Six of America’s symbolic bird and four wolves fall to poison in vicinity of the Big Prairie Ranger Station-

Last May six bald eagles and four wolves were found dead in the general area of the Big Prairie Ranger Station inside the Bob Marshall Wilderness of NW Montana. This is far up the South Fork of the Flathead River, deep in the Wilderness Area.  Toxicology reports that they were poisoned. Here is the news release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

August 7, 2012
For immediate release
Contact: Rick Branzell, US FWS OLE, (406) 329-3000

US FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE INVESTIGATES ILLEGAL POISONING OF
BALD EAGLES AND GRAY WOLVES
Reward Offered for Information

The US Fish and Wildlife Service, in conjunction with the US Forest Service and Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, is investigating the deaths of four wolves and six eagles in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area in Montana.  The wolves and eagles were found in the vicinity of the Big Prairie Ranger Station in early May of this year. Recent lab results have confirmed that the wolves and eagles died as a result of poisoning.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a $2500 reward for information that leads to the conviction of the person(s) responsible for the death of the wolves and eagles.

To provide information, please contact: Rick Branzell, Special Agent, US Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement, in Missoula, MT at (406) 329-3000 or call the State of Montana’s wildlife crime Hotline at (800 )-TIP-MONT (847-6668).

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/. Connect with our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/USFWSMountainPrairie, follow our tweets at http://twitter.com/USFWSMtnPrairie, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmtnprairie/

– – – – – –

It is difficult to speculate about this because the news release does not provide a great deal of information. Because these animals were all found together or within a close area would indicate a fixed source of poison that was likely present through the winter at least.

 

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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.

239 Responses to Wolves and bald eagles poisoned in the Bob Marshall Wilderness

  1. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    What a terrible event occurring in nearly the center of such a large wilderness area. The South Fork of the Flathead is the most beautiful river I have ever floated, the fishing the best, the geological setting spectacular.

    Some people don’t appreciate wildlife even in wild areas.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Barb,

      They don’t want wilderness. They want a glorified elk pasture for their utilitarian purposes, and to extract $ from “foreigners” who pay outfitters to hunt. Then pleased to see them go home. NOT Anti Hunting. What I continually fail to understand is that the tamer it is made, the more big $ is likely to come in and close off more areas. Oh, it’s OK, I got mine.

      • avatar Barb Rupers says:

        Commercial interests, in my opinion, ruined the “Bob” and the fantastic fishing there.

        • avatar alf says:

          I dont know about the fishing, but around 1980-82 one of my sons and I backpacked in from the Benchmark trailhead, west of Augusta, and the “trail” was a 6 or 8 or 10 foot wide road, and the tread was several inches deep in dust and pulverized horse shit.

          5 or 6 years later, around Labor Day, on the other side of the Chinese Wall in the Flathead drainage, a friend and I got cussed out for “trespassing” by an outfitter who had a huge camp set up on both sides of the trail with probably half a dozen or so big wall tents and several tons of baled hay stockpiled, and a temporary corral set up, blocking the trail.

  2. avatar WM says:

    This is particularly bad news. If the poison got those animals which have been found, there are undoubtedly others. It won’t be just eagles and wolves, however many there will be ultimately.

    I hope these folks get caught and prosecuted for the scum that they are., for so many reasons.

  3. avatar Robert R says:

    Immer it’s ok to put blame to whom ever done this illegal act of a game violation but until it’s proven who, please don’t jump to convict any organization.
    True outdoors men/women would not condone such an act but with any organization there is always some that will give others a bad name no matter if it’s pro hunting or anti hunting.
    People of this nature cannot keep there mouth shut and they will be caught and should be imprisoned.
    I am a sportsman and a hunter and I will not stand for anyone illegally committing a game violation or abusing the laws set in place because they will be turned in.
    There are radicals in any outdoors activity and I heard of one about some guys catching more than there limit of fish and fishing in a restricted area. What they did was clearly wrong.
    The ones who turned them in did something even worse in my book. Instead of just reporting them to the authorities they flattened there tires to detain them for the game wardens. This act of fattening the tires was wrong and the dollar amount made it a felony.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Robert,

      I was not blaming any organization, and specifically said it was not meant as anti hunting. My rath was directed at the mindset responsible for this act. As others have said, it’s time for organizations, perhaps the type you thought I alluded to, to show some fortitude and come out and condemn this act, to the point of kicking in for reward money to put this/these individuals away for a long time.

      Wolves have no choice to kill when and how they do. People, in particular this/these asshole(s), made the decision to illegally, heinously and indiscriminately poison wildlife.

      • avatar Mike says:

        The mindset for this act is fostered entirely from within the hunting and ranching community. It does not come from anywhere else.

        Sorry. Until this simple truth is addressed, this behavior by hunters will continue unabated.

  4. avatar Mike says:

    Another defeat for mankind at the hands of the man-children that dominate the Northern Rockies.

  5. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    Mike,
    Please be cautious with your assumptions, and try to be more fair minded. Simply pointing fingers at “hunters and ranchers” as the black hats, so to speak, is no more rational or just than the opposite-end hyperbole, which seeks to blame wolves or any and all perceived ills with cervid numbers and distribution.

    Even many hunters who might not at all like wolves — and, as a hunter myself, I think they are philosophically wrong-headed — would not encourage or condone blatantly illegal activity, or the completely unethical practice of poisoning wildlife.

    Regardless of their view on wolves — and yes there is a spectrum of views among sportsmen, not a monolithic opinion — hunters are keenly aware of the effects blatantly illegal, unethical activity has on public relations, so to speak.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Hal, I understand the nuance here, but the fact remains that the anti-wolf hysteria does not come from anywhere else except for ranchers and hunters. That’s it. That’s the source. And it is here where a “re-education” needs to take place. No where else. The horrific behavior needs to be called out at once, and ferociously.

      And it seems to me hunters are better at rug sweeping than actually handling the matter.

    • avatar Mike says:

      ++Mike,
      Please be cautious with your assumptions, and try to be more fair minded. Simply pointing fingers at “hunters and ranchers” as the black hats, so to speak, ++

      It would be insane to do otherwise. The anti-wolf hysteria comes from hunters and ranchers. It does not come from anywhere else.

      • avatar Emma Mar says:

        Simply not true Mike. I have a friend who had her best friend pulled from her back porch and eaten all but the head! She is not a hunter and had a neutral stance until the incident. Informed rural pet owners certainly don’t fit your whitewashed world.

  6. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Hal 9000,

    I believe many of us pro-wolf types would be less adverse to proper wolf management if the hunting rags and sites come out against this type of activity. If wolves are to be hunted, they need the sanctity of other game. The mindset of the game feed lot, SSS crowd, and the type that has suggested activities such as what has occurred to these wolves and eagles comes from no other niche than what Mike sites.

    The hunting lobby has both money and clout. They are in the drivers seat as far as setting the tone that I believe most ethical hunters would support. This is just 4 wolves, and eagles. However, these and those who no one knows anything about add up. With respect to your views and post.

  7. avatar Wyores says:

    $2,500.00 reward seems very low for this crime-

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Wyores,

      Maybe so, but I have not noticed high rewards in the past ten or so years have brought in a greater number of criminal charges in similar matters.

  8. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    Mike, your assertion isn’t entirely accurate. Many merchants — who themselves might not be hunters, and certainly aren’t ranchers — have complained bitterly about wolves.

    Immer. Again, please don’t over-simpifly. It’s not just “pro wolf” on one side and “The hunting lobby” on the other.

    “Us pro-wolf types” includes a huge range of people and a broad section of opinion. “Pro-wolf” might not or not include total opposition to any wolf hunting at all, or support of the principle of wolf hunting, but perhaps not the specifics of how it is applied in every place and instance.

    I’m very pro-wolf, and always have been. I’m also not opposed to wolf hunting, in principle. I know of at least one very pro-wolf, non-hunting ecologist who also is not opposed to the general principle of fair-chase wolf hunting.

    Furthermore, Douglas Smith, who oversees the wolf program in Yellowstone National Park, is on the record as stating that he is also both a hunter, and supportive of wolf hunting, so long as it isn’t a one-size-fits all approach.

    Ed Bangs also could hardly be described as “anti-wolf,” but he is also a hunter, and favors wolf hunting in principle.

    So, again, please don’t over-simpify. “Pro-wolf” has a huge range of meanings.

    • avatar Mike says:

      It’s not simplification.

      The anti-predator hate only comes from hunters and ranchers.

      That is a fact.

      Until hunters start forming groups and separating themselves from the masses in their ranks that hate predators, they will continue to rightfully be seen as unfriendly to wildlife.

      • avatar WM says:

        ++The anti-predator hate only comes from hunters and ranchers.++

        Hollywood doesn’t like most predators either, Mike. Just look at all the movies made about them over the last 80 years, or so. Bears, wolves, cougars, tigers, lions, anaconda, piranah, sharks,….

        I also tend to think you like to portray people too catagorically, as either being pro or anti something, which is really not the case. Recall our recent conversations here about contiuiums? The world is more complicated than you portray here, and we would all benefit if you would take note.

        • avatar Mike says:

          WM –

          We’ve gone over this time and time again. I know you feel the need to defend ranching and hunting tooth and nail, but I think everyone would be better off if you began to acknowledge the reality.

          The anti-wolf hostility does not come from Sage over on Michigan Avenue with her iPad. It does not come from Grandma Wilkinson over at the Fair Oaks nursing home. It does not come from Plumber Pete over in St. Paul.

          It comes for culturally isolated, white males who happen to hunt and/or ranch.

          This is simply a truism. Not once have you refuted this. All you have done (along with Hal) is present logical fallacies.

          Please see this:

          http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

          Here is the logical fallacy that you and Hal perpetuate:

          My statement: 1. The anti-predator hate in the lower 48 comes from hunters and ranchers

          Your response: Not all hunters are like this.

          Logical Fallacy alert: Claiming that “not all” hunters have these views does not refute the truism that the anti-predator hate in the U.S. comes mainly from hunters and ranchers.

          By repeatedly answering my truism with “not all hunters are like this”, you cannot logically refute the point that anti-predator hate comes mainly from hunters and ranchers.

          • avatar WM says:

            Mike,

            I refuse to engage you, not because of the topic, but your lack of reasoning skills. We have been down this path before, you and I, JB and several others. Truisms? Give me break. Go take a class in formal logic, and come back when you grow up.

            • avatar WM says:

              …or better yet, a class on logic and scientific method (to cover other topics on which you opine obsessively).

            • avatar Mike says:

              Another cop out for WM.

              A round of applause, everyone.

            • avatar timz says:

              Mike 1
              WM 0

            • avatar DLB says:

              Why do you two engage with each other? What’s the point?

              Aside from whether Mike occasionally makes valid points, I don’t recall him ever admitting he was wrong about anything he has put in type on this blog over the last couple of years.

              I think it’s safe to assume you are at an ideological impasse.

          • avatar JB says:

            Mike: “My statement: 1. The anti-predator hate in the lower 48 comes from hunters and ranchers”

            Today I checked data from our Utah survey, conducted in 2003, which can help shed led on Mike’s factual assertion. A note on the methods: This study randomly selected households for participation, and received over 700 responses.

            I examined agreement with the response item: Utah is better off without wolves among hunters, ranchers, and other folks.

            What did I find?

            Roughly 30% of hunters agreed that Utah was better off without wolves, while roughly 26% of people who said they had ever raised livestock agreed with the same item. More to the point (and Mike’s factual assertion): 15% of regular folk agreed that Utah was better off without wolves.

            Bottom line: Opposition to large carnivores originates from a variety of causes, despite vociferous assertions that it arises solely from hunting and ranching.

            • avatar Mike says:

              Do you have the methodology and citation for the poll? Thanks.

              Even if we take this poll(sans pertinent methodology data) at face value, it shows that hunters and ranchers oppose wolves to other groups 2-1.

              Thank you for proving my point.

              Now instead of engaging in a futile, altruistic defense of the hunting “mothership”, how about just embracing intellectual honesty and admitting that the main source of the vitriol comes from the hunting and ranching communities?

              That’s step # 1 in the hunter’s process of dealing with the wolf haters.

              But I don’t expect you to do that at all. What I do expect you to do is offer another defense of hunting. Everyone is.

            • avatar JB says:

              Mike said:

              “It’s not simplification.

              The anti-predator hate only comes from hunters and ranchers.

              That is a fact.”

              Mike now says:

              “…how about just embracing intellectual honesty and admitting that the main source of the vitriol comes from the hunting and ranching communities?”

              And you’re accusing me of being intellectually dishonest? Ha! Now that is rich!, LOL!

            • avatar JB says:

              The data is unpublished; you can find a full description of the methodology here:

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

            • avatar Mike says:

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

              Where’s the link to this ten year old poll? What was the methodology?

            • avatar JB says:

              Look it up yourself. The methods are described in detail in the paper.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      I agree with HAL 9000, although I do think that many hunters suffer from the “Spiral of Silence” that JB and myself have mentioned a number of times. Anyone who is interested in public opinion, especially including divisive wildlife policy issues, should at least read the Wikipedia entry on this social psychology classic work.

      Note: I think the biggest problem with this work is “Research indicates that people fear isolation in their small social circles more than they do in the population at large.” People today are much more broken up into various affinity groups. Wolf supporters hardly care if “Rockhead,” “Skinner,” and assorted haters don’t like them. The general population doesn’t care much though it seems to be somewhat antagonistic to wolves, especially in a number of rural places.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Hal 9000

      Oversimplification? I did not state anything about not hunting wolves. I said that many of us would be less adverse to proper wolf management, that would mean Hunting. Please read what I wrote, not what you think I wrote. And again, if the wolf is to be looked upon as a (big) game animal, let’s see the might of the hunting lobby “thunder”against this type of activity.

      Was that a pin drop?

      • avatar HAL 9000 says:

        Immer,
        Thank you for correcting me on my point of misunderstanding.

        However, your assertions here remind me of the currently popular saw — Because not enough Muslims (at least to satisfy my perceptions) don’t publicly fume every time there’s an act of terror, I’m therefore forced to the conclusion that the bulk of Muslims support terrorism.”

