122 killed in Montana; 195 in Idaho-

Two more areas in Montana have meet its wolf quota and will close Dec. 29. Areas 101 and 110 in NW Montana will close. In total 122 wolves have been killed in Montana. The Montana statewide quota is 220.  Recently the state game commission extended the wolf hunt for 1 1/2 months because they feared the number of wolves killed will fall too far short of the state quota.

Idaho has no statewide quota but a few quotas in certain areas of the state, none of which have been filled, and are so generous that only the quota for the “Southern Mountains” unit might be met. 173 wolves have been shot as of Dec. 28. With the recent opening of wolf trapping season in North Idaho, an additional 22 have been trapped. In most places the Idaho hunt goes until March 31, maximizing the disruption to wolf mating and denning, thus likely reducing the annual recovery in the wolf population.

Unlike Montana, which has some national parks closed to wolf hunting. Idaho has none except a tiny sliver of Yellowstone Park which is probably wolfless anyway.

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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.

103 Responses to Update on the Idaho and Montana wolf hunts underway

  1. avatar Gary Wilson says:

    Pioneer Mountains National Park…. surely to boost the Sun Valley/Carey/Arco economies…

  2. avatar mtn mamma says:

    While Montana looks like it has more standards in place than Idaho, I fear that their overall kill to poulation ratio is much higher. Can anyone comment on the long term state management plans are for these states? Will they really “manage” down to the minimum number of wolves? Surely with this aggressive approach, the states will have to decrease their quotas to maintain their idea of a viable population.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Would it matter if I told, I know for a fact, Montana is not going to manage down to the minimums? I still have many friends in the FWP, and the plan is not to manage to minimums. I know for a fact that Montana does not want to be under federal control again when it comes to wolves.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        You may not like Montana’s plan, but they are managing wolves similar to what they have managed lions for many years now, when a hunting district reaches it quota it is shut down at dusk on the day the closure is announced. One thing that did surprise me, is they are re-opening a district due to the fact that the last wolf killed in that unit was an illegal kill and will not count to the quota. Not the way I would have done it.

        • avatar Mike says:

          Tells you all you need to know.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Think about that for a minute. A wolf is killed illegaly- so that wolf doesn’t exist really……where’s the incentive for hunters to realize there are consequences to bad behavior and the bad behavior will cost “hunting opportunity for other hunters? It’s a joke

        • avatar Salle says:

          One thing that did surprise me, is they are re-opening a district due to the fact that the last wolf killed in that unit was an illegal kill and will not count to the quota.

          When I was participating in the meetings held to develop the parameters of the MT wolf hunt a few years ago (as an observer with comments heard), the language that was used by agency personnel gave the impression that even illegally killed wolves would be counted within the totals for hunting units as well as the overall count. Of course that was back when there was a program leader who actually gave a shit… Somehow I think that MTFW&P has fallen to the “fuzzy math” side of the equation.

          • avatar JB says:

            That is clearly bad policy; it essentially encourages illegal killing.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Salle –

            We’ve seen this time and time again. Hunters simply sweep poaching under the table. It’s almost as if MFWP is worried about shedding light on wolf poaching incidents by including them in the quotas, as they rightly should. In a way to foster ethical (if you can call predator hunting of any kind ethical) hunting, it should be made known that any poached wolf is a wolf lost to the yearly quota.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            “One thing that did surprise me, is they are re-opening a district due to the fact that the last wolf killed in that unit was an illegal kill and will not count to the quota.”

            I have yet to see any mention of this poaching incident in the news. Save Bears said it happen, but that is the only reference to it, that I have seen. According to the Mtfwp’s web site only 120 wolves have killed as of today not 122.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Elk,

            I based my statement on a news article I read in the newspaper, when they announce that parts of NW Montana had reached its quota and would be closing at dusk, it was also repeated by John Fraley on NBC Montana last night on the 5 o’clock news

          • avatar Savebears says:

            John is one of the wolf coordination members with FWP

          • avatar william huard says:

            Isn’t that just common sense? Who makes such lame decisions….

          • avatar Savebears says:

            William,

            I believe that any human killed wolf should count in the quota for that hunting year.

          • avatar william huard says:

            I just don’t understand how they don’t see the bad signal that a decision like that sends…..

          • avatar Savebears says:

            William,

            I understand that you and I disagree on many things, but on this point, I will be attending the commission meetings in the spring, to see if I can help convince them to change this particular aspect of the wolf quotas.

          • avatar william huard says:

            We do disagree on quite a few things, but I have never questioned your ethics

  3. avatar John R. says:

    Hunting 20-30% of a population whose numbers are relatively low, in the Rocky Mountains, does not seem quite right to me. Compare to Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, whose combined population is over 4000 and wolf hunting is not yet allowed.

