Sixteen wolves killed in the the first ten days of the state’s first wolf hunt-

According to the Jackson Hole Daily, so far the number of wolves killed in Wyoming first ever modern era wolf hunt are a bit slow.  However, this report based on comments from Wyoming Game and Fish, seems hard to square with the fact that the quota for the entire hunt is 52.  This means 31% of the quota was killed in just 10 days. The wolf hunt began Oct. 1 and runs to the end of the year.

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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.

79 Responses to Wyoming wolf hunt kills said to be maybe a bit slow so far

  1. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    More than one per day sounds like more than a trickle to me. Modern-day wolf hunt – what an oxymoron!

  2. avatar Joseph Allen says:

    I wonder how many wolf kills will go unreported-“shoot, shovel and shut up” is the wolf haters mantra……

  3. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Have to disagree. I expected a lower slower tally , even after allowing for the ” easy ” wolves and the less than ideal hunting and tracking weather. Guess I did not punch up the coefficient for the ” I really REALLY want to fill my Wolf tag ” faunching factor in my armchair algorithms.

    The Wyo G&F website that provides a rolling Box Score of kills and quotas has not been updated since Monday ( three days ago). You can keep up at : http://wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/HUNTING-1000743.aspx

    • avatar Salle says:

      …of course they haven’t updated the tally for quota. If more wolves than the quota are killed, oh well… according to them. I predicted that right after they were given management in the state. After that, they can just say that it was a job well done and that it’s just too bad if there aren’t enough wolves. I guess they figure there won’t be any relisting taking place even with less than the bare minimum because funding will be slashed and Kenny-boy doesn’t have the fortitude to go “there”.

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        There is a bit of a temporal lag in getting the numbers. The ” hunters” who actually down a wolf have 1-3 days to report it to a Game Warden or G&F office, then those redshirts have to report to HQ in Cheyenne, then the apparatchiks in Cheyenne have to update the website, probably near the end of the day. I see this taking maybe ~5 days if everyone is cruising at bureaucratic Best Speed.

        The season runs till December 31.
        What I DO fully expect from this de facto lag are some areas going overquota before the count gets caught up, and backcountry hunters afield conveniently not getting the G&F semaphore signals , heliostatic Morse Code , jungle drums , or Beacons of Gondor notification that their wolf area is tapped out.

        That has happened with Spring Cougar hunts… one or more Cats over the limit due to the reporting lag reaching the guy in the field.

      • avatar WyoHunter says:

        Maybe some actual information would be helpful in this conversation. If you listen to the hotline message, or read the online update, it says it will be updated when the report of a harvest is received. The hotline is the final say to those calling in for the quota because it is updated immediately (including after business hours and weekends) as a hunt area comes within 2, and then 1 of quota and when it closes. That’s why the date and time is listed right there in the message and online.
        As for areas that exceed quota for trophy game (black bear, mtn lion and now wolf)quite often that happens when an animal is killed on the highway or has to be killed for human safety concerns AFTER the season has been closed but has to be reported. If that kind of death had happened before an area was closed, it would have reduced the number of animals that hunters would have taken.
        The Wyoming Game and Fish Department employees are very concerned and dedicated professionals that don’t want to see predators become rare or endangered. The system that has been in place for years has worked well for lions and bears in Wyoming, and it will do just as well for wolves.

  4. avatar jon says:

    It’s sad that these wolves lost their lives because of ignorance and hatred. I hope the lawsuit prevails and wolves in WY are put back on the endangered species list.

  5. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    I miswrote when Is aid hunters have up to 3 days to report a wolf kill in Wyoming. That’s for the so-called Trophy Zone only . Outside those areas in the 84 percent of the state where it’s a no-license free for all shoot-on sight ” hunt” , they have up to 10 days.here’s something else to ponder about Wyoming’s wolf hunt regulations , quoting for expediency from the Jackson Hole News Guide article:

    ” Statutes prohibit Game and Fish from disclosing details about wolves harvested, including age, sex, body condition or pack. The location of wolves taken in the predator zone also can’t be disclosed ” .

    I’m assuming those statutes are in the Wyoming plan and ut there by Wyoming. Whether USFWS suggested the nondisclosure of wolf particulars I cannot say . it just seems like Wyoming Logic. Heck, I can’t even find out where the wolf-cattle conflicts occur and which rancher is reporting losses or claiming compensation. Half of the cattle killed by wolves in all of Wyoming last year were taken around my town of Cody , but I only hear anecdotally thirdhand where the control actions occur. The secrecy engrained in livestock nondisclosure reporting is exasperating , especially when certain agencies like Wildlife Services illegally ignore legitimate FOIA requests.

