Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wants to extend wolf hunt another month, to end of January 2012-

Montana FWP choose a quota of 220 dead wolves statewide (with the various wolf hunting units having quotas too) for the state’s second wolf hunt, which begin Sept. 9, 2011. So far 98 dead wolves have been officially tagged in the hunt. FWP officials are now afraid the hunt will end too far short of 220 dead if the official end date of Dec. 31 is maintained.  The department is taking comments on the extension until the end of Monday, Nov. 28. Most wolf conservation groups don’t think public comments will make any difference, it being just a formality.

So far only wolf hunt unit (390) has meet its quota of 18 and has been closed. Another, subunit 313/316 (adjacent to Yellowstone NP) had a quota of just three. Four wolves were killed and it too has been closed. The majority of Montana wolf country in terms of wolf numbers remains open, and would be subject to the hunt extension.The quotas, however, would not be increased.

Many wolf conservation groups believe the Montana wolf hunt quota is excessive and oppose the extension, and some oppose the hunt in general.  Legal action has been taken without success so far to close the current wolf hunts in both Montana and Idaho. Idaho has no wolf quota, the official belief being that wolves are so difficult to kill that quotas are not needed (with a couple exceptions in certain wolf hunt units).  The Idaho wolf hunt generally ends March 31, although some have earlier or later dates, such as the June 30, 2012 close in the deep Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness area.

Anti-wolf groups back the Montana extension and would like a longer hunt, perhaps with the goal of extermination.

Official information on the Montana wolf hunt can be found at http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/planahunt/huntingGuides/wolf/

– – –

Editors’ note on Feb. 1, 2012. The season was not extended.
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

364 Responses to Not enough wolves killed in Montana hunting season; extension of season likely

  1. avatar Nancy says:

    +Anti-wolf groups back the Montana extension and would like a longer hunt, perhaps with the goal of extermination+

    Hmmmm….sounding more and more like pure vengeance to me.

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      Immer,
      Wrong analogy. The hunting season length – starting and ending dates – are not the goal posts. A more apt analogy would be – the goal posts are the management objectives the hunt is designed to accomplish; the wolf hunting season is the play book to accomplish the objectives; and the wolf quota partly describes the boundary of the playing field for the Montana hunt. There would be nothing “out of bounds” or inappropriate by extending the season – only adapting with another play to achieve management objectives.

      • avatar Chris Harbin says:

        Mark,
        I’m sorry but that sounds like a bunch of garbage. Making analogies to a game with terms like “playing field” “goalpost” is just an attempt to trivialize wolf killing. Besides, in a “game” you don’t add time to the clock just because you are on the short end of the score – that would be poor “sportsmanship”.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Chris Harbin –
          I tend to agree with you on the trivial nature of the football analogy -as it applies to this serious issue. I was correcting Immer’s mistaken use of that analogy with her “moving the goal posts” comment.

          In the same vein, you seem to misunderstand the conceptual framework of this wildlife mangement challenge. It isn’t a “game”, on that I think we agree. It is wildlife management – by objective. Because gamesmanship has nothing to do with it, adapting the management tool to achieve the management objective is entirely appropriate and has nothing to do with “fairness”.

        • avatar Mike says:

          lol, well said. Idaho Fish and Game can’t score, so they force the clock officials to keep extending the time until they do.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Mark,

        Gosh! And I mean this with a bit of humor that electronic communication does not show, but you’re getting picky. Goals aren’t met, so rules of the game change, goal posts; length of field; widening the nets; bring the walls in; lower the pitchers mound; all to get offensive stats up….:)

        Also, just wondering, but you seem to spend quite a bit of time here holding the hand of pro-wolf folks and reassuring us that the sky will not fall, but is/are there any corollary IDFG folks who venture onto the decidedly anti-wolf sites, and hold their collective hands in the same fashion.

        Whether the number of wolves are over or under what the states estimates are, if one takes for Bible what the antis say, there is a wolf behind every tree and unturned stone, thus the wolves killed numbers should be higher than what has occurred.

        As someone who has lived in wolf country understands, wolves are pretty tough to observe, if they don’t want to be observed. Yet, wolves are curious, and it is probably what got the “Renee” wolf killed. There are some that would have others believe that the wolves are out there stalking hunters. Again, if this were the case, a whole lot more wolves would have died from lead poisoning.

        • avatar Elk275 says:

          Immer Treue

          In the last 5 years the State of Montana has extended the elk season in Southwest Montana (region 3) two or three times because the elk harvest object was not meet, it will not be extended this year. I never heard a peep about: ” Goals aren’t met, so rules of the game change, goal posts; length of field; widening the nets; bring the walls in; lower the pitchers mound; all to get offensive stats up….:)”. The elk seson went on until the desired number of elk were killed then the season was closed within 48 hours. Hunters welcomed the extended season, hotels, cafes and gas station welcomed the extendion.

          What is the difference about killing a elk or a wolf, nothing, bang it is a dead animal. The the state should not have set a season ending date, the season should have been closed when the quota was filled. Most mountain lion hunting areas in Montana have a end of Feburary ending date but the hunting district will close within 48 hours of the quota being meet. A few people are making something out of nothing.

          • avatar JB says:

            “What is the difference about killing a elk or a wolf, nothing, bang it is a dead animal. The the state should not have set a season ending date, the season should have been closed when the quota was filled.”

            Hmm… well here in the Midwest we often fail to achieve WT deer quotas at all. Does that mean we should leave the season open all year. I think what Immer is commenting on is the rather quick “slide” toward nuisance/vermin/unprotected status.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Elk,

            Sorry I was the burr under your saddle. My comment was meant in fun, in reply to Mark, and I said as much. Second season for wolf hunting. Maybe, just maybe it would be better to err on the side of caution with an animal just delisted, if it is to be properly managed. Otherwise, starts to ring of Wyoming.

            Instead of going forth in fits and starts, perhaps if both Montana and Idaho had followed a path set forth by Mech none of this hand wringing would occur. Wolves are a volatile issue, no matter what side of the fence one finds theirself. Set a season and live by it.

            Elk have been around for quite some time and management numbers are relatively easy to attain. No one knows for sure how many wolves are out there, and the more nebulous the season, the more noise is going to be made.

        • avatar Elk275 says:

          “Hmm… well here in the Midwest we often fail to achieve WT deer quotas at all. Does that mean we should leave the season open all year.”

          In Montana the pheasant season closes January 1st where as other states to the east the pheasant season closes January 31. Montana could without any harm to the pheasant, Huns or chuckar populations kept the season open until January 31, but most of these birds are found on private property and by the end of the year landowners have gotten tired of hunters.

          I would think that in the mid-west with whitetail deer that landowners would start to tire of hunters and hunting, so the game department shuts down the season.

          It sounds like your academic emphasis is a combination of social sciences and wildlife management, which today . It would be great to take one of your classes

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Sorry Immer –
          I didn’t mean to communicate displeasure. I do think it’s important to not confuse the purpose, goals and objectives of wildlife management – that’s all.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Yes, instead let’s just compare them to a sporting event, lol.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Mark,

            All’s fine in discussion. Too bad some of these conversations could not take place over a few beers, or libation of one’s choice.

            That said, look at how this thread has grown in less than 24 hours. the topic: wolves.

  2. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Just sad. Perhaps wolves are difficult to hunt, but too bad. Talk about moving the goal posts!

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      Immer—Montana didn’t just move the goal posts…thanks to Tester’s budget wolf rider, they moved the whole friggin’ stadium…

  3. avatar Mike says:

    Wait a second…I thought the wolves were lurking in the shadows at the edges of town and stalking rural bus stops? I guess thre aren’t as many wolves as hunters thought.

  4. avatar Savebears says:

    “perhaps with the goal of extermination.”

    Come on Ralph…geeze!

    • avatar Savebears says:

      I can honestly say, if the residents of any of these states wanted extermination, they would be exterminated, despite the law. This has not happened!

      • avatar Savebears says:

        I will add, the Montana and Idaho, would have been better off stating their goals, that despite anything they were going to kill a certain amount of wolves, not a quota.

      • avatar Mike says:

        It did happen, Savebears. History 101.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Key is Mike,

          It almost happened, but it has not yet happened again. There are quite a few wolves running around out there, there is no way in hell we could exterminate them again.

          • avatar Mike says:

            No, it happened. And it did so because of a lack of education and a plethora of misinformation lapped up by knee-jerk reactionaries.

            We’re approaching that now….

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Mike,

            You stupid ass, we are no where near where we were in the early 1900’s, you are living a fantasy, and I would suggest you stay out of Montana, it may not be good for you to interact with those that live here.

            And no that is not a threat, just a piece of advise based on your never ending hate of our culture..

          • avatar Mike says:

            Savebears –

            I’ll ignore your insult because I understand you have it difficult. That said, the amount of anti-wolf hate and misinformation saturates the hunting community of the Northern Rockies. Even Wyoming has a huge “shoot on sight” zone that rivals what people did to the wolf to exterminate them. Yes, we are approaching the level of ignorance that led to the elimination of the wolf. Even congress and the president got involved in attacking the Endangered Species Act full bore by removing the animal from protection. These actions were the result of an extreme anti-wolf hysteria.

            You are very good at sweeping things under the rug.

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        Savebears,

        Come on now. I wrote “Anti-wolf groups back the Montana extension and would like a longer hunt, perhaps with the goal of extermination.” I wrote groups, not residents of Montana, and I wonder why you jumped to conclusion that groups are same as Montana or the people of Montana?

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Ralph,

          Based on the last couple of years, it seems as if it has become one in the same if you are reading the current press releases from the pro wolf side, I didn’t jump to any conclusion, I simply felt you were being unreasonable..as many here are..

          • avatar Mike says:

            You know what’s unreasonable, Savebears? A bunch of guys with control issues who have nothing better to do than to make up stories about wolves, and to stir up resentment in a populace that has more guns than brain cells.

            Unreasonable is tracking wolves via GPS, dragging out pups from a den and shooting them. Unreasonable is shooting wildlife from a flying craft as if it were an arcade game. Unreasonable is not following science in wildlife decisions. Unreasonable is following the emotional guesswork and tantrums of Neanderthals with little understanding of how an entire ecosystem works.

            It’ not about being pro-wolf, it’s about being pro-humanity.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            See Mike, you have revealed you are screwed up, there is no humanity involved in this issue, yes, there is compassion, but humanity does not come into it. As far as the current legal hunts, there is not gunning from planes, there is no dragging pups from dens, there is no legal use of poison. nothing you mention in your post is currently happening in Montana, not legally.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            Mike

            How do you track wolves with a GPS? I have a Garmin 60cs and I do not know anyway to track wolves with it. It only works in your mind. There is no airplane hunting of wolves in the NRS and there are no entire eco system left in the NRS.

          • Savebears,

            In my news story, I didn’t offer my opinion. I wrote “Anti-wolf groups back the Montana extension and would like a longer hunt, perhaps with the goal of extermination.” That they want this is matter of fact because they say it all the time and they write about it, and they have been saying it in the request for public comments. Their views are on public record.

            If you felt I was being unreasonable, I suppose that means you think it is unreasonable that a story should be written about the extension of the wolf hunt.

            I didn’t think so, and neither did a lot of other media who wrote their own stories on it.

    • avatar Mike says:

      There’s nothing overblown about that. You’re and exception, Savebears. Most hunters want them gone.

      • avatar Dusty Roads says:

        Some on the ground observation here…

        In the Madison Valley area (Yellowstone boundary to Ennis, MT), after casually asking hunters whom I encountered in public places during this hunting season I must say that the trust level of non-hunting individuals and groups should be where it is – at the floor level and lower.

        I encountered a majority of hunters who were not only interested in killing wolves but that some even went so far as to brag about their tally to date by showing cell phone pics of a pile of dead wolves – at least a dozen of them – and claiming that they “killed all the wolves in their area” (they claimed they were from around Billings) so now they were in the Madison Valley to kill wolves, specifically. There were a large number of hunters in the Valley to kill wolves specifically and some didn’t care if they had tags… (“We’re always hunting for wolves, they need killin’.”)

        After talking to these folks I came to the conclusion that a probable large number of wolves being taken in MT, and most likely in Idaho, are not being reported in order to increase the number of wolves that actually get killed and to bring on this call for extended hunts due to lack of official quotas being met… I suspect is probably due to intentionally unreported take.

        I know the hunters among us will try to pass this off as a small number of “hunters” out there but when you consider how a random sample of these guys are all for killing off the wolves present with such an overwhelmingly unified hatred (and glee in the idea that they get to kill them) and the fact that there are so few game wardens in the field to enforce the rules/law… I don’t buy the arguments of the “hunters’ creed” and all that crap.

        It’s propaganda at best and, like so many other debatable issues, sans guidance from peer reviewed inquiry that is available to “management” agencies these arguments of culture and rites of passage etc… it’s just crap. It is perpetuating a culture of ignorance and special treatment based on killing and the poor decision-making that goes into “management” with no true regard for long term impacts to the environment. It does nothing to educate these people or improve their tolerance of wolves… this sort of management tactic only feeds the hatred and rewards it by allowing these haters to go get their jollies killing what they hate… instead of increasing understanding.

        • avatar william huard says:

          What a disturbing thought. The Fish and Game Depts and the local hunting culture make these unlawful killings a distinct possibility. These “conservationists” are a disgrace. Although hard to prove-I’m sure there are more than “just a few” isolated incidences in Idaho an Montana.
          It tells you everything you need to know about the values of the people there.
          Who cares if it is against the law- blind ignorant hatred is a powerful force.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Just look at the upcoming senate race as a guide. “I hate wolves more than you…..No, I do….I got them delisted……No I did. blah blah blah. Talk about a f*&(ed up value system…..

          • avatar Savebears says:

            The problem is William, how do you know what was posted is the truth? I serious doubts about this story about the Madison that has been posted. Now of course those who are so against hunting have no problem doubting it, they take it as gospel.

          • avatar william huard says:

            It has nothing to do with being anti-hunting. It has everything to do with the “mentality” and the “culture” of hunting and hunters. These people think they own the outdoors and the animals as well. If only they had another constructive hobby.

          • avatar Mike says:

            I see Savebears is sweeping garbage under the rug again….

        • avatar Elk275 says:

          Dusty

          I just came back from the Madison Valley; I rode my mule up to the headwaters of the South Fork of Indian Creek. I saw maybe 20 hunters and briefly talked with several. Never did talk about wolves, but the hunters that I saw and visited with were honest hard working people who would not illegally shoot wolves, these hunters have jobs, family and a position in their communities which they are not going to risk by an illegal actively.

          I am sure that there are a few rotten apples in the barrel, but the barrel is not rotten.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Savebars and Elk275 will never admit that all the anti-wolf hate comes form hunters. They’re in complete denial.

            I’ll ask both of them a question:

            Where does the anti-predator stance come from?

            I doubt they’ll answer it.

            Elk says there are a “few rotten apples in the barrel”, but the truth is the entire barrel is rotten. It is the anti-predator mentality that dominates the mindset of hunters that leads to the attack on wildlife and wild places by politicians and ag across this country.

        • avatar WM says:

          Dusty,

          I am curious about your statement:

          ++some even went so far as to brag about their tally to date by showing cell phone pics of a pile of dead wolves – at least a dozen of them – and claiming that they “killed all the wolves in their area” (they claimed they were from around Billings) so now they were in the Madison Valley to kill wolves, specifically ++

          Did you actually see these “phone pics of a pile of at least a dozen,” and did you truly believe what you saw?

          Ever the skeptic when it comes to this kind of thing, I am thinking your left leg might now much longer than your right one.

        • avatar CodyCoyote says:

          Marauding bands of organized wolf killers working Montana ? I had not heard that yet ( I live 39 miles from the MT border in Wyoming ) , but it’s not much of a stretch , e.g. Toby Bridges , Grand Dragon. As in Ku Klux Kowboys if I were in the mood to write a piece of western fiction with revered deference to Abbey’s Monkeywrench Gang , only peering into the Dark Side.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Dusty Roads,

          I think it is almost certain that many of these good ‘ol boys exaggerate. They don’t illegally kill dozens of wolves like them claim. This is bull, for public consumption and to brag to their buddies.

          However, they have little to fear in way of law enforcement, so I’m all but certain that more wolves have been killed during the wolf hunt than have been reported.

          Likewise, more deer and more elk have been killed that reported. Everyone knows that “extra take” happens during the hunting season (and the rest of the year too) — poaching.

          The estimated number of game animals poached is taken into account when the hunting season rules are set, and if the estimated poaching take of wolves is not taken into account when the 2012 season is set, that will be deliberate, and a attempt to reduce the wolf population further while pretending to be holding a thoughtful, regulated wolf hunt.

          • avatar JB says:

            Ralph:

            They’ve made no bones about trying to reduce the population; I think (*my opinion*) that the political decision makers at the F&G agencies in the West will be happy to get “take” of any form when it comes to wolves. (I’ll note: my opinion is based upon the comments of many of these decision makers; whom have been outwardly hostile toward wolves).

        • avatar Mike says:

          Dusty –

          Sadly, the anti-wolf hate comes from hunters. Some will say, “no, it comes from ranchers” and of course the obvious respons to that is “they’re hunters too”. Sprinkle in a manic fervor and quasi-religion towards guns and you’ve got a recipe for nutjob city.

          We see hunters continue to make the same mistake on this forum. Rather than clearly denounce this faction of hunters for being wrong, they get excuses made for them such as “only a small number are like this”. AS we know, that is not the truth. The anti-wolf and anti-predator mentality comes from the hunting, ranching, and gun community, period. It does not come from anywhere else. And it will never be fixed until these groups respoond to and respect science and a basic moral code.

  5. avatar Jon Way says:

    These actions are doing nothing to give any non-hunting groups any trust that state fish and game agencies will only cater to specific user groups. Another thought that MT and other state agencies might want to consider: we had our 2nd hunt in modern times; many people got to hunt and kill a wolf. That should ease locales concerns about not managing wolves but might actually appease non-hunting groups that we aren’t trying to greatly reduce their numbers, which are still only modest to begin with (~500).

