Wolf trapper Josh Bransford hurt Idaho’s image according to The Idaho Statesman-

In Sunday’s newspaper there is a strong condemnation, e.g., “His behavior isn’t sporting. It’s sickening. Idahoans will forever disagree about the wolf and its place in the state’s natural order, but all Idahoans should at least be able to speak with one voice against boneheaded barbarism.”

Here is the entire editorial.

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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.

296 Responses to Idaho’s leading newspaper says “One trapper’s barbarism reflects badly on Idaho”

  1. avatar Nancy says:

    Good editorial.

  2. avatar Ken Cole says:

    This episode won’t change what is happening on the ground. There will still be those who will cause intentional suffering of wolves and other wildlife, it just may not be as well publicized.

    There are several posts to forums where people brag about displaying their kills publicly. One I read about was about a couple of guys who killed a wolf and felt the need to make sure someone they passed on the highway saw the dead wolf strapped to their truck’s toolbox. They thought the person was a wolf supporter based on their license plate.

    Classy.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      Bemusingly , wildlife offenders sometimes turn themselves in for prosecution by posting photos, just as Bransford exposed himself to persecution by going into machismo photo mode.

      There have been several high-profile poaching cases in my corner of Wyoming in the past decade where the perps just had to self-publish the self-portrait with trophy kill pix , online usually but even in slick print magazines, only to have wildlife agents use those photos as forensic evidence and location giveaways to make a slam dunk case. The ghost of the wasted animal comes back to haunt , all the way to the Courtroom.

      In their haste to garner the vainglory, they fail to consider the consequences. They shame the entire world of outdoor sportsmanship and hunting in one swoop. One poacher posting one photo used to convict him casts the shadow of that conviction over his peers. That virtual red feather casts a bloody red stain over the landscape , and makes it s-o-o-o-o-o very easy for nonhunters ( and in this case nontrappers) to cast aspersions , deserved or not.

      We can only hope that wildlife offenders shoot themselves (photographically )alongside their wanton wildlife kills at the bloody crime scene, and post them , so the rest of us can see who and what they really are , without ambiguity.

      Besides, it makes the game warden’s job so much easier…

      • avatar Larry Keeney says:

        CodyCoyote – have to tell you this story about poachers and their fetish for self portraits, please be patient. Investigated group of guides, they lived in Mich, CO, WA., and operated in those states plus Nev, AK and UT. After couple years of covert operations began the takedown with search warrants incl one in Mich. Seized photo albums, found photos of desert bighorn killed by this group of guides. Took photos to Vegas met w/NRA Park Service folks, studied photos and left them w/ PS. 10 days later ranger telephoned me he was sending photos of kill site. In seized photo album showed guides, sheep head and Morton salt cans they used to dry hide. Ranger photo showed same Morton salt cans, dry and weathered but still preserved at base of same bush in original photo. That gave us venue which we were lacking and resulted in several thousand dollars fine and 2 years jail. Your story is so true. I have one of trophy elk in a national park but will bore you with that another time.

    • avatar Doryfun says:

      Speaking of frustrated ranchers in Montana on another post, add to that frustrated big game outfitters in Idaho. Lost business due to impacts by wolves and/or bad press about such, has affected this aspect of the guide and outfitting industry. So much so, that lobbying pressure has resulted in a recent letter from the directors of IOGLB and IDFG to the USFS (regions 4 & 6) basically requesting permission for the need of guides and outfitters to conduct trapping activities to help Idaho address a “growing problem with wolf predation” in certain areas.

      Their first request of the USFS was to permit guides and outfitters to advertise, book clients , and be compensated for associated services. Trap lines would be checked in the field and hunting clients would be able to participate, and be able to kill the trapped wolf and possess the pelt.

      This failed round one, but led to a compromise for a less desirable solution of no advertising by outfitters and more limited client participation. But the USFS indicated difficulty with the need for a NEPA process and public scoping process(taking longer than 50 hours) and concerned cost recovery for such, and Forests work priorities for 2012 already laid out. (adjusting priorities would be difficult).

      So IOGLB & IDFG are still requesting the USFS to reconsider, reminding them that they share in the responsibilities to find solutions to resource mgt issues, as a whole. Also, suggesting that the outfitting industry should be exempt from the cost of such, but shared by various Forests in the region. (public tax dollars at work?)

      While I still would like trapping and snaring abandoned altogether as a viable mgt wildlife tool, I can appreciate outfitters who are frustrated by shrinking businesses due to “real and/or perceived” elk numbers and predation impacts. (causing potential clients to go elsewhere by bad PR).

      Early on in my support of reintroduction of wolves, I suggested to big game outfitters, when wolf numbers gain enough strength to take them off the ES list, and could thereby be managed for hunting, perhaps “wolf hunts” could attract clients, like cougar or bear, and bring in as much or possibly more than bagging an elk. Or even give them potential business for servicing the non-consumtive public too. Thus, my support of hunting wolves, in some enlightened form of balance (if that is ever possible, as complicated as that can be)?

      Having wolves on the landscape also adds to the attraction for us outfitters who service the non-consumptive public, who seek such values of wildlife to just see and photograph. Unfortunately, though I have had a few wolf oriented river trips, and still offer them, it seems there are more people willing to pay higher dollars to kill wolves than there are who are willing to pay equally not to kill them.

      In a pay to play world, where does that leave us when trying to gain more support for live wolves?

      Here is how I see the bottomline to all this controversy. What this current viral trapping photo indicates to me: is how important it is to find better funding mechanisms for mgt of fish and wildlife, by state agencies, so non-consumptive uses can be better represented at the table. As long as the bill is being footed by the consumptive user groups, it seems only fair to give them the biggest share of the pie. Thus, taking the time to brain storm ideas for creative funding, would be time well spent by non-hunters for potentially upping their voice at the shareholder table.

      In addition, with respect today’s Statesman Editorial:

      “This is a time for reasonable Idahoans — and our leaders — to speak not just to the law, but to right and wrong. To what is acceptable, and to what is abhorrent.”

      And considering some comments by Mark Gamblin previously on this blog:

      “The IDFG, like most/all state fish and game/wildlife management agencies does not have the statutory authority to determine legal methods of take – i.e. trapping. That authority belongs to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission or the state legislature.”

      “That authority, ulimately belongs to the Idaho public.”

      “How we accomplish wildlife conservation and management now and in the future is clearly important, but the Summit will focus on how we Idahoans will work collaboratively, into the future, to make wildlife conservation and management serve the needs and desires of Idahoans.”

      “Trapping is a legal and approved method of take for approved wildlife species. It remains an appropriate and socially sanctioned part of the tradition wildlife beneficial uses in Idaho and other states”

      Seems to me, if ever there is a time for the potential of disabling trapping and snaring, it won’t get any better than now. It also seems more reasonable to try to work with commissioners, than the legislature on this. At least two of the commissioners are wildlife professionals, so perhaps more open to the ideas of raising the bar for fine tuning mgt policies that will help reflect the current times and generate a better balance for the general public at large?

      Hopefully there are more conservation biologists and ecologgists out there, willing to examine trapping and snaring as to not only qustioning its utility as a continued mgt tool, but also the “rightness or wrongness ” of devices that represents a form of torture. How much torture are we willing to live with? What level of torture is ethical?

    • avatar AYRES says:

      Ken~ Here is one of those very sites you referenced – SFW carries the banner of the photo proudly:

      http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2009/11/19/sfw-idaho-predator-derby/

  3. 122 other Idaho wolves were trapped this winter and while their plight didn’t make the news, they suffered just like the one Bransford killed.
    There are large numbers of other Idaho wildlife that suffer similar fates. Martens, Otters, Beaver, Bobcats, and Foxes all are treated the same way by Idaho trappers like Bransford.
    Trapping should be banned in Idaho and all other states.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Larry you are right. The image of the balc wolf is the ugly face behind trapping. Terrible pain and suffering. The only way this activity has been permitted so far is because the public is often unaware that its still allowed (read the comments given by people who saw the trapped wolf, often they were of disbelief that trappin is still allowed). And because wildlife management practices are corrupt. The photographing of the wolf while suffering is terrible but the real problem is the actual suffering that goes on day in and night due to trapping, snaring and posioning of wildlife. “predator control” practices that include trapping, snaring, posioning and or hunting that uses these methods are based in a cultural relic that should be abolished based on what we now know about animals and their ability to suffer and feel and the terrible potential for extreme abuses. Trapping and snaring are shameful and disgraceful. Humans do not have the right to inflict such misery.

      • avatar Mike says:

        I agree, Louise. This is the reality on the ground. Well said.

        To anyone who says it’s “no big deal”, I’d like to see them spend a night stuck in a trap without food or water.

    • avatar mikarooni says:

      I agree. Trapping is way past its time.

    • avatar Larry Keeney says:

      For Larry and Doryfun: What I get irritated with is when a trapper gets a nontarget species in the trap and reports it to IFG they may get accolades if it’s an unusual spp like wolverine or lynx. But if an elk hunter takes a nontarget spp like a moose (misidentified) he usually is prosecuted. I know, I’ve been there written that. So why, when traps are inherently non-selective are trappers given a pass? The inherent non-selective nature of trapping should be enough to warrant elimination of legal trapping. Especially in present day ESA protections (lynx, etc.). If the “takers” can’t do it with specificity it shouldn’t be a method of take.

      • avatar Mike says:

        ++The inherent non-selective nature of trapping should be enough to warrant elimination of legal trapping. Especially in present day ESA protections (lynx, etc.). If the “takers” can’t do it with specificity it shouldn’t be a method of take.++

        Clear and concise. I agree.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Larry,

        +++The inherent non-selective nature of trapping should be enough to warrant elimination of legal trapping+++

        and your rational is spot on.

  4. avatar Valerie Bittner says:

    Regarding Gamblin’s remarks below (in conjunction with his remarks about Idaho’s absolute Constitutional right to manage wildlife within its borders):

    “How we accomplish wildlife conservation and management now and in the future is clearly important, but the Summit will focus on how we Idahoans will work collaboratively, into the future, to make wildlife conservation and management serve the needs and desires of Idahoans.”

    it occurred to me (though I am not a constitutional law expert) that because wolves obviously migrate on an interstate basis (unless their numbers continue to slide steeply) that they might find protection as a NATIONAL economic resource (under the auspices of tourism, education, and scientific study)under the Interstate Commerce Clause.

    Any thoughts anybody?

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      ….In regards to Doryfun’s observation, “So IOGLB & IDFG are still requesting the USFS to reconsider, reminding them that they share in the responsibilities to find solutions to resource mgt issues, as a whole.

      if Idaho wants federal dollars to help fund these management solutions (a very euphamistic term for killing wolves and other predators) then they should also accept management solutions that rely on science, best available data and derive from the general public who desire to conserve that what they think of as a cherished national resource.

      These states think and talk like seccessionists when it comes to implementing conservation ideas they don’t like yet they run to the federal government to get money and manpower from federal coffers from a public who is strongly opposed to the heavy handed killing of an animal that many Americans cherish.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Louise,

        Daily I hear secession talk in Montana, many are of the belief that we stop sending money to the Fed’s and keep it within the state, they would be fine. If you look at the State of Montana’s budget, we are one of the few states that is not running at a deficit. So they many be onto something.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Save Bears,

          There are not onto something. Supporting a national government from the same base that formerly supported a state government is hardly possible for a poor, landlocked state like Montana.

          Your observations are important though because it backs up what I say about secessionists in Montana. It is not name calling on my part.

          If I had my way as an American first, I would like to see a number of these small population Western states combined into a larger state with logical boundaries.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Ralph,

            With the current make up of the country, I don’t really believe that any state could actually leave the union. I do find it quite interesting to listen to the conversations though.

          • avatar mikarooni says:

            “I would like to see a number of these small population Western states combined into a larger state with logical boundaries.”

            “Logical boundaries” or not, it would never amount to more than a state of Confusion.

        • avatar Moose says:

          “we stop sending money to the Fed’s and keep it within the state, they would be fine.”

          For the last 30 years, Montana has received an avg. of $1.45 in Fed tax disbursements for every $1.00 they send to D.C…that’s a huge chunk of change to lose.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Moose,

            I didn’t say I agree, I said, the conversations are interesting. Now many that think we could do this, also believe they would develop the oil fields in eastern Montana and make a killing.

        • avatar Mike says:

          The state of Montana takes more money from the feds than it produces, so it would have serious, serious financial problems if disconnected form the the feds. It’s is known as one of the “welfare” states:

          http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-08-18/politics/30039546_1_blue-states-federal-taxes-red-states

      • avatar DB says:

        Louise Kane – Good point (“…accept management solutions that rely on science, etc…”). That’s probably why FS realizes that such a project would require a monster of an environmental analysis.

        I’ve also wondered whether the outfitters are really that concerned about wolves and their effect on business. Don’t most outfitters rely on an established clientele that always show up and that the charge that elk numbers are way down is just to keep the do-it-yourself hunting competition from out of state away?

        • avatar Doryfun says:

          DB,

          Don’t most outfitters rely on an established clientele that always show up and that the charge that elk numbers are way down is just to keep the do-it-yourself hunting competition from out of state away?”

          Most likely Wrong. I don’t have the stats, but I would guess there are a lot of big game outfitters who are legitimately concerned about loss of clients due to hunters no longer coming to idaho because of bad PR about the wolf/elk thing. People don’t keep paying big dollars for hunts year after year if they think their chances of bagging their quarry keep dropping off. They will look for where their chances are better. Glittering generality, perhaps, but probably not far off the truth.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            I have heard, that many are now going to Colorado, New Mexico and Utah for their hunts, instead of Idaho, Wyoming and Idaho.

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            I just want to remind folks, mostly Idaho Fish and Game, that we said it time after time here — talking about the “huge wolf problem” with elk would come back and bite you pretty fast. Likewise, we cautioned outfitters who had made this into a mantra.

          • avatar DB says:

            I’m sure you are more up on this me, but my thought was these outfitters and their clients are still fairly successful but would like others to believe “no more elk elk here, go elsewhere.”

            Regardless, my friends in Grangeville are getting elk, but not in the usual and accustomed places. They’ve been forced to really go hunting. Maybe outfitters don’t have the flexibility to move around.

            • avatar Doryfun says:

              DB

              “but my thought was these outfitters and their clients are still fairly successful but would like others to believe “no more elk elk here, go elsewhere.”

              I don’t think this is true. It is doubtful that all the outfitters are filled up with returning guests each year, as numbers of elk bagged go down, and new blood for potential clients always a factor to seek more business.

              “Regardless, my friends in Grangeville are getting elk, but not in the usual and accustomed places. They’ve been forced to really go hunting. Maybe outfitters don’t have the flexibility to move around”.

              I get it, I know about elk changing their behavior, and I too, as a hunter have had to adapt to that aspect. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I see far more wolf tracks in areas, after all, they indicate I’m in the right area, or they wouldn’t be there either. Or, the fact, that I don’t see as many elk in some of the places I have traditional experience in, including my adapted “other area” places, too. So, I accept that perhaps the universe for finding a potential elk for dinner, is not as big now. (in some areas). Nor, am I against sharing with wolves. I would rather have both on the landscape, even if it means my chances for a meal have been reduced.

              By the way, a lot of outfitters have been affected by lower numbers of elk in their areas, and even if they can’t go elsewhere, does not change the impact to their business. And, sure, there are some yahoo outfitters and/or guides, as in any other profession. But many are in it as a lifestyle, more so than just a business. So like anyone else trying to make a living in the world, they are rightfully concerned about their families and personal welfare.

          • avatar Mike says:

            I really don’t feel bad for the outfitters. No one is guaranteed a job. What about all those former Lucent employees? Or Kodak? The economy is the economy. Outfitters and ranchers need to ride the waves like everyone else in a free market system.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              “But many are in it as a lifestyle, more so than just a business. So like anyone else trying to make a living in the world, they are rightfully concerned about their families and personal welfare.”

              This is true too of commercial fishermen and for large scale sports fishing guides in the Gulf of Maine and along the eastern seaboard. My Dad was a commercial fisherman for many years. I too owned and worked on a gillnetter for some years. My son and many of my closest and oldest friends still fish. It was my experience fishing in the late eighties that made me realize that the amounts of fish we were catching as a fleet were unsustainable and made me realize that I did not want to be contributing to the rapid declines in the fisheries. Now that my Dad has passed, I continue to get into some very heated debates with my Dad’s old friends and my son and his friend’s about whether they have the right to keep practicing an extremely destructive profession at the expense of the resource? There is certainly no easy answer but I do believe, that as in any other business, when you find a business model is not working you can’t expect to keep practicing that model or to be bailed out because you have run the business into the ground and you did not have enough foresight to get out in time. Every fisherman in the world says the decline of fish is due to some other type of fishing effort other then what they practice. They all argue against any restrictions or closures unless it applies to their competitiors and most expect some bail out when things go bad. Yet they fought long and hard for any closures or other measures that might have given the fisheries a chance to recover. It is difficult and sad for people to face changes in their lifestyle especially when their profession is part of a cultural heritage as fishing was for my family. But by not insisting on necessary change and good management practices rather then pushing for the same bad policies, we are all complicit in the tragedy of the commons…..

        • avatar Salle says:

          Quite likely. They are, after all, making a living off the public’s wildlife… except for the canned hunting operations. I know that there are some outfitters that accept nature for what it is and its challenges as well as benefits… and who play by the rules. But there are some, most likely the biggest whiners of them all, who want it their way or the highway when it comes to what belongs to whom and who would have access to it… as if proximity trumps all other claims in a public trust issue.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          A fun story with nothing to do with suffering and misery…but appropriate for the day.

          my husband (Tom) and I lived in the Caribbean for many years. This meant we had a revolving door policy for our friends and family. One Easter a dear friend came with her son, Clay, who was really worried he would miss the Easter bunny. My husband, Tom, and I devised an elaborate plan that involved Tom dressing up in a bunny suit. Yes a bunny suit. This is how the bunny suit came into being. Tom’s friend and Tom used to play elaborate practical jokes on each other. One involved having Tom travel to Colorado to visit an old friend he had not seen in years. The plan was for Tom to come down the ski lift in the bunny suit while his friend who had not seen him in years was going up. Anyhow the planning and execution involved many friends and was really silly. But this is how a grown man had a bunny suit. So this suit was a great pink affair with big feet, floppy ears and a tail. In St Thomas, we were living on the edge of a cliff that overlooked the ocean and the only way you could get down to the house was by going down 100 or so steps. So Tom decided to put on the bunny suit and get a big basket and hop up the steps as the sun was going down so that little Clay would not think that he missed the Easter Bunny. We decided in advance that Tom would tap on the deck and then my friend and I would urge Clay to the glass doors to look out. When he did he woudl see the back of the Easter Bunny hopping up the stairs. As Clay got to the glass he saw the bunny and we thought he was awe struck. But as the bunny was hopping away, we asked Clay “hey what did you think? We told you not to worry about the Easter Bunny missing you”. Clay sat down and very seriously said, ” It kind of freaked me out, I never expected him to be so big”.

          Happy Easter and thanks for all the good discussions.

  5. avatar Louise Kane says:

    bah humbugh right, thanks

  6. avatar Valerie Bittner says:

    Ralph, Louise, Salle, Jeff, or Larry,

    Would you please tell me whether my cut and paste profiles of the IDFG Commissioners made it into the Idaho Statesman as a comment following its editorial??

    Can’t be sure from the vantage point of my computer.

    Thanks!

