This replaces the 32nd edition.

Sunrise on San Rafael Reef, Utah. © Ken Cole

 
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About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole, Buffalo Field Campaign‘s Executive Director, is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He was formerly the Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

600 Responses to Have you come across any interesting wildlife news? August 31, 2011

  1. avatar Catbestland says:

    I don’t know if anyone has seen this yet or not but here is a particularly galling story about BLM management in Oregon.

    TEARS OF THE LITTLE MUSTANG PRINEVILLE OREGON BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT WORKER CAUGHT RED-
    by Breaking News
    Sunday Aug 28th, 2011 3:00 PM
    In the spring of 2011 a Bureau Of Land Management rangeland supervisor working for the Prineville Oregon BLM was caught red-handed subleasing his own cattle grazing permits issued for federal land allotments on Rudio Mountain. This BLM employee was breaking the law and BLM is keeping this confidential to protect themselves. The guilty BLM employee lives nearby. He is well known as an avid mustang hater. In his opinion cattle should not have to compete with mustangs on federal grazing allotments. He would like to see all mustangs hauled to slaughterhouses. This guy provided input and was one of the preparers for BLM’s new management guidelines for Central Oregon federal lands titled “John Day Basin Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement”. The record of decision for this new management plan is due out in the near future.

    Then one late summer morning a band of mustangs were resting on a high plateau in a remote place on Rudio Mountain overlooking the John Day River. Suddenly the sound of rifle shots exploded across the high mountain meadow. The proud black stallion ran frantically to get his herd onto their feet and they ran for their lives across the plateau some falling to the ground and thrashing with death throws as the bullets ripped into them taking them down one by one. The first mustang to topple was only a baby not more than 6 weeks old. During the following days the smell of blood and rotting flesh attracted scavengers and birds of prey that fed upon the bodies of the murdered mustangs. It was during this time that hikers visiting this remote part of Rudio Mountain came across what has been dubbed (THE RUDIO MOUNTAIN MUSTANG MASSACRE.) The band of mustangs were killed smack dab in the middle of a remote section of federal land managed by the BLM as a cattle grazing allotment and to add insult to injury the cattle grazing allotment where the mustangs were murdered was being utilized by none other than our notorious untrustworthy BLM employee.
    PRINEVILLE OREGON BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT WORKER CAUGHT RED-HANDED WITH HIS OWN FEDERAL LANDS GRAZING LEASE IN HIS OWN DISTRICT WITHIN ARMS REACH OF WHERE THE RUDIO MOUNTAIN MUSTANG MASSACRE HAPPENED AND THE GOVERNMENT SWEPT IT ALL UNDER THE CARPET

    Here is the link to the rest of the story:

    http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/08/28/18688962.php

  2. avatar Nancy says:

    Thanks for the article Cat. One more example of arrogance & that sense of entitlement, when it comes to ranchers.

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      There has been a significant uptick in the bobcat population in my WGL state, and it can be correlated with the growth in the wolf population – although no research has been initiated yet, it would seem to support the same hypthosis mentioned in this article.

      There’s also some anecdotal evidence that black bears are benefiting from wolf presence – they are able to scavenge from wolf kills and this seems like it may postpone denning in late fall, and to support earlier den exit in the spring.

    • avatar willam huard says:

      Obama could come up with a cure for cancer and the common cold and the republicants would complain that it took too long….

      http://www.thinkprogress.org

      Boehner’s talking points of excessive regulation, taxes and stimulus causing the bad economy are just like wolf moderate saying that baiting and hounding is “good for wildife”. No basis in reality

  3. avatar Salle says:

    Hunters bag 3 wolves in first days of public hunt

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/09/02/1783070/hunters-bag-3-wolves-in-first.html

    Closest to the national park wolves seem to be the first to go in the hunts… So, let’s see… those were the ones that are eating all the elk like they’re potato chips, right?

  4. avatar Catbestland says:

    Referring to the title article. I called Oregon State BLM headquarters and spoke with their legal rep. Jody Weil,to demand as a citized of the United States and a co-owner in those public lands that the BLM employee who was found guilty of subleasing those grazing allotments be fired and that he have to repay all the money he made off of us. I also demanded an investigation into the slaughter of the herd of horses which were left to rot in the sun.

    I was told that appropriate action was taken with the employee but would not tell me what that was. (He was not fired and did not have to pay back the money). I was also told that an investigation had been conducted on the slaughtered horses. She said the horses were not wild but feral and were tresspassing on BLM land as if that made a difference. They did not know who killed them. I told her that this was not satisfactory.

    Everyone, Please get mad and call the Dept. of the Interior to complain about this and DEMAND that this jerk be made to pay back what he made. I normally don’t champion wild horse causes but this is different.

    • avatar Mandi says:

      I am providing names and numbers to call and demand that this guy be fired. Bob Abbey in Washington DC, By Fax: (202)208-5242, BLM OR/WA State Director Ed Shepard By Phone (503)808-6026, Prineville District Manager Deb Henderson Norton By Phone (541)416-6730 or email deborah_henderson-norton@blm.gov.

    • avatar Mandi says:

      The BLM employee that has the grazing lease has been identified in a posting on Portland Craigslist as John E. Fisher and he is listed as a Rangeland Supervisor working for Prineville BLM.

  5. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Meanwhile, just north of us in the ancestral home of the reintroduced Yellowstone wolves , British Columbia is proceeding with a widespread attrition hunt of its wolves , heretofore protected. The BC plan , driven by ranching and First nation subsistence hunting concerns , has ” problems” and there are concerns the provincial government is proceeding blindly, being quite a few data points short of a load on existing wolf numbers and dispersion.

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/life/greenpage/ranchers-relieved-but-critics-rankled-by-bcs-open-season-on-wolves-129179623.html

  6. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    … and if you had any lingering doubt that Wyoming is first and foremost a high dollar hooker of its energy resources above all else, read on :

    http://www.chron.com/news/article/Wyo-declines-to-identify-lands-worth-conserving-2153253.php

  7. avatar wolf moderate says:

    Awesome video. Moose vs wolf pack. One for the wolves! The comments are hilarious. A bit sad, but nature at its best…

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      A tough watch, but as you said, Nature. Little surprise that most moose taken by wolves are new born to about age 2, and then not until they are fairly aged. Also, the entire episode was not without risk for the wolves.

      Could not see a date, but judging from calf’s size and wolves coats ~ Junish.

      Next video in the cue shows brown bear eating a moose, alive.

    • avatar willam huard says:

      We call these douchebags “slob shooters” back east. They are clearly the worst our species has to offer.

  8. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Not a whole lot to eat.

  9. avatar Paul says:

    Here is an interesting article about canned hunting operations and the spread of feral hogs because of them.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44392286/

  10. avatar wolf moderate says:

    I was stationed in California at the time, so didn’t realize that Otter was only 1 of 3 Congressmen to vote against the “Patriot Act”. That is impressive to stand firm when Dick Armey, VP Cheney, and Rumsfeld are trying to strong arm you into voting there way…Very cool!

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/09/05/1786504/patriot-act-vote-still-defines.html

    • avatar Catbestland says:

      +”That is impressive to stand firm when Dick Armey, VP Cheney, and Rumsfeld are trying to strong arm you into voting there way…Very cool!”

      I thought “Dick Army” was a metaphor for the entire republican party.

    • avatar Paul says:

      Why would Otter care about helping to fight Middle Eastern terrorists when there are those furry, four legged “Canadian” terrorists to worry about in his state? 🙂

  11. avatar Harley says:

    This is almost in my backyard. I know there will be those that will say this man needs to keep a better eye on his dog. I’m not sure, perhaps this is true, in this area we’ve also had a lot of problems with people snatching dogs from people’s backyards and reselling them, some as bait for dog fighting. Hmm, does this put humans on the same level as coyotes or, maybe for this group I should put that as coyotes on the same level as humans in terms of snatching pets from backyards? I suppose not though, a coyote just wants to eat the pet, humans want to profit.

    http://palatine.patch.com/articles/coyote-attack-owner-describes-horrifying-incident-says-dog-should-recover

  12. avatar Salle says:

    Grizzly captured, but link to hiker death unknown

    http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20110903/NEWS01/109030304/Grizzly-captured-link-hiker-death-unknown

    If the DNA samples match those found at the sight of the fatality, they’ll hunt it down and kill it.

    • avatar Salle says:

      I saw that too but went for the wolf rally and bear capture stories instead. There’s one at CNN that is a video interview of some folks in Tahoe whose car was entered, stolen and destroyed by a black bear. It got into their Prius and hit the gear shift. It completely destroyed the interior trying to find its way back out of the car. Poor bear.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      Just for a morbid perspective, google the battalion(?) of Japanese soldiers that were trapped in a mangrove swamp during world war two in the South Pacific. Once the Salties were done there were only a few left.
      And to think they live up to 100 yrs.

  13. avatar jon says:

    I heard salties ate 980 japanese soldiers, but who knows the real amount. Them salties must have been well fed for a long time if they ate that many soldiers.

  14. avatar timz says:

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/09/07/1789297/2-more-grizzlies-captured-after.html
    2 more bears in Yellowstone tagged in an effort to find the killer. Don’t know why they are so obsessed with this not knowing what happened. Maybe the hiker attacked the bear?

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      This is very strange too me.

      Anyone with Yellowstone Park backcountry experience knows that you have to be very careful of grizzly bears if you are hiking in Hayden Valley. Hiking alone is not recommended, though I have done it (for a little way then turned around).

      That a grizzly bear would kill a solitary hiker for some reason is hardly surprising, not a sign of a “bad bear.”

      • avatar Salle says:

        Here’s kind of “no-brainer” for anyone who knows about bears… can you say hyperphasia? I think that’s how it’s spelled… The bears in the Yellowstone area have been in this stage for weeks, like since mid-July. This is unusually early but the othe wildlife… flora and fauna have been exhibiting signs of autumn behavior extremely early this year.

        The elk rut is generally ontime this year but the hummingbirds left a long time ago, the balckbirds have already gathered to go, the sandhill crane are gone, most of the osprey are gone, the bears have been devouring everything in sight – likely they aren’t in the mood for humans this year at all. There are also other signs that indicate seasonal shifts that are out of sync with the norm that we are familiar with. the snow was around for so long that nearly all the wildflowers life cycles occurred at once, over a period of five weeks or so, a flash in the pan sort of season, they all have gone to seed at the same time… that’s not normal. Frost has been on the ground every morning for a few weeks now… That may be normal for nondrought years like in the Stanley basin in Idaho but over the past decade, this has not been the case.

        • avatar Catbestland says:

          I saw a show on Free Speach TV the other day about global warming and it suggested that although most of the US is warming, parts might actually revert to a cooler climate. The Northeast, and possibly the spine of the Rockies were areas that could experience a cooling trend. I live in the Mountains in Colorado and I know we had an extremely long winter last year. The midwest and southeast is going to fry though and it looks like Texas is getting a good start. It’s getting a little more difficult for Rick Perry to pooh-pooh the global warming theory but he is still trying, all the while sticking his hand out for disaster relief from the federal government.

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            Catbestland,

            It looks like Rick Perry is in for more drought. The drought is caused by a La Nina event in the North Pacific and by unusually warm Atlantic tropical waters.

            There was hope the La Nina was disappearing. Now it looks like it is coming back. So much for Perry’s prayer as policy, policy.

            This might mean more cool and wet weather for the Northern Rockies, however.

    • avatar Alan says:

      They at least have to appear to be obsessed with it for PR and possibly (?) legal reasons. This was the second hiker killed this year. But you are right: No one knows what happened. This guy MAY have walked up to this bear and stuck a point and shoot in its face. He may have tried to pet it. We don’t know and neither do they. They shrugged their collective shoulders after the first attack (and rightly so considering the circumstances), I don’t think they want to appear like they don’t care when someone is killed by a bear.
      Hopefully they will be be “forced” to give up due to lack of evidence. As they said even hair found at the scene doesn’t prove that it belonged to the bear that killed him, only that a particular bear was there at some point.

  15. avatar Guepardo Lento says:

    New bill pending that would affect public lands within 100 miles of the border around the entire U.S.

    http://www.theworld.org/2011/09/border-security-and-public-lands/

  16. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Idaho wolf hunt: version 2.0
    “The pendulum has swung. We are taking a harder look at predators,”…… Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore said.
    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/09/08/1789795/idaho-wolf-hunt-version-20.html
    What do they have in store after the wolves to serve those Idahoans?

    • avatar Jon Way says:

      This defines it all:

      “If hunting and trapping do not cut the wolf populations there, Fish and Game will use other measures to reduce it, such as hunting by federal Wildlife Services or by Fish and Game personnel.

      Even then, it’s a challenge to access wolves in the vast, rugged backcountry, much of which is congressionally designated wilderness with strict rules against motorized or mechanized equipment.”

      So they need to hunt wolves in the rugged backcountry where they are at least in theory causing no problems – and the elk could probably use the predation back there where human access is difficult… And Mark G. says this is the great NA model of wildlife (mis)mgmt at work…

  17. avatar Nancy says:

    +Hunters are relatively new to wolf hunting, but biologists and government hunters have been trapping and hunting them for years in Idaho, and for decades in other places such as Alaska and Canada+

    Hmmm……Is this posssibly a hint at the future if Idaho doesn’t get their quota this year? Wolf hunting classes, offered to the public by government hunters?

    • avatar willam huard says:

      Gotta spread that ignorant cultural hatred around. Maybe they can serve zucchini bread and coffee at the classes.

    • avatar Howl Basin says:

      IDFG is already giving presentations on how to hunt wolves. Next up will be the trapping and snaring classes so you can get your trapping license and start killing your TEN WOLVES (number allowed for trappers) in the 2010-11 hunt.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        So very sad Howl…..

        One of the local news stations (in Montana) had an episode on a couple of days ago about a weekend devoted to training the next generation of trappers. That too was sad, watching all these little kids learning how to make traps, where to put them and I believe the words humane treatment (of trapped animals) came up once or twice in the conversation.

        Didn’t hear anything about wolves being apart of their future “haul” but I’m sure dad (or a family member) will be around to walk them thru something bigger in the trap than a mink or beaver, staring them in the eyes, when they have to do “the dirty” (kill) without damaging the pelt.

        • avatar Howl Basin says:

          Anyone can attend the trapping and snaring classes. So get yourself a trapper’s license and put out some “sets” like maybe a mouse trap and the wolves will learn to stay away from anything that smells like a miserable human.

  18. avatar Salle says:

    Highway head issues final order for Exxon loads

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/09/07/1789459/itd-issues-final-order-for-exxon.html

    It seems that money is all that matters to these cads. The only good thing here is that MT isn’t drinking the koolaid, not yet at least.

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      I read that article. People should stop worrying wolves, grizzlies, coyotes,and those bad ass welfare ranchers and hunters for a minute and start thinking about YOUR access to YOUR public lands. The other day someone responded to my posting that they did not care whether hunters could access a isolated piece of federal land and would rather they did not hunt those lands. Once this access is gone unchallenged for a time period it is gone forever and faster the new out-of-state wealthily land owner becomes royalty with there private estates; it is happening everyday.

      Well ladies and gentlemen, it is the hook and bullet crowd that is challenging the illegal closures of public roads that allow access to YOUR public lands. Let the fish and game departments manage the wildlife, they may not manage it the way you want it managed, but western state fish and game departments have done an excellent job in the last one hundred years — there will always be abundant wildlife but not a complete eco system, sorry about that.

  19. avatar Salle says:

    Oil and gas find allies in Big Horn Basin management plan

    http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/article_7f6dc438-4b13-5aba-83ed-fb6656e2c2af.html

    Those backroom deals are out of control…

  20. avatar Salle says:

    And for bear news…

    Grizzly bear moved out of Coram trouble

    http://www.dailyinterlake.com/news/local_montana/article_4c244d20-d9ca-11e0-8fa3-001cc4c002e0.html

    Sow grizzly bear shot and killed after encounter with bow hunters in Gravelly Mountains

    http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/region/article_9ad27662-d9ad-11e0-ab85-001cc4c03286.html

    • avatar Paul says:

      I don’t know what is more revolting, the story or many of the comments that follow.

      • avatar willam huard says:

        These are Mr Gamblin’s constituents….and they have had alot of practice at embarrassing themselves….Does anyone have a wolf recipe? Good grief

        • avatar IDhiker says:

          I thought they were worried about parasites…

        • avatar timz says:

          had there been 3 or 4 in this hunting party there goes a whole pack in a matter of seconds. these people are psycho

          • avatar Paul says:

            What a real man this guy is. Not only did he get his “bag limit” of wolves he had to toy with the ones that he did not slaughter by using a predator call, and brag that he could have killed more. This is just the beginning. I fear that these types of articles are going to come daily until most if not all of the wolves in Idaho are gone.

            I have come to believe that even if Idaho gets below the “magic” number of 150 wolves they will not stop the killing. In reality what are the Feds going to do if they kill all of the wolves? Even if they are put back on the ESA list there will be nothing left to protect if Idaho kills most if not all of them. No matter what kind of propaganda IDFG spews about a “sustainable” wolf population the rhetoric of their leaders and many of their blowhard citizens show what their true intentions are. I am also hearing the same rhetoric here in WI, and even seeing posts in our local newspaper Website comment sections from the same anti-wolf clowns that are so prevalent in the NRM wolf debate. I really believe that these people will only be satisfied when all the predators are killed and our wild lands become nothing more than massive deer and elk farms that are bred for their killing pleasure.

          • avatar willam huard says:

            I’m waiting for someone to come to the rescue of these poor misunderstood hunters, these conservationists that care about all wildlife! What a crock. After listening to them whine for the last two years, the way the delisting was done, it is just not right.

          • avatar jon says:

            Here is just one of the many comments by the so called conservationist hunters.

            “If wolves were killed off to the point that there were only 1 male and 1 female left in the whole world I would be proud to be the one who is chosen to gut shoot them both.”

            These people care so much about wildlife right.

            • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

              jon,

              If some of those who don’t like the wolf hunt begin to demonize individual hunters who legally kill a wolf, it will backfire. I saw no evidence that the person was a coward. I was surprised that wolves were so slow to run. If a person had illegally shot most of the pack, which seems like a possibility because the wolves were so unwary, than severe comments would be in order.

              The harassment of the man who shot the first wolf in Idaho’s first wolf hunt, 2 years ago, certainly did no good for those who want to see wolves allowed to retain a healthy population and inhabit more than a token area.

              I want to add that I think the use of predator callers is unethical, but it is legal in Idaho.

              • avatar Howl Basin says:

                Please note that Robert Millage had his “self-portrait” of himself and the yearling wolf he’d shot, all over the internet including on his Facebook page, which was open to anyone to see at the time. It might still be. Mostly photos of dead animals. He seemed to be taunting anyone who liked wolves. When the shoe is on the other foot – when wolf supporters get threatening phone calls or emails, the media could care less. We are supposed to suck it up & never say a word about the beautiful wolves being killed.

                • avatar Ken Cole says:

                  That’s not true. What I think Ralph is saying is that attacking individual hunters and calling them cowards, as jon did, is not productive. Jon didn’t say anything about the wolves being killed he just called the man a coward which is libelous and puts us and the blog at risk.

                  This isn’t the first time I’ve had to remove libelous comments from this blog. It’s also not the first time that I’ve removed libelous comments made by Jon.

                  You are right, however, that many of these “sportsmen” photos are meant to taunt wolf advocates.

                • avatar Howl Basin says:

                  So, suggestions on what wolf supporters are supposed to do or say, while Governor Otter & his IDFG Commissioners carry out their jihad on Idaho’s wolves, reducing the number to 150 – the number in our State Management Plan? I would suggest that people call the Governor’s office and the Idaho Dept of Tourism and politely say you oppose this Otter Wolf Slaughter – and if you are from out of state, you are canceling plan to visit the state and are boycotting Idaho products. If you live in Idaho, boycott the businesses who support killing wolves. They are not hard to figure out. Check out their bumper stickers on their vehicles, or look at their website or Facebook pages. Ask around.

                • avatar Immer Treue says:

                  Ken,

                  You are absolutely correct. However, I as I have said above, I have always found it rather ghoulish that someone would pose with something they have just killed. The nine year old girl that killed the record brown bear a few years back a case in point. No sport there as the odds are so stacked on the side of the hunter.

                  That said, I do not support the harrasment of one who “poses” yet with something as volatile as wolf hunting, at least at this time, one might think the hunter(s) involved would use just a bit of discretion.

                  Why does something like this even become news worthy if it is legal. Is this a case of the unliberal media fanning flames for reaction? To throw some dirt Mark G’s way, does the media give this sort of attention to other hunted animals. And I don’t want to hear, well, this is new and therefore news worthy. The negative reaction(s) might seem to indicate that the Idaho, Montana plans and Wyoming plan to be might end up unintentionally biting someone in the ass.

                • avatar Salle says:

                  One can only hope…

                  The situation I see here is that the corporate indoctrination of the general public via the TV IV and electronic media has been quite successful. Between the dumbing down tactics and the testosterone boosting imagery… like those violent video “games” and military glorification, we have some really bad social problems that manifest in this sort of mindset… along with the suggestions made above. When there is no compassion or sense of right and wrong…

                • avatar willam huard says:

                  Trophy hunters are like serial killers. They like to have something that will allow them to revisit and relive their actions over and over. The rush they get from killing animals can be replaced with human to human contact. This would require them to shower and brush their teeth once in a while

                • avatar ma'iingan says:

                  Very insightful, William. However, I represented my agency at a Whitetails Unlimited banquet recently and I didn’t encounter a single knuckle-dragger. In fact, I met some really fine people – all of whom appeared to have mastered showering and tooth-brushing.

                • avatar willam huard says:

                  Well that’s just wonderful Ma’iingan. Since all the hunters in your neck of the woods got “groomin” down pat…. All we need now is to work on that deficient “empathy gene”.

                • avatar ma'iingan says:

                  Empathy, William? Surprising term, coming from you. Your comments, on this and every other discussion board where I’ve seen you appear, have been all about hate.

                • avatar willam huard says:

                  Well then Ma’iingan. Take Wisconsin for example. You’re politicians are bought and paid for by the hunting groups. People in the wildlife agencies are directed by the legislatures and politicians. Right now hound hunters are wreaking havoc on the ecosystem when bears are trying to put on weight before hibernation. Who speaks or the animals? You- that’s a freakin joke! You Mark Gamblin types are hilarious! You allow animals to be tortured in the wild and you want congratulations? Or credit? Hate is a strong word….I think contempt covers it better- but I’m close to hate.

                • avatar Paul says:

                  William, I live in WI and everything you note is true in my opinion. Animals to these people are nothing more than moving targets. They talk all day about how much money hunters contribute to pay for wild lands. That may be true, but do you really think they are doing it for the animals or the environment. Most are doing it because they want to make sure they have their killing fields and enough targets to take out for that new head on the wall or a picture to brag to their buddies about. I know that not all are like this, but as a lifelong WI resident it is rare to come across a truly compassionate “sportsman” who cares about the environment or animals for reasons other than for selfish gain. What these people are allowed to do to bears in this state is shameful and far from any concept of being “sporting.”

                • avatar willam huard says:

                  Paul, These people sit back as “hunters” do as they please with animals, no ethics, no decency, no fair chase whatsoever, and they are shocked when we question their motives…..They are so used to people kissing their a&*, they get all uptight when people aren’t pandering to their brand of enviro terrorism

                • avatar jon says:

                  I check out numerous hunting forums daily. I can tell you right now that the majority of comments (if not all) made by hunters about coyotes, wolves, cougars, etc are not positive. For years we were led to believe that hunters are conservationists and they love all wildlife, this is simply false. Not all hunters hate predators, but I am convinced that there are a lot of hunters out there who see wild predators simply as competition and that is why they are hated, Clearly, these animals (wolves, coyotes, cougars, etc) aren’t seen in the same regard as other wildlife such as deer, elk, etc. These wild predators are seen as basically deer and elk killers. In the hunter’s mind, the only good wolf or coyote is a dead one.

                • avatar JB says:

                  “I check out numerous hunting forums daily. I can tell you right now that the majority of comments (if not all) made by hunters about coyotes, wolves, cougars, etc are not positive. For years we were led to believe that hunters are conservationists and they love all wildlife, this is simply false.”

                  Jon: Consider that not all hunters post to internet forums/blogs about hunting–meaning the data that you are basing your judgment upon is skewed toward a certain type. And I think that, at least in some cases, you’re confusing hatred with grudging respect.

                • avatar Mike says:

                  ++William, I live in WI and everything you note is true in my opinion. Animals to these people are nothing more than moving targets. They talk all day about how much money hunters contribute to pay for wild lands. That may be true,++

                  No, it’s really not.

                  Trust me when I say that eventually the human race will evolve beyond this outdated practice. Hunting was a very useful device while we explored and settled this country. It was crucial for homesteaders to gain traction. There’s no need for it anymore, and all hunting is now largely unethical. There’s too many roads, too many people and too many motors.

                • avatar wolf moderate says:

                  Take a look at the hunters success rates that I posted two days ago here. Your assumption couldn’t be further from the truth.

                  I almost “can’t wait for $10 a gallon gas” either. At that point we will begin to drill for our own resources, not buy from a bunch of thugs.

                • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

                  wolf moderate,

                  At $10 a gallon a lot more will happen than more drilling for domestic oil.

                  Alternative technologies will become more and more feasible, and without being subsidized. This includes environment friendly ones and also awful ones as long as the latter are not forced to pay their full costs of production (which includes cleaning up their pollution — their mess).

                  Energy saving technology is the least expensively alternative source of new energy in most energy use areas. There will be more energy conservation.

                • avatar wolf moderate says:

                  Yes $10 a gallon would make alternative fuels more enticing to investors and consumers. It would also make Americans more inclined to extract natural resources at the same time. We can’t keep sending billions of dollars out of the country.

                  I stand by my statement of the U.S. being the “Saudi Arabia” of natural gas. Not saying that it is economically viable to extract it yet, but within the next few years I think technology will be available to retrieve it without too much of an environmental impact. Time will tell…

                • avatar Mike says:

                  Sad news about this bear incident in NW Montana (Buckhorn Mountain). The dead bear was one of 15-30 grizz in this area, obviously a real blow to recovery efforts.

                  We really need to get these guys with guns who don’t bother to carry bear spray out of the mountains and leave the wildlife alone. It’s getting old. Too many people now, too many roads and motors.

                • avatar wolf moderate says:

                  Good night Troll.

