Here is the new (starting on Nov. 22, Thanksgiving!) open comments thread on wildlife news topics you think are interesting. You can access the previous “Interesting Wildlife News” here.

Please post your new stories and make comments about wildlife topics in the comments section below.

Columbian black-tailed deer in thistles on Orcas Island. San Juans, Washington. Copyright Ralph Maughan

 
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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.

682 Responses to Have you come across any interesting wildlife news? Nov. 22, 2012

  1. avatar A Western Moderate says:

    Researchers have found that Oregon wolves from different packs are breeding, signaling that necessary genetic interchange is taking place.

    The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife discovered this week that a wolf born into the Imnaha pack is the breeding male in the Wenaha pack, while the most recently collared wolf — OR-16 — has joined the Walla Walla pack

    http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/9a5a40bed6ed4d32b58e7b6b0212bf30/OR–Wolf-Packs-Mingle

  2. avatar Peter Kiermeier says:

    Not a happy thanksgiving:
    A party of three hunters killed an adult male grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park on Thanksgiving morning, the first such incident ever, officials said.
    http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=9276

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      “…..“The individuals involved had permits to participate in the Elk Reduction Program in Wyoming hunt area 75.” the statement said…..”

      this can’t be true. Wyoming says that wolves have killed almost all of the elk off. sombody is lying here.

    • avatar Mtn Mamma says:

      Shameful – First its YNP wolves just outside the boundaries. Now its a Griz inside of a NP. There is no refuge for apex predators in the wild.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Since when is hunting allowed in a National Park? Can’t they be charged or fined?

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Oh, how silly of me … I didn’t realize a “special hunt” had been set up. We make the rules, I guess, as arbitrary as they may be. I thought the wolves had decimated the elk herds? :(

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Ida,

            Elk hunting has been allowed in Grand Teton since it became a park, that was park of the deal with those who owned the land that became the park. Without this stipulation, there might not have been a park.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Ida hunting is allowed in some parks, I don;t know which ones but I was surprised to learn that it is allowed. This new proposed legislation the Sportsman Heritage act will expand this. Quick write to your congressmen and Senators, against that act.

  3. avatar Immer Treue says:

    For those who are interested in following the MN late wolf hunting/trapping season. Begins tomorrow and extends to 1/31 or until “harvest” quotas are met.

    http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/wolf/index.html

  4. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121123/CCOLBARKER/121129896/-1/rss01

    George, giant galapagos tortoise species may not stay extinct after all! strange story

  5. avatar Nancy says:

    http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/lebanon-bird-hunt.html

    Is the wanton killing of other species, just an “outlet” a sad form of release, for the anger, hatred and turmoil (consuming these countries/people) who fail to realize how important each and all species are to each other?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/19/lebanon-rockets-israel_n_2159560.html

  6. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Yes, I always wonder about that. I think you can see a correlation between the increase in wildlife violence due to worldwide economic collapse. Picking on the wearker and those who can’t talk back or fight back has been outlet for human aggression since time immemorial. You probably see an increase in domestic violence also.

  7. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.allgov.com/news/where-is-the-money-going/government-competes-with-private-businesses-to-kill-wild-animals-121122?news=846269

    look at the number of coyotes killed last year by wildlife services as well as the combined #. Really horrible stuff

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Government records obtained by the newspaper showed Wildlife Services has killed animals on behalf of more than 2,500 customers, including Fortune 500 companies, ranchers, prisons, country clubs, airports, federal agencies and other clients. Corporate clients include BP, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, Ford and Toyota, Walt Disney World, Wells Fargo and Pfizer. For this work, the agency was paid $72 million in 2011, an increase of $20 million over what it earned in 2006.

      BP did pretty well on their own too, I’d say. Wow. Just awful. Contract killers.

    • avatar Leslie says:

      A friend told me that his buddy who now is working for WS in Cody killed 400 raccoons on one cornfield this summer. WHy are they working for private farmers? When I was working in CA, you don’t call WS if you have gophers eating your garden plants, or raccoons and skunks digging and eating in your vegie gardens.

      • avatar JB says:

        Leslie:

        400 raccoons can do a lot of damage! I’m curious, what do you think the landowner should have done?

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          JB thats a good question and one that needs to be addressed. But don’t you think its time to find solutions that don’t involve killing huge numbers of wild animals? What would the cost to protect the crops or to create diversion – aversion strategies be vs the removal of so many animals. I think there is a parallel with solar and clean energy. I’ve believed for a long time that we as a nation, should be mandating new construction codes and standard that call for the use of energy efficient technology into any new construction or substantial remodel. It might be painful to start but the cost savings in the long run would be enormous. Same thing with animals and wildlife, we owe it to them and ourselves to stop thinking about them as disposable commodities. In doing so I think we are headed down a path of losing, altering and irrevocably destroying complex, interdependent and necessary ecosystems and habitats for fun, at the beck and call of special interests and or short term gain.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            Yes, I agree. Many years ago it was one thing, but now, with so many people in the world, we can’t keep destroying wildlife at such a pace. It’s a much different world now.

          • avatar WM says:

            Louise,

            ++What would the cost to protect the crops or to create diversion – aversion strategies be vs the removal of so many animals. ++

            If there were a cheaper, more efficient way, the academic community (there are lots of land grant agricultural colleges that study this stuff all across the country), would be addressing it, and it would be implemented.

            I don’t know how you think humans and wildlife will reach some state of co-existence equalibrium in which animals will not die on a human managed landscape. It is unlikely to EVER happen. Can you point to anywhere else in the world where such a state has been achieved?

            I do agree with you about the destruction of ecosystems, however, and it will get worse as human populations, wherever they are continue to grow and are likely to demand more conveniences in their lives that consume renewable and non-renewable resources.

            ++{we}…should be mandating new construction codes and standard that call for the use of energy efficient technology into any new construction or substantial remodel.++

            There are changes in many places in the world, including the US, where this is happening. The problem is one of economics of construction. Not long ago I looked into the possibility of building a residence with Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), which are fabricated panels consisting of foam insulation around a structural framework in panels of various sizes, all pre-made and put into place by a crane and screwed together. Incredibly heat/cold/ efficient and earthquake prooof. This would be placed on a foundation of foam formed concrete (interlocking foam ICF forms into which concrete is poured), adding more insulation. The economics, even long term, are not such that it made sense. It cost 20-30% more, even if you could find experienced workers to do it and long term warranties on the products, and the heating/cooling costs would not be easily recovered over time. And, making such an investment involves great risk when trying to resell the structure when the time comes.

            Louise, dream on.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              actually WM the technology is there, its just not used on a large enough scale to be efficient – cost efficient that is. Geothermal heat, SIDs, solar panels are all doable and very efficient. and there are some extremely high end homes with this technology whose resale is not suffering at all. Green technology has come a long way. It needs help in the form of subsidies and regulations that call for it.

              If one can not afford SIDs then you can still super insulate your home with closed cell spray foam and or individual panels. You can easily insulate to the same r value as the sids. In our remodel, I wanted to use geothermal heat and solar but we could not afford one – and the other solar – was not a good match because of the existing orientation of the house. But we did super insulate the basement slab, walls, and roof with closed cell spray foam. With the super insulation heating and cooing costs – are ridiculously low. The winter month of February with 10-30 degree weather and some high winds cost us 48.00 last year. The heat and ac hardly ever kicks on.

          • avatar A Western Moderate says:

            ++ …at the beck and call of special interests and…++

            Please define “special interests.” I see people use this term all the time, usually to describe any view they personally disagree with.

            • avatar Nancy says:

              Special Interests – a person or group seeking to influence legislative or government policy to further often narrowly defined interests; especially : lobby

          • avatar JB says:

            Louise:

            Both your response and WM’s mention cost, which is usually the driving factor in how people respond. The assumption that non-lethal methods will work better or be cheaper is JUST AS FAULTY as the assumption that lethal methods will be cheaper or work better. In many cases, wildlife services research division has tested both lethal and non-lethal methods and makes recommendations (though not always followed) based upon this research.

            I’m not sure your analogy to energy works very well. Certainly, if the government were to stop subsidizing extractive energy production and start subsidizing solar, wind, and other green energies then the long-term investment would work in our favor. However, unlike green energy, the non-lethal forms of control can come with ancillary negative effects. Using the raccoon example… assuming you could find a cost-effective means to dissuade these raccoons from eating your crops, you now removed a substantive anthropogenic food source from the raccoon population. Lacking food, the displaced animals will move into other animals territories, causing damage somewhere else, or potentially starve in their quest to replace this source of food. If you’re suggesting that the landowner should have been using (substance X) to dissuade raccoons in the first place, now you’re talking about considerable cost in treatment, which disadvantages the landonwer when it comes time to sell (by the way, this is one of the arguments for subsidizing Wildlife Services). But what about physical boundaries? Assuming you could physically fence off a food source from raccoons (ha! good luck!) you’ve now created a barrier for other species as well along with substantial infrastructure costs in maintenance.

            I am absolutely the first person to argue for non-lethal means of controlling animal damage. However, the solution has to be cost effective!

            • avatar Mark L says:

              JB,
              i agree somewhat, but if WS already has invested money into equipment anticipating a lethal response, then argues that the equipment would be ‘wasted’ if its not used, then the lethal vs. nonlethal cost comparison isn’t on ‘even ground’ so to speak. Obviously free labor is preferable (wildlife that consumes a target species) but only if its drawbacks are analyzed beforehand also. I.e. See foxes, opossums, raccoons, and cats worldwide….all meso-predators, and most omnivorous being introduced to new areas creating the same problems repeated over and over.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “400 raccoons can do a lot of damage!”

          Perhaps even more important is the potential for zoonotic disease outbreaks with that kind of high-density raccoon population – leptospirosis, listeriosis, yersiniosis, pasteurellosis, and tularemia are all common bacterial diseases in raccoons, along with viral diseases like rabies, canine distemper, and infectious canine hepatitis.

          • avatar A Western Moderate says:

            ++Perhaps even more important is the potential for zoonotic disease outbreaks… ++

            ma’, this is interesting. Thanks for sharing. In my area I never saw raccoons until maybe 10 years ago. Now I regularly see coons that have been hit by cars. Something must be changing to increase their populations?

            • avatar Savebears says:

              We are starting to see many coons hit on the road as well, where I live in the NF of the Flathead, I watched one the other day on the way to town, was late for my appointment, but it was just so amazing to see it up here.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                They have such beautiful, rich coats; I was typing on the computer one day and turned to look out my winde to see one trying to hang onto a branch at my bird feeder. I truly expect to see a black bear there one day! :)

            • avatar WM says:

              I have been meaning to watch this 2012 PBS program, “Raccoon Nation.” Just turned it on about 5 minitues ago, and already am seeing some answers to questions raised on this thread. Highly adaptable omnivores that can take advantage of any environment they are placed, or choose to invade.

              http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/raccoon-nation/full-episode/7558/

        • avatar aves says:

          IF there were 400 raccoons in one cornfield over one summer, and it’s a big IF since we are hearing about it third hand now, than any alternative solutions would depend a closer examination of the situation. It’s obviously abnormal for there to be that many raccoons so maybe there was an underlying reason. Maybe the farmer had sloppy practices, maybe he or she shot too many predators. I doubt there would be 400 raccoons if coyotes were around.

          • avatar Mark L says:

            Yep, and would bet no other carnivores on a higher trophic level are in the area. No wolves, no cougars? My guess is no coyotes also (just guessing on given info). Meso-predator release.

            • avatar ma'iingan says:

              There is little evidence that coyote predation is a limiting factor in raccoon populations –

              “In particular, Rogers and Caro (1998) and Crooks and Soule’ (1999) presented data suggesting a relationship within the carnivore guild in which coyotes represent a large carnivore that limits the number of raccoons and other medium-sized omnivores, thereby increasing nesting success ov avian species such as song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). Results from these studies have been used to predict that coyotes could control mesopredators in other systems (Gompper 2002). While these scenarios may have some intuitive appeal, other data contradict the Mesopredator Release Hypothesis as it applies to coyotes, raccoons, and possibly other intraguild relationships outside the canid taxonomic group.”

              Gehrt and Clark, Wildlife Society Bulletin 2003, 31(3):836-842.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Raccoons are tough little sob’s!

              • avatar Harley says:

                Immer,
                Yes they are! They can tear a dog up, it’s not pretty.

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                “Where the Red Fern Grows”

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Where the red Fern grows, involved a Mountain Lion, Coons did not kill Ole’ Dan and Little Ann!

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                I had a pet coon, actually several (all wild caught)for nine years or so. Really cool when they were young, but ornery as hell when they got older. I can’t tell you how many times my brothers, friends and me got bit.

                I had a big coop for the female I had for nine years. I’d come home from baseball at night and stick my hand inside the sleeping box and rub her belly and she would play and gnaw on my hand like a puppy. One time, I put my hand in there, and I got really chomped on. Last four years or so I had her I had to use gloves and an old coat to handle her.

              • avatar WM says:

                Immer,

                What are your thoughts about the outcome of a raccoon and a coyote (or multiple coyotes) rumble?

                While you are thinking about that, I had a big old buck raccoon that I would have guessed weighed 30+ pounds, who used to visit my yard with some regularity. I expect he could have taken on most anything, and likely did over his lifetime on the urban fringe. I was alway extra careful to keep my golden retriever in when I suspected he was around. A single coyote would not have taken him on, and expected to survive the encounter. A pack of 3 or 4 might be different. But then sometimes even raccoon families travel together, and a small but pissed off mama would be a formidable foe.

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                sb,
                let me walk you through this.

                Harley posted “Immer,
                Yes they are! They can tear a dog up, it’s not pretty”

                which I then initiated the reference to the book “Where the Red Fern Grows” because my daughter is currently reading it and there are places that talk about how raccoons injure dogs.

                You might want to read, slowly, Chapter 7, which is where the two dogs have their first encounter with a raccoon.

                Then read my post again, slowly, and notice I said nothing about how the dogs died.

                Got it?

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jeff,

                Why so condescending?

                I have read the book many times over the years, in addition to watching two different renditions of the story made for TV.

                I am also well aware that coons can and do kill dogs.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Also no need to read your messages slowly, they are wrote in such a manner, they are very easy to read at any speed!

            • avatar JEFF E says:

              A full grown Raccoon is just as likely to kill and maybe eat a coyote as the other way around. it seems to me that raccoons were primarily limited to the southeast United States until the wolf population was decimated and there was then no other predator of any size/number that were able to keep them in balance.
              And then do not forget the “introduction” of them in many other places in the world.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                I think raccoons have historically ranged much farther than just the southeast US. Likewise armadillos (moving north), though they were larger in Pleistocene (some have argued they were just differing subspecies).

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Raccoons have, and have had a continental distribution up to southern Canada. Probably folklore of the South, sitting around the fire listening to the coonhounds at night, that lead to the “they were originally more a southeastern critter.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                WM,

                To answer in short, a large dog with resolve, could probably handle a coon, but, to think for the dog, would probably not try it again. Given the chance, a raccoon will shiny up a tree.

                Folklore has it that if a dog chases a coon into water, and catches up to said Procyon lotor, the coon might very well crawl upon the dogs back. Whether it be a fresh water version of a nantucket sleigh ride or the coon holding the dogs head under water…

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                “Distribution in North America

                Raccoons are common throughout North America from Canada through Mexico, and continuing into Panama in Central America, where the subspecies P. l. pumilus coexists with the crab-eating raccoon (P. cancrivorus). The population on Hispaniola was exterminated as early as 1513 by Spanish colonists who hunted them for their meat.[4] Raccoons were also exterminated in Cuba and Jamaica, where the last sightings were reported in 1687.[4] The Bahaman raccoon (P. l. maynardi) was classified as endangered by the IUCN in 1996.[5]

                Racoon in the middle of the night looking for food (Sierra-Nevada Mountains, California)
                There is evidence that in pre-Columbian times raccoons were numerous only along rivers and in the woodlands of the Southeastern United States. As raccoons were not mentioned in earlier reports of pioneers exploring the central and north-central parts of the United States, their initial spread may have begun a few decades before the 20th century. Since the 1950s, raccoons have expanded their range from Vancouver Island—formerly the northernmost limit of their range—far into the northern portions of the four south-central Canadian provinces. New habitats that have recently been occupied by raccoons (aside from urban areas) include mountain ranges, such as the Western Rocky Mountains, prairies, and coastal marshes. After a population explosion starting in the 1940s, the estimated number of raccoons in North America in the late 1980s was 15 to 20 times higher than in the 1930s, when raccoons were comparatively rare. Urbanization, the expansion of agriculture, deliberate introductions, and the extermination of natural predators of the raccoon have probably caused this increase in abundance and distribution.[5]”
                http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Raccoon

              • avatar Nancy says:

                A couple of weeks ago someone hit a Mule deer just down the road from my place. Passed by the remains one night and could see eyes next to it and thought it was a coyote but when I got closer, I realized it was a big raccoon. I’ve never seen one in the years I’ve lived here.

            • avatar JEFF E says:

              sb,not meaning to be condescending in particular, but this sub-thread seems to me to be about raccoons injuring dogs, which is what I meant when I brought up the reference to “Where the Red Fern Grows”.

              Had the initial comment been about raccoons killing dogs, I certainly would not have made the reference that I did.
              I guess the old training I have about interpreting what is actually written instead of what I guess or extrapolate what is written gets in my way time to time.
              sorry

          • avatar JB says:

            Aves:

            You’ll find raccoons wherever there is food, and they can achieve remarkable densities where there’s lots of food. Gehrt (mentioned by Ma’) has images of raccoons and coyotes feeding at the same source, essentially ignoring each other.

            Immer:

            My neighbor raised two litters of coons growing up. They were very cute and fun when young, but got progressively meaner with age (not unlike people). Very tough animals indeed!

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              Immer
              one of my Dad’s best friends Jackie – a sinewy wiry tough sob used to have raccoons that he was usually given if the Mom was killed. Jackie fished a boat he called the Wee John after his son, and he was really fierce but he had a soft spot for animals, racoons, Siberian Huskies, coyotes. Jackie raised a lot of baby racoons, some were were sweet and playful when young but not so when they matured after a few years. They were wild animals not pets, and he did respect that. Those raccoons were something, they were given a big area to roam, fed well, and lived good lives till they died. Some rode in his truck with him doing the rounds down to the fish pier, but Jackie always wore gloves and was not surprised by the bites! They are tough animals but beautiful.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Immer, we also get frequent visits by two raccoons that come onto the deck and tumble around peering into the living room. My dog goes insane, the raccoons run away when they see him at the door but they have learned that he is confined and they pretty much ignore him now. The raccoons used to come to the old house – when my Dad had his rescued cat the big tiger and they would sleep on the chairs with the big cat right amongst them. I wish I had taken images. They make the craziest trilling sound. Really fun to watch.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Louise,

                Yep. They are wild to the bone. Utterly captivating when young, and I would think even with round the clock socialization, coons will get ornery with age.

                I had a bucket of tadpoles when my first raccoon got out of the cage when we kept her on the basement. I emphasize had. I used to ride my bike all over town with her on my shoulder. The days of innocence.

      • avatar Harley says:

        Leslie,
        If that many were killed, is it possible that this was a problem that was too big for that private land owner to handle? That almost sounds like an infestation! And yeah… they can do some serious damage, we had them in our barn when we lived on a small acreage…

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        Leslie- the Park County Predator Mangagement Board is funded 50/50 with the state. Each county in Wyoming has one. They then hire ” managers”. They also partner directly with Wildlife Services, by contract.

        They divide the workload roughly: PCPM works mainly with local farmers and ranchers to control the smaller wildlife and birds ( more than you would think ), even down to insects. But mainly they deal with mesopredators like coyotes, skunks, raccoons, red fox, and occasionally badgers and such . However—when the workload gets excessive they call WS for reinforcements. WS spends its time with free range coyotes and larger predators and unique animals. And of course they do the wet work with wolves. WS handles everything but grizzlies and defers on some cougar calls.

        Both WS and PCPMB are at the 24/7 beck and call of any farmer and ranch , and ranchette citizenry. Or even townfolk. It’s all under the umbrella of US Dept. of Agriculture ( as is Forest Service) whereas US Fish and Wildlife is Dept. of Interior . The state G & F manages grizzly for everyone, as you know, and now wolves. They still depend on Wildlife Services for a lot. The county trappers and wranglers deal with the smaller problems.

        It’s a tangled web of overlapping jurisidictions and agencies both county, state,and federal. Somehow between them they have worked it out.

        I can’t say how they do it in other states , like California. or even Montana. But I do have copies of the report that is given to the Park County Commissioners every year detailing the callouts and costs for animal damage work in Park County by the combined efforts of Wildlife Services and Park County predator Management.

        Maybe they are that ” well regulated militia ” we have long heard about….

        • avatar Leslie says:

          Being that these kills were in the Big Horn Basin, coyotes are also a regular target for WS and others alike. For the population to be so high in one concentrated corn field, something has to be amiss.

          One note is that I live at 7,000 feet and it is extremely rare to see raccoons. It’s beyond their range. Last month I saw my first raccoon up there, although I’ve seen a track several years ago down by the river. Then 3 weeks later I found it dead but could not discern what had killed it, probably disease. I put my trail camera on it and nothing ate it. Two coyotes came bye, peed on it and rolled on it. A marten came bye and ignored it.

          One thing I’ll say is that to discourage raccoon eating and digging in my garden when I lived in CA and we had regular nightly visitors all summer, I used a nematode that I applied to the soil which parasitized the grubs. It worked to discourage the skunks and raccoons and they stopped digging. It might take some thinking and extra work, but you can come up with solutions other than just shooting all the time.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            “It might take some thinking and extra work, but you can come up with solutions other than just shooting all the time.”

            Yes you can!

            as a note skunks can make a mess of lawns but they actually help the lawn, that is if you’d rather see skunks and don’t mind a few holes here and there for awhile, which i dont.

  8. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201211/animal-pain-hurts-the-ghosts-in-our-machine

    a documentary about how we build our lives using and exploiting animals while ignoring the suffering we cause. A perspective most people ignore.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Thanks for posting this Louise.

      The trailer (a link to it in the article) is short and not much of a glimpse into the film but I have a feeling it will be very similar to the documentary Earthlings….. and the critically acclaimed documentary The Cove, which opened more than a few eyes when it came to the fishing industry in Japan and their abuse regarding the “harvesting” of dolphins, a species that could probably hold their own when it comes to examples of intelligence within our own species :)

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Yes, I really do think it is how we are taught to view other living things; as with everything, some people don’t question and others do. Sounds like an excellent documentary.

  9. avatar Mike says:

    BREAKING NEWS:

    Hunters shoot grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park.

    WTF.

    What is wrong with this country when a rare, majestic animal like a grizzly can’t even be safe in a national park?

    Shame on Grand Teton officials and these goofs.

  10. avatar Mike says:

    More info:

    GTNP officials had issued six warnings and a citation to hunters in the days prior to this. One of them was for not carrying bear spray.

    Stupid hunt, stupid hunters. Time to end this nonsense. 1/3rd of the grizzly deaths this year were caused by idiot hunters.

  11. avatar Mark L says:

    Jeff E,
    a coyote will eat a raccoon if it kills it. A raccoon will not eat a coyote, even fresh. I suspect nothing short of a wolverine or vulture/buzzard will, and thats after days of curing.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      Mark L,
      Be careful in talking absolutes.

      All animals, including us, will eat what ever is available given the right conditions.

      That is why I used the term “maybe”….

  12. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/250649/

    Immer don’t you live in MN?

    a great editorial on the wolf hunt from the perspective of one (of many) who do not want wolves hunted in MN. She lives there

    • avatar WM says:

      Louise,

      From the writing (a guest editorial?) , which is carried in a MN newspaper but about the WISCONSIN Wolf hunt, and is by an author who lives in MN:

      ++The current hunt allows 201 kills for a population of 800 wolves. I don’t see how this is a sustainable hunting-to-animal ratio for the survival of any species.++

      This person apparently doesn’t understand the concept of reproduction, and she is a nurse. The approved management plan, as I understand it, was to hold the numbers somewhat once the threshold was met. It is not like this is rocket science, she just doesn’t want wolves managed, notwithstanding the provisons of the plan. One more person rewriting the history of WI wolf repopoulation, and pre-planned management activities.

      So, why should a MN resident weigh in on what is going on in WI, and permissible under state law?

      • avatar ma'iingan says:

        “So, why should a MN resident weigh in on what is going on in WI, and permissible under state law?”