        Do you see how that works?

        Furthermore, I think perhaps you’ve built the “hunting lobby” up into something its not. First, it’s not monolithic — hunters and the various organizations they’ve formed disagree among themselves on numerous topics — wilderness, motorized access, trophy vs. meat hunting and yes, even wolves.

        Secondly if the mighty “hunting lobby” was as powerful, and as stridently anti-wolf, as some try to make it out to be — then wolves never would have been brought back in the first place, and we wouldn’t even be having these conversations.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Do I see how it works? Nope, apples and oranges.

          One of the easiest ways to help find our way out of the morass of wolf management is for the different sportsmens organizations and their publications to petition their members to condemn this sort of activity and address the mantra of SSS and smoke a pack a day as just plain wrong. Put it in print, and act like adults. This would go a long way to placate and smooth the way with the nonconsumptive wildlife and prowolf folks. And it ain’t that hard to do.

          When wolves were extirpated during the early 1900’s, there were few to speak up for them. Times have changed, and so must attitudes.

          Until then, it’s all smoke and mirrors.

          • avatar HAL 9000 says:

            Immer, all that statement does is further prove the reasoning I was trying to illustrate regarding the worn argument about Muslims and terrorism.

            It’s not up to hunting organizations to babysit every single hunter, or supposed hunter, and punish them for saying boorish, obnoxious or outlandish things, especially in the relative free-for-all of cyberspace.

            And as I’ve already pointed out, even the incredibly anti-predator Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife has stated that “SSS” talk is counter-productive and uncalled for.

            And again, “prowolf” is not a term you own.

            In the larger sense, we’re long past “pro-wolf”/”anti-wolf” arguments. Those were settled, on the pro-wolf side, the second it was decided reintroduction was going forward.

            The issues and discussions now have shifted to the levels and intensity of management, the scope of wolf habitat, and such matters.

            It’s also not up to hunters to placate everybody who disagrees with them. Quit essentially expecting an apology for a difference of opinion.

            If, indeed, the states’ management approaches prove too heavy-handed, relisting is always an option. Why assume hunters are stupid or naive enough to want that to happen?

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Hal,

              Who’s insisting on an apology? Wolves are a lightning rod topic. What harm would it be for an outdoor rag such as field and stream, in an editorial peace to address issues as I have mentioned? Hunting seasons are beginning in the GL states, and the rhetoric increases the closer we get to the seasons start.

              What harm is there in petitioning rational behavior and discourse?

            • avatar HAL 9000 says:

              Immer,

              The rhetoric regarding wolves is bound to ebb and flow, as it always has on highly polarized issues.

              I agree with the principle that there needs to be a deep philosophical change among hunters regarding wolves, as well as other predators. And I hope for it. But as with all matters of philosophy and spirit, hope is sometimes all one has.

              Beyond that, time simply might be the answer. Eventually, and with the passing of a generation or two — both the presence of wolves, and wolf hunting — will become matter-of-fact, as there will be no immediate memory of a prior conditions.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Hal,

              I agree.

    • avatar Mike says:

      This is a logical fallacy, Hal.

      You’ve tried to make a deductive argument and failed.

      My point: The anti-wolf hate comes mainly from the ranching and hunting community (note: this includes business owned by people close to ranchers and hunters, hence the word “community”).

      Your point: Pro-wolf has a wide range of meanings.

      Logical fallacy alert: You’ve completely dodged the original point by entering in discussion about what “pro-wolf” means. In no way does this refute the truism that almost all the anti-predator hate in the lower 48 comes form the hunting and ranching community.

  9. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    Mike,
    Your statements are becoming so broad, presumptive and hostile, they essentially negate the purpose of any further discussion on this subject here — at least on my end. We’ve been discussing this on two threads. I gave you another, more detailed, reply on the other thread. But as for this one, again, I’m not seeing any point in further trying to use polite suggestion and reason against entrenched hostility.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Indicating the truism that anti-predator hatred only comes form hunters and ranchers in the lower 48 is not “hostile”. You may feel it is because you are caught apologizing for hunters, and perhaps feel defensive about it.

      • avatar Nabeki says:

        Mike…you’re right on the money. In about three weeks the wolf slaughter will begin and who is going to be killing them? HUNTERS!!

        Who has their own private wolf killing service called Wildlife Services (formerly Animal Damage Control) RANCHERS!!

        Your logic is just fine.

  10. avatar ramses09 says:

    Do we even have to hunt??
    I say “let’s take a break from it, let’s give nature a break & stop being so SELF serving”
    jmho

    • avatar Mike says:

      Good point.

    • avatar Mark L says:

      Yep, some gotta hunt no matter what, and that’s not a bad thing, really, as long as they aren’t taking the top predator out. I guess my ‘argument’ is that as long as we are increasing a skillset of the population, and educating them, I have no problem with appropriate wolf hunting–if we are at least hunting the wolf that’s behaving badly. Unfortunately, most of the hunting on TV now is ‘jackassed’ into smiling trophy obsessed lilly white folk with some high-fiving mixed in to motivate the watchers…hear the cool music in the background?—that’s salesmanship and little else. Hunters are part time occupiers of a landscape though, wolves work full time (no holidays either). Trapping, poisoning, maybe even sheep with compound 1080, etc. is just a lazy man’s way of addressing the wolf issue–it solves nothing in the long run, just kills indescriminately…even worse than shooting. Every other profession has acceptable loses on the job, why not ranching? Are airlines ‘angry’ at the weather? Are firefighters ‘angry’ at the fires?
      We’d be better suited having shepard dogs that at least make the wolves increase THEIR skillset and learn from the experience, while the dogs have a function in life other that eating dog food and crapping in the yard, barking at UPS guy, etc.
      I think several have made the point before that dead animals learn nothing from being shot….live ones do. Non-lethal harassment is by far more effective but yes, it takes more effort–something our society is obsessed with avoiding. “Just shoot it, and let’s go home.” (Only Europeans do this, BTW….j/k of course)
      Christina Eisenberg’s ‘landscape of fear’ works just as well for humans as it does for animals, we just use media to purvey the silly fairy tales we learned as kids. Now we are all grown up but fear the same things deep inside.

  11. avatar Mike says:

    This is really a heinous act that needs to be hit hard with the full penalty of law.

    Someone left out deadly poison, unsupervised and uncontrolled, with the intention of killing and maiming, and perhaps “sending a message” of fear.

    This is simply a form of terrorism.

    The act, and those who would support it, need to be mercilessly called out and condemned.

    how did these people get this substance? Why were they able to get it?

    These are dangerous, dangerous times, and now we have terrorists walking the woods and dropping deadly poison?

    Yet, instead of seeing WM and Hal admonishing this behavior, they’ve engaged yet again in a ceaseless, apologetic defense of the hunting and ranching community. Instead of, “wow, this is really horrible. We need to do something about it within our community”, we hear, “not all hunters are like this. Not all ranchers are like this. Pro wolf has many meanings. Some Merchants don’t like wolves either. It’s not just hunters and ranchers” (lol, as if this makes it all okay).

    This is why hunter numbers plummet every year. It’s why few have sympathy for their position on this issue. It’s the constant excuse making, the rug-sweeping, and the apologetic behavior that essentially merges the actual good hunters with the crappy ones. Instead of detaching themselves from the rusty anchor of trapping, the NRA, and anti-wolf hunters, good hunters (the few left) would rather take one for the team in a futile display of altruism.

    • avatar WM says:

      Mike,

      OK, I will engage on this point. If you look at the current third post to this thread you will see I already weighed in on how bad this is.

      Are you really that naive/stupid about how easy it is to get poisons, often just common substances, to which canids are sensitive (sorbitol the same stuff used for some diabetic cooking ingredient or ethelyne glycol which is just car anti-freeze, or onions), and as for birds, there are a number of common things they are sensitive to also, especially raptors (feeding on d-con or rat poison and here is a posting of the results from a recent Norwegian study.

      http://sciencenordic.com/birds-prey-hit-rat-poison

  12. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    Even the most stridently anti-predator organization I’m familiar with — that being, the perhaps ironically named Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife — openly opposes illegal wolf killings and the poaching of any wildlife, through poison or any means.

    It baffles me that, perhaps just because I’m not ready to jump on the anti-hunter/rancher bandwagon, that somehow translates into endorsing the illegal poisoning of wildlife.

    I don’t see anybody condoning such actions as this. It goes without saying, it’s wrong.

    • avatar JB says:

      “It baffles me that, perhaps just because I’m not ready to jump on the anti-hunter/rancher bandwagon, that somehow translates into endorsing the illegal poisoning of wildlife.”

      Some people just can’t deal with any kind of ambiguity. Everything must be neatly lumped into it’s “proper” space–simplified to the nth degree. No gradation–only black and white, right and wrong.

    • avatar Mike says:

      ++Even the most stridently anti-predator organization I’m familiar with — that being, the perhaps ironically named Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife — openly opposes illegal wolf killings and the poaching of any wildlife, through poison or any means.++

      There you going changing the topic again.

      What group is going to say they are for illegal wolf killing?

      That doesn’t refute the main point here. The anti-predator hatred only comes from the ranching and hunting community.

    • avatar Mike says:

      All you’ve done in this thread is make excuses for the community that hates predators.

      Answer a very simple question, Hal:

      Where does the anti-predator mentality come from in the Northern Rockies?

  13. avatar Nancy says:

    “Where does the anti-predator mentality come from in the Northern Rockies?”

    Mike – since we humans can’t seem to figure out why we continue to commit crimes (and in some instances, horrendous crimes) against our OWN species, its pretty much a given, no one, even with a great deal of education, knowledge, etc. is gonna have a really good answer to that question.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Nancy –

      Well, lots of people live in the Northern Rockies. Some are members of conservation groups. Others are psychiatrists or secretaries.

      These aren’t the people who hate predators.

      The vitriol comes from the hunting and ranching communities, period. So yes, there’s indeed a firm answer to the question. We see it in the hunter’s blogs and forums. We see it in the rancher politicians who want drone strikes for wildlife. We see it in the leaked photos of mistreated animals. We see it in the responses of the various local newspaper websites.

      It is a hate born from a lack of education and an inability to personally evolve and enrich one’s life. Many of the hunters I’ve run into across the west are 40 years old going on 14. They get into camp, drink until they’re farting and belching, and have a look in their eyes that is quite honestly, frightening. It’s like looking into the eyes of a teenager. These “man-children” race around on ATV’s and shoot stuff at leisure. They rip up campgrounds, rip up alpine tundra, and have stickers on their pickups of stick figures urinating on another car brand, or stickers that say, “wolves, smoke a pack a day”. These are grown men?

      Hardly.

      What they are is biological specimens frozen in time. Man-children, running around with guns (obvious phallic symbols), doing what they want, when they want and hating anything they can’t control.

      This is where the hate comes from. It comes from kids who were taught that predators are worthless. That predators ruin hunting. That predators hurt the ranch. They were raised with hate and so they grew up hateful. And they pass it onto their kids, and so on.

      The cultural isolation doesn’t help. When you are exposed to different cultures, you tend to have a greater degree of acceptance for things different than you. The wolf hate is part of this cultural isolation. Many of these wolf haters are also racists. They were raised to be.

      Right now, across America, it is basically legal to take out your violent frustrations on an innocent animal.

      That’s messed up.

      • avatar JB says:

        Mike:

        So hunters are wolf haters because they are raised “hateful”, they’re “culturally isolated” and they acting out their “violent frustrations” on on others, eh?

        Doesn’t describe they guy in the office next to mine. He supports wolf recovery, his politics are left of Lenin, and he’s anything buy culturally isolated. It doesn’t describe the members of Duck’s Unlimited that I’ve worked with, who spend their time trying to promote wetland habitats, which benefit all of us. It doesn’t describe any of the many hunters I’ve worked with over the past decade on issues of conservation.

        So you’re saying that this hate “only comes from hunters and ranchers” is like me saying “hatred of black people in the US only comes from white people”, therefore all white people must be racists. Your stereotypes don’t fit most people, as numerous people on this blog have pointed out. Yet you continue to slander hunters again and again with your half-baked theories. It’s become really tiresome.

        • avatar Mike says:

          That’s a fallacy, JB. And you know better than to be that that intellectuality dishonest.

          What we are talking about is a group of people here who hate predators so much, they will put out dangerous poison and put everyone at risk. This form of terrorism needs to be HARSHLY condemned, not apologized for.

          No one cares if your cube mate hunts and likes wolves. No one cares that there may be a few good hunters who don’t hate predators. The issue here, and the truism I’ve pointed out, is that that overwhelming numbers of the reaching and hunting community are almost entirely responsible for this anti-predator mentality. This includes hunters, trappers, ranchers, and their friends and family in the community(business owners, etc) who get sucked into the loved one’s vitriol.

          Please try to stick to the topic.

          I’m going to ask you a very simple question:

          Where does the majority of the anti-predator hate come from in the Northern Rockies?

          • avatar Harley says:

            “It is a hate born from a lack of education and an inability to personally evolve and enrich one’s life.”

            You don’t seem to get this Mike because I’ve seen this so many times. It doesn’t matter whether I check into the wildlife news every day or once every month. I can count on some kind of comment like this from you about hunters and ranchers and quite frankly, people are Sick and Tired of it. There are plenty of people on the blog that hunt and you’ve reduced them to being uneducated and lacking a desire to enrich their lives. Wouldn’t it be better to just say those individuals who actually did this poisoning are the ones that are ignorant and narrow minded instead of lumping all hunters and ranchers into the mix? I mean, that’s the whole reason JB pointed out that he knows people who hunt and belong to organizations that support hunting that ARE NOT knuckle dragging morons who don’t care about anything but their next drunken camping trip.

            • avatar Mike says:

              Harley –

              The anti-predator mentality in the Northern Rockies comes from two places:

              Hunters and ranchers. This is a stone, cold fact.

              Instead of getting angry with me for pointing out the source of the anger, perhaps you should direct your anger towards fixing the situation within the ranching and hunting communities.