    • avatar Salle says:

      Valerie,

      I just looked and I saw nothing of the sort on the IS paper’s comments section… there were 16 comments posted at the time.

      • avatar Salle says:

        And on another note, sort of…

        I posted a comment on the MSNBC story last week and when I returned the next day, it was gone and mostly the idiot gallery had glommed the many pages with vitriol and totally misguided rhetoric and much nasty personal attack, name-calling and threats. Guess that’s all the media wants us to see, the ugliest of Americans.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          A note here related to Salle’s comment how things seem to always be extreme in the national media discussions on-line. Ken and I think some selectivity and moderation must be done to prevent this. As a result, I think it keeps the daily number of views increasing at The Wildlife News.

          We (Ken and I) don’t want to say that this on-line newspaper does not have a point of view. It does. People don’t have to agree with the view to comment here, however. It’s more the manner in which they comment. The major decision here comes when a person makes their first comment. It automatically goes into moderation. We do try to exclude obvious extremes in this first comment, especially when there are no real facts in the comment, only polarizing name-calling, obvious conspiracy theories, and clearly incorrect notions (in our view) such as “200 pound Canadian wolves.”

          After a person gets onto The Wildlife News and time goes by, the presumption is strongly in favor of the commenter; but about once a month someone has to go. Unfortunately, the judgment is mostly subjective. Usually the person is constantly getting into fights, or pursues one theme relentlessly. For example, several years ago there was the guy who would drag every argument he could into detailed and intolerant discussion about pepper spray; or spray versus guns for grizzlies while actively hunting. We don’t like to tell people they have to go; but some are amazingly pleasant about it and some never forget the injustice and intolerance of it all. Some focus their anger on Ken and some on me. A fair number who are excluded come back later and are welcomed.

          Although the extreme wants to call this an anti-hunting forum, we are pretty much neutral on the matter because hunters and non-hunters need to come together to conserve our wildlife legacy. We believe the ethics of chase and effects of the hunt on wildlife ecology are paramount.

          I like to shoot guns and have used them to deter in the past (by open carry). When you are out on the grazing allotment, and the livestock folks come by and see your loaded pistol near at hand, I think it deters trouble. Over the years, we (my spouse and I) have slowly acquired a fair number of pistols and rifles, no shotguns yet. Nevertheless, the NRA would probably say we are very bad people because our political views on healthcare laws and the like, are all wrong.

          • avatar JB says:

            “For example, several years ago there was the guy who would drag every argument he could into detailed and intolerant discussion about pepper spray; or spray versus guns for grizzlies while actively hunting…”

            I for one am glad to be done with those debates. After nearly 5 years posting here, I can say that the quality of the comments has been steadily increasing (though I sorely miss the comments of some; e.g., Robert Hoskins). And it is great to see (largely) civil debates about wildlife and public lands management issues.

          • avatar Dan says:

            “hunters and non-hunters need to come together to conserve our wildlife legacy. We believe the ethics of chase and effects of the hunt on wildlife ecology are paramount.”

            +1

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Valerie,

      That is what this page is for: http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2012/03/30/have-you-come-across-any-interesting-wildlife-news-march-30-2012/ Post it to that page.

      Ralph

  7. avatar Valerie Bittner says:

    Salle,

    Thanks so much. That’s what I was afraid of. I’ll try another way to get on their site.

    Warm regards,

    Val

  8. avatar Louise Kane says:

    I don’t see it either.

  9. avatar Valerie Bittner says:

    Salle, Lousie,

    UPDATE: Salle, you are correct. I have been notice by the Statesman that I and my comment must be vetted first during its next business day.

    I’d say I have a 50-50 chance — but who knows!

    • avatar Salle says:

      Valerie,

      I’d say your comment(s) probably have less than 10% chance of ever being released to the forum then. I don’t comment on most opportunities for that reason. If you have something other than what the moderators or producers/editors are interested in, just like on those old fashioned “call-in” shows on radio, they just put you on hold and eventually hang up on you if you aren’t making the comments the producers are looking for, specifically.

      Tells you a lot about the mainstream media and what/where their priorities are.

      I do like that this forum is more in tune with maintaining civility and advancement of the conversation than favoring a small element of perspective without allowing alternative views… though the moderators do have to keep an eye on things due to the sensitivity of the general topics covered and the fringe elements that try to obstruct civil discourse. Nobody’s perfect and some of us lose it once in a while… but this is one of the more welcoming forums offering sensitive subject matter that’s open for discussion that I’ve seen anywhere.

      Thanks, and kudos, to the moderators on Wildlife News.

  10. Ralph – I think a lot of hunters go through the evolution that I have. I saved every nickel I could get my hands on to buy a .22 at thirteen, then a shotgun at fourteen and at fifteen a .30.30. I later bought a .308 with a scope.
    I hunted every weekend in the fall and killed rabbits,ducks,pheasants,sage grouse,deer and later elk.
    As I got older and aquired a camera, I began to use the camera more and guns less.
    I haven’t shot an animal with a gun for the past twenty years, but have shot thousands of animals with my cameras. The skills I learned as a hunter carried over to my photography, but I had to become a much better hunter to use my camera than I did with a gun. I like to take photos at 20-50 yards or less and that takes better hunting skills than shooting a gun at a 100-400 yards.
    I got turned off on hunting when so much of it became road hunting on an ATV. I got tired of camp ground fire rings full of old beer bottles and aluminum cans and seeing the USFS signs and outhouses shot full of holes. Too many of the hunters I met seemed more turned on by killing than hunting. So much of hunting today has become “Look at Me! Look what I killed!”
    Josh Bransford’s photograph of the bleeding wolf is a prime example.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Larry Thorngren,

      I agree that yours is a typical evolution. Most folks begin to hunt because their community, family and friends all pretty much support it, tho often with some dissent, e.g., my mother didn’t like to see the little animals I killed and brought home, and my father was busy with athletics (coach) during hunting season.

      I learned to hunt with friends, but it reminded me too much of my summer job helping kill livestock of all kinds and dispose of the remains at the Utah State University veterinary science department. I couldn’t maintain interest in it. So I emerged into adulthood with little disposition either way on hunting.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Well said, Larry. The same thing happened to me. A natural evolution. I shoot animals now with my camera gear (as a hobby).

      I think it’s just part of growing up. Some are still in high school….

    • avatar Dan says:

      Although I completely understand the transition out of hunting, my dad went through the same process. I am glad I hunt because I don’t have to worry about steroids, pink slime, genetic engineering etc. My three little girls need protein and I like that I can provide a very lean clean source such as grouse, pheasant, deer and elk.

      • avatar Mike says:

        ++I am glad I hunt because I don’t have to worry about steroids, pink slime, genetic engineering etc++

        That only applies if you aren’t using lead bullets.

        • avatar Dan says:

          The lead does not contaminate the meat. Modern bullets are either mechanically “locked” together i.e. Nosler Partition and Swift A-frame or molecular bonding bonds the copper jacket to the lead core i.e. Nosler Accubond, Federal Fusion. Weight retention in these bullets are high 95%. The weight that is lost is not going into the meat. A properly placed shot is in the vitals and is well away from whole muscle that is consumed. A badly placed shot that tears into the whole muscle destroys that muscle and is lost for consumption.

          • avatar wolf moderate says:

            I hunt and kill the first legal animal I see. I’d rather shoot a spike elk any day over a 6 point bull. Like Dan, I prefer wild meat over genetically engineered domestic beef.

            My Dad has hunted since the age of 21. Prior to that, he couldn’t pull the trigger on a deer or elk. His father and brothers would laugh at him for not ever filling his tags. At age 21 he returned home from the USMC he started hunting with friends. He didn’t fill a deer tag until he was 38! He just liked being in the mountains with his friends. Since 38, he’s killed a deer almost every year and elk every few years. I think seeing his sons bagging game had something to do with his sudden success in hunting.

            I guess natural evolution towards shooting wildlife with cameras instead of guns and arrows isn’t for everyone.

            • avatar JB says:

              Wolf Moderate:

              Just so you know, not everyone who has made the migration from hunting with guns to hunting with cameras believes that cameras are for everyone. I’d like to hunt again some day, if I could find the time.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              it doesn’t sound like you kill for sport, a big difference in my mind

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            Dan you a bit wrong. Nosler Partitions will shed the front half which is a lead core, the weight retention is approximately 65% on partitions. The rest is spot on.

    • avatar Doryfun says:

      Larry T, Ralph

      LT:
      “I haven’t shot an animal with a gun for the past twenty years, but have shot thousands of animals with my cameras. The skills I learned as a hunter carried over to my photography, but I had to become a much better hunter to use my camera than I did with a gun.”

      “Ralph – I think a lot of hunters go through the evolution that I have.”

      Ralph:

      “I agree that yours is a typical evolution. Most folks begin to hunt because their community, family and friends all pretty much support it, tho often with some dissent.”

      Well, I guess I am the contrarian here, with something akin to an opposite evolution. Growing up, I couldn’t stand the thought of killing wildlife and had lots of relatives that were hunters. So, I took up the camera and spent a lot of time with that, then went with them on some of their elk hunts. My hidden idea was to get pictures, then spook any elk I saw afterwards so they wouldn’t get shot. (Didn’t tell my relatives, of course, as I wanted to go on the hunt).

      It was only later, once I realized I still wanted to eat meat, that I felt I needed to be more responsible about the reality of death that made that possible, and not leave that aspect to the hands of others. After a few years with a rifle, I took up the bow, going from compound to the long bow that I use now. And, like Larry, I soon learned how very hard it is to get within yards (sometimes feet) of an animal, (preferring stalk over stand) and how much the odds are in their favor. Just one eye blink can sometimes cause failure. But, that level of intimate eye to eye engagement with nature is what I enjoy most about it. And why I still like bow and camera. (live photos, not dead).

  11. avatar Ken Cole says:

    I’ve just received a photo that makes the Bransford photo look pretty mild. I don’t know any details about the who, what, when, or where of the photo but it’s bad.

    I can’t post it until I know more.

  12. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Jesus, I am barely sleeping after the last one. Really its so upsetting it truly makes me loose sleep, am I the only one.

    • avatar Mike says:

      No. I just try to block it out with work.

    • avatar Paul says:

      Louise

      No, you are not the only one. I have seen the image that Ken is referring to, and it is indeed bad. The source is unknown and it is trying to be determined who is in the picture. There are some sick SOBs out there and they are rubbing it in our faces. As I have said before war has been declared on this animal and torture is an accepted practice among wolf haters. These states cannot be trusted to “manage” these animals and it is only going to get worse if they are allowed to continue.

      • avatar Mike says:

        What are they doing in the image, Paul?

        The ranchers, hunters, and politicians are to blame for this vile hatred of a relatively underpopulated animal. Giving the states management after a multi-state lynch mob was created was the height of irresponsibility.

        • avatar Paul says:

          It is a photo of a “gut shot” wolf that is still alive, with one of the “hunters” in the background and another pulling on the tail. You see one of them clearly and only see the arm of the other that has ahold of the tail. There are several of us trying to determine where and when the photo was taken. There are also vile comments written next to the photo laughing about the suffering.

          • avatar Salle says:

            I don’t want to see it. I do wish that they would suffer a similar fate at some point, whether they survive such an event is of no concern to me.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            This image needs to be sent to every media outlet and to be posted everywhere the black wolf image was posted. I don’t want to see it either but i will at some point because it reminds me that wolves need protection and that these miserable sobs can not manage wolves. what a bunch of filthy fu**s

            • avatar Salle says:

              I strongly suggest that these photos be sent to those responsible for allowing this to take place, and those mandating it.

              I lose more than sleep over this.

            • avatar Paul says:

              I hear you guys. We are just waiting to make sure the photo originated here in the U.S. A sadist is a sadist, but we want to have the facts in order before it is put out. These are just the ones we have seen in photographs. Imagine what these thugs are doing when a cameras isn’t present. A line base been crossed here and the feds need to step back in. What has happened to wolves nationwide since this time last year is unacceptable, and Obama should be ashamed.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Paul I don’t think they are doing it to rub in our faces actually, they are just sick sobs. Who the hell shoots an animal in the stomach and then tortures it? These people need to be ostracized and have their licenses taken away forever. Should people like this really be allowed to have guns and be let loose on animals. I wish they would lock them up and throw away the key. Intolerance for these abherrent anti social sadistic behaviors is needed. If punishment is to be a deterrent it needs to be swift, certain and severe. But JB you know that.

  13. avatar Larry Keeney says:

    Like so many born and raised in Idaho or other western states I grew up in a hunting family. In fact it was the love of hunting that made me set my goal on wildlife management as a career. I made that goal good and started with IFG in the 60’s. I was still a hunter after about 8 years but was starting to question whether it was really for me now. I think my change started with so much contact with hunters, some slobering with alcohol and proudly showing off to a game warden a badly cared for carcass of an animal they just killed. And then too it was rare to find a hunter with ethics values. I did my share of setting animals free from leg hold traps though most of it was not a violation on my part, traps were seldom tagged as required by law. Setting animals free from traps was something that was morally right when you came on to a helpless animal, still obviously very cognizant of life, danger and his surroundings but barbarically helpless and sensing death. I think the final straw against hunting for me was when I changed over to the feds and began doing a lot of undercover hunts as an investigative tool. Totally disgusting is quite an understatement about the criminal element of hunting. Mostly it’s about money and ego. Safari Club International were some of the worst egomaniacs. Any groups trying to kill an “approved” list of trophies were without ethics whatsoever. Guides and outfitters were just used car salesmen for wildlife. They even play there own role of untruths to the paying hunter to get him to part with his money. Anyway not too long after I began my career I came to the conclusion that I wanted no part of being a member of these thoughtless killers and am glad I had the awakening. I know that dealing with so many live birds and animals in the course of this profession was a great benefit to me. You (anyone) can’t handle live wildlife and be eye to eye time after time and not come to know we must respect all life. We had a bighorn sheep biologist by the name of Morgan. Don’t remember his first name, back in the 60’s stationed at Challis. He made the mistake of publicly criticizing the livestock folks by saying bighorn sheep were being decimated by overgrazing by cattle and woolies. IFG fired him. I made the mistake of doing a half hour department show on Twin Falls television in the 60’s. I spent a lot of time preparing to show the erosion in Lincoln County from overgrazing and to tie that to decreasing deer numbers. I showed slides of huge gullys formed by erosion and grasses standing on pedestals with soil washed out around them. The next week I was summoned by the livestock committee at the BLM meeting. I was told they didn’t appreciate my TV show and don’t expect that kind of thing again. And if they see something like that again they will close all hunter access they can. They also sent a letter to Boise that they expected that kind of program would not be coming from me again. IFG then and I believe now is run by the livestock and heavy political guns that have no intention of letting well educated and trained college graduates in wildlife management actually apply those science ideals they have learned. It was ELK back then and it is ELK now. The irony is I used to patrol Bear Valley during the elk season and I would catch myself dreaming about how it must have been over a hundred years ago with wolves actually part of the mix. I just accepted that wolves would never again be part of the valley. I’m thankful for the forward thinking of younger biologists working with the ESA that said, “Why not?” Maybe even more thankful that Nixon actually signed the bill. Bless his little crooked heart. The turn against hunting is taking place across the country. It may be the reason we see pictures like the Bransford photo, maybe most of what’s left in the hunting circles are the barbaric ones.

    • avatar Mike says:

      And then too it was rare to find a hunter with ethics values.

      Wow Larry, thank you for the awesome post.

      BTW,could you tell me how to release an animal from a trap in case I come across one? I do carry wire cutters for such things when pets are in a trap, but I’d like to avoid the teeth of a red fox, badger, or coyote.

      • avatar Larry Keeney says:

        (just make do with whatever you have – usually a long heavy limb across the neck to pin him down – long enough you can kneel on it while you use your hands to release the trap – coat over the head helps quiet him too) Shhh.

    • avatar Doryfun says:

      Larry Keeney

      “In fact it was the love of hunting that made me set my goal on wildlife management as a career.”

      Ironically, it was just the opposite, love of wildlife/hate of hunting that led to my wildlife mgt schooling, around the same time frame as yours. Perhaps our paths crossed somewhere? As, I had a temp job in Salmon as a field biologist, gathering data for Bill Hickey, who was the bighorn sheep research biologist who replaced Morgon. I remember stories of bullet holes in Morgan’s vehicle. This was the same time Gary Powers was working that (Salmon/Challis) area.

      At any rate, thanks for sharing your history, and glad to see some other wildlifer’s out there getting fed up with the status quo and questioning the direction of our future wildlife mgt. Although, it might be a stretch to say: “ maybe most of what’s left in the hunting circles are the barbaric ones.” It’s always the more vile things that get most of the media attention, adding more fuel for confirmation bias. So, I question that most hunters are barbaric than ethical. (a cinder in the eye gets all the attention). However, social media of today makes communications far more faster, allows an exchange between informed people that might not have been as productively facilitated in the old days, and is a new tool for priming the pump for change, including wildlife mgt. In the end, exposing the political wrangling affecting our natural heritage and bringing that awareness to the general pubic can be a good thing.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Doryfun, you said Although, it might be a stretch to say: “ maybe most of what’s left in the hunting circles are the barbaric ones.” It’s always the more vile things that get most of the media attention, adding more fuel for confirmation bias. So, I question that most hunters are barbaric than ethical. (a cinder in the eye gets all the attention). However, social media of today makes communications far more faster, allows an exchange between informed people that might not have been as productively facilitated in the old days….”

        Isn’t it just possible that social media is making it easier for us to see the change in quality of hunters that might now predominate the “sport” and also allows us easier access to see the most egregious examples that were swept under the rug in the past? As you know by now I have always hated trapping and snaring and hunting for “sport”. However my objections to hunting in general stemmed long ago from examples of types of abuse that I have seen but which might never have come to light if it were not for social media. I know its been extremely frustrating and heartbreaking ,as a wildlife lover, to see the flocks of migratory birds that come to Cape Cod in the late summer and to find huge numbers of them dead or dying along the beaches I walk every day from late September on after hunting season begins. Likewise, its also truly horrible to watch the hunters hiding in wait while they shoot into flocks of terrified birds that are trying to escape and unable to rest or eat because every place they attempt to land they are faced with the same gunfire. Knowing this occurs at every stop of their migratory journey makes me wonder how any survive. Anyhow, last year when walking on a friend’s private property one hunter was hidden in the marsh in a natural blind. I only saw him because my dog started to bark. I asked him to leave and pointed out that the property was private and he told me to go f myself. He had a bag of 5 birds, which I later found out was illegal. He followed me out of the marsh walking behind me muttering. I was afraid. Its not so much the good hunters and hunting to eat that I object to, its the potential for abuse, the sheer numbers of hunters and amount of hunting effort directed at smaller and smaller numbers of some “game” animals and the inability to reform laws easily because of a corrupt interest run by special interest groups. Bottom line for me, get a bunch of drinking men (many of whom are in their later teens and twenties) together and let them loose on wildlife with guns, not a good idea. So maybe social media is just showing us the proverbial tip of the iceberg, sadly.

      • avatar Mike says:

        The answer of course is that I haven’t seen a single hunting group denounce this photo.

        Speaks volumes.

    • I worked for Jim Morgan on the Challis Bighorn Study. He publically called the BLM the “Bureau of Land Mis-management” for allowing the destruction bighorn winter ranges by the livestock industry. He was forced to apologize by the IDFG supervisors.
      Jim and I established range transects on all of the Challis Bighorn winter ranges during the summer of 1968 and I did the plant work. I am sure that the transects have never been re-done since Jim was fired in 1971.Jim called me in 1986 to see if I was interested in re-doing some of the transects, just to see how the range was doing. I was leaving the next day for Alaska and had to refuse.
      I was in Morgan Creek near Challis about two weeks ago and didn’t see any bighorns.