    The Bottom Line is we the public really don’t know what’s going on where in Wyoming Wolfdom , except in abstract numbers not pinned to locations and circumstances.

    That ain’t right.

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      Cody
      I’m sure you know the reason why the names of livestock producers with depredations and control actions are not made public. It’s the human wacko factor. Seems conspiracy talk is a common link.

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        Yeah but I’m the guy paying for the ” control” and bankrolling the rancher’s predator management along with some of his other expense tabs.

        If any of that happens on public land, why is it a secret to the public?

        • avatar Rancher Bob says:

          Cody
          I would be interested in Wyoming numbers if you have them and get back to this post.
          In Montana all livestock is taxed and some of that tax goes to Wildlife Services for predator management and makes up more than half of their state budget. I’ve done the math a few times and it could be said that livestock producers do pay for their own WS predator actions and the tax payer pays for all the other WS services. Yes a few cents of your taxes make it to WS but at least in Montana tax payers don’t bankroll the predator action of WS.

      • avatar Ovis says:

        Rancher Bob,

        I hear this excuse. It isn’t impossible that some harm could come to a producer’s property, but from media reports — so few of them — I don’t think it hardly ever happens.

        • avatar Rancher Bob says:

          Ovis
          Have you read any comments about the Idaho trapper posting the wolf in the back ground or the rancher dealing with the Wedge pack. Have you had your name made public as being the person that resulted in the death of a wolf. You said, “It isn’t impossible that some harm could…”, so what increase the chance that it could. It does happen. It does not get reported very often.

          • avatar Ovis says:

            Rancher Bob,

            I did hear of nasty comments to a couple hunters, but no harm came to them. I have heard of the same thing going the other way too.

            I have not heard of any rancher having their property vandalized or stock harmed for what their attitude is or what they have done regarding wildlife.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      actually, we do know whats going on Cody they want to kill as many as possible with no accountability and no restrictions and will be as reckless and inhumane as possible

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        My reasons fpr wanting to know where wolf-livestock conficts are occuring or where wold control has taken place are completely agnostic to the individual rancher ‘s identity or private property . But I beleive it is paramount to know the circumstances and deduce if that unnamed rancher or his operation did anything to preempt a wolf strike. If it all happened on his private property , so be it…general info about that will suffice ( whereas we rpesently get almost zero info ) . However, if the wolves and cattle por sheep are conficting on or adjacent to public land, then the public has a stake and therefore the public has some degree of a right to know.

        How else are we going to evolve a pragmatic wolf management policy in seasons to come if The Public isn’t given adequate specific information ? I’m sorry , but rancher reporting is dubious; Agriculture Statistics are suspect; Wildlife Services is rogue; and even Game & Fish withholds things from their constituents in order to honor a pact with narrow special interest stakeholders.

        Just having one set of rules and one policy in effect would be lovely… but I see two or more.

  6. avatar Dave says:

    http://www.yellowstonegate.com/2012/10/annual-elk-hunt-begins-saturday-grand-teton-national-park/

    The above article was posted on the internet on October 3 and stated: “the elk hunt aimed at controlling unnaturally high herd sizes will begin Saturday in limited areas within Grand Teton National Park.”

    Elk are the preferred prey animals of wolves in the northern Rockies, and so far “Six wolves have been killed in Jackson Hole hunt areas” according to the Jackson Hole Daily story. Is it just me, or is there some kind of weird, illogical disconnect here?

  7. avatar Leslie says:

    “The success doesn’t indicate hunters are actively hunting wolves, though more than expected apparently are.

    “We were actually a little surprised,” Bruscino said. “The wardens reported back to me that they have encountered a fair amount of people that were doing nothing but hunting wolves.”

    REALLY! They were surprised at this? Hard to believe.

    R

  8. avatar Leslie says:

    “Statutes prohibit Game and Fish from disclosing details about wolves harvested, including age, sex, body condition or pack. The location of wolves taken in the predator zone also can’t be disclosed”

    I have noticed a real silence in the papers, internet, etc. from WY hunters who have killed a wolf. If anyone has seen news on this, I’d like to see it. Are hunters laying low instead of boasting about their kills for a reason…like the WG&F is asking them not to fan the flames?

    I understand not saying exactly where kills were made but I sure would like to know more details regarding how these hunters found these wolves. 3 have been killed in my area, and we’ve only had 1 day of snow on the ground where I saw wolf tracks early morning. It’s very difficult to see wolves, let alone track them without snow. I hike the back country several times a week and have seen no wolves. Usually I see them in winter/spring. Are these hunters calling wolves in?