            • avatar Harley says:

              Quite frankly Mike, the contacts I have within the hunting and ranching communities do not hate wolves and would never poison them. And going on some hunting blog trying to change their opinions one way or another would be like trying to change your opinion. I don’t like pissing into the wind, do you?

          • avatar Salle says:

            “Where does the majority of the anti-predator hate come from in the Northern Rockies?”

            Ummm, my first response would be… ignorance

            …the second would be to be more specific in stating that it is supported and sanctioned by the same.

            • avatar Rancher says:

              Salle
              I agree with your answer so answer me this.

              Would ignorance also answer the reason for the hatred of ranchers, hunters and trappers, (the list goes on)?
              Just some clarification.

      • avatar WM says:

        To the extent that hunters participate on “hunter blogs” of which Mike speaks, making comments which most of us find objectionable, I would guess it is no more than 5 percent of the hunting population. I would also venture to guess the ones doing the “bad conduct” reflecting poorly on all hunters is probably in the same neighborhood 5-10 percent. And, I would also guess the bad guys and the bad bloggers are one and the same. So 5-10 out of 100 are misfits, not alot different from the general population. Do I have a survey to back this u? No, just 35-40 years of hunting, backpacking and wildlife watching in 5 different states in the West.

        It is intellectually dishonest to make such broad generalizations and oversimplifications as Mike does consistently on a regular basis.

        And, gee, of my five hunting partners four have advanced college degrees and real jobs, and one started a very successful local land trust that is conserving land in perpetuity for wildlife, and another is a police detective.

        • avatar Mike says:

          ++o the extent that hunters participate on “hunter blogs” of which Mike speaks, making comments which most of us find objectionable, I would guess it is no more than 5 percent of the hunting population. ++

          Wow is that just plain off. Every single hunter’s site or blog I see applauds dead wolves and supports trapping.

  14. avatar Mike says:

    What people needed to see in this thread was hunters (JB, WM, Hal) saying this (or something similar):

    “This is tragic. We really need to fix the problems in our communities. Clearly, this is out of bounds. I’d be interested in joining a group that separated itself from these kinds of behaviors, one that values ecosystem management over rhetoric and anger.”

    Instead we get “not all hunters are like this”(deductive fallacy). “I know a couple hunters who like wolves (rug sweep). “Some businesses don’t like wolves (deductive fallacy). “pro-wolf has different meaning”(complete reversal of the argument).

    The anti-wolf hatred will never go away unless the core issue is resolved. And in order to resolve the core issue, we need to shine a spotlight on the source of the vitriol and misinformation. This spotlight clearly, and irrefutably lands upon the hunting and ranching communities of the Northern Rockies. To argue otherwise is intellectual dishonesty.

    • avatar WM says:

      Take the logic class, you moron.

      • avatar Mike says:

        There’s that hate I was talking about.

        Rather than address the point or answer the question, WM hurls an insult.

        Well done, WM. Of course, this was expected all along. You’ve always been a classic anti-wolf troll on this forum, eager to post any news that portrays them in a bad light.

      • avatar Harley says:

        WM, there is no reasoning with Mike, just as there is no reasoning with others who are so rabidly against wolves. He believes what he believes, and he is the one who is too narrow minded to even consider the possibility that not everyone he hates can be put into such neat little boxes.

        • avatar Mike says:

          Harley, you’ve just stepped into a false equivalency.

          My disdain for those who left out deadly poison (that can kill humans, BTW) cannot be equated with non-violently seeking protection for a rare species (in the western lower 48).

          • avatar Harley says:

            There you go Mike! Put the blame where it belongs. Nice, maybe there is hope for you!
            The blame belongs on the ones who left out the poison. Let’s hope they find the idiots who did it.

            And no, there is no false equivalency. Your disdain for hunters and ranchers is equal to the disdain that others have towards wolves. You’ve made that quite clear. Time and time again.

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++And no, there is no false equivalency. Your disdain for hunters and ranchers is equal to the disdain that others have towards wolves. You’ve made that quite clear. Time and time again.++

              That’s a blatant false equivalency.

              My disdain is directed at those who are actively pursuing the death of wolves, and endangering others in the process( leaving out poison, traps, etc).

              The most final and extreme action we can take in this world is to end the life of another mammal. This is the “last word”. This is violence. This cannot be taken back.

              You cannot equate leaving out poison for wolves, or leaving wolves in traps for photo ops to non-violent disdain of an activity. This is where your logic fails, and has so often on this forum.

              There is a very, real effort to exterminate wolves form the Rockies, and to do so in the most violent ways imaginable. This is extreme. This is very real. This is “in the field” and happening. This cannot be equated with peaceful and non-violent criticism of such actions, nor with peaceful and non-violent methods to protect the species.

  15. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    It’s not an honest, fair, or helpful to an intelligent conversation to use rhetorical or polarizing terms in such a manner as to presume ownership of them.

    Case in point here, the “hatred” of wolves. That could have a broad range of meaning. For example, “hating” wolves, as in having a burning disdain for them, up to the point that one would feel compelled to undertake an illegal and unethical endeavor such as this poisoning. Well, yes there are examples of those who really do hate wolves that much. But they are few and far between.

    “Hate” for wolves, as in wishing they had not been reintroduced, but grudgingly willing to accept that they are here to stay (because factually, there is no other choice, wolves are here to stay) — well, that’s a softer focus of negative feeling, and a broader definition. But, likewise, it probably more accurately fits a broader range of hunters, ranchers and others.

    And, in that case, the distaste isn’t nearly so much toward the wolves themselves. But what they are perceived to represent (wrongly perceived, in my opinion) — that being, heavy-handed federal policy “forcing” something most local people didn’t want.

    Be all that as it may, people’s feelings — whether they actually do hate wolves, or see them as angels in fur coats — aren’t really what matters. People can bear whatever sentiments they wish.

    What matters are the policies, how they are set, and the results. And that, in my opinion, is where the discussions should focus.

    Slinging around stereotypes about drunken troglodytes tearing about on ATVs and aiming AR-15s at wolves is no more helpful to the discussion than dragging out anecdotes about “tree-huggers” taking bong hits and trying to commune with wolves by reciting poetry to them.

    As to the rather amusing assertions regarding “man-children…”

    Well, personally, I think any healthy, well-balanced man is still in touch with his inner 12-year-old, within reason, of course.

    But out hunting isn’t the time and place for such indulgences, and most hunters get that.

    • avatar Harley says:

      Hal,

      Nicely put! Should have read this before going off on my own rant.

    • avatar Mike says:

      ++It’s not an honest, fair, or helpful to an intelligent conversation to use rhetorical or polarizing terms in such a manner as to presume ownership of them.++

      Holy semantics. Hal, just answer the question.

      ++Case in point here, the “hatred” of wolves. That could have a broad range of meaning. For example, “hating” wolves, as in having a burning disdain for them, up to the point that one would feel compelled to undertake an illegal and unethical endeavor such as this poisoning. Well, yes there are examples of those who really do hate wolves that much. But they are few and far between.++

      Few and far between? Really? I wouldn’t say they are “few and far between” when actual state agencies implement hyper-aggressive reduction measures that cross the bounds of fair chase ethics.

      The anti-wolf hatred (or dislike, to acknowledged your hilarious venture into semantics) is all over these states. To say it’s “only a few” is outrageous.

      ++
      And, in that case, the distaste isn’t nearly so much toward the wolves themselves. But what they are perceived to represent (wrongly perceived, in my opinion) — that being, heavy-handed federal policy “forcing” something most local people didn’t want.++

      Wait a second…first you tell me that very few dislike wolves, and now you tell me most locals didn’t want them? Which is it Hal? Please try to stick to a position.

      ++Slinging around stereotypes about drunken troglodytes tearing about on ATVs and aiming AR-15s at wolves is no more helpful to the discussion than dragging out anecdotes about “tree-huggers” taking bong hits and trying to commune with wolves by reciting poetry to them.++

      Actually there’s quite a difference, especially in the context of this thread. Again you’ve entered a logical fallacy. This thread is about wildlife terrorists leaving deadly poison in the Bob Marshall wilderness and killing wolves and eagles. It has nothing to do with tree huggers. I’m not surprised that you once again diverted from the topic in another altruistic display of protecting the hunting “mothership”.

      ++
      Well, personally, I think any healthy, well-balanced man is still in touch with his inner 12-year-old, within reason, of course.

      But out hunting isn’t the time and place for such indulgences, and most hunters get that.++

      No, they don’t.

    • avatar jburnham says:

      Well said HAL9000.

  16. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    I have made a few comments on this thread, not that anyone seems to have paid attention, but I think to solve the crime it might be best to look to someone with considerable knowledge of the particular area. That would include outfitters, pilots if that airstrip is still open (I haven’t found doing a search), or a Forest Service employee.

    On backcountry airstrips, there are a fair number of pilots who like to fly in repeatedly, stop for several hours or a day, and fly out.

    • avatar Harley says:

      Yes Ralph, please keep us updated on this one. Traps are one thing, poison is another. Both suck really, but I’ve trapped things in my own house. I prefer that to poison any day.

      • avatar Harley says:

        woops better put a disclaimer on that lest it’s taken wrongly.

        I prefer trapping in my own home of mice over poison.

    • avatar Barb Rupers says:

      I just called the Spotted Bear Ranger District of the USFS and they said the only airstrip in the Bob Marshall Wilderness open to the public is Shaeffer on the Middle Fork not the South Fork of the Fladhead.

      It seems that some are using it illegally as I found this on the net:
      I have had the privilege of venturing deep into the Bob Marshall wilderness to fish and it is an amazing place. The USFS has several dirt (unmaintained) landing strips back there and they are perfect for a piper super cub to land on. http://www.kiene.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24349

    • avatar SAP says:

      And one of the really insidious things about poison: the criminals needn’t even land the plane to do their evil deeds.

  17. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    Mike,

    I see no more point in trying to broaden your perspective, than I might have in wasting efforts trying to get certain other parties to see the ecological role of wolves in nature, which gives them a rightful place in the Greater Yellowstone or Great Lakes regions.

    You think what you think about hunters and ranchers, and it’s completely within your rights to do so.

    Ralph,
    Solving this crime could indeed prove a challenge. I don’t envy investigators the task. Please keep us updated on any new developments.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Hal,

      Can you answer the question?

      What groups does the anti-predator mentality come from in the Northern Rockies?

      That’s the fifth time I’ve asked you that now.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Mike,

        I have been reading this thread with interest, and you are at it again!

        The majority of the human population in the Northern Rockies are hunters and or ranchers of course the disdain for wolves by the minority of that population is likely hunters or ranchers.

        But as with many studies or questions, if you word things the right way, you will get the results you wanted before asking the question.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Well put.

          • avatar SAP says:

            All of the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks were Muslim.

            It does not follow that all Muslims supported or were responsible for the September 11 attacks.

            All perpetrators of Irish Republican Army atrocities were members of the Catholic Irish nationalist community.

            It does not follow that all members of the Catholic Irish nationalist community supported or were responsible for IRA atrocities (but hey, that didn’t stop the British military from killing or wrongfully imprisoning random Catholic Irish nationalists).

            Probably all wolf poachers, wolf torturers, and anti wolf extremists indeed either hunt, or ranch, or both.

            It does not follow that everyone who hunts, or ranches, or both; is a wolf abuser, condones wolf torture, or is responsible for these acts.

            • avatar Salle says:

              Well stated, SAP.

            • avatar Harley says:

              I agree, nicely put SB.

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++All of the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks were Muslim.

              It does not follow that all Muslims supported or were responsible for the September 11 attacks.

              All perpetrators of Irish Republican Army atrocities were members of the Catholic Irish nationalist community.

              It does not follow that all members of the Catholic Irish nationalist community supported or were responsible for IRA atrocities (but hey, that didn’t stop the British military from killing or wrongfully imprisoning random Catholic Irish nationalists).

              Probably all wolf poachers, wolf torturers, and anti wolf extremists indeed either hunt, or ranch, or both.

              It does not follow that everyone who hunts, or ranches, or both; is a wolf abuser, condones wolf torture, or is responsible for these acts.
              ++

              And everyone in jail is not there for murder, but they are all still convicted criminals.

              Saying that “not everyone” is like this does not mean that the community is not dominated by that mindset. This is a logical fallacy.

              When I, and others correctly point out that most of the anti-wolf vitriol comes from hunters and ranchers, we are not saying that every, single one is like that. What we are saying, is that these communities are the primary source. It’s really not that hard to understand. And again, here we are with another poster apologizing for the behavior.

              This is in effect a truism. Your counter-argument of “not everyone is like this” doesn’t refute that point.

  18. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    Mike,
    I don’t entertain over-simplified, rhetorical questions.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Wonderful excuse, Hal.

      You’ve done nothing but argue against that point in this thread with rather dubious examples, and you’ve tried shifting the argument.

      So I’ll ask it again:

      Where does the anti-predator mentality mainly come from in the Northern Rockies?

      Save Bears had the courage to answer. Do you?

  19. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    Mike,

    Clarify the parameters of “anti-predator.” Do you mean absolute zero tolerance, and killing with any means possible — including poison, favoring unregulated hunting and trapping, favoring only unregulated hunting, favoring only some hunting?

    Also, does your question assume the axiom that any opposition to predators under any conditions is unjustified — and therefore, any view that might fall under the potentially broad spectrum of “anti-predator” is rationally and ethically wrong, and hence, in need of either dismissal or correction?

    Until you can clarify those points, your question as presented remains essentially a rhetorical jab, aimed at assuming only one possible answer, and casting scorn toward the presumed guilty parties.

  20. avatar Nancy says:

    A relatively new site and one obviously dedicated to killing just one animal:

    http://www.huntwolves.com/

    The comments – oh, LOTS of comments – are interesting, insightful, sad and unfortunately typical of people who get a thrill out of killing other living things.

    I got thru maybe 50 comments before I realized Mike’s not too far off base here in his anti-predator concerns in the Northern Rockies.

    There’s even a “shout out” to WWP (among a list of other organizations) for their efforts to bring about? this wonderfully new addition to “big game” hunting.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Bingo.

      A few here are trying to diminish the point, but have clearly failed.

