Wolf season proposal includes an on-line survey-

We have written a lot about Idaho’s proposed upcoming second wolf hunt, one that will have no statewide quota and a very long season coupled with trapping in northern Idaho.

Here is the detailed information for the Idaho Fish and Game Department and an online survey you can participate in. Little doubt survey responses from citizens of the state will have more weight.

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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.

129 Responses to Idaho Fish and Game asks for public comment on wolf hunt

  1. avatar ma'iingan says:

    I’m not an Idaho resident, so I expect that my opinion will weigh less, but I would hope that anyone with even a modicum of respect for wolves would use this opportunity to protest the 72-hour trap rule.

    I’ve trapped dozens of wolves for radio-collaring, and our protocol absolutely requires checking traps at a maximum of 24 hours. We strive to keep our traplines short enough so that we can get all the traps checked early in the morning. Regardless of one’s ultimate intent for the animal, it’s unconscionable to leave it in a trap for 72 hours.

    • avatar WM says:

      ma’iingan,

      I think for a frame of reference, one needs to consider is whether the trap is a live or a kill trap.

      WA, for example, distingishes the type of trap and how frequently it must be checked (from the WA trapping regulations effective thru 3/31/2012 http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/00769/wdfw00769.pdf):

      IT IS UNLAWFUL TO TRAP FOR WILD ANIMALS:

      • avatar WM says:

        For some reason, the balance of the quote did not post. It should read as follows for the WA regulation:

        IT IS UNLAWFUL TO TRAP FOR WILD ANIMALS:

        -With body-gripping traps EXCEPT by permit to abate an animal problem under WAC 232-12-142. This includes, but not limited to, padded foothold traps, unpadded foot-hold traps, all snares, and conibear type traps.

        -Unless traps are checked and animals removed within 72 hours (non-body gripping kill traps).

        -Unless animals captured in restraining traps (any nonkilling set) are removed within 24 hours of capture.

        -With a neck or body snare attached to a spring pole or any spring pole type of device.

        So, it would appear ID is not off the mark as compared with a state which some believe to be more civilized in its management practices – for kill traps.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          You’re right – I should have looked into it myself. I was relying on what other contributors had posted here.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            The Idaho Fish and Game Commission doesn’t feel that such distinction is required –

            200. TRAPS.
            01. Checking Traps. (7-1-93)
            a. No person shall place snares or traps for furbearing animals, predatory or unprotected wildlife,
            EXCEPT pocket gophers, ground squirrels and other unprotected rodents, without visiting every trap or snare once every seventy-two (72) hours and removing any catch therein. (7-1-93)

            However, there are no body grip traps sized for wolves – wolves will be caught in leghold traps, and unless the regulation is changed there is opportunity for them to be left in the trap for up to 72 hours. The ID statute also references snares, without distinction. My state has outlawed snares but allows cable restraints – basically a snare with a mechanical stop that prevents strangulation of the animal. Cable restraints are sized to the specific target animal – we’ve caught and collared a few wolves with them but here in the WGL region there’s a potential of catching deer, the most common similar-sized animal on the landscape.

  2. avatar Immer Treue says:

    1. Season too long. Early in season packs/pups still at rendezvous sites more susceptible to harvest, no sport there. As per Mech, possibility exists to remove entire packs.
    2. Season too long as pelts will not be prime until ~November and past prime beyond late February. Length of season as proposed is nothing more than attempt to lower wolf population (my opinion).
    3. Trapping with a 72 hour trap check is unconscionable.

    • avatar jon says:

      I would love to know who exactly came up with this 72 hour trapping rule.

      • avatar william huard says:

        Since Mark Gamblin represents IDFG, maybe someone that is a little less hard on him than me and others could get an answer as to how this 72 hour trap check rule can be justified……My state has a mandatory 24 hour trap check policy as do other more civilized states. Just like I stated earlier, these types of policies say way more about the attitudes of the lawmakers than responsible wildlife management

        • avatar jon says:

          Idaho is extreme, but Don Peay and his group sportsmen for killing wildlife wanted 7 days.

          http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=13646619

          • avatar william huard says:

            It is interesting to read Peay’s comments. He has seen coyotes kill a fawn and that makes him angry because he thinks humans are the only species that should be entitled to kill…. Shocking. He hates predators so to him leaving a coyote or a wolf in a trap for 7 days is what these animals deserve….It is frightening to me that this person has access to people in power that make wildlife decisions. Idaho’s 72 hour trap check policy reflects this contempt for wildlife

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            How often have we heard that pro-wolf people have a “disneyfied outlook of nature?

            sportsman Don Peay

            “I’ve watched a pack of coyotes kill a fawn, and I’m going to side with the baby deer on this one,” Peay said. “You know, if you really look out for animal rights and you care about Bambi, you don’t want coyotes around. So, yeah! We’ll take the side of protecting Bambi and shooting coyotes.”

          • avatar jon says:

            Yeah, Don doesn’t care about those baby deer. He just wants them to grow up to be bigger deer so he can shoot them. Don Peay no doubt supports animals being in traps for 7 days long as he was one of the people that wanted the 7 day trap check ban to happen.

          • avatar jon says:

            Don proves with his comments how anti-predator sportsmen groups like his and others are. A lot of these sportsmen groups would like nothing more if there were just game animals like deer on elk on the landscape and no predators because hunters like Peay don’t like competition.

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            Don Peay shows how little these people know about science, nature, biology. He seems not to understand the “food chain.” On this planet everything is eventually eaten by something else.

            He needs to learn the harsh reality of our existence.

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      Immer,
      1. As explained in several earlier posts, the proposed season length is identical to the 2010 season. It will not theaten conservation objectives for Idaho wolves.
      2. Pelt quality will vary during the season. Primeness of wolf pelts is a commercial value; it does not, by itself, define the trophy value of a wolf pelt for wolf hunters. That is a subjective quality that varies among hunters, who will be guided by their own personal preferences, the hunt experience and many other intangible values that determine what constitutes value in a trophy. Few wolf hunters will choose to sell their pelts for monetary gain. The issue of wolf pelt primeness is less relevant than suggested in this thread.

      Of course the length of season is guided by the management objective to reduce wolf numbers in Idaho. Nothing nefarious about that and well within the norms of wildlife management principles.
      3. The reporting period for trapping is a policy approved by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. The Commission can modify this trapping requlation, based on the desires and input of the people of Idaho for management of a spectrum of wildlife objectives.