    • avatar Dan says:

      Larry,
      As a child it was my goal to become a photographer. The love of the still image was what started me down my path towards photography. I studied the ways of shutterbug and loved it. Then after years of doing it, I saw these other images. Perverse images. Unspeakable images. They dominated newsstands and the internet. I began to think “wheres the good in this, look at all these people taking these deplorable images” Sure there were decent shutterbugs but the numerous indecent ones weighed on me. I found after 8 years I couldn’t even depress the focus button anymore. The mountains, trees and birds just didn’t look or feel the same way through the shutter anymore. In an effort to make me feel better, I burned vile images every time I came across them. I knew what made a good image but they obviously did not so it made it right to burn those pictures. It didn’t last though, I knew that those big companies ruled the image market. All their money tilted the market. What did they know! I finally gave it up because maybe those vile shutterbugs are all that’s left.

      Not to say there is not a few terrible apples out there but did you ever stop and think this might have been a YOU problem.

  14. avatar Ken Cole says:

    If people’s ethics while hunting resemble those of people while they are fishing for salmon on the South Fork of the Salmon River then I’d have to agree that a big bunch of them don’t deserve the privilege. I witnessed many, many people repeatedly trying to snag salmon and at the end of the season, when my friends and I would snorkel the river for gear, there were an awful lot of barbed hooks which were illegal.

    It also was apparent that the fish were being harassed when you could see the fish’s reaction to anything you threw in front of them. By the time they would get through the gauntlet of fishermen these fish would swim as far away from even the most stealthy fisherman as soon as it saw your monofilament line.

    Occasionally people would recognize me from the fish trap where I worked and would immediately stop trying to snag but when I would go fishing on my own I would make sure the IDFG symbol on my work t-shirt wasn’t visible. I couldn’t write tickets and I never insinuated that I could but they didn’t know it. I could easily report them though.

    I remember one time in particular when I was fishing near the weir at the boundary of the fishing zone when one guy walked upstream and tried to scare fish back down below the line so his girlfriend could catch a fish. I took off my fishing vest so that the symbol was visible and they still didn’t get the message so I had to actually say that I didn’t think it was a good idea that they did that. They packed up everything and left.

    It wasn’t just the bad ethics of it all that bothered me but the fact that all of the stress and injury caused to the wild fish ended up killing a lot of them long after the season ended because the injuries would provide enough of an opening to infection of their already compromised immune system. I don’t think anyone really knows how much added mortality there is due to fishing activity but when they were watching very closely they calculated that for every ten wild fish reportedly caught and released one would die and would be classified as incidental take. That probably came later when water temps got high and the fungus and bacteria really kicked in.

    The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is issued an incidental take permit each year for wild listed fish and if that number was reached they would have to close the season. When the fishermen got wind of that a lot of them simply told each other to stop reporting the wild salmon they caught and released.

    I also used to work in Clayton each spring with steelhead. I had to drive the road between Stanley and Clayton nearly every day and I knew to be aware of the drivers ahead of me who were steelhead fishermen. On many occasion I would have to slam on the breaks or avoid them as they would suddenly stop in the middle of the highway or cross the line in the road because they were looking in the river for steelhead.

    I think that salmon and steelhead bring out the stupid in people. I don’t imagine it is much different with many hunters.

    • avatar Doryfun says:

      Ken,

      “I think that salmon and steelhead bring out the stupid in people. I don’t imagine it is much different with many hunters.”

      Would that be like deer and elk that cause people to drive erratically to get photographs too?

      Actually, I know what you mean about the fishing wars, as we see it all the time during Salmon season on the Little Salmon River. Some people like elbow to elbow “social fishing.” And based on some of the stories, I’m not sure if it is a reflection of stupidity, or just the more competitive side of human nature and a revelation of what people are willing to do???

      Perhaps part of the reason we have not been visited by aliens (unless you believe the stories of those who claim otherwise) is that they are actually intelligent, and know enough to stay the hell away??

    • avatar WM says:

      Regardless of the activity, humanity has a certain percentage of participants who color outside the lines prescribed by society.

      Otherwise, we wouldn’t have so many folks involved in law enforcement and the criminal justice system, so many IRS auditors, so many of those new stoplight cameras at intersections, as well as the need for SEC regulations for publicly owned companies, the EPA, state and county health deparatments to oversee restaurant food safety, and a whole host of other “overseeers” to make sure people don’t cheat, and if caught are punished for their indiscretions. Even proctors for exam takers in our kids’s schools are becoming more prevalent. Even the fear of some religous dogma, to which some subscribe – God will strike you down! What would Jesus do? (or the equivalent in whatever worldwide theological doctrine one subscribes)…is not enough to get the job done. Agnostics, and atheists fare no better.

      I will submit the frequency of infractions is inversely correlated with the likelihood of being caught, and the severity of the punishment.

      You can get all worked up over this if you like, flogging us with this “unethical hunter stuff, but the real question is how does one change the behavior – better ethics for all in whatever activity. We need to find the answer to that question. Any takers?

      • avatar Mike says:

        ++You can get all worked up over this if you like, flogging us with this “unethical hunter stuff, but the real question is how does one change the behavior – better ethics for all in whatever activity. We need to find the answer to that question. Any takers?++

        This isn’t about “whatever activity”. This is a wildlife blog, and the scrutiny here applies to what appear to be raging ethical issues in the hunting and trapping communities. Even the head of the national trapping group condoned this behavior.

        Again, speaks volumes, and tosses the “one bad apple” theory on its head.

        No false equivalencies, no “mankind needs to behave”. No platitudes. This is about wildlife and those that take/kill wildlife.

        • avatar WM says:

          Mike,

          ++This isn’t about “whatever activity”. This is a wildlife blog, and the scrutiny here applies to what appear to be raging ethical issues in the hunting and trapping communities.++

          Actually, it is about “whatever activity,” Mike.

          As Salle says, “you can lead mind to knowledge but you can’t make it think,” Mike.

          The guy who is the very topic of this WIDLIFE blog thread, colors outside the lines in several areas of his life, according to the ID court information system. Same thing, may be true of the guys up in the Methow (the alleged sewage matter brought up by other posters knowledgeable of their activities).

          Maybe the corellary should be “lack of ethics or cheating in one area of one’s life may be indicative of lack of ethics or cheating in other areas.”

          It may well come back to basic values, and feeling you can get away with something.

          A few years ago I spend the day with an enforcement warden for WA Parks and Rec. patrolling the San Juan Islands, near Vancouver Is. They have a number of public docks and mooring bouys for boat/yacht camping, with a drop box for the mooring fee of $20[?} per night. I asked him about voluntary fee compliance, and without hesitation he said,”… the largest group of violators we see are the people with the big yachts, who have this sense of entitlement and feel they are above the law. Usually the average guys pay. I love writing those big guys up when I catch them, especially if I can get confirming evidence they have been moored for several days without paying. I bet those guys don’t pay the taxes they owe, either.”

          Some may rationalize that wildlife violations/not paying for camping/taxes etc., are victimless crimes. Again, someone who is “ethically” challenged in the wildlife area, also may have other ethical indiscretions.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        good laws, with stiff sentences, and management that is not corrupt with conflict of interest.

        • avatar Doryfun says:

          Louise, and WM,

          You guys might be right. Based on how our cancerous effects on native populations (people and animals) spread across the continent from day one, perhaps there are more people concerned about getting caught than doing right?? We claim to be a country of rules and law, so along with a great many such scoundrels, perhaps that is a big reason our cages are excessively full.

          Knowledge and wisdom are not the same thing. To have knowledge is just that, an accumulation of knowledge. To have knowledge that contains wisdom, is not wisdom until acted upon with the knowledge that aligns with evidence that supports such.

          I’m more of an anti-theist, than atheist. Rather, I subscribe to a Great Mystery as an explanation for the purpose of everything. It is the native worldview that led me to appreciate hunting and the gifting of an animals spirit to make mine better, as gained by the earth wisdom of people who lived close to nature and observable events, rather than elaborate mythology that evolved into religion.

          Sure, every culture has its superstitions and mythologies. I too have had a lot of experiences that I can not explain by science, as I know it. But, that doesn’t mean I believe in superstitions, only that I haven’t found the answer yet, and that science might find one in the future. Most likely, mystery will always be a part of the universe.

          Hunting is not likely to ever end in the natural world. I doubt that evolution will ever change predator prey relationships, through a process of natural selection. As civilization gets farther removed from nature with our high tech world, social pressures might exclude hunting for humans, but is that really enlightenment?

          Might it also remove us yet one more step from appreciating how the natural world works (pred/prey relationships bottomline) in the process? Will it really serve us better in trying to live more in harmony with natural processes and everything else on the planet, by denying pred/prey relationships as it applies to all life forms?

          The current denial of science, corporate influence, divided politics, and extreme environmental battles, seem to indicate a huge dis-harmony in our country today. Lots of information and knowledge. Wisdom, not so much.

          I know, I don’t have all the answers. Part of the great mystery. Thank Dog.

          • avatar Mike Post says:

            Dory, I like your thoughts… The concept that hunting keeps people connected to the natural world is not a common one but seems to me to have some truth to it. An illustration from a PETA blogger: “Those cruel hunters should buy their meat at a supermarket and not harm innocent animals”…

            • avatar Larry Keeney says:

              With respect to the unethical hunter/fisher subject: Even if we put a game warden behind every bush we will only have compliance by force. We need to turn compliance into a self rewarding mechanism where the reward is to oneself for being a better person. When that is achieved it also brings a fuller appreciation of wild things and wild places. Studies have shown that it also brings forth better students. Please read Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, “What it means to be smart”. Until we get there though we need a game warden behind every bush. I know, with the exception of a few onlookers, our editorials are read by the choir. Our best avenue to preservation of wild places is using the power of the courts. Organizations such as WWP and other similar is where the power is when we don’t sit on the king’s throne. The only negative is the useless feeling I have because I don’t have the wealth to make much difference for these organizations. If we had do-overs I would be an attorney instead of a game warden so I could twist some arms instead of just slap wrists.

    • avatar Salle says:

      Once again, I think everyone who is upset about these “problem takers” is to send a polite but honest message to everyone you can, especially these guys:

      http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
      (everyone on the list and especially Kennyboy Salazar and his boss!)

      Links and pictures (or the links to them) and tell them why you object to this behavior and the protections of them.

      And then send this info to every media outlet you can. Seriously, if you see the value in social media as mentioned above, this is one way to make it work for a specific purpose… Make the system work for you.

      • avatar Doryfun says:

        Salle,

        Good idea. Thanks.

      • avatar Mike Post says:

        Sal, a different take: I sent this article along with my expression of outrage to all my fellow hunting friends. I think that labelling and smacking around any identified group just polarizes them and creates a defensiveness that is even less open to logical debate. A little peer pressure can go a long ways….

        • avatar JB says:

          Well done, Mike! Internal (in-group) pressure is almost always more effective than external (out-group). My colleagues constantly complain about cell phones going off in class. Not me. If one phone goes off, everyone gets an assignment–no exceptions. The policy works, of course, because they fear their peers more than their instructors.

          • avatar Salle says:

            Good thinking, Mike. As JB said, it is the peers one fears more than outsiders. And I like JB’s policy on cell phones. But you need to have leaders who will execute such policy concepts, we don’t have any political leaders who represent us on that at present in the NRM states. Lest we forget in this election season where there is a very religious individual who is a high ranking member of the ruling religion in these parts who is running for president; there is no separation of church and state in this part of the US of A… F$G policies in ID and WY represent case in point.

          • avatar wolf moderate says:

            That’s a great way to combat cell phone’s in class! Same in bootcamp. One recruit does something wrong, the whole company does pushups with him. Mistakes happen much less when you know that your buddies are going to be punished for personal mistakes.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          excellent idea and follow through
          thank you

    • avatar Larry Keeney says:

      When we used to work salmon fishermen in Stanley Basin or Bear Valley it was common that the ‘ol man would send the kids or wife to high ground with binocs to watch for game wardens. The ‘ol man technique was to have a cigarette in his mouth and if wife or kids yelled “game warden” would touch the monofilment with the cigarette and all the snagging gear was gone. We just got better at what we did.

  15. avatar Larry Keeney says:

    Just an addendum to my midnight diatribe- I also know that in the 60’s society wasn’t as coarse as it is today. The rudeness of people nowadays spawns many more problems associated with our wildlands. And then too, to have high ranking public figures say outlandish hateful statements (against wolves or management style or like calling environs “tree huggers” etc,etc), emboldens the Bransfords of the world. They suddenly have license now to be hateful like their leaders are, they shed their shame. All of our wildland problems could be greatly curtailed if these leaders consistently spoke in positive tones rather than demeaning rants. They should be outspoken against littering on public lands all the way to disrespect for the life forms that inhabit our lands. (We certainly didn’t have the litter/trash problem in the 60’s that we do now, did we. Something has caused the change.)

    • avatar Doryfun says:

      Larry,

      Great points.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Doryfun much of what you say is true about the coarser elements yet when it comes to wolves the hate and ignorance that wolves suffer from today has been a longstanding threat to them and we are seeing the results of that now. Its just more important now then ever to get some real protection for them because the numbers of people able to inflict their rage against animals is dramatically greater and now once again sanctioned by laws.

  16. http://signon.org/sign/relist-wolves.fb9?source=s.fb&r_by=4128405

    Moveon.org/signon.org has an online petition
    to relist the wolves.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Larry I started this petiton many months ago in a fit of anger and sadness. I wish I could rewrite parts of it. But once it circulates its there is no changing it. Anyhow its taken a long time to get signatures. Back then I did not have any images that I might have posted with it. I hope maybe it picks up some momentum with the black wolf story. I am not sure resliting is the best way for wolves, I’d rather see a national predator/carnvore act but thats going to take some time, a lot of effort and money… and until then wolves are really suffering so maybe a relsiting is the only or best way to protect them.

      • avatar WM says:

        Louise,

        What I don’t understand is that some seem to think the relisting of NRM (or WGL) wolves is some kind of popularity contest. Sign the petition and it will happen, kind of thing.

        The ddistasteful “rider” which Congress passed as part of the budget bill was merely a way of saying the FWS met the burden of the ESA in its delisting rule in 2009. And, do recall the only thing litigated to legal conclusion (at the trial court level) under that rule was FWS could not break down the NRM DPS to delist in ID and MT, while keeping WY wolves listed because FWS didn’t like their plan.

        Even the FWS decision not to like the WY plan got scrutiny in federal court and the plan was slightly modified, but the numbers of wolves that had to be protected to meet ESA obligations was not.

        Again, its not a popularity contest, and a federal agency rule only gets overturned if it is arbitrary and capricious. There has been no showing on the facts or the law ESA obligations have not been met. Even after the only legal finding of no genetic connectivity in the NRM DPS, the scientists involved said the plaintiffs were wrong in their presentation of evidence to Judge Molloyon that point.

        Whether the NRM states screw it up to the point of requiring relisting is yet to be determined.

        And the disgusting “trapper barbarism” example is someting entirely independent of a federal statutory ESA obligation.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Oh come on now, “The distasteful “rider” which Congress passed as part of the budget bill was merely a way of saying the FWS met the burden of the ESA in its delisting rule in 2009”.

          a non germane rider was aprporiate here?

          • avatar WM says:

            Riders are commonplace in federal legislation. And, that is why the 9th Circuit upheld it. How do you think pork barrel projects that make no sense except to a Congressional sponsor get passed?

            It is not pretty. But that is politics in America. And, by the way, as has been discussed before on this project, the fact that the delisting went thru on a must pass budget bill gave some D’s who wanted the delisting thing to go away, the political cover they needed. An example: Colorado, and Mark Udall.

            • avatar Salle says:

              And thus, facts and science were eschewed for political “cover” regardless of what we the little people want.

              Riders need to go away and we need legislative reform more than ever… NOW. Obviously, our legislators don’t know how to behave and for whom they are supposed to represent.

              Aside from this being an alleged representative form of government – which its elected elements currently fail to recognize; it is also a participatory form of government… which means WE need to participate in making sure that it also represents us.

            • avatar JB says:

              As much as I detest the way it was done (i.e. budget rider), I think that ultimately, the delisting was needed. The lack of management of wolves was too alluring for big-hatted politicians to resist, and the distrust it was sowing–however misplaced–will take years to heal. Now we are in a position where states can no longer blame the federal government for all of their woes, which takes some of the pressure of the ESA (a good thing, in my opinion). If states mess it up now, they will only have themselves to blame. Even if you’re an advocate for wolves who favors total protection, you must admit that states’ aggressive policy stances are galvanizing support for the species. If things are coming to a head, I’d rather it happen sooner than latter. Better to lance the boil than let it fester.

            • avatar Elk275 says:

              What if a budget rider passed granting wilderness protection to two or three million acres of road less lands or the appropriation of hundreds million of dollars from the Land and Water Conservation Fund that would purchase hundred of thousands of acres of critical wildlife habitat. If one has disclaim for the way the wolf rider was passed would they have the same disclaim for the for a bill protecting road less lands and the acquisition of wildlife critical habitat. No, peoples memories are one sided.

            • avatar Dan says:

              There’s no “what if” national forests were created with a rider.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          WM,
          perhaps you wont’ agree but in my opinion, most riders are sleazy affairs, this one particularly so. Riders have been and are regularly used, but why is it that the sleaziest of the riders are used to circumvent provisions in laws or laws that are designed to protect or conserve public rights or natural resources from special interests. Riders bypass the underlying principles of democracy. To use riders to sidestep issues of general public consent like offshore drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or in this case to remove protections from only wolves and to attach them to non germane bills is a far cry from the usual legislative process that allows for public input as well as for time in both houses for debate. As far back as the reintroduction, people in America clearly wanted wolves to be recovered. I bet if you did a survey or poll about removing wolves from the ESA, there would have been little if any support. I do think PEW did a poll that illustrated this. I’d also like to see whether the public and independent biologists could find 100 to 150 wolves per state as an acceptable recovery goal. Even the simplest person might find that number pretty damn low in such huge states with millions of acres of federal lands and wilderness. Environmental groups fought hard to keep wolves listed because they feared the excessive hateful treatment that wolves would receive when delisted and because they knew that the number for recovery was a sham from the start that resulted in a bad compromise. The courts are supposed to be the means that we define and interpret laws and the provisions in them. To sidestep that process for political expediency and because of pressure from special interest groups is terrible policy and a threat to the principles of democracy. In this case, the rider also set a terrible precedent for abrogating protections for wolves and other species that special interest groups want to target. The title of “special status” under the ESA is a bizarre irony. When I think of special status i would normally think of an elevated or heightened status. Wolves should be in a special status, but one that means they deserve extra protection from ignorant, cruel people who still want to extriminate wolves from the west.
          and what the hell does starting a petition have to do with popularity? “What I don’t understand is that some seem to think the relisting of NRM (or WGL) wolves is some kind of popularity contest. Sign the petition and it will happen, kind of thing.” what about a rider that prevents riders but not until after wolves get some kind of renewed protection. No judicial review pisses me off. How low can you get?

          • avatar WM says:

            Louise,,

            I agree with your first three sentences. Beyond that we disagree, for the most part.