      It’s a real problem, and not only am I saddened, but other posters here are saddened by the continued “rug sweeping” by hunters and ranchers on this forum. Ralph may as well change the name of this site to “Apologizing for Hunters”.

      At some point, to solve the problem, people in this area are going to have to forget that they are buddies with John the hunter or Bob the hunter, and come to grips with the truism that all of this vitriol and destruction comes form that community. It’s not enough to say “I know people who aren’t like this”. What needs to be said is “I know a lot of people are like this, and we need to change it.”

      • avatar louise kane says:

        Mike I agree with your last statement in the last post. I know that there are hunters and ranchers with a deep-seated respect for the land and for the wildlife they live with. In the coastal world its the same with fishermen. Yet there is also another group of fishermen, and it seems hunters, that do not share the strong, respectful and well- balanced core values about the resources they use. Its no surprise to anyone here that I abhor killing animals especially for sport or trophy hunting. Yet I realize that not all hunters are psychopaths. I can still hope that the good ones will experience the kind of awakening that Aldo Leopold felt after killing the wolf. But thats off the point. My point is that obviously not all hunters and ranchers are wolf hating extremists but as you argue, “What needs to be said is “I know a lot of people are like this, and we need to change it.”
        WM, JB and others… whats wrong with taking the hunting and ranching communities to task about this issue. The kind of lawlessness that currently exists in some (and a growing proportion) of the hunting world needs to be eliminated. Its a mindset that does exist, is prevalent and negatively impacting entire ecosystems and arguing that it doesn’t happen or is not relevant because you know some hunters and ranchers that are not like that is ignoring the problem. There is a sad and terrible trend of glorifying killing that has infiltrated our culture. The proliferation of the obnoxious hunting shows that showcase hyped up killing, the many terrible anti predator sites that are hunting based, and the hate and fear mongering that is being promoted on these sites is widespread. These types of anti wolf, anti predator, hate pulpits do create new generations of hunters with flawed and crippled assumptions about wildlife and a terminally flawed sense of entitlement to kill. So Mike’s question is relevant but needs to go further, who is responsible and how do we fix it? WM & JB surely your friends and office mates that are responsible hunters must be disgusted and saddened by the current policies and behaviors that target and eliminate predators? Hopefully they are just as disgusted by the websites that show people grinning with dead animals or that glorify grisly and tortured deaths of animals in traps and snares while people take pot shots. Hopefully the old guard do not agree with or assist in clamoring for policies that kill most of the wolves in the west.

        I hope that you can agree if we take out all but 150 wolves in each state that this could qualify as most of the wolves in the RM states?

        • avatar Mike says:

          Louise –

          JB, WM and others feel a “pull” to defend hunting. It’s just how they are. In many ways, this blog has shifted from a wildlife-enthusiast site to a hunting site.

          And that is a real shame.

          • avatar JB says:

            Mike,

            The only shame worth mentioning here is your continued, unapologetic display of prejudice toward people (over 20 million Americans) based entirely upon your interactions (real or imagined) with a few of these individuals. Where is your evidence to make such bold assertions? And please tell me what credentials you have that allow you to diagnose the behavioral pathologies of an entire class of people, the vast majority of whom you have never met? No psychiatrist who merits the title would be so bold.

            You continue to spew bigoted and hate-filled (yes HATE-FILLED) propaganda with no real evidence (other than your own half-baked meanderings), nor inclining of what might pass for critical thought and reflection.

            I don’t defend hunting, Mike. Rather, I defend the people I know who hunt and don’t conform to your stereotypes–the people who you slander here on a regular basis, all the while hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.

            Grow up.

            —-
            Mike’s diagnosis:

            “It is a hate born from a lack of education and an inability to personally evolve and enrich one’s life. Many of the hunters I’ve run into across the west are 40 years old going on 14….What they are is biological specimens frozen in time. Man-children, running around with guns (obvious phallic symbols), doing what they want, when they want and hating anything they can’t control…
            This is where the hate comes from….They were raised with hate and so they grew up hateful…The cultural isolation doesn’t help.”

            • avatar jon says:

              JB, I understand completely that not all hunters and ranchers hate wolves, but I would bet a hundred dollars that the person or persons who put this poison out to kill wolves was either a rancher or a hunter or both. It’s of no surprise to anyone that the ranchers/hunters are without question the most hostile towards wolves. Not every single one, but the anti-wolf movement is more than just a FEW hunters/ranchers. We don’t know if this poison was put out to kill wolves, but my opinion is that it was. The person or persons who did this obviously did not care about all of the other wild animals that ate the poison and died from it. If Rick Hill becomes governor in Montana, he has said he is going to treat the wolf as a predator and allow it to be killed year round.

            • avatar Mike says:

              What we’ve got here is JB shifting the topic to defend hunting.

              Notice the vitriol in his post. Notice how it’s not directed at those who poisoned wolves and eagles, (and who knows what else they poisoned). Notice how his anger, in a thread on that topic is not directed towards the perpetrators at all, but rather towards me.

              JB is so caught up in apologist rhetoric, so caught up in defending the hunting mothership that he’s blindly lashing out at everything BUT the party responsible for this wolf poisoning.

              Perhaps this long argument never would have started if the hunters here had responded to the wolf and eagle killers as JB has responded to me towards me.

              Take a long, deep breath and relax, JB. This isn’t about me. This is about a mentality, prevalent in the hunting and ranching communities that allows crazy people to leave out poison for four wolves and six eagles (and who knows what else suffered). That is where your anger needs to be focused. Don’t make me your scapegoat.

              It’s time to start solving problems with our minds, not with bullets and poison. It’s time to evolve.

          • avatar JB says:

            “WM, JB and others… whats wrong with taking the hunting and ranching communities to task about this issue.”

            Nancy. Do you take white people to task for the actions of the KKK? Do you blame all gun owners every time some wacko goes nuts and kills somebody? Do you think we should take Muslims to task for the actions of Muslim terrorists?

            More than 21 million Americans hunt, and most of them don’t hunt elk or live in the intermountain West. Moreover, most of them (despite Mike’s continued proclamations to the contrary) do not “hate” predators.

            I have no problem with you condemning the people who are responsible for poisoning these animals. Kudos. Let’s find them and throw the book at them. I do have a problem with the slanderous, bigoted, hate-filled comments that continually emanate from Mike.

            • avatar JB says:

              Correction: My last comment was in response to Louise, not Nancy.

            • avatar Mike says:

              Didn’t you just post one of your own polls from 2003 saying that 30% of hunters want wolves gone?

              Tell me, what groups are pushing state agencies to offer high wolf quotas and trapping? It isn’t Aunt Mabel in the Fair Oaks nursing home. It’s hunters and ranchers.

              ++Nancy. Do you take white people to task for the actions of the KKK? ++

              No, you take white supremacy groups to task, groups that are active on the local level, like many of the hunting groups who hate wolves.

              ++Do you blame all gun owners every time some wacko goes nuts and kills somebody? Do you think we should take Muslims to task for the actions of Muslim terrorists?++

              Your response is so ridiculous that it’s hard to find a thread of sanity to even begin responding to.

              It’s up to Muslims to rein in the terrorists. It’s up to responsible gun owners to rein in the crazies (by agreeing to reasonable background checks and wait periods), and it’s up to HUNTERS to rein in their extreme and wacky peers (by ridicule and distance). But we haven’t heard that from you. Instead we’ve heard nothing but an altruistic defense of the hunting mothership.

      • avatar timz says:

        Mike,
        It’s not just limited to this sort of thing. every year after hunting season I have to go into the woods near my house with a box of large trash bags and clean up after these pigs. I’ve mentioned it here and other places and you get the same old crap, “it’s just a few that do things like that.” No actually it’s QUITE a few.

        • avatar jon says:

          “No actually it’s QUITE a few.”

          Amen Timz.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          And obviously the “few” are too often excused for being pigs Timz because they paid a lot to come play/kill in the state.

        • avatar Dude, the bagman says:

          I’d agree that quite a few hunters do litter where they recreate. However, so do quite a few backpackers.

          The next time you’re in a popular backpacking area, take the time to look around a campsite. There are nails and axe wounds in the trees. People defecate within five feet of water and leave it above ground with half a roll of toilet paper. A lot of the time, there’s plenty of half-burned foil and plastic in the fire rings (leaving the soil toxified). There’s often plenty of microtrash scattered about. Sometimes folks will even just leave their Mountain House bags on the ground, pinned down by a rock (because if it can’t blow away, it’s not littering?).

          I think the larger lesson is that people suck in general, especially when they think no one’s looking. More than most people would care to believe, human behavior is usually dictated by the power of the situation. Anonymity often fosters antisocial behavior, and this manifests itself on public lands as a lack of respect for the resource and future land users.

          This applies equally to hunters and other groups who publicly profess to exemplify a high and mighty conservation ethic. “WE don’t behave that way. THOSE PEOPLE aren’t part of OUR group. They aren’t true hunters/backpackers/sportsman/whatever.”

          • avatar Mike says:

            Dude, you raise a good point. However, leaving a McDonald’s wrapper isn’t the same thing as trapping a wolverine in Montana, or actively and violently participating in the effort to obliterate wolves.

        • avatar Mike says:

          You nailed it.

        • avatar WM says:

          We have a couple hedges and bushes that run the length of our yard in the city, as do others along our street. We are all constantly pulling beer and pop cans/bottles, paper coffee cups, hamburger wrappers and alot of disgusting stuff out of there. We all complain about it.

          Not a hunter, or likely a backpacker among them, yet the trash appears.

          About 10 blocks away a vacant construction site is awaiting approval for a large mixed use building. Similiar garbage accumulates, even a few pieces of filthy clothing, and maybe some street person decides to take a dump there. The occasional couch, TV or mattress also shows up. Not a hunter, fisherman or backpacker in sight. Hmmmm, must be something else going on here.

          There are some inconsiderate and bad folks out there, but it’s not just hunters, timz.
          _____
          PS. About two years ago, I saw a guy deposit a beer can in our bushes one evening. My wife saw the same guy do it a few days later. She confronted him and he got verbally abusive (we reported it to police who confirmed he was capable of doing more than just verbal stuff). We waited a week or so, and I followed the guy home one night at a distance, along the 1 mile path he takes from the bar/grocery store he visits regularly (we are pretty sure he is an alcoholic and think he brings some of his beer to the bar in a backpack). The next night a neighbor and I got some plastic sacks, and retraced the same path, and saw where he had been slipping his cans (Miller Light) in the bushes for the entire length of his journey for the previous few months. Later that night we dumped the cans all over his yard and driveway, along with a typed note in large script. It read, “Pick your garbage up A$$hole, or this will continue to happen for as long as you dump your stuff.” The note was anonymous, and we wanted to avoid a confrontation, but figured there were enough folks along the path he wouldn’t figure it out.

          The bushes along this path are mostly free of Miller cans, but we still get the other stuff.

          • avatar DLB says:

            That’s a great story.

            Living on Capitol Hill and enduring the sometimes negative invasion of my personal space that goes along with being in that neighborhood, I learned to enjoy the little victories.

    • avatar jon says:

      I would bet money that 99% of those anti-wolf comments on huntwolves.com were made by hunters/ranchers. It should be no secret to anyone that hunters (the ones that like to tell everyone how they are conservationists) and ranchers are the biggest anti-wolf people around. Ofcourse, that is not to say that all hunters/ranchers are like this, but I think it should be obvious to anyone who follows the wolf issue closely that ranchers/hunters hate the wolf more than anyone else.

    • avatar louise kane says:

      Nancy this is such a horrible site, its hard to comprehend that people like this exist and are allowed to carry firearms legally. It makes me cringe and feel sick thinking about the wolves out there with people like this after them. Whats wrong with these people?

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Whats wrong with these people?

        I haven’t a clue Louise but they’re out there and seem to have no problem voicing their opinions when it comes to the “joy” of killing living things:

        “The Grim Hunter
        Apr2 by Rob Sexton
        Last week I wrote the inaugural post for the Protect What’s Right blog. It shed light on the lie that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) spreads each and every day to the public, media and elected officials that they are not really against all hunting…just the really bad kinds of hunting.

        We exposed the lie by examining the organization’s actions in recent years. And then followed up by reading the words that have been written and uttered by the leaders of HSUS regarding hunting. It’s a fact. They oppose all hunting.

        Something stuck in the back of my head about one of their quotes while reading the comments and emails we’ve received in response to the post. But I just couldn’t make it come out as a coherent thought. And then suddenly the murky thoughts came together and became this post:

        “As a matter of principle, The HSUS opposes the hunting of any living creature for fun, trophy, or sport because of the animal trauma, suffering, and death that result.” The Humane Society of the United States “Statement on Wild Animals, March 2012.

        Perhaps I got it wrong about HSUS. If you read this statement closely, you will discover a loophole. It appears that they just might not be opposed to hunting…as long as you do not have any fun while doing it. Man, am I ever in trouble!

        This past spring, after all of these years of hunting I actually called in and killed my first wild turkey. He was a fairly young bird. But I was so proud and thrilled. I could barely wait for the 2012 season to come around so I could get out there again. About two weeks ago I shot my first long beard.

        WARNING: Hunter having fun!

        I have to confess I’m not the grim hunter. I was grinning so hard I think I pulled a jaw muscle! Although I managed to suppress a war whoop as a courtesy to nearby hunters, if a surveillance drone had happened by my locale around 5:45 PM on opening day there’s a fair chance it would have resulted in some You Tube footage of a fairly portly fellow doing a jig around gobbler in a Central Florida field. Yeah. I had fun.

        I’ve had fun on most every hunt I’ve ever been on, whether successful or not. And the trophies I have from some of those hunts bring back great memories. And they’ve all been pulse pounding challenges for me that have indeed been sporting.

        I don’t want you to misunderstand. We eat what we kill. But that’s not why I do it. I can afford to buy food at the supermarket or in a restaurant. I don’t do it to help control crop damage, or prevent deer-car collisions either, although those are indeed a benefit to society.

