Montana and Wyoming hunts ruin Park’s study of how many elk wolves eat, wolf movements, pack territories-

While the official stance of Yellowstone Park is that the three state wolf hunt that has been going on along the Park’s boundaries has not jeopardized the Park’s wolf population (now down to 81 wolves), it certainly killed the Park’s wolf project’s  research on wolf habits such as how many and where wolves eat elk, bison, deer, and the like.  Not only that, but the loss of the 3 GPS collars which  tracked wolf movements 24/7 makes it so it cannot be known if the wolves have killed what they eat or whether they find a carcass (or steal it from lion, bear, coyotes, etc.).

Other Yellowstone wolves killed in the wolf hunt while on a foray outside the Park had regular (standard) collars.  Uncollared wolves were killed too, and most of these carcasses probably gave no indication they were basically Park wolves. The number in this category is not known, but it is a reasonable assumption that the true Park wolf population today is actually less than 81.

Science Insider has a detailed article on what the death of the 3 GPS-collared wolves means. Hunters Kill Another Radio-Collared Yellowstone National Park Wolf.  by Virginia Morell. Ms. Morell interviewed Dr. Douglas Smith, the head of the Park’s wolf project.

Most of the Wyoming wolf hunt units have closed now and Montana will not allow wolf trapping along the Park boundary when their first wolf trapping season begins Friday, Dec. 15. The wolf hunt goes on in Idaho where it is almost endless, but not many wolves migrate directly out of the Park into Idaho because the expansive Madsion Plateau sits in the way to Idaho.  It has almost no prey … little habitat for ungulates.

 

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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.

382 Responses to All Yellowstone Park wolf GPS collared wolves were killed in the wolf hunt.

  1. avatar Mark L says:

    collars collected by shooters for intel?
    Wolves=Taliban? Are drones next?
    This stuff is getting weird.
    It’s odd that there are more red wolves in a five county area of North Carolina than in YNP.

    and both are still hunted.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      “It’s odd that there are more red wolves in a five county area of North Carolina than in YNP.

      and both are still hunted.”
      Not odd – shameful, ignorant and wrong
      Wolf hunting as it is done now will be seen as a black place in history. It is shameful, overused as that word is in this context, accurate.

  2. avatar IDhiker says:

    These are some of the people getting press and trying to influence wolf management. Their comments speak for themselves:

    “Robert Fanning, co-founder of the group Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd, which opposes wolf protections, said he knew one hunter who shot a popular wolf from Yellowstone and then boasted of the feat on his vanity license plates.

    Mr. Fanning said that empathizing with wolves because of their supposedly human traits compares unfavorably with “what pagans did in ancient cultures.”

    Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, likened the admiration for 832F to romanticizing “a psychotic predator stalking Central Park and slitting the throats of unwary visitors.”

    • avatar Gail says:

      I’d take my chances with a wolf any day. At least wolves don’t fabricate or outright lie.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        No, they don’t Gail, but some of the extreme elements on the pro side do.

        • avatar Mike says:

          ++No, they don’t Gail, but some of the extreme elements on the pro side do.++

          False equivalency. Try to stick to the issue here: Hunters wiping out Yellowstone wolves.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Go to hell Mike

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++Go to hell Mike++

              What is it with hunters and anger lately?

              This is nothing more than a friendly wildlife forum. I just don’t get this kind of behavior. But…perhaps it does begin to explain why a certain segment of hunters behave the way they do. There seems to be a strong undercurrent of anger among them, and yes, perhaps this anger gets unleashed on things they can control…things with fur and teeth.

              Control in a life with little control.

        • avatar jon says:

          Fanning and Marbut are not extreme? Seriously sb, do you defend these people like Fanning and Marbut?

          • avatar bret says:

            Jon, The chairwoman of the WDFW commission reminded attendees at the meeting in which the wedge pack was discussed that both ( armed) uniformed and plain cloths officers were present to maintain order after death threats were received from people upset with the way the wedge pack was handled. extremist everywhere.