    • avatar Mike says:

      That’s because people in the Northwoods have been living with wolves for decades. They know the reality and therefore aren’t as reactionary.

    • avatar WM says:

      John R.,

      ++Compare to Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, whose combined population is over 4000 and wolf hunting is not yet allowed.++

      These states are just getting started, though they have been controlling numbers of problem wolves as repopulation occurred. MN, for example, lethally removes about 150-200 problem wolves a year, with the help of Wildlife Services. And, the MN Legislature this past summer decided they won’t wait the five years before hunting to begin, in part, due to the 10 year delay of delisting caused by protracted and crafty litigation over technical compliance with the ESA by groups like HSUS, which never wants wolves delisted.

      http://www.grandrapidsmn.com/news/article_5b3dec30-30eb-11e1-9aea-001871e3ce6c.html

      The open question is what kind of quotas will each state have, if and when delisting is complete and each state sets rules for their respective hunting seasons (and necessary control of problem wolves).

      • avatar WM says:

        From the article:

        ++Human safety is also a concern. As short as 20 years ago, wildlife biologists thought it unthinkable to find wolves within the city limits of Duluth and other northern Minnesota cities. But over the past several years, they have been discovered wandering within these populated areas.++

        Wait. Wait. We have been told by wolf advocates that wolves won’t come into town or be in areas populated by humans. This must be a misprint.

        • avatar Jon Way says:

          WM,
          I guess you could classify me as a wolf advocate and I never would’ve stated that. That doesn’t make wolves more dangerous but they can live in many places as long as people don’t kill them. There is a nature video (something like wolves of the world – or a title similar to that) of gray wolves in Transylvania (Romania) literally jogging on city streets. Granted these are gray wolves, but they are not in North America – but it shows you the potential… I have never even seen eastern coyotes/coywolves do that and coyotes out west probably only do that in a few of the cities, like LA, where they have long lived.

          • avatar Jon Way says:

            I should note: the wolf was a wild wolf that was radio-collared and the video shows biologist tracking the wolf from the woods into the city at night…

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Jon,

            I have seen coyotes in virtually every town and city I have lived in, that numbers quite a few in the west.

          • avatar WM says:

            Jon,

            My comment was one of sarcasm, mostly. It was directed to a couple of particularly arrogant folks who post here, and who have not a clue about wolf behavior in the presence of humans (and their pets). But, they sure do have their opinions. Those are the same folks who criticize Dr. Geist’s observations.

            I should also say, and maybe I have mentioned this before, a friend worked for the State Dept. AID in a small town in Afghanistan long before the war. Against the advice of some of the townspeople who warned of wolves patroling the town at night (locals didn’t let their kids or animals out after dark), his wife let their standard size poodle out in their yard to do his business. There were a few growls of multiple animals in the night, and a quick cry of pain. The dog’s remains were not found, but there was a drag blood trail off the property and down the gravel alley for some distance.

            I would submit if gray wolves in the various parts of the GL and West are hunted near the urban fringe they would be smart enough not to return, which would probably be better for all. Dog losses seem to be a growing catagory in wolf country. And, I predict as the numbers grow there will be more incidents involving family livestock, like horses – either attacked or run into fences, requiring they be put down or expensive vet bills.

          • avatar WM says:

            Jon,

            I am glad you raised the Romanian wolves. Here is a very interesting story, which includes references to a healty recovery, attendant problems with people/livestock as numbers increased and range expanded, inlcuing needed control measures for problem wolves, and hunting seasons with legal harvest quotas of about 10% of the population, in addition to illegal kills.

            http://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/Animals/Archives/2007/Romanias-Wolves-In-the-Crosshairs-of-Conflict.aspx

            Some of this sounds VERY familiar, so maybe the ID and MT hunts are not so far off afterall.

          • avatar Jon Way says:

            WM,
            Nice article. I bet if the western US states committed to a hunting season of 10% of the pop then there would be no lawsuits or at least they would be defeated without congressional interference. That means ID might allow 100 wolves to be killed in a pop that isn’t even 1000. MT would allow about 60 wolves in their 600….

            Unfortunately we are not seeing that here in our country and again why many of us are against the state’s mgmt plans.

            SB,
            Yes, coyotes live throughout the country. I know that. But to see them traveling down city sidewalks like in the wolf video I watched is a different thing altogether…. Most coyotes studies (Chicago is the first to come to mind) show coyotes to use natural areas even in cities well out of prop. and human pop areas well under utilized/proportion…

          • avatar WM says:

            Jon,

            I guess one has to agree on a starting number before looking at control or harvest numbers. My recollection was that IDFG, before the legislature went apeshit over wolf management minimums, wanted to manage for about 500 wolves. So, assuming they get back down near that baseline or even down to 300-400, they have a ways to go. Maybe they would get down to 10% once the baseline is achieved, but that would assume it would be sufficient for the population to plateau, which seems doubtful.