    Yesterday while driving the dirt county road with a friend, a confused lone coyote pup was running up the road towards my car. I stopped the car, but the pup came coming towards us. Finally, I tried scaring it off, fearing it would be shot too. My friend and I concurred that probably it’s mother was shot and the pup was wandering around. Probably another casualty of a hunter thinking a coyote is a wolf (although people do kill coyotes for fun up here).

    • avatar Ovis says:

      The last time Wyoming got the wolves delisted there was an immediately slaughter of wolves in the state’s predator zone, including the famous wolf of the time, “Limpy.”

      The horrible publicity they got about a guy plugging this 3-legged wolf who had been a story of pluck and determination for many, is something I’m sure Wyoming wants to avoid this time.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Leslie
      are there any people speaking out against these predator killing policies. There must be a lot of disgusted people too. Its hard to believe all of Wyoming hates wolves, coyotes and runs about hoping to kill them.

      Your story about the coyote pup will give me another restless night. shooting animals for fun, who does that? What mindset do you need to have to do that?

  9. avatar Richie G says:

    So the truth comes out, this had nothing to do with elk,yes ranchers are a different breed, not all ,just a fair lot of them.The land is all their and they do not like big government,execpt when they are getting things national land for hardly nothing. THen government is o.k.

  10. avatar Ann Sydow says:

    Here is a link to the facebook brag photo of one of the first five killed. The hunter was “outed” himself in a Wyoming newspaper article, saying he wasn’t afraid of ridicule.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151051087975899&set=pb.514425898.-2207520000.1350084068&type=1&theater

    Here’s the article: http://www.codyenterprise.com/news/local/article_8ed96f5a-0d9b-11e2-8fad-001a4bcf887a.html

    Am i correct in thinking that there is no quota in the predator zone; the 52 quota is only for the controlled hunt zone?

  11. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Ann I felt sick seeing that facebook image of that sorry sob with the beautiful black wolf. What a shitty disgusting thing to do. I don’t care who calls me out for the emotion, just flat out repulsed, saddened, and fckng sick of seeing these animals killed as trophies. f**ng morons. Thats a rant. That image of the cretin looking like he is going to kiss the carcass should be the first thing people see on a huge billboard as they come into Wyoming. Really who are these people that do this?

  12. avatar JEFF E says:

    so basically he killed a puppy

    what a man

  13. avatar Leslie says:

    I’ve been up nights thinking about these wolves, now 17 statewide in the trophy area, 4 in the predator zone. Anne you are correct that the 52 quota is for the trophy zone only.

    I’ve been taking advantage of some wonderful fall 60-70 degree weather every day here and hiking a lot in the valley. In Sunlight we have a very limited elk quota, only 40 for October. There are antlered deer hunts going on, but not that much wildlife are down yet. Few actual ungulate hunters are up here with the tight quotas. Most elk/deer hunters put in for hunt tags south of here where there are too many elk and elk with brucellosis. Some of those areas are extended elk hunts and 3 tags per person (like the Meeteesee area where there are lots of elk and wolves too).

    That being said, I’ve heard no wolves howl, seen no wolves, and only tracks one day when there was snow. So, again, my real question is how are these hunters finding wolves so easily?

    I truly think they are baiting, or calling these wolves in somehow, all still against the hunt rules. But I don’t think the WG&F will care how hunters manage their hunt, not like they care about elk/moose/deer violations. And I think hunters know this.

    None of this can I verify, but it’s not easy to find wolves, and there aren’t very many outside the park in each hunt area besides. I live here full time and hike several times a week. Yes Ive seen wolves but mostly once the elk are down from the Park in January, not now. but seeing wolves is not like seeing deer or elk. Predators are smart and not easy to find. They travel at night (when people are not supposed to be hunting) I think many of these guys are doing something they shouldn’t be doing, or they wouldn’t have killed so many so fast.

    Also, they’ve already killed 4 in the predator zone. What!? That’s more than any of the hunt zones. I don’t trust this system at all.

    • avatar Jeff K. says:

      Calling in wolves is not illegal. Baiting would be illegal, however, waiting near a previous kill or cow carcus is entirely legal. None of these hunters are violating the regulations, those are false accusations. There is no reason to “shoot, shovel, and shutup” by the way…hunting wolves is now legal.