          • avatar DLB says:

            Everybody knows those guys are a bunch of queens…….Rockhead’s running around whining about an IDFG employee wanting to kill him. I don’t think anyone is trying to defend those folks.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Jon,

            Where in the hell did I defend Fanning and Marbut, the last time I was in a room with Fanning, they had to keep us away from each other, cause I was going to beat the crap out of him!

            How many freaking times do I have to tell you I don’t defend those type of people, I don’t even consider them hunters!

            • avatar Savebears says:

              That is the problem with you guys, you continue to group everybody as the same, I am a hunter, I hunt for food, I don’t hate wolves, and I don’t defend the extreme element on either side of this argument, Did you understand that JON?

              • avatar Mike says:

                False equivalency, SB. The extreme side of pro-wolfers doesn’t exist.

                Rather than false equivalencies and platitudes, how about addressing the actual thread topic? That is, Yellowstone wolves being wiped out by hunters.

            • avatar Mike says:

              SB –

              Why is your first post in a thread about hunters wiping out Yellowstone wolves an attack on pro-wolfers?

              It’s obvious why one would interpret your presence here as a defense of Fanning.

              • avatar Robert R says:

                Mike it’s a legal hunt and these wolves are not the property of Yellowstone Park.
                Wolves are animals of habit and follow the ungulates migrating out of the park.
                When you or any of the professionals here has a plan for wolf management let’s here it because everyone keeps avoiding the question.

              • avatar Lindi says:

                Robert R. It is hardly fair, legal or ethical for hunters to track collared wolves with GPS and lure them out of the park with bait and pup cries. It is criminal. If you can’t manage to hunt an animal using fair chase rules then maybe you should surrender your gun and learn how to knit. You complain about the people who defend wolves but they aren’t the ones gaming the system and killing wolves for the crime of being wolves. You have no ethical legs to stand on–the wolf hunt is based on a big fat rancher/hunter/government lie!

    • avatar MJ says:

      re: likened the admiration for 832F to romanticizing “a psychotic predator stalking Central Park and slitting the throats of unwary visitors.”

      A set of of questions I pose to the uninformed on the danger of predators and the usual answers:

      Q1. How many times in the last year have there been reports of wild animals attacking people? (A: from 0 to somewhere in the single digits)

      Q2. How many times in the past year have you heard about a person attacking people? (A: too many to recall)

      3. Now, tell me, which is the species about which you need to be concerned? (A: stunned or dumbfounded look)

      Conclusion: When comparing the risks posed by wild animals on people to intraspecific danger, Homo sapiens are always off the charts.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        MJ,

        They always have been, this is not new information.

        • avatar MJ says:

          I know that but you might be surprised at the vast number of people who never think about this, buying into media hype. Hence the stunned reactions. I’ve run this question game probably 100 times and the reactions are always the same.

  3. avatar IDhiker says:

    Apparently my post was lost from the place where I put it…so I will post it here again to address reoccurring comments that the the transplanted wolves are not the same as the original “native species,” and are larger. Here’s what the Montana Trapper’s Association had to say about this in their wolf trapping classes:

    “Rumors abound about the transplanted wolves from Canada being “different” from those formerly in Montana.
    This is not the case: all wolves in Northern Rocky Mountains are the same species.
    For example, the largest wolf captured and transplanted by the USFWS weighed 102 pounds and in the second year he weighed 132 pounds.
    There are no 180 pound wolves transplanted here by the Feds!
    If we take the species to the subspecies level, all the wolves brought into Montana by the US fish and Wildlife Service are the same as were already living and coming here in Montana.”

  4. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    I am of the opinion that the truely ETHICAL sportsman would pass on shooting any wolf seen to be wearing a collar. Those colalrs are easy to spot. Shooting a wolf isn’t easy . it requires good decisive targeting by the hunter , which means good scope optics. The collars should usually be apparent during the pursuit and take.