            I suppose you saw in the Romanian article that the combined annual loss to their wolves -hunting and wolves killing their own- was about 30%. The wolf on wolf deaths seem to be related to social carrying capacity and account for twice the hunter harvest, or 20%. I also don’t think (but don’t know for sure) whether they do much in the way of controlling illegal kills, count problem animals in that number, or have the pressures to manage for certain ungulate objectives. Red deer are, of course, a close relative of our elk, and the wolves also like roe deer and fallow deer, and it would appear they have considerable interest in hunting, which means sustaining populations for that purpose (these wolves appear to be in the 100 plus pound range, and no doubt have similar nutritional needs to ours, if the climate is roughly like ours).

            There is also the apparent uncertainty exactly how many wolves they have 2,500-4,000. The biologist interviewed seemed to think 2,500 was about the right number for their region. I don’t know how that stacks up in land area, but their wolves occupy about 100 sq. miles, compared to NRM occupancy at about 500-600 sq. miles (for a pack of 7-9 individuals). But, on the high end of 4,000, they would have to go well beyond their 10% hunter kills to reduce the population to the 2,500, and the hunter harvest would seem to have to increase as wolf on wolf kills would likely reduce as density/social carrying capacity conflicts decreased.

            Lots to ponder, here, and that article is four years old, so maybe they are further down the line in seeking their balance. It would be nice to know what their updated situation is.

        • avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

          Sometimes,WM,you go over the top.

          • avatar WM says:

            Rita,

            Over the top? My point in spades from a news story today. Homeowner pays $4,300 in vet bills for injuries to pup. Says, I didn’t even know there were wolves on this part of Vancouver Island. Vancouver Island is, of course, where Dr. Geist gave pretty detailed accounts of his interaction with wolves from as far back as twenty years ago. Wanna send her a check, Rita?

            http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/47172-pup-loses-its-tail-suspected-wolf-attack

          • avatar Daniel Berg says:

            Sounds like a potential case of a vet gouging someone. $4700 sounds like way too much for the described injuries. My fiance runs a small animal rescue and they have major surgeries performed for substantially less than that.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Strange behavior, WM. You act as if this wolf bit you.

          • avatar WM says:

            Gee, I don’t know, Daniel. Hard to tell from a news article, but maybe there are some clues here.

            ++Garstang said since the attack, Nako has undergone two surgeries, spent eight days in the veterinary hospital and may be facing more medical procedures.++

            This article also suggested potential internal problems from abdominal bleeding. For comparison, we had diagnostics including x-rays, ultrasound, exam, etc., done on our older golden retriever, and that was about $1,300. They did no surgery and could not find the problem.

            Any type of surgery that requires general anesthesia is about $500, just to put them out. So, there is about a quarter of the bill for two surgeries, without opening the dog up, or even a suture. Add meds/shots(?), the needle work, and 8 days at the vet (usually about $25-100/day depending on what kind of post-op care is required).

            Maybe your fiance’s animal rescue gets discounts. I know my friends who do animal rescue have arrangements with the vet, and some vet care/surgery is free.

            ____

            Mike, I am just giving out another data point. As I said elsewhere more wolves in more places results in financial and cultural burden shifting. Those are just the facts of the situation.

            It is up to elected officials to determine how much they want to subsidize what is, in the US, an externality of repopulation/reintroduction of wolves. Vancouver Island in the British Columbia Province apparently does not have a damages program, but it looks like some folks stepped up to help.

        • avatar Jeff N. says:

          WM Says:

          +++Wait. Wait. We have been told by wolf advocates that wolves won’t come into town or be in areas populated by humans. This must be a misprint.+++

          Come on WM, we all know that according to the anti-wolf crowd wolves are literally knocking at the door.

          WM also says:

          +++My comment was one of sarcasm, mostly. It was directed to a couple of particularly arrogant folks who post here+++

          You certainly need to lump yourself into that category, WM.

          • avatar WM says:

            Jeff N.,

            Similar concerns from WI:

            Human tolerance being tested –

            ++. A 1999 wolf plan assumed annual reimbursements for wolf depredation of about $30,000. But the state paid a record $203,943 in wolf damage claims in 2010, up from $91,328 in 2009 and $134,752 in 2008.

            State records show 47 farms sustained wolf depredation in 2010, compared with 28 in 2009. And there were 14 cases of wolves attacking dogs near residences last year, double the previous year.

            Though there is no record of a wolf attack on a human in recent years in Wisconsin, there have been several incidents of wolves showing dangerous tendencies near people, according to the state. Sixteen wolves were killed by U.S. Department of Agriculture and state officials in 2010 because of concerns for human safety.++

            Is it arrogance that bothers you, or bringing to your attention concerns of agencies called upon to manage wolves in complex political environments where there is burden shifting, financial and cultural, to accomodate wolves in increasing numbers. I guess the facts/quotes of managers and the affected public from reputable news sources, are inconvenient truths.