                  Going muzzle loader huntin’ tommorow at o dark thirty. Gotta hot date with me cousin up in them thar hills. Don’t worry though, I got my uncle’s blessin’. That’s how we do out here… right?

                  🙂 See ya.

                • avatar ma'iingan says:

                  William, wildlife management in every state is ultimately under the direction of that state’s legislature – wildlife agencies are part of each state’s government. And of course the hunting lobby in Wisconsin has a voice – hunting and fishing generate around four billion dollars annually, not to mention the income from license sales and P-R/D-J funding.

                  Your comments sound curiously like those of Patricia Randolph, a well-know Wisconsin anti-hunting advocate. Your statement that Wisconsin’s ecosystem is endangered by hound hunters is completely irrational – what kind of validation can you provide for that claim, William?

                  I realize you’re not a big proponent of rational thinking as applied to wildlife management, but here are a few facts for you to ponder –

                  Wisconsin is home to a very healthy population of around 36,000 black bear – healthy in terms of numbers and individuals. A very recent analysis (Beston, 2011) found that cub survival in the region is the highest in the nation, and sightings of sows with four, five, and even six cubs are becoming commonplace.

                  This flourishing population has occupied all the prime bear habitat and has expanded into primary ag and even suburban landscapes – last year, bear caused over a quarter-million dollars in ag damage, and an additional substantial amount of property damage. This necessitated the trapping and relocation of 481 bears, and an additional 66 animals were either deemed incorrigible or threats to human health and safety, and were trapped and killed.

                  Wildlife management on an individual basis like this is very expensive – but if bear hunting were to be curtailed these problems and associated costs would grow exponentially. While you and others are uncomfortable with hound hunting, it is one of the few effective means of accomplishing a significant annual offtake of bear from the heavily forested landscape in the northern third of Wisconsin. Hounding is not allowed in the southern two-thirds of the state, where other hunting methods are effective.

                  In closing, William, black bear are doing spectacularly well in Wisconsin – around the mid 1980’s, the population had declined to a point where the hunting season was closed in 1985. A new system of management was put in place at that time, elevating bear to trophy status and restricting hunting to a permit system. Since then the population has tripled – thanks to the wildlife managers you hold in such contempt.

                • avatar Paul says:

                  I noticed that you mentioned nothing about our real concern; the inherent cruelty of bear hounding. That is our problem with most “wildlife managers.” There is no concern of animals being allowed to be killed in horrendous and cruel ways as long as it satisfies your “management” objectives. But it is legal so it must be ethical and moral right? Do you honestly think that allowing a pack of dogs to chase a terrified bear up a tree just to be executed with no means of defense is “sporting?” Only 17 out of 50 states allow bear hounding. Many of the states who do not allow it have just as many or more bears and forest area as Wisconsin does. Even Montana and Wyoming do not allow it. What does that say?

                  I love it how “wildlife management” types throw around words like “irrational” or “emotional” when talking about those who are against the cruel practices in the hunting industry. They act like we have to accept it because it is legal and that their motives cannot be questioned. Yes, the “facts” are always on their side until something goes wrong, then they just fall back on blaming wolves and other predators for the decline in their trophy species. I had a co-worker tell me last week that his son was in a class taught by a Wisconsin DNR Warden. This warden was bragging that over the weekend he was going “up north” to bait an area for his bear hunting expedition. Of course Wisconsin is one of only 10 states that allow bear baiting. If the so called “managers” take part in these types of activities how can we trust them to care for the well being of wildlife for all of us, not just “sportsmen?” It may be legal but to me it sounds a little like the fox guarding the hen house.

                • avatar ma'iingan says:

                  “But it is legal so it must be ethical and moral right?”

                  I’m well aware of the legal/ethical conflicts surrounding certain forms of hunting. That I would not personally choose to bait or pursue bear with hounds does not diminish the utility of these methods as management tools, for those individuals who choose to use them as provided by law.

                  “Even Montana and Wyoming do not allow it. What does that say?”

                  Based on my observations of both black and grizzly bear in the NRM, there is ample opportunity for spot-and-stalk hunting, unlike Wisconsin. I’ve held bear tags twice during Wisconsin’s archery deer season – and despite situating myself in an area known to be the home range of a large boar, I saw nothing. What many would describe as “fair chase” bear hunting in this type of landscape is an exercise in futility – and could not possibly result in any significant offtake.

                  “I love it how “wildlife management” types throw around words like “irrational” or “emotional” when talking about those who are against the cruel practices in the hunting industry.”

                  I call it like I see it – William Huard’s “wreaking havoc on the ecosystem” is totally irrational. In fact, it’s exactly the same phrase used by Rockholm, et al when describing wolves’ impact on the Yellowstone ecosystem – and I’ve used it on this forum and others to describe their rhetoric.

                • avatar Nancy says:

                  +What many would describe as “fair chase” bear hunting in this type of landscape is an exercise in futility – and could not possibly result in any significant offtake+

                  What many would describe ma’iingan?

                  I truely think the words “fair chase” sicken many if not a good majority, who don’t spend their time thinking about hunting down and killing other species… especially when it comes to the “sport” aspect of it – biggest & best – horns, antlers, etc.

                • avatar wolf moderate says:

                  Take a look at “harvest” statistics and you will find that a vast majority of animals are yearlings.

                  Very few 6 point elk are killed as a percentage of the entire take. Same goes for 4 point plus bucks. It’s a fallacy that environmentalist nuts try to paint every hunter as a trophy hunter.

                  Look up the harvest stats. I’m on my phone, but will post them this evening…

                  Any elk killed is a trophy in my and most any other hunters view. Quit the BS…

                • avatar wolf moderate says:

                  Idaho elk hunting statistics.

                  http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/huntplanner/stats.aspx?season=general&game=elk&yr=2010

                  Nationwide hunting stats. Only Wyoming has a better than 20% sucess rates for elk.

                  http://www.rmef.org/Hunting/Features/Articles/

                • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

                  These really haven’t changed since I last looked at them when I lived and hunted elk in the Rockies in 1969-1974. Wyoming success was 43% then (now 44%) with Montana and Idaho in the high teens and Colorado in the low 20s, same as now.

                • avatar CodyCoyote says:

                  Wyoming’s elk success rate used to be closer to 60 percent. But back then ( pre-1988 Yellowstone fires era) almost all the hunting areas not immediately adjacent to Yellowstone in the wilderness, were General Elk / Any Elk.

                  Now, thanks to mismanagement , many once prime trophy elk areas are Limited Quota with some rpetty low quotas alla round. the outfitters are whining and howling, of course, but they are more part of the problem than the solution.

                  I’m thinking of one outfitter in particular who was publically lambasting those darn wolves for taking away “his” bull elk , but he and his outfit ( two camps about 30 miles apart) had been consistently taking as many as 45 bulls a year. Fully booked out hunts.

                  That is a LOT of hunting pressure. But outfitters never take blame for anything.

                • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

                  It sounds like maybe they need something to protect a large segment of bulls like they use for moose in areas of interior Alaska. Only spike-single fork or 6 points on at least one side. Of course, that would take the NR success rate down for a few years. I assume if they can’t get “trophy” bulls, they are having clients shoot lots of 5-points and rag-horns? That, and if the overall elk populations are above objective, as most in Wyoming apparently are — take more cows/calves to improve nutrition. Of course, taking those would only directly benefit the resident-commoners, so would likely not be popular with outfitters, most of whom like many hunters probably have a strong bias against killing females as every one is seen as essential to producing a steady supply of the commodity they are concerned with — trophy bulls.

                • avatar Salle says:

                  Sorry if this shows up in the middle of a conversation but I can’t seem to post anything at the bottom of this page instead of the middle of the page… (In some remote aspects it kind of fits here…?)

                  Important article by Dr. Paul Paquet:

                  ………………
                  Wolves fall prey to Canada’s rapacious tar sands business

                  On the pretext of protecting caribou, wolves are threatened with a cull. But the real ‘conservation’ is of oil industry profits

                  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/sep/17/oil-sands-wildlife

                • avatar willam huard says:

                  Couple of points-

                  Ma’iingan’s comment about fair chase hunting being an “exercise in futility”.

                  States that do not allow baiting and hounding probably have about a 20% or 1 in 5 success rate, including my state which is around 18%.
                  That is the problem with today’s trophy hunter-they are lazy and they want immediate gratification. The hell with ethics….
                  Of course Ma’iingan (like all hunters) states that he would never ever participate in these types of hunts……It’s like canned hunting- have you ever heard a hunter say that they hunt at a wildlife preserve? Someones lying

                • avatar wolf moderate says:

                  I bet that there isn’t a state or country in the world that has an 18% sucess rate if hounds or bait isn’t used. Please show a link…

                  I’d guess that the success rate for hunters that do not use hounds/bait is about 3-5%. Then again, most hunters aren’t going after bears, but they buy a tag while hunting other animals. If they come across a bear they MAY kill it. Most likely they won’t. Everyone I know HAS passed on black bear before even though it was legal to “harvest”it, because 1) they didn’t want to ruin there elk/deer hunt 2) don’t like bear meat, therefore will only shoot very large bears or ones that are blonde or cinnamon.

                  Oregon had a heck of a year in 2010. The success rate was 4%! Oregon doesn’t allow hounds or baiting.

                  http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/big_game/controlled_hunts/docs/hunt_statistics/11/BEARHarvestTrend1975-%202010.pdf

                • avatar wolf moderate says:

                  Another thing. I heard someone complaining (again) about the wolf hunt in Idaho and how the length of the season means that females with cubs would/could be harvested. Well, F & G departments are going to meet there quota’s one way or the other.

                  Bear hunting in Idaho is relatively short compared with Oregon. Oregon has a general bear hunt from August 1st to December 31st in most of the state and then it has spring bear hunts from April 1st to May 31st.
                  http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/big_game/regulations/docs/2011_big_game_regs_034-037.pdf

                  Cougar hunting is from Jan 1 to December 31st STATE WIDE! How disgusting right?
                  http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/big_game/regulations/docs/2011_big_game_regs_041-042.pdf

                  Well, the moral of the story is that the F&G departments must meet quota’s one way or the other. Since Oregon decided that they wanted to do away with hounds and baiting, they just increased the duration of hunting season to either all year long or close to it.

                  Idaho’s Cougar and Bear seasons are less than 6 months long. They are able to meet the quotas quicker because of the hunter’s ability to use hounds and bait.

                  There are 310 million+ million people in this country and we as humans must play puppet master if we are to be able to enjoy hunting and fishing. If you feel that in this day n’ age there should be no hunting, I can respect that. In a few more decades you may very well get what you want. Of course the loss of hunter’s revenue dollars will only hurt the ecosystems that you love so much.

                  Remember that Oregon and Washington are some of the most “progressive” states in the country and they are allowing this to happpen…

                  End rant 🙂

                • avatar catbestland says:

                  Wolves have pups, not cubs.

                • avatar wolf moderate says:

                  Thanks lol.

                • avatar JEFF E says:

                  the terms are interchangeable, with perhaps “cub” being used more historically and “pup” more common today. I use both for no particular reason.
                  I do not know any other animal that this is true but I am sure there must be.

                • avatar ma'iingan says:

                  William, what particular experience qualifies you to comment about the efficacy of bowhunting for bear from an unbaited treestand in northern Wisconsin? In particular, what would be your expectation in terms of an expected success rate for that endeavor?

                • avatar Daniel Berg says:

                  I seriously doubt there are many wildlife preserve hunters that would post here. Many of them probably don’t care enough about wildlife issues in general to follow them in the detail that this site provides.

                  As far as those who use outfitters, I’m not quite sure how many of them are just monied individuals trying to minimize their time commitment to a successful hunt, vs. those who are in an area they have no personal knowledge of, and are unwilling to accept the decrease in success rate that could be the result of that lack of knowledge.

                • avatar Mike says:

                  Immer –

                  “Grown” men pose with dead animals because they haven’t shed their childhood tendencies. As children, we always dragged stuff back to the house to show mom or to impress our buddies. Hunters who take photos of themselves with dead things never outgrew that. It’s the same exact thing as little Timmy bringing hom that gartner snake and saying, “look mom! Look what I did!”.

                  Life experience and eduction play a large role in personally evolving out of such things. You also learn that maybe beer at noon isn’t a great idea.

                • avatar willam huard says:

                  I agree. And then you have blowhards like Ma’iingan that accuse you of being a “hater” or an “anti” when you question these BS “wildlife management policies.” I’m on the side of the animals- these asswipes don’t speak up for them.

                • avatar JB says:

                  William:

                  It’s fine to speak up for animals (and your own interests). But when you make claims that are factual in nature, you should be prepared to back them up. Referring to people who obviously DO CARE about wildlife as “blowhards” or “asswipes” simply because they don’t agree with you does absolutely nothing to advance your cause–in fact, you may be turning potential allies into foes.

                  Something to consider.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            To this day, I have always found it rather ghoulish to pose for a picture with something one has just killed.

        • avatar jon says:

          I see that psycho Hemming is posting on there. He posts as prohuman. Can barely understand what that nut is saying.

      • avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

        Both.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      +Needless to say, it was exciting,” he said. “If I would have had five wolf tags, I probably could have killed five wolves.”+

      Very sad that he has no respect for wildlife. Its all about killing……….

    • avatar jon says:

      There are sick people in this world who see wildlife as nothing more than shooting targets.

      • avatar Paul says:

        The really sad thing is that many media outlets like the newspaper publishing this article treat this clown like he is some type of hero. I can only hope that enough sane people read these types of articles, and are revolted by them enough to pressure the NRM states to stop this insane persecution of wolves. Not likely to happen though as we know the fix is in regardless of public opinion. I really hope that that there is such a thing as Karma, and that it rears it’s head one day for the proponents of and participants in this slaughter.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Folks should note that Porthill, Idaho is on the Canadian border.

          This was “Randy Weaver” country, and it still is in a way.

        • avatar Salle says:

          So here we see the influence of the corporate media, owned and operated by you-know-whom… any wonder that we see this kind of coverage?

    • avatar Howl Basin says:

      Statesman writer Roger Phillips is no friend of wolves. He must have loved writing this story. According to IDFG, one wolf killed near lake by the Boise hunter Stan Burt (his name his in the Idaho Statesman so I hope it’s ok to write it here) was a pup still with its milk teeth. The other wolf was young also, perhaps two. So, a hunter blasts a little pup that got to live just over four months before being slaughtered. Not harvested. Slaughtered. Wasted. No killed for meat, but for a “rug”. At least the other wolves in the pack will never stand around again looking at a human pointing a rifle at them and making stupid noises like a rabbit.

  21. avatar JB says:

    I just posted an analysis of the western wolf conflict over on my blog: http://bruskotter.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/social-conflict-over-wolves-the-predator-pendulum-revisited/.

    I would very much appreciate this groups’ thoughts (and feel free to be critical).

    • avatar Nancy says:

      +Biological Recovery. When the FWS attempted to delist wolves in 2009, another phrase emerged to describe the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population–biologically recovered. Thus, in the 2009 Final Rule (p. 15,138), the FWS confidently asserted that, ****“By all measures the NRM wolf population is extremely demographically and genetically diverse, will remain so, and is completely biologically recovered” (emphasis added)****

      “Confidently asserted” So, according to FWS, its now time to WIPE OUT half of that recovered population of wolves this hunting season, if possible.

      And by golly, if they can’t do it this year with all the Rockholm clones on the ground – salivating over that wolf hide or skull that would look nice hanging in the den (cus ya know, its been illegal to hang their body parts til now) – they can just keep picking away at their numbers with trappers and government hunters, til those numbers are WAY down and the elk and livestock are safe once again…so we have nothing in the way of obstacles when it comes to eating them.

      Yes, slid off base here, so sorry. Just so fricken tired of the BS.

      It reminds me of the BS going on in this country right now when it comes to jobs. No one really gave a crap about the working poor in this country til many in the middle class, suddenly got a jolt of “reality”

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        The jolt of reality is going to confront the filthy rich if the “middle class” continues to collapse.

      • avatar JB says:

        Thanks, Nancy. In all fairness, the FWS really has nothing to do with state management; the population and management objectives for wolves are established by state agencies.

        I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over the extreme anti-wolf folks. They’re a very vocal minority.

  22. avatar IDhiker says:

    I’ve been busy working night shifts at some fires…so maybe it’s already been discussed, but has Jay Mallonee’s article in NATURE and SCIENCE titled “Hunting Wolves in Montana…Where’s the Data?,” been discussed?

    If Mallonee’s correct, he presents a pretty damning expose of the “science” used to determine the wolf hunting seasons by fish and game departments.

    http://www.sciencepub.net Vol. 9 No. 9, 27

    • avatar Jerry Black says:

      ID Hiker….I’ve noticed it on numerous blogs and facebook pages. Doesn’t seem to draw many comments, but not many science based articles do, except with a small core group of conservation minded people. It’s always the same people who comment …both sides.
      Hell, the NFL season starts tonight…who cares about wolves, climate change, clean air etc when you can sit down with a bunch of Bubbas, a case of Bud-Lite and watch football?
      Obviously, I’m a bit disillusioned.

  23. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Hunting Wolves in Montana…Where’s the Data

    http://www.wolfandwildlifestudies.com/downloads/natureandscience.pdf

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      What is it that makes the Bitterroot Valley such a far right nutty place, Jerry?

      I guess living adjacent to beautiful mountains and rivers and big wilderness does not inspire certain cultures to any sort of noble reflection.

      • avatar catbestland says:

        Did a large population of displaced, ex-confederate, white supremacists, settle Idaho, Wyoming and Montana after the Civil War? If so, I can understand why their thought processes make them behave (treat and abuse wildlands and wildlife resources) the way they do. Up until about 25 years ago and for nearly century, they had no-one to answer to on the issue of public lands and wildlife. With that mindset and sense of entitlement, it’s little wonder that they can’t understand the concept of “in the best interest of” when it comes to anything but their profits. “Best interest” of land, wildlife and even the citezenry of this country is not represented here.

        Eventho they are convinced that no-one has any interest in, or right to the use of public lands except them, we should not be deterred. We, the rest of the US DO have interest in those lands and we need to make noise and rattle cages until that interest is truly represented in government. Call your congressman and demand an overhaul of Public Lands Policy to include your interest.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Same thing went on in the Boundary Waters in MN. Some of the old time locals are still hot about it. New threat to the area is more mining.

        • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

          catbestland —
          There was earlier a brief debate about the origin of extreme politics in the Bitterroot and Ralph speculated it was a byproduct of the Californication of the area — during boomtimes in California real estate, many white Calfornians sold out and bought 5 acre ranchettes in the valley (with cash left over) upon which they put horses to live out the western dream (that were frequently seen starving during their extended absences back in California, Arizona or someplace). I used to find the longer established element in Montana to be generally refreshingly rational and reasonable and attributed it to a westward push of the same kind of folks who colonized Minnesota, who I also found to have the same attributes. However, politics in Minnesota itself has gotten increasingly nutty so I’ve given up on stereotypes and theories . . . .

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Catbestland,

          A fair number of ex-Confederates did settle in northern (but not southern) Idaho. This is reflected by place names like Dixie (backcountry town) and the Secesh River (for secessionist).

  24. avatar Howl Basin says:

    Predator calls are legal in Idaho. That doesn’t make them right. Bear baiting is legal in Idaho. Most states have done away with it. Throughout history, a lot of things were legal under certain governments. What’s going on in Idaho right now with regards to killing wolves might be legal under Butch Otter’s iron fist, but it’s not right, and if wolf advocates will work and speak, the world will know this.

  25. avatar Howl Basin says:

    I hope this link comes through. The wolf killer poses with his mighty achievement – the wolf pup is to the right of photo. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=278607738816448&set=a.217782791565610.64005.213339158676640&type=1&theater

  26. avatar Salle says:

    Bishop, Hatch target federal lands for school cash

    “The education of our children should not be held hostage by the burdensome presence of federal land in our state,” Bishop said in a written statement.

    “Funding for Utah’s education system has historically been hampered by the presence of a large portion of public lands owned by the federal government,” Hatch added.

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/52545286-90/federal-utah-lands-bishop.html.csp#.Tmm7gBd9zqY.email

    ———–

    Okaaaay, is this blatant enough to indicate what the real pogrom is here?

  27. avatar ma'iingan says:

    The current state of affairs on Isle Royale –

    • avatar wolf moderate says:

      Ma’iingan

      Good video. How are the wolves and moose doing
      on the mainland? Is the tick also an issue for the moose there as well?

      Are the moose and wolves in southern Canada having any issues?

      Thanks.

      • avatar ma'iingan says:

        Moose are in decline in Minnesota and Ontario, and it’s looking more and more like a domino effect with climate change as a root cause. They are heat-stressed at temperatures above 70°, and the relatively mild winters of late have favored deer, leading to an increase in the brainworm that is deadly to moose. Winter ticks are another moose-killer that are more abundant in mild winters.

        Ironically, moose are increasing slightly in Michigan’s U.P. and boreal Wisconsin, due to the growing presence of wolves and their consumption of deer – reducing the incidence of brainworm.

        • avatar wolf moderate says:

          Interesting.

          Thanks.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          It seems that white-tailed deer, indirectly at least, are a serious threat to moose and elk . . . mule deer too.

          This statement might seem value laden, but it think of whitetails as kind of a “weedy” species of mammal. So are coyotes. Among birds, crows are a good example.

    • avatar Salle says:

      Thank you for posting that. What a wealth of information in what?…ten minutes? That was excellent!

      So, I think I would have to say hat I agree with this man’s philosophy on the purpose and essence of designated wilderness.

      The scenery was great too, it looks a lot like most of Maine.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      I spoke with John Vucetich quite some time ago, when I believe there were only three female wolves on the Isle, and they were still somewhat reeling from parvo. I asked what he thought about the continued existence of wolves on Isle Royale and he promptly replied they were doomed.

      I don’t believe this was any great surprise, because the enclosed system in which they live all but prevents new genes from getting to the Isle. A bad throw of environmental dice, and or the breeding females decrease, and the possible long term outcome for Isle Royale wolves is dire (no pun intended).

      Most of us who have followed Isle Royale wolves have long been aware of the vertebral malformations that occur. The anti’s have jumped on the Mech quote that wolves persist on Isle Royale despite the genetic concerns (hypothesis of malformation overall effect on wolves that needs be tested) and that they thrive on moose despite the malformation.

    • avatar Harley says:

      That was fascinating Ma’iigan, thank you for sharing. I’ve been following this study for over 10 years now. Some very important and impacting discussions and decisions for the team.

  28. avatar Salle says:

    Home / News / Region / Region

    Only Vermont’s rural byways were rated in worse condition in a recent report.
    Study: Idaho’s Rural Roads in Poor Shape

    http://magicvalley.com/news/local/study-idaho-s-rural-roads-in-poor-shape/article_580bef12-20dd-5846-966a-11d4c53ed73b.html

    And so US12 is an excellent route for all those incredibly overweight mega-loads… right?

    You gotta wonder what the payoff is for the legislative personnel who pursue such agendas.

  29. avatar Paul says:

    Another story of WI bear hunters unfortunately with a sad ending for the bear:

    http://www.channel3000.com/news/29137945/detail.html

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      If someone shot me, I think I’d be pissed enough to fight back. Appears from the short story, that’s what the bear did.

      • avatar wolf moderate says:

        Yeah, it’s sort of like when the hound hunters cry when the cougar/bear/wolf kills there dogs! That kills me. If you are going to hunt dangerous game, be prepared for the consequences…

  30. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    A good summary about the prospects for this year’s Elk hunts in the Jackson Hole area and surrounds. Emphasis is shifting to Cow licenses and spike bulls only. The Jackson division of the Wyo G&F says they want to repeat the mistakes made over near my own Cody where many elk seasons are now Limited Quota due to overharvest of trophy bulls in recent years, although wolves are getting scapegoated for that.

    http://www.chron.com/news/article/Elk-season-opens-with-herds-flush-near-Jackson-2164241.php

    The other interesting item is there is no hunting season for Moose in areas around Jackson Hole for the first time in a century. Wolves are likely getting scapegoated for THAT , too.

  31. avatar SEAK Mossback says:

    Concern that a loophole to allow Montana wolf hunters to shoot wolves and leave them lay without turning them in (for fear of contracting disease) will be used to by wolf advocates to game the system and reduce the kill. Wow, usually wolves are taken and used at least for their skins even in programs designated strictly as predator control, but to allow animals to be abandoned untouched in the field in a regular hunting season??? That sends the message that the only purpose of the hunt is simply the kill and nothing more . . . . “The provision was inserted as part of legislation passed this year to protect hunters who fear wolves carry diseases, and want to shoot them but not touch them.” I haven’t looked at the fine print but wonder if there is a written recommendation somewhere that hunters either wear respirators when posing with their kills or approach from and stay safely upwind . . . .
    http://helenair.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/wolf-hunt-backers-fear-loophole-for-foes/article_30821b94-db71-11e0-94c7-001cc4c03286.html

    • avatar SAP says:

      Sort of a paranoia house-of-mirrors:
      1) Raise hysteria about wolves being evil, filthy disease vectors

      2) Hysteria results in largely symbolic legislative response that our modern St Georges can leave these filthy beasts where they fall (why not set them on fire or douse them with a caustic agent?).

      3) Same paranoia that led to the legislation now leads the afflicted to believe that “pro-wolf activists” will start fabricating tales of successful wolf hunts to get the wolf season shut down early.

      Hmm. Well. Now that you’ve put that notion out there, don’t be shocked if it happens.

      There is no good way this wolf season to prevent fraudulent wolf-kill reports. Too late likely to revise the regs, and no way you could get a special legislative session to change this one piddly little law. Otherwise, it would be a very simple matter to require FWP to supply a mandatory wolf-kill documentation kit, which could include respirators, surgical gloves, and biohazard containers for bringing in wolf DNA (hair, blood?)

      Even then: if hair were acceptable, couldn’t these rascally “pro-wolf activists” just get shed hair from Yellowstone or from old specimens?

      Heck, since the unhinged anti-wolf sociopaths seem to think even FWP is against them, let’s just go ahead and speculate that FWP would help the “pro-wolf activists” by giving them DNA from all those dead wolves in the freezers.

      The wolf-kill kit could also, then, include a disposable camera, and it could be mandatory to photograph killed wolves with said camera (film camera to avoid photoshopping fraud, of course).

      Such requirements would really be the only equitable and practical way of making everyone prove they killed a wolf. Don’t know who would pay for all the extra expense of the kits, plus DNA analysis and film development.

      Of course, it would be far more gratifying for the unhinged to violate the civil liberties of anyone they did not know and trust by making them march out in the woods with wardens and show them the dead wolf.