    That so many collared wolves are being taken poses some serious questions. The one I want answered is ” Should ethical sportsmen exempt themselves from taking a collared wolf, and/or should state wolf hunting regs require hunters to decline shooting a collared wolf ? ”

    The present situation is unacceptable.
    Opinion: we cannot let the ” Kill ‘Em All” wolf shooters have a pass on this.

    • avatar DLB says:

      I don’t know how many hunters would voluntarily pass on shooting a collared wolf.

      It’s hard to peel back the shoot em’ all bravado that is so prevelant on hunting blogs and other hunting oriented forums.

      The Wildlife News is an exception to the rule in that hunters can engage in dialogue with others on issues like this without peer pressure from the shoot em’ all crowd.

      A common theme on the hunting blogs is that wolves are difficult to hunt, which may limit willingness to pass on an opportunity…….

      • avatar Mark L says:

        Correct. Wolf hunting also requires pre-meditation as no one buys a tag after the fact (in theory). If the ethics were not implicitely directed by law, they were subject to interpretation by the shooter. This is the fault of legislation. Ask people not to speed…please, and they still will. Establish a penalty for it, and most don’t. Legislation….consequences.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        well the wolves being difficult to hunt theory is easily disproved. Isn’t it 600 killed already this year, combined. sickening really

        • avatar Elk275 says:

          By how many thousands of deer and elk hunters who shot a wolf incidential to hunting deer and elk. Six hundred wolves shot by hundreds of thousands of hunters. Wolves are not easy to shoot.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Elk for god’s sake…. This year the states that held their first hunts were highly “successful” and rather quickly. Think about what you just stated, also ….hundred of thousands of hunters against how many wolves….indefensible

            • avatar Elk275 says:

              I was refering to NRM states not MN or WI. There are hundreds of thousands deer and elk hunters in the NRM states, but I guess we should look at the total number of wolf licenses sold and divide that number by the number of wolves kill; it is a very low percentage rate. It is defensible it is the the laws of the the states and they are going to do what and how they want.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Like I said lets see what happens as the Yellowstone wolves continue to die. The states doing what they are going to do when and how they want will backfire. I hope it happens sooner than later so this gory senseless killing stops.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Louise,

              This is not the first states hunts, Wyoming has had a season, we have had a couple of seasons in Montana as had Idaho. The take in Montana, is actually down compared to last year.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Savebears I know its not Montana and Idaho’s first seasons they’ve been going at it strong now for a couple of years! This is the first year that the MN and WI wolves get to experience the thrill of snares, traps, arrows and bullets so they can adorn someone’s wall. Those lucky wolves. And to think 70% of the respondents just couldn’t get their head around that kind of fun and voted against a hunt.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Well Louise,

                Despite your objections, it is better to have a managed hunt, then what was becoming more frequent and that was poaching and SSS, you are not going to stop wolf hunting.

              • avatar Betty says:

                numbers are down cause there are less wolves to hunt, so they are harder to find. Dummies.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Elk,

            Yes, but how many of those hundreds of thousands had a wok tag?

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Wok??? Sorry. Also Elk, as I am reading through the comments, you have already addressed my question.

            • avatar Elk275 says:

              “a wok tag”

              That is a new one. I have never needed a tag to use my wok before. Better read the regulations next time I make pinnapple chicken. I do not want to get a ticket or my wok taken away.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Elk,

            Yes, but how many of those hundreds of thousands had a wolf tag?

            • avatar Savebears says:

              I was going to say Immer, I didn’t think it was legal to hunt Wok’s!

              LMAO

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Wooooosh! 🙂

              • avatar Harley says:

                Oh boy, you guys are a bit slap happy tonight!

                I was wondering, is the reason so many wolves were shot on Wi and Mn due to the fact that there are just, a lot of wolves there as opposed to Idaho and Montana? And the fact that it might be a bit easier to hunt them in the Great Lakes states than the Rockies?