          • avatar Jeff N. says:

            WM,

            So when they say wolves are literally knocking at the door, they don’t mean house door, they mean barn door? I did not realize that.

            WM, since you’ve been following the reintroduction of wolves in the NRM since its inception you may recall this quote from Conrad Burns:

            “I’ll tell you one thing for sure If they reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone Park, there will be a dead child within a year.”

            WM, why don’t you write him a letter reminding him that his prediction didn’t come true.

            Arrogance doesn’t really bother me. I just thought you were projecting.

            Happy New Year.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Be tough to write Burns, as he is pretty much useless after his stroke..

          • avatar Jeff N. says:

            “Be tough to write Burns, as he is pretty much useless after his stroke..”

            Good point SB, but some may argue he was always useless….at least as a politician.

          • avatar Paul says:

            About Wisconsin:

            “But the state paid a record $203,943 in wolf damage claims in 2010, up from $91,328 in 2009 and $134,752 in 2008.”

            How many of these “damage” claims come from bear hounders who lost dogs rather than livestock losses? I saw the article where you got this quote from in the Milwaukee Journal. It does not differentiate between claims for livestock depredation or bear hounders.

            In further researching these claims since 1985 Wisconsin has paid out $385,000 in claims to hounders who claimed to have lost dogs to wolves. That is out of a total of $1,083,162.62 that was paid out through 2010. That has been over 35% of the total claims paid by Wisconsin. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this picture? The article fails to mention that hounders get the majority of all claims made for deliberately putting their animals into a dangerous situation in wolf habitat. How many would look at “depredation” claims differently if they knew how much was really going to hounders rather than for livestock losses? Here is a quote from the same article that leaves me with reservations about how the wolves will be “managed” in this state:

            “State Reps. Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford) and Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake) announced plans last week to introduce legislation in January that will “provide the DNR with the tools necessary to manage Wisconsin’s burgeoning and predatory gray wolf population.” “No details were released, but it’s likely to include hunting and trapping.”

            Just like Idaho and Montana they couldn’t wait for the ink to dry before planning a killing season.

            http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/wisconsin-ready-for-new-era-for-gray-wolves-v03jmpp-136354798.html

            Payments:

            http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/er/mammals/wolf/pdfs/wolf_damage_payments_2010.pdf

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          WM,

          Wolf advocates have not said that, and it is not true.

          Wolves have passed through many towns and cities in Idaho both unnoticed (their passage was deduced later) or reported at the time. We have run some of the article in The Wildlife News.

          Wolves were reported on the edges of Boise, Idaho as early as the late 1990s. And of course, other carnivores such as mountain lions often live inside cities. There are many examples in California.

          My primary M.D. here in Pocatello, who lives on the south edge of town, thought his horses were a bit nervous one winter, especially when they were inside the barn. It turned out an adult cougar was sleeping in the hayloft above them. Things went well, however, The cougar was finally noticed and driven away. It had been eating the deer on Pocatello’s edge and cleaning up the neighborhood of roaming dogs and cats.

          • avatar WM says:

            Ralph,

            Respectully, I do recall some who post saying precisely that. And, it was to them I was directing my comment.

            Playing back the argument, wolves will stay away; they’re too shy and too smart. Then, I mentioned an essay by Dr. Geist recounting his detailed observations on the habituation of wolves in Vancouver Is. I was dissed by the same folks. Then, there is the fall back position, the deflection argument – wolves didn’t do it.

            Obviously, the more enlightened and scientifically knowledgeable wolf advocates know better. I just wish they would step forward when some of the less knowledgeable make their statements.

          • avatar JB says:

            WM:

            I absolutely agree that some, misinformed wold supporters have falsely suggested that wolves are harmless. However, I know of no reputable organization that makes that claim? I have tried to correct this misperception with individuals when I encounter it. Like any large, obligate carnivore, wolves pose a potential threat to human beings. People living or going into wolf country should understand this and act accordingly.

            – – – –

            Re: Val Geist

            Geist, like many other wildlife biologists mis-uses the term “habituation”. In his statements (see below), he commonly applies this term to animals that have been “food-conditioned”. The distinction is extremely important for understanding why wolf attacks occur. Animals that have habituated to humans have “learned” through repeated exposure with no reinforcement to ignore people. The wolves of Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley are prime examples, and have not generally been problematic despite thousands (millions?) of opportunities. In contrast, animals that are food-conditioned have learned to associate people with food. Rather than ignore people (as habituated animals typically do), they tend to approach and investigate humans. This behavior, of course, is far more problematic, not just with wolves, but coyotes and bears as well.

            http://www.idahoforwildlife.com/Website%20articles/Dr%20Geist/Dr.%20Valarius%20Geist-%20%20Carnegie-2%20part%20article.pdf

        • avatar Rick says:

          Human safety? Wow. How many humans have been attacked by Wolves? Two people in North America have been killed by Wolves since 1950. In 2010 a female was killed by Wolves in Alaska. In 2005 a young man was killed by Wolves in Canada, at night, when walking around a lake where known wolves were (suicidal). You are more likely to be attacked and or killed by a Moose, or other ungulate.