        The writer is a resident of Maple, Wisconsin.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        WM,

        As Duluth, MN is separated from Superior, WI by an inlet of Lake Superior, connected by the Blatnik and Bong bridges, there exists quite a bit of Wisconsin/Duluth news in the Duluth paper.

        • avatar Mark L says:

          Just as importantly in this case, do they share wolves? I think a lot of people get caught up in the ‘which state are you in’ stuff and ignore that they are just made up boundries in a lot of cases. It’s almost a case of ‘states fetishism’….like the people, the trees, even the ground and sky itself is supposed to be different across an imaginary line in the ground.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Should read WI/MN News in the Duluth paper.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          and call me crazy but the wolves of the great lakes are defined as a population is that not true?

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Louise,

      Yes, I’m up in northeast MN.

      I vacillate on if a wolf hunt is necessary. Wolves should be able to withstand the ~20% take in Wisconsin, and the 13% take in MN. I’ve said before, I believe both states rushed to hunt without input from all stakeholders. I’ve yet to contact the MN DNR about the extension of the wolf hunt/trapping season into the BWCAW. Legislators forces extension of the late season from original end point of January 6 to January 31.

      It has been estimated that as many as 400 wolves are illegally killed in MN during the year with high concentration during deer season. As only 2% of hunters had wolf tags, I’d be hesitent to think that the legal take to illegal take was compensatory.

      If wolves are causing problems here, the DNR has dealt with them. No stakeholders have objected to this over the years. I posted a couple sites in the past that show where the preponderance of wolf depredation are in the state. Even though the quota number is large in the northwest zone, success rates there are in the 50% range, where inthe northeast and east central zones 100%.

  13. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Salle, wow not a good thing to read before bed!

  14. avatar Nancy says:

    The EPA giveth:

    http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/factsheets/iodomethane_fs.htm

    And then taketh away:

    http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/cb/csb_page/updates/2012/idomethane.html

    The question is, how much damage was in done to the enviornment, before it was pulled “from the shelves”?

  15. avatar Salle says:

    Here’s something everyone needs to start screaming about. Both the Senators from my state are at the top of this list of sellouts:

    Meet the Bi-Partisan Group of Senators Pressuring Obama to Speed Up Destruction of the Planet
    A group of 18 senators (nine from each party) are calling on President Obama to approve expanded fossil fuel exploitation without regard for global warming

    http://www.alternet.org/environment/meet-bi-partisan-group-senators-pressuring-obama-speed-destruction-planet

    I urge everyone to contact these clowns and the president and Sec of Ag and Sec of Int. to ignore their claims, face the awful truth and save their own hides in the process.

    • avatar WM says:

      So, that would be a novel idea, naming a new killer whale species, not on gentic differences, but behavioral. That would be kind of like labeling humans a different species depending on whether you were vegetarian or a meat eater, or whether you commuted to work a long distance rather than in the neighborhood. Hmmmm. Bet the conservation biologists would have a hissy fit over that, perhaps as much as they have the subspecies of wolves in the US, in the consolidation transition.

      • avatar Mark L says:

        Rather than meat eater vs. vegetarian, maybe think of humans with lactose intolerance or peanut allergies, which are inherited, rather than a conscious effort. The transient orcas may be ‘fish intolerant’ now, just following their bellies like the rest of the world. Genetics just tells you whats in your gonads (and maybe what your belly can handle), not what’s in your head and heart…..I guess

    • avatar Mark L says:

      Fear is good for business, not common sense.

      • avatar WM says:

        Let freedumb ring. What a story for this paper to carry, only slightly more ridiculous than the stupidity of writing it. Feed the fires of paranoia and stupidity through the selective topics of the press. Somebody must have a financial interest in these ammo manufacturers, and are intent on creating an artificial demand.

        • avatar Jerry Black says:

          Only in Montana….well, maybe Idaho also.
          I like your comment…..I’ll include it in my comment to the story in the Missoulian.

        • avatar elk275 says:

          “Let freedumb ring”. I have never understood people purchasing 1000’s and 1,000’s of rounds of ammo and not purchasing additional barrels. Depending upon the caliber, a rifle barrel has a life span between 2000 to 5000 rounds.

          My cousin’s cousin purchase 250,000 rounds of .223 ammo and has five .223 rifles and no extra barrels. In less than 20,000 rounds the barrels would be shot out and in less than 500 rounds he would be shot dead. It is amazing peoples thinking, one can not fix stupid.

        • avatar JB says:

          Recall what I was saying (on a different thread) about isolation in the NRMs. This is what comes of too much Fox News. Speaking of which, I saw http://www.electoral-vote.com ran a story this morning about the bias of polls. In contrary to the shouting of Fox pundits, 11 of 14 polls had a conservative bias. Doesn’t matter, the loudmouths will keep right on lying to the public and the fools that listen to them will continue to eat it up.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          “There are a lot of people out there who think if someone tries to take any of them, the government will have a revolution on their hands”

          Had a an long time neighbor (in his 70’s) tell me recently (after the elections) that he doesn’t answer his door anymore without a gun in his hand, because if “they” want his gun…. they’re gonna have to shoot him first and pry it out of his dead hands.

          Another neighbor, a few years older (and quite wealthy) is thinking about selling off all of their homes and property and moving to another country…. because Obama got re-elected.

          And then the kicker – a ranching friend, told me just today, she lives in fear because Obama got re-elected and she’s afraid that all those subsidies – that were “dangled” in their faces for years by the governnent AND… taken advantage of – might suddenly disappear.

          We are SO being fine tuned and played by our “elected” officials” in case you haven’t noticed……depending on where you live :)

    • avatar Salle says:

      Marine Life Disaster Portended: Ocean Acidification Eats at Heart of Food Chain

      http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/26-3

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      The kid who spent his last 22 bucks on ammo. If there is a revolution, the only round that may find its mark is the last one, if fear is controlling his thoughts.

      Elk, you are right, ya can’t fix stupid.

  16. avatar Salle says:

    Nothing to see here
    The expanding police state tops this year’s most underreported stories

    http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/nothing-to-see-here/Content?oid=1693154&storyPage=1

  17. avatar Salle says:

    Hmmm… now what and who was it that was griping about how environmental orgs “shop around” for a friendly circuit court judge?

    Feds seek to have wolf lawsuit moved to Wyoming

    http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/feds-seek-to-have-wolf-lawsuit-moved-to-wyoming/article_821b81bb-7330-5700-bcca-a33018799c02.html#ixzz2DMPBylM1

    If they are successful in gaining this transfer, it would be like allowing the lunatics to run the asylum.

    • avatar timz says:

      Seems the Feds under the Obummer administration to want to wash their hands completely on this issue.

      • avatar JB says:

        Or it may be that they are aware of the anti-government sentiment in Wyoming and are seeking a court whose opinion is more likely to be accepted by residents. Recall that federal judges have lifetime appointments, so it isn’t like the Wyoming judge will fear for his/her (his) job.

        Or one might posit that given our current economic woes, the federal government doesn’t relish the idea of flying all of its expert witnesses (who largely reside in the West) out to DC on the taxpayer’s dime.

        On second thought, I’m sure you’re right, Tim. I’m sure Obama called up cowboy Ken and said, “hey, we’ve really got to wash our hands of this wolf fiasco, any chance we can move this thing to the West where will get a more friendly court.” Yeah, I’m sure that’s how it went down.

        Your paranoia and cynicism know no bounds.

        • avatar WM says:

          Or it could be WY is the location of the witnesses, the relevant documents and other evidence that would make DC a “forum non conveniens,” under Section 1404 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

          The plaintiff wolf advocacy organizations shopped for the forum it thought most favorable, when they filed suit in DC. It is a defendant’s right to request a transfer, and it is the court’s perrogative to turn it down, if it chooses. I wouldn’t take a bet on this transfer request being successful, however. Depends on whether the judge wants to hear the case, or believes it would be better heard in WY.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      The rules are being made up as they go along with this issue, so who knows. But you know it must be worrisome that they want to have the case moved. ;)

      • avatar WM says:

        Ida,

        The rules are not being made up as they go along. See my earlier post above. There is a book of rules about 2 inches thick that govern how federal litigation is conducted. Lawyers on either side of a case do what is in the best interests of the representation of their client, and judges make decisions under the rules.

  18. avatar jon says:

    http://www.ktvb.com/news/Dog-caught-in-trap-gets-treatment-at-Boise-clinic-180724721.html

    This poor dog lost one of its leg due to a trapper’s trap in Idaho. Something needs to change. By allowing trapping, more incidents like this are going to happen.

  19. avatar Robert R says:

    Jon I think these incidents are a very low percentage and are highly exploited by Internet Predators. Some have even been staged to gain support for anti trapping. Footloose is famous for staging trapped pets for support.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Really Robert R? You know that for a fact?

    • avatar jon says:

      Are you telling me that dogs don’t get caught in traps? I googled the internet and found dozens of stories about dogs getting caught in traps.

    • avatar Salle says:

      What an asinine things to say… tinfoilhat alert.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      links? proof?

    • avatar Dude, the bagman says:

      And our president is famous in some circles for being a foreign-born Muslim socialist.

      Does anyone seriously believe that an animal rights group would mutilate an animal in order to further their agenda of keeping animals from being mutilated? That’s a special kind of “special.”

      Along the same line, I heard a similar conspiracy theory this summer about WWP. Apparently y’all are opening gates on Camas Creek in a conspiracy to let the cows down to the creek so you can sue? The feds even put up game cameras to catch Ken and company in the act, yet the only suspect behavior the camera caught was a person pooping in open air near the trailhead. Sounds like a bunch of poop all around.

  20. avatar cassandra says:

    People who live in the US and N.America, are especially encouraged to watch the developments of TPP and NAFTA, which is slated to give away, actually all of the US resources to any corporation in the treaty. These bode certain destruction and suffering for wildhorses (MX and CA slaughterhouses), fur-bearing animals (esp wolves, harp seals, anything with fur via the American Fur Exchange and RU companies), energy (open door for tar sands,gas and oil fracking/pipelines/open pit mining), the oceans(dolphins, whales, every creature). As if that is not enough of a free grab for globalists: there is even a clause that allows a lawsuit by the offending corporation against the US if US ‘laws’ get in the way of the visiting global exploiter making profits by any means. Now you know why those heads of state are all smiling.

    I know it all sounds bizarre, but research checks verified this
    US give away. Check out for yourself with some searches. This has to be protested widely and seriously, as it will make saving wolves, wildhorses, stopping the UT Tar Sands, the XL pipeline, keeping Shell out of the Arctic, Chevron from sonar testing from FL to NJ, even more difficult. http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=3129

    NAFTA: current article http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=531.Another site reviews the 10 year history.

  21. avatar Harley says:

    http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Wild-Coyotes-Spotted-in-Wrigleyville-180862161.html

    Coyotes taking over Wrigleyville. Smack dab in the middle of Chicago. Definitely more exciting than the Cubs have been…

    • avatar Savebears says:

      How Bout Those…..Coyotes!! Go Coyotes!

    • avatar pronghorn says:

      Maybe they can give the Cubbies a leg up…

      • avatar Harley says:

        Hey, those Cubbies can use all the help they can get! lol!!

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Harley,

          Have you completed reading Rin-Tin-Tin?
          Thoughts?

          • avatar Harley says:

            I have not! It had to go back to the library. I got through about a quater of it. I am burning the candle at both ends and the middle lately. I couldn’t get it finished in the 3 week time period and knew it was kinda useless to renew it this time around. Next week is the last week of my second job. The funding is gone so bye bye job. The bad part, the kids that it’s helped will not have that service anymore. The plus side, I won’t have 60+ work hours anymore and will have time to read. Man, I miss reading! I know somethings wrong when I read and fall asleep, man I hate that!

            Anyway, from what I read, I may buy the book, I liked it! I found it fascinating really. To me, Rin Tin Tin was a product of the 50’s so I was very surprised to read that he’s been around much longer. There was another book that caught my attention too. The Eight Dollar Champion, The Horse That Inspired A Nation. Can’t wait to sink my teeth into that one either. I’ll give you a heads up when I do finish it and we can have a good chat about it!

  22. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    N.J. bear hunt is a ‘bait and shoot,’ argue protesters
    http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/nj-bear-hunt-is-a-bait-and-shoot-argue-protesters

  23. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Something from a country not often heard of:
    Estonian brown bears head west
    http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_news/?doc=10246

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      It is getting to the point where we need to make a human protest chain and stand in front of these hunters to stop them.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        As with many states Ida, you would probably end up with at the least, an expensive ticket. The possibility of up to 30 days in jail also exists.

        http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusak16_05_790.htm

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          It’s the sense of entitlement with this “hunting contest” that is appalling, and these things bring out the worst in human nature. This guy dreams up a “duhhh, let’s have a killing contest today!” Yuck.

          It’s a sad commentary when trying to save an animal’s life from a entirely useless killing spree is a misdemeanor which would result in a fine and jail time for the person who doesn’t want to kill and animal, and the killer(s) right to kill is protected.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            As you know, I don’t condone these contests, it is indeed an interesting set of circumstances.

          • avatar WM says:

            Ida,

            There are 8,500 wolves in British Columbia. The Provincial wolf management plan (duly adopted by its government) and locals want fewer of them. Killing wolves in British Columbia is legal, and these local businesses are taking advantage of that for promotional purposes in their community.

            I personally don’t care for the idea. But, it is understandable how folks in St. John, BC, as well as ranchers and hunters of the area could support it, while folks where wolves are not (outside the Province or even in it, but say in urban areas Vancouver or Victoria, could get upset. Guess we have seen part of that scenario play out in the states.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Does BC have hunter harassment laws? I have found very little information in my quick searches.

              • avatar elk275 says:

                British Columbian hunter harassement law.

                Obstructing licensed persons
                80

                A person commits an offence if the person interferes with or obstructs a person licensed or permitted to capture wildlife or to hunt, fish, guide or trap while that person is lawfully so engaged.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Yes.

            • avatar JB says:

              8,500 wolves in one province–kind of places the whole “Chicken Little” response of NRM states in perspective, doesn’t it? Again, it seems worth noting that 20 years after bison were functionally eliminated from the West more than 4,000 wolves were turned in for bounty in one year (1903) in one state (Montana).

            • avatar DLB says:

              WM,
              95% of British Columbia is crown land. While rural residents do have legitimate gripes about being imposed upon by more powerful voting blocks, they also have to acknowledge the reality that city voters have a right to exert some influence over how those lands are managed.

              ++I personally don’t care for the idea. But, it is understandable how folks in St. John, BC, as well as ranchers and hunters of the area could support it, while folks where wolves are not (outside the Province or even in it, but say in urban areas Vancouver or Victoria, could get upset.++

              I think you’re walking a fine line by distancing yourself from a certain activity, but then implicitly supporting it by saying it’s “understandable”. I can’t quote different examples easily, but you seem to do that here from time to time. Are you a politician in addition to a lawyer and biologist?

              Instead of hearing about how you understand the plight of St John ranchers, I’d rather hear about why you don’t care for the idea.

              • avatar WM says:

                I am not a fan of any kind of contest involving wildlife. My first exposure to this kind of event was when I was in graduate school. The Fort Collins, CO Chamber of Commerce had a trout fishing contest (they bought a life insurance policy for $100,000 on a tagged rainbow trout that had been released into Horsetooth Reservoir just west of town, along with a bunch of other planted fish). Participants bought a right to enter the contest for something like $10. The person who caught the tagged fish presents it for payment of the proceeds of the policy, paid by Lloyds of London. Of course, the insurer, is gambling the fish won’t be caught for the duration of the contest which lasted a couple of weeks. Many fish were caught that were not tagged but killed anyway(consumed presumably, but also depleting the reservoir of larger rainbow and non-target species, like walleyes), by fishers who usually didn’t. Lots of boats, and people crowded on the reservoir for all the wrong reasons. Of course, lots of trash, beer cans in the water and oil sheen on it. I think they did this for about 10 years or so. I still have a nice graphic design poster from one of the firt year events that shows a school of rainbows, mostly green in color,then one bright gold one in the middle. Looking closely the gold embossing is a bunch of $$$$$ signs close together. Kind of disgusting.

                These kinds of contests, in my view, degrade wildlife of any kind, as well as the motives for those who would hunt/fish for them. It becomes a repugnant subset of “trophy” consumption, and may also result in the death of some wildlife that otherwise would not be taken by this group – except for the prize. I would outlaw the events, and wildlife agencies have the power to do it.

                How’s that for an explanation, DLB?

                On the other hand, I see no reason not to hunt wolves in BC, regardless how much the city folks don’t want it, but without some stupid prizes. The part I understand and empathasize with is the desire to manage numbers of a species in a human environment.

                I think the fine line you suggest, is a rather wide gray area, where the compromised positions of both extremists might be accomodated. It has been said the best settlements are those in which neither side is happy (See also, the widely touted Harvard Negotiation method project from years ago, called “Getting to Yes.”

              • avatar DLB says:

                WM,

                Thanks for the explanation.

                I can’t empathize with hunters or ranchers who support this, even if they’re just supporting it as a wildlife management tool. I mean there’s a booby prize for the smallest wolf for crying out loud.

              • avatar Nancy says:

                Like here in the US, people in BC are upset with trapping and the fur industry:

                http://liberationbc.org/issues/fur

          • avatar WM says:

            Real interesting twist on this “contest,” which apparently covers the entire Peace River region. At the request of conseration groups, BC gaming conducts investigation into whether the sponsors need a license to offer prizes in exchange for a chance to win.

            They close investigation after a day, concluding it is not a game of chance (like a lottery), but rather is one of SKILL, because those who would win have to present a dead wolf, the size of which determines whether they receive a prize.

  24. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    GOP blocks Tester bill to give hunters more land access
    Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/gop-blocks-tester-bill-to-give-hunters-more-land-access/article_58dfe194-8324-5d25-92a4-bf82e8ccc28f.html#ixzz2DQe45d6v
    Sorry folks, no polar bears for the trophy room….

    • avatar WM says:

      I don’t know that much about this bill, but the conservation program funds to which Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) objects in this piece would likely benefit all who use federal public lands or desire access to them (not just hunters and fishers). I think most here would support parts of the bill (except the lead ammunition exclusion and the polar bear stuff). This redneck turd is proof positive that partisan politics rules the day in Congress. He is more concerned about the fact that a D introduced it, and some D’s in Congress support it. And, for the lead ammo part, I bet those constituents of his spray more lead and fishers loose more lead than 10 Montana’s, because their population is larger. Bet there will soon be a coffee date with him and a couple NRA lobbyists in the near future.

    • avatar jon says:

      Am I reading that right, the bill was blocked by republicans? Oh my.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        It was a procedural vote, the bill is not dead..Tester was on the news last night talking about continuing on with the bill.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          It just posted a story on it. http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2012/11/27/fails-in-the-u-s-senate/ I think it is dead because the House version is quite different. How will they work out the differences?

          Of course, all kinds of strange things can happen in today’s Congress which is not, and has not been operating within the boundaries of its traditional rules for some time now, but especially since 2011.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            From what I have read, it was a budget issue that cause the GOP to vote against it, Tester was touting on TV last night, he has a plan already to address that problem.

            As you said Ralph, Congress these days is not what it used to be.

  25. avatar Salle says:

    In Hawaii, a coral reef infection has biologists alarmed
    A mysterious growth has been spreading under the waters of Hanalei Bay and elsewhere on Kauai’s north shore. It’s killing all the coral it strikes, and scientists can’t stop it.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-hanalei-bay-20121127,0,4893429.story

    Hmmm, “…and scientists can’t stop it”…?

  26. avatar Immer Treue says:

    http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/content/hunters-take-147-wolves-late-season-minnesota-wolf-hunt-nears

    ” Trappers in the late hunt may use leg-hold traps and snares, with specific regulations about where baits may be placed.
    “I think most guys are talking snaring them,” said trapper Allen Edberg of Fredenberg Township. “It’s easier, and the cost of snares is less compared to what they’d have to pay for new traps.”
    Because wolf trapping hasn’t been legal in Minnesota, most trappers don’t have traps big enough to use on wolves.
    “It would be quite an investment,” Edberg said.
    Snares are loops of wire that tighten around the neck of a wolf.”

    From the point of a trapper, expense. Life taken on the cheap. I just hope they remember to collect all their f&$@?n snares.

    • avatar Jerry Black says:

      Immer….”From the point of a trapper, expense. Life taken on the cheap. I just hope they remember to collect all their f&$@?n snares.”
      They don’t…for $1.50 or less you can make a snare, so many don’t bother collecting them and in states like Montana, you can “snare” year round for coyotes and foxes, so why not leave the snares out there?….That’s one reason why, many I know, carry heavy duty wirecutters while hiking or fishing.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Jerry,

        I know in MN, name tags, by law, must be attached to each leg hold trap. I don’t know if the same holds to snares. But I do have my HIT cable cutters, and they will be with me when I venture into the woods.

        • avatar Jerry Black says:

          Immer….they’re required to have a tag, but those that I found seldom did..(maybe 1 out of 4)
          I’m in Wa.State now as of 4 months ago…..no snares or body gripping traps allowed.
          Must be habit, but I still carry my “Knipex” cutters in my pack.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Jerry,

            Body gripping traps/conibear type are big here. Water sets for beaver are popular, and all others with openings 6.5 to 7.5 inches must be recessed in an enclosure.

            Just perused the regs, and snares MUST have some sort of owner ID when used on any property other than the trappers own property.

            • avatar jon says:

              Are snares a threat to other big game? If so, why are they allowed?

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Jon,

                In MN, bears cannot be taken with snares, they are all hibernating at this time anyway.

                In order to prevent non-target big game, snares may not be set more than 10 inches in diameter, nor set so that the top loop is more than 20 inches above the surface beneath the bottom of the snare loop.

                So, with bear hibernating, and snares set low to the ground, deer are unlikely caught. Other snares must be set to drown the captured animal. So to answer your question In short, as long as snares are taken down, they are of minimal concern to other big game.

                Still, it’s taking life on the cheap.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      This is awful
      I did not know MN was allowing snares what a god awful device and outrageous thing to allow. I hope many people carry wire cutters and scream to the legislature and DNR – just when you think you can’t hear worse for wolves. Sick and twisted, literally. This is not hunting

  27. avatar Salle says:

    Rise in deer-car collisions concerns Idaho officials

    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/nov/26/rise-in-deer-car-collisions-concerns-idaho/

    And of course, the primary concern here is how it may affect hunting…

  28. avatar Salle says:

    Yikes, at first I though… there are no words for this. But on second thought, one does come to mind… ignorance. I couldn’t watch the video and I don’t know if I’d recommend it but the story needs to get around as it illustrates the sickness that is prevalent in the human psyche no matter where you live.

    Mob Tries To Set Bear On Fire In India (VIDEO)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/26/mob-set-bear-on-fire-india-kashmir-video_n_2192445.html?utm_hp_ref=green

    And it brings to mind images of what happens to undervalued wildlife here in the US as elsewhere.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Oh God Salle,
      i as reading Jerry’s post and going backward.
      I can’t watch it either, but I remember seeing an image of a beautiful german shepherd whose face was blown half off after some “youth” put a firecracker in its mouth. It was in Romania. The dog wandered for two days before a vet euthanized it. People are too horrible for words, and there is a great need for strict laws for people that abuse animals. including mandatory counseling and jail time. Its not normal to do these kinds of things. I think by allowing cruelty to go unpunished it perpetuates a collective acceptance. God how awful

  29. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Thank goodness – no child going to the circus would want to know how these poor animals suffer just so they can be entertained. How awful.

    http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/los-angeles-takes-steps-to-ban-circus-elephants/

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Leslie,

      “On a deer path a few feet into the woods, Wagner hung a snare from a fallen tree. The looped metal cable is designed to slip around a wolf’s neck.”

      Technically this is admission to breaking the law, as per page 46 in MN hunting and trapping handbook.
      “Snares may not be set in deer trails.”

      • avatar WM says:

        Immer,

        Turn him in. If found guilty, maybe a penalty in lieu of a monetary fine could a grammar class:

        ++I’ve went after coyote. I’ve went after otter, beaver, muskrats,” Wagner said….++

        Young people in northern MN really talk that way these days? Oh, dear, could be ID or MT.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          “… trapper can set more snares in a day. In fact once you get used to snaring you can easily set 100 or more a day. The biggest problem with snares is remembering where you placed them. The snares blend in so well that you can walk right by them.”

          Man-alive, just what every nonconsumptive user wants to hear. Guess those HIT cable cutters will be with me year round while in the woods. 

          “Dogs once again will come up. Generally, dogs will not be harmed when caught in snares. Dogs once caught in a snare, stop fighting the snare and think their master just stake them out there instead of at home. Most dogs will sit and patiently await your arrival to release them. This is in general because there is always one dog that will fight the snare and die.”