  6. avatar Jerry Black says:

    William…”It tells you everything you need to know about the values of the people there.”
    I spent yesterday setting up trail cams on my son-in-law’s ranch in the Blackfoot Valley. His ranch manager, a native of the Blackfoot, has never seen so much poaching, trespassing, property damage and total disrespect(not just on his ranch but others in the valley.
    YES, the population of unethical hunters seems to be growing exponentially. I see it nearly everywhere I frequent throughout the year.
    SB…..one doesn’t need to hunt from airplanes, they only need to spot wolves and report it to their “ethical” hunting buddies.

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      Jerry, you are a pilot, a Supercub cost $100 an hour to fly and $200 an hour to charter. How many wolf hunters are using a plane to spot wolves?

      • avatar Jerry Black says:

        Just spoke with my son-in-law who owns a ranch in the Blackfoot.
        Today was the last day of the general hunting season which usually brings out the worst of the slobs. Yup, they were shooting across the road at 5 elk on his property and drove into his upper pasture even though it has numerous no-hunting signs and orange paint on his fence posts. I’m sick of hearing “it’s only a FEW bad apples…BS!!!

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Jerry if they are using air spotting, then they are not ethical hunters, it is against the law to spot from aircraft and relay the information to people on the ground.

      • avatar Jerry Black says:

        SB and Elk….I know it’s “against the law”……Does that really matter to these people? As far as enforcement goes, or I should say LACK of enforcement…don’t get me started!
        Elk….all wolf killers aren’t from the lower socio-economic level. In fact many of them are well to do and want a wolf “trophy” for their trophy home. If some out of staters are willing to pay thousands of $$ to travel to Montana to hunt, I don’t think a few xtra $$ to charter a plane is much of a factor. I’m sure that many local hunters have friends that have access to a little Cessna 150.(less cost than a super cub)

    • avatar Mike says:

      Jerry what are the trail cams for?

      Your comments are interesting. The Blackfoot Valley is a beautiful place. Best of luck out there. I’d carry bear spray for my own personl defense. The anti-predator hysteria has revved up the crazies and I have no doubt that’s what you’re seeing. When you lose respect for a species, you tend to lose respect for the ecosystem, private property, and general outdoor ethics.

  7. I would like to see an independent count of wolves done by an outside agency. I don’t trust the Idaho and Montana fish and game departments to do the counting. They have a political mandate to reduce wolf numbers that has nothing to do with biology.
    I think the wolf numbers in both states this year are far below those invented by the state fish and game departments. This year’s hunting success speaks for itself.

    • avatar william huard says:

      Good point Larry. And as far as wolf-poaching goes…..I thought Fish and Game depts were suppose to protect all wildlife- not just huntable game.

      • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        William –
        Wolves are huntable game and wolf poaching violations are investigated and prosecuted as such. You seem unaware of, or forget, that most/all state wildlife management agencies have dedicated non-game programs. Idaho and Montana are no excepeptions. Those programs are also staffed with highly trained and dedicated wildlife management professionals. It isn’t that state wildlife management agencies aren’t dedicated to conservation of all wildlife resources. It seems that you and others simply disagree and disapprove of the programs and the priorites the state programs have established to serve the needs and desires of the state residents those programs serve.

        • avatar william huard says:

          Gee Mark-
          How many people have been arrested for wolf poaching in Idaho?

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            William –
            I can’t give you a report here, but will this week. As you know a number of wolf violations receiving citations have been reported on this blog.

        • avatar Jerry Black says:

          Mark Gamblin….an interesting statement…”Those programs are also staffed with highly trained and dedicated wildlife management professionals”
          Yes and their continued employment is dependent on the number of ungulates and not the number of other wildlife.
          I attended a meeting of ranchers and hunters along with a “dedicated” agency biologist who laughed his ass off when a rancher mentioned running over a wolf on HWY 12….his comment….”Did you back up and run over him a few more times?”
          How can they be “dedicated professionals” when we all know that they are interested in keeping their jobs by adhering to agency and political policy rather than the science they hopefully learned in school.
          MAYBE, there are exceptions.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++I attended a meeting of ranchers and hunters along with a “dedicated” agency biologist who laughed his ass off when a rancher mentioned running over a wolf on HWY 12….his comment….”Did you back up and run over him a few more times?”++

            How can this be? According to Savebears and Elk275, all hunters are hardworking, ethical members of a community who wouldn’t dare risk their places on illegal activity.

            This story right here Jerry, this says it all. If a known biologist says something like this, you know the ENTIRE apple cart is stinking rotten.

            While we hear Fairy Tales of Hunting Lore form Savebears and Elk275, these other stories by you and Dusty seem to paint a far more detailed and realistic picture of what’s going on out there.

        • avatar Jerry Black says:

          Mark Gamblin……from the recent Conservation Biology Seminar in Missoula…http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/speaker-private-landowners-in-west-hold-key-to-saving-wildlife/article_1d69cece-11a1-11e1-b803-001cc4c03286.html
          Note the comment by Hakanson..”Academic scientists often face pressure to keep their work non-confrontational…..
          And these are academic scientists…look what happened to Dr Creel at MSU when he criticized MFWP over wolf quotas. MFWP threatened to withhold $$ and any research contracted with Montana State University.
          Kinda comes down to ..”keep your mouth shut if you have a conflicting opinion”
          Wildlife biologists, who are lower on the scale of these researchers and work directly for state agencies realize the importance of backing whatever the boss says….that’s where their paycheck comes from.

          • avatar Jerry Black says:

            I only wish some of the Montanans, and others, that comment here would attend a “citizens advisory committee for FWP” meeting and a few Commission meetings to see how policy ends up being made.
            The committees are comprised solely of ranchers and hunters and anyone who shows up without camo clothing is immediately suspected of being a PETA spy. I used to video tape the hearings and some day hope to put them together for a u-tube comedy hour.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Jerry B. –
            Your comments here suffer a similar lack of specific examples of the topic of this string – agency data falsification or other attempts to deliberately mislead the public. IF you or others are aware of examples, you or others should bring your knowledge to the attention of appropriate authorities and the public. These are serious accusations that to be taken seriously, require more substantiation than anedotal statements or speculative “must be” assertions.
            I can only say that I have not experienced and am unaware of improper pressure to doctor data, scientific conclusions with respect to wolf management or other wildlife management issues in my own agency.

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      Larry –
      Really? You’re serious? Professional state, tribal and federal wildlife managers, biologists – with advanced degrees who are in this field because of their love for and commitment to wildife conservation – are engaged in an orchestrated conspiracy across state lines to falsify public records (wolf numbers) for the most contentious and closely watched wildlife management controversy of our generation? Oh my.

      Unless you have evidence or at least a compelling line of reasoning for why a reasonable person should conclude that wolf popultion estimates are being falsified …. you posted an outlandish accusation.

      The canard that because the hunting seasons in Montana and Idaho have taken fewer wolves than many predicted – is evidence of fewer wolves in total – has no basis in fact or logic. It’s been explained again and again in recent years of discourse on this topic (this blog included) that based on decades of experience in Canada and Alaska, wolves are very resistant and resilient to traditional hunting practices. Our collective experiences in Montana and Idaho since 2009 only provide further substantiation of that reality.

      • avatar JB says:

        “The canard that because the hunting seasons in Montana and Idaho have taken fewer wolves than many predicted – is evidence of fewer wolves in total – has no basis in fact or logic.”

        Wait a minute? So so the notion that fewer animals taken in the hunt is indicative of a smaller population “has no basis in fact or logic”? I was under the impression that catch-effort population estimation efforts are still widely used in wildlife management, are they not?

        • avatar SAP says:

          “Catch-effort” appears to be how wolverines and black bears are managed. I like to call it the ATM estimator – as long as I can keep withdrawing twenties from my bank account, I’ll assume all is well without really keeping track of deposits or any other variables.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          JB –
          Good question. In fisheries management, it is a measure of angling quality, and may be an indicator of population abundance, but not reliably – for a variety of reasons. Kokanee salmon (landlocked, resident sockey salmon) are an important fishery species in Idaho and Montana. At very low densities, low enough to constitutue management/conservation concern – and depending on the cause of the population bottle-neck, a kokanee population may be heavily skewed towards older, large individuals that are well recruited to angling gear. Catch rates can be high, which could provide an incorrect assumption of abundance in the population. An assumption that high catch-rates reliably indicate high abundance in the population also assumes a relationship to recruitment to the angling or hunting gear and techniques. In that sense, if we know what the relationship of wolf hunting effort/success to wolf numbers is – i.e. wolf hunting efficiency – we might be able to build an predictive relationship that could yield some measure of reliability for estimating wolf abundance based on hunting effort/success. But, the effect of weather and terrain e.g. would make that predictive relationship tenuous at best.
          This is aside from the point I made – that low wolf hunter success equates to low numbers of wolves. If we had no prior understanding of the efficiency of wolf hunting we might speculate about the effect of traditional hunting on wolf population size/integrity but there’s no need to. We already know from decades of experience in Canada and Alaska that wolf hunting by traditional hunting techniques is inefficient and generally will not significantly affect total numbers of wolves. The Montana, Idaho experience substantiates what we already knew. Despite generous hunting seasons and bag limits, low hunter success, few wolves harvested/killed/taken and total wolf numbers remain stable to increasing across those hunted areas.

          Hence, the oft repeated speculation that low hunter success must mean low numbers of wolves is ….. a canard.

          • avatar JB says:

            Thanks, Mark. The catch-effort model is also used for mammalian species, including white-tailed deer. The reasoning you laid out in support of your primary thesis–that wolves are not threatened by sport hunting–I concur with; however, I disagree with the notion that there is no association between wolf harvest and wolf numbers. Certainly, there is good “logic” to justify the catch-effort model of population estimation.

          • avatar JB says:

            “Hence, the oft repeated speculation that low hunter success must mean low numbers of wolves is ….. a canard.”

            The key term at play here is “low”; the notion that lower hunter success is indicative of lower numbers is quite logical.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Mark,

            Any population correlation between collared and non-collared wolves “harvested” as a ratio for the entire population?

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            JB –
            I didn’t mean to say there is no effect on wolf numbers by wolf hunting. There certainly can be. My qualification is/was specific to the reasoning that low wolf hunting success/efficiency suggests low numbers of wolves. Catch per unit effort is a fundamental metric in fish and wildlife management, but needs to be used and interpreted within the sources of error and other limitations that apply to it.

            Again, I think we mostly agree on this topic.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Immer –
            Good question. There should be – precisely what that relationaship is, to my knowledge – we don’t know at this time. Sample size – no. of collared wolves in the population and the number of collared and un-collared wolves in the harvest/kill/take are important metrics for a mark-recapture population estimate. The mark-recapture estimator is a main-stay for fish population estimates and as JB said – for wildlife populations also. If the distribution of marked (collared) wolves and the method of capture (hunting take) meets the basic assumptions of the formula (N=mc/r)the estimator is robust and reliable. An adequate sample size of marked animals in the population and re-sampled animals for the ratio of marks to no marks is essential to the statistical power of the estimate.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Mark,

            I used to do a lab with my students based upon fish population studies. We would stun and and tag fish, release them and then stun and gather and collect data based upon tagged vs untagged fish and based upon the ratio come up with a pretty good estimate of total fish. Only thing is we were using the cheese and pretzel Pepperridge farm fish.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        Mark,
        You and all the dedicated wildlife professionals Work for the state of Idaho.Remember the state that passed a resolution to remove wolves by any means necessary?? Declared a state of emergency in one county by the county commissioners??

        The fact of the matter is Mark, is that you and anyone else involved in wolf management will do exactly as you are told to do or be looking for another job. Period.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Jeff E –
          Of course state employees would, if they are dedicated, responsible employees. As would any employee of any other employer. If I can’t or won’t do the job I am employed to perform, I should be looking for another job.
          I think the point you try to make here is that there may or must be some coercion of IDFG employees by – ?? – to perform professional duties and responsibilities in an inappropriate way. If that is your intent then no, I don’t know of any such coercion.

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            Mark,
            That is the prettiest piece of doublespeak you have handed out in quiet some time.
            To the point
            When IFANG is directed to put suspected cases of wolf poaching at the lowest priority, that is what you will do. That is exactly what Gov. Clem publicly directed a while back and to my knowledge that is still his official position and hence, yours.

            If IFANG is directed to overestimate wolf populations by some percentage for political hay, which is strongly suspected, by both the low kill numbers and the(((official))) count numbers, then that is what you will do.

            If a season is enacted that is egregious, and boarding on unconscionable in respect to length and components of the population that are legal to kill, coupled with disregard for a significant portion of the stakeholders due to the Hegemony that exists in the State Government, and you are directed to support that, either directly or implicitly, that is what you will and have been doing.

      • Mark- I am convinced that most of the supervisors in the IDFG have been corrupted by the political pressures applied by Otter and others in his administration. Too many of you worry more about keeping your jobs in this down economy than you do about making sure that wolves are treated as “Valuable Game Animals”. “Management Objectives” are more about maximizing income to the IDFG than biological management. You get paid forbeing the presstitute for the department.
        As for wolves being HARD to find, you are talking to someone who has photographed hundreds of wolves in the wild and who has observed many others that were too far away for photos. Wolves are NOT hard to find. They leave tracks just like any other animal and they howl at least twice a day. They are very habitual in their travels. I use these traits to get close to them. I get “bird dogged” by other photographers in Yellowstone who try to use my knowledge of wolves to get photos of the ones I have found.
        I do not photograph wolves in Idaho during the hunting season because I don’t want hunters using me as a “bird dog” to kill wolves. The current wolf hunting season in Idaho takes up most of the year, especially when wolves look good for photographs.
        You can see some of the wolves I have photographed by clicking on my name above. Wolves are EASY to find.

        • avatar JEFF E says:

          Due to the fact that wolves are highly regimented and act in highly predictable ways in a given situation contributed to them being easily found and killed throughout history. The current “they are sooooo hard to hunt and kill” is a complete fallacy

          • avatar Harley says:

            Jeff E
            I would think if wolves were that easy to hunt and if there were as many poachers out west that is being claimed by some here and if it’s true that people like Mark Gamblin aren’t doing their job or they are just following politically charged orders from people paid off by the ranching industry, that there shouldn’t be a wolf left at all…

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            Harly,
            The state governments in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming ARE the livestock industry.

            As far as completely killing off wolves or another species by poaching, probably not,and (I) have not made that claim,at least not until the economy gets so bad that that is what people have to do for food for the family, however to say poaching is not happening at all or at every opportunity would be an incorrect assumption.
            In the case of wolves not only is one assured of the sympathy of the state government it is also the commonly held view that shooting a wolf does not rise to the level of “poaching”

        • avatar Jerry Black says:

          Learned 2 new words today….PRESSTITUTE and BIOSTITUTE. And they both seem to relate to employees who work for wildlife agencies and who are afraid to speak the truth.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Larry Thorngren,

      This will need to be done (third party wolf count) if Idaho, Montana, and (soon) Wyoming wolf population numbers are to have any credibility among those who support having wolves on the landscape.

      Anti-wolf folks did not believe the federal numbers, Pro-wolf folks will not believe those states that do not appear to be neutral wolf managers. That means the 3 states I just listed.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        Future wolf counts:

        Three teams head up to the hills with call boxes, one team with observers from a cross section of interested parties.
        High on a ridge this party lets loose with the call boxes.

        The other two teams with no observers, now on two different ridges separated by several miles Answer the first team back with there call boxes. In addition if there are any resident wolves, they also chime in.
        IFANG “dedicated professionals” turn to the observers,”see!! there are plenty of wolves in them there hills”

  8. avatar Savebears says:

    Someone makes a claim of rampant wolf poaching on this blog and you guys believe it, then others show doubt and you don’t believe them, sounds real balanced, that is the problem with these issues, people pick and choose what to believe. I have seen no evidence of rampant wolf poaching going on..but I am sure that will make no difference!

    • avatar Jerry Black says:

      SB….I haven’t seen wolf poaching either, but I see LOTS of evidence of moose, elk and deer poaching. Why would a hunter not poach a wolf when he’s got no problem with poaching an ungulate?

      • avatar william huard says:

        Saying there is “no rampant wolf poaching going on” is almost as good as “you can’t raise taxes on the job creators” or “we don’t have a revenue problem we have a spending problem”

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Keep that half glass empty attitude William, it is sure to make for a fulfilling life.

          By the way, when was the last time you were in Montana and how many actual Montana residents do you know William?

          • avatar Chris Harbin says:

            It does not matter if he lives in Montana or even visit there. I’ll assume for now that William is a resident of the United States and therefore has a vested interest in wildlife and public lands (if he wants to). Montana is part of the U.S., not the other way around.

          • avatar william huard says:

            All you have to do is listen to the Governor of Montana, the Senators, the Fish and Game Dept, and from that you get a sense of the attitude these people “in power” have toward the wolf.
            You have blowhards like Toby Bridges always talking about killing wolves….Do you think anyone has investigated him?

        • avatar Mike says:

          William –

          You nailed it. Lots of denial going on.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Jerry,

        Why is it so hard to realize that most don’t poach, yes there is a certain criminal element out their that will take the shot, but it is not the majority.

        • avatar WM says:

          It has been my recent experience to learn there has likely been alot more deer/elk poaching by good folks (unemployed) than I ever thought possible. I even know a couple of these people, and under normal circumstances would not hesitate to turn them in, if I had more facts. However, I expect a couple hundred dollar fine and potentially a ban on hunting for awhile might do their personal situations any good. The animals taken spend a fair amount of time on their property, and are otherwise a nuisance, as in jumping the fence to get in the vegetable garden, or eating the landscape plants, and tearing up the lawn.

          I have no first hand evidence of their doing this, but the rumors, and even admissions of doing so, seem to confirm it. These are family people, with kids at home, and the parents have been laid off from their long term employment as administrators/teachers/construction – both government and private sector jobs. I doubt they would do this, except for the necessity part, and I am pretty sure would not do it during better times.

          • avatar Dusty Roads says:

            Some answer to, hopefully, diffuse the heat here.

            First-hand knowledge of the images, sure looked real. Regardless, they were here admitting intent to kill wolves with or w/o tags to their reckoning. It was the sentiment that was the wolves “needed killin'” that was the subject.