  4. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    John R.,

    It is a rule of thumb that a healthy population of wolves with adequate prey base can withstand a mortality rate (that is death from all causes) of about a third the population a year.

    As most rules of thumb, there are plenty of exceptions.

    • avatar Mike says:

      True, but that’s not counting poached wolves. And with the insane attitude of many in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana, you can bet the illegal kills are stacking up.

  5. avatar Nancy says:

    +Homeowner pays $4,300 in vet bills for injuries to pup+

    WM – if this was indeed a wolf attack on a puppy, I can’t imagine there would of been much left of this pup, to haul to the vets.

    +She said they took Nako to the Van Isle Veterinary Hospital and learned the attack may have been wolf-related. Garstang said she also talked to a conservation officer who told her Nako was likely the victim of wolves+

    May have been? Was likely?

    Not trying to pick a fight here, but when you live in rual areas, its just downright stupid, if you own dogs, to let them out and allow them to run loose (40 minutes later they started worrying?)

    I’ve got a neighbor who lets his two dogs run loose and I’ve come close to hitting both of them…. a couple of times, while they course back and forth across the road, checking out scents and terrorizing what ever local wildlife might be in the immediate area.

    Sounds more like this pup had a run in with a hungry coyote, because from the description/size of this pup – border collie/ jack russell mix? He would of been just an appetizer, if he’d actually encountered a pack of wolves.

    I’d be willing to guess there will be no followup as to what actually happened to Nako, as long good hearted people (around the globe) are willing to contribute to his “recovery”

    • avatar Savebears says:

      So Nancy, let me get this straight, I live in the country, and I STILL have to keep my dogs tied up? There is a reason I moved out of the city, which was to have some of the damn freedoms I fought for!

      Dogs will do what they do in the country, you on the other hand, knowing your living in an area that the possibility exists that dogs might be around, have the obligation to watch out, or do you just watch out for wildlife? I know for a fact, where I live, there might be a dog running around, so I am very prudent in watching out for these things..

      • avatar Savebears says:

        And don’t get me wrong, I understand and fully accept the risks of living in the woods, but come on, people live out of our urban centers for a reason!!!

        • avatar Barb Rupers says:

          In western Oregon on 100 acres, my dog has been free of both collar and confinement, other than being in the house when she wants to be in, for over 10 years. She never goes more than 100 feet from the house unless she has backup. She barks at deer and will run towards them for about 50 feet. She stays away from coyotes and bobcats. She does kill squirrels, mice, and voles, when she has the chance.

          When traveling she wears her collar with rabies tag and license; a leash is used as needed.

          I agree with Savebears

        • avatar Mike says:

          I was fishing a blue ribbon, yet fairly-hidden trout stream this summer when two hikers came out of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. Two of their dogs had pack harnesses, but a trailing dog did not. I offered them fresh fruit and V8’s, which they devoured.

          They told me about the third dog, a beautiful Australian cattle dog. They said he just found them in the wilderness and hung out with them for a week. One of the hikers said it was the smartest dog they’d ever seen. Well, the dog had a thick leather color, and a faded rabies tag that indicated Big Timber. No other tags were found. The couple loved the dog and did not want to see it left in the wilderness, so they took it to the clinic in Big Timber. The dog hopped in their Subaru like it had known these people all their lives. I watched the bounce down the road, the cattle dog’s tongue lolling.

          The next day I encountered a female hiker along the road. I noticed she was scanning the forest on either side. So I asked her if she was looking for a black and white cattle dog. She said yes. Apparently it lived in the area, but often took off for weeks at a time. I gave her the phone number of the hiker couple and told her they’d dropped the dog off in town at the clinic. She told me they were very familiar with her over there.

          When I returned to cell phone range, I phoned the clinic and asked if the dog was indeed dropped off. She had been, and the vet operator told me they were concerned for the dog, that this happened a lot, and maybe the best thing would be for hikers to take her home one day.

          Sadly, I agreed. I called several days later, and the dog was stil not picked up by the owners, despite notification.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            You were fishing the Boulder River. It is one of my favorite rivers in late July early August. You are so tricky calling it a “fairly-hidden trout stream.”