        I do it because it is fun. We’re allowed to have fun while hunting regardless of what the anti-hunting lobby continually feeds the media. Hunting is not a solemn experience. It is a joy”

  21. avatar Nancy says:

    Just one of the simple minds out there, sounding off on this site:

    “KillWolvesSaveElk • 2 months ago• parent
    −+
    Flag as inappropriateYou are completely wrong, and just like the rest of the environmentalists and liberals that come to this site to preach their opinions and bloviate, you have NO idea what you are talking about. First off, how are wolves beneficial to the environment? Are you just saying that or do you have cold hard facts to back it up. I and other hunters from wyoming, idaho, and montana do have cold hard facts. Look at our harvest numbers in deer and elk from 1990 to present day, nothing but decreases, moose, deer, elk, even black bear populations have decreased dramatically due to wolves in our area. You have not the slightest clue how devastating wolves are to the environment. Why the hell do you think we tried to exterminate them in the forties and fifties, because our supposed “uneducated” relatives felt like it? HELL NO, they knew the devastation they caused way back when, what difference does it make now? Elk aren’t the only thing wolves eat either. Elk will eat anything from field mice to elk, to deer, to even a yearling bear if they cross paths, i shouldn’t even say eat, i should say they just kill them because that’s what they do, i’ve seen it. We, yes we, are the dominate predators in the environment, now the wolves are weaseling into our environment, and i for one, and hundreds of other people aren’t going to have it.

  22. avatar RobertR says:

    Mike who started wildlife conservation and what group still supports wildlife conservation. They were the ones who brought wildlife back from the brink of destruction. Yes predators were not included but without a pray species there would be nothing.
    All of are ancestors were in the process of wildlife conservation so before one calls the kettle black you better back.
    The ones in the poisoning of these animals should be prosecuted to the fullest.
    If the people who call them selves hunters or ranchers done the poisoning they do not represent hunting or ranching as a whole. With any organization there are some bad apples that make others look bad.

    • avatar Mike says:

      ++Mike who started wildlife conservation and what group still supports wildlife conservation. They were the ones who brought wildlife back from the brink of destruction.++

      This is false. They were the ones who DESTROYED it. So excuse me for not slapping a medal on a guy who puts out the fire he starts.

      • avatar RobertR says:

        Mike you are only right for the time period that there were no game laws or protection of any wildlife.
        Starting in the late 1800’s and more so 1901 to 1937 is when game birds and ungulates started rebounding. If you would take the time to read the history you would know who was involved. Between Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt is where the game laws started and evolved and conservation was the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, and was central to future wildlife management.

  23. avatar nabeki says:

    While the bickering, name calling, blaming, finger pointing, proselytizing and denial continues, wolves are being killed. The hunts are less than three weeks away. That is the one truism that stands and cannot be disputed. What do the arguments accomplish? I don’t see the point. Even though I’ve been drawn into them myself from time to time.

    There will always be people who love to argue, who enjoy the game and will never allow anyone to get ahead of them no matter what the topic. The wolf issue is a perfect foil for this pastime, an endless loop. It reminds me of a football board I once belonged to, populated mostly by men and a few women, who argued over the most trivial things, never wanting to give ground, calling names, insulting each other. It was fun for awhile but got old very fast.

    Mike if I were you I’d give up the ghost and forget about arguing with them. All it does is increase your blood pressure and make you angry with the added benefit of being routinely insulted for your beliefs. Your views are similar to mine and so I sympathize with the heat you continually take. Do you need their approval to care about wolves and decry their slaughter? No hearts and minds are being changed here. Just my 2 cents.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Nabeki –

      I guess in a way I’m a little bummed. This was a great site for wildlife enthusiasts, and it’s been hijacked by hunters and anti-wolfers.

      At some point I’ll have to acknowledge the change in direction and just move on.

      • avatar JB says:

        “At some point I’ll have to acknowledge the change in direction and just move on.”

        Mike: Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep.

        • avatar WM says:

          ++Mike: Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep.++

          Mike has made a promise of leaving before, even more bold than this one, if I recall. It is sort of like the alcoholic who says, “I’ll quit after I finish this last drink,” only to be seen on the same barstool the following night with yet another in his hand.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            “I’ve had fun on most every hunt I’ve ever been on, whether successful or not. And the trophies I have from some of those hunts bring back great memories. And they’ve all been pulse pounding challenges for me that have indeed been sporting.

            I don’t want you to misunderstand. We eat what we kill. But that’s not why I do it. I can afford to buy food at the supermarket or in a restaurant. I don’t do it to help control crop damage, or prevent deer-car collisions either, although those are indeed a benefit to society.

            I do it because it is fun. We’re allowed to have fun while hunting regardless of what the anti-hunting lobby continually feeds the media. Hunting is not a solemn experience. It is a joy”

            Did you miss that little tribute to “hunting” I posted WM? Came from a hunting website about “protecting whats right”

            “I do it because its fun. Its a joy” ………..

            How many other “joyful” hunters do you think are out there who get their joy (and probably “jollies off”) killing wildlife?

            “if a surveillance drone had happened by my locale around 5:45 PM on opening day there’s a fair chance it would have resulted in some You Tube footage of a fairly portly fellow doing a jig around gobbler in a Central Florida field. Yeah. I had fun”

            ?

            • avatar WM says:

              Nancy,

              I am not quite sure what you are asking of me, or why. I certainly would not pretend to speak for this guy – what motivates him or gives him personal “joy” in hunting or taking an animal. He is from Florida, afterall (in my prejudice book they are only a half step above Texans -LOL).

              I do not think it unreasonable or immoral (for those who find morality in the topic) for one to find satisfaction from what is usually hard work and sometimetimes luck, and express “joy” at the reward of a successful hunt. Doing a little dance? – OK.

              I expect from reading this guy’s almost tongue in cheek comment, he is responding with a certain amount of righteous indignation before a friendly audience, to the criticism that comes from HSUS and their position on hunting, and the tactics they frequently use to stop hunting with creative legal arguments using laws that were not designed for that purpose.

              There is also a military term, which SB or someone with military experience might recall. It is a statement usually found in the negative, when something does not happen. For example “no joy,” if problem is not solved, no information is uncovered, an objective not achieved, or an adversary is not found and dealt with. Does it truly mean “joy” when things are achieved?

              So I expect “joy” or lack of it has several different meanings.

              I personally do not find joy in taking the life of an elk or deer, in the way you might think. I think of it more as a giving of thanks on a spiritual level (maybe as some Native Americans or First Nation people might), with some sadness. I doubt some here would understand it, unless they actually are hunters. As for the part of hunting I find “fun” it is all the other stuff that goes with being out camping, walking through the woods where you would not otherwise likely go, relying on senses, paying attention to the way the faint wind blows, watching all kinds of wildlife, and maybe the risk of getting lost or caught out in bad weather having to rely on one’s acquired skills.

            • avatar JB says:

              Nancy:

              I know you were not asking me, but let me see if I can help translate. It seems like, to you “hunting” = “killing”. Yet this is one, tiny instant of the entire process. To MANY (not all) hunters, “hunting” means the time they put into scouting, learning animal behavior; it means time spent with friends camping or at the hunting lodge; it means time away from the drudgery of our high-tech life; it means the excitement of potentially achieving one’s goal (be it filling the fridge, or acquiring a trophy); and it also means the hard work associated with butchering the animal one has killed.

              The joy/happiness/good feeling one gets is not–at least in my experience–at all related to the animal’s death. Indeed, this (for some, many?) is a time of remorse and reflection. The joy one associates with hunting is for the memories of the experience. If you fixate on the moment the trigger is pulled and nothing else, you will never understand.

            • avatar Mike says:

              Nancy –

              That is some very scary, creepy stuff.

              And of course we’re still seeing excuses being made for the behavior, rather than hunters taking responsibility for their peers.

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++I know you were not asking me, but let me see if I can help translate. It seems like, to you “hunting” = “killing”. Yet this is one, tiny instant of the entire process. ++

              This is such a ridiculous response, and again paints you as a serial apologizer.

              Ending a mammal’s life (a creature that can think and feel) is one, tiny instant of the entire process? From an ecological standpoint, it’s easily the most pertinent aspect of the entire thing.

              ++To MANY (not all) hunters, “hunting” means the time they put into scouting, learning animal behavior; it means time spent with friends camping or at the hunting lodge; it means time away from the drudgery of our high-tech life; it means the excitement of potentially achieving one’s goal (be it filling the fridge, or acquiring a trophy); and it also means the hard work associated with butchering the animal one has killed.

              The joy/happiness/good feeling one gets is not–at least in my experience–at all related to the animal’s death. Indeed, this (for some, many?) is a time of remorse and reflection. The joy one associates with hunting is for the memories of the experience. If you fixate on the moment the trigger is pulled and nothing else, you will never understand++

              Well JB, thanks once again for an altruistic defense of the hunting mothership in a thread where likely hunters/ranchers committed an act of terrorism.

              Bravo.

            • avatar Cobra says:

              Nancy,
              In all honesty the fun stops when you get an animal down. I guess if you hunt off the road that could be the easy part but field dressing and packing an elk out of some of the areas we hunt is far from being fun, especially during a warm year and your busting your tail to make sure you don’t loose any of the meat.
              The fun part is just being out there and seeing some of the things I’ve seen. Taking an animal is a bonus and at least for some a hard earned one. It is worth the effort though knowing that the freezer will be full for another year.
              Mike,
              Yea, anti-predator sentimate comes from mostly ranchers and hunters, big deal. They have to deal with the negatives of having wolves more than anyone else. Whoever poisoned the wolves and eagles should be fined and put in prison. It’s a bunch of crap to poison an animal or bird.

            • avatar jon says:

              Yea, anti-predator sentimate comes from mostly ranchers and hunters, big deal.

              Cobra, I think it is a big deal. We here about ranchers being stewards of the land and hunters supposedly being “conservationists” yet they hate certain types of wildlife.

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++Mike,
              Yea, anti-predator sentimate comes from mostly ranchers and hunters, big deal. ++

              Thank you for your honesty. It’s refreshing to see on a site that has become apologist central for anti-predator hunters.

              ++They have to deal with the negatives of having wolves more than anyone else. Whoever poisoned the wolves and eagles should be fined and put in prison. It’s a bunch of crap to poison an animal or bird.++

              Thanks. You’re the kind of hunter I’d like to run across in the field. I khow you’ll tell me straight up what you think, and so would I.

              What a refreshing, honest response in a thread that has become nothing but an apology-fest(and I have to say I’m surprised at those involved in this rug-sweeping).

        • avatar Mike says:

          Reading comprehension 101:

          There was no “promise” in that sentence.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Huh?

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Mike this site has always let hunters participate, don’t leave, just put up with it when you post things that others don’t like, you get to post your opinion, why should others not be allowed to? If Ralph only let people with your position to post, then it would not be any fun! You just have to remember, not everyone thinks like you do.

    • avatar HAL 9000 says:

      I’m perfectly open to new ideas and reasonable arguments, so long as there is an actual point to be made. Like you, I don’t much care for arguing simply to argue, and when it happens, I will either disengage, or resort to smart-alec quips, depending upon my level of nobility that day.

      “Hunters hate wolves” isn’t much of a point, in my view, but rather a blanket statement, that betrays and underlying ideology.

      Yes — Some hunters really do hate wolves. And many more simply grudgingly tolerate them.

      So, tell me something I don’t already know, and back it up with a rational argument that has a point.

      I’m here (as in here, on this planet) to learn.

  24. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    Is the sentiment here that somehow ranchers and hunters have no cause or right to be upset, irate, or disappointed about the wolf issue?

    After all, many times more wolves than were initially agreed upon have been allowed.

    Again, I’m not trying to make any excuse about the ignorant venting couched in the stupid idea that wolves should not be here at all. And besides, as already pointed out, that view is irrelevant. Wolves are here, and here to say.

    But at the same time, what’s also getting wearisome is that any disappointment, opposition, or even anger, expressed regarding wolves is met with sanctimonious claims of those terrible hunters and ranchers wanting to kill all the wolves.

    And, I might add, it’s not unusual for the latter sentiments to be expressed by those living far away from wolf habitat, for whom wolves are the representation of an idea — or even an ideology — rather than something that has a direct effect on everyday live.

  25. avatar Nancy says:

    “Indeed, this (for some, many?) is a time of remorse and reflection”

    Sorry JB – just didn’t get that feeling, especially when this hunter claimed “Hunting is not a solemn experience. It is a joy”

    And as you well know, some of us here question that kind of mentality because it ain’t a “joy” for the wildlife being hunted down and killed, right?

    • avatar JB says:

      Nancy:

      I can’t make any claims about the individual you met, nor do I have any desire to defend his actions (despite Mike’s accusations). I don’t suppose that any way that animals die is a “joy” (and the “natural” deaths are arguably more painful), but I’m not sure how that’s relevant? Your post seemed to suggest that the only motivation you could see for hunting was a love of killing. In a lifetime of living around hunters, I have never met someone who fits this description (though I have read some disgusting comments online from some of that do). Just so we’re clear, all I’m saying is that “joy in hunting” is NOT “joy in killing”.

    • avatar Brian Ertz says:

      I can speak for myself I suppose.

      Hal. Living near – even among, from a landscape perspective, wolves has been a great motivator for me when it comes to condemning vitriol against wolves. Having delved into the issue for a number of years I can tell you that it’s not so much the idea that a wolf or wolves die that prompts my disdain as the ludicrous and often corrupt systems of management and law – and the disproportionate and irrational narrow interests they serve over that of the greater public (at the cost to the greater public) – that chafes my sense of justice.

      I derive much joy and spiritual sustenance from my time hunting, which is not to say that it isn’t a solemn experience as well.

      That said, I have nothing but admiration and respect for those who choose not to hunt (or eat meat) for moral and/or spiritual reasons relating to the recognition of sentience in all living creatures. Likewise I respect (and like to believe every once in awhile I get the opportunity to lend a helping hand) to efforts that extend recognition of such non-human agency into social pursuits aimed at curtailing wanton suffering. That level of compassion is an admirable thing.

      It’s an easy thing to project one’s own values and generalize judgement about these things onto others.