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Harley,

                My take on MN in particular, probably same for WI, great concentration of deer hunters, some with necessary tag in areas of high wolf density. MN’s 3,000 wolves are concentrated in the northern half of the state. That’s an extremely high density of wolves in a relatively small area with more hunters, compared to the 1,700+/- wolves scattered over the areas where wolves are common in the NRM states, comparatively a much greater area with fewer wolves.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      I have never hunted in a state, that says you can’t shoot a collared animal, collared animals have always been legal with the requirement to turn the collar back in. It is no different than catching tagged fish, banded ducks, etc. The feds don’t even have rules against it.

      Hunters are going to continue to take legal animals with collars. I know it will change the scope of the winter study and many question the ethics, but ethics are a personal moral choice, what I or you find un-ethical, is not always what another find un-eithical.

      I have been in this business quite a while now and the way it is being perceived by many in the hunting community, is you are chipping away at hunting. First a buffer, which if a wolf goes out of the buffer then people are going to want a bigger buffer. Then no shooting of collared wolves, which is going to lead to no shooting of other collared animals.

      People wonder why the extremists on the hunting side are getting madder, they think they are going to continue to loose little by little, until such time as hunting will be banned.

      • avatar JB says:

        “…they think they are going to continue to loose little by little, until such time as hunting will be banned.”

        The irony is that their extreme, reactionary behavior only makes the outcome they fear more likely.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          JB,

          I didn’t say I agree, I said, what I have been hearing from the extreme side of hunters.

          • avatar JB says:

            SB:

            I didn’t say or imply that you agreed; I merely commented on the irony of their behavior.

          • avatar DLB says:

            The goal isn’t to pacify existing extremists; they will always be there and never be satisfied. It’s to limit the number of folks who are open to influence by extremists.

        • avatar josh says:

          I would have to disagree. SB is correct, we give a buffer. A wolf is killed, make the buffer larger. The whole point of the issue is wolves being killed/hunted. The hows or whats or whys are not a factor. Until all hunting of wolves is stopped, the “other side” will not stop suing/complaining.

          • avatar Gail says:

            You are so right.

          • avatar JB says:

            Josh:

            You’re missing the point entirely. When you allow the extremes on either side to dictate the agenda, then you make extreme outcomes (e.g., bans on hunting, predator/nuisance classification) more likely.

            Of course you are right that some people will never be satisfied; but those people can point to hunters and ranchers who will never be satisfied until every wolf is removed. Finding balanced policy thus means considering the very factors you summarily dismissed–the when, where and how.

            It won’t pacify voices on the extremes, but it will mean neither “side” will be able to rally the folks in the middle.

            • avatar DLB says:

              It seems to me keeping the information pipeline open to folks in the middle is vital to keeping the anti-wolf radicals in check. Directly confronting radicals in live meetings makes sense, but doesn’t seem to get anywhere online, and only serves to drive folks in the middle further from the issue.

              To be quite honest, There are a number of radicals who gravitate towards the wolf issue and come across as having some psychopathic tendencies – and that’s not hyperbole.

              • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

                DLB

                I don’t think we need anything other than simple social psychology top explain attitudes toward wolves, especially in rural communities.

                Radicalism, however, maybe is best explained by psychology (or some may call it psychopathology).

            • avatar Mike says:

              This is a false equivalency.

              There is no group right now, performing extreme actions in the banner of “pro-wolf”.

              However, this is happening across a wide swath of the populace in the Northern Rockies who are anti-wolf. Hunters are bragging about torturing wolves on forums. They are taking photos of it. They are gunning down wolves and laughing about it, and it seems, specifically targeting Yellowstone wolves as some “ultimate trophy”. We see their leaders calling for the extermination of wolves.

              That is extreme behavior.

              We’ve seen a few replies in this post that there are “two extreme sides” to this.

              No there isn’t. This is a common tactic by those seeking to apologize or protect certain activities they engage in. in this case, it is moderate hunters apologizing for extreme hunters by trying to equate the relatively benign pro-wolf groups with the anti-wolf extremists who do real ecological damage.