            Most of the hunters I spoke to were from outside the area (Gallatin and Madison counties). Many of the locals had no interest in hunting something they couldn’t eat though some would certainly take shots at wolves if they encountered them. Some bought tags to make sure they could “have the pleasure” of doing so without consequence. Some, very few, expressed an appreciation for the wolves and spoke of their role within the ecological profile.

            n~70 hunting individuals within the 2 county area. (Unscientific survey.. just satisfying a personal curiosity and because the opportunity was there.)

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Dusty,

            In my many years of hunting as well as working with agencies and being in the field, the one thing I have found constant over the years..

            People often times brag about things they have not really done. Pony up to the bar, and your going to hear 100 different stories if you talk to 100 different people..

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Also,

            I really don’t think it is possible to diffuse the heat on these issues, there simply to sides and both sides are dug in, tooth and nail.

          • avatar SAP says:

            Re cellphone photos of piles of dead wolves: Wolf photos (dead or alive) get recycled so much in anti-land, I would not put much credence in what some guy has on his droid.

            I agree there’s a good probability that a lot of wolves are getting shot and left in the hills. It’s happened before. But I’d say the tough-guy talk and posturing (up to and including having bogus photos on one’s cellphone) may exaggerate the problem by a factor of five or more.

          • avatar Daniel Berg says:

            It’s difficult to get any accurate picture of what’s going on out there right now. I’ve heard a number of stories about poaching wolves, and most of them start out with, “I know a guy who….”.

            I just don’t buy most of it. It’s almost like a badge of honor to some rednecks to have had some sort of an experience with wolves that they’re able to throw into the conversation when the topic comes up. “I was chased by wolves……I know a rancher who has shot 20 wolves……I see huge wolves around my property all the time…..blah, blah, blah”.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            WM,

            Lest it be thought I have no empathy for my fellow man, allow me to say it would be a false conclusion to make. I spent a large portion of my early youth with tomato soup and hot dogs and beans.

            But to borrow a line from Doctor Zhivago, ” I told myself it was beneath my dignity to arrest a man for pilfering firewood. But nothing ordered by the party is beneath the dignity of any man, and the party was right: One man desperate for a bit of fuel is pathetic. Five million people desperate for fuel will destroy a city.”

            Perhaps an overindulgent analogy, but nevertheless rings true. I would think, from some of what I read and have experienced, that rural communities and neighbors would lend a hand rather than having to turn a blind eye when a friend/neighbor is down on their luck.

          • avatar Mike says:

            WM –

            When I used to hunt, every single landowner in the U.P. we came across poached animals that came onto their land or nearby land. They also bought hunting tags and followed firearm rules.

            I knew a guy who had an extensive trail system of traps, baiting stations, and even kept a tall woodpile formed in the shape of a V where he’d keep apples from the apple orchard across the road. When the deer ate the apples (or a bear), he’d fire his rifle from a window of his house, using it as a blind. Because of the nature of the wood pile, the animal could not run straight away, it had to run either left or right, giving him a chance at a broadside shot if he missed the first time.

            Almost no one respected wildlife laws, fish or fur. Those that did were property owners from out of state with no hunting signs posted.

          • avatar WM says:

            Immer,

            I used to think the same thing. Times have changed in my belief. In this same area the local labor union for County workers (Teamsters) voted not to participate in collective bargaining that would have meant a few furlow days for members, but kept some other workers from being laid off (including some members). These folks will then need the fraying fabric of the social safety net because there simply are not jobs for those who have been displaced.

            So much for helping out during tough times. I won’t tell you what I think of most unions these days, especially Teamsters.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            WM,

            Tough times in which we live. 16 million kids living at or below the poverty level. And the collective might of our leaders: political; spiritual; business; and labor jointly are remiss to do anything to solve it.

        • avatar Jerry Black says:

          SB….tell that to the landowners who have orange posts everywhere,yet their barbed wire is cut and whose gates are trashed etc.
          Why do you think more ranchers are posting their property?
          Hey…I no longer hunt, but if a family NEEDS food I have no problem with them LEGALLY killing something.
          I thought slob hunters from Texas who came to New Mexico where I lived and hunted were bad…..they don’t even compare to the slob, unethical hunters and poachers here in Montana.
          You hunt with a long bow NOT a compound bow ( That’s the way it should be and if it were up to me that would be the only way to hunt). Those like yourself have developed a respect for wildlife and private property….Why?….maybe it goes along with work ethic in that you have to work your ass off to fill that freezer.
          You seem to be rather isolated where you live (the North Fork I think you said) and probably hunt that area exclusively. Maybe things are different up there. What I see is hunters from the “big” cities, Missoula, Helena, Bozeman that probably never fire a shot between hunting seasons, stock up on beer and chips, load their ATV’s on to their big rigs, say adios to their wives who they’re escaping from and head out to kill something regardless of where it happens to be standing.

          • avatar Dusty Roads says:

            A little more specifically…

            The cell-phone photo (real or photoshopped), whether an embellishment for the sake of posturing or whatever is part of the mind-set… it is a display of ignorance. Ignorance of the animal being hunted is, in my reckoning, like going out to fly fish with no knowledge of what kind of fly to use.

            Ignorance by choice is neither manly nor a virtue, it only serves to perpetuate an injustice.

            The fact that the majority of hunting parties from outside the area but from within the state were in the valley to hunt wolves and trophy elk as their primary target and nearly all from out of state were in the valley to get either a trophy elk or wolves or both is disturbing. To hear them talk of anecdotal “reasons” for hating wolves revealed that it seemed to be the most common topic of discussion among them.

            This is an example of what the lack of sound decision-making on the part of F&G agencies, all of them, does. It’s all politics and not much other than attempts to sway the believers’ minds and offer them further justification for persecution of a species that harms few but fuels the propaganda machines and misinforms those who can’t or won’t think for themselves because they “believe” something rather than know something. Education of the public isn’t even a consideration that anyone would be able to discern on the part of the agencies… Too bad so many believe in the blissfulness of ignorance.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Jerry,

            Yes, I live isolated, but believe me I am not as isolated as you think, I choose the live where I do, I choose to be isolated from both sides, I see what is going on, I understand what is going on, believe, my head is not in the sand

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        Jerry Black,

        You wrote, “I see LOTS of evidence of moose, elk and deer poaching. Why would a hunter not poach a wolf when he’s got no problem with poaching an ungulate?”

        Absolutely, how can we forget all all big wolf hating, elk and moose lovers who have been hauled in for poaching not wolves, but elk and moose?

        • avatar william huard says:

          I’ll be waiting for Mr Gamblin to tell me how many people were cited for poaching wolves in Idaho….I can’t recall one….
          Wasn’t it the nutjobs in the Idaho Legislature that passed a law(or tried to) saying there could be no involvement of law enforcement personnel in relation to wolf poaching?

          • avatar Salle says:

            Yup… and it hasn’t changed a bit. In fact, they seem to be hoping that a lot of poaching goes on that they have no intention of investigating from the sound of the pontificating going on in the gov’s mansion and all around the state.

        • avatar Craig says:

          What percent of Hunters do you think poaches Ralph?

  9. avatar rick says:

    About three months ago, I happened to be in places where hatred of wolves was being discussed. I was amazed by the extreme passion. As a result, I read 3 books by wolf experts. All of the authors talked about the wolf hatred. None of them had a great answer for why wolves are so hated by some. They all did talk about the real problem being a mix of politics and people perception. So, I am left with not understanding the hatred myself.
    This is what I know:
    1. Wolves are very little threat to humans. They harm way fewer humans than any other large carnivore, domestic dogs, and even hunters (accidents). No human has been killed in the lower 48 states since the reintroduction in 1995.
    2.According to a 2008 study by UDSA, wolves were responsible for less than one third of one percent of sheep deaths in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.
    3.According to the Yellowstone study of wolves, wolves are a “keystone” species. The study detailed all of the eventual positive environmental affects of wolf reintroduction.
    4.Things like weather, disease etc. have a much greater affect of deer and elk populations that do wolves.
    I do believe that wolves require management, just like any wild animal.

    • avatar Mike says:

      The wolf hatred (and general anti-predator hatred) seems to be created by several different streams of thought and circumstance:

      1. The hateful position of wildlife and wild spaces by the NRA which started in the 90’s seems to have infected much of the hunting community. The NRA is looked at almost as a deity by the hunting community, and much of what they say is perceived as gospel.

      2. The fading of rural towns. Lack of jobs, few other opportunities for self-enhancement.

      3. Gas prices. The more it costs folks who spend more on their trucks than their houses to fill up, the more they need a venting symbol. The wolf is such a symbol.

      4. Lack of culture and exposure to different cultures. It’s hard to see “crazy” when you’re in it. The single best thing for wolves would be for all the hunters and ranchers (one in the same, BTW) to spend a few days in an urban area conversing with different types of people.

      5. Ranching community propaganda. They have the bullhorn in the local media, and they make sure it gets played. They teach these poor values to their kids, and so on and so on.

      6. Focusing on game animals only while ignoring facts about local ecosystem. Individuals who only learn about their target game fail to see the bigger ecosystem picture, and this results in species ignorance, which in turn leads to species hate.

      7. Politics. When the economy is terrible and people are desperate, you have politicians who can only be elected by trying to scare the electorate. Tester and Rheberg are doing this right now, and it’s not only a local embarrassment, but a national one. Their vitriol is triggering even more anger, and wildlife and outdoor ethics are taking the brunt.

      All of these things conspire to form the anti-predator mentality that plagues the hunting and ranching communities of the Northern Rockies. Right now, the wolf happens to be the venting symbol for people who are very unhappy. In years past, it was African Americans who were a venting symbol. But since that’s not politically correct anymore, the wolf has taken that place. The language is not all that different from the two scenarios.

      It’s going to take large scale education to change these views.

      • avatar william huard says:

        And one more thing about the NRA. I have a good friend that works for a wildlife advocacy group in Pa. She worked for several years to get the Pa legislature to ban “slob” pigeon shooting. These”hunters” shoot disoriented birds out of a springloaded box, and they leave injured birds among the dead ones in piles, and then go have lunch…..The NRA at the last minute came in and quashed the pigeon shooting ban with one of their “hunter alerts”, saying that the hunting heritage was under assault….
        Talk about loons

      • avatar STG says:

        Mike:
        Very insightful commentary!

  10. avatar Immer Treue says:

    There were rumors of a 25 member wolf pack with accompanying pictures near Weippe, Idaho. Another source said they were in the Lolo. Low and behold

    http://lmtribune.com/blogs/scrawl_of_the_wild/article_19e6b246-1550-11e1-aef1-001a4bcf6878.html

    Photo lifted from a BBC documentary of wolves Wood Buffalo national park in Canada.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Immer Treue,

      I had meant to expose this fraud myself, but forgot. I’m glad you did it. So many of their photos are pure bull and fakery.

    • avatar Barb Rupers says:

      The picture has been credited as being in Weippe, Soda Springs, and the Lolo Pass area. Last week I received an email from a relative in Idaho stating “Bobby’s friend Rusty Latray’s brother took this photo from a airplane this morning over by Lolo Pass. 24 wolves”.

      There were over 200 comments on the Outdoorsman’s blog; nobody questioned the validity of the claim regarding the location of the pack, at least one person remarked that they knew the picture was circulating in emails as being near Weippe rather than Soda Springs.

      Weippe ID
      http://outdoorsmans.blogspot.com/2011/11/weippe-wolf-pack-spotted.html

      Soda Springs ID
      http://www.facebook.com/eastmanshuntingjournals?sk=wall&filter=2

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        Barb,
        just an educated guess as I don’t read any of those blogs, but did Saddle Bags Bartell account for about 1/2 of those posts?

  11. avatar Dawn Rehill says:

    So the question is how to deal or control this animal ? It is such a love/hate thing like the shark . I have always said you can not control wildlife, it’s a given . But we will try to do it . But I will say that because of this website I have learned more and shared the news , so thank you for thst . Bottom line in my eyes is the money, who loses that their business is going under not because of the wolf but slow sales or the stockbroker that wants to bag a animal, but may not , not good for the outfitters, it’s a business, sad but true, money talks

  12. avatar STG says:

    Slightly off-topic but on my mind:

    I hike and backpack in the fall during hunting season. I wear orange, my dog wears orange and I carry bear spray. I MAKE A LOT OF NOISE (having had bear, moose, wolf and mountain lion encounters)-IN FACT I HAVE MY BEAR WARNING CALL! Sorry hunters–I probably scare off the wolf or elk you are trying to hunt but so be it. My safety is important and I have just as much right to access public land as you do. Share the woods!

    • avatar rick says:

      STG,
      Just be aware. At least in Idaho, trappers can kill 3 wolves via trapping. That does not limit them to setting only 3 traps. I watched a demonstration of setting and releasing from a trap last week. An athletic lady from the audience could not release the trap even with the instructors guidance. If your dog is caught in one of these traps, it will be panicked and biting anything or anybody within reach. Your dog will be attracted to the traps because they are baited.

      • avatar STG says:

        Rick:

        Thanks for the reminder about traps. The area where I live is not a popular destination for trappers, yet I know they can be out there. When I backpack (usually the Wind River Range, Wyoming) I leave the dog at home since she is bear bait and I would have to carry her if she got injured.

        • avatar Mike says:

          There’s a big difference between targeted trapping for certain animals and what Idaho Fish and Game is proposing for wolves. I know a guy (met him recently) who traps for a living. Although I dislike all trapping, he’s pretty damn ethical within that context and is electronically tethered to his traps. He even has video cameras on scene to check them constantly. That’s a stand up operation.

          This crap in Idaho for the wolves is barbaric.

  13. avatar Eli says:

    Ye all act like a pack of coyotes or wolves.

    Nipping at the hamstrings “of right wing troublemakers who have taken over beautiful country” trying to tear them down with name calling and insults as you stand upon your shaky platforms of self-righteousness.

    You just do not seem to get it.

    The wolves are altering our way of life and our enjoyment of nature radically. They bring disease and are decimating ungulate populations as well as killing stock and pets. We are restoring nothing, for our modern ecology is not the ecology of the past when elk and buffalo and wolves wandered the Great Plains between North Dakota and Texas.

    The wolves need to be managed and held to limited numbers. As are the mountain lions, as are the bear.

    Why do you personally attack people whose jobs and livelihood are threatened by the impact wolves are having on the local economies rather than truly try to uncover the facts?

    We in Ravalli County have been impacted negatively by the introduction and mismanagement of the wolves.

    Address and give our concerns some consideration.

    Or act like wolves and senselessly attack and go for the kill without consideration of the need or the facts.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Eli,

      I say this is a lot of hot air, or perhaps hysteria stirred up as it sometimes is in communities — each person trying to outdo the next with their own scary and greatly exaggerated or false story. Probably a majority of the folks who comment in this forum (The Wildlife News) live in or near Montana, Idaho, or Wyoming wolf country and they don’t see this stuff happening. The only people who consistently say they are menaced by wolves are people who live in communities who didn’t like wolves in the first place.

      If you want to do something to help the natural features of your area you should work harder to get rid of the spotted knapweed and other plant pests that have been allowed to spread all the way from B.C. to the Idaho border (and beyond). Do that and you will have a lot more elk.

      • avatar Paul says:

        I don’t live in those western states, but I do live in Wisconsin where we have a significant wolf population. With the exception of the usual “they are eating all of the deer” hunters whining there are very few problems. If we can live with them in the Great Lakes with minimal problems (and in larger numbers), there is no reason those in the west cannot adapt as well.

        There is a reason why right wing extremists and those who seem live in a perpetual state of fear flock to these states. If it is not “liberal Canadian wolves” it is “the government” coming to take their rights and guns. Does the fear mongering ever stop? Their own politicians even play into this mindset. I really think that many of these people need to have some kind of boogeyman to fear or their lives would not be complete. Even the south is gradually growing out of this mindset. When will these western states join the 21st century?

    • avatar Mike says:

      ++The wolves are altering our way of life and our enjoyment of nature radically. ++

      Bullshit.

    • avatar rick says:

      Eli,
      I agree with you that wolves need to be managed the same as other wildlife. I also believe that the threat of wolves is exaggerated. I have been getting information from 1. books written by wildlife biologists, 2. Fish and Game and 3. USDA. From what I have gathered, the real issues, regarding wolves, are perception and politics.
      I would be interested in hearing, from you, what the real VERIFIABLE issues are. I am not challenging you here, I am interested in real information. I know there is much hype out there. Two of the authors, of books I have read, tied to explain why wolf threat is so exaggerated.

    • avatar william huard says:

      Gee Eli-
      You’ve got most of the talking points down. You forgot “foreign” wolves.
      These decimated ungulate herds you refer too….Where exactly?
      Everyone with half a brain(So that excludes most of Ravalli County) knows that wolf depredation is insignificant- but it sounds so good and generates that critically important sympathy emotion -even if it’s a false premise based on misinformation. We know facts aren’t important to you people. If you know there are wolves in your neighborhood take responsibility for your pets and shut up.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Your one to talk William, maybe you should shut up and take care of own as well, if your beside manner is anything like you post, then I sure hope I never up in a hospital your working at!

        How many people do you know in Ravalli county? Just curious. That was one of the areas that I worked in and there are quite a few in that area that are quite smart.

        • avatar william huard says:

          Gee SaveBears-
          Why am I not surprised that you are super sensitive when anyone criticizes “your people”.
          I’m not the only person that thinks people in Ravalli County are loons. The hysteria over wolves is very amusing.
          These people are prolific at whining. Best I’ve ever heard. Right up there with the ranchers and hunters…..

          • avatar Savebears says:

            You might be surprised William, the majority of that area is not inhabited by native Montanans, the majority of people in the Valley are transplants from Colorado, California and other states, who have moved in and built their mini-ranches, then you throw in the nut case celebrities and you have a real mess.

            I didn’t expect to surprise you. Are you as active in your local issues as you are in others?