      They could also get a real tingle out of denying wolf tags to anyone they suspected of having the wrong attitude. Maybe mandatory background checks of anyone with a Subaru trying to buy a wolf tag?

      Or — similar to the bear species ID tests — require aspiring wolf hunters to watch “Never Cry Wolf” while hooked up to a electrodermal response sensor. Overly sympathetic scores disqualify applicants from getting wolf tags. Strong identification with the Brian Dennehy character would qualify applicant for discounts on multiple tags and free ammo.

      Oh, the places you’ll go when you’re paranoid . . .

      Hey, isn’t all this equal-protection nonsense a little shopworn anyhow?

      • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

        It is way over the top. There are plenty of examples where harvesting fish and wildlife exposes you to potential pathogens and poisons, sometimes lethal, but the government generally either recommends precautions in handling or in some cases that you don’t catch or kill them at all — but it does not pass a special law legalizing wanton waste of a species because of it. One example here is paralytic shellfish poison, which actually killed a woman in this community last summer when she unwisely ate cockles in mid-summer after potential red tides, and has affected many others. It was responsible for well over 100 deaths at one location in a single day in a place toward Sitka commemorated in local names: Deadman’s Reach and Poison Cove in Peril Strait. Still, it is illegal to dig up clams just to kill and waste them because they are vectors for PSP. The meat must be taken from spring black bears that likely carry trichinosis. Warnings are posted on careful handling of waterfowl because the Asian bird flu is expected to show up one of these days. The same is probably true for hunting rabbits in Idaho that potentially carry tularemia. There’s a potentially nasty disease in the mountain goats in this area called orf that is transmissible to humans and can survive in the soil for at least 6 months. And probably many others — yet Echinococcus granulosus cases have been extremely rare considering about 1,500 wolf carcasses are handled and skinned annually in this state by many different people.

  32. avatar jon says:

    A trophy hunter showing how much he cares about wildlife

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3806600/Whos-the-bigger-beast.html

    I hope the day that trophy hunting of lions ends comes soon.

    • avatar willam huard says:

      These trophy hunters are usually wealthy elites. They are superior beings. Their time is coming. When you hear the expression “shot the lion for fun” most people are repulsed by that. I think it is time to start dismantling “the hunting heritage” because it is bogus

      • avatar jon says:

        Yeah, most of them are rich. I cannot understand why someone would want to spend thousands of dollars just to shoot an amazing animal for sport. To call sport hunting recreation or sporting is disgraceful. Since when did killing wild animals become a “sport”? Sports usually don’t involve killing. I’m hoping that lion hunting is banned permanently. It’s disgusting we allow humans to shoot amazing wild animals such as lions for sport and to be displayed in their trophy room.

  33. avatar willam huard says:

    Paul-

    Well said. The point to remember is that Ma’ iingan and other FG types are quick to change the focus from “hunting” to “wildlife population management” when advocating for these morally repulsive techniques like Baiting and Hounding….. They always have a reason to justify anything they do- no matter how disgusting. They are quick to tell the public not to feed the bears as they prepare their rotten garbage for bait.
    We need some Federal standards of ethical conduct because it is obvious state legislators, the hunting community, and Fish and Game personnel are incapable of treating OUR wildlife in a humane manner.
    A perfect example of this disconnect is Idaho’s 72 hour trap rule….Everyone you talk to says that the 24 hour trap check should be mandatory. The 72 hour rule was proposed by trappers for trappers…. the animals welfare isn’t even considered- is that right?

    • avatar jon says:

      I believe ma iingan works for wildlife services. I’m not at all surprised by his comments. Wildlife services should be disbanded for good. Just think about all of the wild animals that disgraceful agency kills.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        This discussion topic has popped up before, about disbanding WS. Not a good idea for many reasons. One is that many commercial airports, rural and urban would see many catastrophes if not for the services of WS.

        I recall working for a small commuter airline during a period of gross underemployment when one of our “Bandits” was at the point of rotation at a rural Wisconsin airport, and hit a deer. Only the skill of the pilot prevented a crash that most likely would have resulted in fatalities.

      • avatar willam huard says:

        Why am I not surprised. The FED goon squad

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          William,

          I think you would be rather surprised if taking off in a two engine turbo prop, you saw a deer getting sucked into your engine at the moment of too late to abort.

  34. avatar catbestland says:

    Oops, didn’t mean to post the email address. It’s too early.

  35. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    “Cantwell aims to halt Alaska gold mine”

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2016180120_goldmine12.html

    Thoughts SEAK? Done any work around Bristol Bay?

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      Daniel —
      I worked on lakes and streams on the Dillingham side of the bay (Wood River Lakes) to the north for three seasons,but not in the Lake Iliamna-Kvichak River drainage. I did probably fly directly over the site in a 1946 Aeronca Champ that I was ferrying from a strip by Matanuska Glacier out to a friend in Dillingham — drifted off course over the hills north of Iliamna and ended up intersecting the Nushagak far upstream of Dillingham. My wife spent one entire season working on her MS Thesis project in the Kvichak drainage — tagged 10,000 sockeye with a crew at the counting tower at Igiugig and walked and floated almost every creek in the Lakes Iliamna and Clark drainages recovering tags, a project that would be much better done now using genetics. It is the largest sockeye producing system in Alaska and probably the world, although the Fraser undoubtedly has exceeded it in some years like 2010. One of those spawning streams was Talarik Creek which, I believe, is the main drainage where the mine would be located and as far as I’ve ever heard is probably the top rainbow trout stream in Alaska, producing hundreds of resident fish in the size range of steelhead, although there are also many other good rainbow streams in the bay. The rainbows have been found to get virtually all their annual growth from the sockeye eggs they eat. It would be a huge open pit mine in geology conducive to acid problems and it is hard to see how it could be done in a high precipitation area without potential severe impacts to Talarik Creek and the largest sockeye nursery lake (and largest lake, period) in Alaska. Standing on the rim of the filling Berkley Pit at Butte, that was a growing problem as it threatened to eventually overflow into a trout stream and was apparently toxic enough to kill a flock of snow geese that landed there did not inspire confidence. I hope it is never developed.

  36. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    “Cantwell aims to halt Alaska gold mine”

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2016180120_goldmine12.html

    Thoughts SEAK? Done any work around Bristol Bay?

  37. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    Giant Red Crabs Take Over “Antarctic Abyss” Climate Change Blamed:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/12/giant-red-crab-invasion-climate-change_n_956090.html

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      Interesting, those photos make me concerned and hungry at the same time. It is definitely a king crab but not the same species caught commercially around Patagonia, the Falklands, etc. That one is also spiny and is called Centolla and appears similar to our brown or golden king crab but is found pretty shallow in the Beagle Channel and around Punta Arenas, etc. — I tried some in a restaurant in Ushuaia. This species looks like it is very deep and apparently has expanded due to a slight warming in the sea around Antarctica. Not sure if a fishery at that depth would be economic and effective enough to control it at all. The north Pacific red king crab, most abundant and commercially important in Alaska (over the blue and golden king crab) were introduced years ago in the Barents Sea north of Russia and Norway and have gone hog wild. There’s a major fishery there now that competes substantially in the market with ours and they grow noticeably larger than our red kings. There surely must be some ecological impacts but I haven’t yet heard or read what they are.

  38. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Things you accidentally stumble upon when you´re researching something with google: “Big brown Grizzly Bear killing show” and “This video could be one of the best shows in killing large grizzly bears. It took about 7 shot to hunt this big bear, he keep on running and made some nice acrobat fall but at the end he was killed. This record is the funniest between all hunting videos”. No, not my words and, ooooh, soooooo funny!
    http://hunting.nolitz.com/big-brown-grizzly-bear-killing-show-in-alaska/

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      I know this is not going to sound good to some, but after watching the video, it would have been ironic justice if the bear had just enough life remaining to nail the guy with the hand canon.

      Perhaps it comes as a product of age, but watching death, in particularly when that death has next to nothing to do with putting food on the table, is rather obscene.

      For all the anti-wolf folks who accuse wolves of “sport-killing”, at least the competetive field is fairly level. High powered rifles with telescopic sights do not equal sport. Just like the 9 year old girl who shot the record brown bear a few years ago. Where is the sport?

      Just my rant.

  39. avatar jon says:

    http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,79244.75.html

    “Bearpaw, was talking with a local guy the other day and he had mentioned his dad saw one large wolf in the smackout meadows this summer, Sounded like the wolf had no care in the world that he was sitting there being watched.

    Really wish we could get some M67’s and throw into the den’s while these worthless animals are in them.. Good ole frag grenade would take care of the problem real fast like.”

    I pray for Washington wolves!!!!!!!

    • avatar willam huard says:

      With a name like Bearpaw- what do you expect?
      These people live on the fringe of society, they sleep in their dirty camo outfits and are afraid of everything they can’t comprehend- which is mostly everything……

    • avatar Paul says:

      I would assume that this clown is probably another one of the “chicken hawk” wannabe types. Probably some slobbering idiot that sits in front of his computer fapping it to pictures of guns and other military equipment while having fantasies about shooting up his school. I would be willing to bet that the closest this guy every came to a “good ole frag grenade” is while playing Modern Warfare with other 14 year old drooling idiots on Xbox Live. I served 6 years in the Army Reserve and no one talked like this. Seriously who in normal conversation uses terms like M-67s or “frag grenades?” You called it a “frag” and everyone knew what you meant. Only wannabes talked like this in my experience.

      I wouldn’t read too much into what these types of idiots post on the internet.

  40. avatar Elk275 says:

    http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_49387a6c-de3b-11e0-9d9e-001cc4c002e0.html

    I wonder where this bear was killed? I was in Bridger, Montana Sunday training and working with my new mule and the person who I purchased the mule from said that there was several reports of Grizzlies way down on the plains this summer. I would discount most of those sightings as brown colored black bears but, the person who identified the bears as a grizzlies may be better at indentifing bears than me.

  41. avatar Paul says:

    Another sad story about the destruction of a species in Asia and Africa.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44503455/ns/world_news-world_environment/

  42. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Mexico set to free gray wolves in NE Sonora:
    “Now, with the release imminent, Arizona wildlife managers are scrambling to determine what effects it could have on the effort in Arizona and New Mexico to reintroduce the endangered wolf.” This plan to release wolves in Mexico is not brand new. How comes these guys are taken by surprise? http://www.chron.com/news/article/Wolf-release-in-Mexico-spurs-questions-in-US-2169088.php

  43. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Ravalli County commissioner claims wolves ruining quality of life
    http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_652303ce-de85-11e0-b621-001cc4c03286.html

  44. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Another troublespot lingering just around the corner:
    Montana cattle herd quarantined over disease
    Guess what it is. Bingo, brucellosis of course
    http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_b72b8722-de53-11e0-bf35-001cc4c002e0.html

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      So what they’re saying is that if we just open up all our naturual areas to intensive resource extraction, everyone in rural areas will prosper?

      Bullshit.

    • avatar willam huard says:

      There those wolves go again- “puttin ranchers and hunters out of business”. How many times have we heard that one……

      • avatar jon says:

        This is getting extremely ridiculous. If these people don’t like living with wolves, they would be better off moving to the city. There, you can deal with the 2 legged animals who are much worse than the wolves. Wolves have every right to exist in Montana even if some cowboys don’t like living with them.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Actually Jon, wolves have no rights at all – whether in Montana or any other state. Wolves, as a public wildlife resource, have a status assigned to them by the institutions our society has delegated that authority to. In our system of government, right now, that would be the state fish and game/wildlife agencies and their respective boards or commissions.

          • avatar jon says:

            That is the problem with fish and game agencies. They see wildlife as nothing more than a resource and a target for hunters to shoot. Things need to change.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            jon – It is society that makes that determination. Wildlife will always be a public resource and will always be considered a public resource – to be managed for the benefit and welfare of our human society.
            For a number of very rational and pragmatic reasons that reality will not change.

          • avatar Jon Way says:

            Mark,
            I would agree with jon here that there needs to be a fundamental change in state fish and game/wildlife agencies and their respective boards or commissions to better reflect the average citizen of a given state.

          • avatar jon says:

            “and will always be considered a public resource”

            Maybe to the hunters, but not all Mark.

          • avatar Ken Cole says:

            While I don’t necessarily agree with Jon’s feelings about animal rights, I agree that wolves, as a species, do have an inherent right to exist. That’s outlined in the public trust doctrine which seems to be at issue with wolf management. I honestly don’t think that the state game agencies, particularly the IDFG and Wyoming Game and Fish, have much regard for the full meaning of the public trust doctrine because they seem to ignore anything that challenges the status quo.

            You make that quite clear when you say “that reality will not change.” You vigorously defend the status quo every chance you get Mark.

            I don’t believe as Jon does with regard to individual animal rights, however, I balk at the thought that game agencies allow some of the heinous way that people will be allowed to kill wolves. Regardless of whether or not it will be common, there needs to be some control over how wolves are treated. The methods of take need to be humane and I just don’t see that in Wyoming’s plan and I have little hope that Idaho will be responsible in the future if they don’t see the declines in wolf numbers they want.

            I still doubt that the draconian wolf hunting scheme that IDFG has come up with will satisfy our idiot-filled legislature. I think they will demand even more killing by Wildlife Services and others to make sure that only the minimum number of wolves will live in Idaho.

            Mark my words. The Idaho Legislature will demand more.

          • avatar jon says:

            Mark, only a certain percentage of society believes that wildlife is nothing more than a resource here to benefit us humans. Others believe that wildlife should have a right to exist. To think that wild animals are just a resource for us humans to do whatever we want with them is the wrong view to have. The problem with fish and game agencies is that they usually only cater to certain special interest groups such as hunters and ranchers and pay little to no attention to wildlife viewers, you know the ones that want to see wild animals alive in their natural habitat.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Jon Way – that’s a different topic that deserves more discussion.

            Jon – again, it isn’t “hunters” or fish and game agencies that determine the status of wildlife as a public resource. That belongs to society which has never come close to embracing the specious notion of animal rights, nor will it. By society, of course, that means all segments of our population – hunters and non-hunters. The animal rights issue is a curious fringe philosophy that has no place or relevance in our system of governance or social priorities. This is not to be confused with our very legitimate system of societal values and priciples that relate to humane treatement of animals, as controversial and unsatisfactory as they may be to you and others.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Ken,
            If you suggest that somehow the PTD articulates a principle of any species having a “right” to exist – you misunderstand the PTD. The PTD articulates the standing of the general public and the responsibilites of the public’s government to protect that standing – with respect to common trust resources. It neither says, not infers, anything about “rights” of species or individual animals. To the extent that it is in the interests of society (the public of each state) to have abundant and diverse wildlife – the PTD addresses government’s responsibility to recognize and guard those public trust interests.
            The methods and means of “taking” public trust wildlife is fully reviewed and vetted with the public of each state – by the respective wildlife management agencies. Yours and others objections to methods and means of taking wolves in Idaho not-withstanding, is there or has there been any indication from the Idaho public that this and other elements of the Idaho wolf plan is opposed by most Idahoans?

          • avatar timz says:

            State’s like Idaho who elect hillbillies like Butch Otter, who then appoint clowns like our IF&G commission, who in turn hire lackey’s like you to spout there drivel on blogs like this should have their rights to manage anything taken away, especially wildlife on Federal (public) lands which belong to all citizens of the USA.

          • avatar JB says:

            Yikes! Three of my favorite discussion topics in one thread!

            On animal rights. Mark is absolutely right from a policy perspective. Animals do not have rights in the US; however, increasingly we (as a society) have chosen to establish regulations, rules and laws that promote animal welfare. [An interesting sidebar: I’ve asked people in numerous surveys whether animals have “the right to exist” and the majority almost always believe they do!]

            On the PTD: The PTD and its application to wildlife varies considerably from state to state. It is based on the notion of “sovereign ownership” of wildlife–that is, the notion that states, in their sovereign capacity, act as a trustee of wildlife (actually, the doctrine is more commonly applied to water resources), managing that resource (yes Jon, wildlife are considered a resource) for the benefit of their citizens. However, there is much confusion as to what type of obligation the PTD establishes. Note: My colleagues and I have a paper coming out that argues that, at minimum, states must at least attempt to maintain a viable population of a species in order to fulfill PTD obligations (more on this in a few weeks).

            On the representativeness of wildlife commissions. Again, this varies considerably by state. While Mark is correct that “democratic” political processes dictate wildlife policy, commissions are often “stacked” to favor certain constituents and, as Timz suggests, they often make decisions that are at odds with the public’s desires. Personally, I don’t think fish/wildlife policy should be dictated by public opinion; however, I also object to processes that are set up to favor some interest groups over others.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          timz,
          The wildlife resources of this country are held in trust by the respective states for the resident citizens of each respective state – whether residing on federal lands or not. This is defined in the Public Trust Doctrine and affirmed by numerous Supreme Court decisions upholding the PTD.

          • avatar wolf moderate says:

            Thank God!

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            I would not want it anyother way.

          • avatar timz says:

            That doesn’t mean the people in them are smart enough to manage them. I suppose you would tell me if a poll was taken and a majority of Idahoans opposed the current wolf plan that the current administration and IDF&G would change it. Just as they continually spew the lie, “we didn’t want them in the first place”, when polls said the opposite was true.

          • avatar JB says:

            Mark: Of course there are some exceptions: i.e., migratory birds, endangered species, wild/feral horses and mules, and injurious species (as defined by the Lacey Act). All of these have federal control of some kind; and I hasten to add (for the benefit of Elk275 and Wolf Moderate) these federal policies often are beneficial to wildlife and their habitat. I would also point out that some National Parks protect wildlife from harvest (regardless of states’ desires). Federal supremacy has also been upheld in the Supreme Court; so things are not necessarily as cut-and-dry as some think.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            JB

            ++Federal supremacy has also been upheld in the Supreme Court; so things are not necessarily as cut-and-dry as some think.++

            The is a federal court case Balwin vs The State of Montana.

            ++The Court affirmed the right of Montana to charge higher fees for out-of-state elk hunters. Justice Blackmun found that the Privileges and Immunities Clause only applied to activities which bear “on the vitality of the Nation as a single entity.” Since elk hunting is a recreational activity and not fundamental to the survival of nonresidents of Montana, Blackmun argued that it did not fall within the scope of the protections guaranteed by the Constitution. “Equality in access to Montana elk is not basic to the maintenance or well-being of the Union,” he concluded.++

            I think that we could apply this to non resident wildlife viewers. That is a mean thought. “Equality in access to Montana wolves is not basic to the maintenance or well-being of the Union,” he concluded.

            Just some ideas. When this case was before the court, it was not the state wildlife agencies that were the only ones interested. It was state universities and colleges that felt if the court ruled against the State of Montana then the insitutions would not be able to charge non resident tutition.

          • avatar JB says:

            Elk:

            A number of individuals have challenged the right of states to charge more for out-of-state fees; to my knowledge, all of them have lost. Nonetheless, courts have also consistently ruled that federal interest in protecting endangered species (under the commerce clause) and the federal government’s right to manage its lands as it sees fit (under the property clause) override states’ interests. Then there is also federal legislation that dictates how public lands will be managed. Most relevant, in this case, is the NFMA (1976) which mandates forest management plans be updated every 15 years and requires public involvement (the act also requires that the FS provide for the diversity of plant and animal communities). The take home message: There are many mechanisms through which “outsiders” could involve themselves in wildlife management on federal lands in the West. Sans the statutory protections of the ESA (and given state agencies reluctance to give an inch), I suspect we will see a number of these mechanisms tried in the near future.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            JB

            ++The take home message: There are many mechanisms through which “outsiders” could involve themselves in wildlife management on federal lands in the West. Sans the statutory protections of the ESA (and given state agencies reluctance to give an inch), I suspect we will see a number of these mechanisms tried in the near future.++

            In today’s political environment if the federal government tried to take away the rights of the states to manage resident wildlife on federal lands, there would be immediate congressional action to prevent it, by both republicans and democrats. If a rider to an approbation’s bill can over ride a court’s decision, then congress can and will over ride any administrative or court decisions that subtract from the state ability to manage their wildlife. Politically states are not going to lose any management authority in the coming years, whether it is good or bad will be seen.

            The sad thing about this wolf debate is that it is reducing support for protecting the remaining roadless areas and making it more difficult to create new wilderness areas.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “That is the problem with fish and game agencies. They see wildlife as nothing more than a resource and a target for hunters to shoot.”

            Jon, that sort of blanket condemnation is both ignorant and unfair. The list of NON-GAME wildlife management my agency directs would fill this page – research projects, habitat preservation and improvement, wildlife area expansion, all funded wholly or in part by HUNTER dollars. What are YOU contributing, beyond bashing hunters and wildlife managers at every opportunity?

          • avatar JB says:

            Elk:

            I absolutely agree that the federal government would not try and take away states ability to manage wildlife (nor would I want them to). Of course, that isn’t what I wrote, and it a straw man in this kind of debate. The federal government HAS THE POWER and HAS EXERCISED THAT POWER in the past to affect wildlife policy consistent with the views of its citizens. When the desires of the majority of Americans stand in stark contrast to the polices exercised on behalf of the minority–such actions become far more likely. Just ask Wild Horse Annie.

          • avatar Mike says:

            This here Mark Gammblin is makin’ all kindz of sense. I’d like to haf’ a beer with him one day.

            Animuls dun haf no rights. They just fur walkin’ round, stinking up the place. Animals were dun made for my bullets! Our societeee has deemd them as a resource fer all to share. So what if I’m 80 pounds overweight and I live next to a food mart. I need to go out and shoot dem animals, it’s my right! them animals aint got no right. So what if that bear on the mountain behind my house has a higher IQ than me, I got a right to shoot it, cause I bought the gun at Wal Mart and that’s ma right! This is waht society accepts and this here what I do. It’s also ma right to have a six pack by noon and to marry my cousin, but that’s another story, hehe hehe!!

            Well folks, I gotta go. A pack of wolves entered ma yard and they taking my truck! Damn things!

        • avatar Cobra says:

          Jon,
          Ridiculous is your statement. Say you’ve lived where you do now for 10 or 20 years and love it there. All of a sudden a couple crack houses pop up next door and across the street, are you going to move or try to remedy the problem.
          I’m not anti or pro wolf, wolves are here and we have to live with them but sometimes living with them isn’t all a bed of roses. It sure is easy to sit somewhere far away and not knowing both sides of the story to try and tell people what they should and should not do.
          If you want to see wildlife in their natural environment may I suggest taking a trip out west and start hiking or at least go visit Yellowstone or Glacier. In fact all the people that want viewing areas actually have them, all they have to do is get out of their cars go for a hike. Why should they be any different than anyone else that wants to see wildlife. Besides the best way to see animals isn’t from a car window, to really get the full effect you should be off the road to get the full outdoor experience.

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      They’re hoping for an answer, but I don’t know what the FWP director can actually do for them — unless the department has a psychiatrist on staff that he can dispatch to the valley.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        This whole, parents are afraid to let their kids play outside stuff is getting old. There has been a slow but sure evolution of kids no longer playing outside period. When we were kids, our parents didn’t really know where we were, until we came home for lunch, then we’d disappear again until supper.

        Kids, in general, don’t do this anymore as their lives are micromanaged by their parents and other adults. Wolves are another convenient excuse for “my” over- weight unimaginative child to sit inside mesmerized by the electronic metronome of video games…

  45. avatar Jon Way says:

    Crying Wolf

    http://cryingwolfmovie.com/

    Check out this video… It is long (1 hour)… and is quite scary and probably in the hands of every western congressman…
    A great quote at 9:29 into the film by a rancher “They (the gov’t) can’t even come over and fly for us (b.c they are busy with wolves elsewhere).”

    Then at 11:10 they claim a “confirmed” arctic wolf made it to MT. Never mind it might have just been a white colored gray wolf… And it is next to a coyote, not another wolf.

    Then the video at 11:50 is perhaps the most enlightening: by TR Mader of the Abundant Wildlife Society of NA. Wow…
    This video is enlightening as to how many people think out on the MT ranches…

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      I have seen the very beginning of the video~first five minutes. I intend to watch in it’s entirety, but this is the kind of stufff that the anti’s are putting out. Throw enough sh!t, and keep throwing it, and sooner or later it begins to stick to the walls. Been happening since Goldwater’s defeat.

      • avatar jon says:

        I watched the whole video a day ago. It’s free for a short time. JUST ANOTHER video to demonize wolves. The wildlife haters will be using this video along with rockhead’s yellowstone is dead and Hemming’s undue burden to demonize wolves as much as they can.

  46. avatar jon says:

    Some say it may be time to ban captive wild boar hunts

    http://blog.syracuse.com/outdoors/2011/09/boar_storyu.html

  47. avatar jon says:

    a hunting website discussing carter niemeyer’s book “wolfer”

    http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,82546.0.html

  48. avatar jon says:

    Lion trophy hunting is not going to conserve lions

    http://www.conservation-jobs.co.uk/44793/lion-trophy-hunting/

  49. avatar jon says:

    http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_18895941

    “The Game Commission ignored 12,000 people who asked that traps be banned on public lands. Since we were ignored, we’re providing a forum for people to be heard,” said Wendy Keefover of the Santa Fe-based WildEarth Guardians.
    “We hope to really create a stir about trapping in New Mexico because what’s going on is completely under regulated, and it affects so many people, and it has ecosystem affects,” she said.”

  50. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Oh by the way…the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission rubber stamped their so-called Wolf Management Plan at the meeting in Casper this afternoon ( Wed. Sept. 14).

    The public comment period on the plan was about a month . The Commissioners ” reviewed” those comments for 3 business days before approving it.

    It’s called Steamroller Politics, and that’s the nicest term I have for the process as applied. My other descriptives are a little too rash and vulgar for this forum…

  51. avatar jon says:

    Wolf Steals Road Cone in Yellowstone National Park

  52. avatar Jon Way says:

    Yet another example of MT and ID not following science based mgmt recommendations despite Mark G.’s claim that they (at least ID) do:

    “When reproductive packs are to be managed, we recommend that managers only remove wolves from reproductive packs when pups are >6 months old and packs contain >6 members (including >3 ad-sized wolves). Ideally, such packs should be close to neighboring packs and occur
    within larger {>75 wolves) recolonizing populations.”

    This is the conclusion from a major paper with 19 authors:
    Brainerd et al. 2008. The effects of breeder loss on wolves. Journal of Wildlife Mgmt 72:89-98.