      • avatar william huard says:

        “The Commission can modify this trapping regulation based on the desires and imput of the people of Idaho……
        I would assume this 72 hour trap check policy was implemented after feedback from trappers and what would be more convenient for them- I have an idea- why not have the policy based on what’s best for the animal- a more humane policy to reduce the animal’s suffering?

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Mark,

        Not trying to argue, but just listing my concerns. Your answers to my points one and two are fair enough.

        Perhaps you have said it in a more clandestine way before, above 15/150… but have finally come to the point with,

        “Of course the length of season is guided by the management objective to reduce wolf numbers in Idaho.”

        However,

        The 72 hour policy is just wrong.

      • avatar JB says:

        A 1993 survey conducted by Responsive Management found strong support for hunting (among residents of Maryland). However, they noted that support varied depending upon the reason (or motivation) for hunting. Specifically, 66% of people approved of hunting for meat, 62% for population control, 25% for recreational purposes, and 10% for trophy hunting.

        http://www.responsivemanagement.com/download/reports/NCIEA_lit_review.pdf

        Similarly a longitudinal analysis of support for hunting in the US found 85 (1978) and 91% (1995) of residents supported “traditional native subsistence hunting”, 67% (1978) and 73% (1995) supported “hunting for recreation and meat”, and 37% (1978) and 40% (1995) supported hunting for recreation and sport.

        http://www.drs.wisc.edu/documents/articles/heberlein/Attitudes%20Toward%20Hunting.pdf

        A more recent (2006) study of U.S. residents again showed a similar trend: 85% supported hunting “for the meat”, 83% for “animal population control”, 58% “for the sport” and 28% “for a trophy”.

        This study also showed that hunting varied by species. U.S. residents overwhelming supported hunting deer (78%), wild turkey (75%), and small game (71%); however, there was not support for hunting large carnivores (black bear = 47%; mountain lion = 42%).

        http://www.responsivemanagement.com/download/reports/NAMWC_Public_Opinion_Hunting.pdf

        My point: People’s support for hunting varies based upon its purpose, the species hunted, and (though not covered above) the method of harvest. Hunting wolves when their pelts are of no value is likely to be viewed as hunting purely for “trophy” purposes (which is generally not supported); moreover, we know from prior studies that hunting large carnivores is generally unpopular. From my perspective, it behooves states to structure their seasons such that it minimizes public opposition to hunting (see Mech, LD. 2010. Journal of Wildlife Management, 74(7)1421.); such actions show sensitivity on the part of managers, and would help to minimize public opposition.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        “The issue of wolf pelt primeness is less relevant than suggested in this thread. ”

        Particularly in light that the next stop after the mandatory check will be the county landfill, which is the exact value placed on this species by the Idaho legislature, Clem, and by direct extension IDFG

  3. The pups of Yellowstone’s Canyon Pack were still staying at their rendezvous site until the first of November last year when I was attempting to photograph them. Shooting wolves with pups(Or shooting pups) is not what I consider good sportmanship and should not be allowed. Pups at a rendezvous site are an easy target.
    Hunters should be required to ascertain that the wolves being hunted do not have pups before shooting.
    There used to be rabbit drives in Idaho when I was young, where thousands of rabbits were clubbed to death.
    Rabbit drives ended in Idaho when a national news crew filmed the participants tossing live rabbits to each other to be clubbed while they where in the air.
    A video of wolf pups being killed in Idaho or of a trapped wolf lefts for days in a trap on national news would set hunting back 20 years.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      +A video of wolf pups being killed in Idaho or of a trapped wolf lefts for days in a trap on national news would set hunting back 20 years+

      Larry – would make an excellent followup to the Lords of Nature video that GreenFire Productions put out – Tolerance of Nature, in Short Supply

      • avatar ma'iingan says:

        It’s unlikely that many hunters would target 4-month old pups, but these animals are totally dependent upon adults at this age. In fact, even yearling wolves are not well-equipped to fend for themselves. This is where additive or super-additive mortality can become a factor.

        These additive mortality effects are not yet well understood, especially in a subpopulation in sharp transition from being heavily protected to heavily hunted. And they are apparently ignored entirely by IDFG.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          ma’iingan,
          Not ignored. More accurate to say that the IDFG recognizes that the potential for either direct harvest of wolf pups or indirect mortality of wolf pups due to take of other adult pack members, by hunters and/or trappers, – is not a risk to the integrity, viability or sustainability of the Idaho wolf population. The challenge will not be to avoid over-exploiting wolves in Idaho – it will be to achieve a level of population control (reduction of wolf numbers) necessary to achieve other important wildlife management objectives. There is virtually no risk that wolves in Idaho or the NRMR will again be at risk of extirpation by wolf management actions.

          • avatar Phil says:

            Mark: I do not consider the plans sought out by the three NRM region states to be of management quality, I see them to be first of slaughter, then management from there on in. I may have missed it, but is a pup casualty a direct goal of the states and the IDFG? On the survey I took regarding Idaho’s wolf hunting season brought up by the Fish and Game, I did not see anything regarding pup casualty. I actually had to put that in in the comments section.

        • avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

          The bottom line is that the pups will be just a causality,but in turn the objective will met by the reduction of wolves.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Rita – the bottom line will be that some pups may be taken by hunters, some pups could conceivably die due to the loss of adult members of the pack and absolutely – pups will die of a variety of other natural causes regardless of a hunting or trapping season. What is important for responsible wolf management is that the Idaho wolf population be managed for a viable, sustainable wolf population, along with other important wildlife management objectives.

          • avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

            The bottom line is the objective and that is the reduction of wolves,Mr.Gamblin,whether young or old.