      As for ranchers. I have no sympathy whatsoever for that enterprise, as romantic as that myth might be to some.

      • avatar Harley says:

        I think the thing that mostly gets people riled up is that all hunters are painted with the same brush in some people’s minds and Brian is proof positive that he does not fit that stereotype at all. There is no respect at all for those that hunt, for lack of a better phrase, for the ‘right’ reasons. Blanket statements are made and any challenge to the stereotype is shot down. Anyone who attempts to portray hunters in any favorable light are told they defend or apologize for hunting, even the unethical kind.

        • avatar Mike says:

          Saying that the hunting and ranching communities are the main source of anti-wolf vitriol is not blanket statement, It’s a truism.

          Citing hunters who not have this mindset is not a refutation of this point.

          • avatar JB says:

            Truism-(noun)
            1. a self-evident, obvious truth.

            Refutation-(noun)
            1. something that refutes; disproof.

            What you’ve suggested is not factual, as they data I have cited show. Perhaps in your world “truisms” need not be true? If so, then I suppose your logic is on solid ground. If not…

            • avatar Mike says:

              A few things JB, because you seem awfully confused.

              First, your polls have no link, and show no methodology. That’s the first issue. not only that, but the war on wolves has ramped up considerably the last ten years.

              now, if we are to take those polls at face value, all you have proven is that a huge percentage of hunters (from ten years ago, no doubt this number has gone up) want wolves to be killed unconditionally).

              To disprove the claim of many that most anti-predator hate comes form the ranching and hunting communties, you will have to compare that 22-29% of hunters who wish to see wolves killed unconditionally to the percentage of non-hunting groups.

              In fact, one of your polls (again no link, no methodology, and socially dated by ten years)even claimed that hunters and ranchers dislike wolves more than other groups 2-1,in effect proving the claim that hunters and ranchers are the main source of the vitriol.

              All you’ve managed to do is back yourself into corner with your own (unverifiable) data.

            • avatar JB says:

              “To disprove the claim of many that most anti-predator hate comes form the ranching and hunting communties, you will have to compare that 22-29% of hunters who wish to see wolves killed unconditionally to the percentage of non-hunting groups.”

              No Mike, you are the one who is confused. The post you’re citing is my response to Jon. And comparing percentages doesn’t get you there because hunters comprise but a small percentage of the population (so a large proportion of a small population can be less than a small proportion of a much larger population.

              I actually took the time to tackle your claim for the NRMs here (http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2012/08/07/wolves-and-bald-eagles-poisoned-in-the-bob-marshall-wilderness/#comment-149178) you just ignored (or missed) it.

              As for citations, the data I cite appear in the following publications:

              IDF&G (2008). Idaho Wolf Population and Management Plan 2008-2012. Boise, Idaho.

              Treves & Martin (2011). Hunters as Stewards of Wolves in Wisconsin and the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA. Society & Natural Resources, 24:984-994.

              I can’t wait for your well-reasoned response.

      • avatar HAL 9000 says:

        Brian,

        Your sentiments as expressed here basically mirror mine, both as a hunter, and a resident of this area.

        The only point of disagreement might be, I’m not so stridently scornful of ranching, although I agree, quite a romantic view has been built up around it.

  26. avatar Cobra says:

    One thing I have been noticing in my area is a change in some peoples views on wolves. Five years ago some of these people would talk about gut shooting them and sss and all the favorite rants. I’ve noticed though since we can hunt wolves there seems to be a little more respect from these same people about wolves. They may not like them but that fire burning hate, in some anyway seems to be turning into some sort of respect and admiration towards wolves. Sure they’ll still buy tags and hunt them but most times it turns out to be just another excuse to get out in the hills.

  27. avatar jon says:

    I know some on here hear about hunters talking about how they are going to shoot every wolf in the guts that they see, but do you think the majority of these people are just talking out of frustration and anger? Some would have you believe that hundreds of wolves are illegally being killed and gut shot. I think it takes a very sick person to purposely shoot a wild animal in its guts just to make it suffer a slow death just because it eats elk and deer.

    • avatar Mark L says:

      Yeah Jon, I think a lot of it is transferring their anger at the government to wolves (pumas, whooping cranes, etc.). People are always looking for some ‘other’ to blame, be it another group of people/political party, a different species…heck, even their in-laws!
      Looking inwards involves that ‘boring touchy-feely’ stuff that a lot of people don’t want to address. Que ser sera.
      Take a look at the demographics of the ‘wolf shooters’ and look for trends. This in itself says a lot about them. Use it to your advantage.

    • avatar HAL 9000 says:

      Jon,
      “Hunting” any animal with a sense of revenge, hatred or anger — and deliberately causing an animal to suffer — goes sharply and fundamentally against everything I was taught, primarily by my father, and value as an outdoorsman and a hunter.

      Frankly, it’s nothing short of immoral and obscene.

  28. avatar JB says:

    Jon says: “It’s of no surprise to anyone that the ranchers/hunters are without question the most hostile towards wolves. Not every single one, but the anti-wolf movement is more than just a FEW hunters/ranchers.”

    No question that a higher proportion of hunters and ranchers are hostile toward wolves than non-hunters/non-ranchers–I don’t think that was ever a subject for debate. And it is an important piece of information in helping to understand where opposition originates from. What I object to is the notion that “all” (Mike’s word) opposition/hate comes from these groups. It doesn’t. In fact, the MAJORITY of opposition comes from outside these groups–at least in Idaho. How do I know? Here’s how:

    In 2007, Idaho conducted a survey of hunters, ranchers and other residents concerning their attitudes toward wolves and preferences regarding wolf management. Here are a few findings…

    Item: It is important to me that wolves exist in Idaho.
    % who disagreed: Hunters: 63%, Ranchers, 80%, Random non-hunters: 26%.

    Item: Humans can co-exist with wolves in Idaho.
    % who disagreed: Hunters: 40%, Ranchers 65%, Random non-hunters: 24%.

    From these data we can conclude that roughly 25% of the non-hunting public oppose wolves in Idaho, compared to roughly 1/2 of all hunters (40%-63%).

    Now, the USFWS estimates hunter participation in all US states. There 2006 survey estimated 186,000 hunters in Idaho. However, we know that their methodology underestimates hunter numbers (because they only ask about recent participation). Let’s assume there are as many as 300,000 hunters in Idaho.

    According to the US Census Bureau, there are approximately 1.5 million Idahoans. If 300,000 hunt, then 1.2 million don’t.

    Combining the data from these two datasets we can estimate how many hunters and non-hunters oppose wolves.

    Hunters: 300,000 x (we will use the higher number) 63% = 189,000.

    Non-hunters: 1.2 million x (we will use the lower number) 24% = 288,000.

    Ranchers, of course, make up a tiny fraction of the population (~1%), so they are not even worth talking about.

    So there you have it. The majority of opposition to wolves comes from outside the hunting and ranching community in Idaho. Now you can start to ask the far more important why question. Here, Idaho’s survey is again instructive. It found that 35% of non-hunters agreed that “wolves are dangerous to humans”–a strong indication of where non-hunter opposition originates.

    So Jon, Mike, Louise and Nancy: Do you think your time is better spent trying to convince 189,000 hunters that wolves do not impact big game species, or convincing 288,000 non-hunters that they have little to fear from wolves?

    • avatar JB says:

      Quotes from Mike:

      “The anti-predator hate only comes from hunters and ranchers. That is a fact.” (emphasis mine)

      “Claiming that “not all” hunters have these views does not refute the truism that the anti-predator hate in the U.S. comes mainly from hunters and ranchers.”

      “It is a hate born from a lack of education and an inability to personally evolve and enrich one’s life. Many of the hunters I’ve run into across the west are 40 years old going on 14….What they are is biological specimens frozen in time. Man-children, running around with guns (obvious phallic symbols), doing what they want, when they want and hating anything they can’t control…
      This is where the hate comes from….They were raised with hate and so they grew up hateful…The cultural isolation doesn’t help.”

      I see a lot of ‘hate’ here, but it ain’t from hunters; rather, it is directed at them.

      • avatar jon says:

        The majority of opposition to wolves comes from outside the hunting and ranching community in Idaho

        I’m sorry JB, but I am going to have to disagree completely. The majority of the opposition to wolves comes from hunters/ranchers.

        http://psychcentral.com/news/archives/2004-01/wcs-sfw012904.html

        • avatar jon says:

          “Using a mail-back survey with a pool of 535 respondents, scientists found that bear hunters were the group with the least tolerance, with approximately 74 percent of the 124 hunters in the survey in favor of reducing or eliminating Wisconsin’s wolf population. Attitudes among this group did not vary greatly between the perceived threat and an actual loss of hunting dogs, which sometimes fall prey to wolves. By comparison, about 44 percent of livestock producers favored reducing or eliminating wolves, and only 28.5 percent of general residents supported the same. Overall, there is moderate support for wolf recovery statewide, with only 17.4 percent indicating that wolves should be eliminated.”

          • avatar WM says:

            jon,

            Although your comment was directed to JB (who will no doubt respond and I believe knows Adrian Treves the author of the study), let me offer a couple of general observations. First, pay close attention to this lead in statement from the article:

            ++..survey results among people who live with wolves in northern Wisconsin revealed that deeply rooted social identities and occupations are more powerful predictors of their attitudes toward wolves…++

            This is not a cross section of all WI residents, it just those in northern WI, and of course you are comparing this group to all ID residents to challenge JB. The impressions of the northern WI respondents are directly related to or strongly influenced by the fact wolves are where they live, and to some extent how they perceive wolves affect their livelihood, and recreation.

            Second, and I am not sure how important this is, but this survey was done in 2003, and published in 2004. Passage of time, to some degree, may affect respondent impressions as reflected in surveys. So, are nearly 10 year old survey impressions any good to reflect present impressions?

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++This is not a cross section of all WI residents, it just those in northern WI, and of course you are comparing this group to all ID residents to challenge JB. The impressions of the northern WI respondents are directly related to or strongly influenced by the fact wolves are where they live, and to some extent how they perceive wolves affect their livelihood, and recreation.++

              Isn’t that the point? To take the poll from hunters who happen to live near wolf country?

              ++Second, and I am not sure how important this is, but this survey was done in 2003, and published in 2004. Passage of time, to some degree, may affect respondent impressions as reflected in surveys. So, are nearly 10 year old survey impressions any good to reflect present impressions?++

              Funny that you didn’t have these quibble when JB posted his poll from 2003….

              If anything, I’d expect the wolf hate to be worse after ten years of misinformation and political pandering.

          • avatar JB says:

            Jon,

            WM’s comments are dead on. First, you’re comparing apples (Idahoans) and oranges (Wisconsinites); second, the survey targeted people who live in wolves’ range, not a random sample of residents or hunters.

            Treves conducted another study where they examined attitudes more broadly among hunters (n = 723) and found only 22.5% supported unconditional hunting of wolves (5.6% of non-hunters supported unconditional hunting).

            Again, we can extrapolate using the USFWS’s numbers. They estimate there are roughly 700,000 hunters in Wisconsin. Let’s double this for good measure and multiple by .225; 6hat would be 315,000 hunters supporting unconditional killing; using the same math (4.3 million x .056) we get 240,800. So in Wisconsin, you could say the majority (56%) of the opposition is comes from the hunting community, but certainly not all.

            Now the same study be Treves and Martin (2011) also looked at residents of the NRMs. Interestingly, their numbers are very similar to those (cited above) collected by the state of Idaho: 25% of non-hunters supported unconditional hunting of wolves, 56% of hunters. Which would mean the majority of opposition comes from outside the hunting community in the NRMs (again, see above).

            • avatar Mike says:

              The majority of anti-wolf hate comes from the hunting and ranching community, period. Whether its the venom rubbing off on the wives, on the kids, on the store owners who happen to be pals with the hunters, whatever. It is this entrenched mindset, sprouting from within this community.

              56% percent of hunters support the unconditional hunting of wolves in the NR? That’s a freaking INSANE number. Well over half the community. And let’s be perfectly honest: “unconditional hunting” is nothing more than a nice way of saying “slaughter”.

              Very ,very disturbing numbers. I’m sure the “I don’t like wolves” number is even higher.

              There is absolutely no question that the hunting community in the NR is deeply, deeply damaged by this vitriol.

              Too bad the hunters on this blog would rather sweep it under the rug.

              What a shame. The wolf, and other endangered species will never be okay until this community is educated.

            • avatar JB says:

              Mike,

              The only reason you know that number (56%) at all is because I posted it. So how is it that you come to the conclusion that we are sweeping anything under the rug? If I didn’t want you to have that information I could have withheld it. God knows you’ve proven you aren’t capable of looking anything up on your own.

              And I see you still seem unable to grasp the simple statistical concept of a majority. On the upside, at least you’ve ceased making patently false claims like:

              “The anti-predator hate only comes from hunters and ranchers. That is a fact.”

              Hmm…I guess I should add “fact” to the list of concepts you consistently fail to grasp.

        • avatar Mike says:

          ++The majority of opposition to wolves comes from outside the hunting and ranching community in Idaho

          I’m sorry JB, but I am going to have to disagree completely. The majority of the opposition to wolves comes from hunters/ranchers.

          http://psychcentral.com/news/archives/2004-01/wcs-sfw012904.html++

          Wonderful post, Jon! And a link for the poll , as well as methodology! Well done. And the results are hardly surprising.

          Hopefully, Ralph posts this as a main article. Very, very telling.

      • avatar jon says:

        Jb, my own personal opinion is that many people are disgusted with some hunters and their hostile extreme views towards wolves and other predators. I am certain that if some hunters didn’t have these hostile views of wolves and other carnivores, that there would be far less people disgusted with hunters.

        • avatar JB says:

          “I am certain that if some hunters didn’t have these hostile views of wolves and other carnivores, that there would be far less people disgusted with hunters.”

          “Some hunters”–the majority of hunters in your Wisconsin study–do NOT hold these hostile views, as the data above indicates (22.5% support unconditional killing).

          • avatar jon says:

            You don’t know that and I don’t either. The survey was done on a few hundred people. All that survey done in WI showed out of all of the people surveyed, hunters/ranchers were the most hostile towards wolves and this is the same in places like Idaho/Montana. It’s no secret to anyone that hunters/ranchers are the ones most hostile towards wolves. Not all obviously, but quite a few.