    They don’t even seem to acknowledge these papers that are out…

    • avatar Jon Way says:

      Note: I don’t know why this appears here when it should be way at the bottom of the post. Thus, most probably won’t get this since it is stacked in the middle of 200 comments…

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        Jon Way, that might unfortunately be true.

        We are working on a new system that will eliminate this often too long thread –“Have you heard any interesting Wildlife News?”

        In the meantime maybe you would like to write an article (not a comment) about the paper you and JB just had accepted. It certainly relates to this subject.

        Contact me. Thanks!

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Please do as this would be a most interesting read, and a worthy addition to stem the tied of some of the anti-wolf rhetoric in lieu of the excuses substituting for wolf seasons.

    • avatar william huard says:

      “Fish and Game officials havetold the Bonner County Sheriff’s Dept and neighbors in the Hoodoo Valley that it’s OK to shoot the animal on sight beause it is not a wild animal”

      What a stupid thing to say… But so Idaho.
      Be careful, hurry up and shoot that wolf-the wolf might lick your hand.
      Maybe the Bonner County Sheriff’s Dept can do an idiot’s trophy pose with the dead wolf like they did in Elk City.

      • avatar jon says:

        So, wolves are dangerous if they are used to being around people, but how often do we hear how dangerous these “huge wild canadian” wolves are? Even though they have never attacked or killed a person since being reintroduced 15-16 years ago? This shoot on sight mentality is very disturbing. It’s probably the norm in Idaho. Attempting to catch an animal should always be the first thought when an animal from a sanctuary escapes.

        • avatar Daniel Berg says:

          I haven’t read anything about this “sanctuary” outside of the article, but I’m dubious. Is it just some business that keeps a few hybrids/wolves around to attract customers? It would be nice to see pictures of the premises.

  53. I guess wolf moderate I can’t pass this up. . my friends who are in there 60s say if you give them back the $200,000 they put into social security they will go away. . . and hunting bears with hounds and bait is really not necessary. First the word hunting does not mean killing. . if you buy a bear tag you are not buying a bear but the right to pursue one. Second any person who knows bears well can find them without bait and dogs. Even I can find bear tracks almost every time I go tracking and I can trail them without dogs. If I, and old women by some standards, can do that I don’t understand why hunters, who by general definition are supposed to know something about wildlife, can’t do it too. There is no way someone can convince me they need bait and dogs to kill a bear.

    • avatar wolf moderate says:

      That would be a heck of a deal for the federal government. $200,000 instead of paying $1300-$2700 a month (Depending on whether your friends both are eligible for max benefits) plus Medicare. The government would make out like a bandit.

      I would think that you are most likely tracking bears in Yellowstone or Teton NP. If you are tracking bears in the wilderness/National Forests and can get close (w/in 150 yards) to more than 10 bears a year, I’d have to give you a hand. You’d be in the minority. I showed you the stats on Oregon (no hound or baiting) bear hunting. 2010 was a banner year-4% success rate or 1 in 25 hunters.

      PS: I’ve “donated” over $27,000 into Social Security and I’m only 30. I know I am just donating to a ponzi scheme and that I won’t see a dime of SS benefits. Oh well, at least the baby boomers can enjoy the benefits they’ve paid into. They deserve it. We, the 20-30 somethings are paying for what we will never see 🙂

      Ok sorry, I’ve been reading William and others slam the Republicans day n’ and day out lately and had to reply. The Democrats are the ones that need the daily slamming. They are supposed to be the voice of the anti-war, environmental, affirmative action crowd. No more politics on the wildlife blog…

      • avatar SAP says:

        WolfMod – I am not sure where you are getting your misinformation about Social Security. It is true that the money you and I pay in now is going to support CURRENT recipients. It is not sitting in a bank for us somewhere.

        It is not true that we won’t get ANY ss benefits when we hit our 60s. If the idiots in DC fail to make any changes, Social Security will start running short in about 25 years, and we won’t get the full amount that we were promised. Current projection is that we would still get about 75% of what we were supposed to.

        Simple changes can avert this. Mitt Romney even has a section of his book devoted to this.

        One more point: I read one analysis of why SS is NOT a ponzi scheme (there are many many such articles out there that you can find) and the author pointed out that there are a lot of other collective goods — defense, federal courts, disaster relief, public lands, NASA — that working age people pay for through taxes while the old and the very young benefit without paying for them.

        Keeping old people from being destitute is, to my way of thinking, a collective good that I am willing to support with taxes while I’m in my working years. People in their 60s today paid to support retirees who are long dead. That’s part of the explicit contract between us and the government. It’s not a ponzi scheme. Ponzi schemes are NOT backed by a federal law that virtually guarantees you’ll get your payout. I say “virtually guarantees” because it’s up to elected officials to act like grownups and make sure the program stays solvent — and sticks with its original intent of preventing poverty (means testing for beneficiaries!).

        • avatar SAP says:

          PS – as for just giving me “my money”:

          Without serious reform in the financial sector, it’s a fraud free-for-all on Wall Street. Those bandits are salivating over the idea of getting that money so they can gamble with it and lose it all with impunity. Just like they did three years ago. Sure, it’s “buyer beware” when you invest, but their ability to defraud investors is unchecked under the current system. Privatizing SS would be an epic disaster leading to widespread elder poverty.

          • avatar SAP says:

            See this article as to why I say Wall Street has NOT been reformed in the wake of the 08 meltdown:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/magazine/sheila-bairs-exit-interview.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all

          • avatar Daniel Berg says:

            It hasn’t been reformed in the proper way.

            Be wary of falling into the trap “any reform is a good reform”. Improper reforms could hamstring an important industry that, whether we like it or not, is important to average americans. Proper reforms would include: re-seperate commercial and investment banking, set healthy reserve requirements to protect against loan loss, more strictly regulate derivative transactions and the extreme leverage situations they can create, etc….

            But who am I kidding? We’ll get reforms, but probably none of the right ones.

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            SAP,

            You are right. Social Security will be destroyed if it is privatized. Privatization is a bad idea even if the funds are invested carefully and honestly because we know that you can’t count on their future value. You can’t plan.

            Yet, in addition, I think it wouldn’t be done honestly, and it would be lost on unwise and shady investments.

            Social Security has never missed a payment since it began. You can’t say that about stocks and bonds.

            Before the Great Depression many people thought their investments had made them rich and also secured their retirement. Then the majority lost most or all of what they had.

            My grandfather was 60 years old and rich when the stock market crashed. He lost every penny over the course of a couple days. He lived to be 97, but he, his wife and three young daughters would have probably starved were it not for Social Security as well as his family. I wouldn’t have been born.

            A lot of people, most of them now dead, considered investing in the stock market as a vice like gambling for many years after the Crash of 1929. I recall old relatives talking about it as “playing the stock market,” e.g., “I hear that John has starting playing the stock market.” This would be spoken in the way as if “John” had starting gambling heavily, betting on dog races, or spending his money on whores.

            I take the lies told by the Republican politicians very seriously and with anger.

  54. avatar Mandi says:

    Statement from BLM on the Rudio Mountain Mustang Massacre

    Here is the link

    http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/11431/comment-page-1#comment-5091

    • avatar catbestland says:

      Thanks for posting this Mandi. I called Oregon BLM head office in Salem and spoke with a legal/public relations rep, Jodi something. She told me that the horses were not wild. They were feral. (as if there were any difference) and that they were tresspassing. I asked her if tresspassing signs were posted in horse language. I told her it didn’t matter if they were carousell horses they didn’t deserve to be slaughtered and left to rot in the sun.

      It seems she had a real problem with the fact that the article was from a non-corporate media source. She told me.”Anybody can write an article and post it there.” and that “You could even post one there”. As if that were a bad thing. Thank God for non-corporate media. It is the only way we get to hear some of the news that is blocked by other sources that are controlled by corporations. I was also told by the Director of the Prineville BLM office that there were no wild horses on Rudio Mountain and from the article in Horseback magazine, we now know that was a lie. It is obvious that the slaughter was conducted by cattlemen.

      • avatar william huard says:

        What a disturbing story. BLM involvement wreaks of corruption. Just like MMS, the BLM and the FED goon squad- ie (cattlemens services)WS need to be dismantled and the rogue people that work for the special interests sent packing…..Whatever remains of cattlemens services should be put back under USFWS control and taken from Dept of Ag so the focus can be put back on wildlife not ranchers.
        Unfortunately this attitude of corruption trickles down from the top- from Rancher boy Salazar down to the district offices.

  55. avatar Elk275 says:

    ++
    BONNERS FERRY, Idaho – A grizzly bear killed a hunter in a remote area along the Idaho-Montana border, and then was fatally shot by the hunter’s partner, authorities said Friday.

    The attack occurred about 10 a.m. Friday in the mountainous, heavily forested region near the Canadian border.

    The identity of the hunter who was killed is being withheld until his family is notified.

    It is illegal to kill a grizzly bear, which is listed as threatened in the Lower 48 states. It was not immediately known if the hunter who shot the bear will be charged with a crime.

    The fatal attack comes as Idaho’s congressional delegation has proposed amending the Endangered Species Act to clarify that it is legal to shoot a grizzly bear in self-defense or in defense of another person.

    The legislation was in response to the case of a northern Idaho man who shot and killed a grizzly cub in May after it and two others wandered onto his property.

    Jeremy Hill, 33, was charged with a federal crime of killing a federally protected species, but the case was dropped last week and he paid a $1,000 fine for a noncriminal infraction.++

    Something is not right. If a grizzly is mauling and killing me or a companion person and if I shoot it then I can be changed with a crime. The ESA needs to be amended. I am going grouse hunting Sunday in the Gravelly Mountains. I will carry pepper spray, a 28 gauge and a 41 mag. If a bear is attacking me I am going to defend myself with pepper spray, shotgun or pistol. In years gone by I only carried a shotgun bird hunting.

    Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_7392b560-e0b7-11e0-bd3f-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1Y9y78Z4e

    • avatar Mike says:

      Non-issue, Elk. Then again you guys seem to get into a real nice lather over such things.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      You can legally shoot a grizzly bear to save your life or that of a companion.

      It is already the law and there have been a number of cases. Some of them have been discussed in this forum when it happened.

      These congressionals will introduce legislation, but it will all be show because it is the law already. That is what they do best and another reason we hate Congress so much.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      ELk- not sure if you are correct that killing a grizzly for any reason is an automatic offense.

      Here in Wyoming, self defense and defense of another person’s life AND/or property ( livestock , horse, dogs mainly ) – if the grizzly was an imminent threat — is not prosecuted. That imminent threat thing is important and must be verified or shown to have reasonably occurred. it’s a rpetty high standard, but a lot og human mortalities of grizzly have not been prosecuted because of it.

      Wyo G&F cannot supersede federal law in this case. I think the states have some latitude. That has been the case in several incidents near my town of Cody along the Yellowstone frontier. I also think several of the shooters “got away with it.”

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        Cody

        I think there is a difference between endangered and threaten. If the animal is endangered then the feds investigate and ticket, if animal is threaten the state investigates. But I could be wrong.

        I agree with you 100% percent about the outfitters bitching about no elk, yet killing 45 bulls a year. The outfitting business is not my favorite. There just is not enough big bull for everyone, yet every year Field and Stream and Outdoor life have a huge bull on an October cover with ideas where to go. Both of those magazines have become nothing more than a five dollar catalog.

  56. avatar Mike says:

    ++I almost “can’t wait for $10 a gallon gas” either. At that point we will begin to drill for our own resources, not buy from a bunch of thugs.++

    We’ll never be able to support ourselves unless we all drove Corollas or hybrids. Too many selfish people for that to happen. People would have to get rid of their crap.

  57. avatar Mike says:

    I think I missed this by a couple days, but it looks like a grizz was killed near Red Lodge for a second attack on cattle in four years?

    Strange times we live in.

  58. avatar Mike says:

    Sad news about this bear incident in NW Montana (Buckhorn Mountain). The dead bear was one of 15-30 grizz in this area, obviously a real blow to recovery efforts.

    We really need to get these guys with guns who don’t bother to carry bear spray out of the mountains and leave the wildlife alone. It’s getting old. Too many people now, too many roads and motors.

  59. avatar Jerry Black says:

    Wild-fish advocates plan to sue over Elwha hatchery
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016232768_hatchery17m.html

    • avatar WM says:

      One more of the complexities of humans interacting with nature in an evermore crowded world.

      The following link is to a writing that underscores the issue. Wild, hatchery or farmed fish for the consumer who is being told to eat more fish.

      Do read the first comment below the article about “sustainability” of wild stocks and the incompatability of tribal fishers using 850 gill nets on the Columbia as administrators try to save wild salmon and steelhead as they run the gauntlet to get to their spawning grounds.

      http://www.forestgrovenewstimes.com/sustainable/story.php?story_id=131571740181336500

  60. avatar Salle says:

    Important article by Dr. Paul Paquet:

    ………………
    Wolves fall prey to Canada’s rapacious tar sands business

    On the pretext of protecting caribou, wolves are threatened with a cull. But the real ‘conservation’ is of oil industry profits

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/sep/17/oil-sands-wildlife

  61. avatar Paul says:

    Good article about potential wolf delisting in Wisconsin. Check out the comments about wolves “stalking” children, and someone wanting to “gut shoot” wolves.

    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/article_1b761d19-f531-521d-8db3-5241c23d04cb.html?mode=story

    • avatar jon says:

      No aurprise there. Those kind of comments are the norm by “sportsmen”. Don’t you guys over there in WI have an extremely large deer population and here you have some hunters whining about the 800 wolves that live in WI. The “sportsmen” in WI kill far more deer than wolves, but they act like the wolves are going to kill off all of the deer. It’s very ridiculous. Sportsmen do not like to share the game with other natural predators such as wolves. Not all sportsmen, but some.

      • avatar jon says:

        hunter712 said on: September 18, 2011, 5:40 pm
        Save the deer kill all the wolves. They make good target practice running through the woods. Easy way to get rid of them is gut shoot them and let them die on somewhere else

        This is how a “conservationist” is supposed to act right?

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Except for the fact, that is not a conservationist making those comments, that is a person that is advocating illegal activity.. in other words a criminal

      • avatar Paul says:

        There is a huge deer population in this state, and ample opportunity for one of these “conservationists” to get their kill. Check these numbers out: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/wildlife/hunt/deer/fall_abund.htm

        It is the same issue as in the west; wolves are competition so they need to be “managed.” You should check out this article about a recent study about deer numbers in the state.

        http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/129596158.html

        Take notice how it is emphasized how may deer in this study were killed by predators and how the part where many deer were killed during capture was glossed over. Of course this guy is known for writing fluff pieces that glamorize “sportsmen,” so it does not surprise me that the capture mortality part was glossed over.

        • avatar jon says:

          Oh, there is no doubt about it. Hunters in WI kill many more deer than wolves, so why are some hunters whining about wolves killing deer? There is PLENTY of deer to go around. I am 100% convinced that a lot of “sportsmen” are selfish and greedy and want all of the game for themselves and they don’t want any predators like wolves, bears, etc killing the game they feel belongs only to them.

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      Good article? Hardly – Patricia Randolph is about as rational as her counterparts Rockholm and Bridges, and her writings are just as full of hyperbole. If she’d bother to do any homework, she’d know the following facts –

      WDNR is actually recommending a management goal of 500 wolves, up from the 350 recommended in the first Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan of 1999. Wolves are fully recovered in Wisconsin – last winter’s MINIMUM count was around 800 animals, a number that doubled during April’s birth pulse. Given the normal annual mortality, this winter’s count will be well over 900 wolves.

      There is simply no more suitable wolf habitat available in the state – two packs were removed last year for human health and safety concerns. They had become so habituated to human presence that an encounter was inevitable. Although wolf attacks on humans are extremely rare, it’s easy to imagine what kind of vigilantism might ensue if one were to occur.

      The mechanics of a wolf hunt have not even been discussed, but WDNR has publically stated that if a wolf season occurs, it will not be aimed at preserving or enhancing wild ungulate populations, but will be focused on resolving and preventing wolf and human conflicts. I sit on the committee that will determine what a wolf hunt will look like, and we’re not even open to discussing wolf hunting as a means of limiting predation on ungulates.

      As far as livestock and pet depredation in Wisconsin, Ms. Randolph glosses over the true costs associated with wolf damages – simply put, there is NO MORE MONEY to pay for depredation. The annual damage amount now exceeds the funding earmarked for depredation, so guess who’s paying the excess? – that’s right, the hunters that some of you despise so much. Maybe you want to pony up some cash to help offset the shortage?

      Apparently Ms. Randolph is OK with the level of illegal killing currently taking place, as she barely mentions it in her column. She’s apparently blind to the fact that as the wolf population has grown, along with frustration over continual blockage of delisting, so has wolf poaching. Maybe this is acceptable wolf management in her eyes – it certainly is not in mine.

      • avatar Paul says:

        I would have no problem with my tax money paying for actual depredations. Maybe there is no money left because it has been drained dry by the bear hounders claiming that wolves killed their dogs?

        As for hunters paying for “conservation” projects. Don’t for a minute think that is not the way they want it. By using their money to fund these projects and Fish and Game departments they know that their views and desires will carry far more weight than non-hunters. In my view what happened is that “conservationists” (hunters) have pushed out the “preservationists” (non-hunting environmentalists) and forced society to accept them as the true “stewards of the land.” It was actually very cunning on their part because most of society seems to accept this without question. Many “conservationists” feel that all public land should be their playground and we non-hunters should praise them when we use the land or partake in wildlife viewing.

        I don’t personally know Patricia, but it is certainly refreshing to see someone challenging the party line that agencies like the Wisconsin DNR put out. You are way off base comparing her to those blood thirsty clowns that spew their anti-wolf garbage in the West. Patricia doesn’t have all of the answers, just like you do not have them. She is simply making people look at how cruel many legal wildlife “management” methods are. I have always said that if true “conservationists” spoke out against despicable practices like bear hounding common ground could be reached with non-hunters like Patricia and myself. Unfortunately apologists within the hunting and fish and game communities rarely if ever speak out against deplorable practices like this.

        • avatar wolf moderate says:

          Bear hounding is an excellent management tool. It’s a very economical way to reduce populations. Oregon got rid of hound hunting and now there cougar season is all year (Yup 365 days a year) long-trying to reach quotas, which are near impossible to reach without baiting/hounding.

          The less money that the government spends on depredation, the more money there is for conservation. I just wish the hound hunters weren’t such whiners. If your dog gets killed pursuing dangerous game, write it off as the cost of doing “business”.

          • avatar Paul says:

            I rest my case.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Paul-

            Wolf moderate a few months ago was advocating for the return of wolf bounties……

          • avatar jon says:

            I remember when wolf mod said that. Hound hunting should not be allowed because these hunters are putting their dogs at risk of being killed by wolves or cougars or even bears. One of the biggest problems I have with hound hunters is when their dogs are killed by predators, they whine and act like it’s the predators fault for their dogs being killed. Do these people understand that there are big risks when letting your dogs run wild to chase down and tree wild animals? It seems like they don’t because they act all surprised when their dogs are killed by wolves or some other predatory wild animal. If they care so much about their dogs safety, they wouldn’t be letting them chase after dangerous wild animals in their own habitat.

          • avatar wolf moderate says:

            I would still be in favorable of bounties over contracting Wildlife Services. It still makes sense to me, but it will never happen until/if someone dies from a wolf attack or the wolves begin to get into a lot of trouble with pets.

            Sorry, just doesn’t make sense to pay a government empoylee and medical benefits for something that citizens could/would do for a nominal fee, which wouldn’t cover the cost of gas, let alone hunting/trapping equipment. Add in the fact that the WS agent gets vacation, sick pay, a GV (Govt vehicle), retirement, etc…And it’s easy to see why it could make sense.

            Anywho, no sense in talking about this, because it’s not a real possibility for a few more years.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Anywho, there’s no sense in talking about this, because it’s not a possibility for a few more years….

            Ya mean the bounties won’t start until the tea party takes over the world, right? Dude, that tea you’re drinkin….you need some decaf.
            People in this country will not allow a bunch of mental defectives to manage wolves- get a grip

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          @Paul – I thought the subject was wolves? That’s certainly what I was addressing in my reply – you’re the one who posted Patricia Randolph’s column on wolf delisting in Wisconsin. And believe me, she’s as much of an impediment to moving the wolf dialogue forward as Rockholm and Bridges are.

          So I’ll ask you the same question I’ve asked of her – is the growing level of illegal killing acceptable to you as a means of wolf management? Because that’s the current state of affairs, and every lawsuit that blocks delisting has the unintended consequence of increased wolf poaching.

          Your reference to Patricia Randolph as a non-hunter is disingenous – I know lots of non-hunters who are supportive or neutral about hunting. She’s an anti-hunter who would like to see an end to all hunting – so I’d like to know what the “common ground” is that you refer to.

          • avatar jon says:

            There is going to be illegal wolf killing whether there is a hunting season or not.

          • avatar Paul says:

            I really cannot understand where you get this idea that Patricia or I would find the illegal killing of wolves to be acceptable under any circumstances. I don’t want to see any wolves killed legally or illegally. Maybe the money being spent to reimburse the hounders should go towards trying to catch the poaching scum that are killing the wolves illegally. That is quite “disingenuous” of you to try to blame wolf advocates for the actions of the poaching scum. This garbage is going to continue killing wolves whether legal or not and you know it.

            I would like to see an end to sport hunting as well, but I know that will never happen. The best that I can do is oppose the cruel “management” methods that apparently are acceptable to people like you. If that makes me an “anti-hunter” then you damn right I guess that is what I am.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “Maybe there is no money left because it has been drained dry by the bear hounders claiming that wolves killed their dogs?”

          To clarify for both you and Patty Randolph, bear dog depredations require agency verification, just as livestock depredations do. And it’s no great challenge to discern whether the dog was killed by a wolf or bear. So Ms. Randolph’s conspiracy theory about bear hunters faking wolf depredation doesn’t hold water either.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “I really cannot understand where you get this idea that Patricia or I would find the illegal killing of wolves to be acceptable under any circumstances. I don’t want to see any wolves killed legally or illegally. Maybe the money being spent to reimburse the hounders should go towards trying to catch the poaching scum that are killing the wolves illegally. That is quite “disingenuous” of you to try to blame wolf advocates for the actions of the poaching scum.”

            There’s a clear correlation between repeated legal blockades of delisting and increases in illegal wolf killing. So while preservationists are appalled by the “actions of the poaching scum”, you are fueling their efforts.

            The most effective means to reduce wolf poaching is delisting, and allowing lethal control – note that this does not necessarily mean a hunting season, but it would provide an avenue to address livestock and pet depredation.

          • avatar Paul says:

            I am sorry ma’iingan, but criminals are going to commit illegal acts no matter what the status of wolves are. I have worked in the public safety field long enough to know that criminals do not need external motivation to commit crimes. If you really think that external stimuli are fueling the illegal wolf killers maybe you should look at the ad that the WI Bear Hunters Association put out a couple of years ago. Here is an article about it:

            http://timberwolfinformation.org/info/archieve/newspapers/viewnews.cfm?ID=3581

            I think that the fear mongering from groups like this are far more responsible for wolf poaching than anything wolf advocates are doing. When the same drivel about wolves “stalking” children keeps getting repeated over and over, do you really think that does not come into play? For as big and bad as most “sportsmen” try to portray themselves as being they sure do harbor a lot of fear. Especially the ones who seem to think that Little Red Riding Hood is historical fact.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Paul,
          You might want to bone up on the history of North American wildlife conservation. Without a better understanding of your topic you will be at risk of repeating humorously mistaken statements like:
          “By using their money to fund these projects and Fish and Game departments they know that their views and desires will carry far more weight than non-hunters. In my view what happened is that “conservationists” (hunters) have pushed out the “preservationists” (non-hunting environmentalists) and forced society to accept them as the true “stewards of the land.”

          If you can direct us to an example of wildlife management agencies or hunter-conservationists pushing aside non-hunter wildlife conservationists or non-hunting oriented wildlife conservation groups for nefarious goals of domineering wildlife conservation or recreation opportunity – please share with us. If you choose to become better informed on this topic, you may learn that hunters were the ONLY segment of American society that stepped up to provide the political and finanical support for our system of wildlife refuges, national forests and a host of other wildlife HABITAT conservation reserves and statutory legal protections. Certainly, there are a number of very important non-hunting oriented wildlife conservation organizations doing critically important work today. The Nature Conservancy and The Audubon Society are two outstanding examples, both of which BTW, support the North American tradition of hunting and are important partners with federal and state wildlife management agencies for key wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation initiatives.
          You continue to confuse animal rights and animal welfare agendas with wildlife conservation – which share little in principle or common trust objectives. Forgive my candor here, but your narratives have become as sermons on animal rights looking for some connection – any connection, no matter how far fetched, to legitimate wildlife conservation issues or principles.

          • avatar Paul says:

            I guess the perfect example would be your own State of Idaho’s wolf “management: program. I suppose you could also go back to your own words about promoting hunter opportunity by killing wolves to increase elk populations in several areas. There were and are several non-hunter conservation groups opposing your states plans to “manage” wolves. From the look of things they were certainly pushed aside. There is no point in arguing with you fish and game robots, because it is obvious that you have all of the answers and anyone who disagrees is some type of animal rights wacko. If that is what I am than so be it, but at least I don’t have to hide behind words like “tradition” to hide my true agenda.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Mark-
            Where ya been? Out lookin for that white wolf that your dept put a shoot on sight order on? Those raised in captivity wolf sanctuary wolves are killers…..Viscious-

          • avatar william huard says:

            Paul-

            Mark is getting better. His usual rants are at least 8 paragraphs

          • avatar Paul says:

            William, are these people for real? I guess I am an animal rights wacko because I question their motives. I have one telling me that wolf advocates are responsible for poachers actions, and another attacking me for pointing out the fact that hunters and trappers control fish and game “management” decisions. It must be wonderful to be always right. I should become a fish and game officer so I know the answers to everything.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Many people on this blog question the motives. Where I live wildlife management is based on what is best for wildlife….Not what is best for the Governor, or the trappers assoc. I don’t get these people. The story that has amazed me over the last week is how a Fish and Game agency can order a shoot to kill order on an escaped wolf from a wolf sanctuary…..and they tell the locals who aren’t the brightest bunch on the planet that because the wolf isn’t a wild animal that there is less red tape so the animal can be shot by anyone……Instead of a “normal” non lethal response like- if you see the animal call FG or the sanctuary owner etc, the response with these Idahoans is kill it, kill it, I’m afraid for my family- hysterical lunatic response.