          • avatar william huard says:

            Actually I am very involved in my local issues.
            There are 15 colleges within 20 miles of my house. People are educated and informed on the issues.
            Right wingers and conservatives from your neck of the woods have always facinated me- that 20th century mentality is so endearing

          • avatar Harley says:

            Oh Saves Bears, don’t waste your breath or your finger tips. William will never try to see it from anyone else’s point of view but his/her own. It is much easier to throw out insults. Believe me. I must have started a thousands insulting posts in reply to some of the crap I see here. Not the information, just the crap. And I have to exercise some control because what would be the point? It’s like throwing gasoline on a fire. It’s so much more of a challenge sometimes to just ignore the ‘crap’ and focus on the information.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Must be amazing to be so enlightened William! As I said, a great many of the people living in the Bitterroot are not from Montana.

          • avatar Harley says:

            Besides, nothing truly pisses someone like that off more than to realize that their opinion just doesn’t matter

          • avatar william huard says:

            Harley-
            This his/her reference……you still must be talkin to little barry coe

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Harley,

            Come on his opinion matters, just not to those he wants it to.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Harley,

            Not to put you on the spot, but do you feel you have to practice this same discretion elsewhere? 🙂

          • avatar Harley says:

            I talked to someone for an entire year online and found out that ‘he’ was really a ‘she’ so pardon me for the reference. One can never be sure of anyone online.

          • avatar Harley says:

            Immer

            A very nice point! And… no real answer to that one. Not one I’d like to share in public anyway.

          • avatar Harley says:

            I try to respect the information that is given. The name calling drives me nuts, it serves no purpose. I’ve said that before on both blogs. Probably said it more here though.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Harley-
            Read ID Hiker’s post. You don’t have to live in Ravalli County to know these people are talking nonsense. The problem with certain kinds of misinformation is that it gets wolves killed…. For what?

          • avatar STG says:

            Agree Safebears:
            The demographics of Montana include a lot of people who have moved from somewhere else, especially in those communites that are adjacent to mountains and have “amenities” (hate this word). What I find interesting is that the inter-mountain west is becoming more urban and rural areas are losing population. I think that many rural communities are struggling economically and this adds to resentments of those more affluent “transplants” regardless of political affliation.

      • avatar Mike says:

        I spent several days in August camped on the edge of the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness in Ravalli county. Not only did I not see a single wolf, I slept in my tent with complete confidence. However, I did wear my bear spray, but only for the weird drunks I kept running across.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          I didn’t ask you Mike. I know you travel quite a bit in the west during the summer.

        • avatar Elk275 says:

          Mike

          Where do you run across weird drunks on the edge of the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness in Ravalli County. I have never run across weird drunks and I am out here 24/7/365. You seem to have this problem everytime you come west. For those of us that live here how many weird drunks have you come across that would require sleeping with pepper spray?

          There has been several times that I have been a bit cautious at Jackson Hot Springs Lodge in Jackson, Montana, in the Big Hole Valley, because of several different motorcycle gangs.

          • avatar SAP says:

            Elk – you’ll be happy to know that Jackson Hot Springs doesn’t seem to have that biker problem anymore — at least in the last 12 months or so. Aside from a few drunk spring breakers, the times I’ve been there this year it has been downright pleasant. Good food, cold drinks, nice hot water.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++Where do you run across weird drunks on the edge of the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness in Ravalli County. I have never run across weird drunks and I am out here 24/7/365. ++

            It happens consistently. Usually I’m polite and ease out of the conversations. Often I’m approached and asked about my gear. I was camped at a Bitterroot NF campground west of Corvallis and had to listen to drunks through the night. In the morning the father (and I use that term loosely) popped a beer first thing and stumbled over to my site and started to ask questions. The guy was still wasted. He told me he lived in Hamilton.

            The Camp Host was quite dedicated and a good guy, and he gets this behavior often.

            ++You seem to have this problem everytime you come west. For those of us that live here how many weird drunks have you come across that would require sleeping with pepper spray? ++

            When you camp as much as I do and use front country campgrounds as bases you run into lots of great people, but also some bad ones. I don’t spend a single day in a hotel. I cherish the public campgrounds, as they always offer the best views and locations. I can’t help but smile when I drive past the trophy homes and the ranches and can spend all my time not on house repairs and other crap, but actually enjoying the outdoors, which is what most people go there for to begin with, but end up doing nothing but maintaining the second home rather than the activities that interested them initially.

            I’ve had drunks get itrritated when I back out of “hanging out” with them, or when I refuse the offer of drink. I’ve had them ask me for beer, money, and I’ve had some get seriously pissed off. A few encounters were so uncomfortable I ended up moving my site.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        William

        The West Fork of the Bitteroot or hunting District 250 has a quota of 25 elk permits this year. In years gone by it was unlimited for bulls and cows either on a quota or drawing. Wolves did not kill all of the elk, but they killed elk and lowered the population enough so that the FWP’s had to put the district on a drawing basis. Without wolves there would be more elk in the district and more hunting opportunity. Bears and lions have also contributed to the reduction in elk and the FWP’s can increase the kill for both of these animals with the howl of wolfies.

        The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has been managing the state’s wildlife for over 100 years and has done a good job representing the desires of the people of Montana. The population wants maximun hunting opportunties and most people want and would enjoy a limited number of wolves. The people do not want a balanced econ system, that has disappeared in the mid 1800’s, sorry it is not coming back, there are highways, farms and ranches, subdivisions, and more people every year.

        • avatar william huard says:

          Yeah Elk- Montana does a wonderful job listening to hunters and ranchers- you’re right. How does that get to –
          they represent the desires of the people of Montana though- isn’t that a bit of a stretch?
          You’re right again- they don’t want a balanced ecosystem…..
          I could never understand how a wild bison herd could be managed by a state funded livestock agency- is that what you call a good job? For the ranchers maybe- the bison- not so much

        • avatar Nancy says:

          +desires of the people of Montana+

          Elk – have you had the chance to sit and watch the Planet Earth series yet?

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            I do not have a TV. What has the Planet Earth series have to do with the disires of the people of Montana who have the highest per capita of licensed hunters in the nation.

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      Eli,

      “The wolves are altering our way of life and our enjoyment of nature radically. They bring disease and are decimating ungulate populations as well as killing stock and pets.”

      I’ve lived in Ravalli County for the last 27 years. I personally don’t know anyone who has had the quality of their life affected by wolves. While I’ve seen many in Idaho, I’ve only seen one wolf in Ravalli County.

      Livestock losses from wolves?? It’s a known fact that wolves take only a very small percentage of the farm animals lost every year to various causes. I also can’t think of any way that wolves around the valley have changed my lifestyle as you allude to. I hike and camp just like always, take my dogs for walks, etc.

      Pets being killed?? Usually loose dogs or ones chained in the backyard. I mentioned some time ago on this site that a wolf ran close by my dog’s kennel, where I keep them when not home. Rather than complain about wolves, I simply reinforced the fencing and made the kennel impervious to digging. That was five months ago.

      There are people that would like Ravalli County to be like so many other “pacified” areas of the country. Then we get people like Commissioner Suzy Foss that promote nonsense. It’s no wonder the number of hunters is down in the East and West Forks after all the negative publicity put out by this faction. Sort of like cutting their noses off to spite their face.

    • avatar STG says:

      Eli:

      “Our way of life. . . ” You cannot speak for everyone! I live in Montana (since 1978) and I don’t share your perspective. I vote and pay taxes too! There are people who have benefited economically from the wolves and there are people who have suffered economically. Remember coyotes, bears and mountain lion can also prey on livestock. Do you hold the same fierce antagonism doe these creatures? You say that “wolves are altering our enjoyment of nature radically.” Perhaps your enjoyment, not mine. Last winter while backcountry skiing I observed a wolf lope down a slope with incredible grace and I also witnessed, that fall, a black wolf behaving playfully by a lake in the Wind River Range. These were amazing wildlife experiences which I will treasure forever!

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Not possible STG, as posted on this page the majority of people hide in fear from wolves. They have lost everything because of wolves, and they respect no one else’s opinions, you can’t live in Montana, you don’t fit the profile!!!!!

        • avatar STG says:

          Savebear:
          I assume you are being sarcastic? I think the inhabitants of the Rocky Mountain states are a diverse group with varying opinions. I have always disliked binary labels such as “red state” and “blue state.”

        • avatar rick says:

          Savebears,

          “Not possible STG, as posted on this page the majority of people hide in fear from wolves.”
          Could you explain why people would hide in fear from wolves. We have very good data on wolves harming humans. Wolves harm humans the least of any large predator. There has been no case of a wolf harming a human in the lower 48 states, where they were reintroduced in 1995.

      • avatar STG says:

        Spelling correction: “doe” should read “for.” Sorry folks.

  14. avatar wndrvr says:

    I worry about the elk being bothered by wolf hunters when they should be reserving thier energy to survive the winter- where I live in wyoming some winter areas are closed to the public others are not- it is pretty quiet on the winter range. If wolf hunts extend past elk season I envision hunters ATV’s and snow mobiles moving elk on a regular basis while looking for wolves- have any F&G departments thought about the impact to wintering wildlife? IMO the anti- wolf arguement is way overblown and based on emotion rather than reality.

    • avatar Jeff says:

      It is my understanding the winter clousures of big game winter grounds is off limits to all recreationists, including hunters. Occassionally cougar hunters wind up on closed lands in pursuit of their hounds chasing lions and they are reprimanded for violating the closed area boundaries. I know a local houndsman who glasses winter range for big cats, yet he can’t hunt them unless they move to an open area—which is unlikely as all the prey is down low on the steep slopes where food is available.

    • avatar Jerry Black says:

      Mark Gamblin……please respond to this comment from “wndr”.
      wndr…..”I worry about the elk being bothered by wolf hunters when they should be reserving thier energy to survive the winter”

      • avatar william huard says:

        Just to refresh your memory Mark- you were going to get back to us with the list of people cited for wolf poaching in Idaho. No hurry.

        • avatar Paul says:

          William, I wouldn’t hold my breath. I would guess that the numbers are between zero to none.

          • avatar william huard says:

            I’ll be surprised if there are any. Remember good ole Butchie and his legislators gave the marching orders to give it a low priority. I remember when the two sheriffs deputies from Elk City or some town like that posed like a couple of trophy hunters with the dead wolf that they executed for being a “wolf”. These people are from another planet

  15. avatar Nancy says:

    Totally off the subject…. but not really 🙂

    I could almost hear a HUGE, collective sigh of relief this morning when I got up. It came from the mountains surrounding me and I’m pretty sure it had to do with the local wildlife that got up, maybe spent some time mourning their losses and then realized they were finally able to move to other areas or around without the constant threat and harassment of what we humans like to refer to as “hunting season”

    • avatar Bob says:

      Nancy
      Yes the two legged hunters are done. Yet hunting season never ends in the wild it just gets more up close and personnel.

    • avatar Mike says:

      I didn’t use to feel that way, but I do now. It’s the truth.

    • avatar Alan says:

      I heard that too Nancy! Not only that, but the elk and deer are back from wherever they go and hide during hunting season. Just that fast they are back munching in the yard where they have been very scant these past weeks. It’s like they disappear with the first rifle shot and reappear with the last. They are a lot smarter than folks give them credit for! Anyway I love seeing them return. Like old friends or family
      returning for the holidays!

  16. avatar Savebears says:

    Nancy,

    Wolf hunting season is not over! neither is coyote, gopher, skunk and a host of other animals, the guns will continue to ring. I am not a hunter of these species, but know many who are.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      And your point Elk?

      • avatar Savebears says:

        I didn’t think Elk was making a point, I was making the point that hunting season is not over, so get off your high horse Nancy. I am surprise, even you are getting more and more hostel. Didn’t expect to see that.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          Forgive me SB, knee jerk, expected that remark from Elk because I’d responded to his comment. although I’m not surprised that you think I’m on some sort of “high horse and hostile” about this subject.

        • avatar STG says:

          Savebear:
          At another website I posted a comment,”At last I can put away my garish orange vest and my dog’s orange vest.” Given the fact that the wolf hunting season will probably be extended I should probably keep the orange vest on my dog. What do you think? At this time of year I will be backcountry skiing, so I will be accessing terrain that would be difficult for a hunter to access on foot. Should I still wear orange? I get a little more fearful and paranoid each year about being shot accidently by someone. What are your thoughts, SaveBear?

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            STG,

            As long as people are shooting, it would be advisable for both you and particularly your friend to remain in orange. Maybe even put a small bell on him/her.

          • avatar STG says:

            Immer:
            Thanks for the info. I had two bells on my dog this fall. Now that snow is here she gets snow in the bells so they don’t make any noise. When I take my dog for a hike, I try to avoid known busy hunting areas and avoid hiking early in the morning and late afternoon/dusk. I have lived in my community for thhiry years and have a fairly good grasp of the mountains in the area in terms of travel and usage.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            STG,

            During hunting season, I always had orange on my dogs as well as myself, it was cheap insurance that I, as well as my dogs could be identified. We all know that hunting season is going to happen, and it is just cheap insurance wearing the universal color.

          • avatar rick says:

            Savebear,
            I had the data on hunters killing people for a 10 year period, up to 2007. If I remember correctly, the average was 35 per year in the U.S. . I don’t know what would make you choose to not wear the vest. You may also want to become familiar with releasing your dog from a wolf trap.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Rick,

            My dogs have passed, so not a concern for me any longer, as a wildlife biologist that has worked in the field, believe me, I am very familiar with releasing animals from a trap. I have chose not to get involved in the trapping issue, because on a website like this, I know where it always leads. I have trappers close to where I live, I know the majority of them, I don’t trap.

            Don’t fret after working in the field both with an agency as well as an independent, I know how to do things when out and about.

            There is nothing that would make me choose to not wear orange during hunting season..

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Rick,

            Also, it is is a tragedy that people are killed during hunting season, but take into account over 35 people a day(not a year) are killed in the US, just driving to the grocery store..

  17. avatar Craig says:

    Very Interesting to see how the pro-side is becoming so mad and destructive to their own cause.

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      Kind of reminds me of when things weren’t going so well for the anti-side… threatening and encouraging all kinds of law-breaking such as poisoning, SSS, etc. when they didn’t get their way.

  18. avatar IDhiker says:

    Hello Mark Gamblin(IDFG),

    I saw in one of the local papers some comments by Jon Rachael, IDFG Big Game manager, that he was very concerned, due to the size of wolf traps, that other large animals could be inadvertently caught such as bears, mountain lions, elk, and moose. At the same time, he was advising trappers to stick to “remote backcountry areas.”

    Earlier I had asked you how a trapper releases such large, and potentially dangerous animals when out by themselves on a trap-line. You said you’d get back to me on that. I just returned Sunday from a trip to the Grand Canyon and perhaps I missed your reply. Since IDFG is recommending trapping wolves in the remote backcountry, it would seem like IDFG is not likely to respond to help a trapper with such a release.

    I did find a video online showing some men releasing a cougar from a bobcat trap using a catch-pole. But, while one man held the cat down, another released the trap. I can’t imagine how one man could do both. Is IDFG planning to just “look the other way” and accept some losses of other animals to accomplish their wolf goal, or can a lone person release large animals? I’d appreciate an answer.

    • avatar Jeff says:

      A aquaintance of mine traps bobcats and he has on occassion caugth lynx. I asked the same question—how do you release a 40lb cat without getting torn up. He said he throws a coat over them and that they coward without a fight (I don’t know if cougars react the same way) but he acted like it wasn’t a big deal freeing them from a trap. Same for my houndsman friend, if the treed cougar is young or a female he walks up, leashes the hounds, snaps a picture and walks away. I’ve never been that close to a cougar so it is tough for me to imagine.

      • avatar rick says:

        Jeff,
        I have heard lots of stories like this. I do not believe him. In fact, I really really do not believe him.

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        Jeff,

        The cougar in the video definitely put up a fight. Once restrained by the noose on the catch pole, the second man was able to remove the trap, but I don’t think the person with the pole could have hung on to it with one hand, and released the trap with the other.

        As I have said, my only experience is with domestic dogs, and some of them try to rip your arm off. I would guess that a wild animal could at least match this ferocity.

    • avatar jon says:

      That is one big reason why trapping should not be allowed. I want to see mark answer your question idhiker. Trappers can also use snares. What if another animal besides a wolf is snared? What happens?

      • avatar william huard says:

        That’s easy- they hope no one sees it- they shut up, don’t say anything to anyone, and it’s their dirty little secret. Look at the trapped wolf on Nabeki’s site and tell me that’s OK to do to any animal….And we are supposed to just accept what trappers do to animals.

        • avatar jon says:

          So, any animal that gets caught even if it’s not the intended target, a wolf has to wait for 72 hours before a trapper comes and check the traps? Does anyone else find this disgusting? The fish and game and fish and game commission don’t seem to care in the least bit if other animals besides wolves get trapped.

    • avatar rick says:

      IDhiker,
      I watched a demonstration, last week, by an ex-trapper. He set a trap and had a woman in the audience try to open it. She could not and that was on a nice hard surface with no animal,in panic, fighting her. His point was that 1. These traps are baited, so your dog will be attracted to it and will likely get trapped. 2. If your dog gets trapped it will be in a panic and will fight you trying to release it. 3. Animals other than wolves will get trapped. 4.Wolves caught will suffer greatly – hunters are required to check their traps every 72 hours – and won’t get caught even if they don’t comply with that.
      I saw men attempting to release a deer fawn from a trap. They struggled as the deer fought in panic. One, obviously

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        What’s going to happen when someone’s bear or cougar dog gets trapped or snared?

        • avatar Harley says:

          Hey Immer,

          Got some questions about Isle Royale.
          harleychitown-wolf@yahoo.com

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Such as?

          • avatar Harley says:

            I was just wondering if you knew the people that I know that have been involved with the research teams that go in the spring. I didn’t want to mention names here. It’s no big thingy!

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Harley,

            In all honesty, I’ve not been to Isle Royale for ~ 20 years. I keep current with the info, but have had no contact with anyone that I am aware of that does research there. I have met and conversed in the past with the big names including Mech just recently, but also Peterson, and Vucetich.

            This may change in near future as volunteer positions may become available at the IWC.

          • avatar Harley says:

            Hokay, like I said, it was no biggie! Thanks!

        • avatar IDhiker says:

          As per IDFG regulations, it’s the dog owners problem. They should have kept the dog on a leash or left it home.