            • avatar JB says:

              John:

              I am citing a study (Treves & Martin 2011) that surveyed 723 Wisconsin hunters. The margin of error on that sample size is liberally estimated at 3.6 percentage points. Meaning their is a 95% chance that the number of hunters that are hostile toward wolves (as defined by the above question) is between 18.9% and 26.1%–nowhere near a majority.

              But we can be even more conservative with the data. There is a 99% chance that the percentage of hunters that are hostile toward wolves in Wisconsin falls between 17.7% and 27.3%–still nowhere near a majority.

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++Meaning their is a 95% chance that the number of hunters that are hostile toward wolves (as defined by the above question) is between 18.9% and 26.1%–nowhere near a majority. ++

              That’s because you’re comparing the percentage to hunters. To make the claim that “most anti-predator hate comes from hunters and ranchers” means you have to compare them to NON-hunters and ranchers feelings on predators.

              One of the polls you cited earlier (which we all have to take with a grain of salt since it was taken ten years ago and no link or methodology was posted) even showed that hunters and ranchers disliked wolves 2-1 to other groups.

            • avatar jon says:

              I think all Mike is trying to say is what I am saying JB and that is the most likely groups of people to be hostile against wolves and other predators are ranchers/hunters. I think most know that that doesn’t mean every hunter and rancher out there is hostile towards wolves. I think it’s understandable that those conservationists who don’t hunt don’t hold very good views of those hunters who hold hostile and more often than not extreme and radical views towards wolves and other native carnivores.

            • avatar Mike says:

              Jon –

              No point in explaining. JB and a few others keep getting stuck on “not all hunters are like this”, which of course doesn’t refute the fact these communities are the main source of the behavior.

            • avatar Mike says:

              Great article, Jon. Note the responses from hunters and ranchers.

              Chilling.

            • avatar louise kane says:

              The comments are indeed chilling. These kinds of comments do nothing but illustrate the need for predator protection legislation on a federal level with a no tolerance policy for abuses. It took a long time to enact civil rights legislation and the backlash from that was immediate, fierce and intense. I think of the ESA like that, the people who wanted to delist wolves resented the idea that they were not allowed to continue their anti wildlife/wildlife agendas and while they were forced to obey the law under stiff penalities they complied to a certain extent. I know I know SSS existed but for the most part they complied. Now that they can kill again, they are at it with a vengence. Wolves need protection from these maniacs for a very long time until, hopefully newer generations, do not grow up with the ability to freely hate, torture, maim and kill wolves with impunity. I feel sickened that people really think like this and pass on their bias and hate to their children.

          • avatar Mike says:

            JB, you’re losing the plot. You have to take the 22% unconditional killing from hunters and compare it to non-hunter groups.

            1/4 of supposedly polled hunters in Wisconsin support the unconditional killing of wolves That’s a huge number! 1/4 of all hunters! And how many are on the fence? How many then just plain dislike them?

            Very disturbing poll results that don;t bode well for the hunting community.

            And that’s not even mentioning there’s no link for the poll, and no listed methodology. If it’s a voluntary online poll, it’s just about useless.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      “So Jon, Mike, Louise and Nancy: Do you think your time is better spent trying to convince 189,000 hunters that wolves do not impact big game species, or convincing 288,000 non-hunters that they have little to fear from wolves?”

      JB – how many of those non-hunters, who fear wolves (288,000) do you think are probably related to (and influenced by) in some way thru family, associates, community, socially etc. to those 189,000 hunters who fear what wolves will do to their ability to hunt?

      • avatar JB says:

        Nancy:

        I expect everyone is influenced socially by the people whom they care about. To what extent, I cannot tell you.

    • avatar louise kane says:

      I think my time is best spent trying to collect information that illustrates that the hunters and livestock industry so heavily impact policy that the states become incapable of managing their wolves and other wildlife. I also think its important to illustrate that these states are out of step with the opinions of mainstream America and also many of the state’s non hunting and non ranching constiuencies. I’d like to see national legislation (as I have said many times before) and a shift in wildlife policy in general. I don’t believe much will change without laws enacted to protect predators and wolves, (whether federal or state) that is coupled with education programs and no tolerance for the type of hyped up killing that is regularly seen on many websites. I think that trophy hunting and killing wildlife for fun has to become taboo and politically incorrect, as it should be. In this environment, post Citizens United, its hard to imagine efficiently fighting some of the most corrupt influences that drive policy. Yet, it needs to be done. Just bitching about it will not change anything. To that end, I am working with a newly forming PAC whose mission, among other things, is to raise money to relist wolves, and to protect the ESA, as well end trapping and snaring. If anyone is interested in joining, they can ask Ralph for my e mail. We have raised 50K in the last few months for start up work. I hope that answers your question somewhat JB. This start up is one of the reasons I have not been posting as regularly – probably to the delight of some.

      • avatar Mike says:

        Good points, Louise.

        It’s one of the reasons why national parks and national forests were created. Local industry had too much influence on wildlife and conservation decisions, and therefor the toy had to be taken from the children.

        The wolf issue is no different. Soon, the grown ups will once again have to take the toy from the angry white males of the northern rockies.

  29. avatar Immer Treue says:

    All the debate and banter aside, last night went for a hike with my old dog on some trails that I and a friend who hunts my land have been maintaining. Walked for ~ 45 minutes and when I got back to my cabin, a lone wolf howled to the NW. As time passed on he/she moved to the SE and would howl.

    Sitting under the awakening stars and listening to that wolf howl sporadically for ~ 15 minutes or so reinforces why I live where I do.

    Some of us who live in wolf country do appreciate wolves, even those of us who are not opposed to proper wolf management. However, I field more than a bit of trepidation that with the coming onslaught of our first wolf season, that the few moments of enjoying one of natures truly magical sounds may may fade into the past.

    • avatar louise kane says:

      How lucky of you to hear that howl. I wonder if the rest of the pack was killed in the last season and if that howl will be extinguished in this one. It sucks, this upcoming wolf kill

  30. avatar skyrim says:

    Remain thankful Immer. I can walk with my old dog for hours in any direction from my cabin and find myself grateful if I run into a rafter of wild turkeys. Nice, but not the same as the howl of the wolf.

  31. avatar Cobra says:

    The way I see it, I think a lot of people are getting sick and tired of both sides of the wolf issues. Their here and they’ll be here longer than any of us will. The wolf population is doing well in North Idaho and the pure hatred of wolves seems to be subsiding in many. The extremes on either side is what gets everyone so riled up over these issues. The wolf population as a whole is fine and will be for generations to come. I’m sure there are some other important issues out there that could use our time and energy. Wolves are here to stay, maybe not in numbers either side agree on, but they are here. Their numbers will rise and fall just like any other animal.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Cobra,

      ” I’m sure there are some other important issues out there that could use our time and energy.”

      David Mech had a ‘similar’ comment a few months back.

      • avatar JB says:

        Fire, CWD, Asian carp, feral cats, climate change, etc.?

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Add to that, brain worm. Moose in this neck of the woods are suffering big time from it. Even though brother wolf takes a few moose, his suppression of deer (10-13% annually) he’s probably one of the best things the moose has going for it.

    • avatar louise kane says:

      Cody, “The wolf population is doing well in North Idaho and the pure hatred of wolves seems to be subsiding in many. ”
      I guess if you plug your ears and close your eyes than you can pretend this is true. The sad fact is that none of the wolf hunting has abated the thirst to kill and persecute wolves, its only been accelerated. Its not just a question of whether or not some measly, fragmented, constantly harassed, trapped, shot, poached, and chased by dogs populations of wolves live on the fringes its whether or not we do something about changing the way wildlife and predators in general are treated. With so much evidence of the damage that comes from losing large populations of apex predators from within their ecosystems, isn’t it time to ask for more from the shitty laws, policies and programs that pass for “management”? if hate is to subside then we need a lot of work, state and federal agencies need to listen to all their constituents and not just act like the ass-kissers to the trophy hunting and livestock industries that they are. And all of us need to be a lot more vocal about our disgust. If there were ever a more persecuted species then wolves, i can’t think of one. Oh wait coyotes. The canids that our beloved dogs evolved from. who here would like to see their dog subjected to the first day of hunting season in any of the states in tis upcoming season, or be targeted by a group like Lobowatch? So while there may be other things to talk about or work on the treatment of wolves needs immediate and unrelenting attention because its egregious, wrong and disturbing as well as being extremely ecologically destructive.

      • avatar WM says:

        Louise,

        ++With so much evidence of the damage that comes from losing large populations of apex predators from within their ecosystems, isn’t it time to ask for more from the shitty laws, policies and programs that pass for “management”?++

        Care to expound on exactly what that evidence is, and whether “large population of apex predators” re-inserted into the ecosystems would change them that much for the positive?

        • avatar Mike says:

          Don’t take the bait, Louise. WM has long been an an anti-wolf troll.

        • avatar WM says:

          The question is not one of “baiting,” but rather an inquiry requesting factual support for an assertion. “Evidence” = The data on which a judgment or conclusion may be based; something that furnishes proof.

          Mike, it appears, fails to grasp yet another basic concept of discourse. No surpise there.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            I agree, it is not bait, but in the biological world a very valid question, you have to ask yourself, how many generations of prey evolved during the time that wolves were not on the landscape?

        • avatar louise kane says:

          http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714142128.htm

          http://e360.yale.edu/feature/the_crucial_role_of_predators_a_new_perspective_on_ecology/2442/

          http://www.futurity.org/top-stories/vanishing-predators-cause-cascade-of-loss/

          Wm there is a great line by John Prine in his Far from Me song and while it relates to a relationship going down the tubes it rings true when asking something just for the sake of asking. If you don’t know the line it goes like this, “a question ain’t really a question if you know the answer to”.

          you are a smart informed man do you really want to engage in something so trite?

          • avatar WM says:

            Louise,

            I would not be so quick to call the topic “trite.”

            The importance apex consumers/predators in aquatic ecosystems seems more definitive regarding these relationships. Terrestrial ecosystems, and the extrapolation from aquatic to terrestrial, seem less so. Importantly, some of the recent work of those who advocate the strongest for it (trophic cascade) is coming under greater scrutiny.

            Perhaps soon, this will be discussed as a topic on this forum, as some important papers are published.

            • avatar WM says:

              “The importance OF apex consumers…”

            • avatar louise kane says:

              hmmmm

              whose scrutiny? Data please

            • avatar louise kane says:

              I look forward to seeing evidence that that naturally occurring species of apex predators are detrimental to healthy, robust and fully functioning terrestrial ecosystems?

            • avatar WM says:

              Louise,

              ++I look forward to seeing evidence that that naturally occurring species of apex predators are DETRIMENTAL to healthy….ecosystems.++

              Let’s not twist the statement I just made, because I did not say what you state above. We may see some of the papers in the next few weeks, but I will leave it to others to break the story with details and citations.

              Sorry for the suspense.

      • avatar Cobra says:

        I couldn’t plug my nose and cover my eyes even if I wanted to. You see I live here right in the middle of what you all know so much about. We’ve got wolves not more than a couple miles from the house. We’ve heard them howl at night sometimes and you can tell when they are closer because the deer and elk feed in the pasture bordering our backyard.
        Most people here know one another and know how each other thinks on certain issues. I’ve seen some of the attitudes about wolves changing with time. I know people that hate wolves and I know people that love them. Most people seem to know that they’ll be here and we’ll just have to deal with them. Yea, they’ve changed the way I hunt in order to be successful. Yea, they have hurt our elk, deer and moose populations. They’ve cut our seasons in the panhandle this year because of it.
        I don’t like it but that’s the way it is. We’ll deal with it.
        I still can’t believe how many people that don’t live in areas like ours still can know so much about how we think and what is really going on in our area.
        The sky is not falling and the wolves will be here tomorrow, as will the bears and cougars.

        • avatar louise kane says:

          “I still can’t believe how many people that don’t live in areas like ours still can know so much about how we think and what is really going on in our area.”

          what do you think Cobra, that the rest of the country is deaf, dumb and blind to the insanity surrounding this issue. We can read.

          • avatar Cobra says:

            Just because you read it does not mean it’s the whole truth. A lot of what is written is from extremists on either side trying to get people riled up and it obviously works.
            It sickens me to see some of the trash posted on so called hunting sites, that show people allowing animals they are after to suffer.
            It also sickens me to see some of the crap that is written on pro-wolf and anti-hunting sites about hunters and grouping them all into one bag.
            There are assholes everywhere and just because you have one doesn’t mean you have to be one.
            All I’m saying is. The wolf hunts will not eradicate all the wolves. Wolves are a very intelligent animal, some will be killed, some won’t. The ones that survive will only get smarter and older teaching their young how to survive. The circle of life will go on.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Cobra, many people do not think less than 500 wolves across 350,000 square miles of the Northern Rockies is a viable population.

      • avatar HAL 9000 says:

        Yes, figures like that (such as the of-cited “most of the rest of Wyoming) get thrown around quite a bit. But again, it begs the question, how much of that territory is suitable for a significant wolf population — especially in terms of pressure from/conflicts with humans. For example, how realistic is it to expect that wolves could ever settle in around Breckenridge — or most of Colorado, for that matter?

        • avatar Mike says:

          Having lived in Colorado and enjoyed the national forests, I know a couple hundred wolves would have few problems.

          The problems would all be caused by hunters and ranchers blowing their presence out of proportion.

          • avatar HAL 9000 says:

            Most of Colorado is to “Californicated” to be suitable habitat for large, potentially high-conflict such as wolves and grizzlies. There could be suitable pockets of habitat here and there.

            But, I would wager, trophy home owners would protest just as loudly as anybody else, when grizzlies started showing up in the subdivisions, or wolves began snacking on poodles.