  14. avatar RobertR says:

    Let’s feel sorry for the wolves!! But I dont here anyone feeling sorry for the pray animals, what’s with that. Are the other animals expendable.
    There is no management plan, only a plan to eliminate hunting by relisting the wolf.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Rancher Bob,

      WTF? Nobody feels sorry for the “prey” animal if a hunter harvests it. The hunter procures food for himself and his family. So does the wolf, and the hunter does not take the risk taken by the wolf.
      The wolf has no choice in doing what it does.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      There’s no feeling sorry – prey animals and prey are how nature works. The only predator that messes things up is man – taking more than needed and for reasons of greed and ego. Trophies and irrationally striking out against a scapegoat have nothing to do with nature. I do feel great sorrow for what’s happening with all the wildlife in the country. Democrats have somehow turned into moderate Republicans, and Republicans have turned into Conservatives. What has happened to this country – going to the dogs!

  15. avatar Leslie says:

    RobertR, I am not sure of your point. Between 1870-1877 in the state of Montana alone, a take of 100,000 wolves a year were killed. That’s 700,000 wolves in one state. Today the state of Montana is saying that 450 wolves is the carrying capacity of the land. Although Montana can no longer have 700,000 wolves in terms of amount of prey and amount of landscape that is uninhabitated, they still are the 3rd largest state in the Union with extensive forests. Their ‘carrying capacity’ is a number picked out of thin air.

    As far as your statement ‘only a plan to eliminate hunting by relisting the wolf’ there are several problems with the Wyoming plan. First, 80% or more of the state is shoot on sight whenever, whereever.

    Second, the so-called ‘flex’ zone around Jackson area is trophy hunting for a few months to allow wolves to disperse for genetic diversity and predator most of the year. That’s a bogus idea that will not work.

    Third, Wyoming does not have many wolves. Outside the Park (most of the Park is in WY) there are only about 225 wolves and although the number of wolves has risen since reintroduction, the cattle predation has dropped significantly.

    Fourth, WY has divided the trophy areas into small units so they can set quotas based not on science (like genetic exchange close to the Park or travel routes), but based on cattle predation and/or elk herds. For instance, in my area, hunt zone 1, there is essentially one individual who has the grazing permit. He also is one of the wealthiest individuals in the world, and an oil extractor in WY. Occasionally his cattle get predated upon, let’s say at most 4 or 5/year. For that usually 4 wolves were killed by USF&W. In addition our elk herd migrates from YNP with a lot of problems of cow/calf ratios due mainly to early green-up (think ‘climate change’) For these reasons the quota in my area, which is one of the principal areas for genetic exchange and a safety net for repopulating YNP wolves in the Lamar area, has been targeted with the biggest quota.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Leslie
      I really enjoyed your farewell to the yearling on your blog. I wonder how this affected his mother as you said they seemed inseperable, have you seen her since? I can not believe people do the things they do to wolves.
      Thanks for your writing and the facts about your state and its wolves.

  16. avatar Leslie says:

    Thank you Louise. WG&F is not releasing any information on which wolves were taken, only how many in each hunt area. I only knew about the yearling from a friend who has more info. It is quite possible that the yearlings mother was killed too though I don’t know. I only say this because I’ve seen them together frequently, never apart in the last year. She had 4 pups this spring. Don’t know how they are faring. The alpha male is a grey good looking wolf that I’ve caught several times on my trail camera but never seen directly.

    Of the 3 wolves taken here, I do not know yet who the other two were, except I do know that one of them was a black female.

  17. avatar Leslie says:

    Oh and one other thing. The alpha female mother of the killed yearling wears a collar. Which also makes me think: are some of these hunters getting the GPS signals from these collars in order to locate them. That would take an inside informant.

    • avatar Jeff K. says:

      Leslie – No…there are no inside informants. The reason why wolves are managed as predators in 80% of the state is that they mostly occupy the other 20% of the state where they are considered a trophy animal. You are boldly displaying your lack of information with your posts. Do some reading and then post some facts. You clearly haven’t read the hunting regulations.

      • avatar Leslie says:

        I know the hunting regs quite well and understand the 80/20 as I live in the 20

        • avatar Leslie says:

          Even tho now most wolves occupy 20% of the state, the problem with allowing this plan to go through is that it will be very difficult in the future to back-pedal on it and have it be more like ID/MT where the entire state is trophy game.

          Jeff K. not sure where you live, but wolves have been in the Big Horns for years, and the Wind Rivers/WY range is excellent habitat. All in the 80.

          • avatar Jeff K. says:

            I live in Wyoming as well. I don’t have any issue with the trophy animal areas. The wolf numbers are WAY out of hand in this state. The numbers of wolves are way above the original objective. The hunters are not finding them easily – the wolves tend to be a target of opportunity…hunters are encountering them while hunting deer and elk.