          • avatar jon says:

            What about hound hunters who let their dogs chase after wildlife and are injured from the natural predators they are chasing? It is the natural predator’s fault or the dog owner’s for letting their hounds chase after potentially dangerous wildlife? It is the dog owner’s fault if their dogs get caught in a trap meant for a wolf, but it’s a wolf’s fault if they killed a hound hunter’s dog right?

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            IDhiker,

            Not a confrontation, but a question. Is your dog on a lead when you hike? On camping trips I would always bring a lead, but rarely was the dog ever on it as he was carrying a pack or pulling a sled. Always figured if dog was coming with, he could do some of the work, usually carry the tent and his own food. Both shepherds that I have camped with always stayed very close by.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            Immer True,

            I was being sarcastic about IDFG regs. No, my dogs are not on a lead when in the wilderness. But, they are kept under control and close. They need to be as one never knows when you might run into a pack string, or wolves etc. As far as traps, I don’t feel that the rights of a few individuals that trap preempt mine. After some unpleasant past experiences, I always carry the necessary tools to deal with traps. We have packed our dogs for years, unless it is a short trip, then it’s just easier to carry their dog food, too.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            IDhiker,

            I figured sarcasm as much. It’s just at times with this type of communication, the lack of affect does not allow true meanings to come through.

            Up until recently, the only tools I carried were needle nosed pliers in case of porcupines.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            Immer Treue,

            I also have carried a small pliers for porcupines for many years. But, I’ve never had to use it. The only time a dog of mine got into a porky was at home in the yard!

            During trapping season you need a strap for conibears (and know how to use it quickly), a wire snippers for snares, and, if finding trapped wild animals bothers you, some bite gloves and a catch pole.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            But, freeing trapped animals is illegal, of course.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            Trapped “wild” animals, that is.

      • avatar Mike says:

        Gruesome.

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      IDhiker,
      I have talked to Jon Rachael and my Wildlife Manager, who is one of our wolf trapping experts and instructors for our wolf trapping workshops. We advise wolf trappers to have a catch pole available for this contingency and provide instruction and techniques for use of the catch pole to safely secure the animal to allow it’s release. We also advise Wolf trappers that should they advertently capture a large carnivore and are not or do not feel capable of releasing the animal on his/her own – to immediately contact a IDFG officer for assistance to release the animal.

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        Mark,

        Thank you for your answer. I’ve got a good quality catch pole that I’ve used on dogs. It works good for them, but, I can’t imagine pulling off a release of a cougar or bear with one, especially alone.

        The question will be whether trappers will call IDFG into the backcountry, which will be very inconvenient for them and sometimes next to impossible, or to kill the animal and reset the trap. I would imagine in the wilderness areas it will be the later, unless the trapper carries a SAT phone and IDFG has a helicopter and USFS permission to land in wilderness ready to go.

      • avatar Mike says:

        It sounds like you guys have really thought all this out. That said, who pays for IDFG employee transport into wilderness areas to free mistakenly trapped animals? And let’s be honest, is setting a trap in the middle of nowhere and catching a non-target species really an “accident”? Seem like a highly-probable scenario–high enough to remove the words “in case” from any description of the activity.

    • avatar Mike says:

      The trapping that IDFG is proposing for wolves is nothing more than terrorism.

      • avatar STG says:

        Does trapping involve a a slow, painful death or is in instant? I don’t anything about it, but I certainly don’t equate it with a fair hunt.

        • avatar rick says:

          STG,

          Never an instant death. I watched a demo last week by a retired trapper from the Yellowstone wolf project. Trapping is brutal.
          I hate to say this but it may be beneficial if a few dogs get caught in the traps (and they will)and the experience gets lots of exposure. I believe that if a large population got familiar with this brutality pressure would be brought upon the politicians.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            rick,

            “I believe that if a large population got familiar with this brutality pressure would be brought upon the politicians.”

            That is a good point. Trapping has always flown “under the radar” so to speak. It’s generally out of sight to the vast majority of the public.

            The cruelty of trapping is, in my opinion, unconscionable. And yet, a very small percentage of people still participate in it. In Montana, trapping is specifically exempted in the Cruelty to Animals statute, which, if not, it clearly would fall under as a violation.

            Unfortunately, even though a trapped animal’s death may be prolonged, very painful, and filled with terror, that is not a concern to fish and game departments. They are only concerned with the species as a whole, not individual suffering.

      • avatar rick says:

        Mike,
        “The trapping that IDFG is proposing for wolves is nothing more than terrorism.” Not just “proposing” it is now in place.
        A ,close to life size,carving of Butch Otter, in the back of Salt and Tears coffee shop in Boise, depicts the Idaho legislature attitude on wolves. The carving is of the governor with a bottle of whiskey in one hand, chewing tobacco in his boot and his foot placed on the head of a dead wolf. Why the chewing tobacco – The governor was busted for DUI, he claimed that the breath test for alcohol was picking up the whiskey that his chewing tobacco was flavored with.

  19. avatar Eli says:

    The wolf men are howling and biting at my heals.
    In truth i do prefer the natural animal to these unmannered throwbacks that prefer insults to reason.

    But, indeed, they have proved my point well by their unfettered howling.

    Some facts:
    I live in area 250 where the season has been limited to 25 bulls, by drawing only, due to wolf predation.

    Would you like pictures of the prize horse that was killed by wolves not long ago up south west of Darby?

    Would you like links to information on Hydatid Disease?

    You could google it.”Two-Thirds of Idaho Wolf Carcasses Examined Have Thousands of Hydatid Disease Tapeworms. By George Dovel, The Outdoorsman, No. 36, Dec. 2009″

    I did not accuse wolves of harming people directly. I have, however heard some rather frightening firsthand accounts of wolves following people out of the woods. I cannot believe that there is no circumstance that they would not attack. It may be unusual, but not impossible. They need to be hunted for their own sake so that they learn to stay away from people.

    Sort of like the cougars in California that chase down bicyclists because they are no longer chased and hunted and are losing their fear of men.

    The wolves have prevented me from taking my son, a fifth generation Bitterrooter, hunting in our traditional hunting area where my great grandfather, grandfather and father hunted. Indeed, a way of life and tratition is being harmed through improper management of wolf introduction. I do doubt that many here have no consideration of the values regarding love and respect for nature that are passed down along with our hunting traditions. It turns out, if you examine the facts, that hunters are very much responsible for the preservation of species and habitat in this nation.

    I see wolves in the wild; they do run through my property. I have observed them stalking calves I have found and examined their kills. They have and continue to destroy the elk, moose and deer population everywhere they proliferate. Whereas I do take pleasure in seeing them I also understand that their numbers must be regulated through trapping and hunting as are bears, cougars, deer and elk etc.
    I once was in favor of their inclusion in our ecosystem.
    That was before I saw first-hand the damage done, learned about the diseases they carry, and came to understand that they are not the timber wolf who was once native to this area, but are a northern cousin, much larger and certainly not endangered.

    When elk wandered the Great Plains with buffalo and wolves there was a balance. But the Elk could see them from afar and also had room to run.

    Now that we have banished the elk to the high mountain canyons, introducing the wolf is like putting one of you in a cage with a large predator with no place to run. It’s rather cruel.

    Tear down all the fences between North Dakota and Texas, let the buffalo and the elk and the wolves run free……

    Please keep them out of the high mountain valleys, however, for the sake of all creatures that live there because they have nowhere else to go.

    In truth, I doubt I will ever meet an ill-mannered wolf….

    Some people however seem always to be looking for a kill rather than an answer as they pretend to be peace loving protectors of the idealized anthropomorphic illusion of Wolf.

    • avatar Paul says:

      Good job Eli. You hit all of the anti talking points.

      Non Native Canadian Wolves: Check
      Eating all of the elk, moose, deer, etc.: Check
      Diseases: Check
      Wolves Stalking People: Check
      Fear of going into the woods: Check

      How’s that for unfettered howling? Oh, and how many people have been infected by the diseases that these “Canadian” wolves carry?

      • avatar william huard says:

        Paul-

        Don’t forget the inference by Eli how cougars are killing all the people in CAL because hunters can’t track em tree em and shoot em. Hunters will save us!

        • avatar Alan says:

          Best I can figure there have been 6 deaths attributed to mountain lions in California since about 1890. Two in the past twenty years or so. An obvious epidemic!

      • avatar Alan says:

        Ooo,ooo, I caught another one: not just any old horse that was killed, but “prize” horse killed by wolves. They only go after the prize animals ya know. I would give anything to hear, just once, a rancher say, “The wolves killed the worthless old nag!”

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Eli,

      All of these things you allege have been discussed here many times. You should read what has already been posted before you make a fool of yourself. If you don’t, we will feed you to the tapeworms 😉

      • avatar Eli says:

        The tapeworms have already been delivered by one of your pets.
        Just because you repeat falsehoods again and again does not make it so….perhaps you are more similar to Fox news than you want to admit.
        The horse was killed, not 10 miles from my door, the elk were killed not 1 mile from my door. The tapeworms are here not 1/4 mile from my door and you choose to insult me calling me a fool rather than acknowledging my concerns. hmmmm the alpha fool barks calling the pack to attack…..is that really such an unreasonable interpretation of your response?

        • avatar Jay says:

          Worms, oh my…run away, run away!!!!! The horror….the horror.

          E. granulosus and E. multiocularis were here long before the wolves, my worm-fearing friend. How about rabies–ever heard of that? Hantavirus (kill all the mice!!!)? Trichinosis? Black plague (guy in Utah died from this from handling a lion carcass)? Visceral larval migrans? Tularemia? The list goes on and on–and to think, all this stuff right at your doorstep…its a wonder you’ve survived as long as you have. Alas, the smoking gun is coming in the form of a tiny little worm.

          • avatar william huard says:

            He must be Chandie Bartell’s next door neighbor. Maybe they share a community outhouse

          • avatar Salle says:

            Elk275 says:
            November 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm

            How do you load a gut pile onto the back of a horse/mule? Interest thought.

            Have you ever heard of those plastic membrane-like things called “garbage bags”? They fit into yer pocket… contractor grade would hold up on a pack trip… especially if you used two layers.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            Salle

            I have never packed the gut pile out and I never will pack the gut out. The western states are not going to make regulations that will require one to pack the gut pile out, to much opposition and the western congressional representatives will block any federal atempt, that is the way it is.

        • avatar Jerry Black says:

          Eli….I’m sure you’re familiar with Dr. Valerie Geist (Univ of Calgary and a wolf “researcher”) As anti-wolf as a researcher can be.
          He lectures about eliminating E. Granulosis and his main solution is for hunters to REMOVE their gut piles, take them home and burn or discard in some other way. To leave them where you killed the elk or deer only spreads the tapeworm which will be transmitted to coyotes, wolves and domestic dogs.
          So….you willing to pack up your gut pile and haul it home???

          • avatar Eli says:

            My point is that the tape worm was brought by the wolves as an unintended consquence of their introduction. This issue, as far as I recal was never mentioned by the psudo science that insisted that they be them to my neighborhood.

          • avatar Ken Cole says:

            Eli, the tape worm was already present long before wolves were reintroduced.

          • avatar Eli says:

            Could be, I dont really know.

            I will look into it.

            I do appriciate the information.

          • avatar Jerry Black says:

            Eli….if you’d do some research you’d find that as far back as the 50’s the tapeworm was found in Utah, Idaho, California, Oregon etc…….

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            How do you load a gut pile onto the back of a horse/mule? Interest thought.

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      Eli,

      Why don’t you do some research on which animals can carry parasites that can afflict humans, wild or domestic. Once you have that list together, we can start a group to promote the eradication of all those animals. Sound good?

    • avatar JB says:

      “Some people however seem always to be looking for a kill rather than an answer as they pretend to be peace loving protectors of the idealized anthropomorphic illusion of Wolf.”

      This is an ironic and rather hypocritical statement from someone who admittedly wants to reduce the wolf population so that he can kill an elk.

    • avatar STG says:

      Eli:I find mountain lions much more frightening, but I am glad they are out there. I would rather die in the woods (animal attack/or other injury) than die in a nursing home! Take your son hunting. Go somewhere else or go where you have always gone. Prepare and don’t let fear take over or keep you from pursuing your passion for hunting or the outdoors.

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        STG,

        I agree.

        Much better to be killed and eaten by an animal than the way many of us will die.

        In my case, far preferable to the Parkinson’s my father had.

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      Eli,

      I don’t think you would take so much flak if you didn’t engage in name-calling at the start of your posts.

      Although a horse was apparently killed near Darby, it certainly was an exception. I am aware of horses and mules being left on open range for years in Idaho’s Frank Church Wilderness with no wolf problems, and there are plenty of wolves in that area. Last month, when I spent 11 days there, the outfitter nearby turned all his stock out during the night, obviously not overly concerned.

      I am curious why you would not take your son hunting in your “traditional” hunting area. The implication you leave is that you are afraid of wolves with your son along with you. If that is the case, I think your fears are unfounded. Certainly, wolves have the potential to be dangerous, and a young child should never be
      left unattended. But, that was and is the case anyway, with other predators such as mountain lions, bears, etc. already present before the wolf reintroduction.

      Although I am personally leery of grizzlies, I still go into the Bob Marshall country. There, as with wolves elsewhere, I take precautions, but realize that wilderness is just that. As far as safety for a youngster, I wouldn’t leave him running unattended around any of the Bitterroot Valley towns either.

      • avatar Eli says:

        Personally, I have no particular fear of the animals in the forest.
        I am much more fearful of groups such as this who refuse to recognize that complex issues such as this need complex analysis and balanced response.

        I have looked at this from both sides and actually was a defender of wolf re-introduction setting myself on the opposite side of many of my neighbors.

        What I have stated are not “talking points” i have learned from others but the results of my own observations and experience as realized that my position was mistaken and not well thought out.

        You may agree or disagree, but I do live here and I cannot take my children elk hunting here because of the wolf. Not out of fear, but because the wolves have reduced the elk population to a point that hunting is not permitted.
        I have no fear of them and have raised my children in the woods on a well-established mountain lion crossing. I have never had an interest in hunting mountain lions, however, i recognize that they do avoid my house because i have a small dog and the mountain lions avoid it as a result of being chased by dogs.
        It seems that many of you condemn hunting as you eat your store bought feedlot and slaughter house meat. My children have been largly raised on natural meat and have grown healthy and strong as a result. It does appear to me that you rather hypocritically prefer an elk be ham strung and eaten from the belly out by a wolf, as it still lives watching, to the clean kills the ethical hunter tries to make. I am clear that many would prefer that I not harvest natural meat for food. Ironically, of the many people I have met who object to hunting or trapping very few have been true vegetarians (a path i have a lot of respect for) They mostly eat their big macs or sushi without taking any responsibility for the fact that they are responsible for a very cruel industry with every bite they take. Neither do they take responsibility for the impact of their hunger for new cell phones and ipods etc. upon the environment at large.
        Many own domestic house cats that play with the mice and birds they kill. You want the wolf, but will not sacrifice your cats for the sake of the more truly threatened species of song birds. Quite similarly to the cat, the way in which many of the respondents here attack me personally, playing to the gallery of the likeminded makes me doubt both the sincerity of their intellects and the true extent of their compassion as they continue to behave like the wolves they pretend to protect nipping and biting but saying very little.
        I see no desire here for true dialog that seeks solutions; mostly just the drum beat of polarization no matter what the cost along with a gallery of hecklers who have very few thoughts of their own just parot the party line while pretending to represent some higher and superior form of social responsibility. The end result may be our own destruction ultimately returning this land to the wolves as we fail to salvage the future from our failure to have true dialog.
        Perhaps I am in error to reflect back upon this pool of thought the image of what I see here. Calling a spade a spade can be dangerous indeed. Once in a while, however, I do discover a deeper soul or perhaps a reasonable person who is willing to stop being a parrot in a gallery and seek their own thoughts while extending a hand to strive to find a common solution that recognizes the importance of multi-faceted solutions to multi-faceted problems.
        You all say, let the wolf be fruitful and multiply and have free range…I say allow responsible agencies to manage their numbers to maintain enough elk so I can continue to eat them.
        I know you do not appreciate my appetites, but I do have a constitutional right, under the Montana constitution, to expect the state to protect my right to harvest elk for food for the good health of my family.
        The wolf has interfered with my rights and I find little recognition here that I have either intellect, or reason. or compassion ,or rights. I am criticized for pointing out that there are those here who do act worse than wolves in their continuous group howl and gleeful attracts. The failure is a perfect reflection of the loss of our culture’s ability to dialog that could result in the failure of our society.
        If society fails, the wolf will be one of the first casualties as humans return to poison to protect what food supply they have left.
        It might be worthwhile to consider the alternative to polarization and seek dialog that produces a reasonable compromise I, in opposition to some of my neighbors, do feel that the wolf can have a place here. It does require, however, that their introduction does not cause destruction of the elk herds. I as well as they, have a legal right to eat elk. I do expect that both of our rights be protected.
        Does anybody here get that?

        • avatar Harley says:

          There are some here that get that Eli.

          • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

            I don´t think if I will ever get it. And I´m not even sure that I even want to get it. To be honest, I grow exceedingly tired of reading on this blog things like „I have a constituional right here and there, to hunt and to carry a weapon and to eat elk or whatever it is and “as a taxpayer or citizen of xxx, I demand this and that” and “ it is private land” which is something like exterritorial anyway. This stubborn insisting on rights and privileges by everybody will not bring conservation a single inch forward. Not that you have a special interest in conservation at all! The only aspect of wildlife conservation that is of any interest is the number of “hunting opportunities”. When it comes to conservation we all – whereever we are – have to step back a little bit and to relieve a few of our rights and privileges. Some should review their attitude in earnest and question themselves if they have already arrived in this century. I especially love the part “the wolf has interfered with my rights”! Great! Guys, Zimbabwe down there in blackest Africa is more readily prepared for wildlife conservation than you, the last remaining superpower and self-appointed benchmark for the rest of the world.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Good comment Peter, it clearly shows the differences between those in Europe and those in the United States.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Go Peter Go!