          No shit Sherlock! Those of us who, because of training, have never had to “stake out our dogs. “Most dogs will sit patiently”… What a horribly stupid thing to write.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            “What a horribly stupid thing to write”

            Got to consider the source Immer. 100 snares a day, sounds like he’s in it for more than the profit. The joy of killing comes to mind.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Immer where did you get the quote? I think calls need to be made about this, I’ll do it and pass the info onto to as many advocates as I can. I can’t find the link if there is one? Just the quotes on your posts, this setting of 100 snares is not unusual, Bransford last year posted he was going to set 100 traps around the area the wolves frequented. God awful

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      These people are absolutely, nauseatingly, disgusting. More BS about how difficult wolves are to capture – but look how successful the first season was – MN has killed more wolves than the Western states! Blech. I thought MN was civilized.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        You know, I really think snaring needs to be made illegal. It is an archaic practice that is to dangerous for the modern world, with so many people and pets now walking in the woods. Hunting with a bow or gun might be tolerable – but snaring needs to go. Hunting deer and elk, pheasant and other games birds, as a food source for other animals, is understandable as it makes us no different than any other predator hunting for food. The trophy is what you would keep after the meat, which would be the primary reason for hunting. But killing an animal for just the trophy and wasting the animal is just wasteful and arrogant. JMO. I don’t even know why hunting rights and wildlife, which is only relevant to a small segment of America, has come to the fore like this. The only reason I can think of is that they want to sneakily open up our public lands for mining and drilling. Of course we know these tactics are tried and true, so it’s not a stretch.

        I’m aghast that we as Americans think we can do whatever we want, whenever we want, regardless of the consequences to other living things, and even each other!

  30. avatar Maska says:

    Eleven years after the Mexican wolf three-year review panel recommended changes in the 10(j) rule in 2001, the Center for Biological Diversity has filed suit to compel the USFWS to complete rulemaking the agency finally began in 2007, but has yet to finish. The press release linked below contains a link to the PDF of the complaint.

    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2012/mexican-gray-wolf-11-28-2012.html

  31. avatar Salle says:

    When all rational thought is done away with, we get this…

    Official: Lack of pipelines threat to ND wildlife

    http://www.greatfallstribune.com/viewart/20121127/NEWS01/311270032/Official-Lack-pipelines-threat-ND-wildlife

  32. avatar Salle says:

    Griz shooting sparks hunt protest
    After hunters kill bear in Teton park, critics call for changes in elk reduction program.

    http://jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=9293

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      “The annual [elk reduction program] is an anachronistic relic of a bygone era in Wyoming,” Aland wrote. He also contends the hunt puts the public and wildlife in “serious and present danger” and incurs taxpayers excessive costs.

      The operative words being “anachronistic relics”.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        “The operative words being “anachronistic relics”.

        Especially when you realize most people visiting national parks, go there for the incredible views and a chance to see wildlife in what’s left of wilderness areas:
        http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60999-i481-k4133561-Druid_Wolf_Pack_Question_for_the_locals-Yellowstone_National_Park_Wyoming.html

        On Monday, the discarded remnants of shot elk were scattered in surrounding sage nearby. For Mangelsen, standing over two frozen cow elk heads, the scene was a tragedy.

        “It’s laziness,” he said. “It’s disrespectful to the animals. This is the crown jewel of the national parks. People don’t come here to see that.”

        Can relate to the body parts scattered around – stopped at my local dump site yesterday and the dumpster was strewn with no less than 5 skinned & boned carcasses of deer and elk. The heads were detached, laying among the carcasses.

        SOOOO glad when it got dark last Sunday evening and some aspects of wildlife (ungulates) could finally get back to just trying to exist :)

    • avatar SAP says:

      “Two days before that grizzly attacked they shot six elk down there.

      “That’s why the grizzly was there,” he said. “I knew of seven gut piles down there.”

      Geez, no wonder there are conflicts. This situation sounds a great deal like Beattie Gulch on the north boundary of YNP on Gallatin NF:

      http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gallatin/news-events/?cid=STELPRDB5337785

      GTNP needs to monitor this hunt more carefully, and close areas known to have high concentrations of kills.

      Better yet: if there really is a need to kill elk in GTNP and we can’t rely on hunters to get it done without having grizzly conflicts, just use professional shooters with tactical rifles (and lead-free bullets) to kill elk long range. With the right equipment and skills, GTNP could even do this at night.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      The comments, though from a very small segment, are very damning in regard to “hunter” attitude toward wolves. It’s gonna take a long time.

      • avatar jon says:

        A very long time immer.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Immer why do you say its from a very small segment? I think there is a lot of evidence that wolf hating and killing is a big and successful past time amongst a fair segment of people hunting them. This person is not nervous about censure of his actions, as he readily posted about how happy he is. Who the hell wants to kill a pup and is extremely happy about it? This is out of hand and needs to be stopped and it wont be stopped if its portrayed as a small segment. I know you are a moderate Immer but the actions against wolves are in no way moderate.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Immer I’m not attacking you. I enjoy your posts so much and your sensible appreciation for wildlife. I do however think that the current situation for wolves will never get better until people recognize wolves need protection from a large population of irrational, ignorant and cruel people who take a lot of pleasure in killing them for fun or worse.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Louise,

            I simply don’t believe all hunters have that “gutslammer” mentality. It’s a small segment, just like bullies. They require something about which they can brag, thus the need to pose with something they kill and put it online.

            These are the outliers of the hunting population, the ones that have that pathological need to kill for reasons other than food.

            The power of the Internet will be there downfall. They provide the focal point of antihunting and anti trapping movements because, just like bullies, they don’t know when to shut up.

            I refuse to believe that the great majority of hunters think in this fashion. The folks I know who hunt deer is for no other reason than to put meat on the table. I know a few with no love for wolves, coyotes, or foxes. Nothing one can do much about them. You will not change their minds.

            Every time the bullies push, they need to be pushed back. You can count on me for that. This whole trapping/snaring business in MN, I’m looking for the opportunity to do what I can to get rid of it. Snares will be the area of concentration, and I would like to become involved.

            It’s going to take, unfortunately, quite a few more examples of abuse, and those who abuse can’t keep their mouths shut.

            • avatar Nancy says:

              From Jon Way’s thread :

              “We always shoot coyotes,” Michelle Dye said after her husband and three kids handed over their set of coyote ears Saturday.

              “It’s kind of like a family deal,” Dye said. “When we’re bored, we get in the truck and we go drive in the meadows and shoot coyotes.”

              Or this:

              “It’s a total redneck thing,” Erdman said as he opened the hatch of his truck. He kept the dogs’ bodies because hunters “have a bad name anyway,” he said, and leaving dead coyotes to rot on the side of the road does not help with that reputation”

              Immer, unfortunately I think too many hunters do have that “gutslammer” mentality because they’ve been allowed for years, to carelessly eliminate, when they feel like it for fun and entertainment or while out in the field, any predator considered to be vermin.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                My point exactly Nancy, I wish it were true that we could rely on the romantic notion of a hunter hunting prey for food using their wits and physical prowess to outsmart their prey. Killing the prey quickly, respectfully and for food. But there is another whole subset of people killing carnivores and other wildlife for fun, with twisted perceptions about wildlife and their inherent “rights” to torture and kill live animals with social structures much like our own, for fun. Its disgusting, and worse that wildlife managers make light of this trend and worse yet that we have not changed the laws that allow these atrocities.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              Immer, show me that its a small portion, for a small portion there are a hell of a lot of wolves being trapped, snared, shot, killed and posted all over the place. I’ve seen here that there are many mindsets when it comes to hunting and not saying all hunters hate wolves but who is killing them, in such great numbers with such fantastic lust?

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Louise,

                Show me that it isn’t a small portion. As per this blog, we are a microcosm of the people who enjoy wildlife. Some of us do things to protect wildlife in general, and predators in specific, others don’t.

                The only continuing argument I’ve heard drone on is wolves get to hunt 24/7/366 and we don’t. Counter: wolves can’t go to ZUPS ( a grocery store) + if you could do what wolves do, there wouldn’t be any deer. I don’t hear that from all deer hunters, and granted, I don’t speak with all of them.

                There are hunters who participate on this forum. How many of them would shoot a wolf or coyote?

                JB ran a survey a year or two back. Perhaps he can shed some light on this issue. Is it a small% or a large% of hunters with the “gutslammer” mentality and the axe to grind with predators.

            • avatar jon says:

              Immer, I do think it’s much more than a small segment. It is not unreasonable to think that a lot of hunters hate wolves and coyotes and want them dead just because they are deer and elk killers. I truly believe it’s much more than a small segment and it’s understandable for those who love wildlife and don’t hunt to dislike all the hunters that share these anti-wolf and anti-coyote attitudes. I don’t think every hunter out there hates non-human predators.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                I think you are off base, there are only 5 states that currently have wolf hunting seasons, but there are 50 states that actually have hunters.

                If we are to look at numbers, those 5 states are a minority of the hunters in the country and I know for a fact that not all hunters in those 5 states hate wolves and coyotes.

          • avatar josh says:

            Wolves have a ton of protections Louise, just look at how many there are compared to 30 years ago. Thousands of wolves in the US. You just dont want ANY wolves killed.. :)

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              where do you live Josh? Wolves have a ton of protections????

              • avatar josh says:

                Utah! Ya they are protected in ID and MT and WY. And the Great Lakes, they are protected just like deer, elk and many other big game and predators like cougars and bears. So yes they are protected and there will continue to be wolves in the Rocky Mountains for years to come, maybe not in the mass numbers that you want, but there will be wolves.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                mass numbers in the rocky mountain populations before hunting at around 1700 wow thats a hell of a lot of wolves for three of the largest states in the US with millions of acres of public land. so many wolves wreaking such devastation. Glad to hear about all the protection they have, thanks I’ll sleep better for sure now.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “Immer why do you say its from a very small segment?”

          One only has to look at the remarkable recovery of wolves in the WGL states to understand that it couldn’t have happened without widespread public tolerance.

          The Minnesota wolf bounty was repealed in 1965, when only about 600 wolves remained in the state, and from that point the WGL sub-population has grown to somewhere around 5000 animals.

          We should be celebrating this success instead of lamenting the few hundred animals that will be lost to public harvest each year.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            not a surprising post from you! time to celebrate a return to the bad policies of the past come back to live at the request of the same people.

            • avatar ma'iingan says:

              “time celebrate a return to the bad policies of the past come back to live at the request of the same people.”

              No Louise. Time to celebrate the growth of the WGL wolf DPS from ~600 animals to the current ~5000.

              And the “bad policies” of the past were bounties, poisoning, denning, and no closed season – none of which are in effect going forward, as we manage wolves as a valued furbearer.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              Aside from my low opinion of the way wolves are managed, your statement about managing wolves as “a valued furbearer” reflects the distance in thinking between many constituents and wildlife managers that think of species as nothing but something to harvest …a sorry way to think about these animals.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            “One only has to look at the remarkable recovery of wolves in the WGL states to understand that it couldn’t have happened without widespread public tolerance.”

            The recovery happened because wolves were protected and there was widespread support. Soon as the protection was lifted they are once again being “managed” irresponsibly and at the beck and call of the same people who almost extirpated them originally.

            • avatar josh says:

              They are still protected Louise. Why can you not see or acknowledge that? THey are not being terminated, just hunted. The populations will be fine and wolves will always be in the Great Lakes region.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Killing collared wolves in a national park being hunted is not managing, it is extermination. It is much easier and the goal, if you ask me, to kill collared wolves. This is not hunting or managing. If you want to hunt them, then giving up killing the collared wolves must be what the states give back in return. It isn’t fair to have it all ways. I would also like to see compensation for livestock depredation given up for the privilege to hunt also, since the hunters should be the ones taking care of any “problem” by reducing the amount of wolves. But amazingly, the hunting doesn’t take place anywhere near where the supposed depredation takes place.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                From the NYT article that Leslie linked:

                Of the nine or 10 wolves killed by hunters this year that spent some or most of their time inside Yellowstone Park, seven wore collars, compared with fewer than three in 10 wolves that wear collars in the general park population, biologists say. Also, of 11 wolves in the newly formed Junction Butte pack, only the collared wolf was shot.

                As they say, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist….

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Ida,
                The collared wolves is only one issue that is wrong with the “management plans”. The sociality of the packs is not taken into considered, there are no protected areas, the methods of killing allowed, duration of seasons and the fact that they are not targeting wolves that predate, or addressing predation at all. Its just a general killing spree. Taking collared wolves and now Wyoming’s plan just further illustrate the inability of the states to manage these animals fairly or responsibly, not to mention humanely.

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                Louise –
                “Soon as the protection was lifted they are once again being “managed” irresponsibly and at the beck and call of the same people who almost extirpated them originally.”
                Your objections to hunting, trapping, and other elements of contemporary wolf management in the NRMR and GLR is not evidence of irresponsible management. In each situation, state management will sustain viable wolf populations under natural environmental variation – i.e. robust populations. In each situation, state management plans will reflect the wishes of the residents of each state – i.e. those programs will not continue without the support of the duly elected governments of each state. Under state and federal law wildlife conservation principles, these wolf management programs constitutes responsible wildlife management, even though you and others prefer alternate management scenarios.
                The people who extirpated wolves from most of their occupied range in the continental U.S. were – the U.S. public of that era. Ma’inngan’s reminder is important – wolf extirpation was accomplished because the federal government coordinated a well funded campaign on a continental landscape level employing tools, techniques, strategies that are not, will not be, part of contemporary management strategies.

              • avatar Jon Way says:

                Mark G,
                your rhetoric can sometimes be painful almost like you have sound bites that people at IDFG force you to say.

                I recently say a poll that 77% of MN objected to wolf mgmt so when you say “In each situation, state management plans will reflect the wishes of the residents of each state – i.e. those programs will not continue without the support of the duly elected governments of each state.” It seems to many that you are referring to the real constituents (or residents) of state fish and game agencies – hunters and trappers…Not the general public. Please try to sometimes alter your posts so they don’t seem like cut and pastings of old posts that constantly defend the status quo. Your constituents (and all state fish and game agencies) are a small fraction of the public in a given state.

            • avatar ma'iingan says:

              “The recovery happened because wolves were protected and there was widespread support.”

              The SSS and wolf-hater crowd has never been afraid of ESA listing – contrary to your perception, there just aren’t enough of them to make much of a difference. If there were, those few wolves that trickled into Douglas County, WI in the 70’s would have never survived to found the growth of the Wisconsin and Michigan segments.

              Every Wisconsin furbearer species – bobcat, fisher, otter, to name a few are thriving under state management and there is no reason to believe that the limited public harvest of wolves will in any way threaten their existence on the landscape.

              • avatar josh says:

                Ida the wolves are not being “exterminated” they are being hunted. Not “exterminated” which you know means to eliminate ALL wolves. You are just fear mongering your pro-wolf crowd! Luckily most are smart enough to see through it.

                Louise, your comments prove my point exactly!! Like was stated, almost 5000 wolves in the GL region. You are not happy that they are hunting wolves. Do we need 10,000 wolves before we can hunt? 15,000? 20,000? You will ALWAYS have a moving target, so its easier to not negotiate with you! :)

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                you leave out one of many important factors, the vilification of wolves, their sociality and the lack of studies on how hunting affects their ability to survive, the ridiculous and indefensible low population numbers they are being “managed” for and the continued BS about managing them to protect livestock and ungulate populations despite the evidence that they kill far less livestock then is claimed and that ungulates are thriving and that none of the management plans actually target individual depredating wolves or populations that are near livestock. Finally many many people have expressed their disdain for trapping, snaring, the length of seasons, and excessive numbers that are allowed to be killed. The polls and results of the surveys and comments are ignored. Montana’s last survey/solicitation for comments is a good example.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Thank you Jon, well said.

                Mark you write, “The people who extirpated wolves from most of their occupied range in the continental U.S. were – the U.S. public of that era. Ma’inngan’s reminder is important – wolf extirpation was accomplished because the federal government coordinated a well funded campaign on a continental landscape level employing tools, techniques, strategies that are not, will not be, part of contemporary management strategies.” Which is it Mark, the people of that era or the federal government. You are claiming its important to remember it was a federal campaign. But you also note it was the people of that era. Nothing has changed, its the minority voice of SOME ranchers and trophy hunters that want wolves excessively managed. The important distinction now being that the federal government is derelict in their duty to protect wolves by turning a blind eye under Salazar, or worse yet by pushing wolf delisting as a priority under a Secretary with obvious conflicts of interest. Public polls indicated a large majority of Americans value wolves and want them protected. The tools, methods, lengths of seasons all have escalated since wolves have lost their protections. Helicopters, traps, snares, varmint zones, collared wolves nothing is off limits. And people do object, are angry at these outdated barbaric policies that have no place in modern day wildlife management.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++Every Wisconsin furbearer species – bobcat, fisher, otter, to name a few are thriving under state management ++

                You forgot about mountain lion, wolverine, and lynx.

                And let’s not forget elk, caribou, and moose.

                Wisconsin has managed its forests so well they chased out most off the larger fauna. Great work.

                Wisconsin is a tame go cart track. you hear a lot about “wilderness” from “rugged” trailer trappers, except there is no wilderness. It’s a giant tree farm.

            • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

              Jon –
              My comments provide a factual explanation of my agencies policies and programs. If my comments don’t reflect Idaho wildlife management policies, then I’m not accomplishing my purpose on this blog. My comments are my responsibility – without agency oversight or critique.
              I don’t presume to speak for other state agencies or residents of other states. I offer the observation (and reality) that if any state wildife management program suffers significant opposition by a majority of the electorate, that program is not sustainable. The polling data you cite notwithstanding – I don’t see that significant public opposition to any of the state wolf management programs we are discussing here. The wolf management programs that you and others strongly object to enjoy a broad level of support by the electorate of each respective state. In that regard, your preferences do not enjoy the same level of support by residents of these states.

              • avatar Jon Way says:

                Mark G.,
                I still don’t buy your lip-service. What does it mean when you say “The polling data you cite notwithstanding – I don’t see that significant public opposition to any of the state wolf management programs we are discussing here”. Does that mean, even if a majority disagree they must not hunt or understand our purpose so we are doing something right? Beyond satisfying hunters & ranchers, you still have never provided any documentation to support “The wolf management programs that you and others strongly object to enjoy a broad level of support by the electorate of each respective state.” For instance, what about the huge public outcry in MT after YNP wolves were killed. I know you are in ID but another good indicating that you are potentially saying one thing without any evidence. The reason why many states have ballot initiatives is b.c they feel that their electorate is not listening to them.

              • avatar elk275 says:

                Jon

                Didn’t Idaho have a ballot initiative that made hunting, fishing and trapping apart of the state consitution. I heard that it passed with 70% of the vote.

              • avatar timz says:

                Yes they did but that doesn’t mean 70% support the unfettered killing of wolves. And I can’t count how many times I’ve heard that ignoramous they call the governor and other pols saying “we didn’t want them here in the first place”
                which is contrary to a poll done by BSU show a majority of Idahoans supported their return.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Mark you need to look at the first online solicitation that was conducted for your wolf killing plan. “The wolf management programs that you and others strongly object to enjoy a broad level of support by the electorate of each respective state. In that regard, your preferences do not enjoy the same level of support by residents of these states.” The comments do not support your contention. I’ve read them all.

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                Louise –
                If you refer to comments on the Idaho wolf management plan, submitted on the IDFG web page, there is no way to distinguish between Idaho resident comments and comments from anyone with internet access. Internet comments for an issue of national interest, like the Idaho wolf management plan, are almost certainly heavily weighted by non-residents.

              • avatar Leslie says:

                Mark, I live in WY, not ID, but when I look at your wolf mgmt. plan, it seems you have a hunt season just about all year except for several months in summer during tourist season (that alone is suspect) and your governor and legislators talk about bringing your population down to 100, the bare minimum. As the representative for IDFG, what do you say about the numbers you want to maintain? And in a state with 65% federal lands, you have plenty of habitat for many wolves and could support at least the 800 you began with.

              • avatar Mike says:

                Mark –

                The only purpose you serve on this blog is as court jester.

                Just a heads up.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Mark,

                I think you just hit the nail on the head, perhaps inadvertently.

                “Internet comments for an issue of national interest, like the Idaho wolf management plan, are almost certainly heavily weighted by non-residents.”

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Mike

                “Mark –

                The only purpose you serve on this blog is as court jester.

                Just a heads up.”

                Every once in a while, someone replies to you with rancor. Then you ask why the anger. Here’s a great example. Whether you agree with Mark or not, I’d say your lack of discretion in what can be perceived as a personal attack/name calling illustrates the point that you can dish it out, but are pretty thin skinned when the shoe is on the other foot.

                Whether you agree with Mark or not, and many here choose not, yet Mark is always professional and decent when communicating with others. The wealth of input, from either side of the equation on this blog distinguish it from others, where difference of opinion opens the individual to ridicule, name calling, and vitriole.

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                Leslie –
                Idaho manages it’s wolf population to achieve a population objective significantly above the 150/15BP delisting criteria. That population objective balances different wildlife resource beneficial use desires: elk abundance; reduced wolf depredation of livestock and other property; a viable/sustainable wolf population.
                The abundance of Idaho wildlife habitat is a legacy treasure that benefits everyone who values wildlife, including wolves. The commitment of Idaho to a sustained wolf population and the abundance of quality wildlife habitat ensures that wolves will be a part of the landscape for future generations.

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                Immer –
                If you mean the nail to be the stake of non-residents in state wildlife managment policy, programs and decision making – yes, that was the point I intended to hit.

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                Immer –
                “The wealth of input, from either side of the equation on this blog distinguish it from others, where difference of opinion opens the individual to ridicule, name calling, and vitriole.”

                Your comment highlights a critically important point: the challenges to wildlife conservation are stark and growing. Success for conservation of our wildlife resources depends on broad, effective dialog among all citizens, regardless of ideological position in the dialog. If wildlife conservation needs, strategies and programs aren’t presented compellingly to all citizens, if the average voter doesn’t conclude that the modest personal sacrifies necessary to conserve our wildlife legacy are worth it to he or she – then wildlie conservation will fail. Open forums for dialog, respect and willingness to listen to all points of view are essential to building consensus for wildlife conservation.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Mark,

                Yes and I agree.

              • avatar Mike says:

                Immer –

                We’ll disagree there. Mark has had his condescending posts like everyone else here.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++ Open forums for dialog, respect and willingness to listen to all points of view are essential to building consensus for wildlife conservation.++

                So the interests of non-hunters and anti-hunters are okay with you, and have a place in wildlife management? I seem to recall you citing the North American Consevation Model numerous times when posed with such questions…..

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++Your comment highlights a critically important point: the challenges to wildlife conservation are stark and growing. Success for conservation of our wildlife resources depends on broad, effective dialog among all citizens, regardless of ideological position in the dialog. If wildlife conservation needs, strategies and programs aren’t presented compellingly to all citizens, if the average voter doesn’t conclude that the modest personal sacrifies necessary to conserve our wildlife legacy are worth it to he or she – then wildlie conservation will fail. Open forums for dialog, respect and willingness to listen to all points of view are essential to building consensus for wildlife conservation.++

                Except when it comes to killing and trapping wolves. Or a non-hunting viewpoint. Or livestock near bighorns. Or trapping wolverine. Etc, etc.

                102 words typed, nothing said.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Mike,

                Go to B cubed. Every once in a while some “bait” is thrown out there that could lead to interesting and to say the least, challenging discussion until the metaphorical sharks come out and it becomes futile for any meetings of minds. A bit, just a bit, like what you do here. Give it a shot.

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                Mike –
                The interests of all legitimate wildlife stakeholders are “OK”. The interests of Idaho residents for management of Idaho wildlife have primacy over the interests of non-residents and are weighted accordingly by the Fish and Game Commission and state elected leaders. The needs, desires, expectations of all stakeholders are heard and considered by the Fish and Game Commission for the formulation of wildlife management policy and approval of management programs and budgets. The needs, desires, expectations of non-hunters, anti-hunters and other non-consumptive wildlife users are appropriately considered and are reflected in management policy and decision making – to achieve balance with the broader needs, desires and expectations of the Idaho public. For example: your frequently stated desire that hunting and trapping be severely restricted or banned would not be a responsible wildlife policy or management action by the Fish and Game Commission because it would not address the needs, desires, expectations of a strong majority of Idahoans and would not advance the interests of wildlife conservation in Idaho.