            As for the popular vote on wolf recovery, can you explain why the state with one of the largest prey bases in the Rocky Mountains was not a site for reintroduction (Colorado)? WA, even under its new wolf management plan (and the process which preceded it) said we don’t want reintroduction, but how do we deal with them when they come?

            Maybe folks in cities wanted them, and now that more is known of the political challenges in managing them, the elected representative governments where they are and will be are having a better understanding of the tradeoffs, and political liabilities. I don’t think there is an up side for a politician because they are a no win issue regardless of what the politician does. Somebody is always going to be pissed.

            _______________

            “No judicial review.” I think you misunderstand the meaning of that provision. The substance of the 2009 rule (now a statute), if violated, is still subject to judicial review. The rider law itself was subject to judicial review, if it somehow violated the Constution (including separation of powers – which it did not according to the 9th Circuit). These are concepts some either don’t want to understand, or it makes for an easy one liner to say “we don’t like no judicial review,” because it makes for a more indignant, although false, argument.

            A rider that prevents riders – now that is a novel thought. Odds of passing……I won’t even venture a guess.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              To WM

              i did not misunderstand the meaning of the judicial review componnent of the rider. To quote” By preventing challenges to federal agency decisions, this rider takes away any incentive the Fish and Wildlife Service may have to improve these rules. After all, why should they? No matter what the Obama Administration does, their final rules can’t be challenged, so why listen to comments from involved stakeholders? This is exactly why judicial review of agency decisions is important. Not only because it provides a remedy for citizens and State governments to address illegal federal agency actions, but also because it provides those agencies with a reason to take constituents’ critiques and suggestions seriously.

              Shifting the separation of powers by taking courts out of the picture?”

              There is a good article here on it
              http://legalplanet.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/gray-wolf-update-rider-upheld-and-wyoming-delisting-a-step-closer/

            • avatar JB says:

              “…can you explain why the state with one of the largest prey bases in the Rocky Mountains was not a site for reintroduction (Colorado)?”

              I can. I was at a meeting 3 years ago in Colorado where an attorney for Defenders of Wildlife claimed that it didn’t happen because the National Park Service didn’t want wolves in CO. Indignant, a woman with NPS spoke up during the questions and noted that they pursued the reintroduction but were stymied by local resistance–specifically, the town of Estes Park was worried that wolves would follow elk and mule deer from the park into the town. Without the support of local residents who would be “most affected” the FWS got cold feet. The exact same thing happened in New York state (Adirondack Park).

            • avatar WM says:

              JB,

              I think what you state is mostly correct. One of my old classmates was on the study committee. RMNP is but a small part of CO. It was determined that the Park itself was too small (much smaller than Yellowstone), and there was little support outside the Park, the town of Estes Park at the eastern flank being just one of those areas. The question was, what would the wolves do once they began to occupy areas outside the Park? No support (put in diplomatic terms, but the meaning was clear) from agencies or affected public.

              But, here is the curious aspect. CO is a huge state with, what I would guess has more wolf habitat than any other, especially WY, and maybe even ID. It has the largest elk herd at over 300,000, and the largest migratory deer herd in the country.

              Bottom line. CO DFW didn’t want wolves, and I am guessing still does not want them. As for popular desire to have them, evil ranchers and hunters don’t wnat them. Urbanites, Boulderites, Aspenites and Vailies might.

            • avatar JB says:

              WM:

              Actually, CSU studied the reintroduction issue for FWS and NPS. Residents, stratified by east and west slope, were asked if given the opportunity would the vote for or against reintroducing the gray wolf into Colorado. The researchers found support for reintroduction from both east (75%; weighted 61%) and west (66%; weighted 58%) residents. In the end, local concerns and vocal opposition was given greater weight than public opinion at the state level (i.e. NIMBY rears its ugly head).

              Personally, I am not a fan of the turn toward “localizing” environmental decision-making. Looking beyond wolves, I wonder if we can have meaningful environmental policy if local NIMBY politics always win out over the broader public interest?

              Citation: Pate et al. 1996. Coloradans’ Attitudes toward Reintroducing the Gray Wolf into Colorado, Wildlife Society Bulletin, 24(3):421-428.

            • avatar WM says:

              JB,

              That may have been the preference in 1996, as reflected in the Pate, Manfredo work, using 1994 data, before any reintroduction in the Rockies. I don’t know if it was updated, following what has happened, biologically and politically a few hundred miles to the north of them.

              What I was referring to is the outcome of the “wolf working group” scoping and meetings referenced in the lower part of the documents listed in this link, which occurred in 2004.

              http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeSpecies/SpeciesOfConcern/Mammals/Pages/GrayWolf.aspx

              If CDW has done much since then, it would appear it is being done very quietly.

              And, the RMNP official position statement was published (maybe just a restatement of a conclusion of an earlier time) in the Denver Post 2/15/09. By, the way, most of RMNP is not good elk habitat (elevation, steep slope and rock). The Park supports about 2000 elk TOTAL (about 2/3 are in the Estes Park subpopulation. And, a real important part, the winter range is nearly all outside the Park if my memory serves.

              http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_11694919

              A similar unoffical position was taken by Olympic National Park in about the same timeframe. They were worried Sequim, would get even more elk in town with wolves following. I have said here before the wolves that might show up in Forks or Port Angeles, …well…would just disappear.

            • avatar WM says:

              JB,

              From the Park website, 2/3 of those 2000 elk spend 7 months outside the Park (ie., no winter range and real short summers above 9,000 ft). The winter range is on NF, state and private land. So, it would be reasonable to conclude most wolves wouldn’t be in most of the Park most of the time. I am surprised the RMNP Supervisor Vaugn didn’t just say that.

              Instead, they just cull about 50-100 elk a year from the ones that don’t migrate out of the Park in late fall, and the population stays relatively stable without wolves (but they’re still eating the aspen and trampling the riparian zones).

            • avatar JB says:

              WM:

              My post was in response to this statement:

              “As for popular desire to have them, evil ranchers and hunters don’t wnat them. Urbanites, Boulderites, Aspenites and Vailies might.”

              The data suggest that support for reintroduction at the time it was being considered was strong, and not limited to city folk and ski villages. As for the rest, we are in agreement about the issues associated with RMNP and the problem of winter habitat for elk (hmm…that seems to be a recurring theme). Nonetheless, as you pointed out, there are very robust elk herds in CO and more recent habitat modeling suggests CO could support a viable wolf population on its own.

              Again, in the end, “all politics are local” and thus, NIMBY concerns prevailed.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              JB
              what other studies do you know of that show support for wolves or their reintroduction? can you provide refrences for them as you did with the Colorado study

              Thank you

            • avatar JB says:

              Louise:

              The research literature on attitudes toward wolves is extremely large. I can’t give you an actual count, but a 2002 annotated bibliography found 50 papers, reports and theses, and a 2002 meta analysis reviewed 37 quantitative studies. In the intervening 12-14 years there have been dozens of other studies.

              Here are a few key papers:

              Bath, A. J. 1987. Statewide survey of the Wyoming general public attitudes towards wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park. U.S. National Park Service.

              Bath, A. J., and C. Phillips. 1990. Statewide surveys of Montana and Idaho resident attitudes toward wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. National Park Service.

              Biggs, J. R. 1988. Reintroduction of the Mexican wolf into New Mexico: An attitude survey. Master’s Thesis, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.

              Kellert, S. R. 1999. The public and the wolf in Minnesota, 1999. A report for the International Wolf Center.

              Browne-Nunez, C., and T. J. G. 2002. Americans’ attitudes toward wolves and wolf reintroduction: An annotated bibliography. U.S. Geological Survey. Report 2002-0002.

              Williams, C., G. Ericsson, and T. A. Heberlein. 2002. A quantitative summary of attitudes toward wolves and their reintroduction (1972-2000). Wildlife Society Bulletin 30:575-584.

              Ericsson, G., and T. A. Heberlein. 2003. Attitudes of hunters, locals, and the general public in Sweden now that the wolves are back. Biological Conservation 111:149-159.

              Enck, J. W., and T. L. Brown. 2002. New Yorkers’ attitudes toward restoring wolves to the Adirondack Park. Wildlife Society Bulletin 30:16-28.

              Duda, M. D., P. E. D. Michele, C. Zurawsk, M. Jones, J. Yoder, W. Testerman, A. Lanier, S. J. Bissell, P. Wang, and J. B. Herrick. 2003. Wyoming Residents’ Attitudes Toward and Opinions on Wolf Management in Wyoming. Responsive Management

              Karlsson, J., and M. Sjöström. 2007. Human attitudes towards wolves, a matter of distance. Biological Conservation 137:610-616

              Heberlein, T. A., and G. Ericsson. 2005. Ties to the Countryside: Accounting for Urbanites Attitudes toward Hunting, Wolves, and Wildlife. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 10:213-227.

              Bruskotter, J. T., R. H. Schmidt, and T. L. Teel. 2007. Are attitudes toward wolves changing? A case study in Utah. Biological Conservation 139:211-218.

              Heberlein, T. A., and G. Ericsson. 2008. Public attitudes and the future of wolves Canis lupus in Sweden. Wildlife Biology 14:391-394.

              Wilson, R. S., and J. T. Bruskotter. 2009. Assessing the Impact of Decision Frame and Existing Attitudes on Support for Wolf Restoration in the United States. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 14:353-365.

              Treves, A., R. L. Jurewicz, L. Naughton-Treves, and D. Wilcove. 2009. The price of tolerance: Wolf damage payments after recovery. Biodiversity and Conservation 18:4003–4021.

              Treves, A. 2009. Hunting for large carnivore conservation. Journal of Applied Ecology 46:1350-1356.

              Treves, A., and K. A. Martin. 2011. Hunters as stewards of wolves in Wisconsin and the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA. Society and Natural Resources 24:984-994.

              Bruskotter, J. T., and D. C. Fulton. 2012. Will hunters steward wolves? A Comment on Treves and Martin. Society & Natural Resources 25:97-102.

            • avatar WM says:

              Louise, JB,

              Here is a recent study, using a novel approach to evaluating news coverage including wolves, from one of JB’s MS graduate students:

              From the Abstract:

              ++…Results provided insights as to how attitudes toward wolves change over time. Specifically I found that attitude expressions have become significantly more negative over the ten-year time period and that there are regional differences in the attitude expression trends.++

              “A quantitative content analysis of attitude expressions toward wolves in the United States and Canadian print news media, 1999-2008.” Houston, Melanie J. (2009)

              http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2012/04/08/idahos-leading-newspaper-says-one-trappers-barbarism-reflects-badly-on-idaho/#comment-117654

              So, with the general observation from the print media coverage above, I wonder how representative the 1996 conclusions (using the results of a 1994 survey) in the CO study by Pate, Manfredo et al, are today?

              Over 15 years of operating history with wolves on the landscape in lthe NRM, and even longer in parts of the WGL, and another almost 3+ years of attidudinal expression in the media, will the trend of negative perception be about the same, less or more?

              JB, any reflective thoughts on the work of your graduate student or trends of negative perception?

            • avatar JB says:

              WM:

              This thesis was published in an article in HDW in 2010:

              Houston, M. J., J. T. Bruskotter, and D. P. Fan. 2010. Attitudes Toward Wolves in the United States and Canada: A Content Analysis of the Print News Media, 1999-2008 Human Dimensions of Wildlife 15:389-403.

              I also provided some clarifying comments on the article here:

              http://bruskotter.wordpress.com/2010/11/27/how-does-experience-with-wolves-affect-media-coverage/

              Essentially, the increase in negative expressions (statements) in the print news media are fully accounted for in states with “new” (i.e. since the passage of the ESA) wolf populations (i.e., Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming). There was no trend in states and provinces with permanent populations and no trend in states and provinces without wolves. Of course, states with “new” populations and states where wolves were protected were confounded, so we don’t know if the increase in negative news media was due to wolves’ impacts, or due to frustration associated with their prolonged protection.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          WM I see now that you say you did not agree with the wolf delisting rider. Sorry for my misinterpretation in that part of your post.

          • avatar wolf moderate says:

            Louise,

            I appreciate your passion on the subject on wolves in the West. However, I would love to see wolves in Kentucky, West Virginia, and North Carolina, Maine Vermont, New Hampshire and many other states in the future. I’ve spent time in all of those states and believe that there is sufficient land to hold a decent population of wolves.

            Perhaps you or others on the East Coast could lobby for the reintroduction of wolves into some of these areas. Wolves are expanding into Utah, Oregon, and Washington every year. There is already plenty of “heat” on politicians in these states to ensure that a re-eradication effort does not happen in the West (IMO).

            I wish people would work to reintroduce wolves into all of their native habitats-at least where possible.

            Thanks and good luck!

            • avatar aves says:

              There are wolves in North Carolina, red wolves that are largely ignored by my fellow Easterners who advocate so strongly for gray wolves out West.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            about the colordao issue, “the researchers found support for reintroduction from both east (75%; weighted 61%) and west (66%; weighted 58%) residents”. A person has been contacting me for help with some advertising and she is indicating that in her research there is still a great deal of support for wolves. When was the study done that you refer to, JB?

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              aves unfortunately there are some of the same attitudes about coyotes in the east as wolves the west, that i am sure will carry over if and when wolves return. another reason for a national predator protection act. i think its better here for sure but there are ignorant cruel people everywhere.

            • avatar Salle says:

              aves is correct.

              There is a Red Wolf program in NC, been going on since at least the 1990’s. Folks should look into that and encourage more media coverage on that to educate the folks there and here.

              http://www.fws.gov/redwolf/index.html

            • avatar JB says:

              The survey took place in 1994, when reintroductions were being considered in CO.

  17. avatar JEFF E says:

    Some of these posts remind me of a period in my life when I engaged in certain behaviors. Because the only people I associated with on a regular basis also followed the same lifestyle I wrongly assumed that “we” represented a majority when we were in fact not.

    Conversely where I grew up was very near an Indian Reservation that was dry. So in order to drink one went into the nearby towns to drink. That of course tended to expose all of the associated dysfunctional behaviors for all to see. So the buzz was always that those Indians are nothing but alkies and trouble makers. I heard this for years growing up as “the urban legend” concerning this group of people. It was not until years later that I was fortunate enough and open minded enough to look beyond the propaganda and find that, like many issues, the truth was different. The alkies and trouble makers were in fact the minority.
    The majority were just your average everyday people trying to get by the best that they could but did not make “news” because of it.

    What some here do not realize is that, as diluted as it is nowadays” the “news” is the “news” because it is the exception rather than the rule and if “it bleeds it leads” is still the mantra, because that type story will sell the most papers or advertising. My local paper will take such a story and alter the headline a little bit every few days in order to prolong the story. The more sensational the subject the longer the news media will try and keep it going. It has nothing to do with relevance to anything than making money.
    Unfortunately on this blog there are a few extremely ignorant people that try and take the actions of the minority and attempt to create some urban legend as to a group of individuals as a whole. The tactic is as old as time and as transparent as it is pathetic.

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      I would have to agree with Jeff E. Seems one side justifies their position in the fact that the other side is dumb, uneducated and poor. That they’re tribe like only talking with like minded fools. At least half the people I hunt with and half the trappers I know have wildlife degrees. In high school we called them clicks, seems most people here could stand to spent some time with people of different view points.
      As for this trapping story I went out this afternoon found my MB-750 and put my hand in the trap checked calves and took it off. Ten minutes later no redness no cuts, of course my life wasn’t in danger. As for the kids shooting 22’s at a wolf over 300 yards away, what a laugh I’d let Paul or Mike shoot at me with a 22 at 300 yards. Anyone know how far one has to hold over at 300 yards. Then the blood, how much blood does it take to turn that much snow red, I’d guess less than a cup. Yes the wolf died and yes it could have died quicker but given the choice most of us would have wanted those extra two minutes of life. We may never know for sure until it’s legal to trap humans.
      I’ll say it again everyone was told when the wolf population was delisted, that the wolf population would be managed with hunting and if needed trapping. Don’t seemed so shocked.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Wow what a defense for an indefensible act.

        • avatar Rancher Bob says:

          Louise
          Where did I defend?
          Not a defense at all just some thoughts on the issue, things most here have no knowledge about. Ever had your hand in a trap or shot a 22 Louise? Ever spilled blood on snow?

          • Rancher Bob- Take your trap with your hand in it and tie it to a drag log out some where in the wild and drag the log around night and day for three days (72 hours) and see how you feel then. I can think of some places near Jackson, Wyoming that I have seen grizzlies in that would be a good spot.
            Apparently the kids shooting at the wolf had enough bullets to practice until they hit it.
            Anytime you want to stand at 300 yards and let me shoot ten .22 bullets at you let me know. I shot a crow out of the air at that distance when I was fourteen.

            • avatar Rancher Bob says:

              Larry
              Apparently they hit it? That’s the whole of the story “apparently”. I talked with a guy shot his wolf with 223 most the bullets barely broke through the hide.
              One lucky shot at 14, 300 yards good story, saying bet you couldn’t hit me and if you did what would be the damage.
              As for the grizzlies, trying to scare me or what? I can show you grizzlies in my yard.
              As for the wolf in the story, in the trap less than 24 hours or the length of that night.
              Do you drive a car Larry if you do you knowingly partake in a activity that randomly kills more animals than trapping, yet you still drive.

            • avatar Mike says:

              Rancher Bob –

              Would you let your dogs sit i na trap for 24 hours?

          • avatar Paul says:

            Just because I do not favor sport hunting and recreational trapping, it does not mean that I am not proficient with a firearm or have anything against responsible gun ownership. I did serve in the Army Reserve for eight years. When you stick your hand in that trap you can remove it at anytime you want and take an ibuprofen later if it hurts. The animal sits there for often days at a time and it’s pain relief is from a bullet, strangulation, or having their skull bashed in. You damn right it is still shocking to see someone getting pure pleasure from tormenting an animal. Anyone with even slightest faith remaining in humanity should be shocked by those pictures. As for wanting the couple of extra minutes of life, that is the most absurd statement I have read on this blog. “Oh, please give me a couple of extra minutes of torture before you kill me.” Give me a frickin’ break.

            • avatar Elk275 says:

              I am not for causing pain or tormenting any animal either for pleasure or profit. Years ago I was at a branding, the bull calves were branded, castrated, dehorned and released from the calf squeeze. The stunned calf would wobble out of the squeeze bawling for its mother. The pain that calf felt was many times the pain of any trapped animal. A week later the calf was healed up and doing well or as well as any male who has been castrated.

          • avatar Doryfun says:

            Rancher Bob,

            I have no experience with leg traps, so am curious. When you put your hand in the trap, did you simulate a foot putting pressure inside, so the jaws would slam shut around the foot, or did you ease your hand in and control the jaws clasping? If natural, I’m assuming the pain was more than that caused by a finger caught in a mouse trap?

            • avatar Doryfun says:

              Elk 275

              Good point about the cow thing. I once helped a rancher gather up some cows for all those various things. Didn’t like it then, and would never participate again.

              Dose that fact offer justification for doing either one, domestic or wild?

              It is easy to get callous, but hard to change mindsets.

              That anglo culture deemed Indians as savages to begin with, not to mention the same attitude towards black slaves, and beliefs that animals were only put here for the benefit of mankind, with an apparent diregard that they could actually feel pain, seemed to be the justification for the early tenents of “stewardship.”
              (questionable stretch of the meaning of that word here).

              We have come along way from how we use to treat humans, though not far enough, and have an even farther way to go with respect to animals.