          • avatar wolf moderate says:

            Not trying to start anything, but if your state is so great and they do what is best for wildlife, why don’t they reintroduce wolves?

            I find it odd that many from other parts of the country want the West to be a zoo that they can come visit once every few years, yet they destroy there own states. Some parts of NY, MA, TN, ND, SD, PA, etc…all have some areas that would allow for wolf reintroduction.

            What state are you from?

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            ++Many people on this blog question the motives. Where I live wildlife management is based on what is best for wildlife….Not what is best for the Governor, or the trappers assoc. ++

            Where do you live William? Not the town but the state. Several weeks ago it was mentioned that even in MA wildlife management was hunter controled.

            Where do you live?

          • avatar Paul says:

            You call my postings sermons? You bet I am concerned about animal welfare, especially when it comes to things like bear hounding and the little matter of your states 72 hour trap checks. An animals pain and suffering may not factor in to your fish and game party line but it sure attracts mine and many others attention. But I guess that correlation is too “far fetched” to make it on to your list of “principles.” This is exactly why I have so much disdain for most of the hunting community and fish and game departments. So what you are saying is that an animals pain and suffering has no connection “to legitimate wildlife conservation issues or principles,” and if I make that connection I am a “far fetched” animal rights wacko?

            As for the “conservation” issue: do you really think that hunters and trappers do not control fish and game departments either directly or indirectly?

          • avatar william huard says:

            Elk 275-
            You just said MA, and now you are asking me what state I am from? I grew up in So Boston, so Ma it is. I wouldn’t say that the state is hunter controlled. The state of Ma relies on biologists not politicians. There is imput from all citizens as to how wildlife is managed. NO hounds,No baiting, strict 24 hour trap check policy, 60 day comment period before there was a 5 week increase to a coyote hunting season- none of this vermin shoot on sight nonsense.
            I still own rental properties in Ma so I still call it home, but I moved closer to the white mountains and to take a nursing job in the prison system.
            Wolf Moderate- you should know it’s not that easy to just reintroduce wolves. There are connectivity concerns, geographical concerns, There is no plan to reintroduce wolves to the northeast. Many people believe strongly that there are breeding packs of wolves in the WhiteMountain National Forest, and wolves have traveled south from Quebec all the way to Sherburne Ma.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Paul-

            Mark is full of baloney. He has to answer to a right wing conservative legislature, and a “rabid” Governor who answers to his special interests.
            There isn’t a biologist out there that would say a 72 hour trap check policy is anything but unethical, yet this trap check policy was designed around the concerns and feedback in the Idaho trappers assoc……

          • avatar jon says:

            Fish and game robots, I like that Paul. They are programmed what to say. I truly believe that a lot of these fish and game agencies are all about providing hunting opportunity and care little to nothing about what non-hunting wildlife viewers want.

  62. avatar jon says:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/09/grizzly-bear-conflict-rockies.html

    “In fact, federal wildlife managers say, grizzly bears nearly always come out on the short end in the increasing number of brushes between humans and bears across the northern Rockies. Last year, 21 grizzlies died at the hands of people in northwest Montana alone.

    Since 2000, nearly 70 grizzlies in that area — one of six recovery zones for the threatened animals across the West — have had to be killed by wildlife managers because they became attracted to food in people’s yards or to livestock, according a report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Trains and cars killed nearly 50.

    The real culprit? In the view of many wildlife advocates, it’s the proliferation of people in grizzly country.

    “The greatest threat to wildlife right now in the Rocky Mountains is private land development,” Chris Servheen, grizzly bear recovery coordinator for the Fish and Wildlife Service, said in an interview.

    “These new residents can be particularly troubling, because they come with this idea that they want to go back and live off the land and have chickens and all this stuff, and they move into bear habitat. The spring comes and the snow starts to melt, and they call up Fish and Game and say, ‘There’s a bear in my yard, come and get it,'” Servheen said. “What we want to tell them is to move, but we can’t, because they’re already there.”

    • avatar Paul says:

      Come on Jon. I am sure that is all done in the name of conservation. 🙂

    • avatar WM says:

      These birds are raised commercially. I have seen pheasant and partridge farms throughout the Cotswold Hills outside London, so this sort of thing is fairly common for others than the royals in England. They will be planted on the grounds before the hunt. So, Harry and a few of his buds go out for a shoot at Grandma’s. Big freakin’ deal.

      The birds will be eaten by the party, or donated, so they won’t go to waste. How many do you suppose escape the huntsmen? Better chance there than going directly to the butcher shop.

      They do that sort of stocking thing in NE and KS, OH and elsewhere in the US, for pheasants mostly.

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      They are princes, it was not long ago, Jon that your head would be on a pike outside of the place wall for that thought.

      • avatar Paul says:

        Screw these pretentious freeloaders. We fought a war 230 plus years ago to get away from their “royalty,” an now Americans fawn all over them. It makes me want to puke.

        • avatar william huard says:

          Harry would fit in quite well in Idaho.

        • avatar WM says:

          With that comment, I agree. Some months back there was PBS special on Prince Charles and environmental/conservation causes. The royals apparently eat organic produce grown on the estates. Prince Charles idea of contributing to a better environment was to ensure the boys, growing up, turned off the TV and maybe some lights when they went to another room in the castle. The comment was enough to gag a maggot.

      • avatar william huard says:

        Times are changing Elk275. If I remember correctly the royals were SHAMED into discontinuing the annual fox hunt with dogs- what ten years ago….

    • avatar Nancy says:

      +To them, deer hunting wasn’t about hunting. It was about getting up in the mountains and relaxing around camp, playing cards and downing a few Black Velvets on the rocks just before dinner+

      I worked with a guy years ago who had the same opinion about hunting camp. It was a chance to get away from the wife and kids, bond with his buddies. Seldom got out of camp the next morning due to hangovers (or an all night poker game) but brought the guns along in case they had to do some comparing with a neighboring camp………

  63. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Who should decide if wolves are the culprits?
    http://news.opb.org/article/who_should_decide_if_wolves_are_the_culprits/
    Seems the cattlemen in Oregon are not quite satisfied how ODFW “serves” them. Are there really agencies left that take the risk of an independent position?

    • avatar WM says:

      Interesting observation by the author of this Oregon Public Broadcasting piece, as stated by an OR wildlife official:

      ++ I heard a presentation by Russ Morgan, ODFW’s wolf coordinator, several months ago. He explained how there are “whole packs (of wolves) walking down the streets close to Joseph [OR]. You can imagine the concern in March when most of the livestock calves start hitting the ground.++

      This one is even more perplexing:

      ++Tiesl [a Cattleman Assn. Ex. Director] suggested an appeals process that would allow “a third-party expert or panel of two veterinarians and the Washington State University lab analysis to be used to judicially resolve disagreements on wolf depredation determinations.”

      She pointed to a case in which two local vets, Wildlife Services and the WSU lab all confirmed a wolf had killed a calf in March when ODFW said it wasn’t a wolf kill.++

      Oregon has fewer than five years managing wolves of any number to speak of, and the officials largely in charge of policy are far removed (clear across the state) from where the wolves are apparently having perceived local impacts.

      Even more interesting is that the author, Cassandra Profita, is generally thought of as writing with an “environmental advocacy” leaning pen.

      • avatar william huard says:

        This story reminds me of an excerpt in “Wolfer” when a rancher calls Neimeyer “wolf lover” when the rancher does not get the answer he wants. Ranchers have a corrupt FED agency in the Dept of Ag doing their dirty work, so they don’t like to be told NO…
        I remember getting a generic form letter response from Kay Teisl from Oregon cattlemens….She had all the talking points down, from “introduced foreign Canadian wolves” to tapeworm, to these scared gentle creatures (cattle) living in fear…..

        • avatar WM says:

          william,

          And which of those talking points are not true?

          • avatar william huard says:

            You’re kidding right? The “scared cattle” comment is curious. They are only scared when wolves are present. They enjoy the ride on the way to the slaughterhouse. The rumour is they all fight to go through the chute first.

          • avatar WM says:

            william,

            Cattle do understand predator fear and other things that cause them stress. You ever hear of Dr. Temple Grandin at CO State Univ., who pioneered humane livestock handling, and is probably the world’s foremost authority on it?

            Of course you haven’t being from MA by way of S. Carolina, or wherever it is you call home now.

            __________

            And, we do know predator fear is a concern with elk in the presence of wolves, based on recent scientific studies by Dr. Scott Creel at MT State U, causing some to go into winter with less body fat because they spend less time eating more nutritious grasses, hide at higher elevations and on steeper ground, making them more vulnerable to winter loss, and having lower weight (and even maybe fewer)calves in Spring, which then become even easier prey for predators.

          • avatar william huard says:

            By way of South Carolina?

          • avatar william huard says:

            WM-

            You’re so smug. So… So…. what word am I looking for? I’ve got it- Sanctimonious

          • avatar WM says:

            This would be the latest review of the literature by Creel, confirming his apparent conclusions, in a paper soon to be released:

            http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/11-0768.1?journalCode=ecap

            And, here is a link to his website, should you care to review the papers (PDF files) of other related research.

            http://www.montana.edu/wwwbi/staff/creel/creel.html

            And in case that doesn’t get your attention, here is some of the same stuff from the “trophic cascade” folks at OSU, William Ripple:

            http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/22136/RippleWilliam.FERM.WolvesEcologyFear.pdf?sequence=1

            There is every reason, confirmed by alot of research, to believe cattle, elk or even horses are scared and will flee in the presence of wolves or grizzlies (as was noted in another very recent post here about horses spooking in the presence of a charging 700 pound male grizzly), under many field conditions.

          • avatar WM says:

            william,

            ++I’ve got it- Sanctimonious++

            Or, would it be just a better command of the mostly undisputed facts (with relevant authoritative source documentation) related to the topic being discussed?

          • avatar william huard says:

            WM-
            It is obvious you have a better command of information related to cattle. I haven’t had red meat in a long time, so the topic really doesn’t interest me.
            Now if you wanted to talk about how to tell the difference between a first pressing UK flipback sleeve copy of the LP version of Eric Burdon and the Animals “Winds of Change” with AA mothers and stampers and a reissue I’m sure I would have better command of that information.
            That’s the problem with you WM- you think you know more than anyone about everything

          • avatar WM says:

            william,

            ++That’s the problem with you WM- you think you know more than anyone about everything++

            Not to beat this topic to death, but some who comment here set the bar standard of knowledge pretty darn low.

            I try to stick to topic areas where I have formal training, and have gained knowledge and experience. Studying and learning from others, as well as retaining that knowledge is also helpful. I try to give sources or links when I can. I don’t comment about stuff I don’t know about, unless it is to pose a question or play devil’s advocate for the sake of adding to or livening up a conversation.

            So, when you serve up a juicy homerun ball sarcastic comment, like questioning whether there are “scared cows” in the presence of wolves like you have a corner on knowledge of your own (incorrect as it turns out), it sure is tempting to hit it out of the park.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Not for the sake of argument, but a question. Supposedly cattle do not feed as much in the presence of wolves, therefore, they weigh less when they go on their “merry way” to the slaughter house. How much of that, “they don’t weigh as much,” is justextra fat? Are the cattle of wolf country a bit leaner? I don’t mind paying for the meat, but the excess fat, no thanks. One of the reasons i like venison, it’s lean stuff.

          • avatar Daniel Berg says:

            “The United States Department of Agriculture’s grading system, which has been designed to reward marbling, has eight different grades; Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter and Canner. Prime has the highest marbling content when compared to other grades, and is capable of fetching a premium at restaurants and supermarkets.”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marbled_meat

            I don’t know how much relevance that rating system has to range cattle, since I don’t know how much of the year their diet consists of grass vs. grain/corn/barley. Some cattle might be 100% grass or 100% grass + grain finished, part of the year grass, part of the year grain/corn/barley, etc.

            It would probably be safe to assume that cattle maintaining at least a certain level of fat content will ultimately lead to more revenue for the rancher.

          • avatar WM says:

            Immer,

            Our family doesn’t care so much for fat beef either, in fact we rarely eat beef. From a commercial producer perspective fatter typically means more tender meat, and, of course, fatter means heavier, also important since sales trxns are based on weight.

            If the cattle have to be wintered over (think calves and pregnant cows, bulls and anything not meant for an immediate trip to the slaugher house), fatter going into winter means less feed to meet caloric requirements. If the rancher has to buy winter more hay to make up the difference, it can be expensive.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            Cattle coming off of the range before slaughter are finished off for approximately 90 days in a fedlot. It is the demand for choice and prime cuts that allows for the fat content.

            ++Are the cattle of wolf country a bit leaner?++ Cattle are sold by the hundred weight, the less weight, the less money a rancher is going to gross. When Carter Niemeyer spoke in Bozeman, he talked about the stress wolves put on cattle and resultant weight loss. This is something that can not be measured but wolves cause cattle to stress and stress causes weight loss. The less weight the less money.

    • avatar Paul says:

      I thought that piece was very well done. Did anyone else catch the irony of Mr. Davis walking along with his dog? Also, take a look at the comments section. I see that a blathering comment from one guy who said that wolves have eaten all of the elk and were now turning on each other, tapeworm, eating kids, etc. has been removed. I was encouraged by the part where the ranchers discussed their method of grazing that resulted in almost no losses to cattle. More of this needs to be done.

  64. avatar catbestland says:

    U.S. FARMERS & RANCHERS ALLIANCE℠ to Host The
Food Dialogues on September 22, 2011September 9, 2011

    
 Event will feature Good Morning America’s Claire Shipman and Chef John Besh; Farmer/Rancher and Consumer Survey Results to Guide Conversation CHESTERFIELD, Mo., (September 8, 2011) – Today, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA)…

    CHESTERFIELD, Mo., (September 8, 2011) – Today, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) announced it will host The Food Dialogues, a town hall-style discussion to address Americans’ questions about how their food is grown and raised and the long-term impact of the food they are eating – on their own health and the health of the planet. These topics, as well as findings from recent surveys of farmers, ranchers and consumers conducted by USFRA, will all be discussed during this interactive event taking place at four locations across the U.S. and online on September 22.

    Here is the link for the rest of the story: http://usfraonline.org/category/news/

    It seems this farmers and ranchers group wants to open dialogue with the public about where their food comes from and about damage to the environment.

  65. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Tuesday Sept. 20 — I have an unconfirmed report ( overheard 911 call here in Cody WY ) that there has been another Grizzly bear mauling incident in or very near Yellowstone today.

    • avatar Harley says:

      I don’t normally follow these sorts of things but that seems like a lot of grizzly encounters lately. Is that … usual?

      • avatar WM says:

        Anyone have information on whether one of those canned air horns blasted at close range in the direction of the grizzly might deter it? Maybe there is a marketing opportunity for a Counter Assault spray with a high volume offensive toot to go with it. Might even work to summon help.

        • avatar Daniel Berg says:

          If I recall correctly, there was a discussion about air horns as a bear deterrent on this site several months or more ago. I would try and dig it up, but I’m unsure of how to perform an effective key-word search here.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      False alarm. I apologize. My source heard a local radio broadcast of the 911 Call placed during the July mauling-human mortality in Yellowstone , and took it for ” news”.

      Interesting that the 911 call was placed by a cardiological surgeon just up the trail who offered to help. If I ever get mauled by a grizzly , I would want a cardiological surgeon as a first responder.

      You can listen to that 911 call at http://www.mybighornbasin.com/index.php
      – the Cody newscast down the page

    • avatar william huard says:

      In the comment section someone from the area said that this “hunter” did the sickening “idiot pose” with the dead cougar….Now there’s genuine remorse for you..and arrogance…..I would have given him jail time for that alone…..2000.00 fine 2 year loss of hunting license and probation…..Where’s the deterent for hunters to not kill these animals?

      • avatar Paul says:

        If you think that is bad check out this one:

        http://cs.birdwatchingdaily.com/BRDCS/blogs/field_of_view/archive/2011/04/19/killers-of-whooping-crane-in-indiana-receive-probation-1-fine.aspx

        As long as these are the type of penalties these poachers receive there is no deterrent. Why don’t “conservation” groups push for lifetime hunting bans for these people? Here is another one:

        http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44535884

        • avatar william huard says:

          These hunters are certainly a diverse group. Hey, we have absolutely nothing going for us, we are bored and stupid, let’s go and just shoot somethin.

          • avatar Paul says:

            I guess I should be happy that these people were at least caught and actually have some sort of punishment. I just think that the sentences are far too lenient for these type of acts.

            Maybe I should not have said anything. I guess by questioning this I am due for a six page long “sermon” from our resident fish and game apologists about being a far fetched animal rights wacko because I want to see poachers severely punished.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        +Where’s the deterent for hunters to not kill these animals?+

        Lets be real here William – it might actually require they develop a “con”science……. and its pretty damn obvious from most hunting sites out there, (with grinning:) idiots, sitting on top of dead animals) it might not happen right away.

        BUT…… there’s hope! Montana made the national news tonight (CBS) with their aggressive approach (as in commercials) to Meth use.

  66. avatar Cindy says:

    I’d love to hear more about the air horn idea. I keep one handy with my bear spray in the camper, but have wondered if it’s another “false sense” of security?

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      I know air horns have been used by a few people counting salmon in Alaska, but as I understand it the idea behind their use there has been to alert bears of your presence so they will move off, not so much as repellent if you end up too close. I’ve thought they may be a good idea in very small brushy creeks with high probability of close contact, but otherwise they are pretty obnoxious just to go honking about. And it would border on ridiculous in a lower bear density area. However, I may be wrong — maybe they have some effectiveness in repelling aggressive bears?

      The other thing that has interested me in the past was moth balls. My mother used to take a few along camping in the backcountry in Yellowstone to put around outside the tent. I’ve heard the Taku Tlingit around Atlin put them around things they leave that they don’t want bears to disturb (ancient native tradition:)). However, when I suggested an Arctic pilot put them around his plane to keep the polar bears off at night, he said “They’ll just use them for breath mints”. And in fact, I read of a situation where some Kodiak Island deer hunters spread them liberally to protect their camp but were completely over-run and wrecked anyway. They smell so nasty and unappetizing they almost seem like they would have some effectiveness, but if they don’t I certainly don’t want them along.

  67. avatar Cindy says:

    I just read the entire incident report on the fatal mauling in July near Canyon.
    http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/grizzly/yellowstone.htm
    Boy what a sad story and such a shame. I hope our visitors can learn many lessons before embarking on this wild wild west:(

  68. avatar william huard says:

    WM-

    People comment on this blog for different reasons. You seem to have disdain for people that make emotional comments. Sometimes my comments are sarcastic which is one of the ways I release my frustration.
    I have noticed how you try to insult, demean, and embarrass people who in your eyes do not have intellectual capacity up to your standards…..
    First of all, who do you think you are? How do you get to “you have a corner on knowledge of your own” from an opinion that I made about scared cows- which was the term used by the woman from the Oregon Cattlemens assoc. It’s my opinion- not yours. If Dr Maughan doesn’t like certain comments he deletes them. After all it’s his blog not yours.

    • avatar WM says:

      william,

      Your rants about the content of my comments are interesting. Let me see if I have this right. It is OK for YOU to ” to insult, demean, and embarrass,” other commenters in your snide opinions (you do it often, and one only has to look on this very thread to verify this), but it is not OK for me to express an opinion as one trained as a scientist and in law, even when accompanied by authoritative source studies or citations, or just reasoned dialog.

      I fully expect to be challenged if someone disagrees (with a scientific or legal argument, or even an occasional emotion driven opinion). But what I don’t get is your opinionated expression and desire for a double standard that YOU seem to think applies to the conversation.

      And, william, if you don’t like the content my comments you are always free to just skip over them, without commenting back. That is mostly what I do with some of the wacko animal rights stuff that appears here. I see you can’t resist taking quite regular, and sometimes very disrespectful, slaps at alot of folks with whom you disagree, but who seem to have more knowledge and actual experience in a particular field than you do. But, I guess, again, that is just your way of “releasing my frustrations.” It just sounds like a rude excuse for being a jerk, to me.

  69. avatar william huard says:

    WM-
    See, there you go again, always trying to get the last word in. That large, bloated ego of yours always trying to prove your “inflated” sense of importance. I know several lawyers that act and think just like you. How do you do it? A “Superior Being” with all the answers, never wrong, perfect in every way- Geez- that’s hard work…..
    Now that we are into name calling I’m going to stop here.
    I apologize to Ralph and the other people on this blog. If I am a jerk because I have a point of view that is different from others so be it.

  70. avatar Paul says:

    William, I got the same treatment from this guy a few weeks ago. I let it get under my skin, just like how I let those fish and game types bug me with their know it all lectures and the propaganda they the push. I think that we just need to realize that none us us have all of the answers. The ones who think they do are are only hurting their own cause with their smug discounting of the views of others in their condesensing ways. I work with people like this everyday. They think that because they are employed in a particular field that the know everything. I have heard the term “educated idiots” used to describe them. You can decide whether or not that fits here.

    • avatar jon says:

      Mark has shown in his past comments that his agency only cares what hunters/ranchers want. They care little to nothing about what non-hunting wildlife viewers want. providing wild animals for hunters to kill is much more important than wildlife viewers getting the chance to see a wolf. If they do bring the wolf population down to 150 animals, you can bet your bottom dollar it will be a lot harder to see a wolf since there will be a lot less wolves to be seen in the wild, but Mark doesn’t care nor does his Idaho fish and game. They are in the business of providing targets for hunters to shoot. That’s how they make their money. Wildlife viewing should be viewed as a much higher priority than providing wild animals just so hunters can shoot them. What is wrong with this world when shooting wild animals is of a higher priority than wildlife viewing?

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Wow,

      “Educated idiots”. Very similar to the emotional anti-wolf contingent conclusions. So what is more important, emotion, or supported statements? Don’t always agree 100% with WM, but WM’s posts are usually some of the most rational posts on this blog. When some of the emotional comments about some individuals are printed, if one lives by the sword, one must be prepared to die by the sword. What we should remember is that we are all pretty much on the same side of the fence over here. Find a way to stick together, even in disagreement.

      • avatar Harley says:

        Heya Immer! How’s it going up in the north country?

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Not a pleaant day in terms of weather, mid 40’s and rain, but helps with the fire.

          http://www.chron.com/sports/article/Biologists-say-BWCA-fire-will-help-moose-habitat-2174463.php

          • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

            Sounds a bit like our weather — we’re into our first post-equinox monsoon. Won’t be boating home tonight, will be leaning into a strong Southeaster and driving rain — but the Labrador will be happy. Thinking about folks working on the fish weirs — all those 10,000s of pinks, chums and sockeyes that went upstream a month ago are washing back and forming dams, and have to be pewed and pitched over as they collect.

          • avatar Harley says:

            If I remember correctly, didn’t the various fires over the years on Isle Royale help the moose population up there? Wow… this is going to be a very interesting year for the moose and wolves. What have you heard lately? Were there any pups this summer? Maybe it’ll be a nice cold winter and we’ll get a freeze…

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Seak,

            Do you have any photos of that fish “dam”? Have the bears had their fill of salmon yet?

          • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

            Immer —
            I wasn’t out there for this high water event but have some good photos from recent years of a weir covered like a dam after the water receded some — I slipped one in along with some other photos of extreme marine-derived nutrient loading for a talk at a recent symposium on salmon and ecosystem connections. One comment: “Now that’s an ecosystem functioning as God intended!!!” The bears are full all the time now and will be for some time yet. Eventually, they will start to get hungry again when its down to just cohos.

      • avatar Daniel Berg says:

        Immer,

        Off topic question….I’m heading to Ottawa for a few days on business relatively soon. I’m thinking about carving out two or three extra days to go up to Algonquin Provincial Park. Any recommendations for couple of good spots to camp/hike?

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Daniel,
          Sorry, but I’ve never been to APP. In terms of the Boundary Waters/Superior National Forest, your best bet would be up the Echo Trail. Again, you would have to see what areas were open as per the fire. I would think there are many cancellations, but then again, areas that are still open might be at a premium.

  71. avatar Paul says:

    I was not directing my “educated idiots” comment to any one person. I was directing it at a type of person that I am sure we all have encountered. I was simply pointing out that certain people that I have encountered in my employment, and on this blog seem to think that they have all of the answers. When I got lambasted a few weeks ago for comparing the states rights issues from the Civil War to the current wolf debate I was quite was put off by the superior tone in which I was responded to. I would be happy to provide a reference page to back up everything I post if that is needed. However, I do not think that is the point of the comments section. This is an emotional topic and it certainly does get emotional when talking about life and death. I am as guilty of that as anyone.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      +This is an emotional topic and it certainly does get emotional when talking about life and death. I am as guilty of that as anyone+

      Paul – a big High 5 for that comment, for many different reasons that don’t fall under what use to be defined as the norm….. especially in this day and age.

  72. avatar Evan says:

    25 year-old male bear euthanized in Rocky Mountain Front
    http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20110921/NEWS01/109210301

  73. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Harley,

    Somethings will benefit from the fire, perhaps moose, but I would also think the deer population might boom in that area in the future. That does not necessarily bode well for moose as deer carry brainworm, rather benign for deer, but deadly for moose. It will be interesting to watch over the years.

  74. avatar timz says:

    I just had an interesting evening. Stopping at the local pub for a brew after work there was some local hysteria about a cow elk being killed by wolves right off a major trail near town. I grabbed my camera and drove about the 6 miles back into the woods and found it. Seeing no signs of a struggle and the animal somewhat intact and no sign of wolves I said hmm. So I started to roll it over and low and behold I saw a dick and balls. Uponj further investigation I saw where it had once had antlers that had been sawed off. More poaching. Gamblin I am going to call your boys and hope they do something. This is the second one in the area this week.

    • avatar wolf moderate says:

      Are you near Idaho City? There was a 5 point killed and left to lay up that way. It was killed over the weekend. Scum bags.

      • avatar timz says:

        Yes, a four point bull shot and left in the road a few days ago. Same area

        • avatar wolf moderate says:

          Yeah. I was up there on Saturday. It was shot on Friday I think. Probably someone muzzleloader hunting and didn’t realize that it was an antlerless only hunt. Just a guess…The antlers were cut off way after it was shot, so I do not think it was somebody that just shot it to cut it’s antlers off.

          I’m thinking the guy went to get help and his/her buddies said “dude, this is a cow only hunt”. So they freaked and just left it.

          Either way it’s poaching and hope they track the POS down.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            Maybe someone wounded an elk and was not able to find it. The elk die near the road and a passer by saw it and cut the horns off – they are worth money. Just an idea.

        • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

          It sounds like the herd in that area could benefit from introduction of a couple of robo-elk.

    • avatar JB says:

      I would be interested to hear from Mark if IDF&G has estimated illegal take of elk? Not long ago, Ralph posted an article about poaching that suggested there was a 1 to 1 legal to poached take of mule deer (*I think it was mule deer?). Anyway, shortly after that I attended a conference here in Ohio where researchers reported on a telemetry study that found illegal take of turkey was more than 10 times legal take.

      I would assume that illegal take of deer and elk happen much more frequently near roads, and so would vary a lot from zone to zone in a place like Idaho? Still, I would be interested to know what proportion of human-harvest is illegal?

      • avatar JB says:

        A very interesting paper on motivations/justifications for poaching:

        http://www.animalsandsociety.org/assets/library/510_s1132.pdf

        • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

          “Denial of necessity for the law”. While riding with a local on a the short section of road connected to another island town in this region I remarked about the abundance of deer hopping about and the fact that they still had an extremely restrictive deer season on the island. Up until the mid-1970s, they had a 4-deer either sex limit and 5 month season like here, but then the population crashed after a couple of bad winters and they closed the season entirely for 18 years, ending after 1992. Even today, the limit is 1 buck during a 2-week rifle season before the rut, but those that remember still seem to be arguing to try to rebuild the population to what it was through the 1960s, about a decade after the feds’ extermination campaign of dropping strychnine seal baits from airplanes over the islands and prior to clear-cut logging and eventual extensive deer habitat losses to stem exclusion, i.e. “the cellulose cemetery”. Meanwhile, besides abstaining from legal hunting, the populace has as a matter of civic duty trapped and shot every wolf they could — naturally with little actual effect on predation. The local advisory committee has shown the patience of job in trying to rebuild the deer herd but how much more rebuilt will it ever get? He said local thinking is that poaching has become so widespread that they don’t think a more liberal season is advisable. Hence, the deer population has been conceded mostly to the poachers while honest folks get very little opportunity. If there really is that much poaching, probably by people “denying the necessity of the law”, it should be stamped out with a 1–2 punch of enforcement and a more reasonable season to take away the excuse, drive hunting back into the legal realm and give honest people a chance.

      • avatar WM says:

        I have always been curious about what constitutes “illegal take” in some of these studies. Does it include things like harvesting an animal a few minutes outside shooting hours during a legal season or party hunting (where a buddy might help fill a tag, which is common but illegal in some states)? Or, whether these infractions might not be counted at all in the statistics, thus under-stating the level of infractions.

        The OH turkey statistic is amazing, and even shocking. I have never hunted them, but in summer have seen them in groups up to 20-30 birds feeding along roadsides. I would guess on a deserted road a few shotgun blasts, and a quick scurry to recover the birds and toss them in the car trunk where they would not be seen takes little time and presents little risk to the offenders.

        Are turkeys really that smart (as Ben Franklin suggested when advocating them as our national bird instead of the bald eagle), or could they be lured into a live trap or snared with a little corn scattered on the ground, thus explaining the 10 to 1 OH illegal take statistic?

        On the other hand, a field dressed elk at 250-600 pounds (less for a yearling calf), takes time to clean, is messy and requires multiple helpers to do quickly. But maybe these are tasks made easier with a pick-up truck, winch and a tarp…. and on a less traveled road at night. and maybe a quieter high powered rifle. Somebody was telling me about a trend for “sub-sonic” .308 or other large caliber cartridges not along ago. Because the bullet travels at less than the speed of sound (1,100 feet per second), the report of the round being fired is much less, and thus not easily detectible. Ballistics are not good, but apparently effective at short range for a well placed shot.

        • avatar WM says:

          To the list of “illegal” acts that contribute to an illegal take statistic mentioned above, I suppose the following should be added: Hunting without the proper license/tag.

          I remember as a kid hunting with my parents (legally) for deer down on the breaks of the Columbia River. Interspersed areas of oak/conifer forest in the draws, but wheat fields on the level ground. It is beautiful country. The wheat farmers viewed the deer there as their own. Their rationale is they feed them, so do not feel compelled to buy a licence to harvest them. I suspect that is a pretty widely held view among ranchers who might take the occasional elk/deer or even turkey in many places in the West, Midwest and elsewhere.
          ———–

          By the way, JB, great artile you posted on illegal hunting – while it is oriented largely to the deep South, and the culture there (interviews with game wardens and the studies themselves), the observations would seem to have some universal application.

          • avatar JB says:

            Thanks, WM. I enjoyed that article as well. One point for discussion: the article mentions one rationalization for poaching is that “everyone is doing it” i.e., it is the “norm”. I find this interesting, as most hunters I know vigorously oppose this view, and suggest hunters good names are tarnished by the actions of a few lawbreakers. Seems to me that the “subculture” present in any given rural area may determine what is normative with regards to hunting (i.e., are game laws followed, or ignored?). Your observation about some farming/ranching families would seem to support this? I had similar experiences growing up in Michigan.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            JB,

            I would cautiously submit, that is the reason wolves had to be reintroduced by the feds. Natural dispersers from Canada never had a chance in the NRM states due to SSS. A population simply could not become viable until under the spotlite of the Feds.

  75. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Father and son get (way too) close to a black bear!
    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/09/21/dnt-bear-close-encounter.wdbj?hpt=us_t4 Note the mobile phone held into the bear´s face!

  76. avatar catbestland says:

    Timz,

    +”there was some local hysteria about a cow elk being killed by wolves right off a major trail near town.”+

    I wonder how often wolves get blamed for elk that are poached. For that matter I wonder how many “poached” cattle get blamed on wolves.

    Why isn’t beef poaching a problem anyway? All those free roaming big macs on the range, it doesn’t make sense. Cows are a lot easier than elk to catch. Unless, it is the owners of the cows that are poaching the elk and then blaming it on wolves.

    • avatar timz says:

      My understanding is that there is a considerable amount of cattle “rustling” in the west.

    • avatar WM says:

      cat,

      Ever see the movie “Rancho Deluxe,” with Sam Waterston and Jeff Bridges? Rural MT (forget which town), and their apartment rent was paid with ….poached beef.

      Cattle rustling is big business most anywhere, though likely becoming more risky if cattle start getting microchip implants that might be detected somewhere in the chain after point of illegal sale.

  77. avatar catbestland says:

    WM,

    I will check out “Rancho Deluxe” sounds like a good flick.

    Isn’t rustling, stealing cattle to take them to market for profit? It seems that with all the unemployment and rising cost of groceries there would be more “poaching” of individual range cows just to feed hungry people. I imagine that will be next, especially once we are all enslaved by the corporatization of America.

    I wish someone would rustle some of the cows off the range around where I live. I can’t imagine any of the cheap ranchers around here putting out the cash to get their cattle imbedded with computer chips. But then, that will probably be another subsidy enjoyed by this unethical industry.

    • avatar Paul says:

      When Obama was elected I assumed that insane proposals like this would never come to reality. Boy, was I wrong. How much more capitulation to the right wing will this guy be involved in? The fish and game apologists can say whatever they want, but this is not “management” in any way, shape, or form. This is flat out slaughter. Wyoming should be ashamed.

      …-.-.-.-

      • avatar william huard says:

        The NYT article didn’t even get into the politics of the agreement. Bourasso hold up the Ashe confirmation. Tells Rancher Salazar he won’t confirm Ashe until he meets with Rancher Mead. Bourasso takes the hold of Ashe’s confirmation and PRESTO- we have agreement “in principle” between Salazar, Mead and Ashe…..Wonderful how that all worked out.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Hey you guys elected him, suck it up!

          • Savebears,

            As one who voted for him, but gave him no money, time, etc. like I have other candidates, I thought he was probably OK. I was not enthusiastic, just wanted to get rid of George Bush the lesser. I mean the choice was been him and Biden and McCain and Palin. Wasn’t that great, and what will it be 2012?

            The Democrats would do well to ditch Obama. Once again the Republicans have a ugly crew,IMO.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Don’t remind us. After 8 years of Bush I thought at least environmental issues would be one less thing to worry about. Obama made a huge mistake with Salazar.
            Ralph says the Republicans have an ugly crew. God help us if Perry gets elected. The scary thing in today’s politics is it could happen.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Hind site is 20/29 isn’t it! Not to say I am anyway happy with what has happened, but the American voting public needs to learn to read between the lines, which in this day and age, seems to be an elusive commodity.

            I find it sad that people have to vote for the lesser of two evils!

            I did not vote for him, I did not vote for the other guy, so I have no qualms, I knew what was going to happen..

          • avatar Savebears says:

            That was suppose to be 20/20 cripes I hate it when you get a new computer!

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Ralph, there is not a politician that I would give the time of day to right now in this country, let alone money!

          • avatar wolf moderate says:

            Ron Paul and Rick Perry for President. That ticket would clean up Washington quick and get our troops home at the same time. I really like Jon Huntsman, but he’s probably not electable. Have you seen his daughters? Whoa!

  78. avatar Nancy says:

    Yep, this is a blog about the controversy surrounding wildlife and what’s left of the land but what is brought up (in the link below) speaks volumes about today’s politicians and their special interest, kiss ass, agendas 🙂

    http://www.truth-out.org/goodbye-all-reflections-gop-operative-who-left-cult/1314907779

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Oh and don’t miss the comments below the article – be my guess as to why we’re in the shape we are in this country – too many talking heads and not enough actual fact about what’s really going on…….

  79. avatar SEAK Mossback says:

    “A study suggests elk in Canada’s mountain parks are cosying up to lightly used hiking trails to avoid predators such as wolves.”
    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/life/sci_tech/where-wolves-fear-to-tread-elk-share–lightly-used-mountain-park-trails-130386428.html
    This finding seems counter-intuitive. I’ve heard and read that wolves tend to use human-made corridors (trails, logging roads and snowmobile trails, etc.) to epediently get about their territory. Last year, hiking several days in NW Yellowstone, there seemed to be more wolf sign than elk sign on the lightly used trails connecting one drainage and another.

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      I found this curious as well. Although it’s dangerous to generalize about wolf behavior across landscapes, here in the WGL region wolves commonly use manmade travelways. They are masters of energy conservation, and what better way to save time and energy?

      Of course, their temporal use of roads and trails is generally out of phase with the periods of heaviest human use, but they seem quite comfortable sharing spatially.

      All of the snow track census methods in the WGL focus on cutting tracks on roads and trails, and I’ve even had good trapping success on county forest lanes that experience moderate daily ATV traffic.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Most of this travel also occurs at night. Only once have I seen a wolf along the road(s) during the day light hours. Trails in Boundary Waters area fairly heavily scat laden, ergo, the wolves use the trails.

  80. avatar Mike says:

    Here’s one you can’t make up:

    Wacky NRA says Obama not banning guns is a conspiracy

    http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/09/nra-claims-massive-obama-conspiracy-not-to-ban-guns/

  81. avatar jon says:

    Hey Wildlife Services, killing predators isn’t the only option

    http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/wleonard/hey_wildlife_services_killing.html

  82. avatar Elk275 says:

    I have been out all day riding mules and just log into the Internet — another bear attack.

    http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_47215eba-e714-11e0-9706-001cc4c03286.html

    • avatar jon says:

      “The bear’s reaction, Losinski said, was typical of grizzly bears”

      the bear did nothing wrong. Why are they going to kill it?

      • avatar Mike says:

        Jon –

        Two different bears. The article jump cut to another bear story, a habituated grizzly in the same area thanks to some jackasses feeding it for viewing purposes. Hopefully these people were fined and their property confiscated.

  83. avatar william huard says:

    Foiles is in the running for a new hit TV series- “Celebrity D-bag”
    Asking the animal “is this the way you want to die” is as sadistic as you can get.
    He’s taking lessons from Ted Nugent-Hey, lets videotape hunters committing federal wildlife crimes…..

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/life/greenpage/us-celebrity-waterfowl-hunter-pleads-guilty-to-federal-wildlife-charges–129837463.html

    • avatar Paul says:

      Another “conservationist” in action. And hunters wonder why some of us question their ethics and motives. I wonder how much of this stuff happens that we don’t see on film? But there is a market for this stuff so obviously there are people out there enjoying it. Disgusting.

      • avatar Paul says:

        Oops! That must be my animal rights wacko side speaking. It is obvious that the pain and suffering of these birds have nothing to so with “legitimate wildlife conservation issues or principles.” According to our resident IDFG poster anyway. I guess I am due for another “lesson.”

        Sarcasm off. Anyway it is great that this revolting person has to pay some price for what he did. I hope he gets the maximum.

    • avatar Mike says:

      That’s serial killer type stuff right there. People who repeat actions such as these should be locked up for a long time.

      The sad thing is, a lot of hunters are like this.

      We live in a sick society,and I hope one day we can evolve beyond garbage such as this.

      • avatar william huard says:

        He was sentenced Sept 21 to 13 months in jail….His lawyer asked for no jail time because he took responsibility for his actions……They should have suspended his hunting privledges for a longer period of time.
        I work in a prison, convicts regard this type of crime as sleazy…..right down there with sex crimes

        • avatar WM says:

          ++convicts regard this type of crime as sleazy…..right down there with sex crimes++

          Good. Maybe this creep Foiles will get what he deserves in his 13 month stay at club Fed, for the misdemeanor plea deal his lawyer was able to get. This should have been a federal criminal conviction in an ideal world, and carry the consequences that come with that.

          He also has to pay $100,000 fine, give up hunting rights for 2 years (seems weak), and faces another prosecution for charges in Canada.

          He’ll never work again in the hunting industry as spokesperson/pitchman, and likely not at a salary/wage job doing much of anything. His wallet is alot lighter from paying his defense expenses.

          At age 54 this slimeball is toast.

          http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x789273353/Fallin-Skies-video-star-Jeffrey-Foiles-sentenced-to-jail-time

          • avatar Nancy says:

            +For someone who makes a living from hunting and guiding, Cudmore said a punishment that includes a more than three-year ban from hunting is significant.

            “That is a long time for a true hunter not to be in the field,” he said. “I think it is a very appropriate sentence.”+

            Yeah, its akin to taking driving privileges away from a drunk convicted too many times for a DUI. Yet they always seem to manage to find a way of “getting back on the roads” til they kill someone……….

        • avatar Mike says:

          WTF? This dude should never be allowed to hunt EVER again. What state was this?

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Mike,

            This is one of the few times you and I will see eye to eye, I am all for, get convicted once, you loose the privilege for the rest of your life, I am all for making willful poaching a felony, so they loose their right to own a firearm as well. This should be a one shot your out for good!

          • avatar Mike says:

            I see what happened here. The federal judge was a hunter too, and thus the lax three year ban from hunting. Sad.

            So much for hunters “policing their own”. If anything, this judge sounded like he was apologizing for the man, especially with this line:

            “That is a long time for a true hunter not to be in the field,”

            What a bunch of b.s.

          • avatar WM says:

            That would be your wonderful, progressive state, the Land of Lincoln – Illinois:

            http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/September/11-enrd-1229.html

            And, of course, this matter was heard in federal court by a magistrate. Nothing really to with a state really, since these violations were of federal law.

            http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/September/11-enrd-1229.html

        • avatar Paul says:

          I think that the 13 months are appropriate, but the hunting band should be for life. Its not like this guy was hunting to “feed his family.” I certainly agree that perverts and abusers of animals are the lowest of the low. Prison should be a nice wake up call for this guy.

      • avatar SAP says:

        Man, I agree with Mike. This is serial killer type behavior. To think he’d do that IN FRONT OF A CAMERA! That indicates to me that he was really getting off on doing this stuff, and on the attention.

        I could walk away from hunting over this kind of thing. It just makes me sick.

        In conversations with non-hunters, we usually circle around to “are you mad at the elk? Do you think it’s your enemy?” I always stress that no, I don’t think of elk as my enemy, far from it. I am sad when they die, I am grateful for the meat and for the opportunity to take part in the circle.

        Reading this crap . . . oh man, he really WAS thinking of ducks as his enemy! This wasn’t anything sacred to him! This was about aggression and self-aggrandizement.

        I guess I knew there were people out there like him. Now I know for sure.

  84. avatar Mike says:

    WM –

    I just saw that in the article. Also, there’s not much progressive about Illinois south of Chicago except for Urbana and Carbondale.

    • avatar Harley says:

      Sometimes there isn’t much progressive in Illinois period…

        • avatar Harley says:

          And it’s funny how you site Urbana and Carbondale, is that because of the colleges? Cause Southern has to be one of the biggest party schools in the state and Urbana, well, where to start with the controversies surrounding U of I? But I suppose every state has their form of dysfunction.
          I think I’ve lived here too long… lol

          • avatar Mike says:

            hahha yeah I hear you on that one.

            I did cite those cities because of the colleges. Is Southern still one big crazy party? Man, the memories of that place….

          • avatar Harley says:

            It’s still got a rep, but I’ve heard Western is catching up! 😉 I graduated from ISU. I’m sure every college has it’s share of party goers, I of course was such a good student….most of the time anyway!

  85. avatar ma'iingan says:

    “The sad thing is, a lot of hunters are like this.”

    That’s not even remotely true. You might like it to be, since it would fit your anti-hunting agenda, but it’s far from the truth.

    • avatar Paul says:

      Yes it is true. There are many despicable hunters just like there are many despicable eco-terrorists on the opposite spectrum. Mike did not say that all hunters are like this, but there are indeed a lot. Just take a drive around and look at all the “if it’s brown, it’s down, or “if it flies it dies” stickers on the “sportsmen’s” trucks right here in Wisconsin. A couple of months ago I listened while a newly elected circuit court judge in Wisconsin was laughing and joking to a cop about blowing the face off of a duck that he was hunting. Real funny. This behavior does exist and far more often than many in the hunter community will admit. At least I can admit that there are many whack jobs on my side of the fence. It would certainly be nice to see the hunting community do the same.

      • avatar ma'iingan says:

        “Just take a drive around and look at all the “if it’s brown, it’s down, or “if it flies it dies” stickers on the “sportsmen’s” trucks right here in Wisconsin.”

        Those have nothing to do with intentional cruelty to animals, let alone preserving such heinous acts on video.

        • avatar Mike says:

          Those bumper stickers show a blatant disrespect towards living things, and connote the potential for such acts.

          • avatar Paul says:

            Exactly Mike! Why can’t these “sportsmen” just do what they do without having to advertise that they like to kill animals? Wouldn’t it be better for them to use the money that they spend on decorating their trucks to “feed their family?”

            Of course, I never believed in using the back of a vehicle to advertise your beliefs no matter what they are. I view it as taunting whether you are a liberal, conservative, Jesus freak, Wiccan, Atheist, or just enjoy killing animals, I don’t care. Just don’t advertise it and not expect someone to be annoyed or view you as a wacko.

          • avatar Mike says:

            WM –

            If I were a hunter, I’d be doing everything I could to admonish folks with those kinds of stickers. Sad to see you trying to smooth it over instead.

        • avatar jon says:

          I know you’d probably like to think that all “sportsmen” are ethical, but that is far from the case. You have a lot of hunters out there who actually do love killing wild animals with their guns. Many of them get off on it. You should see all of the comments I’ve seen from hunters in regards to wolves. Not only are they sick, they’re borderline psycopathic.

        • avatar catbestland says:

          ma’iigan,

          “+’If it flies it dies’ has nothing to do with intentional cruelty to animals” How do you figure that? It is clear that the owners of these bumper stickers intend to kill every animal they can. How is that not intentional cruelty to animals???

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Perhaps not intentional cruelty to animals, but one might conclude a lack of discretion, in this age of political correctness.

          • avatar WM says:

            I have seen these bumper/window stickers, too. One might consider the fact that in many cases it is just figurative speech. It is often just a statement that the occupant of the vehicle is a hunter or a good shot. It doesn’t mean they will/do kill everything they see.

            That is a ridiculous conclusion. As Immer points out it certainly is a politically incorrect and insensitive thing to do. And, that may be the exactly the point, often testosterone plagued young males do it. I have also seen those stylized window stickers of a kid peeing, too (which I find kind of disgusting).

            I know a young guy who lives in the city, has the “brown, its down,” sticker on the window of his white Toyota pick-up (their other car is a Dodge van), and he is definitely not a psychopath. He has a responsible white collar type job, family, and enjoys bow hunting. Could be his mother or sister even bought the sticker as a joke.

            Some of you guys need to chill out, a bit.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            @catbestland, you do know what we’re talking about here, right? It’s a white silhouette decal of a duck hunter taking aim at a flight of ducks, with the accompanying slogan underneath. Most commonly found on the rear window of worn-out pickup trucks in rural high school parking lots.

            Distasteful? Maybe – depends on what kind of cultural background you have. I find it to be an immature adolescent boast about the owner’s duck hunting prowess. I meet a lot of these kids in the course of my job,and there’s nothing wrong with them that a little maturity won’t fix.

            They’re certainly not the serial-killing wildlife torturers that you would like to make them out to be.

          • avatar WM says:

            A couple more distasteful stickers to contemplate:

            Eat more fast food (buck deer silhouette)

            Gut deer? (word play on “got milk?”

            The buck stops here (scope reticle over deer silhoutte)

            It is sort of crude humor, and distasteful in some circles but not to high schoolers and testosterone challenged young men. This is hardly the stuff of psychopaths.

            Gee, I seem to remember competitive sports, football, specifically, where the high school coach gave pep talks that taken literally would be put them behind bars.

            Taken figuratively they were just a good motivators for that group. “I want you animals to go out there and kill those guys (other team). Show no mercy. Tear through that offensive line, walk over that nose guard’s dying corpse. Put fear in that quarterback’s eyes, grind his face in the dirt, and make him “soil” (word exchange) his pants, and go crying back to his mama.”

            Bet the college and pro locker rooms are even worse.

    • avatar william huard says:

      I’m trying to figure out what is it about a person that thinks he can do that to an animal. Is it ego? Is it a sense of superiority? Entitlement? That’s one sadistic person. There isn’t anything anyone of us can say about this man that he hasn’t already said through his actions…..

      • avatar jon says:

        William, some people are just sick and have no respect for creatures or their lives. It is because of hunters like this, more and more people are becoming anti-hunting. It’s nothing more than bloodsport. There are many other hunters just like this guy. Hunting is a pathetic sport. Killing to put food on your table for your family is one thing, but hunting today is recreational. Many hunters do it just to kill something.

        • avatar wolf moderate says:

          ZZzzzzz. Jon, get a life. It gets old hearing you slam people that you don’t even know. I could slam the Environmental and Eco nuts, but it’s pointless. If you do not like hunting DO something about it. Man up, get off the interweb and run for office or get some anti-hunting things introduced in YOUR state-or nationally if you choose.

          In short, ranting and raving about hunters does nothing to further your cause on this site. Most everyone feels as you do on here.

          End Rant 🙂

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            “In short, ranting and raving about hunters does nothing to further your cause on this site. Most everyone feels as you do on here.”

            Not necessarily so.

        • avatar Mike says:

          Jon –

          The problem is hunters don’t police their own. Nine times out of ten, you’ll see excuses and sweeping things under the rug. Comments such as “the only hunters using those stickers are kids” or “ahhh, that was an accident and a rare thing”. We see that a lot here.

    • avatar william huard says:

      The bottom line with these stories is it always becomes anti hunters with their anti hunting agenda. These people like Foiles do more to diminish hunter credibility than anything we could ever do or say.

  86. avatar SAP says:

    I guess this shouldn’t surprise me, but Jeff Foiles and his business still have Facebook pages up and active.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jeff-Foiles/143517289025565

    http://www.facebook.com/foilesmigrators

    Insane. No shame. They should go out of business, but as long as there’s a nickel’s worth of value left in his public image, they will dishonorably chase it.

  87. avatar Paul says:

    Another revolting story:

    http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20110924/APC0101/109240502/State-Supreme-Court-says-deer-thrill-killing-cases-can-resume

    This article doesn’t go into detail about what these monsters did. Here is some background.

    http://www.inhumane.org/data/Kuenzi.htm

    • avatar william huard says:

      Gee, these guys look like warm, sensitive, caring, kind, thoughtful young men.
      White Trailer Trash

    • avatar william huard says:

      If you read the details of the case several things don’t make sense.
      These individuals were charged with hunting without a license and hunting during a closed season.
      “The animal cruelty charges against Robby Kuenzi-Rory’s brother-were dismissed several weeks ago after his attorney successfully argued that state law prohibits cruelty charges against those who are hunting” huh? But I thought it was a closed season…and they were unlicensed….and what were they hunting with – snowmobiles?
      It’s disturbing to see the legislature has been busy protecting the rights of thrill killers…..

      • avatar Paul says:

        Apparently the county judge ruled that these were only “conservation” violations and dismissed the felony animal cruelty charges in 2009. The state appealed and the appeals court ruled that the judge was wrong and that the felony charges can be reinstated. This is actually great news. This case goes far beyond hunting or anything similar. They were indeed using snowmobiles to torment and kill these deer. Did you also see that one of them was charged with an OWI hit and run that killed a man in 2004? What fine upstanding citizens these rouges are.

  88. avatar catbestland says:

    ma’iingan,

    Are you trying to tell me that only teenagers have these bumper stickers? I beg to differ. I live in a very popular hunting area and I see these bumper stickers all the time on every redneck’s truck trolling my road for something to shoot at. I don’t believe I have ever seen one in the high school parking lot unless it was some kid driving their dad’s pick-up. The fact of the matter is that if you display these ignorant bumper stickers, you must feel that way to some degree. My van proudly wears the “Red Riding Hood lied” bumper sticker and used to wear the “Return the wolf, restore the balance” sticker. (old van) I wouldn’t put them on my bumper if I did not 100% agree with the sentiment.

    • avatar Paul says:

      It is not only teenagers where I live, far from it. I recently saw a large white pick up driven by a male in his late thirties to early forties. The truck had cammo trim along the sides and had the words “Bowhunter” with fake blood dripping from underneath the lettering on the back window. Somehow I don’t think that this guy was all about “conservation.”

      These types of displays are very common where I live and not just from teenagers. I frequently see them on large newer pick up trucks that often have illegally altered exhaust, and are driven by middle aged men. If someone doesn’t want their motives questioned then they should stop having such gaudy displays.

      • avatar jon says:

        They’re also very common in places like Idaho and Montana. A lot of hunters have numerous anti wolf bumper sticks displayed on their vehicles. What’s sad if I see very few hunters come out against those who have extreme views and thoughts about wolves. This leads me to believe that those who don’t speak up feel the same way as those who have extreme views about certain animals such as wolves or that these hunters are afraid to speak up in fear of being ridiculed and called a “wolf lover” by those hunters who are cleaely anti-wolf. Recently, the young filmmaker who made the video cry wolf tried to pass himself off as being “neutral” on the wolf issue when he was offering free “sss” bumper sticks to those who buy his film.