        • avatar Alan says:

          “You may agree or disagree, but I do live here and I cannot take my children elk hunting here because of the wolf. Not out of fear, but because the wolves (and, I would submit, over hunting, climate change, habitat loss and degradation) have reduced the elk population to a point that hunting is not permitted.”
          I would suggest that you use that amazing human technology, the pick-up truck, and drive a little farther and take your kids hunting. There are plenty of hunting opportunities elsewhere in Montana.
          Most “pro-wolf” (I prefer the term pro-wildlife…wolves are wildlife, just as much as are elk, bears or chipmunks), are in favor of “balanced solutions”. Problem is, with the level of animosity toward wolves in the Northern Rockies, including in the very agencies charged with protecting them, it is clear that that is not happening. Come on, shoot on sight in Wyoming; no quotas in Idaho; more than a third of the population targeted in Montana! Does this sound “balanced”? This doesn’t even include so-called “problem” wolves “controlled” by Wildlife Services”. These three states, especially Idaho and Wyoming, have made it clear that they would like no wolves. Bare minimum wolves is not “balanced” any more than bare minimum elk would be “balanced”. BTW, I’m sure wolves would be happy to hunt with high powered rifles if they could. It’s that whole opposable thumb thing. They use what God gave them. It’s not pretty, but it has worked for tens of thousands of years (and elk are still here).

          • avatar Eli says:

            It is well documented that the elk herds in my area were doing very well until the arrival of the Wolf. There is really little argument or disagreement about this fact. I live here, its possible I might know what is going on around me.
            There has been little winter kill, there is an abundance of food and an abundance of wolves where there were once other living things.
            Why do you overlook the fact that it is the hunters, like Roosevelt, who have worked the hardest over time to preserve wildlife and habitat for wildlife? Instead many here are really just opposed to hunting and use the wolf as an issue to promote their anti-hunting agenda.
            Certainly they are entitled to their beliefs. They are even entitled to try to impose the on me through the democratic process. To mock me for claiming constitutional rights however, puts us back on the path to anarchy or tyranny. Is that really what you wish?

          • avatar Alan says:

            “To mock me for claiming constitutional rights…..”
            ?????????

          • avatar william huard says:

            Another good one Eli-

            The wolf- the almighty biological weapon- used as a tool to strip hunters of their second amendment rights- Check

            Do you, Fanning, Rockhead, Bartell and the other locals get together and panic yourselves into a frenzy with your paranoid delusions?

          • avatar Eli says:

            from peter above:
            To be honest, I grow exceedingly tired of reading on this blog things like „I have a constituional right here and there, to hunt and to carry a weapon and to eat elk or whatever it is and “as a taxpayer or citizen of xxx,

          • avatar Eli says:

            The habitat of 10 thousand years ago simply is not here.

            To suggest that because there was some sort of ballance 10 thousand years ago, in an entirely different landscape, is the root of the scientific falicies of your sides arguments.

            To think we can restore it is absurd. The landscape and the bioscape is forever altered. The mamoth, sabertooth and others had their day and are gone, to be sure, with the help of hunters of the day.

            We do need to strive to preserve what we can and this will only be accomplished with the help of hunters. We are and will remain a dominant political and social economic power in these United States. Work with us for solutions or work against us and mostly fail.

          • avatar Alan says:

            Peter said that he is tired of reading people claiming they have a constitutional right to hunt (they don’t), that they have a constitutional right to eat elk (they don’t), and that they have a constitutional right to carry a gun (they do under certain conditions). He wasn’t mocking anyone, simply stating that he, personally, was tired of reading that; I assume because no one here is trying to take any of those things away from anyone. I, personally, am tired of reading the same BS about giant Canadian wolves, for example, that has been disproved time and again; and I might even be guilty of mocking the statement because I know that it has been disproved and I know that the people making the statement know that it has been disproved, unless they have been living under a rock; but I would never mock your Constitutional right to voice your opinion. In fact, I’d fight for it. That’s what makes America great.
            For the record: Thank you very much to all the hunters through the years, and today, for the hard work they have done to preserve habitat and wildlife. Now, just a reminder: wolves, coyotes, foxes, badgers etc., all wildlife.
            Regarding the elk herds in your area, it is very likely wolves had an effect on them just as they have in several areas; but in other areas they have had very little effect and in some elk populations have increased despite many wolves. Now, unless you can point me to a peer reviewed, scientific study proving that wolves are solely responsible for the decline, these facts would lead me to believe that there are other factors involved, just as there are in the decline of the Northern Herd in Yellowstone where I live.

          • avatar Eli says:

            Montana Constitution Art. IX section 7

            Section 7. Preservation of harvest heritage. The opportunity to harvest wild fish and wild game animals is a heritage that shall forever be preserved to the individual citizens of the state and does not create a right to trespass on private property or diminution of other private rights.
            History: En. Sec. 1, Const. Amend. No. 41, approved Nov. 2, 2004.
            I do have a right to hunt. According to the constitution of the State of Montana. The law also states that this heritage be preserved forever.

            There are too many wolves in area 250, no matter if you understand or not. The studies should have been done prior to their introduction and concurent with. Now that the Elk population is destroyed it is impossible to study why in a manner that can be truly peer reviewed.

            We cannot even get scientists in this nation to agree upon the fact that the glaciers are melting much less why.

            I do not hold much hope that the scientific process is going to solve this problem.

            Certainly not in a way that is going to restore what is lost to me, in violation of my “rights” and the obligation of the state to preserve those rights.

          • avatar Alan says:

            “Montana Constitution Art. IX section 7”
            Eli, I stand corrected. I was talking about the United States Constitution and naturally assumed you were as well. I do not see where it guarantees you the right to hunt elk, though, nor does it guarantee that you will be successful in any given unit, or at all. My next door neighbor brought home a huge 6 point bull the other day in the back of his pickup. I hate to see that, but as you say, he has a right to do so as long as he did so legally. I guess my point is that no one is stopping you from hunting except you. Well, and the fact that the season is now over. You see, if there are as many wolves in your area as you say; and as few elk, your problem will soon be solved: the wolves will leave and go find the elk. Without the wolves the elk will soon return (kind of what we mean when we talk about “Nature’s balance”). I suggest that next year you do the same (go to where the elk are. That’s the “hunting” part of hunting.) Meantime you can still hunt a wolf at least until Dec.31, if you have a tag. Last I checked they’re “big game” and the way you talk should be pretty easy to find.

        • avatar IDhiker says:

          Eli,

          I appreciated your comments, not because I agree with all of them, but because you were sincere.

          I am glad to hear you are not fearful of wolves in the woods, as there are many who are. As far as being a hypocrite, my wife and I have long ago changed to “practice what we preach.” We are vegetarians and do not buy any meats, including fish. But, I used to hunt and ate meat for most of my life. Personally, I do not have any issue with hunting and those that practice it ethically. You are mistaken, though, about the necessity of eating meat to be healthy and strong. It is a choice, not a requirement.

          I agree with you that people need to look for solutions, and allow “responsible agencies” to deal with the wolf issue. Unfortunately, that is not what happened. I would have been content with a more moderate management of wolves in both Idaho and Montana. But, after claiming the “pro-wolf” side was unreasonable earlier, once the “anti-wolf side was given control they also jumped to the extreme, just as they claimed the other side did. Perhaps if Idaho had gone with a managed population goal of 500-600 wolves statewide as they originally were willing to compromise with, and Montana did not attempt to kill 220 wolves which FWP officials admitted they could not sustain, this wouldn’t be a controversy now. Everyone wants total victory.

          Unfortunately, many people like yourself appear to be siding with the political side of the spectrum that is manipulating you, and at the same time, destroying what you desire. For example, cynical politicians are stridently advocating against the wolf, and for the hunter, while at the same time they approve every subdivision etc. without regard to winter range for elk and deer. People of this group, such as Dennis Rehberg, trumpet this anti-wolf rhetoric and how much they are a friend of the sportsman. At the same time, they do everything in their power to destroy the very wildlands that sustain the elk you desire to hunt. They’ll turn Montana into what almost everyplace else is – a sterile environment, overly “developed,” and with little freedom for any of us. Be careful who your friends are.

          • avatar Alan says:

            “At the same time, they do everything in their power to destroy the very wild-lands that sustain the elk you desire to hunt. They’ll turn Montana into what almost everyplace else is – a sterile environment, overly “developed,” and with little freedom for any of us. Be careful who your friends are.”
            I really don’t know why people here have so much trouble looking at so much of the rest of the country, California, Texas, New York, Illinois, you name it, and see what the future holds for Montana (Wyoming and Idaho too). When Conservationists, Environmentalists, whatever you want to call them, advocate for more Wilderness or against a dirty power plant or pipe line, they aren’t trying to “lock up” land or keep people from getting jobs; they are trying to protect and preserve “The Last Best Place” so that our grandchildren can enjoy clean air, wild things and wild places just as we do. They recognize that while, by necessity, money and jobs are driving forces in our modern lives, they should not be the only driving forces. One thing hunters, non hunters, newbies and fifth generation, environmentalists and ranchers can all agree on: quality of life around these parts is pretty darn good.
            “They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot….” And once it’s paved, it’s gone.

          • avatar Eli says:

            Thanks,
            You would probably find that I agree with more of your positions than I disagree with.
            But still, there is a pack of varmits here who would impose their views without regard to law or good social order much less reason or dialog.
            No wonder its impossible to find consensus about anything at all and are left to power politics and social maniupulation to accomplish any goal at all.

          • avatar william huard says:

            If you are going to insult us varmints, at least have the courtesy to spell the insult correctly….
            Those of us that would impose our will without regard for the law- you mean like the poachers and the inbreds that advocate for SSS?

          • avatar Eli says:

            yep….jest lik dem

          • avatar william huard says:

            You see, now you’re gettin it Eli. The thing you have to remember about two-legged varmints- they hit back. Unlike the four legged variety that can’t speak up for themselves or fight back.

      • avatar jon says:

        idhiker, I don’t know if you know a man by the name of Toby Bridges, but he claims that the bob marshall wilderness is a wasteland now with no wildlife because of the wolves. Any thoughts on this claim?

        • avatar IDhiker says:

          Jon,

          I know of Toby Bridges well. He lists an address about 20 miles from me in Missoula. I have also looked at his website several times.

          My wife and I go into the Bob Marshall many times every year. Last summer, we went over Headquarters Pass into the North Fork of the Sun River, once into the Danaher Basin, and one long trip through the wilderness from south to north along the South Fork Flathead River. In addition to that, many day hikes in the Swan Range east of Holland Lake and into the adjacent Scapegoat country.

          Toby Bridges is full of hot air, in my opinion. We saw many elk, deer, goats, and even four grizzlies on those trips. Although we did see some wolf tracks along the trails, there weren’t many and we never heard any howling, nor did we see any scat.

          The western part of the wilderness has never been heavily populated with elk, in my experience. My father and his friends horse-packed into a hunting camp in the Swan Range for over twenty years, all of this well before the wolf reintroduction. They usually had 3-4 hunters in this camp. I remember one year they got a couple elk, and a few deer here and there, but that was it. The east side, however, has much better range and larger elk herds.

          I lived alongside the Bob Marshall in the Swan Valley for several years in the mid-seventies, and have been exploring it ever since.

    • avatar Jay says:

      Eli–would you like pictures of the elk I killed, with blood and entrails spilled out on the snow?

      • avatar Eli says:

        Not really,I have always taken a moment with the creatures I kill to thank them for their sacrifice. I have always thought that moment was more important than a picture.

        • avatar Jay says:

          So its Ok for you to dump guts on the ground, but if wolves do it, its some sort of crime against nature, right?

          • avatar Eli says:

            Sure, i leave the gut piles for the wolves and coyotes. Somtimes they make good bait piles for trapping too.:)

  20. avatar Jerry Black says:

    Mark Gamblin….I know it’s easy to miss comments, but when you get a chance will you please address these. Thanks

    wndrvr says:
    November 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm
    I worry about the elk being bothered by wolf hunters when they should be reserving thier energy to survive the winter- where I live in wyoming some winter areas are closed to the public others are not- it is pretty quiet on the winter range. If wolf hunts extend past elk season I envision hunters ATV’s and snow mobiles moving elk on a regular basis while looking for wolves- have any F&G departments thought about the impact to wintering wildlife? IMO the anti- wolf arguement is way overblown and based on emotion rather than reality.

    Jerry Black says:
    November 29, 2011 at 9:30 am
    Mark Gamblin……please respond to this comment from “wndr”.
    wndr…..”I worry about the elk being bothered by wolf hunters when they should be reserving thier energy to survive the winter”
    REPLY

    • william huard says:
    • November 29, 2011 at 9:40 am
    • Just to refresh your memory Mark- you were going to get back to us with the list of people cited for wolf poaching in Idaho. No hurry.

    • avatar Craig says:

      IDFG posts convictions on the website, you just have to surf to find them. They have had numerous citations of illegal kills out of unit and so on.http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Craig,

        As far as I know, convictions, citations and violations are public knowledge in all 50 states, just have to look them up.

        • avatar Craig says:

          Yes the are and IDFG does post all convictions on there site. They also post any poaching sent in to them and people can call in or email any info to the Citizens Against Poaching!

    • avatar Harley says:

      Is it possible that Mark hasn’t been online to answer those questions instead of dodging them like some think he is? Just a thought…

    • avatar Bob says:

      Jerry
      It’s odd your worried about wolf hunters bothering elk when the wolves will be bothering them and eating them.

      • avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

        What are the hunters going to do with the elk,Bob? Take it home as a pet to look at it or keep it safe from harm? The elk are going to be someones dinner whether it be man or any other carnivore.

        • avatar Harley says:

          Hunters have a season though. Wolves eat year round.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Could not resist, but other than hibernating bears, I can’t think of a carnivore that doesn’t eat year round, and I guess we could put ourselves in that mix.

          • avatar Harley says:

            This is very true! But we are limited as to how long we can go out and hunt our meat. After hunting season, it’s back to the grocery store!

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            OK, here we go. But we don’t hunt with our mouths, and take the chance of getting our brains kicked out when we hunt. It’s a tough life. Hunting elk, the way wolves do, is certainly not lining up at the meat counter at Bohacs. 🙂

          • avatar Harley says:

            Could you just see it though? The wolves lining up at the nearest Krogers for a hamburger! Sorry lol, that was just a pretty funny mental picture, it’s kinda late for me and I’m tired, so that probably made it more funny than it really was!

            I remember seeing video footage of wolves hunting moose. Dangerous occupation, no doubt about that.

          • avatar Alan says:

            Everything eats year around. Elk eat year around, often killing young willows and aspen thus destroying habitat for song birds and beaver. Wolves keep elk moving
            giving these plants a better chance at success. Wolves also keep coyote numbers in check, thus increasing pronghorn fawn survival. Wasn’t John Muir who said something about how everything is “hitched” together. Our wild lands aren’t, or at least shouldn’t be, just elk farms; else hunters are just kidding themselves when they talk about eating “wild game.” An elk or deer in a world without predators is just as surely the “fatted cow” as a heifer purchased from Farmer John.

      • avatar Jerry Black says:

        Geez…thanks Bob. Brilliant comment.

      • avatar Salle says:

        Apples and oranges, Bob.

        Apples: The “hunters” are there to kill as many wolves as they can in a short period of time, not a natural experience in any stretch of the imagination.

        On the other hand…

        Oranges: Wolves chasing and killing elk in 9 out of ten opportunities ~ roughly one every few days/pack of 7 – 10 individuals… a series of natural events since time immemorial…

        Specie-centrism abounds.

        • avatar Eli says:

          Humans are a part of the natural world also. Humans have been hunting for a very very long time and are and will continue to be a part of the “natural event” cycle. We have tempered in in very recient times for the purpose of preserving the various species we hunt. Be it salmon or elk or even wolves.

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      Jerry Black –
      Survial of wintering big are differentially affected by disturbance depending on a number of factors. Elk survival is rarely a problem, mule deer survival is frequently a problem. The key realationship is adequate fat reserves to see them through harsh conditions (critically cold temperature and deep snow) until adequate spring forage is available to allow them to satisfy energy and nutrition needs. Elk have a much longer digestive tract that allows them to utilize poorer quality forage than mule deer require. Elk are able to gain weight through a normal winter, whereas mule deer are reliant on the fat reserves they carry into the winter. The IDFG works closely with land management agencies to identify critical winter range and provide recommendations on management regulations to minimize disturbance of wintering big game. Those disturbances are typically associated with highly visible and noisy human activity. Regulations may restrict motorized recreation (snow mobiling e.g.). If a wintering big game population is suspected or found to be at risk from disturbance (most likely to be mule deer), each situation would be evaluated on the specific circumstances for that situation. Will or would wolf hunters present a problem for wintering mule deer or elk populations? It’s not impossible, but unlikely that wolf hunting activity will/would increase winter mortality at the population level.

      For William’s wolf violation/enforcement records request, see the Excell spreadsheet below(which does not copy in format, but should give a picture of the relative number of violations the IDFG has responded to since 2008, and the nature of the violations).

      wolf violations 2008 to present
      Citation Date Type Citation No Charge No Ordinance Code
      6/24/2011 I 60 1 Take/Kill during closed season
      6/15/2011 I 59 1 Take/Kill during closed season
      5/9/2011 I 58 1 Take/Kill during closed season
      7/29/2010 A 65943 2 Trapping of big game animals
      3/10/2010 W 264 1 Wolves – Fail to report within 72 hours
      1/8/2010 W 1991 1 Poss/trans game/parts of game taken unlawfully
      11/10/2009 W 1818 1 Closed season, Hunt/Attempt to take during
      11/5/2009 W 1783 1 Fail to comply with mandatory check requirement an
      10/8/2009 W 1399 1 Shooting from/across public highway
      10/5/2009 W 1382 1 Fail to properly tag big game
      9/27/2009 A 60975 1 Attempt/Take/possess protected species
      9/8/2009 A 47048 1 Take/Kill during closed season
      2 Shooting from/across public highway
      8/22/2008 W 593 1 Attempt/Take/possess protected species
      594 1 Attempt/Take/possess protected species
      7/29/2008 W 1900 1 Attempt/Take/possess protected species

      • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        I = Incident Report (insufficient or no evidence to issue a citation or warning)
        A = Arrest/Citation
        W = Written Warning

        The latest wolf related citation was for the Tasmanian poaching case that has been extensively discussed here.