  4. avatar Howl Basin says:

    Mark Gamblin – Butch Otter’s IDFG Commissioners do not listen to anyone except SWF, RMEF, IOGA, Trappers, Ranchers & other anti-predator groups. They have made it no secret how much they detest wolves & anyone who speaks up for them. They about laughed ICL out of the room when the group proposed “wolf viewing areas”. Now wolves go under the gun and arrow on August 30th, so the wolf hunting army will descend into Idaho’s countryside the week before Labor Day. Watch out hikers, campers, families – leave your dog at home if it looks anything like a wolf, coyote or fox. Then prepare yourself to see gloating wolf hunters with their stuck or shot wolves including pups that are just 4 1/2 months old paraded through campgrounds, towns like Salmon, Stanley, Challis, Grangeville, Lowman, Idaho City, etc. This happened in 2009-10. Next the photos will appear in newspapers like the Statesman, and go up on all the anti-wolf Facebook & internet sites. The 1st bow hunter to stick a wolf will be famous – a hero among the anti’s. It’s likely this killer with be on a guided hunt. Wolf hunters are already scouting & figuring out how to call or bait wolves into range. IDFG’s outrageous free-for-all wolf hunt with its TWO to FIVE tags, NO quotas at all in 8 of the 13 zones, dirt cheap tags, allowing electronic calls, traps, snares, baiting – will make the Mud Lake bunny boppers look civilized.

    • avatar Mike says:

      One can only hope that these hillbillies someday enhance their levels of self-awareness and join the human race. But I get a funny feeling that’s a pipe dream.

      Idaho is an embarrassment to the nation.

      • avatar timz says:

        What’s even worse many here are proud of that fact.

        • avatar william huard says:

          I think if I read one more time how the Idaho wolf population will be managed for a viable sustainable population, along with other wildlife management objectives like boosting elk numbers so more hunters will have more elk to kill- I will FU^&* scream……

          • avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

            You and me,both.

          • avatar timz says:

            Yes, Gamblin really needs some new material he’s like a broken record.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            Mark Gamblin has missed the concept that wolves are individuals, too. Intentionally causing the deaths of pups through ill-considered and inhumane tactics, and then covering that by saying the we’ll still have a “sustainable wolf population” is despicable. But, that is how he was taught – the death of an individual is meaningless, so long as the population survives.

            So what if pups die from other natural causes? IDFG does not have to be responsible for the unnecessary suffering of wolf pups (starvation) in order to manage wolves. We humans can aspire to higher levels of morality and compassion than this. Our every thought doesn’t have to be coldly “practical”. For example, one could find a deer caught in a fence. Mark’s way of thinking would leave it there (oh well, the species will survive), while some of us would release it.

          • avatar jon says:

            Who cares if wolves are killed by traps and snares and who cares if wolf pups are killed by hunters as long as the wolf population goes down somehow right Mark? That pretty much sums up the attitude that you and Idaho fish and game have right?

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            William, jon, IDhiker –
            You each emphasize an important point of contention for many in and outside of this blog community: the concept of wildlife management is necessarily founded on managing populations, not individuals. Management of our wildlife resource (yes, resource) focuses on wildlife populations because that is where wildlife conservation occurs – at the population level. Concern for the fate of individual animals is an issue of social and personal values that should affect HOW our we use our wildlife resource – whether by watching, hunting, photographing or in a myriad of other ways. Social values are expressed through state governmental rules and regulations, personal values are the responsibility of each of us individually. Idaho residents will determine if wildlife management policies and practices are socially relevant and acceptable. Each of us has the freedom to make personal choices for the use of common trust wildlife resources. So long as we have healthy, sustainable wildlife populations that are managed according to the wishes and desires of the people of Idaho – wildlife (wolf) populations will be, by definition, managed responsibly for current and future generations.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            Mark, that is all well and good, but covering the intentional cruelty, which could be avoided, by talking about populations instead of individuals, is a cover-up. Hunting wolves while they have pups is not necessary, and although the population may survive, I maintain that IDFG does not need to inflict needless suffering on pups through starvation as a result of losing the parents to late season hunters. This is similar to the use of the word “harvest” rather than kill. It makes the killing a little less personal and more acceptable.

          • avatar WM says:

            Wildlife management for “individuals of the species.” Now, that is clearly an issue they missed in the 1994 EIS for this 10(j)reintroduction of this “non-essential experimental population.”

            Forgive the candor here, but that one would not have passed the laugh test then. It may be appropriate to manage for individuals, for example protecting wolves with collars to continue research and to track pack movements or to ensure a future genetic flow from an individual, but other than that, managing for individuals seems a bit over the top.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            In addition, Mark, we will just have to disagree on whether intentionally starving pups by allowing hunts during denning season, is managing “responsibly”. I suspect you would be in the minority.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            WM,

            You’re missing the point. Allowing unnecessary and avoidable cruelty to numbers of individuals to meet a management goal is the topic.

          • avatar WM says:

            IDhiker,

            And yet, one IDFG objective is to control the population and distribution of the species (allegedly) having an adverse impact on other wildlife management objectives. It could even be if a 2010-11 hunting season had been allowed, the more aggressive measures to control now (with the longer hunting season possibly affecting pups)might not have been required.

            It seems, a follow up query might involve whether the season including putting pups at risk from starvation,etc., would be carried forward to future seasons, if a successful hunting season or two brings wolf numbers back to where that might not be necessary. This thing will likely require more fine tuning in future years, if ID is to maintain its wolf management obligations.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            IDhiker,
            You seem to have a similar misunderstanding concerning the proposed wolf hunting season and the wolf “denning season” in Idaho – that jon has alluded to several times. I asked jon in a previous post what he means by “denning season”. It could mean different things to different folks. For the purpose of our discussion here – I suggest we think of “denning” as the period when pregnant females have prepared and accupy a den to whelp their pups and protect them until the pups are capable of suviving outside, among the pack.
            The proposed wolf season, identical to the 2010 season, will be over before pregnant females whelp their pups. Idaho wolves whelp from early April on. Consequently, concerns either of the reproducing pair of adults in a pack would be legally killed by hunters after a litter is born – are unfounded.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            WM,

            What you say makes sense, but, I think that having a hunt that leaves out the denning season might be a better way to start, and using more extreme measures as an option if the first one fails. It seems IDFG is going to the extreme, pulling out all the stops, for their first try.

            I notice that here in Montana, the fish and game have already stated that their goal of 220 wolves is not sustainable in the long term, and that they will adjust this number downward in the near future.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            Well, Mark, I’m not one who can’t admit I might be in error. So, from your comment, I take it that wolves give birth in April and do not have any litters in March, when the hunting would end?