              In light of all the wars and continued barbarism in the world (everywhere), the hope for improvement for animals in this regard seems highly suspect.

              There is no shortage of pain in the world.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            i would not want my hand in a trap for up to 72 hours nor have I attempted to do that. I also do not find it ethical to subject animals to traps and snares. I do not carry guns, and no I don’t kill things. So I can not guess as to how it might feel to spill blood in snow. I’d rather not actually.

        • avatar Mike says:

          Louise-

          Rancher Bob hates wolves. He does not use logic in any discussion of them.

          • avatar JB says:

            What a ridiculous comment?! Rancher Bob has a different perspective regarding wolves in their management, but I’ve never seen any indication that he “hates” wolves. How is it that you are privy to the inner workings of his mind?

            And as for logic… After reading all of the emotionally laden posts about how this poor animal suffered, Bob had the courage to put his hand in a trap to see how much it hurt. Sounds logical to me (Hypothesis: Trap causes pain; way to test hypothesis: put own appendage in trap). In fact, one of my colleagues does this each year in class when we discuss the issue of trapping.

            The better critique of Bob’s response, at least from my perspective, is that he didn’t sit strapped to a stake in the snow for 8-12 hours; that is, his test was insufficient to understand the pain that the animal endured.

          • avatar Rancher Bob says:

            Mike
            One more time for you I don’t hate wolves and most ranchers I know don’t hate them, but I’m sure you know more ranchers than me. Wolves are just wolves doing what wolves do. I do have a dislike for people who sit in front of the computer, thinking their dog is like a wolf. Living some fantasy about how cool wolves are and how much better their lives would be if only there were more wolves. Sorry Mike but more wolves are not going to make your life any better.

          • avatar Harley says:

            Mike,

            “Rancher Bob hates wolves.”

            Where is your data for this statement? What are your sources?
            Is this a scientific conclusion? What research have you done on this?

      • avatar Nancy says:

        ” seems most people here could stand to spent some time with people of different view points”

        RB, correct me if I’m wrong but this site (Wildlife News) is an excellent place to spend time with “people of different view points 🙂

      • avatar mikarooni says:

        Wow, Rancher Bob, what a despicably trashy posting! If you weren’t so dumb, uneducated, and poor; you’d know how badly you’ve just disgraced yourself.

        • avatar Mike says:

          Yeah, tacky post by Rancher Bob to say the least.

        • avatar Rancher Bob says:

          Mik
          You make me laugh, me disgraced here, I must be desensitized. Thanks for proving my first point. You must be better educated and richer cause only that kind of person would brag on this blog that he raises cattle at a loss. Judging for your past post you think your world is one dark hell hole, my ignorance is blissful.

      • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

        On very rare and special occasions it is difficult to “spend time with people of different view points” and to stay calm and polite. I think there is more that “reflects badly on Idaho (and not only Idaho!) ” than just “one trapper´s barbarism” !

        • avatar Nancy says:

          You’re right on Peter 🙂

          Just my opinion, but there are some who access the Wildlife News (seem to recall Ralph, Ken or Brian mentioned recently, over a million hits on the site?) who digest the facts being tossed around and just accept them regardless of any other studies that may disprove or show otherwise.

          And then, there are those who digest the facts, pull from personal experience, see thru the BS and smoke screens (often set up after years of “bending over” to special interests):

          “special interest – an individual or group who are concerned with some particular part of the economy and who try to influence legislators or bureaucrats to act in their favor”)

          and have no problem saying “wait just a damn minute here” when it comes to concerns about wildlife and what’s left of their habitat.

      • avatar Larry Keeney says:

        Rancher Bob – “I’d let Paul or Mike shoot at me with a 22 at 300 yards” WHAT???? Rancher Bob has NEVER been shot at by Paul or Mike or anyone else or he wouldn’t be making such a stupid statement. IF the first one is a miss he’d be so far dug in he could mine for gold.

    • avatar Mike says:

      None of that applies here JEFF E, since the head of the trappers association condoned these actions, and not one hunting group has condemned them.

      ‘This throws the whole “one bad apple” excuse out the window.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        Once again $3 try for reading comprehension. I said minority as opposed to majority.

        I do, however, look for your next riveting expose’ on pik-a-nik tables. Possibly a comparison-contrast on ones facing north-south as opposed to east-west, bringing the full weight of your world authority status to bear.

        Can’t wait.

  18. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Salle,
    sounds like you had an incredible place on the Cape. I hope it was not developed into small parcels of land. What an amazing piece of land to have shared. Anytime you want to visit Cape Cod you can contact us!

    • avatar Salle says:

      Thanks, I’ll keep that in my back pocket.

      It was the closest thing to idyllic when I was a child, was quite different the last time I was out that way. (Last time I visited the property, there were still at least seven acres or so from what I could tell without seeing the maps.)

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        yup it is different but still incredible. as you probably know the Kennedy Administration pushed for a national seashore so large tracts of lands along the coast are largely undeveloped. its what should have been done with the outer banks but was not. I travel a lot and when I come home i am always amazed by the beauty. wish the development would slow down though. come anytime

  19. avatar Alan Gregory says:

    Idaho F&G ought to be embarrassed big time over this “photo op.” Will hunters and trappers be quietly counseled not to repeat escapades like this in the future? I doubt it.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Nor will they be “shepherded” by their peers. There’s a real enabling mentality that infects these groups.

    • avatar Wolf Moderate says:

      I attended the IDFG wolf trapping/snaring 8 hour class. I would say that 6 hours was spent stating that ethics was the most important part of wolf trapping. They understood that one stupid incident like this Josh moron would jeopardize the entire program.

      Obviously stressing ethics for 75% of an 8 hour class AND showing case studies of what unethical behavior WILL do to trapping didn’t deter this trapper from highly unethical behavior.

      No, I have not trapped or snared anything-ever.

      • avatar Mike says:

        The problem with all that of course is that you’re trying to teach ethics in an activity that is inherently unethical.

        It’s like trying to teach a group of inmates “classy rape”.

  20. avatar Mike says:

    Not a single hunting or traping group or gun group has denounced this.

    Folks, it’s not a bad apple, it’s almost all the apples.

  21. avatar Louise Kane says:

    JB thank you very much

  22. avatar Louise Kane says:

    JB am interested in your analysis of the literature and what it suggests as a whole. are there patterns of support, general support nation wide, areas of no support etc. and thanks for the list

    • avatar JB says:

      Louise:

      Most people in most places show positive attitudes toward wolves and support for their recovery. Support drops a bit when you talk about reintroduction as opposed to recovery, *probably* due to the extended time wolves were listed in the NRMs. However, most people also support hunting as a tool for wolf management, and even more people support the use of lethal control for wolves known to have killed pets or livestock.

      Some studies have examined the social and demographic factors correlated with wolf support/opposition (summarized in Williams et al. 2002). These studies find that the most supportive people are members of environmental or wildlife groups (69%) and urban/city residents (61%), the least supportive are ranchers and farmers (35%), and rural residents (45%). Interestingly, (and contrary to Mike’s delusional rantings), studies indicate that 51% of hunters and trappers exhibited positive attitudes toward wolves or wolf reintroduction (again, see Williams et al. 2002). Level of income and education are also positively associated with attitudes toward wolves.

      Regionally and internationally, positive attitudes are strongest in the eastern US (64%), followed by the West (57%), Alaska-Canada (45%), Scandinavia (43%), and western Euroupe (37%). I know of only one comparative study between the Midwest and the West and it found that attitudes were more positive in the Midwest (this study is unpublished).

      Overall, support for wolves tends to be higher (56% +/- 2%) in areas without wolves than among people who live near them (43% +/- 5%); which is probably a function of the rural/urban dichotomy that almost always seems to be present with natural resource issues.

      • avatar Mike says:

        That data is way too old, JB. Not useful at this point in time at all as the dynamics have changed considerably the last ten years due to a variety of factors.

        But I’m not surprised to see you championing the killing of wolves.

        The head of the trapper’s association condoned the actions. No amount of spin can change that. Nice to see you completely avoid that.

        And again, not a single hunting or trapping group has condemned what happened.

        That tells you where they stand, loud and clear.

        • avatar JB says:

          How about data collected last year (2011); will that work for you, Mike?

          In March of 2011, I posted a link to this website and my own blog, and it was (subsequently) picked up by a couple of hunting blogs and posted on their sites as well. What do the data show?

          Response Item: “It is important to maintain wolf populations in the US so future generations can enjoy them.”

          —————–% Agr %Neut(n) error
          Hunted (any time): 47% 7% (434) +/-4.7%
          Big game past 3yr: 38% 8% (354) +/-5.2%
          Predator hunters-: 30% 8% (240) +/-6.9%

          Response Item: “It is important to that the US always have an abundant wolf population.”

          ——————-% Agr %Neut (n) error
          Hunted (any time): 47% 6% (434) +/-4.7%
          Big game past 3yr: 27% 7% (354) +/-5.2%
          Predator hunters-: 17% 8% (240) +/-6.9%

          Now, these data need to be interpreted cautiously, as they were not the result of random sampling. However, it is telling that when you account for error, our estimate of hunter support for wolves overlaps with the meta-analysis by Williams et al. They also suggest that the people who generally hunt predators are less supportive of wolves than hunters in general (I finding that has been corroborated by my colleague, Adrian Treves, at University of Wisconsin).

          So there you have it, Mike. Recent data and a Wildlife News exclusive: Hunters still don’t hate wolves, despite what Mike thinks.

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            JB,
            you know he will not be able to understand that data.
            It has not been dumbed down and there is no reference to a picnic table…..

          • avatar Mike says:

            JB –

            The anti-wolf hate comes from two places:

            1. Hunters.
            2. Ranchers.

            It does not come from anywhere else in the lower 48.

            Another fact:

            Not a single hunting or trapping group has denounced the recent actions. In fact, the head of the national association of trappers condoned the act.

            • avatar JB says:

              Mike:

              I am sorry that the available scientific data do not conform to your expectations. Consider the possibility that your stereotype of hunters needs revision.

            • avatar Mike says:

              Source? Sample size? Location? Polling method? Variation? Sample method?

              Is there a specific reason you left that off the post?

            • avatar JB says:

              Actually, the source, sample size (and associated error), method of contact and sampling are all discussed in the original post.

              Source: Online poll conducted in April of 2011.
              Sample Size: Total n=811 (see original post for hunters)
              Location: Nationwide, though responses were concentrated in the NRMs and surrounding states (~50% of responses)
              Method: Web-based survey
              Variation: Not sure what you’re looking for here?
              Sampling: Convenience

            • avatar JEFF E says:

              mommy, mommy….

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++Source: Online poll conducted in April of 2011.
              Sample Size: Total n=811 (see original post for hunters)
              Location: Nationwide, though responses were concentrated in the NRMs and surrounding states (~50% of responses)
              Method: Web-based survey
              Variation: Not sure what you’re looking for here?
              Sampling: Convenience++

              Oh boy. You call this science JB? Are you kidding me?

              How many states were polled, what were the randomization patterns? What website was the poll taken on, was it via email? What was the URL? What was the name of the website even? Who commissioned the poll? Who took the poll? What websites was the poll linked to?

              JB, I can only shake my head at this. You’ve stooped to some pretty lame stunts in these discussions in you ever-present defense of the killing of wolves, but this about takes the cake.

            • avatar WM says:

              Mike,

              Do you find some perverse pleasure in consciously trying to pick fights on this forum?

              It seems to me you should be grateful for the data JB graciously provided. I have found it rare that he does not provide an accompanying source, or even provide cautionary notes regarding application of the data when reaching certain conclusions.

              You been given more than enough opportunity to engage in sincere debate of information and viewpoints.

              Yet, you seem, in my opinion, to get hung up on your own tunnel vision and cryptic (sometimes illogical and nearly always emotional) and simple views of complex subjects. The hunter and rancher thing is actually becoming stale.

              The only time I have been censured here in the last year was last week when I responded to one of your smartass comments. You tend to create your own opportunities, quite a lot, for “insults,” from what seems to be a growing crowd.

              [Or, is it “a lot,” even when the term is used in informal colloquial speech?, Or, does it really matter, on this, a wildlife blog?).

            • avatar WM says:

              Ooops. Maybe mine was just a typo – alot or a lot – and who really cares?

            • avatar Mike says:

              WM –

              You’ve been given ample time on this blog to not pepper your comments with barbs meant to hurt those who enjoy wolves. You’re pretty good at it. You don’t like wolves, man. We get it. You consider them a “resource”, like a head of lettuce or a cucumber. But, after all, this is a wildlife blog. You keep butting heads with people how love wildlife. Most of the posters here love animals. Do you get some kind of kick by trolling them repeatedly?

              “An online poll” is not a source, nor is it science. And it’s especially not a source when it’s a frowned upon self-select poll.

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++Yet, you seem, in my opinion, to get hung up on your own tunnel vision and cryptic (sometimes illogical and nearly always emotional) and simple views of complex subjects. The hunter and rancher thing is actually becoming stale.++

              It keeps being repeated because you and JB fail to answer it. I’ll ask it one more time, but of course I expect you to dodge:

              Where does the anti-wolf sentiment come from in the Northern Rockies?

              Everyone anxiously awaits your answer.

              And this being a wildlife blog with a focus on wolves, don’t you think it’s important to acknowledge the source of this problem?

            • avatar Wolf Moderate says:

              I find the anti-hunter and anti-rancher sentiment to be very illogical. If it weren’t for revenue streams from hunters and fishermen AND there conservation efforts, there would be no habitat for wolves or ungulates for them to eat.

              Ranchers are a different animal in my mind. I do not like seeing cattle or fences in wilderness areas, but realize that if we are to keep these large ranches from fragmentation, then ranchers must be profitable. If ranchers aren’t profitable, what do you suppose they do with their vast acreages? Split it up and sell them as “ranchettes”?

              This is the very reason that I support subsidies (more often than not) and public land grazing leases (So long as it is done on a sustainable basis).

              Take a drive from Darby to Glacier. Do you want that to happen everywhere? If not, perhaps finding ways to work with sportsmen and ranchers would be a more appropriate way to stop it. How does fighting constantly with people who, for the most part, have the same passion for wild places as you?

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++I find the anti-hunter and anti-rancher sentiment to be very illogical. If it weren’t for revenue streams from hunters and fishermen AND there conservation efforts, there would be no habitat for wolves or ungulates for them to eat.++

              That’s simply not true.

              But let’s be perfectly honest with ourselves here.

              Do you really think (such as JB did) this is the best place to start a wholesale defense of the hunting/trapping community? Do you see the thread title and the article it links to?

              Do you think that perhaps, what’s needed in this thread, is an admittance that there’s a very real problem in this community, and that we need to figure out how can fix it? Do you think that’s maybe what we’re talking about here, and that the cheer-leading for hunting might belong somewhere else when you view the context?

              Ranchers are a different animal in my mind. I do not like seeing cattle or fences in wilderness areas, but realize that if we are to keep these large ranches from fragmentation, then ranchers must be profitable. If ranchers aren’t profitable, what do you suppose they do with their vast acreages? Split it up and sell them as “ranchettes”?

              This is the very reason that I support subsidies (more often than not) and public land grazing leases (So long as it is done on a sustainable basis).

              Take a drive from Darby to Glacier. Do you want that to happen everywhere? If not, perhaps finding ways to work with sportsmen and ranchers would be a more appropriate way to stop it. How does fighting constantly with people who, for the most part, have the same passion for wild places as you?

            • avatar Wolf Moderate says:

              Mike,

              It goes without saying that what this “trapper” did was unethical and wrong. What is the purpose of slamming this one act over and over again? There is atrocities everyday-from rape, incest, poaching, murder, etc…Every day. Why not let the legal system remedy the situation? There is a difference between laws and ethics. He did nothing illegal according to IDFG. This story is plastered everywhere and I’m sure that more rules/regulations will be instituted because of it. Perhaps this incident is a blessing in disguise.

              Larry (Thorngren?) says that he shot a bird out of the sky as a kid. Did he leave it lay? I believe that is unethical, but not illegal. Did he learn from his mistakes? I’d say yes. Can this Josh character learn from his mistakes? It’s yet to be seen, but yes it is possible that Josh AND all trappers/hunters/fishermen can take away something from this incident.

            • avatar Elk275 says:

              Mike

              I quit reading the comics when Calvin and Hobbes was discontinued. Now I read the “Wildlife News”. Mike has become Calvin and Hobbes is his menagerie of wildlife and western fantasies. Everyday there is a good chuckle from the new Calvin. Like the comics laugh but do not take it serious.

            • avatar JB says:

              “Do you really think (such as JB did) this is the best place to start a wholesale defense of the hunting/trapping community?”

              The more pertinent question: Is it appropriate to condemn an entire group of people based upon the actions of one individual? That is exactly what you’ve done (continuously I might add), and it is what I and others object to.

              Note: You have the roles reversed here, Mike. You are the one that made a wholesale attack on hunting and trapping based upon the actions of an individual. I made conditional defenses of hunting and (yes sometimes) trapping, noting that your wholesale attack does not accurately reflect the data on hunters, nor the important and sometimes needed uses of trapping.

              – – – –

              By the way, you have continuously used the failure of hunting and trapping groups to condemn this individual as evidence that these organizations support this individuals’ actions. Yet, their failure to condemn is not evidence they condone the behavior. Every day the news media reports numerous horrific acts that are not condemned by by every interest group.

              I believe I’m safe in saying that *most* people who post here find recreational trapping…distasteful, and the actions of this individual, downright disgusting. However, your insistence that this individual is representative of hunters and trappers as a whole alienates many people who know good, ethical people who hunt and/or trap. The reasons I continue to give you a hard time about your posts is that I believe your continued insults do a great disservice to the conservation cause. You alienate hunters, half of whom agree with your general cause–wolf conservation.

              Think on it.

            • avatar Harley says:

              Well stated JB.

          • avatar Mike says:

            What is the source? Where was the poll taken? Was it taken in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, which are hotbed states for the wolf “controversy”, and which significant anti-wolf political and media saturation has occurred?

            That’s the context, JB. If you’ve taken a poll in Wisconsin, it simply doesn’t apply to what we’ve been discussing about the attitudes and actions of hunters/trappers in the Norther Rockies (and again the context of this thread).

            • avatar JB says:

              Not that it will make a difference…

              Responses came from all over the US, though they were disproportionately weighted toward the NRMs and surrounding states. Roughly half of all responses 405/811 came from these states.

            • avatar Mike says:

              Do you have a source for the poll? A paper, .pdf, link, etc? I’d like to see the randomization patterns if you have it.

              Who conducted the poll, and who commissioned the poll? I’d like to see what states were polled, too in the official documentation.

              I think we can agree that the poll doesn’t prove whether or not hunters hate wolves. What it proves is whether or not they’d like to shoot wolves.

              What speaks volumes, as mentioned earlier, is that not a single hunting group has come out to denounce these recent actions. Also, the head of the trapper’s association condoned them.

              I know you’ve been sort of running away from that JB (you kind of do this when you get backed into a corner), so I’d like to hear your thoughts on why the head of the trapping association condoned those actions. He must valley wolves, right?

              See JB, I don’t think of wolves as a “resource” like you do. They have rather large brains for the animal kingdom. They are not a resource such as water, or oil, or a carrot.

              And let’s be honest. When you use the word “managmeent”, it really means kill.. Saying and typing “management” just makes it seem so much more palatable tough, doesn’t it?

              And I’ll ask you one last time JB, and I hope you don’t run away from it:

              Where does the anti-wolf venom come from in the Northern Rockies?