        • avatar jon says:

          I do not believe it’s a small segment of the hunting population. I believe these type of hunters represent a fairly good number. I believe there are a lot (not all) of hunters out there that hate wolves and coyotes and to them, the only good wolf or coyote is a dead one.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Jon,

            Define (A Lot)?

            • avatar Salle says:

              How about the number of wolf tags sold? Does that give an indication of the numbers relative to the term “a lot”?

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Salle,

                We would need to compare the actual number of hunters, to the number of wolf tags sold. We also need to look at how many were purchased as incidental tags and not the primary game they are hunting for.

                I know lots of hunters that buy bear tags, and never hunt bear as a primary target, I would say it is the same with wolves.

              • avatar elk275 says:

                I have a wolf tag in my pocket, paid $19 for it. I doubt very seriously if I will go wolf hunting this winter. I do not have snowmachine and I would rather ski.

                I purchased a wolf tag incidential to my elk and deer tags. At least I donated $19 to the FW&P’s for there budget which is more than 99% of the people on this forum did.

              • avatar WM says:

                One of my hunting partners (the young one) bought a wolf tag to carry during our 2 week elk hunt. He made no effort whatsoever to hunt for a wolf (most likely wouldn’t have shot one had he seen it), and he is done elk hunting for the year. Subtract 1, Salle, and you can probably subtract hundreds more just like him.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                I would have to say, less than 5% of the wolf tags were actually bought by hunters who intend to hunt wolves as a primary target.

                I would also estimate that the majority of hunters don’t hate wolves, as here on this blog, they are a very vocal minority of the hunters.

                This blog is really a very vocal minority of those who pay attention to wildlife issues.

          • avatar Carl says:

            None of my hunting friends hate wolves. Some do have an interest in hunting them and one has a license for MN.

            • avatar Salle says:

              So the claims made by those who hunt is that the number of tags sold is probably due in a large part to “incidental” intent… and what of the trapping tags? That would constitute a concerted effort on the part of the trapper should they actually go out and set traps and snares, n’est ce pas?.

              I would also add that the “incidental” claims are purely anecdotal and a true survey would be required to establish which set of claims is more correct… so enough of the pissing match on that.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Yes Salle,

                It would require a formal study to prove either side right or wrong.

                Trapping tags are a completely different subject. If someone purchases a trapping tag for a wolf, we know exactly what their intent is.

                Without that formal study, neither side can make the claim and have it be true, so you might as well back off your side of the pissing match also.

              • avatar Salle says:

                Hmmm, SB, are you saying that you are free to make make all the speculative arguments you like but I am not? I am tired of all the comments which make claims that imply the argument you make are somehow superior to those made by others, especially those who don’t agree with yours.

                A case of Free speech for me but not for thee?

                I will at least state that I am voicing my opinions though when I am able to back up claims try to provide documentation. Otherwise, I am stating opinions. You claim to have facts on your side of the argument and rarely provide the disclaimer that you are either speculating or offering an opinion… I guess your air of superiority is what passes for that?

                Take your own advice, you can back off, chill out.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Salle,

                Lets reverse the names in your attack piece here, seems you don’t like what I have to say, I can speculate and post opinion just as well as you can.

                Simply said, neither of us have that formal study behind us to back up our opinion.

                You can back off as well and stop with the pissing match.

                Just remember I am quite entrenched in the hunting community as you are with environmental community. So again, take your own advise.

                When I don’t agree with broad ranging statements that have no information to back them up, I will call you on them.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Salle,

                Based on your writing, it seems you have a problem at times with emotional control. Same thing you accuse me of.

                It really pisses you off when hunters don’t like what you have to say doesn’t it?

              • avatar Salle says:

                SB,

                Obviously it doesn’t matter that much. Mansplaining and insisting on the last word seems empowering for you… You seem to equate emotional instability with having an opposing opinion. When I am pissed about something, I say so. You seem to think that anything I say has to do with militant anger or something, interesting.

                I’m sure there’s an emotional retort to follow… go for it, mr. dude.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “I do not believe it’s a small segment of the hunting population.”

            Well, you believe wrong, Jon. There are ~895,000 licensed deer hunters in Wisconsin. There is some overlap between archers and firearm hunters, so for the sake of argument let’s say 750,000 total deer hunters. Add ~100,000 hunters who don’t hunt deer but hunt bear, furbearers, waterfowl or upland game only – so we’re at ~850,000 individual hunters.

            Approximately 20,000 applications were received for wolf permits – so even if all of those applicants truly hate wolves (which would be a stretch even for your fevered imagination), that’s a paltry 2% of the hunting community.

            Another dose of reality for you – 1160 permits were issued to non-tribal hunters, and only 869 of those permits have actually been purchased. Not quite the insane rush to kill wolves that you imagine.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              another way to look at it if its a paltry 2% of the hunting population then why allow a hunt that so many object to. That paltry 2% killed them pretty damn quick didn’t they?

              • avatar josh says:

                And here is the main point of Louise’s stance! NO WOLVES killed ever…ever…ever. Not gonna happen. Continue to be disappointed.

              • avatar jon says:

                Politics. If it went to popular vote, wolf hunting would be banned in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

              • avatar ma'iingan says:

                “That paltry 2% killed them pretty damn quick didn’t they?”

                And your point is….?

                It’s true, the Wisconsin harvest quota is nearly met. My colleagues and I, along with most wolf advocates, think that’s a good thing. Would you rather the hunting and trapping extend into the wolves’ breeding season?

            • avatar jon says:

              You are going to defend hunters, so that should be suspected. I still believe that there are a lot of hunters that hate animals like wolves and coyotes. Anyone who has been following this wolf issues for quite some time know that the two groups of people most opposed to wolves are hunters and ranchers. This is a cold hard facts. Does this mean that every hunter or rancher hates or opposes wolves? No, ofcourse not, but I also don’t think it’s a very tiny amount of hunters that hate wolves. There are quite a few of them and many more than what you call a tiny small segment of the hunting population. Not all hunters are like this. Where are the hunters that support wolves? People never seem to hear from these people. It’s always the ones that hate wolves that you seem to hear from.

            • avatar Mike says:

              JB posted some numbers a bit back that indicated 25% of the hunting community wants wolves eradicated (these may have been western numbers, however).

              It would be nice if Ma’iingan could post a reply without being so angry, too.

          • avatar Mike says:

            In my experience, this is most hunters. Many, many people get involved just for the joy of killing. For many, it is a way to exert a sense of control in their unhappy lives.

      • avatar Mike says:

        It’s not a small segment. Wake up.

    • avatar Leslie says:

      This is really sickening. That pup is so small. What a man!

  33. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Ralph and Mods…..

    Any chance of having a “modify post” option for the times when, after reading our post we realize we mangled the English language and we’d like to correct our post?

    Just a suggestion.

  34. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.idahocountyfreepress.com/IFPLetters2.shtml

    dog in trap
    no one ever laments how awful it would be for a wolf, no one is coming to help them.

  35. avatar Salle says:

    Lawsuit Filed to Speed Reintroduction of Endangered
    Mexican Gray Wolves to Wild in Arizona, New Mexico

    Fish and Wildlife Service Has Failed to Enact Reforms
    Recommended by Scientific Review Panel 11 Years Ago

    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2012/mexican-gray-wolf-11-28-2012.html

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      One wonders if the “faithful” will turn on these miscreants with the same vigor as that directed toward those “Canadian” wolves.

  36. avatar Salle says:

    Watch out for your dogs during wolf trapping season

    http://www.idahocountyfreepress.com/IFPLetters2.shtml

    ” Dog trapping season is now open Nov. 15 to March 31, so be aware! Actually, it is wolf trapping that is open in units 14, 15 and 16, which includes the Fish Creek area south of Grangeville where all of us town folks like to recreate with our kids and dogs. The day after opener my dog, Dotti, walked into a wolf trap approximately one foot off of a road while walking with some friends who offered to take her out for some exercise.”

    It gets uglier after this first couple sentences.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      This was posted a few posts up by Louise. After trading thoughts with MNDNR:

      1. Keep your dogs close.
      2. Snares, including illegal sets ( without Id’s) and even the legal sets that the trapper can’t find, will become perpetual. Cable cutters will be an absolute necessity every trip into the woods.
      3. Conibear traps. Better know how to at least move them if your dog gets it’s head caught in one. And you might not have much time.

      • avatar Salle says:

        IMHO,

        For those who loudly claim that trapping is a time honored tradition, I have this to say…

        Publicly placing humans in “stocks” on the commons, outright slavery, publicly humiliating immigrants and people of color (especially those brought here under practices that would readily be deemed kidnapping today) and genocide of indigenous peoples have had the same distinction at one time or another. As with those inhumane and horribly unethical practices were exposed for what they are, so should trapping be exposed. For those who adamantly disagree and go about setting traps and snares with a vengeance, and willful ignorance of legal space and distance requirements, I hope you become trapped in your own devices and have to wait for days to be helped and that some of the physical damage renders you unable to continue the practice. These are practices that fuel my disdain for humankind… I can only hope that you reap the consequences of your ignorance.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Methinks what will bring this to a head is when the “wrong” individual’s dog gets caught in the “wrong” place and waits for said trapper. NOT condoning it.

          Also, if one can be “compensated” in some locales for wolf depredation, why not trappers paying for fatally trapped dogs, and vet bills?

          One can at least deck themselves and dogs out in orange during hunting season for a certain degree of safety, but traps? As per exchange with MNDNR, one can expect illegal snare sets(not tagged with owners info).

      • avatar Kathleen says:

        Just FYI, the November Other Nations newsletter includes an item that offers a number of resources on trap release, including online videos. Opening body gripping (Conibear) traps is complex and difficult *without* a struggling dog in the trap.
        http://www.othernationsjustice.org/?page_id=6195

      • avatar SAP says:

        Bell your dog:

        http://www.activedogs.com/product.php?id=759&utm_source=google%2Bbase&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=google-product-search&gclid=CP6Lr-aD9bMCFctcMgodJE0AeQ

        This one is a size bigger than the one I use. This bigger one really carries, yet is still small enough that it’s not a burden to the dog. My dogs stay close enough that the smaller bell suffices.

        On a windy day, I can hear the smaller bell at least 100 yards out.

        Multiple dogs? Use multiple bells you can tell who’s where by ear.

        One tip: the bell will get clogged with snow unless you put a little WD-40 or similar in it.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Just me? Or is this totally insane to allow trapping in areas where people (and their pets) are known to spend time.

      “Most of these licenses, according to Dennis Heck, owner of Rocky Mountain Fireworks and Fur in Caldwell, are for part-time trappers”

      “They do it for the enjoyment and tradition more than the money”

      http://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/animal-trapping-remains-a-quandary-in-idaho-and-beyond/Content?oid=2768591

      So, thats it folks, in a nutshell – entertainment…. and a chance to re-live the glory (gorey) days of some past ancestor.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        “Last year, Idaho sold 1,752 trapping licenses to both juniors and adults, as well as 28 nonresident trapping licenses, according to Craig Wiedmeier at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. These licenses are relatively inexpensive: $7.25 for a junior, $26.75 for a resident adult”

        So even IF all those licenses were sold mostly to adults (which I highly doubt given the adults that gladly would want to “share” with their children (and at lower fee) the joys of trapping.

        The state made maybe what? $50 grand in trapping/licenses revenues just so many parts of the state could be laced (by a few) licensed and able to set lots of traps, snares, etc. designed to end the lives of a lot of wildlife?

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      A vastly different perspective from a dog owner whose dog stepped in a foothold trap –

      http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/foothold-trap-dogs-best-friend-v17f9q1-177114781.html

      • avatar Mike says:

        It wasn’t a problem because he was next to his dog when it became trapped.

        Not everyone will be so lucky,and it lacks major self-awareness to not recognize this when speaking about it.

        But nice to see you posting in favor of wolf trapping on a site that hates it.

        Some would call this trolling.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “Some would call this trolling.”

          Just to set the record straight, Mike – in addition to my professional service on a wolf recovery team, over the last 12+ years I’ve put ~12,000 miles on personal vehicles, and spent ~2,000 hours promoting wolf recovery in the WGL, as a volunteer.

          Along the way I’ve spoken to dozens of groups, from fourth graders to hunters to humane societies – and I’m proud of what has been accomplished, and my own contributions.

          What have you contributed?

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Mike,

            Time to pony up.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Maaignang –

            I’ve dedicated my life to the preservation of public lands and endangered species, starting in the 1990’s. I show my support for these great causes in a wide variety of ways. I’ve wracked up 100,000+ miles documenting the national parks, national forests, and rare wildlife across this country for a variety of purposes, some artistic, some straight information. One of those projects had 18,000 visitors this morning. ;)

            I’m not interested in a dick-waving contest. Trust me, it’s not in your interest to do that, although this is not the first time you’ve been drawn to such childish behavior.

            “Trolling” is a fair way to describe posts that continuously support the trapping and killing of a wolves on a site that championed wolves for over ten years.

            • avatar ma'iingan says:

              “I’m not interested in a dick-waving contest. Trust me, it’s not in your interest to do that”

              And why is that, Mike? Go ahead, don’t hold back.

            • avatar WM says:

              Mike,

              ++But nice to see you posting in favor of wolf trapping on a site that hates it….Some would call this trolling.++

              You do get the part about ma’, who happens to be a wolf researcher, giving factual and actual knowledge about trapping experience for the purposes of gathering scientific data, yes?

              Also, seems he carefully qualifies his knowledge, and provides cites to studies in the academic community for many of the comments he makes. Then, there are your comments in response to him or others here which rarely, if ever, are accompanied by authoritative source materials or actual experience in the field (except for grizzly pics in Yellowstone which you claim are yours, if I recall correctly).

              Sure Mike, bring it on, as it appears ma’ has accepted your challenge.

              Let me offer an alternative label applicable to you – clueless antagonist. Ooops! I guess that would be name calling, or alternatively a truthful statement for those willing to weigh the evidence.

      • avatar jon says:

        http://www.startribune.com/sports/outdoors/138013713.html?refer=y

        Trapping kills no matter what the intended target is.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Ugh. How awful. I don’t know which is worse, the physical torture or the torture an animal must go through knowing it is trapped and can’t get away – in several of those awful videos you can see the poor wolf running and dragging the trap with him, it was the same for a description of a dog caught in one. Then nobody checks the trap for days. Then he gets dropped like a stone with a bullet, and that is if he is lucky and isn’t tortured for “fun” or for some misguided assumption about a wolf as competition or atttributing (transferring?) negative human qualities to him. I know most hunters won’t do this but even a small segment is too many and torturing another living thing is beneath humanity. Fur trapping is a practice that is outdated – maybe a case for it could be made back then, but we don’t need to do it anymore.

          • avatar jon says:

            I think a lot of hunters support trapping, but I think they would change their mind about it if their dog was killed by a trap.

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++I think a lot of hunters support trapping, but I think they would change their mind about it if their dog was killed by a trap.
              ++

              That’s the case with everything.

              Right wingers hate Obamacare, until they find out it will cover their child sick with cancer thanks to the preexisting condition element.

              People, or groups of people with very low self-awareness do this all the time. These people tend to be on a narrow thought-track, and so they never put themselves in the shoes of others.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Hunters and others are going to have to some kind of agreement and make concessions to work with each other. They can’t have everything – buffer zones and some kinds of rules are going to have to become a fact of life in our modern world.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                I can’t bring myself to use those unfeeling terms of “consumptive and non-consumptive ‘users'”. They only work against helping the environment and climate and continue the age-old mindsets.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Ida,

                How did you come up with they are going to have to become fact of life?

                There are rules in place and have been for many years. As far as buffer zones, I think you are going to see heals really dug in deep over this one, just because wolves are now considered game animals in all of the states surrounding the parks, does not mean we change the rules.

                Buffer zones have in been instituted for any other game animal that leaves the park.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                That was “Not been instituted”

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              How did you come up with they are going to have to become fact of life?

              Savebears, the reason I say this is the fact that as the population keeps growing, there are going to be less and less areas where hunting and people out enjoying the woods aren’t going to come into some kind of conflict – and the wildlife? Who knows what will happen, but it will decline greatly from both pressures. It seems inevitable. :(

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                make that “hunters and people out enjoying the woods walking with pets, birdwatching or just enjoying peace.” I know for men for ages hunting was a way to enjoy nature.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Ida,

                Despite what some claim, wildlife populations for the most part are not declining.

                As far as populations increasing, I read a story the other day, that birthrates in the US are the lowest they have been since the 20’s.

                So it seems populations in the US may be stabilizing, I have to wonder if it will start decreasing in the future, time will tell.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Trapping is cruel and sadistic to every animal, beaver, wolf, badger, coyote. It sucks. Traps, snares, body gripping devices those “humane” cable restraints. They are all unfair, unethical and need to be abolished. If ten trapped animals are left to starve to death or half chocked its too many. What disgusting treatment of wildlife. Its not management its really torture. if you get up in arms about the thought of your dog in a trap then you should be equally as outraged at the thought of a wild animal in a trap, snare or other death device.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “Trapping kills no matter what the intended target is.”

          You’re comparing apples to oranges, Jon. Body-grip traps are designed to kill quickly, but proper regulations can make then inaccessible to non-target animals.

          Incidental catch of dogs has not been a problem in Wisconsin, where the regulations (underwater or at least 5 feet above ground level) make them inaccessible for dogs.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            ma’iingan,

            I think jon was referring to the Star Tribune (MN) article. Conibears here, either: three feet off the ground; in a cubby recessed 7 inches from opening; conibears greater than 220’s can be water set either half or full submerges. Incidental catch will occur if these types of traps are not set off the ground. Five feet is fine, three feet is pushing it.

            I don’t know if WI allows snares, but I believe that will be a new problem in MN. On an MPR article, a young trapper spoke of his snare(s) in deer trails. MN regulations prohibit this. Spoke with MNDNR about snares. Keep your dog close, and be on watch for illegal sets(no identification). Can’t be busted for setting in wrong areas, and can be selectively forgetful in retrieving said snares, as they are inexpensive.

            All said, probably little cause for alarm, yet one does not want their dog to become one of the statistics of trapping.

            What will bring (as before, I do not advocate such action) this to a head is the wrong dog, the wrong owner going postal on a trapper.

            • avatar ma'iingan says:

              No snares in Wisconsin, Immer, unless they’re submerged. Cable restraints are allowed, and they’re becoming more popular – they restrain the animal without choking it.

              With the proven effectiveness and humane capture offered by cable restraints, I’m surprised that any states still allow the use of dry-land snares.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            why is it ok for any animal to suffer in traps, head or body crushing devices, snares…. Its not, I’ve seen video and images of beaver underwater in traps, not much is worse. Wolves howling in pain and shaking in fear, coyotes being attacked by dogs while trapped….what kind of society condones this? We have created hell on earth for wildlife all the while whining about traps being close to the trail and potentially affecting our dogs. Sorry its indefensible.

  37. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    from National Geographic Daily news:

    I was not aware Falcons were hunted in India as a game species.

    I was not aware Falcons were eaten in India like chicken, duck , guinea , etc.

    I definitely was not aware when they have an annual autumn hunt that upwards of 150,000 Falcons are taken in India. Grrrr….

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/11/pictures/121123-falcons-hunt-india-animals-science/

  38. avatar Leslie says:

    World Bank climate change report summary

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/11/26-0

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Leslie thanks for the link. There is one comment in the many that resonates from a hunter who posted

      ” SWZEthersphere MI
      As a long time hunter-gatherer and native of MI, I am closely watching
      a very similar scenario being played out in our upper peninsula. I
      have listened to many UP residents and land owners bemoaning
      the effects of our (debatably) small wolf population on our whitetail
      deer. These folks are all skilled hunters, using good optics for clean humane kills on any game. My question is this: how can any such well equipped marksman miss a sizable radio collar on a standing,
      50 lb+ animal? Ethics simply go out the window when you are hunting to cull or for “sport”. When you hunt for these purposes, you
      are no longer hunting-gathering, you are killing that which you
      consider vermin. You are rejecting the only defensible argument
      for taking the life of another creature – for it’s value as food, taken as
      fairly and “humanely” as possible.”

      • avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

        There’s the word I have been looking for and it came from a hunter,thank you.Cull is a better word than harvesting.

  39. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Have a look across the border. Seems in B.C. there´s a radical new wolf “management” plan in the making that let´s everything Wyoming/Montana/Idaho have masterminded look rather tame.
    http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/public-consultation/grey-wolf/

    • avatar Mark L says:

      Canada…the new Russia.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      yes Peter, I hope everyone will think about writing to provide comments in opposition.

    • avatar Leslie says:

      “Provincial policy does not support predator control to reduce wolf populations for the purpose of enhancing ungulate populations for hunting. Hunting and trapping are generally not effective for reducing wolf populations over large areas. While in some ecological systems, reducing wolf
      numbers can increase ungulate populations, and also increase the harvest yield of ungulates
      (Peek et al. 2012), a high proportion of the wolf population (i.e., up to 80%) must be reduced
      over a large area for multiple years to be effective (National Research Council 1997, Hayes et al.2003). In other ecological systems, wolf removals may not lead to an enhancement of ungulate
      numbers without additional reductions of other predator populations (e.g., bears or cougars). The
      impact of removing a large proportion of wolves from a system over a longer time period may
      also have considerable ecosystem/food-web related impacts that positively or negatively affect a
      number of other species.”

      Their report included some interesting science. Although they are recommending very liberal hunting/trapping, sounds like their wolf population is increasing and their main concern is caribou, which they state has been reduced mainly due to habitat fragmentation with wolves putting pressure on small herds in those areas.

      The report states that predator/prey relations are poorly understood and complicated.

  40. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Park elk on the run
    As a veteran game warden watches, the seamy side of the Grand Teton National Park elk hunt unfolds.
    http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=9294

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      “There is something about elk in the open that can bring out the worst in people,” he said as he drove down to investigate. “This is why this is not a real hunt. … It’s kind of like shooting fish in a barrel.”

      That’s for sure. :(

  41. avatar WM says:

    Not exactly wildlife news, but practical application of some tools often discussed here in an urban environment – bear spray + remote camera to snag a package bandito in San Francisco.

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/29/15547977-bear-spray-arrest-woman-catches-suspect-in-bay-area-package-thefts?lite=

    • avatar DLB says:

      We’ve had a mail thief who has raided our box multiple times, during one of which he/she nabbed a check that was meant for my spouse’s rescue organization that was then used for fraudulent transactions.

      I’ve considered rigging a camera that would send pictures or footage to my Iphone so that I could catch the person in the act. It actually did cross my mind to use bear mace to disable to the person until the cops showed up. I think that’s a lot more benign than holding them at gunpoint or getting into an altercation if things got heated.

      Another option is just to get a locked mail box and mail everything from my office. I could mount a trail cam to capture a picture before the thief figured out I had switched to a secure box.

      • avatar WM says:

        DLB,

        The down side of using bear spray in such a situation is that it can give rise to both civil and criminal battery charges against you (intentional offensive touching of another person without consent – no different than punching them out ,but could be a misdemeanor). You do have the right to defend your property with reasonable force (but what’s that?), so that is an affirmative defense to the claim.

        If the creep snatches your mail from the box, it is a federal crime; if it is a package delivered to your door by another carrier it would theft. In all, I would take my chances that a prosecutor would overlook a bear-sprayed bad guy, especially if he’s been hitting the neighborhood, and I would take my chances with a jury on a civil battery. Just make sure who you spray and why, as well as potential consequences. The video piece didn’t cover those aspects. Good hunting!

  42. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Michigan legislature votes to move forward with “potential” wolf season.

    http://www.dailypress.net/page/content.detail/id/539555.html

    ” Casperson said letting ranchers take out wolves preying on cattle and other livestock doesn’t provide enough help.

    “I’m trying to run my farm,” he said. “Have to sit out there 24-7 with a rifle? I think that’s unreasonable.”

    Then concentrate hunts in areas of depredation. Specific locales, not where wolves are NOT causing “problems”.

    This is where MN got it wrong. IMHO .

    • avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

      That seems to be one of the concerns/issues,with these wolf hunts,that these wolf hunts were supposed to help out in those areas with these so-called,problematic wolves.Staking out by a National Park and shoot them as they come out doesn’t seem to fit the bill for handling problematic wolves but it legal to do so.I guess if you shoot enough of them,they won’t cause any problems or,as some would say,”the only good wolf is a dead one”.

      • avatar elk275 says:

        I doubt that any hunter staked out the borders of Yellowstone National Park to shoot a wolf. There were elk hunters hunting near the Yellowstone Boundary who saw and shot a wolf incidential to elk hunting.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Elk,

          I agree, but the point made was and has been forever, why not let hunters actually pay to remove problematic wolves, rather than pay WS, and government trappers, etc to do so.