          • avatar WM says:

            IDhiker,

            ++You’re missing the point….+

            Actually I am not. I understand the issue clearly. Also, if one looks at the overall risk exposure to pups, it would seem there are several factors which mitigate in favor of reducing the risk. First, how many hunters are going to want to hunt a wolf for a pelt in other than prime condition? This persists from Spring to early fall. I expect few. Then there is the possibility that a hunter would select for, or by chance take a breeding female during this harvest period, as compared to the general wolf population. So, what is that probability? Low, in my view. Bottom line, is that it is a nominal risk for short period of time.

            Then there is the timing of the whelping period, when the season is closed, as Mark G. points out.

            I think you overstate the matter to a large degree.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            WM,

            I’ll agree with you that the March hunting will probably be a non-issue. I may be over-stating it. But, then again, why even have a March season? Isn’t seven months enough?

          • avatar Phil says:

            Mark: For this issue of wolves and pups, there is only one important denning season, and that is the one you referred to.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Yes Phil. Agreed. The 2011 wolf hunting season poses no threat to denning wolves, pups included.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Odd how ranchers can’t find those cattle the wolves kill, yet others (Yellowstone is Dead)…have no trouble finding these elk carcasses all over the place that wolves have supposedly just nibbled at. Anyone ever question where some of these elk carcasses are, like scavenged road kill???

      There will be no doubt from where dead wolves originate during the season. Hopefully the ethical among the “wolf hunters” will not parade and gloat, for if they do, they will provide a plethora of material for-

      “Tolerance of Nature: In Short Supply”

      • avatar jon says:

        Scott Rockholm The “Official” wolf hunt has many layers to it. The elites within the F&G departments are trying to figure out how to pacify their #1 customer (hunters), and at the same time please the environmental wolf cult. Their plan will surely fail, as the only way to stop the destruction of our hunting heritage is to be vigilant. Strong principled science is needed, and aggressive predator hunting is top priority.If we do not hunt, trap, and poison these wolves 24/7/365, we will witness the end of our hunting, and the total sterilization of our big game.

        • avatar Phil says:

          The biggest fear I have now is the diversity of the gene pool within the NRM region wolves. People can say that decreasing the wolf population to 300-400 will not effect the gene pool, but it will. When the population is limited to a small level then inbreeding has a higher chance of occurring. Combine this with the restricted areas the small population can take territory, then those chances of inbreeding soar. Will there be restrictions on the population of wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming from having access to the one another? I know that Wyoming’s plan gives the wolf population access to Idaho’s population, but what about Montana’s population? Even though the wolf population in Yellowstone National Park cannot be hunted, I believe this population will indirectly be effected by the hunts as well.

      • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

        Immer –

        Somehow, I don’t find photos of trophy bull elk reduced to freshly picked bones all that compelling from a historical perspective. As a kid in Yellowstone long before the reintroduction of Canadian wolves, I watched many 6-point bulls die horrible deaths every winter, taken down by that most terrible of predators the Canadian scabie (Psoroptes equi) or psoroptic mange. The scabies would target the most desirable trophy bulls weakened by the rut and burrow into their skins, causing the hair to fall out so they would die slowly from energy imbalance from heat loss — until finally too weak to fend off even the raven and coyote. The scabies would multiply incredibly fast and spread through a herd, injuring many and eating very little of their kills — although when scavengers were finished the results were hard to distinguish at a glance from those now done in by the Canadian wolf.

    • avatar Josh Sutherland says:

      Spoken by someone with absolutely no experience at all with hunting!!!! Shooting a wolf with a bow!!! Are you freaking kidding me!! Better odds of winning the lottery!

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        Josh

        There has been one wolf killed in modern time by archery, there may have been other kills that were not reported. The hunter used bait at 20 below some place in Canada.

        • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

          There is a bow season for deer in around the town of Petersburg, which had it’s deer season completely closed for 18 years, ending in 1993. A fawn distress call brings bucks during the rut and also wolves, and hunters in that particular town don’t often pass them up.

          • avatar Josh Sutherland says:

            I understand that you could potentially call one in and try to kill it with a bow, I just think that the ease of which that would be accomplished is OVERLY implied by the poster. That is all, I have bowhunted for over 15 years and there is nothing “easy” about it.

  5. avatar IDhiker says:

    Well, Idaho’s 72 hour rule for trap checks is at least something. Here in Montana, the trappers and commission have resisted this for years. There is not ANY mandatory trap-check time in Montana. It is totally up to the trapper.

    • avatar william huard says:

      That is complete BS. You wonder why people hate trappers!!!!!I remember reading about the Alpha female from one of the oldest packs in alaska that was caught in a trap for 10 days to 2weeks!!!! These trappers are such a minority of the population, these commissions and Fish and game depts allow them to legally torture these animals, despite huge majorities of people in all these states that want humane and ethical treatment for animals. How sickening! I just don’t get it….

      • avatar Phil says:

        william: Yes, many people do hate trappers. Even the ethical hunters have criticized trappers for being “inhumane”. I am not a youtuber anymore, or one that posts comments on internet articles, but reading many comments by hunters regarding trappers and their methods of procedures; there is no love lost between the two.

        If you relate trapping to the fur industry, many people will say “the animals are already killed, so why not buy the fur such and such?” Well, the problem is supply and demand. The more people will buy products with fur in it, the more demand there will be, and the more trapping will occur.

      • avatar Mike says:

        William –

        Our evolution as a sane, viable species is dependent on how we treat our living neighbors. Unfortunately, many are still lagging behind in that regard, and some may never “catch up”.

        I have to say my visits to Idaho have been totally disappointing, and I’m not suprised that these sorts of things can take place–even in a state with such vast natural beauty. The land is so beautiful, so rich, yet the peple are a satrk contrast–so ugly, so unhappy.

        • avatar Phil says:

          Mike: I totally agree with you. The beauty of Idaho is incredibly abundant, but the respect for that beauty is lacking with many of the people. Not all, but many. I understand that some of that beauty (species) interferes with the lives of some residents in the state, but as a human being, adaption from us is easier than adaption from wildlife.

        • avatar william huard says:

          Could be defective genes, might be somethin in the wata

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        William, you are correct. Trappers in Montana make up about one-half of one percent of the population, while in Idaho they are far less than that. And yet they are able to place their devices all over the place, with virtually no restrictions, and the rest of the public be damned. The trappers groups have an inordinate amount of influence with the fish and game departments.

  6. avatar Nota says:

    Oooohhhhh…Watch out, Ken! Scott’s after you!

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      Fox News should hire that guy…….Isn’t he just the very definition of “Fair and Balanced”?