        • http://www.alaskamagazine.com/blogs/trapped
          Mark- Here is an article and photo by the editor of Alaska Magazine that shows a trapped Alaskan wolf, and shows what you “Biologists with advanced degrees” at the IDFG are allowing to happen to wolves here in Idaho.
          This is NO Way to treat what the IDFG department has repeatedly said will be treated as a “Valuable Game Animal”.
          People who treat wildlife like this should be jailed as psychopaths, not licensed as “Trappers” by the state of Idaho.

          • avatar william huard says:

            In Alaska they have no problem leaving wolves and other animals in these traps for weeks. The state of Idaho brought in one of these slob trappers from Alaska to show the locals how to do the job right.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Politicians and legislators are all too willing to block tackle for these dirtbags by exempting trapping from cruelty statutes. They know people will go after them under the cruelty statute, so they just write the laws to make it part of the “hunting heritage”

          • avatar Paul says:

            That was absolutely horrific. Anyone who can derive pleasure from such an activity has to be one sick individual. Unfortunately, this type of activity is glamorized in just about every state and actively promoted by fish and game departments. I have transported several small animals who were victims of traps that were left abandoned for several days. I don’t know how anything can be more heart wrenching. Most were raccoons and each one had a limb that was almost severed and severely infected. They all had to be euthanized. As much as I dislike hunting, I would rather see an animal die quickly by a bullet than languish in one of these barbaric devices. This is not “conservation” this is strictly torture and cruelty for entertainment, and those who promote it should be ashamed. Everyone needs to see the victims of these barbaric devices and ask if this is really “conservation.”

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            I’ve seen this photo elsewhere. I like one of the comments that if you did this to a dog, you’d be arrested, but it’s OK to do this to a wild animal. And all the dirt bags who say wolves do worse to their prey, they have no choice. Humans do. If you are going to hunt, then hunt, don’t torture.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            Larry – that picture put a realistic, evil face on trapping but I’m sure Mark Gamblin will have all sorts of good reasons why this kind of suffering (and torture) is necessary when it comes to “managing” wildlife.

          • avatar william huard says:

            The whole problem comes from how these Fish and Game depts get their revenue. If you made wildlife depts funded through general public funding instead of license funding from hunters and trappers then all of the wildlife watchers would have a say as to how wildlife would be managed.
            Then we wouldn’t have to listen about how much hunters do for conservation, and we could ban these ridiculous forms of wildlife torture

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            As as been said by people on this blog, including Mark Gamblin, it is not about individual suffering, but about species management. I, for one, do not buy into this excuse making. Intentionally causing intense suffering to any animal is a sick pursuit, whether it be an individual or a species as a whole.

            As I have previously said, if everyone on the general public had to view the carnage caused by trapping, and view the “execution” of these animals while restrained in traps, trapping would be long gone into the dustbin of history, where it belongs. Out of sight, out of mind.

            “People who treat wildlife like this should be jailed as psychopaths, not licensed as “Trappers” by the state of Idaho.”

            How close to the truth this statement is, as intentionally inflicting pain, lacking empathy and compassion are psychopathic traits.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            This whole issue of trapping brings up the question of when resisting “legal” atrocities becomes the responsibility of citizens.

            I know, who is right here? The trappers or “bleeding hearts” like me? I believe there are ultimate morals that most of us recognize. I will stick my neck out here and claim that compassion, kindness, empathy, and altruism are superior morals / values to cruelty, callousness, greed, and self-interest.

            I personally have never and never will leave an animal discovered in a trap. Releasing them is illegal. I can live with that.

          • avatar william huard says:

            ID Hiker-

            We can all do more by organizing politically to change the corrupt way wildife management depts operate. After all, I thought Mark Gamblin worked for you- not the Idaho Trappers Association.

            Heres a good link to the National Urban Wildlife Coalition. The group was started by Patricia Randolph, who you may know as the outspoken author of many wildlife topics in Wisconsin.

            http://www.uswildlife.us/joinnuwc.html

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            William –
            IDhiker is a resident of Montana. He is directly represented by his state government in matters of wildife management. The states have a responsibility to consider the desires of non-resident members of the public, but Idaho residents are the primary stakeholders of Idaho wildlife resources.

          • avatar Alan says:

            “The states have a responsibility to consider the desires of non-resident members of the public, but Idaho residents are the primary stakeholders of Idaho wildlife resources.”
            Ralph is a resident of Idaho, as is IDhiker I presume.
            “I believe there are ultimate morals that most of us recognize.” Some “right and wrong” issues can be a little fuzzy, like some of the things they bicker about in Washington, but this is a no brainer. How can any civilized human being look at this and even suggest for one instance that it is somehow moral, just or even sane? What would we think or do if our child did something like this to a neighborhood dog or cat? These images should be plastered on every television screen in America every evening at the dinner hour until this barbaric practice is abolished, period.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            William, thank you for the link. Sometimes I get depressed, I guess, with the way powerful interests have control of virtually everything in our various governments.

          • avatar william huard says:

            No problem ID Hiker- the status quo wants it’s citizens to feel powerless so everything can remain the same. That’s why there has been no progress made with issues like trapping for decades.
            I was going to bring up again your issue with ID FG as to why the hunting and trapping season was extended to the detriment of people like you that don’t trap or hunt as another example of Idaho listening only to the very small group of people that pay their salaries…..You know how it is when you fade in and outof reality…..

      • avatar william huard says:

        Mark-

        Thanks for getting the info on the wolf poaching. The info speaks for itself. Two arrests in 2009, and a handful of warnings and incident reports…..
        Idaho has no business managing wolves or any other wildlife in my opinion….and I’m not alone with those sentiments.
        Idaho is an embarrassment to wildlife management.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          William –
          What would you find “satisfactory” for enforcement efforts – citations/warnings/on-going investigations? Can you articulate why you think this information “speaks for itself”? I note that your previous statements strongly implied (or stated) that you didn’t believe Idaho has conducted ANY enforcement actions on wolf related wildlife crime.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Mark-

            This is not a personal attack against you, you are part of a dysfunctional bureaucracy- so I understand why you try to defend it. The Nat urban wildlife Coalition mission statement says it all. You would think sportsmen would embrace these reforms, because they would strenthen the hunting tradition, not weaken it.

        • avatar william huard says:

          Mark-

          Regardless of where ID Hiker lives, this fallacy that you continue to promote- that you and your wildlife dept represents ALL the citizens of Idaho, not just a few select special interest groups (who happen to pay your salary), is extremely disingenious.
          And comical.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            William –
            Please explain how the IDFG and Idaho Fish and Game Commission is failing to represent the people of Idaho – Something more than you personal disapproval of Idaho wildlife manaagement policies and programs.

          • avatar WM says:

            william,

            You know what is interesting about your oversimplistic comment is that I don’t recall Mark G. ever saying his department represented ALL ID residents, in the context of your comment. In fact that would be kind of a stupid statement to make, since rarely does a democratic vote where two or more individuals vying for public office get 100% of the vote. The more accurate view would be that the majority vote frames the policy which ALL residents must abide (laws, policy, etc.). Certainly, not everyone agrees, and some interest groups have more say than others, but then that is how democracy works, now doesn’t it? Of course, things can and do change as the public will changes.

            Interesting how you, william, voice such strong dissent to the electorate of ID (and administrators like Mark G. who is charged with carrying out state policy as determined by popular vote), a state where you are not a resident, nor to my knowledge even visit very often, if at all.

            I, for one, am thankful for Mark G’s participation on this forum, because he provides facts, and current state policy (some of which it is possible he may not even personally like or agree with, but I don’t know). His input provides a little balance for some of you who don’t know the facts, or want to hear the opinions of those who must carry out policy, and just drink your own specially brewed cool aid, and speak to each other as if your views represent reality.

          • avatar william huard says:

            OK Mark-
            Let’s start with the easy stuff. How did Idaho come to decide on the 72 hour trap check policy? Were there hearings on the issue? Did pro-wildlife groups or people concerned about trapping have a chance to weigh in on the issue? I was told the time frame was agreed upon after consulting with the Idaho trappers assoc…

          • avatar timz says:

            I, for one, am thankful for Mark G’s participation on this forum, because he provides facts,”

            You mean facts like this one?
            “The Yellowstone grizzly bear population continues to increase annually by roughly 5%”

          • avatar william huard says:

            WM-

            You are so funny. Know it alls are like that. You seem to talk alot about coolaid- What are you drinking?
            Every time MarkG comments he claims to represent ALL the residents of Idaho, but apologists like you don’t like it when people question why anyone does anything- after all- Mark G and the Idaho Wildlife Commission are the experts right? Beyond reproach and not to be questioned…
            I’m not here to get your approval WM.
            I could care less if you don’t like me.

          • avatar WM says:

            timz,

            I tend to agree with Mark’s statement. You can still have a population increasing, while at the same time removing some, as is the case here, with the problem bears that get in trouble and require lethal removal, or are illegally killed. Some bears are moving into new territory, and it does not, according to FWS appear that food is a hugely limiting factor, notwithstanding the whitebark pine disaster.

            But, I believe your point is well taken, as is not a clear statement without the additional qualification.
            We (me too) tend to do that here, jump on somebody if they take a short-hand version of the facts, when trying to make another point.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            Mark Gamblin,

            True, I do live in Montana. But, I live closer to the central Idaho wilderness areas than the vast majority of Idahoans and visit them more. I also spend a lot of money in Idaho doing this, as if this should matter.

            You, for example, live in Pocatello, which is not only far removed from the Salmon-Selway country, but is also biologically very different. Yes, I know, imaginary state boundaries are how we have organized our society, and I suppose it has to be that way. Really, though, western Montana and northern Idaho should be a state, while where you live across to Boise, should be part of Utah…

            The problem is, the actions you take affect people beyond your borders. I, for example, have already canceled an airtrip into the Middle Fork Salmon next March due to the extended trapping season. It cost me a wonderful experience and my air-service two charters, which in these economic times, hurts.

            In my view, IDFG has over-reacted and gone to extremes, rather than proceed carefully, see what happens, and make adjustments later.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            IDhiker

            ***In my view, IDFG has over-reacted and gone to extremes, rather than proceed carefully, see what happens, and make adjustments later.***

            I agree wholeheartedly, with Idaho in the middle in terms of Montana(which is now vacilating) and the extreme of Wyoming.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            WM,

            “…since rarely does a democratic vote where two or more individuals vying for public office get 100% of the vote. The more accurate view would be that the majority vote frames the policy which ALL residents must abide (laws, policy, etc.).”

            Here in lies the problem, “The tyranny of the majority.” What you said is true, but in our system a slight majority often sticks it to a large minority. In a perfect world, if I won 51% of the vote, and my opponents 49%, I would make an effort of compromise, knowing that many opposed me. Unfortunately, that is not what happened in Idaho regarding wolves. The winning side has “taken all the marbles” and basically said screw the rest of you. They could have taken a more moderate policy tract that did not totally please everyone, or totally anger them. They did not.

            • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

              While many philosophers worried that democracy would lead to a tyranny of the majority, it rarely has showed in practice. Much more often, elites, privileged in some way, have maintained a classic tyranny — tyranny by a minority where they use money, social status, intimidation, violence, and strategy to disorganize, drive wedges, and defeat the majority. The #occupy groups have briefly led many to realize that democracy is almost gone from the United States, replaced in part by a monied elite, not of 1%, but maybe as small as 0.1 per cent of the population.

              I think we need more democracy, not less.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            Immer Treue,

            “vacillating”

            Yes, I also am afraid that Montana FWP will slide over more towards Idaho instead of being the “shining light” in this sordid saga. Except for the fact that the 220 quota is too high, and hunting can’t be maintained at that level by FWP’s own admission, Montana has acted fairly professional. No vagueness or deception. I fear trapping will be added as the hunters here have shown themselves to be pretty ineffective.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            ID hiker

            ***In a perfect world, if I won 51% of the vote, and my opponents 49%, I would make an effort of compromise, knowing that many opposed me.***

            Such as the 2000 national elections where the 49% set the tone, and the direction we unfortunately headed. “I’ve got the political capital, and I intend to spend it.” Thanks “W”!

          • avatar WM says:

            IDHiker,

            ++The winning side has “taken all the marbles” and basically said screw the rest of you. They could have taken a more moderate policy tract that did not totally please everyone, or totally anger them. They did not.++

            That, of course, is a defect of a thin margin win in majority rule. The risk of taking all the marbles is that the next round go just as polar the oter way. It is also a reason we have the complex system we do, with a triparte government at the state and federal levels. Smoothing out the bumps resulting from extreme views is not always easy. I am not so sure, however, this was a thin win margin issue in ID (or MT for that matter). There seem to be a fair number of folks (ID residents) who don’t want that many wolves, or wolves in so many places, as long as the ESA obligation is met.

            Where I was going with this in my original comment, is that it is the ID Gov./Legis that makes the highest level state policy reflecting the majority public will, including appointment of the Fish and Game Commissioners, as well as passing resolutions and statutes. It is, for the most part, the ministerial duty of the staff, Mark G. and other state F&G employees carry out policy (not make it themselves). The problem he experiences here is that some just love to shoot at the messenger, often in rather condescending ways. I find that a bit rude, and unfair, since public officials are bound pretty much to stay with the scripted message.

            If the verbal playing field was fair for Mark, I think he would be well justified in giving a couple here a good lashing about the head and shoulders.

          • avatar Alan says:

            “…tyranny by a minority…”
            Just as our political system is skewed to favor the minority. States like Iowa and New Hampshire, by insisting on “going first” in the presidential nominating process give momentum to, and skew the process in the favor of, candidates far to the right of the majority of Americans. The Electoral College gives way to much power to states with very small populations. The intent was good: to avoid tyranny of the majority, but the result often gives far to much power to the minority. Congressional rules also are skewed to favor small numbers of people. Each state has two Senators, regardless of population. This means that a blow hard Senator such as Max Baucus who represents less than a million people, and was elected by a couple hundred thousand has the same, or more, power as a Senator representing tens of millions. An individual elected by a few thousand (Speaker of the House) is third in line for the Presidency and can wield almost as much power as the President him/herself, elected by the entire country (except four times in history when the President was elected by the Electoral College with a minority of popular vote.) Anyone who says this is a country ruled by the majority does not understand the American way of fairness until it’s not fair!

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            My “Tyranny of the Majority” remark was directed at the idea that the winning side always attempts to take everything. When the winners can be magnanimous to the losers, that’s when we’ll make progress.

          • avatar Paul says:

            If anyone wants an example of what IDhiker is talking about when referring to “The Tyranny of the Majority” just take a look at what Scott Walker and his cronies did in Wisconsin. This guy tried to change a historically progressive state, (at least in terms of politics) and turn it into Mississippi North almost overnight. He believed that his narrow victory last fall gave him a mandate to try and change the entire culture of the state. The good news is that the recall efforts are looking very good now.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “Thanks for getting the info on the wolf poaching. The info speaks for itself. Two arrests in 2009, and a handful of warnings and incident reports…..
          Idaho has no business managing wolves or any other wildlife in my opinion”

          @william huard –

          Maybe you could share some insight as to how best to increase the apprehension and conviction of wolf poachers? Since this is an “SSS” crime, there is usually next to no evidence – wolf poachers don’t take home antlers or meat. Please share your expertise with us.

          My state has been home to wolves for over 30 years, and illegal killing has grown along with the wolf population. Any Conservation Officer worth his salt would love to catch a wolf poacher, but I bet we have less than a dozen convictions in all that time. With that perspective, it looks to me like Idaho is doing just fine with enforcement.

          Obviously, you feel differently so I’d like to hear your thoughts on investigating wolf poaching – when in most cases the only evidence is a wolf carcass in some stage of decomposition.

          Oh, and William, investigation of wolf poaching has nothing to do with Wildlife Management – it’s a law enforcement function.

          • avatar william huard says:

            To Idaho a dead wolf is wildlife management. Maybe you’ve been busy- but for months we have been trying to get Mr Gamblin to admit that the state of Idaho could care less about wolves. They have made that very clear- from Butchie Otter to Phil Hart’s pathetic “no FG involvement for wolf poaching cases…..or the moronic Joe Balyeat and his howling for spring wolf hunts….These people are rabid, and it sends a negative signal to the crazies that poach- as if the poaching is welcomed….. If there wasn’t FED oversight and the protections afforded the wolf through the ESA there would be NO wolves in Idaho.
            The irresponsible Gov Otter set the bar with his speech about wolves years ago- wolves never had a chance.
            Catching wolf poachers may not be easy, but when the higher ups tell the dept it is not a priority- what does that tell the poachers- AW go ahead- pull the trigger- you can always say that the wolf attacked and you feared for your life- that’s the usual story isn’t it?

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            William is very correct with this statement,

            “They have made that very clear- from Butchie Otter to Phil Hart’s pathetic “no FG involvement for wolf poaching cases…..or the moronic Joe Balyeat and his howling for spring wolf hunts….These people are rabid, and it sends a negative signal to the crazies that poach- as if the poaching is welcomed….. If there wasn’t FED oversight and the protections afforded the wolf through the ESA there would be NO wolves in Idaho.”

            In terms of bullies the three William mentioned are of the worst type, pump their chests from their position of authority, talk big, and cheer on others to do the dirty work.

            While I’m at it, it’s also my contention that the writings of those like Cat Urbigkit are smoke and mirrors about a native population of wolves existing in Wyoming and Idaho. Yeah right! Dispersers show up, and the SSS crowd would make short work of them, as is alluded to in a very short snippet in her book. As William has said about the Fed oversight,that once the reintroduction occurred, the entire area was under a magnifying glass. Once the Feds were there, wolves had the chance to actually become that viable population.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            William (and Immer) –
            “They have made that very clear- from Butchie Otter to Phil Hart’s pathetic “no FG involvement for wolf poaching cases…..”
            No, this is another ….. SILLY statement. The case records I provided demonstrate how silly it is. Of course, Idaho is investigating and presenting to County Prosecutors, citations for wolf related wildlife law violations.
            William, please respond to my and ma’inngan’s questions: how do you propose that enforcement of wolf related wildlife violations be conducted more responsibly?