            • avatar Dan says:

              Mike,
              Although I do not agree with JB on some issues and have had many “discussions” with him, I would not and believe you are wrong for questioning his integrity.
              i.e. his data is good data.

            • avatar Mike says:

              Dan –

              Self-select polls are not considered science. Sorry. That’s just common knowledge. Read here for an explanation:

              http://www.fallacyfiles.org/readpoll.html?answer1=on#Continue

              The poll is worthless, and even if it wasn’t it still doesn’t say anything about hunter hate of wolves.

              I hope JB can answer a simple question:

              Where does the anti-wolf sentiment come from in the Northern Rockies?

            • avatar WM says:

              Mike,

              ++ I don’t think of wolves as a “resource” like you do. They have rather large brains for the animal kingdom. They are not a resource such as water, or oil, or a carrot.++

              So, continuing your logic, do you think in the world of humans, the term “human resources” shouldn’t be used by personnel types?

              Or, “management” shouldn’t be used to generally or specificall describe the activities of “wildlife management” professionals and programs of agencies, just because YOU don’t like the term? Talk about unjustified Mike-centric conversations! Wow!

            • avatar Mike says:

              WM –

              You manage an employee. You manage your checkbook (if anyone still writes check that is). You manage your investments. You manage a bullet into a wolves’ skull.

              One of those doesn’t seem quite right.

            • avatar WM says:

              Mike,

              ++You manage your investments [checkbook, etc.]. You manage a bullet into a wolves’ skull.++

              Actually, states, and the federal government as appropriate, manage populations of wolves, elk, bears …..etc., as reources collectively (some of which may involve lethal management by various means).

              So, in your world do wolves deserve an entirely different set of terminoloy from other creatures including humans, just because you want that to be so?

              Mike’s preferences are duly noted, though doubtful it will catch on.

            • avatar Harley says:

              Mike

              Why do you ask JB a question that you’ve already formulated an answer for? No matter what he says or comes up with, you will still call him out on it. So let me ask you, Where does anti-wolf venom come from in the NRMs? Can you give us sources, data, scientific findings that support your answer?

            • avatar JB says:

              Mike:

              I presented you with data from a meta-analysis that shows that hunters have mixed views about wolves (51% being supportive). A meta-analysis is a quantitative summary of studies (in this case 37 conducted mostly in the 1990s).

              You questioned whether these data were still relevant, so I provided more recent data on hunters that show a statistically identical result. Note: If you read my original message, you will see that I suggested caution in interpreting these data because they were obtained via convenience sampling. Yet, the fact that the parallel earlier studies suggests our sample may be representative. (Note: I have data from Utah hunters from 2003 that also parallels this finding).

              Regardless, by continuing to stereotype hunters as “wolf haters”, you’ve set the bar very low for me. All I need do is show that a significant portion of the hunting population likes wolves and is supportive of their conservation in order to disprove your “hypotheses”. Every study that has examined the relationship between hunting and support for wolves shows mixed attitudes among hunters, and thus, conflicts with your view.

              You can continue to question my integrity, or you might consider the admitting that you were/are wrong.

              – – – –
              Mike asks: “Where does the anti-wolf sentiment come from in the Northern Rockies?”

              That is a more complicated question. Prevailing evidence suggests it originates in beliefs about wolves and their associated impacts on human activities (i.e., threats to human life, livestock production, big game populations). Not surprisingly, hunters that believe big game populations will be seriously hurt by wolves tend to have more negative attitudes, while those who believe wolves’ impacts on big game will not be substantial tend to have more positive attitudes. The important piece of information here is that it isn’t one’s participation in hunting that makes them unsupportive of wolves, but rather, their beliefs about the impacts (however factually incorrect they may be).

            • avatar JB says:

              Mike:

              You originally suggested two flaws with that data I presented: (1) they were somewhat dated, and (2) they were not specific to the NRMs.

              In 2003, I conducted a study that replicated survey research from 1994 on Utah residents’ attitudes toward wolves. We randomly sampled residents, and then used statistical weighting to compensate for biased returns (males being more likely to respond). In that study we found that roughly half of all big game hunters in both surveys reported positive attitudes toward wolves (2003 = 56%; 1994 = 47%). Like our recent convenience poll, this data overlaps with the findings presented in Williams et al. (2002).

              Citation:Bruskotter, J. T., R. H. Schmidt, and T. L. Teel. 2007. Are attitudes toward wolves changing? A case study in Utah. Biological Conservation 139:211-218.

            • avatar Salle says:

              Mike,

              Time for a “time out”. I take issue with your relentless attacks on so many, and JB in particular here. (FYI; JB is an accomplish researcher and as a participant in some of his surveys attest that his methodologies and hypotheses as valid.) And I don’t agree with everything JB says or thinks/writes in comments, even when presented with valid citations – which he normally provides and which also carry validity.

              It’s time for a little more respectful discourse here. If you can’t join the conversation in that spirit, maybe you need to take a cooling off period. Yes, many of us are passionate about our perspective on the issues we discuss but the name-calling, insistence on validation to one’s pretzel logic by way of badgering those who disagree is not going to win you any support for your arguments. (By the way, argument is not the definition of a vitriolic shouting match, rather it is a discussion of varying ideas on a topic or set of topics.)

              There is probably not one single topic discussed here upon which every one of the participants agree 100%, at any one time or place.

              Enough with the rudeness please, just chill, dude.

            • avatar Mike says:

              Thank you for at last admitting it comes from hunters, JB.

              Now do you have a source for this online self-selected 2011 poll you presented as science? “online poll” is not a source, nor science.

              ++

              By the way, you have continuously used the failure of hunting and trapping groups to condemn this individual as evidence that these organizations support this individuals’ actions. Yet, their failure to condemn is not evidence they condone the behavior.++

              Did you read the press release from the head of the largest trapping group in the nation? It was condoned, period. Why are you trying to spin this so hard? What skin do you have in the game? Trapper inthe family?

              ++Every day the news media reports numerous horrific acts that are not condemned by by every interest group.++

              Usually because they aren’t getting the coverage. You’d think that with such a hotbed issue, and with a recent delisting, that local groups would call out these actions.

              ++I believe I’m safe in saying that *most* people who post here find recreational trapping…distasteful, and the actions of this individual, downright disgusting. However, your insistence that this individual is representative of hunters and trappers as a whole alienates many people who know good, ethical people who hunt and/or trap.++

              Were you on that forum before it was pulled? One guy out off a hundred condemnced the action. I’d like to see what it was now.

              As far as alienating ethical trappers and hunters, don’t you think the head of the trappers association does this better than I when he condones the behavior? You keep ignoring this point.

              +++
              The reasons I continue to give you a hard time about your posts is that I believe your continued insults do a great disservice to the conservation cause. You alienate hunters, half of whom agree with your general cause–wolf conservation.++

              Yes, and the reason I give you a hard time is because you often advocate the killing of wolves. I love wildlife, JB. It’s in my blood. This is a wildlife blog and where I’ve gotten neews on wildlife for years. I dont care to see psuedo-science like this crappy poll you trotted out used to defend trapping/hunting in a thread with this title, in this context. I think it’s rude.

              What this thread is about is humility and acknowledgement that there’s a very real problem in this community. And rather than the petty defenses you’ve mustered, you should’ve admitted this reality and looked for solutions to solve the ethical problem. These thing are tanbigle, they are real.

              Instead,you played the role of apologist.

            • avatar Mike says:

              Salle –

              I think you got the timeline messed up. Today’s insults started with this post by JB:

              http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2012/04/08/idahos-leading-newspaper-says-one-trappers-barbarism-reflects-badly-on-idaho/#comment-117666

              There was a direct personal attack in his post, mentioning me by name, out of the blue. Everything was peachy until this post.

              Sometimes going up the thread-vine can give a better perspective of the timeline.

      • avatar Dan says:

        “studies indicate that 51% of hunters and trappers exhibited positive attitudes toward wolves or wolf reintroduction”

        I think this is very important because as wolves continue to be classified as game their importance within the hunting and trapping community will increase, as it has for cougars and bears. I believe in the years to come this number will actually increase. Hopefully in the near future we will see a hunting/trapping organization emerge with the name of “Wolves Forever” or “North Rocky Mountain Wolf Foundation” or something to that effect and they will promote wolf habitat and fair chase ethics of hunting/trapping wolves. Hopefully an organization like this could go a long ways in promoting ethical behavior as it relates to dispatching trapped animals.

        On another note, it is very interesting that the numbers dip considerably wherever wolves are located.

        • avatar Mike says:

          Trapping is on its way out, Dan:

          http://www.bornfreeusa.org/facts.php?p=53&more=1

          State Leghold Trapping Bans

          FL (1973) — Steel traps banned except by permit for animal damage control.
          RI (1977) — Steel-jawed leghold traps banned except by permit for animal damage control.
          NJ (1984) — Use, sale, manufacture, possession, import, and transport of steel-jaw leghold traps banned.
          AZ (1994) — Leghold traps, instant kill body-gripping traps, and snares banned on public lands except for human health and safety, rodent control, wildlife research and relocation.
          CO (1996) — Leghold traps, instant kill body-gripping traps, and snares banned except for animal damage control, human health and safety, rodent control, wildlife research and relocation.
          MA (1996) — Steel-jaw leghold traps, padded leghold traps, Conibear traps, and snares banned except for human health and safety; Conibears only allowed by permit for damage control.
          CA (1998) — Use of body-gripping traps for recreation or commerce, and commerce in raw fur from animals trapped with body-gripping traps, banned; steel-jaw leghold trap banned for all purposes except padded leghold trap for human health and safety.
          WA (2000) — Use of body-gripping traps for recreation or commerce, and commerce in raw fur from mammals trapped with body-gripping traps, banned; use of body-gripping traps banned except Conibear trap in water, padded leghold trap, and foot snare allowed by permit for human health and safety, endangered species protection, wildlife research, or for unrelieved damage control.

          By the time there’s a “Wolf Trappers of the Rockies”, it will be banned.

          By and large the public does not support trapping.

          • avatar Dan says:

            yep 8 out 50 have banned trapping but only Washington has wolves so that leaves every other state that has wolves free to trap. 39 years since the first state banned traps and 7 others since, that leaves 42 other states, so by that timeline in 2217 all states will have banned trapping by the average years/state. I think that leaves a few years to promote ethical trapping. I might add, I am not nor have ever trapped an animal. I am of the hunter group.
            Once again, I would like to add that our government is a representative government not a true democracy i.e. everyone does not vote on every issue.
            However, I wouldn’t be surprised if this latest mess on the internet does not lead to a few states banning trapping.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        JB thanks,

        I have mentioned before that I am working with some volunteers to catalouge comments that were recieved by states and the USFWS in preparation for developing wolf management plans. We developed a simple protocal to categorize the comments after doing some limited research and running it by the head of a department at an academic institution. Would you be interested/willing to look at what we are doing. For the Idaho comments we are mostly done, but in going forward I think it would be very helpful to get your input as well as your thoughts on how to improve the method of catalouging the comments and also how the information can be used. I also want to ensure we are not repeating work thats already done. To date, I don’t know of anyone that has done this?

  23. avatar Doryfun says:

    Pain, suffering, and torture?

    Perhaps some of us at times get confused between pain and suffering, and torture. It seems only humans lap over into the world of torture. The transition zone is sometimes a bit grey, from when one mutates into the other. However, most animals inflict pain in the process of securing food, but do not engage torture for whatever abstract reasons that cause humans to such extremes. At least, not to my knowledge.

    Anyone know of any research that indicates animals kill for anything other than survival?
    Or for torture?

    Pain is part of life, and helps the living develop behavioral responses to improve upon their chance for future survival. Torture, is another matter, that hopefully one day humans can become better enlightened of and respectful for, in how we treat one another and other life forms.

    • avatar Mike Post says:

      Dory, ever watch a domestic cat disable a mouse or a song bird and then “play” with it for 30 minutes before dispatching it? Now we can’t get into their heads but I know how it looks….

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Doryfun and Mike,

      There was a very interesting article the other day (Scientific American on-line, I think) that said predators (other than humans) have no empathy for their prey. Therefore, we can conclude that their killing and consumption might seem cruel, yet it isn’t. They are not trying to be cruel. They not capable of cruelty or kindness, expect perhaps to their own.

      Humans, on the other hand, are a predator with emphathy. As a result, some will not kill not eat any higher animals. More significantly, I think, humans are capable or torture. Torture is a very empathetic act. The person who tortures (discounting torture for gaining information) understands the victim suffers. He or she may glory in that — even come to sexual arousal.

      Wolves are incapable of being bloodthirsty, but humans certainly can be.

      People who anthropomorphize their perception of the killing and eating of animals by other animals may not be aware of what they are doing, but for others it is a clear case of ego defense by projection.

      I should add that the unique ability of humans might not be completely unique. Other very intelligent primates (great apes) and maybe a few others might have some cross species emphathy.

      • avatar Mike Post says:

        Ralph, I do not disagree but where would you place those relatively rare serial killing events by canines where large numbers are killed and not consumed. I assume they do it for “fun”, whatever that means, perhaps in answer to some misdirected hardwiring, but those events seem to be contradictory to the innocent predator construct.

  24. Too many ranchers and farmers get used to hurting and killing farm animals during their routine practices.
    Dehorning, castrating, branding, docking tails, and sewing up wounds are all done without any anesthetic.
    I helped pull calves, stick holes in bloated cows and all of the other activities I listed above while growing up on a farm and after marrying into a ranch family.
    I saw a lot of animals mistreated by people who would go to church on Sunday and be the loudest singers in the church choir and give sermons on how to behave.
    I have seen some very pretty barrel racers beat the hell out horses that didn’t do what they wanted during a race.
    Rodeo stock are shocked repeatedly with hot-shots and cinched with painful straps to make them buck harder.
    Kids tend their 4-H calves and lambs and then see them sold at county fairs to be slaughtered.
    All in all, this creates a group of people who are de-sensitized to the suffering of animals. This carries over to their treatment of wildlife.
    Coyotes, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, jack rabbits, porcupines, skunks, hawks, eagles and wolves are all seen as something to be poisoned, trapped or shot. The same men who claim wolves are killing all of the elk and deer, will shoot those same elk and deer if they are perceived to be damaging their alfalfa crop.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      I don’t know how many people read my comment the other day about my part time job in veterinary science while I was in college, but killing all the livestock I was directed to do clearly desensitized me, though not completely, e.g., one day the professor said “help me kill these research turkeys. Just grab them by their necks and twist like . . . THIS.” I said, won’t they peck me?” He said, “no, they all have tuberculosis. They’re too weak.”

      I certainly remembered that.

      • avatar Salle says:

        And to add to that, I have yet to meet a rancher or anyone who practices “animal husbandry” on a ranch/farm who has a better disposition toward women in general than they do toward the livestock. Guess that’s one possible reason why they are so adamant about not defaming one’s mother; the only woman that deserves respect even though she probably doesn’t enjoy any… the lip service is what she might get, if that.

        • The reason many ranchers or farmers respect their mothers, is that they are still living with them or in the small house just next to the main ranch house. With people living into their eighties, many ranchers don’t inherit the family ranch or farm until they themselves are in their fifties.They are simply treated as hired hands as long as Dad and Mom still own the family ranch.(Mom snd Dad may not of inherited the ranch until they were in their fifties or older)If you disrespect your mother in this situation, you might get cut off in the will and never own a ranch.

          • avatar Harley says:

            Huh… and here I thought they respected their mothers because, well, because they respected them. Silly me, I guess there’s always some ulterior motive somewhere when we talk about ranchers and farmers.

            Sorry, I despise broad general sweeping comments about any group of people. The ranchers/farmers that I have known treat women a heck of a lot better than ‘city folk’ treat the women in their lives.
            I think the tradition on a farm of not getting too attached to something you are probably going to be eating for dinner is what causes a little bit of a thick skin. I was always told you don’t name your food.

            On the subject of Rodeos, I used to love to go, way back in the day. I didn’t look too closely at how things were done, it was just fun to see the horses… but when I really did take a closer look, I’ve never been back to one. Can’t even stand to watch it on TV.

            • avatar Nancy says:

              “Sorry, I despise broad general sweeping comments about any group of people. The ranchers/farmers that I have known treat women a heck of a lot better than ‘city folk’ treat the women in their lives”

              Hey Harely! Got stories about conflict in ranching familes that would curl your toes. Larry is “spot on” when it comes to the pecking order.

              Ever seen any re-runs of that TV show Dallas? It pales in comparison to some of the ranching familes I’ve met out here in Montana over the years.

            • avatar Nancy says:

              Harley (sorry I mis-spelling your name in the below post)

              A good book if you can find it:

              http://januarymagazine.com/biography/breakingclean.html

            • avatar Harley says:

              Nancy,

              Heh, no worries about the misspell of my name! Typos suck anyway you look at em.

              I’m sure there are loads of stories that contradict everything anyone puts out there. I know how some establishments are run. I’ve read stories before. But I don’t think all should be painted the same way. I think I preach that about every other week. I personally know of some very stellar examples of farm folk and ranchers. Are there some idiots out there? Heck yeah! But that doesn’t mean it’s everyone who is a rancher/farmer is an abuser, disrespecting of women, animal hater etc.
              I work in Special Education where the individual is valued, not the label, so maybe that is where my perspective is coming from.

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      There was a story recounted to me years ago about a rodeo guy whose son was once a quarterback at a well known Washington university. He may have been a calf roper, but anyway, his horse didn’t do what it was supposed to one too many times and he threw a tarp over its head and beat it to death with a shovel somewhere back on the rodeo grounds where the trailers were parked.

      I guess I never looked at ranchers as guys who felt too much one way or another about animals. I don’t look at them as wanton killers any more than I do animal lovers. Sure, there are exceptions, but overall it’s a living and the goal is to maximize income. I don’t think that having an affinity for a cow that was a producer, or a horse that was gentle, classifies you as any lover of animals.

    • avatar Dan says:

      Larry
      “All in all, this creates a group of people who are de-sensitized to the suffering of animals. This carries over to their treatment of wildlife.”
      I agree with almost everything you wrote but this. I too have seen some nasty things in rural America but for me there is no “all in all” I think it is wrong to judge an entire group because in all fairness, every person deserves to be judged on their our merits.

  25. avatar Jerry Black says:

    Larry Keeney, you commented…” IFG then and I believe now is run by the livestock and heavy political guns that have no intention of letting well educated and trained college graduates in wildlife management actually apply those science ideals they have learned.”
    Larry, I witness that continually here in Montana. But, it’s not only with the younger generation wildlife biologists, it’s also true of the older researchers whose studies are tied to the Universities who are contracted by Montana FWP. These biologists are noticeably absent when it comes to testifying on behalf of wildlife, whether it be wolves, wolverines, bears, fisher etc. Much of the research they do never reaches the game commissions who decide quotas and seasons and who make decisions based on the “science” MFWP submits to them. The studies seem to disappear if they are in any way critical of the livestock industry, the hunting industry, or trappers. This happened recently when Dr. Creel of Montana State Univ. submitted research critical of the wolf quotas MFWP was proposing. MFWP threatened to withhold any further research from that institution.
    Another hammer MFWP wields is “take permits” of wildlife to be studied. If MFWP doesn’t like the outcome of a researcher’s study, they can restrict or eliminate permits used to trap and collar the wildlife being studied.
    I’ve had numerous conversations with many of the biologists after they have given a presentation….in one on one dialogue and, “OFF THE RECORD”, the truth comes out and so do their frustrations with the system.
    How is a change going to come about where they are free to speak their mind and expose all their research?