            • avatar Nancy says:

              Curious Jeff K – how might wolves be “impacting” your lifestyle? Are they WAY out of hand or WAY above original objective?

              And how are “hunters” not finding them easily, yet encountering them while hunting deer and elk?

            • avatar Salle says:

              The only thing that seems to be way out of hand regarding wolves in Wyoming is the myth that the wolves are way out of hand…

  18. avatar Robert R says:

    Leslie the 700000 is an overstatement and the 80000 is more realistic from 1883 to 1918 and coyotes were included.
    The country cannot have the carrying capacity for wolves because of the human population.
    The wolf is here to stay and will survive like the coyote which is hunted year around and trapped.
    I compare the wolf debate to a politician who can never answer a direct question.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      Mitochondrial DNA of samples from Smithsonian pelts and skulls taken in the mid-1800’s before the Wolf was hunted to near extinction beginning in the 1880’s give a MINIMUM population north of 400,000 Grey Wolves in the Yellowstone-northern Rockies headwaters region at any one time. If habitat fragmentation and the diminshed prey base have taken away 95 percent of that , we would still see about 8,000 wolves in WY-MT-ID .

      Please recall that before the first cap and ball were fired in North America by immigrant Euros, there were 10-12 million Elk ranging from the Berkshires of Massachusetts all the way to the Pacific Coast. Then market hunting crashed the elk population ( and most other species) down to an alarmingly small fraction of their former counts; none more dramatically than the American Bison—herd of 60 million shaded by immense flocks of Passenger Pigeons overhead. One species made it ( barely ) , the other did not. Today after a century of teddy Roosevelt put and take ” conservation” were are back up to maybe 8-10 percent of gross wild elk numbers in the Rockies and a few island populations. Ditto the two main species of deer. I’ll use that same yardstick on apex carnivores , thank you. The carrying capacity for wolves in the West is short by at least one zero.

      I also trust laboratory genomics over modern Ag Statistics and barstool biologists any day….

  19. avatar Leslie says:

    RobertR: again, not sure of what you are trying to say. Frankly, the fact that coyotes are hunted year round, predator status here in WY is an abomination.

    I’ve seen 50 year old men riding the dirt roads in the spring, dressed in their camo, hanging off the back of a truck with their rifles, looking for a coyote to ‘pop’. These are grown men who look like the eleven year old boys I used to play war with in my neighborhood when I was ten years old. But that was a game. These ‘men’ are killing for fun and have absolutely no respect for wildlife or the sanctity of life.

    • avatar Robert R says:

      Leslie you have made a good analogy.
      These ‘men’ are killing for fun and have absolutely no respect for wildlife or the sanctity of life.

      Has it not been proven that wolves teaching there young to hunt, kill for the fun of it and leave animals lay uneaten. I think it’s called subsistence killing.

      If the number for the carrying capacity was picked out of thin air then why does the number keep going up from the original objective when the wolf was introduced (not reintroduced) because there were already packs in and around Glacier Park before the introduction of the Canadian wolf. These wolves were said to be as far south as the Deerlodge Valley.
      Still your dodging the question of management of all wildlife (which includes the wolf) and there habitat.

      • avatar SAP says:

        It’s called “surplus killing,” Robert R. Here’s a non-wolf example, also posted on this site:

        http://dailyranger.com/story.php?story_id=3899&headline=Dogs-attack-sheep,-kill-44

        Yes, it happens now and again, but it’s pretty rare (most examples seem to be with domestic sheep). There are folks who love to roar around on Skidoos and takes photos of deer & elk killed by wolves (presumably, but it could be cats, and it could be disease) and then claim that the wolves killed it for fun because there are no wolves there. As opposed to all those times when three Skidoos have roared right up to a feeding pack of wolves and the wolves just kept right on eating.

        (My point is, I don’t really expect wolves to stay on a carcass when people show up on scene, especially on a loud vehicle. The wolves may or may not come back after the people leave; nowadays, smart wolves will learn not to because they’ll start to associate people visiting carcasses with traps and poison.)

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Leslie you wrote “RobertR: again, not sure of what you are trying to say. Frankly, the fact that coyotes are hunted year round, predator status here in WY is an abomination.”