          In that respect, I have no, nor have I ever had a problem with a wolf hunt. However, it is obvious that seasons and areas associated with the seasons go beyond problematic wolves. One might assume its all about a rush for $$$ due DNR coffers rather than relief for farmers/ranchers.

          • avatar elk275 says:

            What is a problematic wolf? One that preys on livestock, yes. How about a pack of wolves 10 to 30 miles from the park border whose territory occupies thousands of acres of private property and a protion of the property’s income is guiding elk hunters. Wolves kill elk but wolves also kept elk on the move. What happens when a pack of wolves move elk off of the ranch and leaving the outfitter and guide hunting area devoid of elk for the next few days. It called very unhappy hunters who may not return.

            It can be very good for the public land hunter but very bad for a paying client.

            How large of buffer zone is needed around the park and is it effecting private property owners. The park’s boundaries are the park’s boundaries. Yellowstone National Park can not expand without approval of congress. Is it a buffer zone by default creating a larger Park?

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Elk,

              I’m not talking about Yellowstone wolves in particular. And I don’t discount the plight of some outfitters. My comment was skewed in the direction of “problematic” wolves, and the continued moaning (waranted or not)of ranchers/farmers for assistance in the NRM states and the Northern Great Lakes States. Again, I reinforce, I have not been anti-hunting wolves (anti-trapping, you betcha)but my big question all along is, with this rush to hunt, in particular the state in which I reside, and others in general, why hunting and trapping of wolves far from any “area” of depredation, or areas where other factors beside wolves add to deer/ungulate decline? It’s already been referred to in articles presented on this blog: Recreation.

              If it serves no other purpose than to put a skin on the wall, then why? Not a challenge, just what seems contrary to me.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              What happens when a pack of wolves move elk off of the ranch and leaving the outfitter and guide hunting area devoid of elk for the next few days.

              I would say that is tough luck. There are no guarantees of anything in this life. You can’t, and shoudn’t, take extreme measures to tailor our environment to suit ourselves beyond basic necessity. Other creatures live here too.

              How large of buffer zone is needed around the park and is it effecting private property owners.

              That would be up to our esteemed politicians to hammer out with the experts with input from property owners, just as with any project – maybe emminent domain could go into effect? ;)

              • avatar elk275 says:

                ++I would say that is tough luck. There are no guarantees of anything in this life. You can’t, and shoudn’t, take extreme measures to tailor our environment to suit ourselves beyond basic necessity. Other creatures live here too.++

                We have tailor our environment to suit are ourselves beyond basic necessity. We have built dams, railroads, highways, airports, malls these are beyond our basic needs. The biggest of them all is Yellowstone Mountain Club at Big Sky, looks like I will being going there next week — I hate that place, what a waste.

                Emminent domain for wolves that is in your wildest dreams.

                Tuff luck for hunters. I have noticed that those who own large tracts of land tend to make most of the rules.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Emminent domain for wolves that is in your wildest dreams.

                Ha! Well, let me dream.

                The thing is, it would have been so easy to write the buffer zone into the laws at the beginning instead of the awful plan they finally came up with – (shoot on sight, now really). The buffer zone and corridor around and connecting the parks would have gone a long way to protecting the park’s resident wolves, allowed genetic exchange, and wouldn’t have cramped the hunters’ style all that much. (They may have had to expend a little more energy, that’s all.) It would have been a great compromise. Do they (hunters and ranchers and other anti’s) enjoy the continued conflict? They’ve got to have it all, and that is unfair.

            • avatar Nancy says:

              “Wolves kill elk but wolves also kept elk on the move. What happens when a pack of wolves move elk off of the ranch and leaving the outfitter and guide hunting area devoid of elk for the next few days. It called very unhappy hunters who may not return”

              Elk – I haven’t seen (nor heard rumor of) a wolf in my area in a couple of years so the only one “running” elk around on private land near me, is the local outfitter.

              He’s managed to tie up 2 big ranches (because I’m sure he pays better than the block management that use to be in place :) and he spent most of his time, guide’s time and his client’s time, running up and down the roads, scoping (in late model suburbans) surrounding those ranches, looking for an opportunity to shot elk, that were trying to migrate out of the valley.

              I’m surrounded by public lands, these ranches are surrounded by public lands and if his clients think, by any stretch, riding around in an rig, looking for something to shoot, out amongest cattle, is what hunting is all about, then maybe they shouldn’t return.

        • avatar Salle says:

          In every year when there was legal wolf hunting in the NRM DPS area, the quotas for the hunting units adjacent to the NPs where wolves live were filled first, every time. And there have been articles this year of how “hunters” sat outside the park boundary, used calling devices and killed the wolves who left the boundary to investigate.

          This reminds me of a radio documentary I heard recently where elephant poachers were interviewed. When asked about the familial trait of elephants to mourn their dead, the poacher smirked and commented that when they do that, it gives him more opportunity to kill even more elephants and bring him more profit.

          I think that the same sort of mind set is at play here. I don’t buy the “Gee, hunters don’t really hate wolves, they just want to kill them for the fun of it… hate has nothing to do with it.” BS. I don’t believe it for half a second. You can go on and on with your anecdotal speculations but there wouldn’t be wolf hunting at all if the ignorance that foments hatred and the outright hatred wasn’t such a popular thing.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            With that Salle, it seems as if your hate is every bit as strong as some of those hunters out there, I guess what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

            • avatar Salle says:

              Not really. My disgust is with my own species… and I am not free to go kill them to satisfy my disgust, even though I wouldn’t consider killing to be an answer for any dispute nor would I want the karma that goes with killing. Even for those whose beliefs and practices I despise.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Salle,
            its mind boggling to me to see so many people still arguing that wolf killing is not out of control, inhumane, stupid and cruel. Its very hard not to become embittered by the status quo arguments that its a small segment of society that act reprehensibly. It’s like saying if we ignore it – it will somehow magically go away or like that really stupid stance that ignorant wolf hating will dissipate because they are now allowed to be killed/hunted.

          • avatar Connie says:

            Salle, could you please provide links to these articles? I suspected as much and heard reports from Gardiner residents about bar-room bragging, but have read nothing official about this type of hunting (sitting at the Park boundary calling wolves out). Thanks for the information.

            • avatar Salle says:

              Connie,

              I’m trying to locate scattered articles and news on the topic but it takes some time, especially for previous years… The states’ web sites make it hard to gather such info. (anyone who can help in this data search, please do!)

              Until then, I can start with this:

              http://wolfwatcher.org/news/all-news/yellowstones-nathan-varley-and-linda-thurston/#more-4781

              • avatar Salle says:

                Leslie says:
                November 14, 2012 at 11:18 pm

                I did find this post:

                In late October wolf #824M a male Mollie wolf was killed,
                In early November #829F a Blacktail Plateau female wolf was killed
                Sunday November 10, #754M the Betamale of the Lamar Canyon pack was killed in WY
                Tuesday November 13, #823F the only collared wolf in the newly formed Junction Butte pack was killed in MT
                At an unknown time the Alpha Pair # 762 and 763 of the Madison Pack that have been in and out of YNP recently were killed — it is unknown what has happened to the rest of the pack.
                793 of the Snake River pack just south of YNP was killed in WY.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Plus it is wrecking the studies going on. There needs to be a buffer zone around the park, and I don’t think serious hunters would want to interfere with the studies, except those who want to thumb their noses at them, which is how it appears. Like a general free-for-all. It just shows a lack of respect and a contempt for the reintroduction program, which is another reason why I believe the park wolves are being targeted.

    • avatar jon says:

      I read that if this goes through, opponents of the bill will seek a statewide ballot initiative to overturn it. This is nothing more than letting hunters shoot wolves for sport and for recreation. The Indians are against this hunt.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/opinion/pnr-our-view-a-gray-wolf-hunt-in-michigan-would-be-questionable-20121130,0,1011813.story

      Immer here is a link to an op ed. By the way I called all of the Michigan Senators’ offices yesterday. I spoke with their aides and expressed my opinion about the hunts, respectfully. I also asked the simple question, are you getting many calls and if so which way are they trending for or against the hunt. With the exception of one office all of them sounded surprised at the question and explained that many calls were coming in, all against the hunt. The one office where this was not true said the calls were mixed but that they were leaning heavily against hunting.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Louise,

        Something brought up in this piece is agricultural damage done by deer. I’m pretty sure of all wildlife, Wisconsin pays out the most due to deer and the crop damage for which they are responsible.

        Gosh, I’m tired. Time to hit the hay.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Immer I think that if wolf hunting were confined to areas where farms interfaced with wolves, and hunting/killing was confined to livestock predating wolves – after other nonlethal measures were exhausted, maybe a compromise could be reached and advocates and wildlife lovers could probably accept that. No trapping, no snaring and no trophy hunting for fun. But the states will never behave logically or responsibly or hear all their constituents. One of the reasons so many people are angry is that we value wolves for many reasons. From a deeply personal perspective, I recognize wolves as the much more intelligent forbearers of dogs – our best companions – instead of furbearers ready for harvest. I believe we should regard their family structures and recognize their demonstrated ability to suffer and experience fear, stress, pain and grief. When I see wolves and images of them in traps, choking to death in snares or think of them being hunted down by helicopters,and men that hate them with an illogical set of assumptions, I see my dog’s face. Obviously there are a whole set of other reasons to object to the hunts but these feelings also underly my opinion and my objections to the wasteful and disrespectful hunting of wolves and other predators. I don’t need studies to know a wolf in a trap suffering or a wolf killed for fun is wrong.

  43. avatar Salle says:

    An interesting read:

    Will the West Survive?

    This year, summer came on like a grudge, with record-breaking heat, inescapable drought, and the sense that the effects of climate change had arrived – and that life in America’s mythic frontier might never be the same.

    http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/will-the-west-survive-20121123?page=1#ixzz2DjA4cRxK

  44. avatar Salle says:

    And yet another indication that we are really blowing it. Though I have no sympathy for the cattle industry when it comes to natural barriers to their success, this is a “canary in a coal mine” concern for everyone… especially regarding wildlife:

    Why Are Cows Tails Dropping Off?

    http://truth-out.org/news/item/13058-why-are-cows-tails-dropping-off

  45. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Old Attitudes and Myths…

    http://m.host.madison.com/wsj/news/science/seely-on-science-of-old-myths-and-fears-and-a/article_4823ddfc-3a7d-11e2-aaa3-001a4bcf887a.html

    “The researchers were surprised to find that these negative attitudes were not formed as a result of personal experience. In other words, such feelings toward wolves formed primarily through anecdote and story, the kinds of tales one can hear by stopping by just about any northern cafe at breakfast time.”

    Though Seely did miss the Canadian case and the Alaskan killing.

  46. avatar Salle says:

    Some hopeful news…

    Trap-free zone: Bass Creek Recreation Area declared off limits to trapping

    http://www.ravallirepublic.com/news/local/article_ef3f2780-3a97-11e2-a076-0019bb2963f4.html

  47. avatar Salle says:

    Game wardens tell their tales of poaching in Montana…

    Strange but true Montana hunting tales

    http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/misfires/Content?oid=1694337

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      One of the hunters [poachers] was a local preacher with a child in the passenger seat.

      A very interesting article. As we know, our religious leaders can be some of the worst examples of hypocrisy and immorality going.

      • avatar Robert R says:

        Ida do not put hunters with poachers because they are not one in the same period!!!

        If you want criticize hunters fine but do not associate legal hunters with poachers.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          Curious Robert R – how many hunters (“of days gone past” days when one could just step out and shot something for a meal or the deep freeze in their pastures or nearby woods) do you know that object to the hunting rules and regs that are now in place?

        • avatar jon says:

          http://onyourownadventures.com/hunttalk/showthread.php?t=253080

          “I call these anti wacos Internet predators and they immediately go off the deep end every time. They target trapping sights and steal pictures and circulate them on the web.”

          What exactly do you mean by this RobertR?

          • avatar Robert R says:

            Jon it’s exactly what you just done by going to anther site to expose me or an issue or picture to make it go viral. I will not change my name from one site to the next to hide my thoughts or views. I know how to check if it’s the same person posting with a different name.

            Nancy to your question. I agree in the days that’s what some done to feed their families and live off the land and the resources but in today’s society it’s not excepted.

  48. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    “Will The West Survive” by Mark Binelli , an article in Men’s Journal by the Rolling Stone contributor on the possible effects of climate change on the American West.

    http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/will-the-west-survive-20121123

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/climate-change-threatens-the-american-west-20121130

    Never thought I would ever be referring the loyal readers of The Wildlife news to those two publications, but there you go… something to read while you nibble on holiday fruitcake and down the nog.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Wooohoooo!

      About time!

      Let this be the start of many trapping bans. I notice trapping was banned in a part of the Lolo National Forest the other day.

      Outstanding.

  49. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    District Judge Jeffery Sherlock said Friday that potential damage to the rare species’ population outweighed the loss of any recreational trapping opportunities.

    Thank goodness – it’s about time. This makes my day! :)

  50. avatar Mark L says:

    I’m not as concerned with percentages and fractions as I am about what message states are sending by allowing unlimited hunting of any species….including coyotes. If there comes a time to say ‘Hey people, slow down’ is there a mechanism to even do that, without a huge resistance? Or are hunters now ‘programmed’ to shoot small canids (for example) through repetition because the state has let it go for so long? People assume they are providing a service to the state by shooting ‘vermin’, when in reality it’s just an excuse to target practice….no ecological or social benefit whatsoever.

  51. avatar Mark L says:

    Using automated calls is gutless. Its like hunting over bait….actually worse because there is no skill involved, just a click.

  52. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/publicComments/2012elkMgmtGuidelinesBrucellosisWG.html

    Comments being taken until Dec 5 on killing more wolves AND elk to prevent brucellosis

  53. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.news.wisc.edu/21309
    lessons learned in Wisconsin hunt
    you can kill wolves really quickly

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      “The problem really is what do you expect from your wolf population. What do you want it to be. Do you want it to be just a relic population, like a museum piece? Or do you really want wolves to have some sort of role in those northern ecosystems? In my mind, that’s kind of the key question that we haven’t answered yet.”

      What???? Museum piece? “Relic” population? “some sort of role” in the ecosystem? Something horrible has been unleashed since the delising. :(

  54. avatar jon says:

    http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/science/seely-on-science-of-old-myths-and-fears-and-a/article_4823ddfc-3a7d-11e2-aaa3-001a4bcf887a.html

    “Their intelligence and skill amazed him, he said. And he added that as he watched the wolves and listened to their voices in the night, he found himself regretting that he had killed so many of them and lamenting their near disappearance at the hands of hunters and trappers like himself.”

  55. avatar Salle says:

    GOP-backed bill is most serious attack on America’s Wilderness Act in history

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/12/01/gop-backed-bill-is-most-serious-attack-on-americas-wilderness-act-in-history/

    Deceptively entitled the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act, the bill (H.R. 4089) purports to protect hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting. The bill is being pushed by powerful groups like the National Rifle Association and Safari Club International and supported by some of the most anti-wilderness Republicans in Congress. And it would effectively gut the Wilderness Act and protections for every wilderness in America’s 110-million-acre National Wilderness Preservation System – everywhere from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota to the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness along the Montana-Idaho border that I can see from my home.
    The Christian Science Monitor (http://s.tt/1vr2j)

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Salle
      I think this is one of the better things written about this act. It is deceptively entitled and one of the most disturbing pieces of proposed legislation yet. The comments collectively sum up how I feel.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      This was beautifully written.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Yeah this one is real piece of work.

      People wonder why hunters and conservationists don’t hit it off.

      The truth is, hunters are deeply consumptive users that generally align with anti-roadless, anti-predator interests.

    • avatar Kathleen says:

      I don’t have many actual “heroes,” but Stewart Brandborg is one, and just this past Thursday evening I was able to shake his hand and tell him thanks. We were at a gathering for Missoula-area Wilderness Watch supporters, and here’s this man in his mid-80s with a bum leg and sitting down who literally towered above the rest of us with his impassioned insistence that we DO SOMETHING for wilderness. One thing everyone who cares about wilderness can do is go to Wilderness Watch and sign up for the free monthly newsletter; another thing is support WW financially, if you’re able. http://www.wildernesswatch.org/

  56. avatar Louise Kane says:

    This link to a wildlife photographer’s site about the BC hunt was sent to me by a friend, who is also a wildlife photographer and has donated some beautiful images to me and others.

    I hope you may take a moment to read and comment – the proposed BC draft management plan is so terribly brutal.

    http://blog.wildernessprints.com/2012/11/the-big-bad-wolf-how-you-can-help.html

  57. avatar Salle says:

    This here’s pretty sick. I just stumbled upon it but people should be mindful that this is also a problem and it seems to be taking place in Montana.

    Warning; very unpleasant stuff…

    http://www.nopcradio.com/nopc-corner/damage-control-central/62-armored-pit-bulls-and-the-wolf-pack.html

    All the vitriol on the site, found in the margin, is pretty telling about the mindset of these individuals. They aren’t real bright posting this stuff online. And some of their bluster sounds like they are something akin to domestic terrorists… just sayin’.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Kevalor vests for 3 pit bulls – $700, spiked collars $100, wolf pelt for training purposes $900. Food bill a month (to keep those fat-headed monsters in top shape) $200+, vet bills when they tangle with more than a couple of wolves ($1,000+) Heavy duty kennel to contain those fat-headed monsters so they don’t get bored and start playing “tug a war” with his calves (or the neighbor’s calves) – $600.

      Hope Ole Bill thinks this thru :)

    • avatar Mark L says:

      Great…have your ‘help’ do the work for you and drink a beer with friends….”we just hunted Montana and….”
      There’s not a lot of ‘we’ in that hunt there, sport.
      I know they think they are ‘Billy Badasses’ with the dogs and all, but a lot of the country kind of laughs at their ‘very English’ way of doing things (and all the gadgets), regardless of whether they wear English tweed or American camo. REminds me of India where ‘boys’ flush tigers so gentry can shoot them from elephants.

      • avatar Salle says:

        Notice they spout off about those “illegal Canadian wolves”.

        If this is a true story, I hope they find their ignorant asses in prison for a long time and soon… like before they decide that another vacation is to be had. I hope that their next vacation is behind bars.

        This the worst of America IMHO.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Salle I just read this and thought I would be sick. This is one of the many reasons wolves need protection now, Its a free for all. I am so disgusted, angry. Just pissed off. Is hunting wolves with dogs legal in Montana, I thought not. Surely this must be against the law. I’ll be calling the wildlife commission, the DNR etc tommorrow. I hope others do too. Low life ignorant wildlife terrorists, and they have kids too. Teaching them the same crap also.

    • avatar SAP says:

      Seems kind of implausible.

      If “brother n law”‘s ranch is really dangling by a financial thread, how did he have the cash to be wagering Hawaiian fishing trips?

      If losses were occurring with such regularity and the wolves were right there where one could hear them howling and then go get on ‘em with the pit bulls inside of 10 minutes; it seems unlikely that no one would’ve trapped or aerial gunned such a pack.

      I think it’s some angry, imaginative, semi-literate person who maybe actually does hunt feral hogs, maybe not.

      Considering the homophobic, islamophobic, tea party leanings evident on that site, and considering the absolute utter fantasies that such folks are willing to believe, it’s not a stretch that the author is probably completely fabricating the whole thing. Except for the part about chugging a lot of Shiner Bock beer.

      With that kind of semi-literate yet creative mind, I bet she’s also running a 1-900 phone sex service as well. Which probably jeopardizes her disability check, but hey, what an entrepreneur!!

      • avatar Salle says:

        Good points! I don’t quite know what to think of it except that it promotes a terribly sick mindset.

        I looked around at some sites in a Google search and found some even more stuff that would make you wonder if there;s a sub species of humanoids. Six individuals around Tyler, TX were recently busted for making vids of them enjoying their hog dogs tearing up a wild hog in an enclosure, and then some links to YouTube vids of hog dog hunts with a warning that they were “graphical”. I didn’t bother to open them… And then there are dog rescue sites posting warnings of some people adopting dogs for hog hunting…

        Makes you wonder how low some people can go… though I really don’t want to find out.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Actually hog hunting in Texas with dogs is encouraged by the government, due to the massive destruction that feral hogs cause.

          But as SAP said, I am having serious doubts that anybody brought their hog dogs to Montana to hunt wolves, if they had, I am sure something would have been said about it before now.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            That said, I am still going to give a buddy of mine a call at FWP law enforcement on Monday and make him aware of this blog and see what he has to say.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Too funny SAP :)

    • avatar jon says:

      Karen Hannah
      I wanted to tell you that you can purchase Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that diabetics use, on Amazon in 1-5 lbs pkgs. You can whip up the best liver flavored treats to carry with you hunting. Perfectly safe for humans BUTTTT 3 grams of Xylitol will kill a 65 pound dog painlessly. It causes a massive release of insulin and puts them into a low blood sugar coma and then damages their liver. Be carefull that those nice liver treats you make with it only fall out where wolves are present :).

      I saw this comment above on an anti-wolf facebook page. It was made by an Idaho hunter. Not surprisingly this was posted on a page run by the infamous Toby Bridges. This is getting out of hand with these people.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Jon please provide the link to the page, I am making calls to various departments today and I’ll include this info in the calls. I’ve also got a database going with these kinds of comments.

        • avatar jon says:

          It’s lobo watch. The page is run by Toby Bridges.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Louise,

          The agencies are well away of the Lobo Watch page, we see him on TV here in Montana quite often.

          • avatar jon says:

            Does he say anything about poisoning wolves when you see him on tv sb?

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Isn’t it a crime, what he’s doing? Somebody make a citizen’s arrest, please.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Jon and Ida,

              Him mentioning this sweetener is not illegal, as you note, he mentioned “Dogs” in his writings. He has been investigated, he is watched, but he has not been in violation of any laws that I know of in the state of Montana.

              In fact he is quite often invited to events where wolves are discussed with state game agency officials.

              The mere mention of something that can kill a “dog” is not illegal.

              • avatar jon says:

                sb, if someone writes on the internet from Montana that they are going to poison wolves in Montana, is this a crime? Is telling others on the internet to go out there and poison wolves with xylitol a crime? I don’t believe doing any of these things is a crime, so I expect that Toby will continue to get away with what he’s been doing for a while now and that is talking about poisoning wolves in Montana on the internet.

              • avatar jon says:

                sb, I read that Joe Maurier resigned as head of FWP. Do you have any idea who is going to take his job? I heard one of Schweitzer’s guys will, but not sure which one.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                No it is not a crime to say anything about wolves on the internet, unless you say you have killed them, left them and they find them.

                I have no idea who is going to be appointed to the position, not much buzz right now about it in Montana.

  58. avatar Louise Kane says:

    I’ll post and let you know what they say. MI is voting on the wolf hunt tomorrow also, so a part of a day with calls is in order.
    Savebears I’ll be interested in hearing how your call is treated also.

  59. avatar jon says:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2012/12/02/mb-tap-ban-dog-killed.html

    Another dog killed by a trap. Something needs to be done about this.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      I have a question – if managing wolves is such a dire concern before they get out of control and take over the Great Lakes region because of the dying art of trapping, what difference does the pelt condition make?

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      My reply to the Anderson “editorial”. Perhaps to long, aber Es macht nicht.

      Mr. Anderson,

      You say the time was right, but give no solid reason for why you believe the time was right for a wolf season.  And you also refer to a wolf ” problem” but do not define what the “problem” is.

      You state that  “too few hunters and trappers- among a  fast aging population of  hunters and trappers will be willing to spend the time and money necessary to find and kill wolves, contributing, perhaps to a further burgeoning state wolf population that engenders more enemies than friends.”. Do you refer to the state wolf population that has remained relatively static at 3,000 +/- for the past ten years?

      You conveniently bring David Mech into your editorial  by asking him if “he knew of a recovered wolf population that didn’t require control”  ? His reply was no.  But then you did not ask for his suggestion of when a wolf season should be held. He is on record of saying after coats have become prime until females become gravid. Yet, you clandestinely  suggest the season (trapping) should begin earlier. It’s already been extended 25 days past the original end time.

      The rush to hunt and trap wolves was accelerated due to livestock and pet concerns. But the season statistics do not support this, as one would suggest more hunting and trapping in the Northwest zone where the lions share of these depredations occur. The Northeast zone does not have much of this concern other than the desire to be able to protect their dogs, or the comparativel small amount of stock without getting into trouble. And I ask, where is the wolf “problem” in the BWCAW.

      We already have on record an individual setting snares on deer trails, which is forbidden in the trapping regulations. How many incidental/non intentional targets, dogs in particular, will wander  into snares and leg hold traps?  Will trappers use illegal conibear sets?