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      The fairy tale told by Karen Calisterio could not of happened the way she tells it IMO. This can be very simply proved by using her fairy tale and comparing it against topographic maps and various aerial imaginary readily available. In other words a big fat whopper.

    • avatar Phil says:

      I always love it when these anti-wolfers use the SAME few examples time after time to prove their points. It’s probably because the instances they talk about are few in numbers and are the only examples they can use. I think that alone can prove against these individual’s agendas.

      I have heard that “Children being attacked at the bus stop” persuasion speech so many times from people like Rockholm. It is nothing more than a sympathy argument. To me it seems like Rockholm does what he does more so for political purposes than what he truly believes in. I continue to see him as nothing more than a sad character who is pushing against something that effects a very small population when there are big issues effecting many more people. And, to stand by someone like Gillette does not make him more credible in what he says.

      “80 years to build the population of the herds…”? The only factor people like him and the ancestors had in increasing the elk population (to a over-populated level IMO) was to eliminate wolves completely. Wolves are delisted, and he is still complaining. His true agenda is to wipe out every single wolf in the region.

    • avatar Phil says:

      Funny how the video keeps showing the killed elk with almost all of the flesh consumed. Wasn’t it people like Rockholm who said that the wolves were killing elk and leaving them there?

      Also, I wonder what diets Rockholm believes wolves should consume if not elk, deer and moose? Veggie Burgers? I would like to know what exactly his point of showing the consumed carcass of the elk was? Any intelligent person would know that the killed elk is a natural occurrence, and for someone to complain on a natural behavior for survival is absolutely foolish.

      • avatar jon says:

        I know, but you are dealing with an emotional fool who is mad at the wolves because they are a more efficient hunter than him or anyone from his ilk.

  7. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    If we could use that kind of scary music (as they ran as he read from the EIS) maybe we could get more people to read documents . . . maybe even scientific papers 😉

    • avatar jon says:

      Is it me or is Rex Rammell’s good friend Karen a very good actress? 😀

      • avatar Nota says:

        Karen seems to have frenzy-coated her encounter with wolves over the last several months to suit the needs of Scott’s agenda. I think she gets choked up in front of the camera because she knows the lord above is monitoring her bloated statements regarding these curious animals. Shame on her. She makes me want to vomit.

      • avatar Nota says:

        They must have the same coach. I noticed he has appealed his conviction of poaching an elk. The jury-tampering charges have yet to be judged. These wolf-haters can seemingly do nothing wrong, especially Rex, who falates the protekkktshun of the Zion Curtain.

    • avatar WM says:

      Is it just my perception, or is Rockhead morphing into a John Tester look alike? Putting on more than a few pounds, the butch haircut, and now donning the sports jacket (possibly borrowed from Tester)? I think the glasses are a new addition, too. Must be for media interviews, and to give a perception of credibility that the traditional camo gear and an AR-15 slung across the back do not afford (and probably doesn’t fit so well anymore).

      Then we have the “Media Group” reference, and the self labeling of “President and CEO.” Self love is alive and well in his little world? Suppose he has filed the proper paperwork with the State of ID Secretary of State for his purported business affiliations?

      • avatar WM says:

        Sorry,

        ++Is it just my IMAGINATION, or is Rockhead morphing into a JON Tester look alike?++

        Speaking of imagination, and possible Tester envy, you too can sing along with Rocko to this vintage Temptations tune, he may well mouth the words to himself as he drives from interview to interview or public hearing (just substitute HE/HIM [for Jon] in place of her/she. Here we go (reverb echo, echo):

        “Each day through my window I watch her as she passes by.
        I say to myself, “You’re such a lucky guy.”
        To have a girl like her
        is truly a dream come true.
        Out of all of the fellas in the world
        she belongs to you…

        But it was just my imagination
        running away with me.
        It was just my imagination
        running away with me…”

        [Screen direction: done with enthusiasm as Bill Murray, in Caddy Shack, sings the ballad of the “Green Beret.”]

      • avatar william huard says:

        We can call him “Son of Sluggo”

  8. avatar Nota says:

    Ohhhhh. I love the last part where someone is obviously trying to pry loose the antlers from the elk carcass. Of course, they love them free antlers even if them woolfs kilt it. Guess what, Scott?: Wolves eat ungulates. It’s not cruel, it’s natural. Where you from, boy? Caleefornia?

    • avatar jon says:

      Rockholm is from California I believe or Washington. He is a transplant and acts like he’s a born and bred Idahoan. Toby Bridges and Bob Fanning who is supposedly running for Montana governor in 2012 are also out of state transplants.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        Jon get your facts right. Bob Fanning is not running for governor of Montana, I have never read anywhere about Bob running for governor. Anyone can file,so,maybe he will run.

        Jon you are from Maine. Have you ever been to the Rocky Mountain states? You never have anwsered that question. It is time to tell the truth.

        • avatar IDhiker says:

          I don’t want to get into the middle of this, but I did some googling, and there are several sources that indicate that Bob Fanning is a 2012 candidate for governor.

          • avatar jon says:

            thank you. Elk feels just because he didn’t hear about it, must mean it’s not true. Guess what elk, I heard about it and I’m not even from Montana!

        • avatar jon says:

          Elk, you get your facts straight.

          http://ccteapartypatriots.com/

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            I read both the Billings Gazette and Bozeman Daily Chronicle cover to cover every morning and once a day check the Missoulian on line. I have never read where he is running for governor. People seen to read what they want to read and skip the rest. If he is running, he is a very minor candidate without much support. I did goggle Robert Fanning and Montana governor and it says he is a candidate, so. As Ann Landers used to say, ten lashes with the wet noodle.

            By the way Jon have you ever been to the Rocky Mountains?

  9. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Back to the hand held….

    I remember the Karen C. Incident quite well. The director/producer of Yellowstone is Dead was gloating on another blog how something earth shattering would hit the news soon. The next day, it was all carefully scripted in BBB with a quote from Valerius Geist. The whole thing was spit shined, and buffed. Not saying Karen C. Did not encounter some curious wolves but gee, this simple encounter has now been over produced into this soap opera.

    How come wolf enthusiasts never have these “life threatening” experiences with wolves? And no, we don’t all write from the security of urban walls.