        • avatar Paul says:

          I think that much of it is a fear of ridicule. I have spoken to many hunters here in WI who absolutely detest hounders and bear baiters. They will tell me exactly how they feel about the subject, but you will never hear them say the same things around other hunters. When I ask them why they do not speak out many say that while they do not like what other hunters do, they do not want to stick their nose in their business. Many are also afraid that if you ban one form of hunting it will lead to a ban on all hunting. Of course this is absurd NRA-type propaganda but it is obvious that many in the hunting community accept it as fact.

        • avatar Elk275 says:

          Jon have you ever been to Montana or Idaho? I rarely ever see anti wolf bumper stickers on any vehicles. What I do see is “Share it”, “Citizens for Balance Use” or “Wilderness the Land of no Use” If you have not ever spent any time here then do not make a statement like “They’re also very common in places like Idaho and Montana. A lot of hunters have numerous anti wolf bumper sticks displayed on their vehicles.”

          • avatar timz says:

            ELK have you ever been to Idaho? I see anti-wolf bumper stickers almost daily, and not only on cars. I see them in bars,stores, restaurants etc. but my favorite wolf bumper sticker said
            “Save an Elk and a Wolf, kill an ignorant hunter”.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            I have been to Idaho thousands of times, but not in the last couple of years. There is never enough time or money. I would love to go steelhead fishing on the Salmon this fall and soak in GoldBug Hotsprings. I am still working out the bugs in my mule ( mules have a mind of there own) , fixing the trailer lights, working, reloading ammo, repairing the truck and getting ready to go hunting.

          • avatar WM says:

            timz,

            ++….but my favorite wolf bumper sticker said “Save an Elk and a Wolf, kill an ignorant hunter”.++

            Now would you, or those who have the bumper sticker say that literally or figuratively?

          • avatar Nancy says:

            +I am still working out the bugs in my mule ( mules have a mind of there own)+

            Elk – I had a neighbor that use to put a few horses on my property. One afternoon I came home and found their mule standing in my driveway. I let her in with the horses and called to let them know she’d come to visit her “pasturemates” I didn’t have a problem, nor did they that she was here but the next morning, I watched her gracefully clear my fenceline and head back home.

            They do have a mind of their own when they miss their buddies or homebase. Hope you’re not gonna leave your mule staked out in the wilderness (while you’re out hunting) without a buddy. You might come back to camp, minus a mule.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            Nancy that is an concern of mind. I have been able to ride him off by his self without any problems yet. If and when I leave him tied, I will hobble his front legs, too. I am not able to purchase another mule this year so we are going to see what happens. One really needs a gray mare and when the mule bonds with that mare it will never leave her.

          • avatar catbestland says:

            Elk275,

            I’m curious. Why is it that hunters never ride their animals until just before hunting season and expect to get them fit enough to hunt? I rode horses for a living for many years. I excercised race horses and trained polo ponies and field hunters in their respective seasons. Polo ponies, (arguably the most brain damaged equines on the planet) are given a long rest period after season but put back into training several months in advance of the next. They would drop dead from a heart attack in the first chukker if they were not fit. I’m sure that hunting can be very physically taxing on pack animals as well. Why wait until just before hunting season to start getting them fit? Your mule would probably have a better handle on her if you rode her regularly all year before asking so much of her in hunting season.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            Catbestland

            I spent months trying to find the right mule and I just took delivery of him several weeks ago. The owners wanted $4,000 for him in early summer and by August the price fell to $2000 and I was able to purchase him.

            He has been ridden regularly all summer and is in good condition. There is no physical conditioning problems. The problem is that he came out of Ohio in March and I worry about moose encounters more than anything.

            I have been around horses all my life; I am not a horseman and do not pretend. Every year the mountains get slightly steeper, the knees and ankles more pain and arthritis. More public land becoming inaccessible due to private landowners not allowing access. Time does not reverse, so I bought a mule and will get another one next year.

        • avatar Mike says:

          Jon –

          When I go out west I avoid places such as those. Yes I do see those bumper stickers in places like Wisconsin and Montana. This year, while driving up to Montana through Wisconsin, I had a pickup about an inch of my bumper. He’d sped up upon seeing my Illinois plates. Even though the left lane was open, he continued on my tail for several miles. When he passed, I saw the “wolves, smoke a packa day” bumper sticker. I could see the guy’s angry face in his dashboard glow as he flicked me off, I guess for being from Illinois. He was doing about 95. He must’ve been getting about 8mpg. I try to keep my car under 75 for optimal fuel sipping.

          I’m lucky in that my favorite places out west don’t have too many of those types (at least in the vicinity of my tent). There’s something about the eastern side of the divide versus the western side. It gets a lot nuttier once you cross.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            All you need is one for a disaster.

          • avatar Daniel Berg says:

            When someone harasses folks on the road like that on a regular basis, they eventually get what’s coming to them. It’s either an assualt charge that haunts them professionally or personally, a wrecked vehicle, an ass-beating, or worse.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Jon,

          How do you know that many trucks in Montana and Idaho have these types of bumper sticker? You have never been here, I am out and about allot and I see very few of these types of bumper stickers and believe me, I get the opportunity to talk to a whole bunch of hunters!

  89. avatar catbestland says:

    WM and ma’iigan,

    The point I am trying to make is that it is not only teenagers that sport these ignorant bumper stickers. A good protion of my business goes to hunters. When they pick up their purchases it is usually in their big trucks. Almost every one of them have these stupid bumper stickers. They also see mine.

  90. avatar jon says:

    Drivel from a hound hunter whose hounds were killed by wolves. he doesn’t blame himself for his hounds getting killed, he blames the wolves.

    http://www.skinnymoose.com/bbb/2011/09/26/three-hounds-killed-by-wolves/
    My dogs are dead, and the fault doesn’t lie with the hound or the houndsmen. It lies squarely with the wolves who killed and ate my dogs, and with those who supported, and continue to support, the introduction of this exotic species into an area where it had never roamed before. Never roamed, because the timber wolf that inhabited this area many years ago was a much smaller sub-species than the Canadian grey that we are now plaged with.

    This hound hunter’s dogs are dead BECAUSE OF HIM AND HIM ONLY. Real pet lovers don’t let their beloved pets purposely run after dangerous wild predators.

    • avatar jon says:

      These hound hunters know there is a chance their dogs might get killed and they are PURPOSELY putting their dogs in harm’s way by letting them chase after dangerous wild predators. They don’t want to take blame or responsibility for their own actions when their dogs end up getting killed. There is something wrong with this picture.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        I’ve got mixed feelings on this whole thing. I have empathy for the houndsman for the loss of his dogs. However, I would feel the bears don’t. Ironic, that nature now has a way of shooting back. Unwritten rule that you can shoot a dog chasing deer, but legal for dogs to chase other wildlife.

    • avatar Paul says:

      I guess his dogs could also be labeled an “exotic species” in that eco-system. They don’t want to take the blame because they get that nice reimbursement check from states like Wisconsin whom the WI Bear Hunters Association has wrapped around their finger. I don’t know how it is in other states. In a sane world letting your dogs run loose in the wild to chase other animals would be considered animal cruelty. In the real world it is considered good “conservation.”

      Cue the apologists.

      • avatar jon says:

        I feel bad for the dogs, but not the houndsmen. They are putting the hounds they claim to love in obvious danger and they know it, but still do it. Everyone knows that they use hounds as a tool to chase down bears and cougars just so they can be treed and shot. Dogs that harass wildlife are usually shot on sight, but not hound dogs. They are allowed to harass wildlife. We live in an upside down world. I believe that most dog lovers who truly love and care for their pets would not let them run loose and wild in places where there are known wild predators capable of killing your dog.

      • avatar jon says:

        Hound hunters SHOULD NOT BE COMPENSATED if their hounds are killed by wild natural predators. That is completely 100% ridiculous. If they care so much about their hounds like they claim, don’t let them run wild and loose in the first place, but most know that hounds are nothing more than a tool to help hunters get their bear or cougar. There are risks, but it seems as some believe that there shouldn’t be any risks.

  91. We just got a newer pickup and there is a NRA sticker in the back window. . I was going to take it off but Mike says “no leave it on . . it is better to have people confused about where you stand on things.” It is his truck too and although neither of us own a gun we will leave it on. So don’t judge a person by the stickers on their truck please.

    • avatar wolf moderate says:

      Good idea lol. I’m going to put a Obama/Biden sticker on my truck to confuse people. Hope I don’t get shot 🙂

  92. avatar Mike says:

    “Hope” the internet sensation black bear with 100,000+ followers on Facebook may have been killed by a hunter:

    http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2011/08/31/have-you-come-across-any-interesting-wildlife-news-august-31-2011/#comment-92518

    It gets worse, folks:

    “Still, Rogers said he has to wonder if the hunter deliberately sought out Hope. He said the hunter has posted messages before on a Facebook page with around 50 fans called “Lily: a bear with a bounty,” where some postings last week spoke of “Hope jerky” or Hope cooked in a crockpot.”

    • avatar Paul says:

      Mike, the link appears wrong.

        • If that happened the hunters in that area couldn’t have made a worse mistake. . Hope was not trophy bear size either.
          If anything could spark an anti-baiting, anti-bear hunting movement that will. . an not a little one.

          • avatar jon says:

            I really hope it does. It’s disgraceful that hunters are allowed to kill these amazing animals in the first place. If it is hope, I hope this starts a new anti-bear hunting movement.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Timz, Mike, William,

            Read what I wrote, and try and understand that, in my opinion, this blog site is everything ***ALL*** the other blog sites about wildlife and hunting are ***NOT***. Continually reading the “preaching to the choir” is not helping anyone. As I said, I disagree with much of what Mark has said, as have many other on the site.

            Others who share similar carreers as Mark have lately been ridiculed by a few, just because they support management of predators, wolves, bears, Mt.lions, and they have supported their points with solid rationale.

            You all know I am pro-wolf. We’ve got recovered populations, and it’s time to fight for a coherent management of wolves. Mech says as much. The alternative is what is happening in Idaho, and soon Wyoming. Wyoming could have been isolated and possibly forced from their plan of action.

            The Great Lakes States have robust wolf populations at this time, but reactionary elements are beginning to hold too much sway. If this blog turns into the echo chamber of others, then we are no better than the others.

            At the 2000 International Wolf Symposia, Wolf management was a hot topic. it’s been almost 12 years. Other than WS and SSS, wolves have not been managed other than the 2009 seasons of Id and Mt. We’ve slid backwards since then.

        • avatar timz says:

          “The alternative is what is happening in Idaho”

          What is happening in Idaho is a result of Gamblin’s agency and it’s policies toward wolves that he shamelessly comes on here and tries to defend with the same tired shit over and over again. IMHO he adds nothing of value to this site and I believe only posts here to irritate people. To say he’s an ear to the other side is ridiculous.

      • avatar Mike says:

        The comments about the teachers crying, wondering what to tell their students (thousands of classrooms have followed the saga of Hope) are especially chilling.

        What we’re seeing is just how far out of the mainstream hunting is becoming.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          +Still, Rogers said he has to wonder if the hunter deliberately sought out Hope. He said the hunter has posted messages before on a Facebook page with around 50 fans called “Lily: a bear with a bounty,” where some postings last week spoke of “Hope jerky” or Hope cooked in a crockpot+

          I often wonder when I read stuff like this, how many of those sad, angry individuals were raised in an atmosphere of dysfunction and abuse?

          • avatar wolf moderate says:

            “Ernie the Elk”, who hung out with moo cow’s off Warm Springs road was a real celebrity in Boise. He would just chill with friends, the moo cows. Well, it’s been suspected that he snuck up into the foothills to get some love come one September day and was killed by a bow hunter. It would have been legal, but not all that classy.

            People thought that Ernie the Elk getting killed by a hunter would create an outrage, but people didn’t really care much. As long as the sheeple have there Oprah and McD’s, nothing will snap them from there trance.

            http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2009/12/02/outdoors/has_ernie_elk_been_shot

            “Hope” will have no negative effects on bear hunting in Wisconsin. That state is going crazy anyhow lol. That governor has some real backbone!

          • avatar wolf moderate says:

            Sorry, Ernie was shot in November by a rifle. Legally. I thought it was from a bow hunter but was wrong yet again.

          • avatar Mike says:

            A great deal I bet, Nancy. When someone tells me they hunt bears, I am very catuous around them. There’s just something “off” about it.

        • avatar william huard says:

          I remember reading how the head of the Minnesota DNR made the decision to not mandate or make it illegal to shoot radio collared bears used in research. He asked hunters to just cooperate and “not shoot collared bear s”. That didn’t work out to well….. The problem with that is simple. You have certain hunters that want to shoot anything that moves and could care less about information used in research. You also have your “hunters” that would shoot a bear like Hope just because they can. They actually hate it when animals get attention like Hope did and hve radio collars because it makes it harder for hunters to shoot these animals for fun.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Willima –

            It’s sad, isn’t it? There’s something very wrong with bear hunting.

          • avatar jon says:

            I think it is hope.

            http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,84023.msg1047978/topicseen.html#new

            The hunters on that website think the hunter should be congradulated for killing the bear.

          • avatar Mike says:

            JB, I said “if true”. Big difference. We don’t know what happened to Hope…yet.

            But here’s one thing we know for sure: Almost every day in the fall, this blog posts news stories about hunters doing stupid things.

            Sorry, but these guys aren’t the exception. They’re just the ones who got CAUGHT.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Are these hunters on these blogs “mainstream” hunters?

            One quote-about what the teacher should tell her students…
            “How about telling them a hunter did his part in nature”
            Killing a habituated bear for sport and enjoyment is now doin his part in nature?
            Talk about a delusional false sense of importance…..

          • avatar Mike says:

            “I remember watching a PBS special with Lynn Rogers and the collared bears. It’s a shame that such a cool bear can be killed for fun……How noble- killing a semi tame habituated animal”

            That’s the nature of bear baiting. The goal is to habituate bears to human food, and then blow them away. It’s amazing to me than it can be illegal to feed bears in many states, but setting up bait stations is legal in some. I wonder how many habituated bears this has created over the years.

            If the hunting community had any sense, they’d end this lazy practice. But they wont, because they sweep this type of thing under the rug, as we often see on this forum.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Mike-
            Hunters and bear baiters will not stop on their own……They have people like Ma’iingan there to defend the practice as a necessary management tool. Then you have the old paranoid hunting heritage excuse…..”If they stop bear baiting, what’ll be next- trapping- or wildlife preserves…..
            Just listen to Wayne L and his ilogical 2nd amendment rants- it’s driven by paranoia, fear and misinformation to keep hunters and gun nuts on edge- protectin the huntin heritage

          • avatar william huard says:

            There are many ways “wildlife management” methods need to be changed.
            Nabeki just did a piece on “HowlingforJustice” about the trapping industry. It’s pointless to criticize this dispicable industry and the dinosaurs that still use these “humane” methods. View the two videos and tell me what exactly is “humane” about trapping!!!

          • avatar Paul says:

            William, there is nothing humane about trapping (especially the 72 hour check) and the apologists couldn’t care less. Remember when I brought up animal welfare issues I was slammed by Mark Gamblin and told that “your narratives have become as sermons on animal rights looking for some connection – any connection, no matter how far fetched, to legitimate wildlife conservation issues or principles.” That is the fish and game line, animal welfare is not a legitimate concern. It is all about pandering and numbers for these fish and game people. Hunters and trappers pay their salary so of course they pander to them. There is no concern for the pain and suffering of an animal. Anything that they say otherwise is nothing but lip service. They use industry buzz-words like “harvest,” and my new favorite “recruitment” to soften their image. Animals are not born now, they are “recruited.”

            Sorry for the rant, but I am tired of the fish and game double talk. One time they say that bears need to be hounded and baited because they are too hard to find. The next sentence they say that bears are everywhere and wrecking havoc with agriculture. Which is it? They also constantly talk about the anti-hunting agendas from commenters on this blog, yet they act as though they do not have an agenda. If their salary is being paid for by hunting and trapping revenue, I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch to assume that their agenda is to provide hunter and trapper opportunity.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Paul –

            Couldn’t agree more. The term “harvest” when killing a large mammal is pathetic, as if a 400 pound thinking, feeling black bear was a pumpkin or an apple.

          • avatar william huard says:

            You have identified some of the Fish and Game hypocrisy. Gamblin himself said that the 72 hour trap check policy in Idaho was not a good example of science at work…what type of people talk about representing all their citizens when applying wildlife management principles and then adopt a trapping policy based on what the trapping community says….and needs….I’ll tell you who- a dept that is owned by the legislature and the SMALL constituency that pays their salaries. Wildlife management should be implemented with science by biologists not politicians.
            I love it when they defend bear baiting no matter how unethical with the population control or reduction hunt for public safety concerns.

          • avatar timz says:

            Great you guys, bring up Gamblin’s name. We’ve been blessed by his absence for awhile and now he’ll probably respond with endless paragraphs of his mindless drivel about F&G “objectives”.

          • avatar jon says:

            paul, mike,william, I agree with you all and this has been talked about a few times on here. It’s not “harvesting”, it’s KILLING PLAIN AND SIMPLE. It’s almost as if hunters and fish and game agencies are trying to hide what they are actually doing from the public. Harvesting is killing and anyone that tells you different is clearly lying.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            In terms of Mr. Gamblin, I don’t agree to a whole lot that he writes, yet he is one who is caught between a rock and a hard place with his job. At least he posts, and whether you believes it or not, he is an ear for the concerns on this side of the fence.

            The multiple points of view on this blog are what makes it entertaining/informative and educational. It is not one dimensional.

            Wish Mark and others who hold similar positions off this blog and we become nothing more than an echo chamber. I’m sure some of you know what/where I’m talking about.

          • avatar timz says:

            “he is an ear for the concerns on this side of the fence.”

            That may be the funniest thing I’ve ever read on this blog.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Immer –

            I completey disagree on that point. There’s not much of a voice for wildlife out there. This blog is one of the few actual popular places for that viewpoint. It’s sad to others use this blog as a place to advance their anti-predator agenda, which is already powerful in Idaho anbd other states.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Regular people do not have a voice on wildlife issues. The local politicians are in the special interests pocket. On a national level people that we thought would protect wildlife (Democratic party) Cardin, Boxer, Udalls, Reid, Obama sold out wolves for a cynical attempt at keeping a senate seat in 2012.
            There is a rumour that big money donors in the GOP are contemplating exhuming Captain Kangaroo to run for President for the Repubs in 2012……

          • avatar Paul says:

            Immer Treue, you make a fair point about Mr. Gamblin. I do get tired of him parroting the IDFG line, but I also know what it is like to be in a government position. I have worked in public safety for the past 14 years so I too have been required to defend decisions or rules that I personally do not agree with. Whether or not he does agree with the IDFG policies I do not know.

            I think where the frustration that comes from me and other pro-animal posters are that we feel that blogs like this are the only place where we can be listened to. From my experience I have tried to voice my concerns with my elected representatives both state and federal. All but one gave me a canned response straight from FWS or the WI DNR propaganda. The only pro-wildlife response I got was from my Federal Representative. This has been the case regarding multiple wildlife and environmental issues. I cannot speak for others on this blog, but I would be willing to bet their experience is the same.

            It is equally frustrating that fish and game departments appear to show little concern about animal welfare. I admit I am flat out sickened when I see a picture of someone grinning over a freshly killed animal, or bragging about killing something on the internet. To me this is wrong, and shows far deeper issues. The argument is always brought up about how if a non-hunter eats meat they cannot criticize hunters. Much of my disgust comes not just from the killing of an animal, but the sheer joy that many seem to take from it. When is the last time you saw a worker in a slaughterhouse pose for a grinning picture with the animal that they just killed? If they do then they also have far more serious issues to be concerned about. This point of view may come from an emotional standpoint, but I just cannot understand how a person can get pure joy out of taking the life from something not needed for sustenance. If a person kills an animal for sustenance and doesn’t make a spectacle out of it I can mostly accept that.

            Much of this may sound like “preaching to the choir.” Some of it certainly is, but it nice to be able to express frustrations to people who feel the same way. Many of us feel that we have a legitimate gripe about non-hunter views being ignored or discounted. Sorry for the rant.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Paul,

            I agree with just about everything you’ve just written. A guy like Mark takes it from both sides. Think of the beating he would take on one of the “OTHER” sites. Rather he lends an ear, or a perceived ear, it’s another listening point that fails to take part in the dialogue if chased away. I’ve locked horns with Mark, but Mark has always been civil with me. Try and do that with posters outside of this blog.

            I’m with you in terms of posing with an animal that has just been killed. It’s just my opinion, but I’ve never understood it.

            There are other sites one can go to, and as impassioned as some are, it’s a long sob-fest. This is the one site that one can go to and share your ideas, debate someone else’s point, agree to disagree, and afterwards not feel like you have to brush your teeth.

            Instead of the bitching that some do, myself ,at times, included, put that energy into producing something that helps the cause. If Rockholm can produce a propaganda piece as he did, why can’t some of the pro wild-life folks put together a few documentaries. If there are more of us, it should have wider appeal than the shlock that pandered to the paranoid.

          • avatar Harley says:

            Immer,
            It’s really good to see that Mark’s position is appreciated, even when it’s not agreed with.

        • avatar JB says:

          “What we’re seeing is just how far out of the mainstream hunting is becoming.”

          Mike: You’re making the assumption that the actions of this individual are representative of most hunters. Finding “extreme” examples and holding them up as then norm is a tactic used by both “sides” in these debates.

          • avatar Mike says:

            I’m not talking about the actions of an individual, but rather the response to this incident by good-natured teachers and young students across the country.

            Killing bears, ain’t cool, and young kids are “tuning out” because they’ve been told that the outdoors are a great place to kill shit, as if that is the only way to enjoy the country, that going out and just sitting and observing nature is somehow “girly”. They aren’t buying it, and good for them.

          • avatar william huard says:

            I remember watching a PBS special with Lynn Rogers and the collared bears. It’s a shame that such a cool bear can be killed for fun……How noble- killing a semi tame habituated animal

          • avatar JB says:

            Nice try, Mike, but the actions of an individual were exactly what you were talking about when you said, “What we’re seeing is just how far out of the mainstream hunting is becoming.”

            You used the actions of one individual hunter to characterize all hunters–“mainstream hunting”–your words, not mine. First, a very small percentage of hunters even chose to pursue bears; second, I would *GUESS* that very few would purposefully seek out a human-habituated “celebrity” bear just to make a point, as you presume this person did.

            I get it, you don’t like hunting. Fine. But using the actions of one individual to cast all hunters in a negative light is disingenuous at best.

          • avatar Mike says:

            JB –

            So only one hunter baits bears? It would seem your comments are disengenous. My comments about hunting being out of the mainstream have nothing to do with one “hunter” but many.

            Every year there are less and less hunters while parks like Glacier and Yellowstone see more and more visitors. The kids aren’t taking the “gotta kill sometin’ to enjoy nature” bait that’s been foisted upon them by the hunting industry and the goofs walking around in camo and painted face.

            Bear baiting does more to hurt hunting than any PETA initiative, and it will continue to do so. This is not the actions of “one” but of many. Yet we see posters on this forum, time and time again sweep these kinds of things under the rugs as “outliers”, lol. Bear baiting is not an outlier. It happens a lot. It’s unethical and lazy.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            @Mike, how would you propose to manage 40,000 black bear in a state that’s heavily dependent upon agriculture? Last year in Wisconsin, nearly 500 bear were trapped and relocated due to ag damage, and based on YTD numbers, the total this year will be significantly higher.

            I assisted in trapping and relocating 40 bear from one three-farm complex, and I’m hearing that the area is repopulating at a rate that will probably require the exercise to be repeated next summer. Problem is, there’s no more suitable bear habitat available.

            If bear hunting’s not “cool”, what’s your solution?

          • avatar Mike says:

            Bears have one of the lower reproductive rate of any mammal. It’s hard for them to be “overpopulated”. I believe the last study (2008) guessed somewhere between 26,000 and 40,000 bears in Wisconsin, across 41 million acres. Wisconsin has close to 6 million people to boot.

            What’s happened is that there’s now too much human development of bear habitat.

            Five hundred bears eating crops in a year doesn’t add up to much concern.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            @Mike, even with the annual offtake of slightly over 5,000 bear in Wisconsin, robust annual recruitment is resulting in steady population growth.

            There is sustained expansion of bear range southward in the state, into areas dominated by agriculture. And while ag damage may be inconsequential to you on your occasional drives through Wisconsin, it’s of great concern to producers and wildlife managers.

            Trapping and relocating bear is enormously expensive – and ineffective on a landscape where suitable bear habitat is already occupied. Bear hunting, while objectionable to some, is an effective management technique – and there is discussion about increasing the annual offtake in Wisconsin in order to keep pace with recruitment.

          • avatar JB says:

            Mike,

            I never said that only one hunter baits bears–I said you used the actions of one hunter to characterize hunting and hunters in a negative light. Here are your words:

            “The comments about the teachers crying, wondering what to tell their students (thousands of classrooms have followed the saga of Hope) are especially chilling.

            “What we’re seeing is just how far out of the mainstream hunting is becoming.”

            I understand that you don’t like hunting. That’s fine. But I object when I see a purposeful distortion of the truth for the purpose of supporting a political agenda. If you want to campaign against hunting that’s your prerogative; but it is more than a little hypocritical to condemn people as unethical using an argument that is itself false.

            – – –

            Personally, I would not chose to hunt a bear, let alone hunt one over bait. However, baiting is an effective way to pursue bears–and also, provides a cost-effective way to reduce conflicts with individual bears that have become food-conditioned (by using baiting in areas with known “problem” bears).

  93. avatar Mike says:

    Wolf – I doubt that elk had 100,000+ followers on Facebook, and that’s its birth was streamed worldwide to thousands of classrooms….

    If Hope really is gone, there will be a heavy push to end the lazy, unethical practice of baiting.

    • avatar wolf moderate says:

      Only time will tell, but my money is on no change. That state is going crazy. Bear baiting is the last thing on there minds.

  94. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    “Real Solyndra Scandal Is U.S. Approach to Energy Subsidies: View”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-23/real-solyndra-scandal-is-u-s-approach-to-renewable-energy-subsidies-view.html

    Brian,
    Are you aware of how much this might affect the currently proposed “Big Green” developments out west? I’ve read about a couple of other corporations potentially losing taxpayer money for their projects, but haven’t had a chance to look into it much.