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Jerry and Larry,
      Your observations are not surprising yet still disturbing “IFG then and I believe now is run by the livestock and heavy political guns that have no intention of letting well educated and trained college graduates in wildlife management actually apply those science ideals they have learned.”
      Larry, I witness that continually here in Montana. But, it’s not only with the younger generation wildlife biologists, it’s also true of the older researchers whose studies are tied to the Universities who are contracted by Montana FWP. These biologists are noticeably absent when it comes to testifying on behalf of wildlife, whether it be wolves, wolverines, bears, fisher etc. Much of the research they do never reaches the game commissions who decide quotas and seasons and who make decisions based on the “science” MFWP submits to them.”

      My question, how does this get corrected? I would add that I have noticed sometimes when researchers in a given field gain enough status and prominence, other scientists entering the field may have more difficulty challenging the established authority and their presumptions and data. Their work may be ignored, disregarded or seen as heretical, even treasonous. I saw this at the federal level. I think that its particularly relevant in wildlife managemnet. For example, our information about animals has changed radically in the last 100 years. We know that animals exhibit fear, stress, pain, and that they have much higher levels of intelligence then previously thought. We also know that poisons cause terrible suffering as well as being disruptive to entire ecosystems. Yet our management models still rely on policies that were used a hundred years ago and caused terrible unnessecary suffering as well as led to extinction for some species and wholescale tragedies, like raptors becoming imperlied through the use of DDT. The evolution of management for wildlife has certaily not caught up with our understanding of biology nor does it reflect humane or ethical treatment of wildlife that we should expect in 2012. Its hard to believe some of this is not the result of an entrenched system of research directed to management protocals that are created in an atmosphere where conflict of interest previals over adaptive management strategies.

      • avatar Brian Ertz says:

        Land Grant Universities, and the studies and scientific inquiry they produce, are funded in large part by appropriations in Congress – and to a larger and larger extent proportionately in relation to the past – by private dollars (see: industry). The same is true of agencies. Researchers who apply for grants for scientific inquiry that may cast a negative shadow on those industry groups who hold politicians in their pockets may find cuts to their program budgets from on-high. This makes such researchers and lines of scientific inquiry a liability to university administrations or agency leaders who see budget cuts happening all around them. The corallary is that researchers who ask questions and design scientific studies that are likely to produce results favorable to industry may bring their university administrations or agency budgets more dollars (or more resistant to cuts then other programs) from on-high to further their lines on inquiry. The competitive nature accelerates the effect. And of course there’s the revolving door as well – researchers who produce scientific inquiry favorable to industry may find it easier to find work in the private realm – consultation can be quite lucrative if you can be counted on to be on the right side.

        We see this all over ~ abrupt disruptions in scientific inquiry from public institutions (universities, agency, etc.) that parallels political change.

  26. avatar Louise Kane says:

    To all,

    “The more pertinent question: Is it appropriate to condemn an entire group of people based upon the actions of one individual?”

    I would argue, its not as simple as that. While this trapper committed this act as an individual there is substantial evidence that this is not an isolated incident nor is the treamtment this wolf recieved isolated or even unusual. Even when trappers follow the rules, they may bludgeon, suffocate, strangle or shoot their victims. The cruelty and violence that are inherent in trapping illicts outrage when people see it. So to me its a question of condeming the individual act as well as the practice of trapping. To add fuel to the fire the level of hatred on some of the sites, against wolves, is so bizarre and frightening, that it defies description. We are seeing evidence that its not all threats. In Mike’s defense I think he is outraged and expressing that. I have not been a part of this forum long enough to know all of you that well but it seems like the name calling illicits bad reactions on all sides.

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      …”there is substantial evidence that this is not an isolated incident nor is the treamtment this wolf recieved isolated or even unusual.”

      And just what “substantial evidence” is that? If this Bransford incident is not unusual, why has it garnered so much attention?

      You’re condemning an entire group of people based on one idiot’s actions, and taking some comments you found on a website somewhere and using them as a broad brush to paint your worldview.

      You and Mike will get along well.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        go to any number of websites and see the shit that is posted. Do I need to send you a list of them, I think not

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          that was not to you JB

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Yup, if it is posted on the internet, then it is true! You can find anything on the net to prove your point.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Savebears,
            obviously not everything on the internet is true, but we are seeing evidence to back up these extremists claims about their wolf killing practices and their intent to kill, maim and torture them. These are not idle threats. if you don’t already know what res ipsa loquitur means look it up. while it applies to a rule of evidence, in negligence law, the concept behind it is that sometimes anecdotal evidence is enough.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Louise, I am very familiar with it, but the problem I have with your side, is you are all to willing to believe those things that support your side of the argument and there have been many times, they have been shown to be false or doctored. Give me 5 minutes with my very old version of photoshop and I could have you believing anything.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            savebears, i am not relying solely on the internet. Part of what i am basing my opinion on is from reading comments that are or were submitted to the USFWS or the states about the wolf management plans or actions. take a look at them online and tell me what impressions you come away with.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “go to any number of websites and see the shit that is posted. “

          I don’t need to go to any websites – I know lots of trappers. One branch of my bureau administers trapping licensing and regs, and I’m having lots of conversations with trappers who are curious about wolf trapping.

          I don’t know any that are into trapping because they enjoy inflicting pain – they have very utilitarian attitudes about animals that I don’t share, but it doesn’t make them the monsters that you like to characterize.

          And I trap my share of wolves for radio-collaring, and I can’t say I can detect any suffering when I approach them.

          Most adults are quiet and resigned, pups and most yearlings are submissive, and occasionally an alpha will be combative and difficult to poke with the jab stick. Quite often, I see an expression that looks like embarrassment.

          You’re searching out the most egregious examples of trapping abuse and using them to construct a belief that they are the norm.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            “Most adults are quiet and resigned, pups and most yearlings are submissive, and occasionally an alpha will be combative and difficult to poke with the jab stick. ”

            and just how do they react when they are being strangled, choked, suffocated, or beaten to death. Embarrased?

            As I argued in my last post, its the nature of this “sport” that causes outrage. I don’t need to find the most egregious examples to know that rapping and snaring are terrible and outdated practices.

            Hopefully the conversations you are having with trappers “curious about wolf trapping” will be to guide them away from it, if you don’t share the same sentiments as you state.

            I’d like to know what one is thinking when they come upon an animal that so closely resembles and acts like my amazingly sensitive dog when they prepare to kill these submissive beings. Seems pretty heartless to me. You don’t have to agree with me but no one will be able to convince me that wolves and other animals don’t suffer in traps, and that egregious actions do not occur regularly because of it, I don’t buy it.

        • avatar Mike says:

          Lousie –

          The head of the nation’s largest trapping org condoned the action.

          That tells you all you need to know.

          As I’m sure you and others know, this thread is not about me, or JB, or meta-squabbling and bickering. This thread is not about “making the case” for hunting and trapping. This thread is about how we can fix these ethical issues that seem to be a real problem in the hunting and trapping communities. They exist, they are real. The response to this incident proves that in every sense of the word.

          I’m open to suggestions on how ethics can be improved.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Mike,

            You simply do not understand, ethics is a moral belief, which varies by individual, how do you change a persons belief on the religion they follow? How do you convince a Buddhist to convert to Islam? People make their own choice about ethics, not you nor I, my ethics are not your ethics and your ethics are not mine, they are personal choice and belief. You will never change a persons morals, despite your best effort. I work with a young man, that believes it is unethical to swat a fly.

            • avatar Mike says:

              SB –

              There are certain things that are just flatly agreed upon, of course. I’m sure you agree with the article pointed to in this thread that these actions were unethical. Right?

              I don’t swat flies either. My cats like to hunt and eat them so I let them kill them.

              I believe that life is incredibly precious. I don’t feel the need to be judge, jury,and executioner except in the case of self-defense or sustenance. Would I kill a deer with a rifle if starving? Hell yes. But I don’t have to, and there’s a grocery store down the road where I can get all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetables.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Mike,

              your memory must be going, you have asked if I condone or condemn this action many times, I have stated my position many times on not only this, but many other issues that have crept up. If you can’t remember, please take notes, even others have pointed out that I have stated my position many times. Come on.

              Awe, you let the cats kill and eat the flies, what would you do, if you didn’t have cats?

              As far as hunting, I don’t have a store just down the road, and I don’t have the same financial means you seem to have, so I choose to grow vegetables and hunt animals for my food.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              you might not be able to change people’s morals or actions but you can create or modify laws that regulate people’s behaviors when they are deemed socially unacceptable, or dangerous.

            • avatar Mike says:

              If I was out your way I’d live on the sweets form the Merch, probably.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Louise,

              Your statements leads me to believe you want MORE government in your life, fortunately many others do not, you can’t outlaw or regulate morals, it would go against many things this country was founded on.

              For some reason, you seem to believe, because more laws are on the books, that things like this will stop happening. A law on the books, does not stop those that are willing to do the act. Crime rates in many sectors are on the increase, no matter what laws are passed. I am afraid there will come a day, when the people tell the Fed’s where to put it.

              This is the reason that most of my work is done in the educational field now a days, I find I am far more effective at getting an idea across than shoving a law down someones throat, I teach and show why the rules are what they are, and who it benefits to follow the existing laws.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              You might Mike, but I can’t, their choices are very limited and very expensive, you can only eat so many huckleberry rolls before you get sick of them..

    • avatar JB says:

      Louise:

      Mike has continuously claimed that hunters hate wolves–and these claims predate this particular post and discussion. On this thread, Mike argues:

      “The ranchers, hunters, and politicians are to blame for this vile hatred of a relatively underpopulated animal.” (Note the reference is to hunters–not trappers).

      I don’t have a problem with honest advocacy. If you don’t like hunting and don’t think other people should hunt, that is your right and prerogative–it is (generally speaking, anyway) a free country, despite some groups’ best efforts. What I object to is ANYONE making factually inaccurate claims in order to advance their policy positions. That is dishonest advocacy, and it is caustic to the principles of democracy.

      The data I have presented show the inaccuracy of Mike’s claims, and yet he continues to persist in his arguments.

      I have had occasion to disagree with just about every regular poster here (Brian and I used to have some great debates, and WM and I have had some good ones, as well). Reasonable people can have a logical debate, flesh out their points of disagreement, agree to disagree, and move on the the next topic. But facts seem to have no effect on Mike. In fact, I have never seen him concede a point. In the face of overwhelming evidence, he doubles down and goes for broke.

      Instead of facing the arguments head on, he has attacked my integrity as a researcher (on this thread), and (on prior threads) my commitment to wildlife conservation. He has even suggested my posts are “anti-wildlife”. I find arguing with Mike is pretty much exactly like arguing with the extreme anti-wolf folks. If you don’t believe me, re-read our exchange on this thread, and then take a look at the exchange with “Barry” on this post: http://bruskotter.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/dave-mech-on-wolves-at-the-midwest-fw-conference/

      I suppose I can take some solace in the fact that the ideologues on both sides attack me as biased.

      • avatar Mike says:

        ++
        Mike has continuously claimed that hunters hate wolves–and these claims predate this particular post and discussion. On this thread, Mike argues:

        “The ranchers, hunters, and politicians are to blame for this vile hatred of a relatively underpopulated animal.” (Note the reference is to hunters–not trappers).++

        Where else does the sentiment come from, JB? It doesn’t come from Debbie Ipad on Michigan Avenue.

        You want to call me out for associating the hunting/ranching community with wolf-killing/hate, yet you don’t provide an alternate source for the sentiment.

        It’s a strange argument you hold. Your fondness of hunting/trapping gets in the way of your judgement in these discussions much the way my love of wolves does. Yet you act as some noble, emotionless dealer of logic when in fact you couldn’t be further from hat. My rightful association of hunting/trapping with the anti-wolf sentiment clearly has an emotional effect on you, and leads you to even start off the day with personal attacks out of the blue. Don’t believe me? See this post here in which you just slammed me for no reason at all:

        http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2012/04/08/idahos-leading-newspaper-says-one-trappers-barbarism-reflects-badly-on-idaho/#comment-117666

        ++
        The data I have presented show the inaccuracy of Mike’s claims, and yet he continues to persist in his arguments.++

        What you provided, JB, was an “online poll” (self-select, the most frowned upon style of poll in the biz) with no source, no URL, no anything. No one is going to take that seriously.

        ++Reasonable people can have a logical debate, flesh out their points of disagreement, agree to disagree, and move on the the next topic. But facts seem to have no effect on Mike. In fact, I have never seen him concede a point. In the face of overwhelming evidence, he doubles down and goes for broke.++

        I’d love to see you cite at least one reference where this has occurred. It’s awful easy to sling generic comments like this, to attack a person’s character. It’s another to provide a specific incident to prove your point. So how about it?

        ++Instead of facing the arguments head on, he has attacked my integrity as a researcher (on this thread), and (on prior threads) my commitment to wildlife conservation. He has even suggested my posts are “anti-wildlife”.++

        I have not attacked your integrity, but rather your logic on certain issues. I think you’re a smart guy. But when you trot out online, self-selected polls with no source, you’re going to be asked for the polling data and the numbers/sources behind it.

        What I would like you to notice though, JB, is that I take you on over very specific incidents, such as your assertions that wolves would suffer more if we stopped trapping/hunting, or this online, self-select poll. On the other hand, you seem to sort of dish out these generic personal attacks with no real specificity behind them. Okay, you don’t like me. You keep repeating that. You say I do not follow with how you want the discussion to go, yet you fail to include any specific references behind these conclusions.

        • avatar JB says:

          Mike:

          I’ve heard it said that insanity is engaging in the same behavior and expecting a different outcome. Fortunately, my expectations are low. There are two specific matters of fact in your post, both of which I already answered, that I will attempt to explain one more time:

          (1) Mike says, “What you provided, JB, was an “online poll” (self-select, the most frowned upon style of poll in the biz) with no source, no URL, no anything.”

          No. I provided three sources: the study we conducted in Utah, the 2002 meta-analysis of studies (both with citations), and raw data analysis from the online poll. Here (again) are the citations I posted above, along with a citation for a paper published from the online study:

          Williams, C., G. Ericsson, and T. A. Heberlein. 2002. A quantitative summary of attitudes toward wolves and their reintroduction (1972-2000). Wildlife Society Bulletin 30:575-584.

          Bruskotter, J. T., R. H. Schmidt, and T. L. Teel. 2007. Are attitudes toward wolves changing? A case study in Utah. Biological Conservation 139:211-218.

          Slagle, K. M., J. T. Bruskotter, and R. S. Wilson. The Role of Affect in Public Support and Opposition to Wolf Management. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 17:44-57.

          Note that data from all of these sources agree; roughly 1/2 of hunters are supportive of wolves. These data clearly conflict with your attempts to stereotype hunters as “wolf-haters”.

          (2) Mike asks, “Where else does the [anti-wolf] sentiment come from, JB? It doesn’t come from Debbie Ipad on Michigan Avenue.”

          Again, I’ve already answered this question (above). Specifically, I wrote:

          “Prevailing evidence suggests it originates in beliefs about wolves and their associated impacts on human activities (i.e., threats to human life, livestock production, big game populations). Not surprisingly, hunters that believe big game populations will be seriously hurt by wolves tend to have more negative attitudes, while those who believe wolves’ impacts on big game will not be substantial tend to have more positive attitudes. The important piece of information here is that it isn’t one’s participation in hunting that makes them unsupportive of wolves, but rather, their beliefs about the impacts (however factually incorrect they may be).”

          Since I’m sure you will want sources, here are three studies that have used beliefs about the outcomes/impacts associated with wolves to predict either attitudes toward reintroduction, attitudes toward lethal control, or behavioral intolerance of wolves:

          Slagle, K. M., J. T. Bruskotter, and R. S. Wilson. The Role of Affect in Public Support and Opposition to Wolf Management. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 17:44-57.

          Bruskotter, J. T., J. J. Vaske, and R. H. Schmidt. 2009. Social and Cognitive Correlates of Utah Residents’ Acceptance of the Lethal Control of Wolves. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 14:119-132.

          Bright, A. D., and M. J. Manfredo. 1996. A conceptual model of attitudes toward natural resource issues: A case study of wolf reintroduction. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 1:1-21.

          – – – –
          New data:

          It occurred to me this morning that I could test Mike’s hypothesis with our existing data from the Wildlife News Poll. I haven’t shared much of this data with folks (apologies), but this seemed a controversial enough issue that it was worth the effort to conduct a pretty simple analysis.

          Hypothesis 1: Participation in hunting causes individuals to act intolerantly toward wolves.

          Alternative Hypothesis: Individuals’ behavioral intolerance toward wolves is explained by people’s beliefs about the outcomes associated with wolves (a loose variant of rational choice theory).

          Method: I used data obtained in our online poll. About half of all respondents reported having hunted at some point in the past; 44% reported hunting big game within the last three years. I used linear regression to estimate the effect of hunting and big game hunting on behavioral intolerance for wolves. I then added 2 other variables, which assessed people’s beliefs about the positive and negative outcomes associated with wolves/wolf recovery.

          Prediction: Based upon previous research, I anticipated a negative effect of hunting on behavioral intolerance in bivariate analysis. However, I anticipated that this effect would be non-significant when beliefs were held constant.

          Results:
          Model 1:
          Hunted (any time), beta = .40*

          Model 2:
          Hunted (any time), beta = .11*
          Hunted (BG past 3yrs), beta = .40***

          Model 3:
          Positive outcomes, beta = -.44***
          Negative outcomes, beta = .22***
          Hunted (any time), beta = -.003(ns)
          Hunted (BG past 3yrs), beta = .01 (ns)

          Conclusion:
          Although hunting participation is positively associated with behavioral intolerance for wolves, the relationship is not significant when controlling for individuals’ beliefs about the outcomes associated with wolves/wolf restoration. These analyses suggest, consistent with the existing literature, that the proximate cause of intolerance is one’s beliefs about the outcomes associated with wolf wolves/wolf restoration. Thus, one might conclude that intolerance is “rational” insomuch as individuals believe their intolerance is likely to mitigate negative outcomes that they believe will result from wolves’ presence.

          • avatar Mike says:

            JB –

            You’re changing the goal posts. I never asked for those other sources. This is about the 2011 online self-select poll.

            I asked you for the source and the data for 2011, which you have not provided. I did not ask for the others. What was the URL of the 2011 poll? What websites linked to the poll? What were the randomization patterns? Who commissioned the poll?

            I’m sure you’re aware that online self-select polls are not considered science.

            Also, it might suit you better if you can manage a reply without hurling insults. You say you are a professional, but your manner sometimes contradicts that. I’m guessing these insults have a direct correlation with you getting emotional, but Id suggest editing your responses’ so they are free of these types of comments.

            And again JB, this thread is not about whether hunters support wolves for hunting. This thread is about unethical actions towards wolves by the hunting and trapping community.

            Your emotions got the best of you when you rushed to the defense of hunting and trapping, which you are doing once more.

            Instead, take a look at the thread title and the article it links to. Take a deep breath, and admit that there’s a problem here with attitudes towards wolves in the sporting community (heck ,even politicians) and that this needs to be fixed.

            The question I have for you is, how can we improve hunter/trapper treatment of wolves?

            This thread is a time for reflection and solutions on a very real issue, not a time for deflection.

            • avatar JB says:

              [Sigh] Frankly, I’m tired of explaining things to you, only to have you ignore my response and change the question.