    • avatar jon says:

      maybe the wolves were curious about her since she’s affiliated with Rex Rammell who is a poacher and a jury tamperer. LOL She played her part well making others believe she was afraid for her life when a few introduced canadian wolves surrounded her (what she called them) as she claims.

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      How true, my wife and I, and dogs, have had numerous encounters at close range in the Frank Church Wilderness, mostly in the Chamberlain Basin area. We’ve never been threatened by or shown any interest by the wolves. In fact, all of the wolves we’ve seen departed the area shortly after detecting us, and this included a pack of seven.

    • avatar Harley says:

      Immer,
      What is the proper response when you do encounter a wolf? I don’t doubt she (Karen) was scared. I know I can work my own self into a paralyzing fright if I let my mind go to places it shouldn’t when I’m alone in the dark outside in the woods. Yeah, when I was younger I did venture forth outside of my suburbia! However, I was stupid enough to read about Bigfoot and while the logical mind told me there weren’t any, let alone in the sparse woods of Northern Illinois, my imagination wouldn’t believe that logic! I shake my head when I think about it now. I probably had more to worry about from the group of strange guys that camped in the next campsite!

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        It seems like when someone meets a wolf almost everything that happens is in the person’s mind.

        Someone other than this “Karen” person would be breathlessly commenting here about their “cool experience with the wolves,” perhaps even going so far as to say Mother Nature favored them!

        It has happened before on this blog.

        • avatar Harley says:

          That’s why I find it difficult to condemn her Ralph. She was clearly scared. People can scoff at the authenticity of her fright but I believe she was very much frightened and did feel that her life was in danger. That shouldn’t be discounted.
          I’m just curious what one would do in that very same situation? Do you make a lot of noise? Try to scare it away if you feel you are in any kind of danger? Swing a purse at it? If you don’t have pepper spray or a gun or anything that can make a loud enough noise, what are the options if you feel you are in danger from an unexpected encounter?

          • avatar jon says:

            Harley, I have no doubt if the wolves really wanted to kill this lady, they would have, but they didn’t. Wolves are curious animals and sometimes people will confuse curiosity with something else. The fact that no human has been actually attacked or killed by reintroduced wolves for 16 years in Idaho really says a lot about how dangerous wolves are. I’m not going to say it will never happen, but the risk is low.

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            Harley,

            She is not exclusively to blame. That is for sure. Her friends seem to be anti-wolf activists who probably told her afterwards how lucky she was not to have ended up like Red Riding Hood’s grandmother.

            Social psychologists have conducted many experiments showing what a tremendous effect the comments of other people have on one’s interpretation of an experimental event that was made to be deliberately ambiguous.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Harley
            People condemn her because she associates with well known wolf haters. Her story is nothing more than an attempt to scare people into thinking how dangerous wolves are. Unfortunately there are people that will fall for her nonsensical arguments

          • avatar jon says:

            william, if karen was not in any way affiliated with Rex Rammell or anti-wolf extremist organization idaho for wildlife, I think a lot of people would give her story a little more credibility.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Even then Jon, i’m not so sure. I remember her story was bogus. Everyone knows that wolves don’t eat skunks

      • avatar jon says:

        Well, you don’t run. People’s first instinct at the sight of danger or potential danger is to run. No one will outrun a wolf or wolf pack. I do find it very strange how the people on here who have had encounters with wolves and no problem, yet people like Karen lady and others like rockholm haven’t. The reason for this is the hatred of the wolf. They will turn a harmless wolf encounter and spin it into a terrifying wolf encouter like the wolf looked like it was going to attack and eat me. People who hate wolves will demonize and lie about them as much as they can.

        • avatar jon says:

          I believe wolf expert Mark Mckay said that the woman in Alaska that was killed by wolves supposedly triggered the wolf attack by running. When you run, you elicit that predatory response from wild animals.

          • avatar Harley says:

            Well yeah, that’s like with dogs. Never run. I learned that one the hard way when I was very young. Thankfully, the dog did not harm me! He was a huge Great Dane, probably as tall as I was at that age! And in most cases, he was a very gentle dog but for some reason, he scared me this one time and I tried to run away. He grabbed the back of my pants, did not get any skin and I am not ashamed to say it scared me so badly that I went home with wet pants. Only wet pants. No bleeding, no scars. I was 7 at the time. And learned a very valuable lesson. Fight or flight isn’t just in animals I guess! And when you’re 7, running seemed like the better option.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            She was jogging Jon, when you jog you run. The wolves came up from behind her. This was in an Alaskan Village with 55 gallon drums, junked cars, broken down snowmobiles and garbage scattered everywhere, not the wilderness.

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            Woman is walking by herself when she is stopped by wolf pack. Wolf pack surrounds woman and alpha males steps forward. Woman looks at alpha male.

            Woman (in body language and with a small wave of her hand): “You do not want to attack me.”

            Alpha Male (in wolf body language): “We do not want to attack her.”

            Woman: “Humans are not your prey species.”

            Alpha Male: “Humans are not our prey species.”

            Woman: “You should be hunting a elk.”

            Alpha Male: “We should be hunting and elk.”

            Woman: “Run along now and let me go about my business.”

            Alpha Male: “Let’s run along now and let her go about her business.”

            Woman is reminded that the ‘Force’ can have powerful influenced on those with weak minds.

            May the ‘Force’ be with you.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      one other thing I would like to know is how after snowing heavily all night, by some accounts a blizzard, was little red riding hood able to measure the foot prints as being 7″ x 4″ as she testified to in front of the Idaho legislative committee?
      In a word, horseshit

      • avatar jon says:

        Maybe Karen was filming a scene for the next twilight movie.

        • avatar Nota says:

          I remember her telling the Spokesman Review that there were no tracks found the next morning. I’ll look for that record.

          • avatar Nota says:

            She said the neighbor saw the tracks. They were not able to get any pictures of the tracks, however….

  10. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Harley,

    Again, my ability to reply is restricted by the handheld. What is the proper response when one encounters a wolf? I have had many encounters with wolves, most often lone wolves, but once with a pack of eight while my dog and I were pullin sleds in the Winter. First, don’t run! Second, enjoy them for they won’t stand around and pose for you while you fumble for your camera.

    They’re wild animals, treat them with respect. Almost every wolf(ves) I have seen has stopped and looked, only to turn and walk/run away.