          • avatar william huard says:

            I’ll make a deal with you Mark. Answer my question from earlier today about how Idaho arrived at the 72 hourtrap check policy first. I was responding to your question about Idaho’s responsibilities to your constituents- remember?

          • avatar william huard says:

            And Mark, I’m sure most people remember on this blog how your GOV acted like a petulant teenager when he announced NO actions would be implemented from IDFG regarding wolf management, enforcement, if they couldn’t kill wolves through hunting- or did you forget that already……Kind of sets a negative tone and puts a chink into the idea of locals displaying any type of tolerance toward wolves

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            William –
            Of course… “How did Idaho come to decide on the 72 hour trap check policy? Were there hearings on the issue? Did pro-wildlife groups or people concerned about trapping have a chance to weigh in on the issue? I was told the time frame was agreed upon after consulting with the Idaho trappers assoc… ”

            I don’t know the history of the 72 hr.trap check requirement for Idaho trappers. If you want, I can research your question for a better answer.

            I do know that in the years that I have been involved in Idaho wildlife mangement issues, including many Fish and Game Commission meetings that I have personally attended and participated in – I have not heard, nor am I aware of, a concern expressed either at Commission meetings or by other means of public involvement communication with the IDFG or Idaho Fish and Game Commission – regarding the 72 hr. trap check requirement. I am not suggesting that there is no objection to this regulation by Idaho residents – there very likely is. I am telling you that I don’t believe it has been an issue for Idaho residents as it has been for you and others in our discussions here. Do you have information that I don’t – regarding the concerns or preferences of Idaho residents?

          • avatar william huard says:

            Mark-
            Different people on this blog(not me)have made the point that it seems Idaho listens to trappers and hunters and dismisses other constitents. I’m asking you how Idaho arrived at the trap check policy- I think it was you that said in an earlier post that the 72hour number was arrived at after talking to the trapping community and getting their feedback on a timeframe-it is obvious by the rule in itself that the welfare of the animal was either ignored or dismissed as unimportant. Am I wrong to say that?

          • avatar Paul says:

            I seem to remember this SILLY comment about the Governor of Idaho’s statement from 2010:

            “After talks with the federal government collapsed, Gov. C.L. ‘Butch’ Otter ordered Idaho wildlife managers Monday to relinquish their duty to arrest poachers or to even investigate when wolves are killed illegally.”

            This came from a story posted on October 18, 2010 on this Web site. I would say that it is silly for a Governor in the United States of America telling law enforcement officers not to enforce the LAW. I thought conservatives were all about the “rule of law?” I guess that is only for the laws that they like. I guess your definition of silly and mine are two different things. Are you saying that this mindset suddenly disappeared overnight?

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Mark,

            With respect, when state leaders make the comments they do, such as Paul’s Otter quote, they become irresponsible as leaders, have put IDFG personnel between a rock and a heard place, and have provided an excuse for the anti-wolf contingent to go out and do as they please. Not even a warning since the Otter rant.

            Again, this is not meant as a challenge to you, but William’s comment about the irresponsible cheer leading of the three mentioned individuals is not silly, but deadly.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            William,

            I would imagine Idaho set a 72 hour requirement on trap checks to make it “reasonable” for trappers to be able to trap and still hold another job. If it was, say, 24 hours, only a few could pull it off and still have extensive trap-lines.

            I have attended FWP meetings here in Montana where instituting a trap check requirement was discussed (as I have mentioned before, there is no requirement at all in Montana, period.) The trappers present, always the vast majority due to good organization, gave several reasons they were not happy with the proposal. One was the fact that jobs interfere with their trapping “hobby” and that it is impossible for them to get out except on weekends. Another was the length of some of the trappers lines, which run into hundreds of miles. It’s just too much distance to cover every other day or so. There also is no limitation on numbers of traps per trapper.

            Never was the aspect of animal suffering discussed or a concern of the trappers.

          • avatar Paul says:

            IDhiker,

            I just cannot understand how an inherently cruel and barbaric practice like trapping can be considered a “hobby,” or “recreation.” It certainly does not surprise me that there was no mention of the pain and suffering to an animal from these people. I know several hunters where I live who cringe when the topic of trapping is brought up. Even they find the practice revolting. I make no secret how I feel about sport hunting, but even that pales when compared to the horrors involved with trapping. I say again that the photo of that poor wolf in Alaska be broadcast to every home in America each night. We will then see how long this “hobby” lasts, and these people can be called out for being the cold individuals that they truly are.

          • avatar william huard says:

            This is what I am getting at. What kind of people make wildlife policy based on the convenience/inconvenience level of the trapper? This astounds me! Politicians In Idaho are more concerned with showing the locals they will teach wolves a lesson than provide a science based solution to a supposed wildlife management technique. There isn’t a biologist alive that would say leaving an animal in a trap for 72 hours is either ethical or biologically sound.
            This is another reason why Fish and Game depts like Idaho and Alaska should be ashamed of themselves.

          • avatar william huard says:

            ID Hiker-

            At these hearings or meetings- were any groups or citizens like yourself able to at least object to these policies before they were implemented? This policy probably was initiated long before wolves became a “target”. If this is the case, allowing the same trap check requirement without consideration for the wolf, or atleast review the requirement based on biology, is irresponsible and reckless. What did the Idaho leg say- we allow coyotes and other animals to stay in a trap for 3 days- why would we change the policy for a wolf?
            That’s sound policy making right there

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Paul –
            I wouldn’t speculate on the “mindset” (private thoughts and un-shared considerations that shape decisions and statements) of anyone – because I have no idea. And neither do you.

            In this example, the facts are that Governor Otter made and announced a policy decision that unless and until management authority for wolves returned to the state, Idaho would not invest state resources in wolf management activities that Idaho had no control of. Once management authority was returned to Idaho, that same policy then directed state government to resume management actions consistent with state authority. That is something quite different than evidence that Governor Otter or Idaho State Government has a nefarious policy to eradicate wolves. To the contrary, Idaho wolf management policy emphasizes ensuring that wolves persist in Idaho at a population level that guarantees stability and viability under a variety of human and environmental conditions (i.e a robust population).

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            William,

            The FWP meetings were open to public comment, and I and a few others spoke up for more stringent trapping regulations. But, the Montana trapper’s Association is very well-organized for a small group. They show up in force and “stack” the meetings, even having some of their children get up and read statements to the commission. It was obvious that the trappers feel any concessions from their side will lead to more demands. They do not give an inch!

            One of the FWP officers present told me before the meeting, that he felt the folks wanting more regulations would have to get much more organized and show up in a larger contingent to make any headway.

            Simply the sheer numbers and aggressive demeanor of the trappers present makes it very intimidating for anyone to stand at the podium and speak against trapping while surrounded on three sides by mobs of trappers. I can say from personal experience that the trappers that attend these meetings are very aggressive and “in your face” personalities.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            Paul,

            I agree with you concerning the unconscionable cruelty involved with trapping. I’ve seen it firsthand. State agencies like to gloss over it by referring to it as a “management tool.”

            Society has already decided it falls under “cruelty to animals,” and so to allow it, state legislatures had to specifically exempt it from the statutes to make it legal. One could never treat domestic animals this way.

            How can someone participate in trapping? Apparently, people think differently on some things simply because their brains are physiologically different in their function and thought processes. Some of this difference is apparently genetic and some learned. I’m not any expert, by any means, but my impression from what I’ve read is that while you may feel horror and disgust concerning certain actions, others do not feel anything at all, or just the opposite.

            Psychopaths, for example, can do the things they do simply because they lack “normal” human emotions. And, they believe that they are completely normal, that nothing is amiss in their thought process.

            In Lt. Col. Dave Grossman’s book, “ON KILLING,” he discusses how in combat only about 15 to 20 percent of soldiers actually fire their weapons at the enemy. Of those that do, Grossman gives various reasons why they are able to kill while others cannot. One of those reasons given was that for a small percentage of men, they just enjoy killing.

        • avatar rick says:

          A life size wood carving of Butch Otter, in the back of Salt and Tears Coffee
          Shop, in Boise, is a good depiction of Idaho State management of Wolves. The carving is of our governor holding a bottle of whiskey, chewing tobacco in his boot and his foot placed on a wolfs head.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Sounds like Butch could use a 12 step program. While he’s at it maybe he could get a transfusion and have whatever he’s got in his veins replaced with blood like the rest of us.

          • avatar timz says:

            William, in Idaho it seems if you are a Republican and want to go places a DUI on your resume is a must. Just recall some recent news stories.

          • avatar Paul says:

            Rick,

            It kind of reminds me of the statue in Libya of Gaddafi’s fist crushing an American fighter plane. Ego knows no bounds.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fist_Crushing_a_U.S._Fighter_Plane_Sculpture

            Who really takes buffoons like this seriously? Never mind, I just answered my own question as Idaho elected Otter. Of course my state is not much better because they elected Scott Walker.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Things could be worse- he could be my Governor. It would be funny to see old Butch walking down Columbia Avenue in Roxbury wearing that hat and those boots. He’d be lucky to make it out of there with his underwear.
            Paul- where is the outrage over this blatant mismanagement?

            Using the wolf as a pawn to force the FEDS to cave on hunting them- holding hunting revenue dollars hostage…..
            And the best- making a policy decision based on not inconveniencing your trappers who trap for a hobby….

          • avatar timz says:

            William asks, “where’s the outrage?”
            Under Otter and republican rule Idaho ranks at or near the bottom in every meaningful statistic including, jobs,wages,child health care,education,etc. As Ralph has stated before,the wolf issue makes for a great distraction from real life issues,yet all you need to get elected here is an’R’ next to your name on the ballot. Don’t expect too much “outrage” from the people in Idaho.

          • avatar william huard says:

            I remember attending a meeting on trapping a few years ago and the consensus amongst most of the people there was that 24 hrs was too long…..But then again- not all states do what is expedient for the special interest but what’s reasonable- where the welfare of the animal is at least considered.

        • avatar JEFF E says:

          “Paul –
          I wouldn’t speculate on the “mindset” (private thoughts and un-shared considerations that shape decisions and statements) of anyone – because I have no idea. And neither do you. ”

          Mark, you made this statement in regards to Clem with a straight face?

          First of all we are talking about a really shallow well here, and second Clem has never hid his thoughts –or mindset– on wolves.

          http://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&safe=off&rlz=1R2GGLL_enUS372&site=webhp&source=hp&q=butch+otter+on+wolves&rlz=1R2GGLL_enUS372&pbx=1&oq=butch+otter+on+wolves&aq=f&aqi=g-j1&aql=&gs_sm=s&gs_upl=4388l16851l0l20612l21l11l0l10l10l0l247l2003l0.6.5l21l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=aa712503257bd70e&biw=974&bih=450

          • avatar Paul says:

            Mark,

            It really does not require much speculation about one’s mindset when there is no shortage of quotes and statements that have came from their own mouths and have been documented in the media. Remember the “Wolf Emergency Disaster Bill?” Actions speak far louder than words. You can say all that you want about the wolf population being robust, stable, and viable but you and I both know that if Idaho politicians (and many locals) had their way the only way to see a wolf (alive) would be in a zoo or education center. The only reason that your state is keeping the minimum number of wolves alive is out of the fear of ESA protections being restored. This has nothing to do with “conservation” or protecting an imperiled species, it is out of fear of government sanctions. This is not dissimilar to how many religious people only do good deeds because they fear divine punishment. The good deed is not being done out of the goodness of their heart it is being done with the fear of punishment in mind. The same concept is true of wolf “management” in Idaho.

            My remarks to you are not personal in nature. I understand that you have a job to do, and often have to swallow the BS that come from politicians to keep your job or to avoid reprisals. I know because I work in public safety, and have to do it every day. Idaho is a beautiful state that I used to cherish visiting. Sadly, I doubt that I will ever set foot there again because of the mindset and actions toward the “boogeyman” that is the gray wolf.

  21. avatar Craig says:

    But does that even matter since anyone who Hunts legally shoots Wolves on sight? The total misconception on this site is as bad as the Idiots who think Wolves kill all Livestock and Game animals. It is amazing how each side is so wrong with only a few who really understand.

  22. avatar josh says:

    Bingo Craig! Polar opposites abound, I am somewhere in the middle.

    • avatar rick says:

      The lady who creates these anti-wolf videos is crazy. She has many other videos related to other subjects. Her sole purpose is to alarm. I responded to two of her wolf videos. She deleted them and blocked me from any more responses. I am trying to take her as just a joke but she does irritate me with her ignorance.

  23. avatar jdubya says:

    off topic but interesting…

    Modeling Effects of Environmental Change on Wolf Population Dynamics, Trait Evolution, and Life History

    Tim Coulson1,*,
    Daniel R. MacNulty2,†,
    Daniel R. Stahler3,
    Bridgett vonHoldt4,
    Robert K. Wayne5,
    Douglas W. Smith3

    + Author Affiliations

    1Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Silwood Park, Ascot, SL5 7PY, UK.
    2Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA.
    3Yellowstone Center of Resources, National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA.
    4Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, 92697, USA.
    5Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.

    + Author Notes

    ↵† Present address: Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University, 5230 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, USA.

    ↵*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: t.coulson@imperial.ac.uk

    Abstract

    Environmental change has been observed to generate simultaneous responses in population dynamics, life history, gene frequencies, and morphology in a number of species. But how common are such eco-evolutionary responses to environmental change likely to be? Are they inevitable, or do they require a specific type of change? Can we accurately predict eco-evolutionary responses? We address these questions using theory and data from the study of Yellowstone wolves. We show that environmental change is expected to generate eco-evolutionary change, that changes in the average environment will affect wolves to a greater extent than changes in how variable it is, and that accurate prediction of the consequences of environmental change will probably prove elusive.

  24. avatar william huard says:

    http://www.examiner.com/urban-wildlife-in-national/animal-trapping-one-trappers-perspective

    Animals know that humans(at least some of them) are rotten to the core, but hey, don’t blame the dysfunctional system, blame the HSUS and the other advocacy groups!

  25. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    http://www.kaj18.com/news/elk-foundation-favors-extending-wolf-hunt/
    The RMEF calls for „more aggressive wolf control methods, perhaps as early as summer 2012”

  26. avatar rick says:

    Help,
    Late one night I read a posting that had an attachment to a poem written by an e-fox trapper. Need help finding it again.

    • avatar william huard says:

      Rick-

      If you didn’t find it it’s two posts up-“Animal trapping-one trappers perspective”

      I commend you for trying to learn as much about wolves as you can- then you can empower others to learn about them and try to correct some of the misinformation that exists.
      Most americans have no clue about any of these issues

  27. avatar LiddyARA says:

    Sounds to me like wolves may be scarcer than what the fear mongers made them out to be.

    Hunters won’t halt their anti-wolf war path until every last one has been extirpated. It’s happened before, and the same lies and excuses are being used to do it again. People who wish to see a future with wolves in the wild will have to remain vigilant, study up on this issue, attend wildlife board meetings where the subject is about wolves, speak up on the wolves behalf. Do what you can to defend the wolf because if you don’t, wolves may slip silently away forever.

  28. avatar rick says:

    I decided that I have accomplished very little if anything writing on this blog. I will come back on occasion, looking for ideas. The majority of the time I am willing to dedicate will now go toward taking real action to have a positive affect on our wolf population. I am sharing here some of my thinking so others can leverage for their own action. I am also looking for quality input on additional things I can do.
    1. I have a call and e-mail into an engineer. I am looking to him for advice on a mechanism that will put out a high pitch sound (audible to wolves and coyotes but not humans, sheep and cattle).
    2. I am in process of drafting a letter to the editor for the Idaho Statesman and a letter for the Boise Weekly.
    3. I am meeting with Defenders of Wildlife and an ex-trapper on this Wednesday. I asked and they agreed to meet. The meeting will have a few purposes, one being to educate me on wolf management.

  29. avatar Dave says:

    I know some cattle ranch owners in Idaho who are calling it quits over cattle losses from the wolf. There land will be carved up and sold into ranchets to the highest bidder.
    The City folks who purchase these parcels will cover there plots with homes and outbuilding, overrun the land with all Terran vehicles, over graze their land with livestock, and harass the wildlife. The next time you drive up the Salmon river it will not look so wild and beautiful with and occasional operating ranch.
    The Ranchers protect the land because it is there livelihood.
    Some times environmental zeal doesn’t look so good.

  30. avatar Bill says:

    As a whole, this thread is far more sensible than most I’ve read on the subject. Congrats.

    Ralph wrote:
    “Likewise, more deer and more elk have been killed that reported. Everyone knows that “extra take” happens during the hunting season (and the rest of the year too) — poaching.

    The estimated number of game animals poached is taken into account when the hunting season rules are set, and if the estimated poaching take of wolves is not taken into account when the 2012 season is set, that will be deliberate, and a attempt to reduce the wolf population ”

    Yes,and I’ve read that the percent of the wolf pop illegally taken in Montana (for instance) is roughly twice the % taken in my state of Minnesota; about 8% compared to 4-5% per year. Something that I’ve not seen on this long thread is the fact that poachers take hunting opportunity away from legal hunters.

    I hunt deer, elk, bear, pronghorn, small game, etc., etc..

    I live within a wolf pack’s territory. I occasionally have wolves in my yard, yet I have to fence each fruit tree that I want to live because of the damage done by numerous whitetail deer. I’ve harvested two wolves in Canada. While hunting coyote and fox near my house (Cook County), I’ve called in numerous wolves, some within ten feet. When they figure out I’m there, they leave; some slowly, some quickly. I highly value each of those close contacts; something not all that many folks have experienced. I’ve been threatened with physical harm and verbally assaulted on many huntin/shooting forums because I don’t hate wolves. Striving to share my understanding (professionally- retired fish & wildlife, and longtime hunter) with others, I’ve been greatly disappointed by my fellow hunters, as I had always thought more of us were conservationists with some level of reason. I sadly must agree with those who think that a large portion (too large) are slobs, with far too many low-lifes among us. Of course, I could say the same of the population as a whole.

    Even though I support states’ right to manage wolves at whatever level they choose (above fed requirements), I’d prefer huntable pops because I like to hunt wolves and value them as trophy wildlife. Poachers are stealing wolves from me. I greatly resent that.

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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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