      • avatar Nancy says:

        +So Nancy, let me get this straight, I live in the country, and I STILL have to keep my dogs tied up?+

        ONLY if you care about THEIR welfare SB 🙂 and other wildlife in the area. My dogs aren’t “tied” up….. but they are enclosed for THEIR safety.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Nancy, both of my dogs lived to an old age before they left this world! I don’t understand you, you live in an area that is large privately owned range land, and you still want to impose your ideals on what others should do? How large is the property you live on Nancy? I am just curious?

          • avatar Nancy says:

            Yep, I guess it is a matter of “imposing” my ideals in your mind SB, when it comes to being responsible for dogs, since they have little choice in the matter when it comes to who “owns” them.

            Glad your dogs had a wonderful, long life SB.

            Would you like to hear about some of the ranch dog lives I’ve been privy too? Like the rancher nearby who let his female breed, year after year, to the local (un-neutered) male ranch dogs, cuz he was always looking for that one “good” cow dog? He kept a pup out of every litter and drowned the rest in the nearby creek….

            Got another ranching neighbor, who’s two females just had nine pups between them. Their little girl finds this all very neat….

            The shelter here is full of cow dog mixes looking for homes, so what exactly does privately owned ranch land have to do with how much land I own??

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Didn’t figure you would understand my question Nancy.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Also Nancy, it is not “Just my ideals” that is one of the biggest problems in these discussions.

      • avatar Mike says:

        ++So Nancy, let me get this straight, I live in the country, and I STILL have to keep my dogs tied up?++

        It’s called being a responsible pet owner. Dogs should only be let loose when you’re with them. Anything that happens outside of that is the pet owner’s fault.

        ++There is a reason I moved out of the city, which was to have some of the damn freedoms I fought for!++

        Don’t confuse “freedom” with stupidity.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          On the same page Mike 🙂

        • avatar Savebears says:

          I don’t Mike, I am free, you are stupid!

        • avatar Savebears says:

          And Mike, how do you know, I didn’t only let my dogs loose when I WAS not with them?

          • avatar Savebears says:

            I have to apologize, I got suckered in, because this discussion has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

          • avatar Salle says:

            Actually, I think it’s that chip on your shoulder,SB, that suckers you into arguments that get too personal, condescending and accusatory. (And I have seen a large percentage of your posts claiming or referring to your “service” in the military and MTFW&P… as though there is some kind of deference that should be given to your statements due to this past history of yours, which is not a known or given to others without your official records on hand… which are otherwise self aggrandizing plugs.)

            I’m sure you will vehemently disagree with a number of personal attacks to justify your indignant stance at my calling you out.

            I am with Nancy and Mike on this one. I see too many people thinking that their proximity to wild lands is somehow license to be irresponsible for their pets, whom they choose to be responsible for when they decide to take them in as pets. With any animal kept by humans, the human needs to be aware of the surroundings… too many folks rely on the myth of a sterile environment where only certain other animals should be… and when this is not adhered to in the natural world, the “other” species are the ones to pay for an arbitrary set of ideas imposed and enforced by humans to satisfy their need to control the natural world. Humans need to take it down a few notches in their quest to impose human constructed values on the natural world and learn to accept their role in it rather than try to take control ~ especially considering the vast lack of understanding with regard to the natural world that is so pervasive today. Most Americans seem to think that they need to be in the driver’s seat so they can force the natural world to bend to their will rather than living within the natural world as a component.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Geez Salle- What about “Freedum”

          • avatar Salle says:

            William, LOL. “With freedom comes responsibility…” (Can’t recall who actually said it first, for those who demand citations for everything). As for “Freedum”… well, does that mean free to be ignorant or the concept of being free from responsibility because of ignorance?

          • avatar william huard says:

            Freedom is calling some people extreme as you name call other people stupid

          • avatar Salle says:

            William, theoretically, I agree… but, maybe, only if one gets away with it?

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Call me out all you want to Salle

      • avatar Rick says:

        No, you dont have to keep your dogs tied up. Just dont be surprised (heaven forbid) if you pets dont come home in one piece. I hope this never happens, but it certainly could via wildlife or vehicles. Nancys obligation is to follow the speed limit, not watch out for your dogs. I fought for the freedom to drive the speed limit on any road in the U.S.

    • avatar WM says:

      Nancy,

      ++Sounds more like this pup had a run in with a hungry coyote++

      Always the deflection argument – it wasn’t wolves. The article says what it says. The wildlife officials and the vet seemed to think it was wolves. You were not there and conclude otherwise. Hmmmm.

      If you look at the spreadsheets for wolf attacks in each of the states that record such statistics there are usually a bunch that show injury attacks and no deaths for dogs, but sure as hell result in expensive vet bills.

      Why is that? Well, one explanation is that we know wolves don’t always travel in packs. Sometimes it is just a couple, or three or maybe even a lone wolf. And, in this instance, do remember the wolves on Vancouver Island are quite a bit smaller than our NRM wolves.