    I had a deer fawn stuck in a fenced enclosur last night. I think coaxing that panicked fawn out to prevent it from breaking it’s neck or a leg was more dangerous than any wolf encounter I’ve ever had. Nor did I load my pants when a bear (black) came out in front of me as I walked my dog this morning. They’re all called wildlife for a reason.
    WM,

    I agree with all that you have written, in particular the what if we had a 2010/11 season. My biggest concern is the early start to the season with wolves still at rendezvous sites. Beside the ethic of possibly shooting/starving pups, it will open a sh!t storm of a can of worms if someone catches this (shooting wolves at rendezvous sites)on film, or the first yahoo parades around town with young wolves.

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      Mark Gamblin,

      After wolf pups are born in April, approximately how old do they have to be before they are able to be independent from the parent? What I’m getting at is, will they be at an age where they can survive with the loss of the parent when the hunt begins in August? It would seem that the concern for causing starvation of pups by having a March hunt (which you refuted) would be applicable in August if pups cannot support themselves by then. This issue depends somewhat on definitions of denning season.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        In a word Mark is being disingenuous again. It may be the majority of wolves whelp after April 1 but that is certainly in no way a hard and fast date. it will vary as a result of many factors and next year could be considerably earlier, or later, or not at all.After all we are not talking about livestock here.

        • avatar jon says:

          To those that live in Idaho, is anyone planning to attend the Idaho fish and game commission’s meeting july 27-28 in Salmon? If any of you go, please report back. Hopefully, someone on here can record what takes place. The commission is apparently going to speak on the parasites that wolves carry.

        • avatar IDhiker says:

          Thank you Jeff. Even though I’ve seen a lot of wolves in Idaho, I’m just learning their biology. It would seem to me it would be best to have a season that starts the same as elk and deer, and ends with them, or at least during the winter. I’ve noticed deer give birth over a considerable time frame, so it makes sense some wolves will whelp in March, and maybe into May?

    • avatar Harley says:

      Immer,
      For a handheld, you do pretty good with those long postings!

  11. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Seak,

    Again, it’s tough to gain perspective to your comment about elk and scabies as all postings are consecutive(no reply function) with the hanheld. I’ll take for granted that you were replying to my comment from~2 days ago.

    Just because an elk, trophy bull as you stated, is found, or for that matter a doe with its calf, does not tell the entire story. The pictures are taken to play on people’s emotions. Same will hold true of any wolves “harvested” and photographed this season

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      My comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but my point was that there will always be large bull elk dying and stripped to bones, whether or not there are wolves that do it. I had assumed, perhaps wrongly, that scabies was compensatory and has been less of a factor recently with wolves perhaps targeting more vulnerable infected animals and with the overall elk population down substantially. However, I see that a high incidence of scabies was reported as recently as 2007:
      http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=animals_oddities&id=4946666

  12. avatar IDhiker says:

    WM and Mark Gamblin,

    I have given our brief discussions some thought. I was basing my thoughts on the point that wolf pups would be orphaned by hunters before they were able to survive on their own, resulting in slow death by starvation. True, as individuals they have no effect on the survival of the population as a whole. But, what about ethics and humaneness? For example, we all adhere to the hunting ethic that the hunter should attempt a one-shot, quick and humane kill. I worked with another deputy sheriff that made no bones about shooting wolves, and said he’d “gut shoot” them. It wasn’t enough to kill the animal, he intended to make it suffer needlessly. In a sense, I feel that intentionally causing the starvation of pups fits in this category. I fully understand that game species need to managed by hunting, but how that hunting is done is my point. Is it done as humanely as possible, or is it done with cruelty? My point was that starvation is unnecessary cruelty. Mark, you maintain that pups won’t be born before the hunting season ends, which fits with my recent research. If pups will be self-supporting at an age of 3-4 months, before the August hunt starts, my argument is moot. If they aren’t, then I stand by it.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      Don’t look for a meaningful answer here. just more doublespeak

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        a meaningful answer would require more personal integrity than you will likely find…………….

    • avatar jon says:

      Mark, please respond to idhiker’s comment.

      • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        jon,
        See my response to IDhiker below. Additionally, you asked in an earlier post why the Lolo Zone still has 1,500 elk permits available. Those 1,500 permits are to provide as much hunting opportunity, for bull elk only, as can be biologically supported by the Lolo Zone elk herd. Consider that 1,500 permits is a fraction of the roughly 5,000 permits the Lolo Zone supported only ten years ago. There is now no cow hunting opportunity at all. The remaining hunting permits provide elk hunting opportunity for the residual population of aging bulls that are not being replaced due to the wolf predation loss of cow and calf elk. The current level of hunting opportunity will continue to decline as the bull popualation adjusts to the level of elk production limited by the Lolo Zone wolf population. This current harvest of bull elk by hunters does not limit elk production nor does it contribute to the bottle-neck for elk production and recruitment caused by wolf predation of cow and calf elk.

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      IDhiker,
      Starvation of pups due to the proposed hunting season is a red herring argument. I think we agree that the hunting season will be over before wolf pups are born (for the vast majority of the Idaho wolf population), so orphaning new born pups is not a legitimate issue. Your question about the viability of pups after the wolf hunting season begins remains. A reasonable and prudent assessment of risk to 4-5 month old pups (in late August) would take into account that the odds of even one of the breeding pair of adults in a pack being killed by hunters or trappers is very low; the odds of both parents being killed by hunters or trappers is extremely low; 4-5 month old pups have begun to hunt with the pack and have gained hunting experience; 4-5 month old pups are 40-50 lbs in weight with considerable physical strength and stamina. A resonable and prudent assessment will therefor conclude that the risk of the proposed hunting season leaving starving wolf pups on the landscape is not a reasonble criticism of the season length or timing.

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        Mark, thank you for your answer. Nonetheless, if up to me, I would not have August hunting due to the close line between survival and viability of pups away from parents. Whether the season is “reasonable of prudent” is only in question due to IDFG splitting hairs on this. For example, October through February would be indisputable concerning off-spring. When you mentioned hunters and trappers at the 4-5 month time frame, I hope the trapper part was an error, I believed trapping was in the winter only?

      • avatar ma'iingan says:

        There are undoubtedly some behavioral differences between NRM wolves and their counterparts in the WGL region, however in my experience pups are not yet hunting with the adult pack members in August and September. Here in the WGL, pups are still occupying rendezvous sites during that time frame and are led out to kills made by adults. They may spend time at the kill sites, but eventually make their way back to their current rendezvous site, which can be up to a square mile in size. They begin moving with the pack in late September to mid-October, and this is when they begin to actively participate in hunting, although the breeding pair typically do the killing.