              “And again JB, this thread is not about whether hunters support wolves for hunting. This thread is about unethical actions towards wolves by the hunting and trapping community.”

              No. This thread is about the unethical actions of an individual trapper, whom you assume is representative of the “hunting and trapping community.” You took the actions of one individual trapper and used them as evidence to try and convict everyone who engages in both trapping and hunting. Guilt by association. Convicted in the court of Mike.

              Mike said (and this is just one example): “Not a single hunting or traping group or gun group has denounced this…Folks, it’s not a bad apple, it’s almost all the apples.”

              My replies were designed to show you that your stereotype is factually inaccurate–it conflicts with numerous data sources (which I have provided). That job is complete, case closed–though you can’t/won’t see it.

              Mike asks: “The question I have for you is, how can we improve hunter/trapper treatment of wolves?”

              Good question. You could start by discontinuing your attacks on hunters, which only serves to alienate many people who post here, and who collectively have lots of experience and insight into hunter attitudes and motivations. You could learn a lot from them. The first step in changing a behavior is understanding it.

              —-
              P.S I am through with this post and apologize to any poor soul is still reading.

            • avatar Harley says:

              JB, I have just one more question…

              If I bring the marshmallows, will you bring the chocolate?
              🙂

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++No. This thread is about the unethical actions of an individual trapper, whom you assume is representative of the “hunting and trapping community.” ++

              JB –

              The spokesman for the largest trapping group in the nation condoned it! What does that tell you? I know you can’t be this dense. Don’t let your love for hunting/trapping cloud your judgement here.

              ++You took the actions of one individual trapper and used them as evidence to try and convict everyone who engages in both trapping and hunting. Guilt by association. Convicted in the court of Mike.++

              Where does the anti-wolf sentiment come from? It comes from two places:

              Hunters and ranchers. That’s it.

              ++
              My replies were designed to show you that your stereotype is factually inaccurate–it conflicts with numerous data sources (which I have provided). That job is complete, case closed–though you can’t/won’t see it.++

              JB, you didn’t prove any such thing. You posted a 2011 source-less online self-select poll which isn’t scientific. “Online poll” is not a source.

              ++
              Good question. You could start by discontinuing your attacks on hunters, which only serves to alienate many people who post here, and who collectively have lots of experience and insight into hunter attitudes and motivations. You could learn a lot from them. The first step in changing a behavior is understanding it.++

              There you go again, JB. Deflecting. Making this about me, and not the actions of those towards wolves, nor the spokesman for the trapping association.

              This thread is about unethical behavior by hunters/trappers towards wolves, not my attacks on hunting.

              But I understand it’s much easier for you to attack me than it is to defend the recent actions, and that’s exactly what you’re doing. I notice you led off yet another post with an insult. Once again you let emotion cloud your judgement.

              The anti-wolf sentiment comes from ranchers and hunters, period. It doe snot come from anywhere else in the country. Posting online , self-select polls of hunters who support shooting wolves doesn’t prove a single thing.

              For once, face up to the facts that this venom is coming from the hunting/trapping community. Why can’t you admit that? What thing inside you won’t allow for this truism?

            • avatar Harley says:

              Mike,

              I don’t think you really understand what the bottom line is for JB. You are condemning an entire group of people and that is where JB has the biggest beef. At least, that’s how I’m reading it.

              “Where does the anti-wolf sentiment come from? It comes from two places:

              Hunters and ranchers. That’s it.”

              By that statement, you are saying that hunters and ranchers are the only ones responsible for anti-wolf sentiment, for that hatred. You’ve said that ever since I’ve been reading your postings here. You are labeling them all with a very broad brush. And JB is trying to show you that it isn’t ALL hunters and ranchers. Individuals from the hunting and ranching community, yes. But to assume that every hunter, every rancher despises wolves is just a falsehood. Or that because of their way of life, they are cruel and uncaring when it comes to any animal. That would be like me saying that everyone who is in support of wolves does not value human life, is a liberal democratic atheist who would just as soon see all people live in cities and no one live in the wild areas.

      • avatar Brian Ertz says:

        @JB says:

        Reasonable people can have a logical debate, flesh out their points of disagreement, agree to disagree, and move on the the next topic.

        just to clarify: i was under the understanding that the debate ceased between you and i because you came to your senses and agreed i was right.

        if that’s not the case – please let me know and we can pick up where we left off 😉

        • avatar JB says:

          Ha! Well you have convinced me of a couple of things. We’re still working on collaboration. 😉

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      In reverse order.

      Mike’s outrage is well founded, however he lashes out at one and all who don’t see eye to eye with him. The more he lashes out, the more he alienates himself, rather like Brer Rabbit getting stuck deeper and deeper in the Tar Baby.

      The hatred of wolves on some sites does defy description. Part of this is due to the “broken promise” of wolf management. WM has, much to his credit, brought this up many times. Wyoming as a state also bares much of the “credit” for holding up and dragging down the whole process of responsible wolf management. When the 2010/11 wolf season went out the window, so did the patience of many people, and the level of hatred was only fueled by the anti’s. If wolves are to exist in the NRM, management will take place, and the pendulum has swung in the direction of over-reaction. This has been one of Mech’s major concerns, and may be holding back the further expansion of wolves.

      Louise, I am on record as opposing trapping, for all the reasons you listed, and more so for the fact is that trapping can be very indiscriminate. However, trapping is legal. Montana is still dancing with the suggestions of a trapping season.

      Is it appropriate to condemn an entire group of people based upon the actions of one individual? Nope. But the actions of that one individual may provide the inertia for change in regard to many aspects of “recreational”trapping, including it’s demise. How will we play our cards?

    • It is hard to fault the no show biogists when the same cautious approach is used by so many posters on this blog. Many of the people on this blog are afraid of using their real names and hide like cowards behind initials, first names only or some cute little made up moniker.
      I pay very little attention to comments by such spineless “Experts”. I pay a lot more attention to those brave enough to take full ownership of their comments and criticisms.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Hmm,

        Seems there is a whole bunch of people on both sides of this issue that only use first names, initials or aliases, just look through the posting list, WM, JB, Nancy, Mike, Paul, Salle, Aves, Harley, etc.

        • avatar Harley says:

          For the record, I for one will never use my real name. There is way too much crap going on between people who post on this site, on other sites and I just will not trust it. I used to be trusting until I was stalked. Not from anyone here, this was years before I ever knew of this blog, but… all it took was one incident.

      • avatar JB says:

        When I decided to start posting on this blog, I didn’t want my words to be given extra weight because I have a PhD or because of the time I spent studying wildlife issues. I have never insisted that people believe me because of my credentials; rather, I have tried to tackle these issues as their equals, and let arguments–backed by data–rise or fall on their merit. Likewise, I have endeavored to be fair (though sometimes cutting) with my comments, unlike people who use their alias to make absurd, antagonistic comments in order to elicit a response. I’ve never attempted to hide who I am, but I also didn’t see any good reason to advertise it. If that makes me “spineless” in the eyes of Larry Thorngren, so be it.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          JB,

          I have posted my real name more than once on this blog. Did it just a couple of weeks ago, when being bashed over my alias. I have emailed my name to the owner of this blog as well.

        • avatar Dan says:

          JB,
          You can trust some of us who have a little wisdom understand the value of your commitment to these sophisticated cultural and societal issues. Unfortunately, ideologues are all about being heard. Those of us that are seeking insight and perspective appreciate your efforts..I definitely do.

          I think it is laughable someone would think your efforts are “spineless.” They definitely do not understand the rigors associated with earning a PhD or conducting research as a professor.

        • avatar JB says:

          Thanks, Gents. I really value your views as well–especially when I disagree with you. I appreciate have intelligent insight with a different point of view. (And by the way, your collective knowledge of ballistics is a bit scary!)

          • avatar JB says:

            Sorry, should have written:

            I appreciate intelligent insight with a different point of view. (I’d also appreciate the ability to edit typos!)

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        Larry Thorngren,

        Just jumping in here, but if you are speaking of JB, we know him well and he has put a bullseye on himself that few professors today are willing to do. I would never do today what I did throughout my career at Idaho State University. I did want to eat and stay in the West, but I felt fairly safe criticizing these rural feudal lords. Now they have too much power.

        I hope you are referring to someone else.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Ralph,

          With the nature of this blog and a few others, sometimes I think people are crazy for using their real name, there is to many freaking nuts out there now a days!

      • avatar ma'iingan says:

        And then there are those, who when you click on their actual name, it takes you to their commercial website.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Yep,

          Some of us, the bullseye we may put on ourselves by posting our names could put what we do for our livelihood in a certain amount of jeopardy, and there is no “profit” in that.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          ma’iingn,

          If you find any of these on this forum, please email at once if you don’t mind. Yes, that is a tactic employed, but we thought had caught it in the spam filter.

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            and if someone posts a first and last name, how is it going to be checked for authenticity? Just because someone posts two names does not mean they are real

      • avatar SAP says:

        Yeah, if some nutjob shoots one of my mules, or throws some Temik meatballs out in the alley for my dogs, I can hold them while they’re dying and say, “guys, I know this sucks, but at least Larry Thorngren doesn’t think I’m a coward.”

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Larry posts his real name, because he is under the assumption that someone will do a search and find his wildlife photographs and purchase some!

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “Larry posts his real name, because he is under the assumption that someone will do a search and find his wildlife photographs and purchase some!”

            You don’t have to do a search – if you click on his name you go directly to his website, where his photos are for sale.

            • avatar Ken Cole says:

              Yeah, if you click on my name you end up at this website, even when I post to other blogs. It’s part of the wordpress software and I think it is legitimate. There are several other people who post here who do it too.

            • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

              Anyway, what is the problem with Larry selling wildlife pics? As you guys say all the time: It´s legal……

      • avatar WM says:

        Larry,

        ++Many of the people on this blog are afraid of using their real names and hide like cowards behind initials, first names only or some cute little made up moniker.++

        What exactly does using one’s real name accomplish? You doing independent research or something?

        Surely, I am one of which you speak, using initials as my handle. It doesn’t dilute the content of my posts, and usually I try to stick in a reference or a verifiable source/quote/link on important assertions that can be deemed controversial.

        I recall an assertion you made here, a couple of times, in fact, which caused me to go to an authority on the subject to call you out, and then post their verbatim reply.

        Wonder if it would have made a differnce had my name been used.

        Quite frankly, I think some people who use names, unless they have something particular to prove, create unnecessary risk for themselves, their families and their property. And, of course, once something hits the internet it seems to stick around for awhile. In other words, for some who do it is, in my opinion, not a smart thing to do.

        There are just too many wack jobs out there, including a couple who post here regularly, as well as the ones that just “watch,” and report back to their buds (like the knuckle draggers on the bad bear blog).

        It’s not cowardice Larry. I have no problem confronting an aggressor when and where I know they want to get me. I bet there are some other folks that feel the same way.

        And, “taking ownership of criticisms,” has no bearing whatsoever on anonymity as long as you use the same indentification (which one does) on this forum. That assertion is nonsense.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          One comment here. I did not use my full name on purpose. I am trying to remember the first comment I made but I think the form that you complete to make the first comments asks for your name and indicates your e mail will not be shown. I incorrectly assumed my full name would not be used either. My mistake. I am glad that I live in MA or I would probably be afraid for my dog or family judging from your collective comments and from friends who live in Montana.

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            Louise,
            A great many haters that do little more than stoke the flames of misinformation and ignorance hail from your part of the country. A certain jelly-fish form Maine comes to mind.
            Just an FYI

        • avatar Wolf Moderate says:

          My plan was to use my real name, but I got really nervous after learning that certain people and groups were trying to get Josh Bransford’s wife fired from her job. Perhaps I could see trying to get Josh fired, but his wife? Frankly, I wouldn’t trust some of the people on the internet. You have death threats towards pro-wolf org’s (Footloose) on one hand and possible bounties/death threats on the heads of wolf hunters/trappers like Josh and Robert Millage (Both legally “harvested” wolves).

          I don’t cater photography to wolf lovers, therefore must remain somewhat neutral in the real world if I want to maintain a career working for the man.

    • avatar Mike says:

      ++The cruelty and violence that are inherent in trapping illicts outrage when people see it. So to me its a question of condeming the individual act as well as the practice of trapping. To add fuel to the fire the level of hatred on some of the sites, against wolves, is so bizarre and frightening, that it defies description. We are seeing evidence that its not all threats. In Mike’s defense I think he is outraged and expressing that. I have not been a part of this forum long enough to know all of you that well but it seems like the name calling illicits bad reactions on all sides.++

      Well said, Louise.

  27. avatar Mike says:

    Here’s a spokesman for the largest trapping group in the world on this incident:

    http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20120330/NEWS01/203300316/Photos-live-trapped-wolf-prompt-threats-Missoula-based-group

    Basically he said it’s okay for a photo op while the animal is in the trap, alive.

    And you wonder why people believe this is so commonplace? When a spokesman for the world’s largest trapping group says these things, one can only wonder at how widespread the mentality is.

    Note the excellent comments given by Marc Bekoff, a former professor of ecology and evolutionary biology (a field I had the pleasure of learning much about the last two years). He basically says the wolf was tortured.

    The question here is, how do we change the behavior within these communities? It’s there, it’s real.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Mike,

      No on has denied it is real and it is there, my only problem with you is the wide sweeping comments you make on how many are involved, I don’t think it is as many as you think, I don’t remember anyone on here stating the wolf was not tortured.

      You are very good at picking talking points out to support your position, problem is, so are others, and often times they are in conflict.

      I am sure a good many of us on this blog could sit down around the campfire and get along just fine.

      • avatar Harley says:

        Now that paints a cozy picture, all of us around a campfire! I’ll bring the marshmallows!

        • avatar Mike says:

          Yes I agree, I think most here would get along. I’d hang out with SB as long as he wasn’t hunting. Maybe we could get some huckleberry ice cream in Apgar (super- tourist thing I know, but I love it).

  28. avatar Louise Kane says:

    to Savebears “I am afraid there will come a day, when the people tell the Fed’s where to put it.”

    The feds are not another country imposing a rule of law on independent sovereign states. Its the United States of America not the US and Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

    “This is the reason that most of my work is done in the educational field now a days, I find I am far more effective at getting an idea across than shoving a law down someones throat, I teach and show why the rules are what they are, and who it benefits to follow the existing laws.”

    Its admirable that you work to educate, but shall we wait another 75 years or so for some of these people to come around when it comes to wolves and predators?

    Laws are not meant to shove ideas down people’s throats. Laws are a system of rules and guidelines enforced through social institutions that govern behavior. Laws can also serve as a means to exert a form of collective social pressure that can and does result in changes of the ‘norm”. To use a fairly innocuous example, as slavery has been used repeatedly, people used to throw trash out the windows on highways, as they were driving. Laws now regulate that action. Its arguable that most people might be embarrassed to be caught doing this. If not the law will reinforce the inappropriateness of this behavior through a fine. This deterrent helps to eliminate the old norm. Drinking and driving is another example. Enough people became outraged about this behavior because the MADD campaign illuminated the issue. Most people would now acknowledge that drinking and driving is unacceptable behavior. Drinking and driving might not have changed without laws. Dedicated educational and advertising campaigns that work in tandem with legislation can be very effective methods of changing the way that people have become used to behaving.

    I would love to see education change the negative thinking about predators that is so pervasive in some of the states. But I am not so sure it will be enough without laws. Will you argue that wolves and coyotes have not been persecuted and maligned long enough? Perhaps you disagree, but its my opinion that laws are needed to prevent endless hunting seasons for coyotes, the use of dogs, baits, poisons, traps and snares and hunting and killing wildlife from helicopters as well as wildlife abuse. Why should wildlife not be afforded protection from abuse?

    Its been over 75 years since wolves were extirpated by some of the same attitudes today that are pushing for bounties, extended hunting seasons, overly aggressive hunting methods and advocating for holding populations at minimally viable levels. How long do we need to wait for enlightenment to kick in?

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Louise,

      Laws are not going to stop a certain segment of society from doing what they want to do.

      Wyoming, Montana and Idaho are not the only states nearing the point of telling the Fed’s to shove it, the movement is happening in Texas, Utah, Arizona and other states.

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      Louise

      There is the 10th admendment.

      “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

      I have never seen any reference to wildlife management in the Constitution. Wildlife is managed by the states for the cititzens of the state. I do not feel that the NRM states need consider the wants and needs of non-residents hunters or wildlife watchers.

      • avatar john says:

        i would like to point out a quote from your president,, and you wonder why people are scared of the federal govment and this is not his only example that he has forgotten he is elected and that he wants to be the emperor…he may not like congress, especially since it was not all dominated by his old party, but that doesn’t mean he can just go his own way, because when they run him out, they will all be reversed back, just like when bush left,,

        Barack Obama’s new slogan – “we can’t wait” – appears to be more than just rhetoric as the president increasingly relies on executive orders rather than risk his proposals being voted down in Congress.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          He is your president too, but what are you getting at? Not sure

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Obama has adopted this I think because Congress as an institution has essentially stopped working. Nothing can pass due to partisan gridlock. They cannot pass a budget. When the debt ceiling comes up again, there will be another attempt to hold payment of the national debt up in exchange for a dramatic shift in policy unless one party has won a clear majority in the meantime. Even then the filibuster in the U.S. Senate requires a 60% vote in favor for anything to pass.

          Last year its approval rating was down to 13%. Now it is 8%. That doesn’t mean though that anyone will win a clear majority.

  29. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    The patience of the webmasters here is almost unlimited. Normally the netiquette of a blog says that you´ll be banned when you post things OFF TOPIC (and you do not – at least – apologize for doing it and for not marking it OT). And, be honest, all too many of the posts above have nothing to do with the headline!

  30. avatar Louise Kane says:

    What does telling the feds to shove it mean exactly. What movement is this and what will it accomplish? These states will ignore federal law? Please explain savebears

  31. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Peter Kiermeir says:
    April 11, 2012 at 8:01 am
    Anyway, what is the problem with Larry selling wildlife pics? As you guys say all the time: It´s legal……

    so I guess we should all follow your exacting standards I believe you posted this just recently. Don’t see any OT notes here, don’t remeber any topics posted titled Larry Thorngern wildlife photography.

    • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

      Louise, if you dare to scroll up a little bit which is accomplished by using the scrollbar to the right you´ll easily find the post where Larry is more or less accused of selling his pics. Again, where is the problem with that? Simple question that triggered your reply? And, no you need of course not follow my standards set by me you need not follow any standards at all. Last, no I did not post something in this direction recently. What exactly is your point ?

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        “the netiquette of a blog says that you´ll be banned when you post things OFF TOPIC (and you do not – at least – apologize for doing it and for not marking it OT).

        Peter I was responing to the above which I beleive was directed at me for asking a question related to savebears post. Savebears said the states were getting fed up with the feds or something like it and I responded with a question, just like you did.

        so my point was if you are going to point fingers about being off topic then be sure to include yourself or perhaps just acknowledge that sometimes these discussions lead in other directions that may not be directly on point.

  32. avatar Jimmy says:

    Clearly the worst fears that many had about handing over wolf mangement to certain states have come to pass. Its like watching a car wreck in slow motion. The likes of Idaho clearly have no interest in science based conservation and seem determined to pander to the hysteria and ignorance of vested interests.Wiping out 40% of a species that has just come off the endangered list is clearly insane, with worse to come given the details of what they are planning for the 2012/13 season. At this rate the state will have few if any wolves left by the middle of this decade!!

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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