      I won’t post it here, but if you go to Youtube and use the search words “wolves attack dogs” or variations on those words, there are several TV segment videos of wolves around Anchorage attacking leashed and unleashed dogs – not always large packs according to the interviews and not always resulting in death for the dog(s).

      • avatar Nancy says:

        +The wildlife officials and the vet…….. seemed to think+

        WM – and yes “Always the deflection argument” simply because too much is easily blamed on the wolf.

    • avatar Mtn Mama says:

      Nancy, My thoughts exactly!! If the pup had been attacked by a wolf it wouldnt have seen another day. I suspected coyotes from the beginning. But as we know- the wolf is the proverbial scapegoat…

      Saves Bears, Since many on this blog want credentials, I will tell you that I am a Certified Master Dog Trainer. Any person who lets their dog run unattended day or night is asking for problems. I dont care where you live. I live on the periphery of a small town, in a county with upwards of 290,000 humans. I have had coyotes, black bear and mountain lions all within a stones throw of my house.

      • avatar WM says:

        Mtn./Nancy,

        It is my understanding Vancouver Island, suprisingly, DOES NOT have coyotes. I just sent off a query to some folks up there to confirm. Will let you know what they say.

        On the other hand, they do have a fairly large number of wolves.
        —–

        By the way, because they are an island, they don’t have moose, or established grizzly bear populations either, apparently. They do have Roosevelt elk.

        • avatar WM says:

          Mt. Mama/Nancy,

          Follow up on your assertion that coyotes were responsible for the attack on the 9 month old (nearly full grown) dog on Vancouver Island.

          Two SPCA offices on Vancouver Island just confirmed by email: “…don’t know of any coyotes on the island,” and “…. I can safely say the attack {on the dog} was not coyotes.”

          • avatar Salle says:

            …but they didn’t identify that is was wolf(ves) either… Could have been a bear or a big cat or some other wild thing in the woods. Another argument with a thick rind.

          • avatar WM says:

            I think your statement, Salle, is one of wolf advocate spin.

            And, apparently the BC investigating conservation officer and the treating vet disagree with you. As for your assertion of a cat. No claw marks mentioned and most injuries apparently toward the back half of the animal, which would be uncharacteristic of a cougar or other large cat, but could be characteristic of a wolf attack. How many dogs/cougars have there been with their guts ripped out, and hind quarters crunched?

            For the record, the narrow question I put to the SPCA folks was only whether there were coyotes on the island. They said no coyotes. They were not involved in any way with the dog incident.

          • avatar WM says:

            Nancy,

            We probably should close this topic out, because it is really not relevant to the thread (but came about as questions arose).

            I am not sure what your point is about the cougar website.

            I have spent quite a bit of time on Vancouver Island over the years. They have signs up at trailheads to watch out for cougars – they have lots of them.

            That also means both BC wildlife conservation officers and treating vets have seen cougar related injuries to pets on a very regular basis. They also see wolf injuries. This was no cougar, bear or coyote attack. So, let’s just agree to disagree and move on. LOL

            ___

            By the way, if you read the stories on the website you linked, many (most?) attacks involve the cat going for the neck, and back or face if they can’t get to the neck.

            The cat’s objective is to break the neck or suffocate the prey. This dog’s injuries as noted in the article, before, were on the flank, abdomen and, of course the loss of the tail.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            +I won’t post it here, but if you go to Youtube and use the search words “wolves attack dogs” or variations on those words, there are several TV segment videos of wolves around Anchorage attacking leashed and unleashed dogs – not always large packs according to the interviews and not always resulting in death for the dog(s)+

            But do you sometimes find it a bit strange WM, how someone just happens to be there to record those “attacks?”

        • avatar WM says:

          Nancy,

          Key words in the quote – “interviews.”

          The videos I have seen are just the news coverage, with interviews of wildlife conservation officers, and the victims whose animals were attacked. There is no video of the attacks that I have seen.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            +there are several TV segment videos of wolves around Anchorage attacking leashed and unleashed dogs+

            Sorry WM – read those words (in conjunction with YouTube) and made the assumption that video was available of those attacks.

  6. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Just posted thread in no known wolf attacks in NRM… Before I read the discussion here. Just finished a day of skiing with my GSD, and a small pack of wolves were on something ~400 meters away. They did see us. Perhaps I’m just lucky, perhaps not. I accept all risks for being out on the ice with wolves in the BWCA. I explore, but then again, i don’t push the envelope. I could have got closer, but common sense whispered, just leave them alone. Thw wolves just seem to leave people alone here. Never any problems, so, is it luck?