              Don’t fall for it. It;s dishonest and these people should know better.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Well said. This is very, very sad. This is not hunting, at all. Such a waste, and so predictable. Who are the people doing all the killing and torturing? Not the wildlife advocates, that’s for sure.

              • avatar DLB says:

                Just because anti-wolf extremists hold more power in the areas like the NRM doesn’t mean my statement is a false equivalency. It’s a fun phrase to toss around, though. In many ways I support groups like WWP, but you’re dead wrong about them being benign. Ask Jon Marvel if he thinks Western Watersheds Project is a “benign” organization.

                The hunters are the small-fry in this game, Mike. That’s what people like you will never understand. I don’t know why – maybe you are consumed by the grotesque manner in which some of them bait people like you, but don’t fall for it.

              • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

                Mike,

                I certainly agree with some of this. Nowadays groups like to call their opponents very hostile names that verbally try to make them appear to be a pathetic minority.

                This was an awful “innovation” that began in the early 1980s and continues. It wasn’t always this way. Of course, I’m not saying disagreement in the past was all rational and dignified.

              • avatar jon says:

                What is the point in putting on collars on wolves if these wolves are allowed to be killed by hunters and trappers?

              • avatar JB says:

                Mike:

                Every continuum has extremes–they are defined by the folks at either end of a policy issue. This is not to say that people in the extremes are necessarily “extremists” (that term carries a different meaning, which is why I didn’t use it).

                Nevertheless, note that Ed Bangs and other decision makes at the state and federal level have received death threats from both “sides”. So you’re simply wrong when you suggest that only the pro-management side has extremists.

              • avatar josh says:

                No extremes on the “pro-wolf” side Mike? For real?were compared to Taliban terrorists that should be disposed of, compared to Nazi’s. Wolves are compared to peoples children, given human attributes. Regardless of the fact that a young male will kill its own father to be the Alpha male of the pack. Mike I would consider you a pro wolf extremist just by your many ignorant comments about hunting. Which you always preface with the fact that all your friends are hunters, as if to try and gain credibility with those who cannot see how crazy you are!

              • avatar Mike says:

                JB –

                This thread is about hunters wiping out Yellowstone wolves, and the increasing belief across the country that hunting these wolves is wrong.

                This is not a thread about “both sides do this”. I think it would be nice of you to acknowledge the wrong being done here rather than saying “look what the other side is doing”. It’s a common tactic used by Save Bears and other moderate hunters here to apologize for extreme hunters. And that’s a problem with hunting in general. There’s never a give and take, which is why they are always at odds with conservationists.

                The truth is, the other side is simply writing emails and letters. There is no actionable, on the ground extremism being displayed by that side. But you do see it on the other side…you see threats of extermination, vanity plates touting the killing of collared wolves, comments filling hunter’s forums about “getting as many as you can before they shut it down”, and of course photos of trappers in front of tortured wolves, poaching, and poor marksmanship ,etc etc.

                Until pro-wolfers start actually interfering with the hunts in a violent manner, there is no equivalency to what is being done by anti-wolfers. Talk is cheap.

              • avatar Mike says:

                Josh –

                I won’t respond to your personal attacks. Hopefully you can find peace, and not feel the need to lash out at someone on a wildlife forum.

              • avatar JB says:

                “This is not a thread about “both sides do this”. I think it would be nice of you to acknowledge the wrong being done here rather than saying “look what the other side is doing”.”

                Mike: If you actually read my comments (above), you’d find that, in fact, I was commenting on the actions of some hunters. For example, when Save Bears notes above that some extreme hunters are acting out for fear of losing hunting, I wrote: “The irony is that their extreme, reactionary behavior only makes the outcome they fear more likely.” So next time you want to criticize what I’ve written, how ’bout you try reading the whole thread first, okay?

                “The truth is, the other side is simply writing emails and letters. There is no actionable, on the ground extremism being displayed by that side.”

                Apparently you’re willing to summarily dismiss death threats (a felony by the way) as not extremist. Interesting.