        Although I agree that it’s unlikely that both breeders in a pack would be removed by hunters or trappers, I would question the ability of late August pups to take care of themselves. They may have the physical size and ability but lack the hunting skills necessary to thrive. Again, I’m speaking from a WGL perspective, so there may be key developmental differences that I’m unaware of.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          ma’iingan, IDhiker –
          No disagreement with either of your comments. Certainly, there are alternative season lengths/beginning and ending dates. The proposed 7 month season is designed to achieve wolf population objectives without jeapardizing the population. My main point on wolf pup jeapardy is the very low risk of pup mortality due to loss of one or both parents.

  13. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Harley,

    A thousand thanks. 91 degrees up here! They had to use a thermometer stretcher for it to reach that high. Had to cool off from work around the place so it was good to take time to cool off over a hot topic.

    Sure don’t want to wish my life away, but September really sounds good about now! How are things down in the Land of Lincoln?

    • avatar Harley says:

      Hot hot hot! And supposed to get hotter later this week. I’m with ya on that September idea, I never really minded the winter to be honest, even with the arthritis, I’ll take that over hot and humid any day, including that blizzard we had! I really do like just about any season I’m in but this heat isn’t too much fun. The only consolation is being able to grill outside. I feel for those who have to work outside. In the cold, you can always add a layer or two. The heat… only so much you can take off and you’re still hot! Stay cool Immer.

  14. avatar WM says:

    I mention this news item here, because it is relevant to what is happening in the NRM.

    MN readys for a wolf hunt within two years. Contrary to the 5 year moratorium that wolf advocates have tauted as being the cornerstone of the MN wolf management plan, the legislature is revisiting the matter. No doubt, this is a counterstep for the 10 year struggle it took to get them off the ESA, in the face of obstructionist groups like HSUS and their barrage after barrage of lawsuits.

    http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/07/19/2108216/minnesota-budget-deal-paves-the.html

  15. avatar Phil says:

    I wonder if the public hearing will allow anyone to show up, or just those groups and individuals who oppose wolves? “”The (wolves) have surpassed every bench mark of recovery,” said Mark Johnson, executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association. “It’s way past time.”, I agree with what Mr. Johnson said, but to get a better scientific basis on the population why would anyone ask him? I would imagine that even with a population less than 100 he would have said the same thing. Where are the biologists and experts to answer this question?

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      Mark Johnson has been a strong supporter of wolf recovery in Minnesota and the other WGL states – in fact he even appeared in the film
      “Lords of Nature” in support of having wolves on the landscape and learning to coexist with them. States’ management of wolves is long overdue in this region – and if it’s delayed much longer it will be taken over by politicians, as it has in the NRM.

      • avatar Phil says:

        ma’iingan: I agree that the wolf population in Minnesota is healthy. I do not know why the plan is being changed all of the sudden. For 10 years the plan was to wait 5 years after the delisting, and all of the sudden they are revisiting that plan now that it is strongly believed that wolves will be taken off the ESA throughout the region? Mr. Johnson’s support of wolf recovery in the past is not the point, how much experience with wolf research does he have? I have “Lords of Nature”, but where are the experts and biologists at whenever there is an issue with wolf hunting? It seems like we hear more from people like Rockholm, Bruce, Ron Gillette and others like them on wolves than we do from people like Ed Bangs, Doug Smith, Mech, Peterson, etc.

        WM: And, how about the barrage after barrage of attempts by the anti-wolf side to delist wolves? How bout the barrage after barrage of proposed irresponsible plans in managing wolf populations sought out by the politicians and their buddies the anti-wolf hunting side? You don’t think the HSUS will work even harder to try and keep wolves listed now that there is the possibility of a hunt within two years? The plan was set for a decade and was a responsible one, so why change it up? It is these actions that are bringing about more lawsuits for wolves.

        • avatar WM says:

          Phil,

          I think I pretty clearly gave the reason the GL states have become impatient. Too damn many lawsuits that have delayed their management contemplated under adopted plans. So, what would have been done in the GL during intervening years from delisting to management of numbers and distribution is no longer necessary.

          Geez, they started trying to get the delisting done over ten years ago, which seems like they and FWS have waited 10 years already, not just the 5. In that sense both the GL and the NRM have something in common, with GL having waited twice as long.

          Now the legislative fix for both has been sought, and apparently both are on the cusp of implementation.

          As for your concern, “where are the biologists and experts?” Let’s not forget Dr. Mech (others too) has been doing research on GL wolves for, what, 40 years, or so, as well as teaching at the U of MN, is the chief scientist for FWS, and the founder of the International Wolf Center, at Ely, MN. The IWC even has its own advisory board, directors and small staff who are qualified to weigh in on the matter. Then there are the biologists, researchers and administrators in the respective departments of natural resources for MN, WI and MI, who work directly on wolf management or matters peripherally related. Those are the folks writing the petitions for delisting.

          And, there is yet the required public comment period on the respective hunting season proposals which are a year plus a few months away. They are not rushing into this.

          But, let’s do be clear here, there are a miniumum of 6 states that want to manage their own wolves, NOW, with others waiting in the wings, and part of the management includes hunting to control numbers and distribution.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            If you took a poll of biologists involved in wolf research and management in the WGL I think you’d find universal agreement that delisting is long overdue. The great majority of biologists work for government agencies, and are not likely to call press conferences in order to comment on the issue – their studied opinions are bubbled up through the administration and are expressed by bureau leaders. If you’ve been paying attention to the issue, you’d have seen such policy statements issued by natural resource agency leaders from each of the WGL states – repeatedly. Unfortunately, delay after delay has resulted in a growing groundswell of anti-wolf sentiment, with the inevitable involvement of politicians.

        • I agree. I can’t figure out why groups have opposed delisting the Great Lakes wolves because the states there are much less antagonistic to wolves than the Northern Rockies (or will be once Governor Walker of Wisc and the tea partier in Michigan are gone).

          The Great Lakes have a good prey base and a hunt will probably make the wolves more wary (as it seems to have done in Idaho and MT). I haven’t seen any wolf sign at all this year (note: I haven’t been to Yellowstone Park).

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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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