      Time was right? Let me say that just because we can, doesn’t necessarily mean we should. Perhaps five years post delisting was too long, but a year or two, with all stakeholders involved in discussion is the way to go.  All this has done was caused those opposed to hunting/trapping wolves to dig their heels in further.  I’ not opposed to wolf management, by hunters. Trapping is a pox in my opinion, and will put those who enjoy wilderness experiences with their dogs in jeopardy, and is both physically and psychologically tormenting for the animal. In your own words you write,”wolves in particular-die a violent death. Far more so than that caused by a bullet. Then why trap?

      Your piece is distinctly slanted toward the hook and bullet club.  It has done relatively nothing to  appeal to reasoned judgement and careful overview.

  60. avatar Leslie says:

    Mark IDFG says “Idaho manages it’s wolf population to achieve a population objective significantly above the 150/15BP delisting criteria.”

    And what is that objective number? I find your answer very vague. Why does Idaho have an almost year-round season on wolves which lets up just during tourist season?

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      Leslie –
      This management objective is not a number. The objective is to manage the Idaho wolf population so that it stays sufficiently above the listing criteria threshold (100 wolves or 10 breeding pairs) to ensure that disease, weather or other stochastic environmental factors don’t unintentionally depress wolf numbers below that minimum number. There is no specific population size to provide that assurance. This managment objective will be achieved by continued monitoring of wolf numbers and making necessary adjustments to our management program. Idaho, like other NRMR and GLR states, conduct reliable wolf population estimates annually for management purposes. The annual wolf population estimate provides a very reliable assessment of how well this objective is being achieved.
      The Idaho wolf hunting and trapping season is structured to achieve the multiple objectives of the wolf management plan. Wolf viewing during the tourist season is one public trust benefit of the wolf management plan, but not the only one. The Idaho wolf management plan provides an abundance of wolf viewing opportunity, balanced with other needs to minimize private property depredations and significant wolf predation effects on elk and other wildlife across substantial portions of the state.

      • avatar jon says:

        Mark, every wolf killed for sport by a hunter is one less wolf that will be seen by a wildlife viewer. Idaho fish and game are more concerned with pleasing the hunters and ignoring the majority of Idahoans who don’t hunt. Last I checked, only 17% of Idahoans hunt putting them in the minority. Your own fish and game commissioner Tony Mcdermott said publicly that Idaho fish and game work for the hunters only while ignoring what the majority of non-hunting Idahoans think.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          jon –
          Every wolf killed – whether by a hunter/trapper, another wolf, a moose or the myriad other ways that wolves die evdery day – is/was not going to be viewed by a wildlife watcher. Wolf watchers will be disappointed by their successes just as consumptive wildlife users are routinely disappointed. Managing for sustained presence of wolves serves the interests of consumptive and non-consumptive uses – all legitimate benefits for our society. Hunting and trapping of wolves does not violate the rights or priviledges of non-hunting wildlife watchers.
          Regardless of the percentage of Idahoans who choose to hunt in a given year, hunting is overwhelming supported by Idahoans. Your argument that the wishes of a majority of Idahoans is ignored or not listened to by our Fish and Game Commission is incorrect.
          Commissioner McDermott has not said that the Fish and Game Commission or the Idaho Department of Fish and Game only works for hunters while ignoring the remainder of Idahoans. Can you provide a quote? I might be able to help you better understand what you’ve mischaracterized here.

      • avatar Robert R says:

        Mark, I really wish others could understand why hunting and trapping is needed as a tool to manage the wolf and other animals.

        No one here has a clear cut management plan other than not manage at all.
        The lower 48 cannot handle the tens of thousands of wolfves than once roamed.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          The population will never get to those numbers in our modern world. It seemed to have stabilized in the Great Lakes region? You can always rely on the SSS crowd to keep them in check, although an article I read yesterday said they are a dying breed. If they must be controlled, leave it up to federal/state F&W personnel, not by people without scientific backgrounds.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Or concentrate regulated hunts in areas of wolf “problems” not where they present no problem.

            • avatar WM says:

              Immer,

              What constitutes an area of wolf “problems?” Perspectives will differ.

              Not to sound too much like sour grapes, but as reported here previously, I hunted for over two weeks and saw no elk, but heard lots of wolves (saw none, so jon’s handy comment about seeing them in ID in many wild areas is circumspect, as I am also a wildlife watcher). We have hunted this area for 20 plus years. Since the wolves showed up, the hunting has gotten worse (and as I have said before it is not a habitat issue). It was predicted the wolves would make it worse, and now IDFG is playing a game of catchup.

              Would you consider this a “problem” area? Not looking for a fight, but from my perspective it is, and it will take up to three or four years to even approach getting things to the point where it might have some probability of being a bit like it was before wolves. I just learned last night another member of my hunting party will be buying a wolf tag next year, so he has made his own decision it is.

              I am not to that stage, yet, but if next year is as bad as this one, my personal decision becomes a tougher one.

              And, please nobody go off on my about the ecological importance of wolves, because densities will never be high enough in most places to make much of a difference as compared to cumulative human impacts (paraphrasing Dr. Mech in his paper from a few months back).

              • avatar Jerry Black says:

                WM…I’m curious…Why hunt elk in Idaho as opposed to Montana or Colorado?
                I could GUARANTEE you or anyone else a shot at an elk in Montana, but you must be willing to hike at least 5 to 10 miles in and not expect to have it as easy as hunters have been accustom to. (I’d often hike in that far to collect moose poop and would see plenty of elk)
                I’m so sick of hearing about “all we saw was wolf tracks, no elk or deer tracks”…So, what are the wolves eating? Yes, I know they also eat mice and voles.
                Just go to a wolf meeting in Montana and observe the fat slob, beer drinking, cigarette smoking, hunters and guides who couldn’t walk a mile…they’re the ones that are complaining.
                disclaimer…SB, I’m NOT talking about you, but I bet you know what I mean.

              • avatar JB says:

                WM: I found this statement curious in light of the content of your post:

                “And, please nobody go off on my about the ecological importance of wolves, because densities will never be high enough in most places to make much of a difference as compared to cumulative human impacts”

                You’re essentially saying two things: (a) wolves have had a profound impact on elk where you hunt, and (b) wolves can’t have much of an impact on elk (and thus other ecosystem components) outside of areas like Yellowstone.

                The idea of trophic cascades (as associated with wolves) is that the direct (ie, killing) and indirect (ie, moving/displacement) effects of wolves on elk decreases elk herbivory. From what you’ve described in this (and other) posts, that’s exactly what seems to be happening where you hunt?

                —-

                Commoner’s first law of ecology is “everything is connected to everything else”. I think the trophic cascade hypothesis is merely a restatement of this ecological “law”.

              • avatar jon says:

                I remember WM saying he lives in Washington. Is there any particular reason why someone would want to hunt elk in Idaho rather then Washington, Montana, or Colorado? Colorado has a lot of elk and very few wolves. Seems like Colorado would be the best place for an elk hunter to hunt in if he’s hunting specifically for elk.

              • avatar JB says:

                Jon:

                I don’t want to speak for WM, but many hunters have a tradition of hunting a certain place with certain people. I have a similar tradition of shooting (photographs) with a particular friend in GTNP. Place matters.

              • avatar elk275 says:

                Jerry

                ++I could GUARANTEE you or anyone else a shot at an elk in Montana, but you must be willing to hike at least 5 to 10 miles in and not expect to have it as easy as hunters have been accustom to.++

                How is a hunter going to retrieve an elk 5 to 10 miles in. The first rule in hunting if you shoot it, can you get it out of the mountains, if not do not shoot. Before I shoot any animal including antelope I determine whether it can be removed from the field in a timely matter. The longer a carcass remains on the ground the more chance of a grizzly, wolf, or other animal getting the meat. We have had long discussions about how a hunter should get all of the meat out that day.

                Packing each quarter out 5 miles is a 40 mile trip, 10 miles is a 80 miles trip. At one time I could pack meat that far, today no, my ankles and knees would not allow it nor do I have the strength at sixty one. I have a good mule that could carry two quarters at a time but that is a two day trip or I could bone it and make one trip. If I was going to shoot an elk five miles back in then I would make sure before I shot that it could be dragged.

              • avatar elk275 says:

                Jon

                Colorado is another 2 day drive. I have read several times here why don’t hunters find another place to hunt if wolves are killing the elk. They have. The influx of Missoula and Kalispell hunters into Southwest Montana in the last 5 years has become very noticable. They all say the same thing, the wolves have reduce the elk population. Everywhere I went this fall half of the trucks were from Missoula and the Kalispell area. It is sad.

              • avatar Mike says:

                Jon –

                Good question. I tend to get a certain combination of mountains, forest and rivers into my “blood”, and return to the locations. The problem is Montana is the best state in the lower 48 for this.

                The wilderness is bigger. There are less roads through the mountains. The fisheries are world class. The rivers are not stocked. There is a certain “feel” to that state that others do not have. There are intact sections of prairie along 200 miles of mountains. Cool island ranges. Grizzly bears, wolverine, wolves, etc.

                The amount of plates I see from other western states in Montana is always hilarious. Glacier is where people from Colorado and Washington go. Also, I’ve always preferred the amount of water Montana has (Flathead Lake is the largest freshwater lakes in the western part of the country). The rivers are unique and varied. There are many lakes in the wilderness areas, unlike other western wilderness.

                I could go on and on.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                WM,

                What constitutes a “problem” wolf does indeed depend on perspective. Just speaking with a friend today,who lives on the very edge of the BWCAW in the middle of high density wolf country and she said, all we wanted was the ability to protect our dogs if a wolf attacked them. She was revolted by the depth and breadth of hunting and trapping, and considers that more of a problem than the wolves themselves. Same feelings I have. I’ve got my HIT cable cutters for snares and will probably pick up a conibear 220 and MB-750 leg hold trap to make sure I know what to do, quickly, in case my dog wanders into one of them, and to teach my family/ friends who come up with dogs what to do in the I eventuality their dog gets caught.

                Sorry to ramble, but yes, a problem wolf is a matter of perspective. The answer to that “reaction” to a problem wolf is also a matter of perspective.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jerry,

                I understood what you were saying.

                Jon,

                Why not hunt Colorado, Cost and time and distance to get to the areas you can hunt, It far less expensive to hunt in the state you reside in.

                I can hunt Elk here in NW Montana for less than $100, if I were to travel to Colorado, I would be spending over $12,000.00.

                As many have spoke out about trophy hunting, I can guarantee you, if I spent that type of money, I am going to be looking for an animal I can hang on the wall, of course I would still process and eat the meat.

                When you guys start with this, go someplace else, you need to understand the extra costs involve and the change in mindset that happens because you have spent so much money.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Elk,

                ” At one time I could pack meat that far, today no, my ankles and knees would not allow it nor do I have the strength at sixty one.”

                Can look at this in two complimentary fashions.

                It’s a bitch getting old(er).

                And

                Getting old(er) ain’t for sissies.

              • avatar WM says:

                JB,

                You are right about the inconsistency. I am among the first to acknowledge (anecdotally and from reading the studies) that wolves significantly change elk behavior, as well as eat them. I would suggest the ecological significance would appear to vary by location. Where we hunt there was not any elk caused riparian damage in the first place, as the ground is steep, the stream bottoms narrow and the soils, more rocky than mud, so the elk don’t spend any time there feeding or hanging out. They also don’t herd up, and groups of 3-6 are about as many as one would see at any time. And, yes I was referring to the oft asserted “trophic cascade” claims as benefits of wolf presence. I think the claim is unsubstantiated on multiple landscapes and what might be true for Yellowstone study areas, might not be for others. Elk tend to feed more at night now, and stay out of the open areas, and on steeper slopes in more dense timber, all of which affect hunting satisfaction and success.

                __________

                Jerry,

                Easy answers for you, and elk275 and SB have mentioned a couple. I lived and hunted elk in CO, for many years. That is about 1,100 miles from where I now live. ID is much closer; less hunter density than WA; the season starts a month earlier and is longer; and until recently the probability of higher hunter success until the last couple of years, with more wolves.

                I also like where we hunt, the people we associate with, and where we usually set up our camp. And, this is an important aspect – I feel especially connected to the land. It is like visiting an old friend once a year. I like watching trees grow from year to year (some areas have changed, but there is also logging which keeps habitat renewed), and nature reclaiming the scarred land, from logging and fire. There is a lone snag that has stood as a sentinel in one of my favorite spots, for the last twenty years or so. I will be sad when it goes down; it is one of things I first look for as I hike up a red huckleberry brushed ridge. Its silver, bleached out form, has become a good spot for the woodpeckers these days, and an occasional roost for a hawk. I take pride in noting the annual changes.

                But for wolves, why would I want to go somewhere new,, driving hundreds more miles at substantially greater cost and travel time to go to CO, or even MT?

              • avatar jon says:

                JB, I understand that, but if a hunter or hunters are not finding any animals in their usual hunting spots, what do they do? If animals aren’t there, they aren’t there. The question I want to know is what do hunters do if they have a hard time finding elk in their usual hunting spots?

              • avatar jon says:

                immer, it seems to me based on what others are saying, is that any wolf is a problem wolf. If it eats livestock, it’s considered a problem wolf by some. If a wolf eats deer and elk, animals hunters like killing, it’s considered a problem wolf. No matter what a wolf does, it will be considered a problem to those that dislike wolves. Do you agree or disagree with this immer?

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                Why do you even care, you don’t want anyone of us to hunt anyway?

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                jon,

                As WM said a problem wolf is all a
                Matter of ones perspective. If you were walking your dog, and the dog was attacked by a wolf, what would you do? Would you let the wolf kill the dog, or would you intercede? Would you tell your neighbor(s)? One might perceive that as a problem wolf, and all the wolf is doing, is what wolves do.

                I’ve never had a problem with a wolf, and I’ve got a dog with me almost all the time. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen. I carry a heavy mag flashlight when I go out at night. I should carry bear spray. Protect both the dog and wolf that way.

                I think the way laws are now set, one can rightfully protect pets and livestock.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                jon
                Most of us that live in Montana would feel that if you had 2000 wolves in your state not a single one of those wolves would be a problem wolf, no matter their actions.

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++on
              Most of us that live in Montana would feel that if you had 2000 wolves in your state not a single one of those wolves would be a problem wolf, no matter their actions.++

              Speak for yourself, Rancher Bob.

              I know a lot of people in Montana (and I’ll be a resident soon) who would never make such a caustic comment.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Don’t worry Mike, soon enough you will know some that will make such a caustic comment, the state has plenty of them.

              • avatar Mike says:

                I’ve heard that statement in Montana before. A few times this trip. My response is to quit blaming the wolf for their personal problems.

                The amount of misinformation is insane. The ag industry and hunters/outfitters really have the populace brainwashed. It’s like Chicago politics. Corrupt to the bone. No one here can fix it because you can’t see the crazy when you’re paddling in it. The same applies to Montana. The “fix” is the endangered species act.

                The wolves will be back on it within ten years.

              • avatar Jerry Black says:

                Elk…..yes, I agree with you!!!!
                My main point was that there are PLENTY of elk out there, but the days of fat slob hunters shooting them from their truck is over, unless it’s on private land, and they hate that.
                I do know hunters that hike that far and EVERY year “get their elk”. Hell, I hike that far and I “harvest moose poop every year! (not as heavy as an elk 1/4.)

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                Mike
                That’s how I feel and many many I know, I would also say I currently know more Montana people than you, so you admit there are problem wolves.

              • avatar Jerry Black says:

                I attended a lecture by Dr. Mark Hebblewhite last week in Missoula. He’s in charge of the Bitteroot elk/predator study. They’re over a year into it and have found some very surprising research results. Some of you might be interested…this is very recent research. Google him…he’s at the U. of Montana

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Mike,

                If the wolves were to be put back on the list anytime in the next ten years, you will see a backlash that will gut the endangered species act.

                There is already a movement in the US to completely re-write the ESA because the perceived abuses that the wolf issue has brought up.

                You should hope they are not put back on the list, because it will completely change the scope of Endangered Species in this country!

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++There is already a movement in the US to completely re-write the ESA because the perceived abuses that the wolf issue has brought up.++

                There are no abuses. The ESA did it’s job (rescuing the wolf from extinction in the Rockies) and if the paranoia and killing continues, it will do its job again.

                Thankfully, the country is moving to the left, largely due to demographics. The ESA will only grow stronger and more important as the population grows. There will be far less tolerance for those who are not on board.

              • avatar Jerry Black says:

                WM……Glad to hear that it’s not all about “getting your elk”
                Guess it would be like me fishing the same hole even if there were no fish…just practice my casts and enjoy the scenery.

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                Rancher Bob,

                Where have you been? I would say 99% of participants on this site realize there are problem wolves. The real problem is that some bitter short-sighted buffoons feel the only way to deal with wolves, problem or otherwise, is too annihilate them with any means necessary. Where do you truthfully stand RB?

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Mike, if you don’t see the movement that has been going on since the wolf re-introduction, then you are completely blind to reality.

                You are watching the world through rose colored glasses buddy and that is a fact, cause there are many congressmen, that have been looking strongly at the ESA.

      • avatar Leslie says:

        I doubt wildlife watchers are going to see wolves now that they are hunted/trapped for 10 months. I live in a valley where I would regularly see wolves in the winter when the elk come in from the Park. Last I heard, several pups and the alpha female were killed. I think wolves learn pretty quick that humans are to be avoided. Statistics already show that they only use roads at night when they can avoid people.

        Mark, you saying that you are managing for tourists too is double-speak really. I think you are making sure tourists don’t run into dead wolves or wolves in traps.

        I understand that Montana has set a number of 400 wolves. WY has set a number of around 150 wolves. I still don’t see why you can’t give me a number?

        To an observer of ID from a neighboring state, it appears to me that ID wants to straddle the line just above the minimum and with since your state has so much prime public lands, I still don’t understand your policies.

        • avatar Mike says:

          ++I understand that Montana has set a number of 400 wolves. WY has set a number of around 150 wolves. I still don’t see why you can’t give me a number? ++

          Gee, I wonder why?

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Leslie –
          Some wildlife watchers will enjoy success with efforts to veiw wolves, others will be unsuccessful/disappointed. No different than other beneficial uses of our wildlife resources. There is no guarantee of success for consumptive or non-consumptive wildlife pursuits. The Idaho policy of a viable, sustained wolf populations balances the desires of all wildlife stakeholders. Wolves regularly die – due to a variety of causes. Hunting/trapping mortality does not discriminate against wildlife watchers. Exclusive wolf viewing opportunities are provided by YNP, GNP, GTNP. It is unnecessary (and unlikely) for the NRM states to duplicate exclusive non-hunting zones for the benefit of wolf watchers. The Idaho wolf managment plan will continue to provide an abundance of wolf viewing opportunity.
          Yes, Idaho has an abundance of federal lands and productive wildlife habitat. That provides an abundance of wildlife based recreation opportunity for consumptive and non-consumptive wildlife users – a great state to live in.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            May I ask, what about the right for an animal to exist regardless of any human interest or value to a human? I love to see wildlife but my primary concern is that they are protected. With hunting, there is not and never was a guarantee of success, but today we have unreasonable expectations. Everything is about money, too much so. Regardless of how much you spend, you many not get a “trophy”. And if you do, wouldn’t it be appreciated more because it was a challenge and not made easier for you? We don’t see things that way anymore, I guess. With wildlife watching, you never know what you will see.

            • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

              Ida Lupine –
              A good question that needs more thorough consideration. The answer is – there are no “rights” belonging to wildlife. Wildlife, like humans, are a part of the ecosystem we all inhabit, subject to the same ecological processes and realities of all forms of life. By inference, hear you suggest that somehow species other than humans have an inherent “right” to be free of human exploitation. The concept of “rights” is not ecological, it is an artifact of human society. IF human society chooses to confer to other species “rights” as assigned to humans then you would have an argument. That isn’t the case. There are no “rights” assigned to wolves or other species we interact with.
              With respect to certainty of success by hunters and reasonable expectations for hunters, you repeat what I described in my previous post. All users of our wildlife resources enjoy reasonable access and opportunities to enjoy beneficial use of wildlie. Wolf hunting affects but does not negate those opportunities for wolf watchers or others.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Yes, thank you!

              • avatar Mark L says:

                Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says,
                “The concept of “rights” is not ecological, it is an artifact of human society. IF human society chooses to confer to other species “rights” as assigned to humans then you would have an argument. That isn’t the case. There are no “rights” assigned to wolves or other species we interact with.”
                What ‘rights’ do police dogs have while on duty (and not)? What ‘rights’ does a wolf on duty in a Louisiana prison have? The species barrier has already been broken in a way, just a matter of perspective. I see a slippery slope ahead…

              • avatar Jon Way says:

                You are wrong Mark. Have you heard of Animal Rights. Even conservative, anti-predator states like ID give some domestic animals rights. You can’t go slit a dog or a cats neck without getting in trouble. So other species do have rights. Obviously wolves don’t.

                “Wolf hunting affects but does not negate those opportunities for wolf watchers or others.”

                Yeah right…Maybe in MN where the pop is maintained to be stable but not in your great state where they are (dare I say) being slaughtered in unlimited numbers.

              • avatar jon says:

                Mark, wildlife viewers as a whole bring in much more money than hunters.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                Mark Gamblin (IDFG),
                Just to *reiterate* the animal issue, it’s not always from ‘the left’ either:

                The Retired Military Working Dog Assistance Organization (RMWDAO) is reporting that the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act passed in the Senate today, December 4. The Act is meant to provide benefits and care for retired Military Working Dogs.” You can check rmwdao.org for more info.
                Like I said, it’s a slippery slope saying animals have no rights.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Mark thanks for the pep talk about Idaho’s intentions for wolves. Wolves, already elusive, and shy before the hunts will surely be that much easier to see now that they are conditioned to humans hunting, trapping and snaring them. And with the aggressive hunting and poaching, wolf viewing opportunities shall most likely really abound now. Do dead wolves on the internet and on the back of pick up trucks count as wildlife watching under the spin a tale ethos of F&W departments.

            • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

              Louise –
              See my response to Ida – above.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              Mark its not just an issue of rights, which domestic animals to some extent do have and wildlife do not. There is a legal responsibility to manage trust resources for the benefit of citizens. Keeping populations of wolves to such a bare minimal, is not only unconscionable but irresponsible.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                just answer a question
                what is the population of cougars, bears, elk, coyotes, deer, just about anything and then wolves?

                The only thing I can think of that has a lesser population in the RM states, off the top of my head, is wolverine and that had to be stopped by a legal injunction.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            “Montana boasts over 30 million acres of state and federal lands, nearly one third of the state.”
            from your website
            To manage for 400 of an animal in the 4th largest state in the country with over 30 million acres of public trust land – state or federal- is criminal.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              the second part of this was cut off with Idaho sorry reposting

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Unconscionable is the word that comes to mind when looking at the acreage, number of inhabitants, amount of federal lands contrasted to wolf management plans using target objectives in the low hundreds.

                Idaho:

                Total Land Base: 53,530,880 acres
                Forest Service (NFS) Acres: 20.5 million
                BLM Acres: 11.9 million
                Population: 1,466,465

                Forest Service Percentage: 38%
                BLM Percentage: 22%

                Montana:

                Total Land Base: 94,185,600 acres
                Forest Service (NFS) Acres: 17 million
                BLM Acres: 8 million
                Population: 944,632

                Forest Service Percentage: 18%
                BLM Percentage: 8.5%

                Wyoming:

                Total Land Base: 62,603,520 acres
                Forest Service (NFS) Acres: 9.2 million
                BLM Acres: 18.4 million
                Population: 515,004

                Forest Service Percentage: 15%
                BLM Percentage: 29%

                Rankings in Total Acreage by State/Agency:

                Forest Service (NFS)-

                1) Alaska (21.97 million acres)
                2) California (20.8 million acres)
                3) Idaho (20.5 million acres)
                4) Montana (17 million acres)

                BLM-

                1) Alaska (87 million acres)
                2) Nevada (48 million acres)
                3) Wyoming (18.4 million acres)
                4) Oregon (15.7 acres)

                Rankings by Percentage of Land Base by State/Agency:

                Forest Service-

                1) Idaho (38%)
                2) Oregon (23%)
                3) Colorado and Washington (22%)

                BLM-

                1) Nevada (68%)
                2) Wyoming (29%)
                3) Oregon (23%)

            • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

              Louise –
              How, exactly, is it criminal to manage for any number of wolves – within the bounds of ESA listing criteria? I’ll presume to offer an answer: your point is that you and others are seriously disappointed that, in this example, Idaho is managing it’s wolf population at a level far below your preference. That’s a legitimate opinion/preference but not satisfying your particular wildlife management preference does not constitute poor wildlife management, let alone criminal behavior. Your obvious passion and desire for wolves and other wildlife to be exempted from responsible, sustainable use by hunters and trappers is encumbered by a strong lack of agreement and support from the primary beneficiaries of these trust resources – the people of Idaho (and Montana and Wyoming).