                “But you do see it on the other side…you see threats of extermination, vanity plates touting the killing of collared wolves, comments filling hunter’s forums…etc etc…Until pro-wolfers start actually interfering with the hunts in a violent manner, there is no equivalency to what is being done by anti-wolfers. Talk is cheap.”

                Talk is cheap Mike, but you’ve just suggested that hunters comments on a blog (cheap talk by the way) make them extremists, while dismissing written death threats.

                Watch out, Mike! There’s a 747 in your blind spot!

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            josh,

            There are not usually two sides on an issue, both extreme, with each side gaining in proportion to the other side losing.

            I don’t think what you say is correct because there are a lot of people who support wolf hunting in moderation or who are indifferent.

            Yellowstone Park is generally thought of as a special place where wildlife can be seen without fear of people. That is why watching wildlife there is so popular. The animals are not afraid of people, so they make themselves seen.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++I would have to disagree. SB is correct, we give a buffer. A wolf is killed, make the buffer larger. The whole point of the issue is wolves being killed/hunted. The hows or whats or whys are not a factor. Until all hunting of wolves is stopped, the “other side” will not stop suing/complaining.++

            This is a very introverted way of looking at ecosystem management.

            There’s not much concern in your post for the actual ecosystem but rather a “What happens to me, I, I, I”. What about the ecosystem? what about wolves? What’s good for those things?

            The world does not revolve around your recreational hunting pleasure. There are many more things out there than what you glimpse on your daily path. What about things that are not currently wearing your boots?

        • avatar Gail says:

          Ditto. in the northeast, more and more land is being posted – as it should be. Even then they have the audacity to enter private, posted premises – with or WITHOUT their tags! I think it’s time “clean” hunters get on the cases of their counterparts and demand change. Their voices will be heard sooner.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++I think it’s time “clean” hunters get on the cases of their counterparts and demand change. Their voices will be heard sooner.++

            Gail –

            Easier said then done. You can see the rug sweeping and apologetic behavior on this very blog.

            • avatar WM says:

              ++++I think it’s time “clean” hunters get on the cases of their counterparts and demand change. Their voices will be heard sooner.++

              Exactly what are “clean” hunters supposed to do? And, do you honestly think it will make a difference to positively affect change for those breaking the law or operating outside the bounds of “ethics” as defined by someone else?

              I don’t, but it is rare you and I agree, Mike. Same neighborhood, just different planets.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                WM,

                I had a discussion with someone on this forum a while ago about this issue, or at least toning down rhetoric. I don’t know if many of the hook and bullet club read the old stand by magazines such as “Field and Stream, etc, but I thought an editorial in one of those magazines addressing the wolf issue/ethics in particular to tone done the severe anti-wolf rhetoric might go a long way. This is with the assumption that most hunters are ethical.

              • avatar WM says:

                Immer,

                I tend to believe the ones that really need to be reached don’t read much of anything that would change their mind.

                I have spoken with a few locals in the area where I hunt in ID. They have their minds made up about wolves and I doubt there is anything that would change their way of thinking. After a couple of attempted dialogs to offer the view from the middle – I gave up. They were not interested in learning more, and a casual amicable conversation among hunters deteriorated – and the look in their eyes, behind the verbal words was one of “Oh, it’s clear, he’s one of them (polarizing wolf advocate).”

                And, I have mentioned here before, my wife has relatives outside Mountain Home, ID, and Billings, MT. After a couple of attempts to bring up the topic of wolves, I learned to keep peace in the family, the topic was to be avoided altogether.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                The internet is allowing people to ‘anonymously’ put up whatever they want. Put these people in a face to face discussion and you’d be amazed how civil they are…how much the bragging turns to humility. I’m not saying anyone can legistate morality, but it seems to me that some states are ‘legislating immorality’ as a policy. Asking ‘clean’ hunters to police their own is silly, just like asking police to police their own.