      The scenes you witnessed and the lack of compassion, appreciation or humanity towards other species, is why I object so strongly to hunting. I’ve said it before here and I’ll say it again. I know this kind of sport/hunting is not what all hunters endorse, yet there is a rising group of people who hunt that glorify killing and have a mindset of just cause they can they do. The laws do not protect any of our wildlife from this. This is what the good “youth” that killed the first wolf were writing about. Just out for a great day watching a curious wolf and decided they better kill that one in case more did not come. What kind of a culture is this that some of these states are so interested in preserving? How twisted, and perverted can you get.

      Killing for fun needs to be outlawed, and that includes trophy hunting. And you Robert stating the following ” The country cannot have the carrying capacity for wolves because of the human population.
      The wolf is here to stay and will survive like the coyote which is hunted year around and trapped.” is an argument that illustrates the a great and faulty presumption that humans can and shall exceed their carrying capacities and therefore everything else will have to be squeezed in and permitted as we see fit. And killing as many as we want is just ok.

  20. avatar Leslie says:

    RobertR ‘Wildlife management’ is an oxymoron.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Not really Leslie, without active wildlife management, in light of the growing human populations, there would be many species that would be gone. Whitetail deer would be one example as in the early part of the 1900’s they were on the verge of going extinct, now they are the most robust population of deer in the US.

      Without the Federal Migratory Bird act, we would no longer see Ducks, without many other programs that have managed wildlife, we would be living in a very bleak wildlife environment.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        “Whitetail deer would be one example as in the early part of the 1900′s they were on the verge of going extinct, now they are the most robust population of deer in the US”

        An interesting read SB:

        http://hutchnews.com/todaystop/Deer-retry

        “(Kansas) has a deer population that has a fairly large portion of older bucks, which attracts hunters from Massachusetts, California and other states to come here to find those big deer,” he said.

        ****”The concern is that if the age structure changes, fewer people will want to come to Kansas to hunt, and those who are leasing the land will suffer.”

        A few states away but it does have a familar ring to it and it ain’t about meat for the freezer 🙂

        Lack of predators, who ultimately keep deer in check, vehicle collisions/injuries vrs trophy hunters and their need to get that “big deer”

        Is wildlife being managed more and more these days, in many areas, for those who can pay the price, seeking heads, hides and horns and the bragging rights?

    • avatar SAP says:

      Leslie – respectfully disagree, but will submit that “management” is typically a euphemism for “killing.”

      I see it as a continuum ranging from “wild” to “husbanded.” It’s a subjective value preference to mark the spot on the continuum where we have managed too much to say it’s “wild” anymore. A pheasant-shooting preserve is mostly domestic & husbanded, but some of the pheasants do “go native,” and the “wild” from nearby (raptors, carnivores) do tend to move in on the bounty of naive pen-raised birds (until we “manage” them!).

      I enjoy your writing and envy you getting to live in Sunlight.

  21. avatar elk275 says:

    There is a very good article in this Weekend’s edition of the the Wall Street Journel on the opinion page by Arthur Middleton called “As Wolves Return to the West, Greens Go to Court” Dr. Middleton spent the last 5 years in Jackson Hole studing wolves and elk and is now with the Yale School of Forestry.

    The article is only available on the web to paid subcriblers. Maybe someone can find a link to this article.

    • avatar SAP says:

      It seems that if you get the article URL and paste it directly into the Google search engine, you get free trial access.

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443482404578042763065553382.html

      • avatar Leslie says:

        Yes, I agree we need ‘management’, but the word ‘wild’ and ‘management’ don’t go together, now do they? The reason for management is really habitat loss. But I also might point out that before I lived in WY, I lived in the Bay area, CA. where cougars have not been hunted since about 1996. Cougars were occasionally seen where I lived esp. during Aug/Sept when it was driest and the deer came down to the perennial stream that ran directly behind the elementary school. Although we regularly had warnings during Sept. for the school children, we never had any incidents. CA cougars do not need management at all, yet deer live and eat in peoples gardens etc. People there do not hunt or trap bobcats or coyotes, and apart from the occasional domestic cat or tiny dog that disappears, there doesn’t seem to be any problems with that. Having active wolf packs would not work very well in the populated areas, I agree. The reason Marin/Sonoma county works well is there is contiguous corridors of open space north/south as well as parks that abutt that open space like Pt. Reyes/Mt. Tamalpais etc. The corridors work to discourage wildlife/human problems. In ways, that area is a wonderful model of ‘management’.

        Basically I was replying to the idea that 450 wolves is considered carrying capacity in all of Montana. That is an number that someone came up with and I still think arbitrarily.