              • avatar Jon Way says:

                This says it all…”responsible, sustainable use by hunters and trappers”

                And what about all of the other ppl in Idaho (let alone the rest of the country) who think it is irresponsible and do not trap and kill wolves for fun. Game agencies live in a bubble with comments from what they think are their constituents (ie, trappers) and so you repeatedly ignore any other viewpoint. You say it is fine for others to have a diff’t viewpoint, but you “irresponsibly” don’t listen to them including many on this blog from ID.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                The ESA criteria was set as a compromise, and in my opinion, needs serious revision. The management of predators is archaic especially so as pertaining to wolves, and coyotes. The way the states are “managing” wolves is particularly criminal (used intentionally. Your management plans do not account for the biological importance of wolves’ sociality or their pack structure, nor does not account properly for human influence on prey or predator (as ilustrated in recent post here) and the plans ask for and receive pubic comments but ignore them. Furthermore they often ignore their own data. Montana ignoring Bob Reams.
                There are many meanings for criminal. Some are posted below, all of which apply, particularly iniquitous and corrupt, senseless, wrong, and out of line.

                The Yellowstone wolves may be the final straw, I hope so because something needs to change.

                criminal  [krim-uh-nl] Show IPA
                Part of Speech: adjective
                Definition: lawless, felonious
                Synonyms: bent, caught, corrupt, crooked, culpable, deplorable, dirty, heavy, hung up, illegal, illegitimate, illicit, immoral, indictable, iniquitous, nefarious, off base, out of line, peccant, racket, scandalous, senseless, shady*, smoking gun, unlawful, unrighteous, vicious, villainous, wicked, wildcat, wrong

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Mark how can you defend Idaho’s plan with goals at 150 or 400 or 700 when you’ve got 20 million acres of forest service land, 11.9 of BLM land and millions more of state lands. 400 of one animal!

                Idaho:

                Total Land Base: 53,530,880 acres
                Forest Service (NFS) Acres: 20.5 million
                BLM Acres: 11.9 million
                Population: 1,466,465

                Forest Service Percentage: 38%
                BLM Percentage: 22%

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                In Idaho’s vast wilderness areas, public lands lets just say 31,000,000 even though its closer to 45 I think with state lands their management plans will tolerate 1 wolf every 80,000 acres (if you manage for a population of 400). Thats what it breaks down to. Passion is not really the word I’d use to describe my feelings. Pure unadulterated outrage and pissed offness.

              • avatar jon says:

                Mark, why aren’t wolves treated like bears and cougars? Are hunters are allowed to kill 5 cougars and 5 bears this year and next like they can with wolves? There are far less wolves in Idaho than bears and cougars and yet Idaho fish and game is clearly trying to kill as many wolves as possible. Why exactly is this? because hunters are crying wolf and are having a hard time killing an elk or deer?

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                Jon Way –
                All public comments are listened to and considered. Not having your preferred alternative selected for wolf managment does not mean you weren’t heard and given sincer consideration. It generally means that your preferred alternative does not best serve the broader public interests. I am unaware of any evidence that the Idaho wolf management plan, specifically wolf hunting and trapping is opposed by a substantial portion of the Idaho public.

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                Louise –
                You are correct that wolf pack sociality, social structure, pack harmony….. is not directly addressed by the Idaho wolf management plan. That is because wolf pack structure is not a significant management concern for responsible management of the Idaho wolf population. The importance, if any, of the social dynamics of wolf packs for conservation of wolves has been over-speculated on in recent posts here. There is no research that I’m aware of that supports the hypothesis that hunting or trapping threatens wolf populations viability/sustainability by disrupting wolf pack dynamics. Likewise, the recent research on effects of human activity on elk behavior will have relevant implications for elk management considerations, but not for the reasons you imply here. It is hardly news that humans affect elk behavior. Human effects have little bearing on the key topic and concern – effects of wolves, through predation or modifying elk behavior – on the benefits of elk for the people of Idaho.

              • avatar jon says:

                Idaho fish and game are not concerned with the social structure of wolf packs and letting hunters gun down wolves and their newborn pups in April, May, and June in the lolo and selway. Gotcha Mark.

          • avatar jon says:

            How are wildlife viewers supposed to view wolves when wolves are allowed to be killed in every hunting zone? People who view wildlife want to see wildlife that is alive, not dead Mark. You are putting wolf hunters over those who wish to view wolves alive.

            • avatar jon says:

              Mark, why does Idaho fish and game allow hunters to kill wolves in the lolo and selway all the way through June 31st? Do you and Idaho fish and game not care that newborn pups and their mom could be killed? A hunter is allowed to kill 5 wolves in the selway and lolo March 31st to June 31st. Idaho is changing Mark. It will become more urban as the years pass by.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                With the climate in Idaho, you are not going to see much more urbanization than has already happened, the areas you are talking about are not friendly to urbanization!

                That is the problem with people who have never visited this area, there are many areas that can’t be developed.

                But I have to say, Jon, you statement is quite amusing.

            • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

              jon,
              Simple answer: hunting and trapping will not remove wolves from any management zone. Wolf watchers will have the same opportunities to get out and find wolves to view, as they would under any other circumstances.

              • avatar Leslie says:

                Mark, “Your obvious passion and desire for wolves and other wildlife to be exempted from responsible, sustainable use by hunters and trappers is encumbered by a strong lack of agreement and support from the primary beneficiaries of these trust resources – the people of Idaho (and Montana and Wyoming).”

                First, I live in Wyoming so don’t include me in the strong support of trapping and almost year round approval of wolf hunting.

                In theory, I hadn’t been opposed to a hunt season. But as things are turning out in the states, the 100 wolves, 10 breeding pairs numbers are just way too low–way too low for genetic exchange; way too low for the amount of habitat that states, esp. Idaho and Montana have, and I think way to low for wolves to continue to thrive and raise pups, especially since ID approves of killing pups in the spring.

                In addition, I didn’t realize the emotional impact it would have on me. I live in a place where I see wolves at all times of year. This year I watched a yearling and alpha female at various times all year long, sometimes up close. I saw that yearling since he was just six months old, then last spring and this summer again. They were the first ones killed in my valley.

                I know you are representing IDFG but I think if you spent time looking into the intelligent eyes of these predators, you wouldn’t answer these questions in such a institutional manner.

                Plus I object strongly to trapping, of wolves or any animal. Trapping is not only cruel, but it creates a market demand (mainly from China). Why are we allowing Killing for money? Sending our animals overseas? Trapping has got to be the lowest. Trapping is not sustainable use, as you term it.

                Also, I still don’t understand, and you have not answered, why you cannot give me a target number ID has for its wolf population?

  61. avatar jon says:

    http://www.laketahoenews.net/2012/12/nevada-group-wants-dogs-banned-from-bear-hunts/

    Chasing bears with dogs up a tree is not sporting in any way. If this is about ethics, dog hunting of bears should be banned.

  62. avatar jon says:

    http://badgerherald.com/news/2012/12/03/wolf_hunt_may_soon_c.php

    Carl Schoettel, vice president of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters’ Association, said the success of the wolf hunt season without dogs has nothing to do with the lawsuit.

    “It’s about hunters’ rights. The current rules discriminate,” Schoettel said. “We’re allowed to hunt coyotes with dogs. This is no different.”

    This guy for real? Hunting wolves with dogs is completely different than hunting coyotes with dogs. Wolves can and will kill dogs if given the opportunity.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Jon,

      Not if you read the blog about the pit bulls with Kevlar and spiked collars, they are supposed of killed something like 8 wolves with no damage to the dogs.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I thought it sounded a little far-fetched. Just a harassment technique, more propaganda. We’ll see what SB hears about it.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      and as Jon Way points out its no better to hunt coyotes with dogs, all the most disgusting forms of torture should not be reserved for our most social animals that most resemble our loved pets, what a terrible and sad irony. No animal should be treated like this. traps, dogs, snares, its so maddening as its so barbaric.

  63. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.causes.com/causes/787922-stop-wolf-trapping-in-montana/actions/1710632

    16,000 signatures in two days
    a petition to stop killing yellowstone wolves

    • avatar Robert R says:

      You cannot keep the park animals in the national park zoo and the buffer zone will never be big enough.

      • avatar jon says:

        I don’t know how big some want to make the buffer zone, but yellowstone wolves are important for numerous reasons. A lot of the yellowstone wolves have collars on them making the data collected on them very valuable to biologists and those that work with wolves in yellowstone.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Jon,

          The key thing is, once they leave the boundaries of the park, they are no longer Yellowstone wolves, Elk that leave the park are no longer Yellowstone Elk, Bears that leave are no longer Yellowstone bears, etc.

          Once the animal leaves the confines of the park, they, as long as they are not classified as endangered, are the property of the state they move into.

          There are collared animals all over the west, just because they have a collar does not designate them as anything other than an animal that is being tracked.

  64. avatar Sam says:

    Another dog caught in trap in MT. I just can’t believe any state would allow such an inhuman hunting method to be used.
    http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/trapper-cited-after-dog-caught-near-florence/article_635f87a2-340a-11e2-8576-0019bb2963f4.html

    • avatar Robert R says:

      Sam this is old new and this man is like the poster child for Footloose.

      One thing most of you anti trapping people must realize is that wildlife biologist also use traps of various styles. Wildlife biologist use leg hold traps to catch and collar wolves.

      • avatar Sam says:

        Dont matter how old it is..Just wondering why you keep saying thats its all a setup. And so if traps are so safe, why do they have to cut dogs legs off when caught in a trap? So if a kid steps into a trap all is fine..ok.

        This is the statement from the guy “If someone says to me, ‘it was just a dog,’ I think I will scream,” Ramberg said in a note to the newspaper Monday night. “I was there to hear her screaming and was there to see her fear in her eyes and the pain she fought.
        If traps are so soft then what happened with the Grangeville Forest Service employee pictured with a bloody wolf caught in a trap.

        • avatar Robert R says:

          Sam how the trapper portrayed the wolf in the picture was wrong. The problem is that the trap was not the cause of the blood in the snow. Before the trapper checked his trap the wolf had been shot by someone else with a small caliber gun.

          • avatar Sam says:

            I still think trapping is a cruel, inhuman, and an unnecessary, and lazy way to hunt. I hunt myself and wold never want to be part of that crowd

          • avatar jon says:

            Robert, you are a supporter of trapping. Would you feel the same about trapping as you do now if you found your dog snared to death? You might just change how you feel about trapping. Me personally, I am against trapping just because I read far too many stories of dogs getting caught in traps and some even killed by traps. It is very hard on the owner to find their loved pet in a snare or some other trap fighting for its life.

          • avatar jon says:

            There is a video on youtube of a trapped wolf in Wisconsin. It was alive and the trapper shot it in the face in the video and he laughed about it. Some of these trappers and hunters who hate wolves purposely post the videos of their wolf kills just to make the pro-wolf people mad and angry.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              And just think, all of this is being done strictly for political reasons, nothing else. There is no other reason, especially in the Western states. Population control, my butt.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              And guess what Jon, the few jerks that do it are winning, your getting pissed off, but still have not been able to stop them!

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                2 things SB….

                How are they winning? And why do your posts always have a bitter/angry edge to them? I mean we all get emotional about certain topics but you take it to a different level. Not trying to nitpick…just asking.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jeff,

                I am not angry, I am very simply realist on this issue, they are winning because they raise every bodies blood pressure and to this day nothing is getting done.

                Jon and few others on here refuse to even try to see both sides of any issue, it is their way or the highway. In fact, it is going to take members from both sides of these communities do work together before anything meaningful gets done.

                I am a realist, I understand that wolves are going to be killed, I fully understand that there are very sick people out there and I also understand that based on what people read, they will do anything they can to get a rise out of people.

                I had many of them in my units while in the military, in fact I had to have some of them drummed out due to their perverted ways.

                How you got that I am angry/bitter in my comment to Jon, I am at a loss, care to explain?

                Many here go off, call people names, in fact down right repugnant names and they don’t get the ration of crap I get.

                So please explain?

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                SB,

                I could start with your excessive use of “!”.

                And your latest post pretty much answers your question…

                “Many here go off, call people names, in fact down right repugnant names and they don’t get the ration of crap I get.”

                You accuse people of being intolerant of your views, but you lash out like no other on this site. Why do you feel you are always defending yourself so angrily here?

                And no…I’m not a shrink…but I play one on TV.

                ….

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jeff,

                It is obvious, you and I have very different views of the world, so my suggestion, would be ignore what I post, I will ignore what you have to post.

                What is a shame, we would probably get along just fine in the real world, but people like to read a whole bunch more into a written post on a blog that is really there.

                Jeff, I call people out, no more than anyone else on this blog, you do it, Mike does it, Jon does it, Elk does it, Jerry does it, Ken does it, Louise does it, etc.

                Every single person on this blog calls others out with the same amount of passion. We all have a stake in these issues and we all are very good at pushing our points.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++In fact, it is going to take members from both sides of these communities do work together before anything meaningful gets done.++

                Actually SB, it already happened. The federal government took wolves in its arms and recovered them, fighting hunters and ranchers all the way. It didn’t require “stakeholders coming together” (IE code-speak for people who earn money from public land only, please).

                What it took was a strong law backed by science.

                And that is what will happen again. It’s a numbers game, and these states sure are playing fast and loose with them.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Yup, Mike it was that strong low with science baking it, that got them de-listed in Montana and Idaho.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Sorry, that was strong LAW with Science Backing it. Darn wife was talking to me while I was typing.

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                SB,

                Not sure how my comments on this subject give you any indication of my world view but my opinion on wolf management is pretty centrist. I’m a huge advocate for having wolves, bison, grizz establish populations in suitable former range, whether naturally or by reintroduction. Western public lands offer the best hope for this, emphasis on public. I understand that problems and flash-points are inevitable…but I’d rather have science dictate the discussion as opposed to the NRA, Safari Club, atv groups, public land ranchers, hunting groups..etc….who currently seem to have all the comfy seats at the table.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jeff,

                Based on your last post to me, we agree on each point, see I knew we could get along fine, I am for all of the same things you are.

                Also I am against public lands grazing, see we do have a bunch in common.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            Robert R – hard to ignore the end result of traps:

            http://www.bornfreeusa.org/c3_trapping_investigation_photos_02.php

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Even at best, it is never pretty or humane. :(

              I would never fault a wild animal, even if they did attack me or my dog. It’s what they do – I’d have to take precautions or avoid certain areas. I accept that. I do also understand about protecting one’s pets and livestock – as long as they are being honest about it. I think hunters should be happy with hunting deer and elk, and birds. We can’t blame the wolves because now we are seeing what happens due to habitat fragmentation and decades of misuse. Wiping them out will not bring back the elk and deer, especially in places where they were never meant to be in the first place. Of course, I’m not an expert however.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Also, I don’t have a dog, but if I did it would be a Shepherd too. :) Someday maybe.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Rancher Bob,

                I knew a long time ago that wolves would be hunted, as part of the state plans. Did Montana just this year not change their plans to allow trapping?

                Bob, I’ve got no problems with fair hunting seasons, in particularly in the West, but for all the reasons others and myself have put forth, I am dead set against trapping. That won’t change.

                I gag when someone’s says they put their foot in a leg hold trapmand says it wasn’t bad. Put your (not you Bob) bare foot in one commensurate with your size. Let the panic set in of not knowing what it is, and why you can’t get away from it, let it dig in for up to three days with no food or water. Isn’t man supposed to be better than that.

                Just finishing the story of Louie Zamperini, “Unbroken”. Given the opportunity, man is capable of boundless good, and bottomless evil.

                Trapping is evil.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                Immer
                Since day one Montana has planned to kill wolves by trapping them when state managers felt the time was right.
                People see trapping as evil because it’s a action of man and they don’t want man to be that evil, or at least themselves. Trapping is a management tool that causes no more suffering than occurs in nature daily, but it’s caused by man.

            • avatar Rancher Bob says:

              Nancy
              Should we post photos showing the hard to ignore end results of predators. Oh right that’s nature and man should just watch nature not effect nature.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Bob,

                Perhaps we should post some pictures from inside a butchering plant, or the gut pile from a succesful deer or elk hunt. If one eats meat, there is “messy” somewhere in the process. Most mammalian predators don’t have the benefit of hands. They have to do ALL the dirty work with their mouths.

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                Really Rancher Bob….your making this argument? My 11 year old kid realizes that nature is messy because tooth and claw have to be used…whereas….say…leg-hold traps and snares really can’t be considered necessary. Come on Robert, don’t insult us with your “bu bu bu bu but look at how mean those wolves are” bullshit. You insult our intelligence and minimize your understanding of reality.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                Immer
                We should expand everyone’s visual out look, because it’s more like if you eat or occupy space on this planet your the cause of a “messy” process some where.
                Mammalian predators do a fine job with paws, I’ve seen dogs hold lots of things without thumbs or seen where a lion opened a elk like it used a knife.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Rancher Bob,

                I did write most mammalian predators. That wolf/coyote ain’t going to open up that deer or elk with it’s paws. Even the big cat, eating meat, gore will be evident somewhere in the process.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                Immer
                I don’t have a problem with the gore of nature, I do have a problem with people who think nature is all fluff and puppy love.
                The state management plans have always included trapping and hunting wolves. I have to live by the plan so should others.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Rancher Bob

                your assertion that Montana planned to trap wolves from day one is not entirely correct. I had some lengthy conversations with a commissioner who is very well respected as a biologist, and a commissioner. He indicated that he did not believe Montana intended to trap wolves, in fact he argued with me that the state would not return to that barbarism. “don’t worry Montana has no need or intention to return to trapping wolves”. And I believed him, and actually still do believe he was telling me the truth as he saw it then…at that moment in time – just post delisting. Someone posted here the other day a statement that made me think about those conversations….he/she wrote something on the order of” Something terrible has been unleashed since the delisting”. Allowing hunting of wolves did the exact opposite of what some scientists argued (releasing a pressure valve ) instead a killing frenzy is now the order of the day. Killing wolves by trapping has prevailed over the concerns of most citizens and the commission itself. I know thats been hard for the rational people, and there are some, who hoped for a much more progressive approach but have had wolf trapping and snaring rammed down their throats against their best efforts to prevent it. Then again, you are probably correct in that for the special interest groups wanting to kill as many wolves as possible, lifting federal protections opened the door to push trapping and snaring so they could be assured the ability to kill as many wolves as possible, and as brutally for some.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        One thing most of you anti trapping people must realize is that wildlife biologist also use traps of various styles. Wildlife biologist use leg hold traps to catch and collar wolves.

        Geez Robert R.

        I’m thinking there’s a vast difference between biologists trapping for knowledge and trappers, trapping for profits.

        If you wanted to go home, who’s trap would you like to be caught in?

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Well to be a devils advocate Nancy, in a way, Biologists are actually using traps for profit as well, unless they continue to study their subjects, they won’t receive any “Funding” In the biology world, funding equates a pay check.

          It is the old saying, Publish or Perish.

          I know the topic of conversation at many meetings I attend is always “Did you get your funding yet?”

          • avatar Nancy says:

            Okay, can relate to your comments
            SB but who, when it comes to biologists, trappers, practice trap and release?

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Nancy,

              I agree when we are working the goal is to trap and release, but I can tell you, unfortunately there are many times that the release part does not quite work out the way we intend.

              • avatar Nancy says:

                And that was the point I was trying to make SB.

                It doesn’t always work out when trapping wildlife in order to study their impact on “our” ever increasing demands on what’s left of their habitat but its a hell of a lot better than just trapping them out, killing…. over, and over and over again, because we lack the patience to deal with what we’ve done to their habitat.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Nancy as I have stated on here many times, I don’t trap, I have tapped in the past as part of my job, in fact, I am considering an offer to study an animal right now, that I will have to trap.

                My only point was to illustrate that trapping is a fact of life for more than just those that do it to sell the hides.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Robert,

        That wildlife biologists use leg hold traps is a cliched argument. They also check the trap everyday, if not twice a day. Don’t know what MT trap check window is, but last year Idaho had three day trap check.

        Also, wildlife biologists don’t use snares (reintroduced wolves, Canadians used cable restraints). Nor do they use conibears. Your dog gets caught in one of them, you don’t have much time.

        • avatar Kathleen says:

          Montana doesn’t have a trap check requirement–just a recommendation. “Traps should be checked at least once every 48 hours.”

          • avatar jon says:

            That is quite disgusting how Montana treats its wildlife. What if the wrong animal is caught in a trap? It has to sit in a trap for many hours and it can’t defend itself against natural predators.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              every animal caught in a trap is the wrong animal. They all suffer fear, pain, distress, exposure to elements, other animals, the possibility of being left to starve, hunger, thirst and a possible very violent death at the hands of some unsavory people who do torment them before killing them. Not all but some. Horrendous activity

        • avatar jon says:

          I sometimes see the anti-wolf people say why are you against trapping? Trapping was used to reintroduce wolves they say. Trapping to kill something is different than trapping to not kill in a lot of people’s eyes. Those who trap to not to kill usually check their traps more often then those who are trapping wolves to kill them. These trappers tend to not care how many hours wolves are left in traps. Some of them see wolves as nothing more than vermin.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            Yes, a big difference.

            How can we be sure that young are not killed? It would be a new low. I don’t know how they are going to justify a second year’s killings in the Western states.

        • avatar Robert R says:

          Immer this is true they check traps more offten but some also use sensors to tell them if the trap is set off.
          Montana requires at least every 48 hours and to curb the catch of non targeted animals you must have a pan tension of 8 pounds and some use 12 pounds.

        • avatar aves says:

          I agree. Biologist also try to eliminate injuries to the animals by modifying the traps with offset jaws and rubber pads on the jaws. But the only way to avoid injuries is to not use a leg hold trap at all. Coyotes, deer, and wolverines have been caught in box traps which are much safer.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “Coyotes, deer, and wolverines have been caught in box traps which are much safer.”

            Box traps are not an effective means to capture coyotes – Jon Way can attest to that, he did some good work with box traps and coyotes –

            https://www2.bc.edu/~wayjo/pdfs/WayBoxTrap.pdf

            In my experience, wolves are more neophobic than coyotes and it’s unlikely that they would venture into a box trap without weeks of conditioning.

      • avatar jon says:

        You seem like you are trying to dismiss this story RobertR. It doesn’t change the fact that his dog was trapped. You should feel for this man and his dog and not dismiss what happened to his dog as some conspiracy.

      • avatar jon says:

        You clearly are living in another world Robert. How do you expect someone to feel about trapping if their dog is caught and killed by a trap or snare Robert?

  65. avatar Sam says:

    I think many hunters feel that hunting with traps is like hunting with dogs.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      “This figure is approaching the 100-threshold Wyoming must maintain in order to keep the re-listing process from starting up. And a population of 140 wolves leaves little buffer to absorb next year’s natural mortalities, Predator Zone mortalities, another hunting season, poaching and the inevitable depredation controls.”

    • avatar jon says:

      There are many threats facing WY wolves and I believe they should be protected. You have a hunting season of wolves and you have them being killed as predators and you have the wolves who are illegally being killed by hunters and ranchers and you have the wolves that are being killed for livestock depredations and the wolves dying from natural causes.

      • avatar Leslie says:

        I understand the totals are taken as of Dec. 31 for that year, so totals won’t include pups born this spring. Also now is the time when wolves are roaming looking for new territories and mates, so new wolves will move in, maybe even from the park.

        All that being said, I’ve wondered for a while as I saw those predator numbers tick up how WY is going to manage this. Don’t forget, that area 12 that is now trophy will revert to part of the predator zone March through October.

  66. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Must be getting cold and dark earlier. Almost 500 posts on this thread and it’s not two weeks old!

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Actually its kind of warm here in Montana for this time of year Immer :) but I think there’s a lot of passion and compassion around the globe, regadless of the climate, when it comes to wildlife rights and issues.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Nancy,

        I agree. 45 and rain here today, and by “averages” we shouldn’t see above freezing temps until March.

  67. avatar jon says:

    http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/20183263/black-lab-caught-in-snare-trap-near-princeton-minn#ixzz2E2BeTH9l

    Another dog caught in a snare. Watch the video. It will make you sick. The only way to stop what is happening to these dogs is to ban trapping completely.