  95. avatar catbestland says:

    Elk275,

    You said, ” More public land becoming inaccessible due to private landowners not allowing access.”

    Are they not allowing access to their private lands or not allowing access to their public lands grazing allotments? Or, are they not allowing access through their private property to public lands? I ask because I thought it was against the law to deny access through private land to public land if the historical access is through that private land. Why are they not allowing access? Do you believe it is to prevent hunting specifically or do they think they own the public land because they have a grazing lease? I am just curious as to why this is happening. Is it just in your area or have you noticed throughout the west? Because, it doesn’t matter what you are doing on public land, (as long as you are not breaking the law)you have a right to be there. It’s your land too.

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      Catbestland

      It is very complicated. One can not cross private lands without permission or a public right away regardless of what there activities are. I am very tried right now and will say something again tomorrow or maybe Save Bears can chip in.

    • avatar wolf moderate says:

      I used to hunt about 20 miles south of Maupin, Oregon. The area that I hunted had 300 acres of BLM land surrounded by private ranches. The rancher allowed me to hunt his property as long as I didn’t drive anything on it, which was awesome due to the fact that there were usually 10-15 hunters in that 300 acre area lol. Deer are everywhere because it’s along the Deschutes river and alfalfa fields are all along it.

      Well, I found a nice piece of BLM completely surounded by private land. The old rancher that allowed me to hunt his ranch wouldn’t allow me to drive down “his” road to reach the BLM land. The only way to reach it other than his road is by plane. My uncle has a Cessna 172 with tundra tires and a STOL kit, so I asked him to fly me in. I ended up going into the military, so it never panned out. One day I want to get to that piece of BLM though! It sucks that the rancher can block access to public land, but then again he is the one that maintains the road…

      When I lived in Bend we frequently went up to Lookout Mountain in the Ochoco’s. A timber company owned the road that went from the highway just out of Prineville. From the highway to camp is 18 miles when we used to be able to cut through the timber company’s property, but they sold it and gated it off. Now it takes over 2 hours to reach our camp instead of 45 minutes lol. I understand why the company gated the road, they sold the hunting rights to an outfitter, but it’s still annoying. Oh well, one day I’ll be rich and will do the same exact thing…

  96. avatar Nancy says:

    +I though I’d share my favorite bear bait tips with the
    OL community.Early in my bear hunting years, I would generally use old donuts, pastries,and breads and I would pile up very large amounts in my bait barrels at my hunting site.This worked, but the bears would only hit my baits every few days, but when it was hit if no one was in the stand they would consume mostly everything. Now I only restart my bait sites with large amount of sweets, and when the bears start hitting it, I switch over to oats mixed with molasses(5 parts oat to 1.5 part sweet)+
    +++This information is from a hunting site.

    JB – how many of these problem (ag related) bears are attracted to bait that is commonly found in fields? Oats for instance? I’m sure some also use corn. It doesn’t make sense to condition them to food as in “baiting” (grown on farms) and then condemn them for taking advantage of it.

    +As ma’iingan said: There is sustained expansion of bear range southward in the state, into areas dominated by agriculture. And while ag damage may be inconsequential to you on your occasional drives through Wisconsin, it’s of great concern to producers and wildlife managers+

    • avatar JB says:

      Nancy,

      I do not know of any research that has attempted to evaluate whether bear baiting promotes conflict. When researchers speak of “food-conditioned” bears, they usually are referring to bears that have learned to associate humans with food–which can be very dangerous. However, this term also sometimes gets used to describe bears that have learned to take advantage of anthropogenic food sources (e.g., dumps). The intent in baiting bears is to lure them into a particular area via a food reward. From a standpoint of conditioning, the food (reward) is associated with the location, eliciting the desired behavior (bear’s return). This is similar to what happens when bears learn to take food from a dump. The key in predicting future behavior is understanding what the bear is associating the food with. The hunter SHOULD be baiting an area that is far-removed from human activity. In this scenario, the bear should associate the food with this location, NOT people. Baiting practiced this way should not promote agricultural conflicts (or any other kind) unless bears were specifically lured to an area where they were more likely to get in trouble (e.g., next to a bee farmer).

      • avatar Mike says:

        That’s impossible if the hunter is using human food like crushed ice cream cones leftover from the local Dairy Queen (common), stale donights from the local grocery store (common), etc. Hunters are using food that these eateries and markets throw in their dumpsters. So yeah, it’s habituating bears. THere’s no question about it.

        • avatar JB says:

          “So yeah, it’s habituating bears. THere’s no question about it.”

          Mike:

          First, habituation is not food-conditioning. Classical conditioning (a form of associative learning) involves the presentation of a neutral stimulus alongside a positive or negative stimulus (reinforcer). In the typical scenario involving wildlife, food-conditioning happens when people (neutral stimulus) present animals with food (positive stimulus) and the animal learns to associate the person with food; the behavioral response, of course, is to approach people to look for food.

          The other scenario occurs when the animal learns to associate a place (e.g., garbage dump, baiting station) with food (positive stimulus); the behavioral response is to return to this place to look for food.

          Habituation is a different process altogether. It occurs when a behavioral response to a particular stimulus ceases to occur after repeated exposure to the stimulus without any outcome (i.e., reinforcer).

          In the bear baiting scenario, an animal learns to associate food (positive stimulus) with a place; the conditioned response is to return to that place, allowing the hunter to take the animal. There should be no association between food and humans, which is what causes conflicts. Moreover, the ideal end result of baiting is that the bear is killed–so it is highly unlikely to be involved in future conflicts. 😉

          – – – –

          You seem to suggest that because a bear is fed donuts it will go seek donuts in the future. But of course, bears will seek out food (donuts included) whether they have been fed these food objects before or not. For food-conditioning to cause trouble, the animal must associate a neutral stimulus (typically people, or our residence) with food. There is no reason that baiting should result in such an association.

          Your confidence in your assessment is unwarranted.

          • avatar Mike says:

            The problem with your conclusion JB is that bait stations are loaded with human scent. It’s on the food, it’s on the ground, it’s on the trash cans. The bear repeatedly eat the foods (usually processed food about to or already expired from local establishments)knowing full well where the food came from (humans). Bears aren’t stupid. They have noses that embarrass a blood hounds. They know that the woods don’t magically produce frosted donuts and waffle cones.

            Your last comment is indeed shocking. In your mind, it’s OK to habituate the bear as long as it’s killed? Wow.

            A few years back I was camped in a remote section of the Gallatin National Forest (about fifteen miles as the crow flies north of Yellowstone). As I was walking back from the river, I noticed a bear inside my car. It had pried the door open (windows were all rolled up, as it is good bear country etiquette) and this had busted the lock. It was sitting on the passenger seat, eating a bag of Doritos. Realizing it was a small bear, I ran towards it and its eyes widened when it saw me. It bolted into the woods, Doritos flying out of the bag which it had in its mouth. It didn’t even bother looking back, just kept on running. My car was covered in muddy paw prints (so was the front seat and center arm rest). Bear hair was everywhere.

            The following year I was at the same spot, and noticed a ranger eating a sack lunch along the river. I asked him about the bear. He told me that the bears were lured into the campground by a camper (RV’er) who placed a” bait station” back in the woods. This bait station was nothing more than dry dog food in a big metal bowl. This food lured two young black bears, both from the same mother who was killed by a hunter. He said eventually the bears learned that human scent equaled food, and so they worked their way closer to the campground and started stealing stuff from cars. All this from a bowl of dog food in the woods, no different than a bait station that “hunters” use.

            I asked him if they relocated and killed the bears. He said they did not, that the bears simply up and left one day and never came back. The previous year, Rv’er was fined the highest penalty and asked to leave the grounds. The ranger told me that they were friendly bears, and he was glad they had moved on. I agreed. He also said they were real healthy, and would have no problems surviving, which was great news.

            By giving food to bears, you create problem bears, period.

          • avatar JB says:

            Mike, Nancy:

            Imagine for a moment that you are a bear living in our human-dominated landscape. Human scent is everywhere. Cross a trail, lots of human scent (no stimulus); walk through a yard, human scent, dog chase (negative stimulus); find a bunch of food in the middle of a hole in the ground, human scent (positive stimulus). Now there’s a big difference between human SCENT, and an actual human being (don’t believe me, compare your own behavioral reactions to the scent of a skunk vs. an actual skunk). Mike’s example illustrates the point: the scent of Mike’s chips drew the bear to the car, and human scent (which is everywhere) did not dissuade the bear, but when it saw Mike charging him…

            So sure, it is possible that a bear could encounter bait and associate it with human scent. But given that the bear likely encounters human scent multiple times per day without any positive stimulus, and arguably some negative stimulus, it seems a stretch to suggest that a baited bear is destined to become a problem bear.

            “Your last comment is indeed shocking. In your mind, it’s OK to habituate the bear as long as it’s killed? Wow.”

            You need to learn to separate factual (or “is”) claims from normative (or “should be”) claims. The purpose of bear baiting is to kill a bear–a dead bear can’t cause conflicts (my claim–that’s a factual claim, by the way). Your characterization of my claim, “…it’s OK to habituate the bear as long as it’s killed…” is a normative claim. Two different issues. The first can be critically evaluated using logic and/or the scientific method, the second cannot. I have endeavored to avoid the “should” questions in this conversation.

            And so we’re clear, yet again, habituation is different than food-conditioning (that’s another factual claim). You appear ignorant and undermine your arguments when you insist on misusing the term.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “The problem with your conclusion JB is that bait stations are loaded with human scent. It’s on the food, it’s on the ground, it’s on the trash cans.

            Bear baits in my state can only be placed in a hollow log, stump, or hole in the ground. Bear baiters take great pains to minimize their scent at bait sites – rubber boots and rubber gloves are a requirement. Of course bear realize that the food is not naturally deposited – but if the sites were as “loaded” with human scent as you claim, no one would ever be successful at taking a mature boar over bait.

            Bear will drop bait site visits cold when there is a ripe mast crop maturing in the area, so any conditioning that occures is short-lived. They much prefer white oak acorns or soft mast like black cherries over any human-supplied bait – in years of heavy hard and soft mast production, baiting can be a futile exercise.

            And Mike, I had to laugh at your comment that bear baiters are “lazy”. I’m personally no fan of baiting, but anyone who’s running a half-dozen or so sites is working their tail off under some very nasty conditions, whether you like to admit it or not. You seem to want to project yourself as someone who understands a great deal about bear baiting, but your comments don’t support that.

            You and others are quick to condemn bear hunting, and especially the methods, but I still haven’t heard a thing from you regarding your vision of management. I presented you with the facts – 40,000 bear in Wisconsin, with an annual hunting offtake of around 5300 animals. An additional loss of probably 1800 animals due to other forms of mortality, and still the population is expanding. Your reply that Wisconsin has plenty of room and that the magnitude of ag damage wasn’t a big deal were dismissive.

            You want to eliminate bear hunting – I’m all for it. What’s your plan?

          • see my comments at the end of the thread for bear management. I am not against hunting but bear management arguments are not valid. They are a self regulating species. . see my comments below for the why.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Boy we’re really getting into the Twilight Zone here.

            Look up “habituation”, JB. It applies in this context in every sense of the definition. And yes, it’s more than “possible” that a bear that is fed dog food in a bowl at a remote bait station will associate human scent with food. I provided an actual event in which this took place. I had a bear in my car because some idiot created a bait station in the woods.

            When a bear first approaches a bait station, it’s probably pretty damn wary. But it eats the food cautiously despite the obvious human scent (a bear’s nose is six to seven times more powerful than a blood hounds. If you don’t think it picks up your scent, think again). Each time it comes back to the bait station, it’s less and less wary. The diminished alertness response to this station IS habituation. It is this situation that creates a problem when the bear approaches a campground at night (maybe someone who has hot dog buns like what it ate out of the garbage can or hole in the ground), and it is not afraid of the human scents coming from the tents, so it breaks into a car or even enters a tent. I’ve had both things happen from habituated bears (the bear had its head pressed up against my tent, and it ran off when I shouted).

            You comment about my bear incident in another post, but it only proves my point. My scent in the car is a deterrent to a non-habituated bear. This bear entered my car because it associated human scent with food thanks to a dog food bait station, or, it lost its fear of human scent because of bait station repetition. It lost the alert response that a normal bear has. I spend a ton of time in thick bear country and that’s the only time I’ve had this happen. This bear was fed at a bait station, as confirmed by the ranger.

            And again we get to the ridiculous. You contradict yourself once more when you say it’s a stretch that a baited bear would become a problem bear, yet according to you, the ideal situation is a hunter killing the bear. Which is it? Either it doesn’t matter if the hunter kills the bait station bear, or it does. By concluding that the ideal situation is a dead bear, you connote the possibility of problems. You’re trying to have this this both ways, which of course is a classic sign of a weak argument. Even worse, numerous bears can feed at these stations, and yet the hunter cannot kill them all. Usually the “trophy” bear gets killed right away, and young bears come to rely on these stations , sometimes feeding at them for a year. This is problematic. This is lazy. This is garbage.

            It’s not necessarily about the bear equating human scent with food (although it’s possible, of course) it’s about the bear losing its normal response to human scent combined with processed food items. That is habituation. That is what bait stations do. That is why bear baiting is banned in most states.

            Even the former director of the Pacific Region of the Northwest had this to say about bear baiting at the boundaries of Crater Lake National Park:

            “Biologically, there is no difference between a bait station and a dump. Bait stations habituate bears to human-generated food, contributing to the potential for conflicts between bears and people in the park.”

            Tom Beck, a hunter and a former bear biologist with the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

            “I firmly believe that baiting creates ‘nuisance’ bears,” he says. “Black bears are naturally wary, instinctively avoiding close contact with humans. But a large amount of tasty food, easily obtained, defeats this wariness. By baiting, we create lazy bears who have been rewarded, not punished, for overcoming their fear of humans.”

            I always got a kick out of this line, too:

            Just before he left office in January 2003, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura said that “going out there and putting jelly doughnuts down, and Yogi comes up and sits there and thinks he’s found the mother lode for five days in a row—and then you back-shoot him from a tree?….That ain’t sport. That’s an assassination.” ,

            Bear baiting is lazy. It violates the rules of fair chase. It creates problem bears. That’s why it is illegal in 18 of the 29 states that allow bear hunting.

          • avatar JB says:

            From the dictionary of psycholgy…

            Habituation – a process whereby an organisms response to the same stimulus temporarily lessens with repeated presentations.

            And from Whittaker & Knight (1998) Understanding Wildlife Responses to Humans. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 26(2): 312-317:

            “…’habituation’ is the most often mis-applied and is commonly confused with attraction. Unlike attraction, which involves a reinforcing stimuli, habituation is a waning response to a repeated neutral stimuli…This formal definition, used with precision in behavioral psychology and ethology, is less carefully used by some wildlife professionals.”

            And they go on to say…

            “A bear may be in the habit of going to a garbage dump to look for food, but this is attraction, not habituation.”

            “Attraction” they simply define as “the strengthening of an animal’s behavior because of positive reinforcement…” i.e., conditioning.

            I tried to explain to you why these two learning processes are different, and why they can lead to different outcomes, but you can’t seem to let go your bias long enough to actually learn something. You’ve quoted back at me a few people who’ve mis-used the terminology themselves and expressed their own *BELIEFS*, but a belief is not a fact, no matter how much we want it to be.

          • avatar Mike says:

            JB – I’ve learned a great deal about how nature works. I work with the top people in their fields (NASA, wildlife biologists, etc), among others.

            You entered into a game of semantics because you had no argument. Then you contradicted yourself when you said it was “ideal” that a hunter kill the bait station bear. Then of course you ignored my point about many bears feeding at the station, and that the hunter can’t kill them all. Is it “ideal” for the hunter to kill all the bears that feed at the bait stations? Come on.

            It’s of no interest for me to get into a semantics debate. Instead, I’ll take the word of top biologists and park directors when they say bear baiting is the same thing as a dump, and that it creates problem bears. While I spend a great time amongst bears and have even had a bait station bear break into my car, these people have more contact.

          • avatar JB says:

            JB – I’ve learned a great deal about how nature works. I work with the top people in their fields (NASA, wildlife biologists, etc), among others.

            That’s great, Mike. Congratulations. It doesn’t change the fact that you are dead wrong about habituation.

            “You entered into a game of semantics because you had no argument. Then you contradicted yourself when you said it was “ideal” that a hunter kill the bait station bear.”

            If you re-read the thread, what I objected to was your characterization of “hunting” as out of the mainstream, citing the actions of one individual bear hunter. The whole argument about habituation was your attempt to change the subject of debate that I raised–i.e., whether this person’s actions were representative of hunters, in general.

            “Then of course you ignored my point about many bears feeding at the station, and that the hunter can’t kill them all. Is it “ideal” for the hunter to kill all the bears that feed at the bait stations? Come on.”

            You’ve never established that bear baiting causes conflicts. I suggested the ideal outcome (ideal from the hunter’s point of view) was to kill the bear that was coming to the scent station. Which, of course, renders that bear unable to create conflicts. I am willing to acknowledge that other bears may attend a bait station–are you willing to concede that you have absolutely no evidence that bears that come to a bait station cause conflicts?

            “It’s of no interest for me to get into a semantics debate. Instead, I’ll take the word of top biologists and park directors when they say bear baiting is the same thing as a dump, and that it creates problem bears. While I spend a great time amongst bears and have even had a bait station bear break into my car, these people have more contact.”

            Semantics? Habituation and food conditioning are different processes that are likely to have entirely different outcomes from the perspective of conflict. You instructed me to “look up” the definition of “habituation”. Well Mike, I did–though I didn’t have to. I was using the term correctly from the beginning (unlike the experts you cite).

            Regardless, I’ll admit that you’ve come a long way from, “So yeah, it’s habituating bears. There’s no question about it”. Citing a professional sources is a step in the right direction. Perhaps you might consider a more measured response in the future, instead of your default ideological anti-hunting blather?

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            Thanks JB

      • avatar Nancy says:

        +I do not know of any research that has attempted to evaluate whether bear baiting promotes conflict+

        So should there be some research JB? It seems kind of obvious (atleast to me) that luring bears into bad situations (baiting) regardless of what’s used, is at some point gonna end up “food conditioning” them.

        +From a standpoint of conditioning, the food (reward) is associated with the location, eliciting the desired behavior (bear’s return). This is similar to what happens when bears learn to take food from a dump. The key in predicting future behavior is understanding what the bear is associating the food with. The hunter SHOULD be baiting an area that is far-removed from human activity. In this scenario, the bear should associate the food with this location, NOT people+

        JB – Not PEOPLE? Human scent has to be ALL OVER these stations if they are tossing everything in (but the kitchen sink) as in leftovers to attract bears.

        20 years ago in an area just up the valley from me, you seldom heard about a bear sighting, let alone an encounter.

        But over the last 10 years (due to a boom in home building, right up against wilderness areas) encounters are now frequent – geez this bear stood right there and lifted the top off the BBQ, hung out on my deck, comes by to check out the trash, walked up behind me and licked my fricken leg –

        We humans really have to wake up at some point and realize we ARE THE MAIN REASON (because we can’t seem to keep our species in check) why so many other species are wacky AND on the attack.

        • avatar Mike says:

          Anyone with the slightest hint of common sense understands that dumping expiring ice cream cones form the local Frosty Freeze repeatedly into a garbage can or barrel is going to condition bears to human food. This practice should be outlawed in every state.

          • avatar JB says:

            Ahh…the “no true Scotsman fallacy” rears its ugly head. So anyone that disagrees with Mike’s logic is devoid of common sense? And I see that you’re using your “common sense” factual claim to support your ideal policy solution. It must be convenient to live in such a black and white world?

  97. avatar Mike says:

    JB –

    There’s nothing false about the reaction from the kids and teachers who followed Hope’s saga. Their feeling towards hunting are mirrored by millions of others across this country. Bear baiting is unethical, and thousands upon thousands of “hunters” who use this method are repelling new hunters from the overall activity of hunting.

    Whether Hope was taken at a bait staiton or not, it’s the very idea that she COULD be that has upset these teachers and children, and of course any individual with an ounce of compassion.

  98. somewhere up in the thread ma’iingan asks how you can control the bear population if there is no hunting. I don’t think the answer was in there anywhere although Mike did say they have a low reproduction rate. Here is the answer; bears have delayed implantation which means that a female bear might breed and have blastocasats (embryos) waiting but they will not “take” unless the mother bear gets enough food. It is food and food alone which increases or decreases the population of bears. Unlike humans, bears are self regulating and it doesn’t matter how many you relocate or kill, if the food is there baby bears will be born to take the place of ones that are missing. This is a known scientific fact and yet bears are managed by people because it is politically correct to make an attempt at it. . no other reason.

    • avatar JB says:

      “…yet bears are managed by people because it is politically correct to make an attempt at it. . no other reason.”

      Linda: Sure there are other reasons: (a) to eliminate or reduce conflicts, especially those that could result in human injury, and (b) to provide people the opportunity to hunt bears. Most states in the east have given up on using hunting to control bear populations (for the reasons you mention); at this point, they’re just attempting to remove bears from places where they have or likely will cause conflicts.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think we should do everything we can to teach people to avoid conflicts with bears, but that won’t completely remove the need/desire for some management.

      • JB you and I are saying the same thing in a way. . the reasons are to give people bears to hunt, or to make an attempt at making people feel better if bears are removed for showing themselves to humans . . like I said political. There is no need to kill bears to control population unless they are being artificially fed. If you feed a population of bears food that does not occur in the habitat it may make mother bears have more cubs. If you just leave the animal alone, however, the population will be what the land can support. Mother nature takes care of that by not completing a pregnancy in a mother bear who is fat enough in the fall.

        • avatar wolf moderate says:

          “One hundred and three tagged calves (68%) died within their first year of life (Table 6). Two calves were classified as missing and six calves lost their ear tag transmitters. Predators caused >90% of the deaths and >70% of this predation occurred within the first 15 days of life (Tables 7 and 8). Bears accounted for approximately 55–60% of all deaths (including both predation and non-predation) for tagged elk calves during their first 30 days of life, while coyotes and wolves each accounted for approximately 10–15% of deaths (Table 6). Causes of death for elk calves during summers 2003–2005 were generally similar.”

          http://www.cesu.umn.edu/documents/ProjectReports/UMN/UMN_NPS_14.InterimReport.pdf

          Bears cause most of calf elk mortality. The fewer bears there are, the more elk are able to survive to breeding age. Bears are nowhere near threatened, therefore see no reason why hunters shouldn’t kill them when possible.

          Elk are much more valuable to the states that have them than are bears. Robust elk herds are incredibly important for rural economies and even the actual states to a smaller degree. As wolves and grizzly bears expand and become more dense, cougars and black bear should be culled.

          Just my opinion.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “If you just leave the animal alone, however, the population will be what the land can support.”

          In an agricultural area like Wisconsin, the “land” can support a nearly unlimited bear population. Couple the ag resources with an abundunt supply of fawns each spring, and you have continued robust growth of bear numbers.

          Nobody’s feeding bear, yet sightings of four, five, and even six cubs increasing steadily. One of the factors that is contributing to healthy sows and larger litters is the growing availability of deer carcasses in wolf pack areas.

          • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

            ma’iingan —
            It is interesting that black bears seem to be benefiting from wolf killed prey in Wisconsin. Do wolves take many black bears there? They seem to be an important food component in the wolf diet in some parts of Southeast Alaska. The foremost example I can think of is Kuiu Island where black bears exist in some of the higher densities ever recorded (roughly 4/square mile over the entire island habitat) and wolves are still very common despite the fact that their normal prey, deer are scarce — having been lodged deep in a predator pit since the 1970s, while bears have benefited tremendously from increased salmon runs since then. Bear remains are common in wolf scats and multiple observers have seen wolves taking adult black bears. The best reference is probably Elizabeth Peacock’s thesis. The hunter harvest on Kuiu Island is quite high, as it is has become, since the 1980s, a well-known destination for guided non-residents for its spot-and-stalk black bear hunting but she also found evidence of quite high natural mortality — look in the discussion around page 23.
            http://www.carnivoreconservation.org/files/thesis/peacock_2004_phd.pdf

        • avatar JB says:

          Sorry, Linda. I took your original statement, “bears are managed by people because it is politically correct to make an attempt at it…no other reason…” at its face value. There are other reasons, besides political correctness, as I pointed out. You are certainly correct in asserting that these reasons are political insomuch as they are driven by human wants/needs/desires and the policies that result.

          I understand that bears are primarily limited by food resources; however, as ma’iingan points out, these resources are extremely rich in the agricultural parts of Wisconsin (and other states). So what do you do to prevent bears from causing significant crop damage in areas where there densities are boosted by a surplus of human-provided food resources?

          • You have a point . . I would have to see the habitat but perhaps they need more wolves. . bears are not always the top predator and shown in the book The Last Wild Wolves, Ghosts of the Rain Forest, by Ian McCallister. That would be more efficient than hunting.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            SEAK –

            Thanks for the link – interesting study. Before I get taken to task, my comment about bear benefiting from wolf-killed carrion is from personal observation and unpublished comments. No formal studies yet, but our growing wolf and bear populations may be connected in some very subtle ways.

            Interestingly, our bobcat numbers have boomed in recent years – many speculate that this is at least due in part to suppression of coyotes by wolves. Coyotes can outcompete bobcat on our landscape, but Lynx rufus seems to coexist just fine with wolves.

            As far as wolves preying on bear, it seems to be rare here – we have huge numbers of white-tailed deer. For which I’m thankful – if wolf predation on bear were commonplace, it would only add fan the flames of bear hunters’ wolf-hate. I have seen aerial photos of wolves digging a young bear out of its den and killing it, ostensibly to eat it.

            Last summer while tracking four wolves on a sand road across a wetland, I saw that they’d left the road to allow a large bear to pass, then rejoined the road and continued their travels. The evidence spoke volumes, since wolves don’t particularly appreciated getting wet.

    • I don’t think that most people know that many animals self regulate their own populations. Other species don’t.

      The human animal is one that lies on the “knife’s edge” of population self regulation. In many places people have more children when resources are scare rather than fewer. In others humans have fewer than population replacement level despite ample resources to produce and raise children.

      Over most of history, human populations were limited by war, disease, high infant mortality to a nearly stable population.

      Persistent human population growth began in the early 20th century.

      I am saying for one reason or another some animals are better at limiting their population than humans are at limiting theirs.

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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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