        Wyoming, including YNP, before the hunt, had 320 and that is just in the tiny NW part of this large state. Since 1996 reintroduction livestock problems have only gone down as the population has slowly gone up. In addition, for instance, wolves in my valley fluctuate in their numbers year to year mostly through self-management, in other words, they kill each other off for territory, or die by other means not including USF&W who always takes out a few each year here.

        By the Way, Arthur Middleton was not in Jackson doing his study, but in my valley, Sunlight Basin, for the last 5 years. Good for him that he got an article in WSJ. He stuck his neck out in that article and I see that a lot of rabid wolf haters took him out of context.

        The elk herd in Sunlight was studied for low cow/calf ratio. All blamed on wolves of course. But what his study revealed was incredibly interesting. And because of it, the game warden here said something to the landowner meeting this summer that I thought I’d never hear from him: that wolves have little to do with the poor cow/calf ratio.

        Arthur found that mainly compressed green-up during the critical period of lactation was the main problem—in other words drought, climate change, and poor nutritional quality.

        And most interesting of all, he analyzed all his data and found that elk behavior does NOT change due to wolf presence. That wolves have very little effect on elk movement, vigilance, etc. In watching the elk year to year here, I might disagree on some of that thought, but his main point was that looking at thousands of years of elk/wolves living together, there’s been just a ‘blip’ of 100 years that they’ve been separate. 100 years doesn’t change ingrained genetic behavior in the long run.

        • avatar Rancher Bob says:

          Leslie
          One part of your wolf population self regulation you leave out is dispersion, the population in your valley maybe stable, but I would bet your wolves export more of their population than they kill.

          • avatar Leslie says:

            RancherBob: Yes,many into the Park. When Middleton and Nelson did the elk/wolf study they collared several wolves. One of the collared wolves Nelson followed dispersed into the Park. Later it showed a dead signal–killed by other wolves there. The Sunlight Pack was one of the first packs out of the Park from the initial reintroduction. It’s close to Lamar, and also a reason why ‘bad’ Grizzlies are dropped off here a lot, with the hope of going toward YNP.

            I think because USF&W has regularly decimated Sunlight’s pack over the years, I would doubt much dispersal has happened. Dispersal south towards the 2 Dot ranch–that pack was always eliminated by USF&W.

            I would suggest my area east of YNP is important for genetic exchange, and a ‘wolf safety net’ in case mange, etc occurs in the Park, to repopulate with healthy wolves in the Lamar area.

        • avatar josh sutherland says:

          Leslie CA kills LOTS of cougars. Just do some quick research, they kill plenty of “problem” cats. So they are being killed/managed, just not by hunters.

          • avatar Leslie says:

            The Bay Area is what I was referring to and that is not listed by the Mountain Lion Foundation as one of the places with ‘disproportionate’ depredation permits.

            Living in the north bay for many years with cougars (and belonging to a tracking club where we tracked cougars http://catscapes.com/) I am not familiar with any cougars being killed there for problems. Not saying that over the last 20 years there may have been some esp. in west Sonoma/Marin where ranches exist. Interesting that the link below says that urban areas are more tolerant than rural areas. Marin county has deer up the kazoo! The cats are a good thing.

            http://mountainlion.org/Community_Conservation.asp

            • avatar josh sutherland says:

              Well your comment said CA in general. I know they kill well over 100 cats every year in the state of CA. I did a quick google search of mtn lions killed in the bay area and it turned up quite a few results. One even attacked a hiker in a tent.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      Middleton spent the last five years working out of CODY doing the soon-to-be-published ” Absaroka Elk Ecology Study ” paid for by RMEF-Safari-SWF-Boone and Crockett-Pope and Young- Outfitter’s Assocaition ( but no green groups) under the auspices of Wyo G&F who provided strong logitical support ( helicopters and wranglers). The AEES is Middleton’s thesis.

      I agree , Elk 275…we need t get the text of that Op-Ed. We’re gonna be hearing a lot from and about Dr. Middleton in coming months. His stright down the road science took the elk health and elk calf mortality off in directions the hunting cabals did not expect when they funded this study . They wanted it to indict wolves. Didn’t happen . Climate change and other non-predator stress factors got in the way. And as it turns out the Grizzlies and Black bears were taking far more elk calves than opportunistic wolves in the study area—> everything east of Yellowstone for 75 miles, basically, the winter range of GYE elk.

  22. avatar sue says:

    @CodyCoyote, you don’t pay a damn dime for predator control. It comes out of MY paycheck whenever I sell lambs. Each lamb has a $% taken out and paid to the Wyoming Predator Control Board. As for wolf control…you may be paying for that if you back the Defenders of Wildlife…they reimburse the loss of the critter @ less than market value.