    • avatar Sam says:

      OK Robert N. lets get some facts out- How many wolves do you trap? And if I was to fight a battle on eliminating trapping I sure would want people like JON on my team instead of your wavering approach to winning an issue. You cant be a fence rider all the time and to say like science dictate a solution is another way of saying I dont want to make any hard decisions myself. The fact is science plays little role in many wildlife issues like eliminating the WA pack because ranchers didnt want to try any soft approach and were also grazing on public lands.

  68. avatar Savebears says:

    Pit Bulls, Kevlar Vests and Spike Collars.

    Just wanted to update from yesterday, Had lunch with my friend at FWP who is the person in charge of this area for wildlife Law Enforcement.

    He let me know, they have been aware of this blog entry for a while now and have been working with various agencies on this supposed claim of hunting wolves with dogs in Montana, they are working with Texas Game Wardens are well.

    The people are under strong scrutiny to see what may have happened, the individual living in Montana has also been contacted several times, they have searched the area that the supposed pit bull hunt happened in and as of yet have not found any evidence that this is a true story.

    He told me he would be sure to keep me updated to how the investigation progresses.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Thanks for the update SB.

      • avatar Salle says:

        Indeed, thanks. I was hoping it was just bluster but you just can’t tell. And maybe it is true… won’t know until someone of authority can say for sure.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      I too spent some of yesterday following up on this issue, it was not as pleasant as your lunch. I was essentially told the same thing that you were SB. A couple of notes: It is not easy to call the FWP to report poaching or illegal activity and I have found this to be true in Wisconsin, Idaho and Wyoming as well as MOntana. One must be very dedicated. This is the process I went through, called Mike Lee at the main number listed on the site. Then had a long conversation explaining the issue. At the end of the conversation I was told that the agency would investigate. When I asked specific questions as to length of time to investigate, who would be assigned and when I might expect some responses, I was told that it was uncertain and that Mike had to send an e mail to the warden and then to expect a wait. I then said ok why don’t I contact the warden directly. Then I was given another number to a Bozeman office and spoke to Brian Lloyd, while the conversation was cordial it was a bit dismissive. Then I discovered that the best and most appropriate person to speak with, should have been Sam Shepherd, who is the Captain of Region 3. I was told that they have been investigating this case, but not much more. I did ask to be contacted as they received information and was told that I would be. It remains to be seen if that happens. This process took me several hours. Its time consuming and frustrating to get to the correct party. This experience seems to be endemic to the process.
      Still, calling MOntana is better then Idaho where I have been treated rather badly and told by one of the commissioners that hunting wolves aggressively was needed to protect humans. I was also sent very misleading information about wolves and their size and threats they present to humans as well as some images of huge dead wolves, that seem to have been Canadian wolves. The image was supposed to convince me of their threat to humans. I thought that it was someone trying to make me deliberatly feel terrible because they knew I was an advocate. I was really surprised it was a commissioner sending me info in response to a comment I submitted to the Commission. Its not surprising so many people in those states are afraid of wolves and have such an unstable opinion about them when their commissioners promote deliberately false and misleading information. The point being that if you are not well informed, and willing to spend considerable time pursuing an issue within agency you may be purposefully misled. There is a lack of transparency and a deliberate attempt to dissuade people from participation in the public process, at least when it comes to wolves. That said, the people I spoke to were polite and cordial.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I’ll never understand why wolves are persecuted more aggressively than bears and cougars. Aren’t there many more cougars than wolves? There are such persistent falsehoods and misinformation that lead to much unnecessary killing.

        • avatar jon says:

          I asked Mark that same question. Don’t believe I ever got an answer from him. Someone who hunts and traps in Idaho can buy 5 wolf hunting tags and 5 trapping tags for wolves this year. That means 10 wolves for one person if he hunts and traps wolves. How many bears and cougars can hunters take this year? Wolves are not treated the same as cougars and bears and wolves just came off the endangered species list and there are far fewer of them then bears and cougars.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            jon –
            Sorry I missed your question. Black bear and cougar hunting seasons and bag limits (as for wolves) are designed to meet specific mangagement objectives. In some areas, like the Lolo Zone, we have had or currently have liberal seasons and harvest/take/kill opportunity for bears and lions – for a variety of reasons. In the Lolo Zone, prior to the arrival of wolves, bears and lions were the most significant source of predation for elk calves. Liberal hunting seasons and harvest/take/kill opportunity for bears and lions improved elk production, temporarily. The key point here is that wildlife is managed by objective. We are managing Idaho wolves to achieve several objectives that differ from bear and lion managment objectives in different parts of the state. The Southeast Region (the area I supervise) and other southern regions, we have managed cougars with liberal seasons and female quotas for years to reduce lion predation of mule deer as much as possible. In some areas of Idaho black bear depredation problems prompt liberal harvest/take/kill of bears to deal with those conflicts. The popular perception that wolves are managed under different wildlife management principles is – false.

            • avatar jon says:

              Idaho fish and game doesn’t allow hunters to kill mountain lions with kittens or bears with cubs right Mark? Why are you allowing hunters to kill wolves and their newborn pups in the lolo and selway? You are not letting hunters and trappers kill and trap 5 bears and 5 cougars a year like you are doing with wolves. Wolves are not being managed in the same way bears and cougars.

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                jon –
                A bear hunter could take a cub if he/she chooses to do so. Idaho bear hunters may not take a female black bear accompanied by cubs. There is no comparable, identifyable situation for wolf hunters.
                As I explained earlier – wolves (like bears and lions) are managed by objective. Different managment strategies are used to accomplish different management objectives. Your point that harvest/take/kill of female black bears accompanied by cubs without a comparable rule for wolves – is (cliche alert) apples and oranges and irrelevant for a discussion of appropriate, responsible wildlife managment. Your concern is relevant to your own values and personal preferences.

              • avatar jon says:

                Mark, do you think it’s wise to kill wolves in April, May, and June? Why doesn’t the Idaho fish and game close the lolo and selway March 31st? If a wolf hunter found a wolf den in the lolo or selway and he had 5 wolf tags, he could take out 5 wolves whether they are newborns or not. What kind of message will this send Mark?

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                jon –
                Clearly the Commission and Department have extended wolf hunting into those months because we conclude it is prudent and resonsible to do so. Repeating myself here: your disagreement/discomfort with this managment prescription does not constitue a viable argument against the decision. This is an example of management by objective. The objective is to reduce wolf numbers in the Lolo Zone (note: reduce wolf numbers, not eliminate) to reduce wolf predation of cow and calf elk and thereby increase elk production and recruitment and ultimately increase elk numbers to improve elk hunting opportunity in the Lolo Zone. For these appropriate managment objectives – yes, I do think this is an appropriate wolf management action.
                Your query on the possibility of a hunter taking wolf pups from a den in the Lolo Zone is purely hypothetical and very unlikely to occur. Harvest/take/kill of wolf pups from dens is not an intended outcome of the Lolo Zone wolf hunting season this year and is not a realistic or credible concern.

              • avatar Jon Way says:

                “Harvest/take/kill of wolf pups from dens is not an intended outcome of the Lolo Zone wolf hunting season this year and is not a realistic or credible concern.”

                But if it happens – oh well….

              • avatar jon says:

                Mark, it is irresponsible to let hunters kill wolves during that time as they are giving birth and raising their young. My disagreement does constitute a viable argument against the decision of letting hunters kill wolves while they are giving birth and raising their newborn wolf pups. You don’t let hunters kill bears with cubs and you don’t let hunters kill mountain lions with kittens, but you let hunters kill wolves during the months where they give birth and raise their young? Something is definitely wrong with this picture. All of the evidence says that Idaho fish and game are not treating wolves like bears and cougars. You are simply trying to kill as many wolves as possible just so you can provide more deer and elk for hunters to kill. To allow hunters kill wolves during the months where they give birth and raise their young is not proper wildlife management.

              • avatar jon says:

                Thanks Mark for verifying that. You support the killing of wolves and their newborn pups, just so Idaho fish and game can provide more hunting opportunities for hunters. You admitting this gives people plenty of reason not to trust or believe Idaho fish and game when they say they are going to responsibly manage the wolf population in Idaho.

              • avatar Sam Parks says:

                “Harvest/take/kill of wolf pups from dens is not an intended outcome of the Lolo Zone wolf hunting season this year and is not a realistic or credible concern.”

                To say this is not a realistic or credible concern is absolute garbage. Given that it’s perfectly legal and hunting is extended into the denning season. Do you understand what the word realistic means?

                By the way, Mr. Gamblin, the condescending tone is really not needed. You seem to think that anybody who disagrees with you is either not credible or somehow not qualified to have an opinion on the matter.

              • avatar jon says:

                How is it not a realistic concern Mark? If a hunter who is hunting wolves in the lolo or selway in April through June happens to find a den of newborn pups, if he has 5 wolf tags, he will be legally allowed to kill those newborn pups or at least 5 of them if he decides to.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Boy, with the way this thread has gone, if confirms my belief, people have far to much time on their hands.

                Especially the many who have never every been in the west, it is no wonder.

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                Sam –
                Hunters killer litters of pups at denning sites is not a credible or realistic concern because it is very unlikely to happen. The Lolo Zone is very rugged, remote country that does not attract a significant amount of wolf hunting activity. Locating wolf denning sites is not easy. For my comment, realistic means….reasonable, likely to occur, worthy of a significant amount of attention. No – it is not a significant concern.

              • avatar jon says:

                Mark, but there is always a chance it could happen and there is always a first time for everything. Why allow it in the first place and it’s very unlikely to happen according to you? Can you imagine the public backlash that the Idaho fish and game would face all throughout the country if a wolf hunter or wolf hunters find a denning site and takes out up to 5 wolves including newborn wolf pups?

              • avatar jon says:

                And this could happen in the selway as well. Wolf hunters today have killed 11 wolves in the selway. Idaho fish and game allows the killing of wolves March 31st through June 31st. If a wolf hunter were to find a den site and find newborn wolf pups in there or near by, he could legally kill 5 of those wolf pups. To say it’s very unlikely that it would happen is not the same as saying it will never happen Mark. There is always a first time for everything.

              • avatar Jimmy says:

                On a different subject: Extensive burned areas- My feeling about large burnout areas is that they tend to push the wildlife off on the unburned areas, therefore hunters could possibly have higher success rates and have a serious negative impact on the overall population of game species. Have you guys considered this an issue related to fires?

            • avatar Jon Way says:

              “In some areas of Idaho black bear depredation problems prompt liberal harvest/take/kill of bears to deal with those conflicts”

              Probably the only time someone from IDFG has used the term “liberal” without being fired. I am not sure if I am the only one Mark – because I know you are explaining things as best you can – but I honestly get a visceral reaction to your posts. I think it is because you repeatedly do not consider any other viewpoint than to raise elk pop. #s despite most of the west being over pop. objectives. I am sure you will press auto-pilot and respond with the typical answer that wolves are managed like any other species – yeah right…

              • avatar Nancy says:

                Jon Way – thank you for that post.

                On my way to a job this morning and saw atleast a half dozen elk calves wandering around in a pasture. No moms in sight. Same pasture that 25 elk calves almost starved to death in, about 7 years ago.

                They are either the result of being orphaned (hunting season) or couldn’t manage to get over the numerous fencelines because migrating is big in the minds of adult elk trying to get out of this area, before winter sets in.

                And yes by now (at 6 months of age) they should know how to forage but what worries me most is there are no adults around to instruct them.

                Will they be factored in, become statistics, when the annual spring “elk/calf ratio count” is taken?

                Is this scenario being repeated too often due to the thousands of miles of fencelines in place and just chalked up to losses by predators or “winterkill”?

                And most importantly, who really cares? Being over the objectives in some areas/ and below in other areas? Regardless of the wildlife paying the price.

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                Jon –
                Another important and freqent erroneous argument: Elk are above management objectives in western states, therefor there is no justification to manage for lower numbers of wolves. The argument would have merit if an abundance of elk in one geographical area negates the need for or value in management actions to recover elk population reductions due to wolf predation in another geographical area. Southeast Idaho supports some of our best elk hunting opportunity, and has no established wolf population. The Lolo Zone has substantially lower elk numbers and elk hunting opportunity due to wolf predation. By the argument in question, the IDFG would write off the Lolo Zone (Northern Idaho) as a modest or better elk hunting destination because….we still have portions of the state (Southeastern Idaho)that supports good quality elk hunting (not above management objectives however). Of course that would be both unreasonable and illogical if wolves can be managed in the Lolo Zone at a lower, sustained population to allow for improved elk hunting opportunity.
                In fact, other viewpoints are considered and in this example, simply found to not represent the public interest for Idahoans.

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                Nancy –
                “Will they be factored in, become statistics, when the annual spring “elk/calf ratio count” is taken?; “….Being over the objectives in some areas/ and below in other areas? Regardless of the wildlife paying the price.”

                If those elk die this winter, their loss may or may not influence a post winter population survey. Emphasis here on POPULATION survey, as opposed to a survey to account for loss of those individual elk. I think I understand your point about wildlife paying a price – beyond the practical reality of habitat loss/modification causing reduced abundance of wildlife. Elk and other wildlife are managed at the population scale rather than individual animals. That is fundamentally the most responsible paradigm for management of our public trust wildlife resource. it’s genetic heritage.

            • avatar JB says:

              “The popular perception that wolves are managed under different wildlife management principles is – false.”

              The principles may be the same, but the response is quite different. Western agencies have chosen to pursue wolves more aggressively (as indicated by harvest quotas and population objectives relative to current populations).

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                JB –
                And my point is that the “difference” in management of wolves – compared to other managed species is a mis-understanding or…. mis-characterization of wildlfie management. Because the Idaho (and other states) wolf mangement plan is consistent with the same wildlife mangement principles, as other managed species; because the disagreement is with the management objectives, not the management principle(s) – the argument that wolves are managed “differently” than other game species ….. is mis-leading and fundamentally false.

              • avatar JB says:

                Mark:

                I take your first point, but it certainly is true that more aggressive management counts as a difference . I would also point out that wolf management is far more “political” (hate that word), in so much as you have legislators, governors, directors of natural resource agencies and even commissioners clamoring for increased management of wolves and making outrageous (i.e., scientifically invalid) claims about the effects of wolves on their prey.

                And we both know that what these folks say matters on the ground. So I would argue that the management of wolves is fundamentally different from the management of other carnivores.

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                JB –
                Yes, wolf management strategy differs from management strategies for other species, because management challenges and objectives differ. My point is – that is exactly how responsible wildlife management should be conducted. Wolf issues are indeed “political”. Every human endeavor is political by nature. Human society is deeply, inherently “political”. I share your frustration with the continual emphasis on “politics” of wolf management. Saying the wolf managment is political is doesn’t reveal a management shortcoming, it simply recogizes the reality of all resource management issues and solutions.

                Wolf management is currently the poster child for resource governance issues strongly influenced by public and institutional passions. Part and parcel of the inherent political world we live in. There is no shortage of misleading, mischaracterizing statements about wolf predation on both ends of the philosophical spectrum. Suffice it to say that wolves do influence prey species at different levels under different conditions and circumstances. Suffice it to say that it is not only appropriate for the IDFG (and other state F&G/Wildlife agencies) to understand the relationship of wolves to other resource management responsibilities and appropriately manage the wildlife trust (wolves included)for the best interests of the public beneficiaries.

              • avatar JB says:

                Mark,

                We agree on the nature of politics, and to the extent that all decisions are political, wolf management is like every wildlife/resource other issue. However, wolf management does differ in one very fundamental way that is, in part, revealed by your statement:

                “There is no shortage of misleading, mischaracterizing statements about wolf predation on both ends of the philosophical spectrum.”

                I agree wholeheartedly with this statement! However, what you’ve left out is that the people in power (i.e., those who influence management decisions the state level) all line up on one side of the “philosophical spectrum”. That’s a truly important difference here, as those that are “pro-wolf” (another term I hate) and even those that consider themselves moderates don’t see anyone in positions of power representing their interests.

                —-

                “Suffice it to say that wolves do influence prey species at different levels under different conditions and circumstances.”

                You bet they do! The issue is that very little is known or agreed upon by scientists regarding the different conditions and circumstances. (See Mech’s recent publication challenging the idea of trophic cascades). Western states appear to be working under the assumption that wolves are some sort of super predator, when both their energetic requirements and numbers are less than the much more common cougar. So many of us continue to ask how it is that ~2,000 cougars is acceptable while ~1,000 wolves is an environmental catastrophe?

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                JB –
                “….Western states appear to be working under the assumption that wolves are some sort of super predator, when both their energetic requirements and numbers are less than the much more common cougar. So many of us continue to ask how it is that ~2,000 cougars is acceptable while ~1,000 wolves is an environmental catastrophe?”

                From my perspective only – we know for specific elk population declines that wolves are the dominant source of predation responsible for those population declines: Lolo Zone, Sawtooth Zone, and strong indications (with less conclusive radio telemetry data for documentation) the Middle Fork Zone and other large geographic portions of Idaho. Wolves are indeed a different predator than cougars. Pack hunting efficiency advantages compared to cougars and a larger reliance on elk than by cougars are examples. Wolves represent a relatively new and very significant source of mortality for other important wildlife species that, in several portions of Idaho, has caused serious loss of recreational hunting opportunity and depredation loss of livestock and other personal property. BTW, I don’t think you intende to imply I have, but….I haven’t used the term “environmental catastrophe”. I try to choose my words carefully. There is more than enough hyperbole applied to this topic without contributions from me.

              • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

                Louise –
                You are at a disadvantage here by not having a full understanding of the long term research and data-base we have developed for the Lolo Zone elk population, habitat and predator effects.
                A quick synopsis: The 1997-98 winter kill is a part of the story I described above. Winter mortality was indeed severe. The winter kill effectively put the Lolo Zone elk population in a predator trap – i.e. bear and lion predation of elk neonates prevented the elk population from recovering to a level existing habitat would support. Bear and lion harvest/take/kill opportunity was substantially increased to provide a release for elk production and was briefly effective. Wolves became established in the Lolo Zone within a few years of the liberalized bear and lion harvest/take/kill opportunities and quickly became the dominant source of mortality for the elk population.
                This elk population has been closely studied for years, monitoring the source of all mortality for cow and calf elk with radio telemetry. Very thorough and very precise data over a long period of time. Cow elk have not been hunted in the Lolo Zone for years and was not a significant factor in elk population mortality prior to that.
                I understand that to you, the 3/4 of collared elk surviving suggestes that wolf predation is minimal. That is incorrect. The 88% survival figure you cite is the level necessary for the elk population to maintain itself. Wolf predation of cow and calf elk has been reducing this population to a floor, at or below replacement. In population dynamics terms that means the during this period of time, with current habitat conditions – wolves have depressed the Lolo Zone elk population to a level of negative growth. Because of wolf predation, the Lolo Zone elk population, today, is barely holding on.

              • avatar JB says:

                “From my perspective only – we know for specific elk population declines that wolves are the dominant source of predation responsible for those population declines: Lolo Zone, Sawtooth Zone, and strong indications (with less conclusive radio telemetry data for documentation) the Middle Fork Zone and other large geographic portions of Idaho.”

                Mark: As you know, mortality cannot be equated with population decline; else your statement below (i.e., “the decline in Lolo Zone elk numbers over the past 20 years had nothing to do with over harvest/take/kill by hunters”) would be patently false (the term “nothing” being key). Your data show that wolves are the number one mortality source in a declining population–but again, correlation is not causation (I think that was one of Mech’s points regarding trophic cascades). Regardless, I don’t have a problem with Idaho’s attempts to reduce wolf predation (through hunting wolves) where they have been shown to be having an impact; but your objectives make it clear that your agency wants as few as wolves as possible–everywhere. That’s not a “balanced” approach to wildlife management; nor can I think of any other “valued game species” that is managed this way. (Usually you try to increase species you value–at least somewhere.)

                “Wolves are indeed a different predator than cougars. Pack hunting efficiency advantages compared to cougars and a larger reliance on elk than by cougars are examples.”

                Efficiency in predation is indeed advantageous, but again, efficiency cannot be equated with population declines. Cougars are larger and far more numerous than wolves, and they are both obligate carnivores. You can try and convince me that ~1000 wolves kill more elk than ~2000 cougars, but you don’t have bioenergetics on your side.

                “Wolves represent a relatively new and very significant source of mortality for other important wildlife species that, in several portions of Idaho, has caused serious loss of recreational hunting opportunity and depredation loss of livestock and other personal property.”

                So wolves “caused” a loss in hunting opportunity? Really? It didn’t have anything to do with human hunters, cougars, bears, or habitat? It is solely attributable to wolves? I would VERY MUCH like to see the data that support that conclusion.

                “BTW, I don’t think you intende to imply I have, but….I haven’t used the term ‘environmental catastrophe’.”

                No, I would not attribute such rhetoric to you. However, I now have a rather lengthy list of such absurdities uttered by your governor, legislators and wildlife commissioners–they people who are actually setting wolf management policy.

              • avatar Mike says:

                Mark –

                When you have myself, JB, and Louise on the other side of your argument, you know you’re wrong.

                Take a seat, my man. You’ve been tap dancing for so long. You must be exhausted.

              • avatar WM says:

                JB,

                ++Regardless, I don’t have a problem with Idaho’s attempts to reduce wolf predation (through hunting wolves) where they have been shown to be having an impact;…++

                Just a footnote comment to your concession on when to hunt wolves. It seems, in some places, being proactive instead of reactive is better management. I am constantly amazed by this stance – wait for the impact then respond to the result. It then takes time, several years, for the reaction to the impact to reverse itself. That is the antithesis of “PLANNING – a program or method worked out beforehand to achieve an objective.”

                Planning is a tool for management. Why is the focus always on seeing impact first before doing anything, when it comes to wolves? Predictive modeling is another important planning tool, and it certainly seems, with adequate inputs some modeling results can give insight to anticipated “impacts” before actually having them.

                I will submit that reactive response is bad management. Applies equally if there are too few wolves on the landscape to meet ESA obligations. Planning is needed on both ends, though wolves can always be moved around if there are too few in one spot. Tougher and more expensive to do if a management objective becomes too low for elk, because of wolves. And elk hunters don’t want to wait for 3-5 year recovery period if a wildife agencies (or FWS caused delays) messes things up.

              • avatar JB says:

                WM:

                If you’re aware of a predictive model that shows that wolves will negatively impact elk populations everywhere in Idaho, by all means please share it! Your post only shows the bias inherent in Idaho’s planning. They present correlative evidence suggesting (yes SUGGESTING!) that wolves are the primary factor causing decline in two GMUs, and then structure management so as to minimize wolf populations in every GMU.

                The fact that Idaho is so aggressively pursuing wolves everywhere–even places where there are few wolves–is the key piece of information that disproves the statement “we manage wolves like any other species”. Really? Show me ANY other “valued game species” whose populations are being systematically minimized in every corner of their range?

                It’s a horsehit argument and you, me, Mark, and everyone else knows it. They have made it crystal clear that they believe that wolves threaten elk hunting opportunity (i.e., revenue) and so wolves are systematically devalued through policy that attempts to minimize their populations (even in places where they can’t show an effect). This should be readily apparent to anyone who has been paying attention.

                And because I know it is coming, the ready-made excuse is that everywhere else [everywhere they can’t show an impact on Elk–which is most places] they are concerned about wolves’ impact on livestock. Convenient.

              • avatar JB says:

                Sorry, if the prior message is overly blunt. I’m running on three weeks of sleep deprivation (due to new child) so my tolerance for this bullshit is very low.

          • avatar Jimmy says:

            Jon you know the story- IFG is not dictated by objective, rather by the commission and hunt permits. I’ve spend 20 yrs in the Bitterroot-Selway long before most of the young IFG game kids were around. 20 yrs ago the elk numbers were very high, then numbers started to decline as ID population drastically increased and access by outfitters and hunters on horse increased. This lead to the decline in elk numbers. Therefore, IFG objective to to nearly eliminate predators such as bear and cougar. But the fact is that eliminating predators may increase elk numbers, but this just leads to higher harvest rates, therefore, elk numbers never really increase. Its all about selling licenses with little emphases on wildlife science. at all.

            • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

              Jimmy –
              The decline in Lolo Zone elk numbers over the past 20 years had nothing to do with over harvest/take/kill by hunters. The decline (a continuation of a longer decline) was due to a combination of declining habitat productivity (maturing forest community post 1910-1930 forest fires), elk calf predation by bears and lions and finally – additive predation mortality for cow and calf elk by wolves. Hunting opportunity has been continually reduced to adjust for lower elk productivity caused by declining elk population prod