      • avatar Cobra says:

        It’s not all suitable habitat for wolves, nice try though.
        Less than 500 wolves will not happen even with trapping and hunting. Idaho alone will have more than that from year to year. It wouldn’t surprise me if we have close to that just in the panhandle of Idaho. Just because F&g is allowing more tags doesn’t mean they’ll be filled, it just means they’ll sell more tags.
        I find it hard to believe that so many people that put the wolf on a pedestal have a hard time thinking that a wolf can’t outsmart a fat lazy hunter or trapper.

        • avatar HAL 9000 says:

          The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming is a true gem, and a perfectly suitable place for wolves and griz. Hence, it was good and wise to reintroduce the wolves, and allow the grizzlies to recover.

          However, the GYE is also essentially an ecological island, so to speak. If you go very far beyond it in any direction, you’ll find mostly pastoral, settled, suburban or urban land, that simply is not suitable for a significant population of large predators.

          Again, some folks love to talk about all the places we’re not letting wolves and griz go, but the question stands, where, outside the GYE, is it really practical for them to go in significant numbers?

          • avatar Nancy says:

            “Again, some folks love to talk about all the places we’re not letting wolves and griz go, but the question stands, where, outside the GYE, is it really practical for them to go in significant numbers?”

            Good question Hal. But I know of lots of areas where wolves and bears (and a host of other canivores) could co-exist, just in the areas surrounding me.

            Most seem to have no problem with the hundreds of thousands of ungulates (mulies, whitetails, elk, moose, antelope) that are scattered across the landscape, so you have to ask – why the problem with their natural predators also being apart of that landscape?

            Hate to say it but it does keep coming back to specific groups, whining about either the competion or responsibility.

            • avatar Rancher Bob says:

              Nancy
              Those bears, wolves and lions co-exist just like man, predators kill each other.
              I live in a valley filled with ranchers and hunters we live with grizzlies, black bears, lions and over 100 wolves, yet what predator kills the most livestock, wolves.
              Canada has been hunting and trapping wolves for how long, they still have wolves so which specific groups are whining? Ranchers sure, we wrote the book but wolf lovers take second prize. Let’s face the fact that regulated hunting and trapping of wolves has never reduced the wolf population over the long term.

        • avatar louise kane says:

          does outsmarting have anything to do with being able to avoid scores of traps or snares set in areas that wolves need to traverse. i seem to remember that Josh Bransford talked about setting close to a hundred snares and tarps in one area. I don’t put wolves on a pedestal, I just think its criminal the way they are being treated. and not only wolves but they receive some of the harshest treatment.

          • avatar Rancher Bob says:

            louise
            You need to research some Canada wolf trapping and hunting research, most of the wolves trapped are young, older wolves learn and teach others. Those who trap wolves say wolves are the best at avoiding traps.
            Still your point is why are they treated this way right? That I can’t answer.

  32. avatar Mark L says:

    Wouldn’t that kind of depend on who is doing the ‘regulating’? Isn’t this half the battle anyway…who is the regulator i.e. running the numbers?

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      Mark
      Depends on which area the wolves live. The point is the same history shows hunting and trapping wolves does not reduce the overall population. Study Canada wolf hunting and trapping regulations.
      Cobra is right wolves are smarter than the average human.

      • avatar JB says:

        RB:

        Data shows that hunting and trapping (collectively “harvest”)CAN reduce wolf populations. The key is controlling harvest so it is sustainable. I think what you meant to say is that wolf populations are capable of sustaining hunting and trapping. If so, then I agree completely. (There is a really good discussion of this buried in the peer review of Wyoming’s plan.)

        • avatar Rancher Bob says:

          JB
          I did say regulated which for me is having some agency in control. Trapping and hunting is mostly about killing so the population does decrease. I ranch, I harvest renewable resources, I hunt, I heat my house with wood heat, as you said the key is controlling harvest, that’s my way of life.

  33. avatar Nancy says:

    “I live in a valley filled with ranchers and hunters we live with grizzlies, black bears, lions and over 100 wolves, yet what predator kills the most livestock, wolves”

    Respectfully disagree with that statement RB:

    http://www.wildearthguardians.org/site/PageServer?pagename=priorities_wildlife_war_wildlife_livestock_losses

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      Nancy
      Yes more livestock die of other causes, I said which predator kills the most. Look at human deaths very few die from texting and driving or drunk driving so your point would be why worry about small percentage caused deaths. Let the persons that go on a rampage shooting people go free they are only responsible for a small percentage of total human deaths.
      Respectfully I disagree with your logic.

      • avatar HAL 9000 says:

        Rancher Bob,

        You raise a good and relevant point. Too often, this issue — on both sides — becomes a game of simply reciting numbers, but never really going in to what those numbers actually mean. Is the rancher who really has lost a significant portion of his livestock to wolves to be expected to simply grin and bear it, simply because, in the larger picture, wolves kill only a tiny percentage of all livestock lost to all causes?

        Also, another good point you raise, wolves have managed to survive and thrive quite well in areas where they are hunted and trapped, even far more vigorously than in any program being suggested for the Northern Rockies.

        Now, I reiterate, none of that, I think, justifies an irrational hatred of wolves, or some of the hyperbolic anti-wolf rhetoric we’ve endured for years now.

        But, the larger point still stands, as with many things, the wolf issue is more complex than some want it to be.

        • avatar Rancher Bob says:

          Hal
          My question would be because you hunt a animal do you hate that animal?
          I talk with lots of hunters and rancher very few hate wolves, many dislike wolf policy, and of all the hunters and ranchers I know only myself is dumb enough to spend time on the computer debating wolves.

          • avatar jon says:

            How many hunters/ranchers do you know? I think Carter Niemeyer said it best, those that are killing wolves are killing them because they hate them. This certainly doesn’t apply to everyone, but there are most certainly hunters out there in Idaho who want to kill wolves because they hate them. The hatred for wolves is very much alive in idaho and Montana, Don’t kid yourself otherwise.

          • avatar SAP says:

            Rancher Bob wrote that he is “dumb enough to spend time on the computer debating wolves.”

            Gotta say, on such a nice day (at least here, it’s cooler & the smoke has laid down some), on a thread that has grown completely unintelligible, I agree. Everybody: go outside and play. Go do something good for wolves, or for cows, or for your community (I’m going to go clean up our volunteer fire department engine).

            If we could all sit in a room together and draw Venn diagrams to illustrate what we’re talking about, this might be a useful line of discussion.

            http://creately.com/Draw-Venn-Diagrams-Online

            We’d have a Venn circle for “those who hate wolves,” with little circles inside it:

            a) wolf haters who will go commit crimes like poisoning wolves

            b) wolf haters who just hold down barstools and run their mouths

            c) people who hate wolves because they had an emotionally scarring direct experience with them (e.g. a pet was killed by wolves)

            and so on.

            Then we could draw overlapping circles — people who hunt, people who ranch, &c. We could debate the extent to which these circles should overlap with the “people who hate wolves circle.” We could ask ourselves how we would gather reliable evidence to accurately represent the overlap (surveys, focus groups, media analysis, and so on).

            Or, we could just keep arguing on a nice day, with unclear reference points (eg are we discussing who will commit crimes vs. who’s stirring the pot vs. how much is the latter responsible for the former vs. why they hate them vs. what needs to happen to change things). That’s all that’s going on here.

            Step away from the computer; go get some sunshine and fresh air.

            • avatar JB says:

              It was a beautiful day here too, SAP. I think I’ll grab a glass of wine and sit on the porch for a bit. 🙂

          • avatar HAL 9000 says:

            Rancher Bob,
            I can speak with complete certainty only for myself as a hunter. I was raised and taught — primarily by my father — to love and appreciate nature. To me, that means all of nature. Therefore, seeing any animal as bad, wrong, evil or not even having a rightful place is, from my point of view, not only wrong, but completely non-sensical. Like pondering a herd of bananas, and getting pissed off about it.

            On the other hand, I’ve heard enough quips and observed the overall demeanor of others to think that yes, there is a genuine hatred of wolves among quite a few, and they take up their weapons and go to the field with a sense of anger or revenge.

            I do think, yes, many buying wolf tags approach it with a sense, “I’m going to kill those bastards before they eat any more of MY elk.”

            Now, again, such a sentiment goes directly against everything I was taught and hold dear. But, again by my perception, that sentiment is indeed out there.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          “Is the rancher who really has lost a significant portion of his livestock to wolves to be expected to simply grin and bear it”

          Huh??

          What rancher Hal, anywhere in the west, has lost a “significant portion” of his livestock to wolves?

          Long before wolves came back on the scene, significant portions” were lost to coyotes, “significant portions” are still being lost to coyotes but nobody (ranchers) really got their heads out of their arses about THOSE LOSSES until wolves were reintroduced.

          Thousands and thousands of coyotes are shot, trapped, poisoned, etc. every year (thanks to the likes of WS and their little brother/trapper program) and yet they still seem to be out there in great numbers, waiting on the fringes, for an opportunity to grab a lamb or calf.

          “You offer statistics for the entire US, the near entirely of which is wolf free, to refute his statement. That makes no logical sense at all and is not even responsive to his statement of local conditions. What’s up with that. Are you now taking lessons in how to make stupid arguments from Mike”

          WM – seriously? 100 wolves around RB? If you do the math that’s like what? 14 packs (at roughly 7 members per pack) in his “local conditions?”

          Brought up those statistics simply because coyotes are the #1 predator when it comes to livestock losses, here and elsewhere, and “controlling/managing them, over many decades, has done little except put money into the pockets of the agencies designed to control/manage them.

          I haven’t seen, let alone heard, a wolf, in quite awhile (well over a year) and I’m smack dab in the middle of cattle country but, if you listen to the “locals” wolves are EVERYWHERE and they’re hell bent on destroying the livelyhoods of anyone related to hunting or ranching.

          Oops… does sound alittle like Mike 🙂

          • avatar WM says:

            ++WM – seriously? 100 wolves around RB? If you do the math that’s like what? 14 packs (at roughly 7 members per pack) in his “local conditions?”++

            As I stated, Nancy, it is a different issue or argument, whether we agree with RB’s numbers. I agree with you they seem exaggerated considerably.

            • avatar Nancy says:

              RB may well live in a part of the state of Montana where predators are abundant (yet scorned) but unfortunately here in my area of the state, lions, bears and wolves are swiftly “removed” if they so much as glance sideways at humans or livestock.

              And then you’ve got the others who do their part to keep coyotes, badgers, skunks, foxes etc. “in check”

      • avatar jon says:

        Which predator kills the most livestock? That’s easy, it’s HUMANS rancher BOB. How many livestock die by the hands of humans versus that of wolves Bob? Perfectly ok for humans to kill livestock, but when wolves kill a small % of livestock, some people go apesh*&.

        • avatar WM says:

          jon,

          It would appear some on this forum are in the same neighborhood, just on different planets. Which one are you on?

      • avatar Mark L says:

        I see your point, but the drunk drivers and rampage shooters aren’t doing it for a profit, the ranchers are. There’s a difference in ‘acceptable business losses’ and intolerance to changing business situations. (I’ll give the example of firefighters not holding animosity towards fires, and airline employees not disliking bad weather). Ranchers are (as you know) in it ‘for the money’ i.e. you have chosen to ranch, no one forced you to. The wolves are not in the same advantageous situation: they eat to live, not live to eat. These are not appropriate parallels.

        • avatar jon says:

          Mark L said Ranchers are (as you know) in it ‘for the money’ i.e. you have chosen to ranch, no one forced you to. The wolves are not in the same advantageous situation: they eat to live, not live to eat. These are not appropriate parallels.”

          Amen

        • avatar elk275 says:

          Did you ever stop to think that the vast majority of ranch land is privately owned. Most people on this site believe that ranch land even if owned in fee are part of the “common”. Property owners have a right to protect there property.

          • avatar HAL 9000 says:

            Some of the sentiments expressed here seem to go beyond that, even, and try to extend “rights,” of some sort to the wolves themselves. So what if the wolves have to eat to live? That’s obvious and self-evident. But, to essentially tell a rancher, “Gee buddy, tough luck, the wolf has to eat, but you’re doing this for money by choice” — strikes me of leaning toward PETA ideology. Which no reasonable person should have to suffer.

    • avatar WM says:

      Nancy,

      I think you miss Rancher Bob’s point. He says he lives where wolf numbers are large (whether you believe the statement is another matter entirely),and as among predator related livestock deaths, wolves kill the most.

      You offer statistics for the entire US, the near entirely of which is wolf free, to refute his statement. That makes no logical sense at all and is not even responsive to his statement of local conditions. What’s up with that. Are you now taking lessons in how to make stupid arguments from Mike?

      • avatar HAL 9000 says:

        WM,

        I think it boils down to what many experts have already been saying for quite some time.

        First, wolves will have to be managed. But, more importantly, there should be no one-size-fits-all approach. In some areas, wolves might have to be culled quite vigorously. In others, it might be best to more or less leave them alone — save for perhaps some tightly controlled and limited trophy hunting.

        But, as I’m sure you’re by now well aware, some people keep trying to insist, things should be all one way.

  34. avatar Mark L says:

    Actually its the polar opposite of PETA principles if you examine it closely: the wolves (or most any apex predator) lives by tooth and claw, and has to tough out its living ‘Republican-style’ while sheep/cattle are like the ultimate Democrat/liberals living their life with no challenge or struggle for the most part. Hell, they’re on welfare (literally) from day 1. This isn’t an animal rights issue, its a political one. Any time change comes, there is resistance, especially if its not to one’s advantage (initially) to change.

    • avatar Mark L says:

      And I’m not talking ‘obama style’ change either….that’s crap.

      • avatar JB says:

        Yeah, if you really want change, vote for Romney and watch as replaces Ginsburg with a Scalia-type. In one fail swoop SCOPUS could change precedent (interp of the Commerce Clause) that allows for environmental regulation at the federal level. Good bye EPA! Good bye Clean Air and Clean Water Act! Good bye ESA!

        Wait, was that “change” or “chains”…I forget? 😉

        • avatar HAL 9000 says:

          Wolves would join the GOP, and sheep would be welfare Democrats?

          Hmmmmm…. interesting.

          I wonder how my dogs would vote?

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      So, by your analogy, cattle and sheep are the Eloi. Guess that makes us the Morlocks.???

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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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