  23. avatar dj smith says:

    things may be ‘slow’, but how many wolves have been murdered and not accounted for. you really think that hunters are going to report every kill? not in this lifetime…..

  24. avatar sue says:

    @CodyCoyote, for your convenience:
    TWP 02N RNG 002E SEC07: N/2NW & FRACTION of tthe SW/4: AND SEC06: NENE: TWP 02N RNG 002E SEC 16:SW/4 AND SEC 17: FRACTION OF THE SE/4:

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      I was a land surveyor for ten years.
      You did not specify which Prime Meridian in the coordinate system of your plat.
      E.G- Marion County , Illinois if you are referencing the 3rd Principal Meridian, or Schuyler County if dwelling in the bounds of the 4th. If the 5th , that would be Lee County Arkansas…seems unlikely.

      If the 6th Principal Meridian , you are in Jefferson County ,Nebraska. That’s getting closer but still not Wolf Country.

      Then I get lost without further clarification. There is no 7th Principal Meridian, nor higher.

      Until a Wyoming wolf turns up dead in Nebraska, your share of my personal meat purchase market is secure.

      ( Better if we use GPS going forward , though.)

  25. avatar Immer Treue says:

    While on the subject of predator friendly products, let’s move a bit to the north and east, compliments of sheep folks in Montana and the IWC.
    http://shop.wolf.org/Wolf_Predator_Friendly_Wolf_Pawprint_Cap_p/2905-parent.htm

  26. avatar sue says:

    @CoyoteCody- I’m over this back and forth between us. I am not going to put the exact description of my home on the internet. In my opinion, you have me labeled as a ‘welfare rancher’, therefor an idiot and intolerant of predators. You are wrong, but that’s ok. You are entitled to your opinion. It’s that very intolerance indicated by statements AND headlines that incite unreasonableness and rage on BOTH sides of this issue.

    You stated that you are “the guy paying for the ”control” and bankrolling the rancher’s predator management along with some of his other expense tabs.”

    In this area(within the Riverton Valley)I can think of absolutely NO sheep producer who grazes on public lands. Going further out, there may be ranchers who do utilize public lands.

    Your statement is much too broad. You do NOT bankroll ‘my’ flock, nor do you input any funds into protecting ‘my’ flock because I took the responsibility for their safety OUT of the hands of the Predator Control Board in 1994 when I spent(out of my pocket)an ungodly amount of money for the Livestock Guard Dogs.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      Sorry, Sue—I haven’t labeled you anything, personally . By responding to my general a assertion that I do not patronize the product of any and all livestock producers not known to be predator tolerant, by providing surveyor’s coordinates to your place, you have painted yourself as being non-predator tolerant. Not me.

      We all do pay for Predator Control. Just as the rancher pays in part for “my” Space Program , National Science Foundation, and ” our” Weather Bureau. Taxes spread around. Fees are another thing altogether. And I make this radical assertion that when I buy a pound of retail meat, some portion of that money that trickles back down to the producer to covers his costs of doing business including predator control. We can agree to disagree , but it is a Follow The Money scenario.

      Regarding open range /public land / blanket State and Federal predator control, some of those costs are qualitative and not denominated in dollars at all. The intrinsic costs. The ones that matter more to me.

      There’s a reason I use the Cody Coyote handle. I like ’em .

      • avatar Nancy says:

        I like em too, CC. Saw one this morning out in rancher’s pasture, just trotting along but very mindful of Herford bull a few yards away. And all I could think about as I passed by was “please don’t get to close to the ranch house, otherwise you WILL be a goner”

        It’s a “no tolerance” zone in these parts, unless of course, you’re a cow 🙂 which are incidently, badly scattered on the roads right now, since they started bringing them down off public lands.

  27. avatar Rancher Bob says:

    Wyoming closes two wolf hunting areas for reaching the quota.
    Idaho at 60 and counting.
    Montana at 16.

    • avatar Leslie says:

      Wyoming: As of today, 7 killed in the predator zone. I am interested to see how the predator zone will affect their total overall quota for preservation of delisting. Could people kill wolves and ‘say’ they were found in the predator zone? I wish they would publish where these predator zone wolves were found/killed. That alone would be of great interest.

  28. avatar Leslie says:

    Oh, and in looking at all the ‘harvested’ numbers in each zone, the predator zone has over twice as many kills. Very interesting…

  29. avatar Leslie says:

    Another day and another kill in the predator zone…now up to 8; more than any of the trophy zone areas and I still wonder ‘why’?

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Quote

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

~ Edward Abbey

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