              • avatar DLB says:

                WM,

                Oh, how I know that look. Hardcore anti-wolf folks are extremely difficult to reach. Tell them you live in a trendy area of Seattle and you’ve really got your work cut out for you.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I don’t understand why they are getting madder; they have everything they want and are abusing it – they were given a very liberal hunting season for wolves in most cases. Protecting the park is not the same as losing the right to hunt. A buffer zone is a small concession to make.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Lets see what happens as the Yellowstone favored wolves continue to be killed and hunting and killing wolves for fun gets more attention.

      • avatar MAD says:

        It is no different than catching tagged fish, banded ducks, etc

        actually SB, it’s very different. I’ve banded thousands of snow geese in the Arctic, tagged & collared wolves, coyotes, & kit fox. Tell me, when you’re fishing, can you discern the tag before the fish is pulled from the water? Can you distinguish a banded waterfowl from a non-banded one before it’s shot and killed?

        These hunters were most likely using some optical devices, either spotting scopes or rifle scopes in order to make the shots. I’m sure not all, but probably most. Very rarely do you see hunters in the field with a firearm with stock iron sights these days. So let’s stop acting as if these “hunters” had no choice and didn’t “know” what they were doing.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          The key is, they didn’t do anything illegal, you people seem to forget that, it is not illegal to shoot a collared animal. You keep trying to bring up ethics, ethics belong to the person, I don’t have to agree or disagree, they didn’t do anything illegal.

          I would not shoot a wolf to begin with, let alone a collared wolf, but you are following the wrong path, once again, people are trying to take more and more.

          Most hunters when presented with a legal target is going to take that target, plain and simple.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            And to add, I know I could see the collar, I hunt with a long bow, so I am pretty damn close when I shoot an animal.

        • avatar josh says:

          MAD, obviously you have some experience in dealing with animals. So you would know that an opportunity to shoot an animal is sometimes very fleeting. Especially an animal like a wolf, they dont hang around long. If I had a tag, and saw a wolf. I would shoot said wolf and worry about if it had a collar on it later.

          • avatar MAD says:

            first, I’d like to say I’m not against hunting at all. In fact, some of the best times I had with my father was while growing up and being in the woods hunting white-tails in Upstate New York.

            second, I realize that wolves need to be managed in some way to keep the numbers reasonable (whatever that # may be).

            the problem I have is this, josh, you say that wolves are difficult targets because they don’t stay put and are hard to find – and I agree, which makes the responsibility on the hunter even greater to only take shots that they know are fairly certain to result in a kill & the target animal is properly identified. but sadly, I see little of that in field today. But I do see macho idiots with thousands of dollars of equipment, guides and other crap and these chaps are just shooting as quick and as often as possible, not acting responsibly or ethically. That’s right SB, I said ethically. I do not care about the law and do use the law as a moral compass. Many laws are flawed, politically motivated and were promulgated by corrupt politicians, so to say that something is “ok or right” because it’s the law, is a cop out.

            I’ll admit, I’m a Luddite, I hunt with a .303 British Enfield (no scope) that my Dad gave me when I was 16 (had a lot of guns in the house considering we were both in Law Enforcement).

            • avatar MAD says:

              “do NOT use the law as a moral compass”

            • avatar Savebears says:

              MAD,

              You are expecting people to act based on your belief system, that is not how it works, we all have a different belief system, we all have our own idea of how things are and how to interpret a situation.

              We have a baseline, it is called the law, as long as the individual stays within the law, then the rest of it is up to the individual. There is no game agency that even says, we would like you to overlook a collared animal, when it comes to hunting, as difficult as it can be, hunters are going to take the first legal target they see.

              06 was 15 miles from the park, how do we even know the hunter knew it was a wolf that lived in Yellowstone the majority of the time? He very well could have thought it was a collared wolf that WYFG game was tracking. 15 miles is really quite a ways from the park. Laws may be flawed, that is why we have a process to change them, but given there is laws and the hunter was within the law, then there was no wrong doing..

              What you and I think really does not matter, the person in the field and in the moment is what matters.

              • avatar MAD says:

                I don’t really want to get into a wholesale philosophical discussion about right-wrong, lawful-illegal, because it muddies the argument.