  7. avatar Nancy says:

    SB – my apologies if I failed to understand what you were posting in response to what I was posting. Happens a lot here 🙂

  8. avatar JohnR says:

    Have been winter camping in the Lamar Valley about 10 times in the last 13 years. Have seen or encountered wolves every time, away from the road. Also have had wolves outside the tent at night several times, howling, growling, sniveling, whining. Was a little nervous a couple times. Wild wolves have killed 2 people in North America in the last 100 years(as far as I know). One person on the Alaskan Peninsula (wild wolves), and one in Northern Saskatchewan (landfill garbage fed pack habituated to human presence).

    Compared to other risks:

    From Wikipedia about Dog attacks: It is estimated that two percent of the US population, 4.7 million people, are bitten each year by dogs. In the 1980s and 1990s the US averaged 17 fatalities per year by dogs, while in the 2000s this has increased to 26. 77% of dog bites are from the pet of family or friends, and 50% of attacks occur on the dog owner’s property.

    Every year, about 33,000 people die in automobile accidents. As far as a threat to humans in North America, wolves are miniscule. A person is more likely to win the $100million lottery than be attacked by a wild wolf. Lightning, drowning, getting lost, falls, and hypothermia are greater risks when in the outdoors.

    Although am looking forward to the movie “The Grey”… 🙂

    • avatar Savebears says:

      You are right, just as everybody else that has posted these numbers.

      Why do they need to be posted again?

      JohnR, those of us that are involved in this issue are well aware of the statistics and numbers, it makes no difference, wasted breath…

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Just to add, Wiki is Not the most reliable source when discussing controversial subjects, might want to get another source.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Savebears,

          Whether you are interested in hearing the repetition of statistics, they need to be remembered in general terms even though there might be disagreement over the exact figures.

          More significantly, JohnR has camped among a heavy concentration of wolves 10 times. These are wolves that are used to seeing people (some say this makes them dangerous!). They were outside his tent making lots of “wolfy” noises. I might add that winter camping in Yellowstone is hard core stuff.

          We have heard similar stories from those with different attitudes, camping in Idaho and Montana, only with them, the failure of the wolves to immediate leave and the noises they made, especially, was enough to make them pee in their pants for surely, they thought they barely escaped with their lives.

          The difference in perception by the human rather than the wolf behavior is what is notable. The fact that it is the person’s attitude that creates the story, not the wolves’ behavior, cannot be told enough times.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Okay Ralph,

            I will bow down, I have camped with wolves in the vicinity more than 13 times, had the local pack howling less than a mile from the house this evening and enjoyed the experience, great sound over the hills.

            Sorry I ruffled your feathers, it just seems so redundant…

            • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

              You stepped on someone with a good story, and someone new to the forum who seems to have some interesting things to say; so yes, I didn’t like your comments.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Also, I will add, using Wiki is offensive to those of us that do this for a living, that is the most unreliable source anyone can find…simply bad press, I use Wiki to look up glam stories on Hollywood starlets, not wildlife issues, it reminds me of the National Enquirer that we all see on the newsstand, unfortunately to many believe the National Enquirer

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            Okay…I tried but I can just not resist.

            We have one individual that…. {{{[[[reminds]]]}}}….on a near daily basis,the world, that he/she \use to/ work for a fish and game agency, is intimating that another individual is being redundant for posting data that may have , at some point in the past, already been posted.

            That’s crystal.

            You just can not make this stuff up.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Right Jeff,

            The only time I mention it, is when someone says I don’t know what I am talking about. Heck I have read posts by you several times talking about the exact same information that I said something about.

        • avatar CodyCoyote says:

          … except a blind test for accuracy between WikiPedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica – the one we grew up , still out there , using the current online version – showed the greater accuracy was with Wiki. And Wikipedia is self-correcting and constantly updated.

          I for one tend to trust it , but also realize it is a starting point, not the end all be all of info. Being a professional skeptic, I always recommend using multiple sources of attribution. But you have to start somewhere , and Wikipedia is good for that. Its articles are almost always footnoted for source.

  9. avatar JohnR says:

    SaveBears says… “JohnR, those of us that are involved in this issue are well aware of the statistics and numbers, it makes no difference, wasted breath…”

    Sorry I wasted everyones time posting to this forum. Guess I am not not ‘involved’ enough to know anything worth posting.

    • avatar Mike says:

      JohnR –

      I found your post worthwhile. It’s important to remember those numbers. They are the reality in a sea of crazy.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      JohnR – trust me, you didn’t waste “everyone’s” time posting to this forum (and I sinceredly hope you will continue!) because there are more than a few here that share your thoughts when it comes to non-consumption of wildlife.

      And SB – when you have time, please share…. who qualified for the year – 2011, in the “sharks / swimmers” category on Wildlife News? 🙂

  10. avatar Salle says:

    JohnR, Don’t let the self-appointed authorities discourage you. Valid points are valid points, no matter how many times you need to make or repeat them.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      At times, this blog reminds me of the old cartoons we watched as kids, I see the shark fins going in circles around the swimmer..

      LOL

  11. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Happy New Year everyone!

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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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