” many things…but I learned a long time ago, they may not be the things “I” value..

  71. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    Everyone – we made it all evening without a huge name calling falderal. Nice.

  72. avatar JimT says:

    TWB,

    Left leaning and proud to admit it…I am not one of those who believe liberal is a four letter word, or that I should couch my views as being “independent” for political cover. That said, facts speak to me louder than hyperbole from either side of the aisle…and on the issue of wolves, the facts support a pro-wolf agenda.

  73. avatar Cindy says:

    WM: Thanks for catching the correction on Doug’s title, I wanted to mention it at the time, but was just signing off. Differing opinions, values, beliefs, feelings, etc. are healthy as long as we stick to the core of the issue and not float out into the fringe (or abyss as I like to refer to it). I personally am clearly defined– pro-wolf. I “believe” they have every right in the world to live in this area without the constant assaults and abuse by the hand of man. Their lives are difficult, just like any other animal in the wild. I watch small and large animals working their tails 🙂 off just to survive day in and day out in this harsh Wyoming climate. I held a beautiful Evening Grosbeck as she took her last breath this weekend, and I honor her life as much as my brother Wolf. I don’t need the trophic cascade studies, classroom time with wolf biologists, arguments with friends or anecdotal wildlife studies to “value” the presence of wolves and their right to live in my backyard. I try hard not to jump to some piece of information to strengthen my “belief”, it’s so unnecessary, yet I get caught sometimes. I want to learn to not have a knee jerk reaction to comments I don’t agree with. Growing growing growing…

  74. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Everyone – we made it all evening without a huge name calling falderal. Nice.

    Yay!

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Quote

‎"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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