                I agree, none of these hunters acted illegally. And I was scolded by my wife (a wildlife biologist) that in order to ensure the veracity of data collected on the wolves, then you shouldn’t spare the collared wolves because your resulting data will then be skewed. I realize all this.

                but please, the nonsense argument that we all have different moral value systems, and different social upbringings is complete crap. Are all immoral acts illegal, and are all illegal acts immoral? No. To say just because people have differences, that the law should ALWAYS be the dispositive answer is ridiculous. which is why laws change and social behavior changes.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                MAD(appropriate name I would say)

                I did mention that we have the ability to change our laws, didn’t I?

                When talking about taking a life, it is always going to have an element of morals and ethics to it, at least it does for me. As these wolves were taken legally, then the only argument or discussion to have is, was it moral or ethical to take them.

                Hunting involves morals and ethics, whether you think it is crap or not.

                I do agree with your wife, of course I am a wildlife biologist as well and fully understand what she is saying.

                It is what it is..you can like it or..

              • avatar Savebears says:

                By the way, if it is not about legalities or ethics, then what is the argument?

            • avatar WM says:

              ++Many laws are flawed, politically motivated and were promulgated by corrupt politicians, so to say that something is “ok or right” because it’s the law, is a cop out. ++

              I thought most laws were the product of political motivation – and many times the product of compromise. Some of the best and some of the worst. And isn’t promulgating a law the announcing of it, as in an administrative agency “promulgating” regulations to implement a law passed by a legislative body and signed by the executive branch?

              Suggesting a moral compass (as defined by what one believes is “ethical” as the higher calling than just complying with the law), is noble. I tend to agree with such higher callings. But enforceable laws are what most people believe is the standard, and that is the standard against which law enforcement, prosecutors and judges measure infractions.

              Luddite that you admit to being, would be true in the case of the 303 British, with iron sights. Certainly it might suggest an ethics challenge for the user, past about 60 yards, I’ve heard.

              So, what are you MAD, philosopher, researcher, law enforcement type or an environmental lawyer? You have brought all professions into play the last few days?

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “I would shoot said wolf and worry about if it had a collar on it later.”

            I would submit that you would be very disappointed if you found that the wolf had a radio collar. The ruff on these animals is typically worn away under the collar, making them undesirable if the hunter is after a prime pelt.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              I actually disagree, I am friends with a taxidermist here where I live and he mounted a collared wolf, it was quite amazing how he was able to weave the collared area and make it look as if it was natural and the wolf had not been wearing a collar.

              • avatar ma'iingan says:

                I wasn’t addressing skill in taxidermy, which can hide many flaws. I was referring to the value of the pelt, which would be greatly reduced by the worn area around the neck.

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                unless u did not know what u were looking at

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Ma,

              I seriously doubt that the majority of hunters in the NRM is hunting wolves for the pelt value, trapping maybe, but the regular hunters are hunting for the trophy..

      • avatar Mike says:

        Predator hunting should, and will be banned. It will start with wolves and grizzlies.

        The is just the beginning.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Cody says:

      ++I am of the opinion that the truely ETHICAL sportsman would pass on shooting any wolf seen to be wearing a collar. ++

      Then Cody says”

      ++That so many collared wolves are being taken poses some serious questions. The one I want answered is ” Should ethical sportsmen exempt themselves from taking a collared wolf, and/or should state wolf hunting regs require hunters to decline shooting a collared wolf ? ”++

      You answered your own question, Cody. There are very few ethical sportsmen.

      • avatar josh says:

        7 wolves killed with collars, now 7 supposedly “unethical” hunters now represent an entire demographic??!! LOL

        Also there is nothing ethical or unethical about shooting a collared animal. My buddy killed a collared buffalo in southern utah. Never crossed my mind it was unethical. Obviously hunters hunting wolves, would go where wolves are. Not where they are not. Use common sense Mike! For real!

        • avatar jon says:

          I disagree, hunters know these wolves are wearing collars for a REASON and yet they still shoot them just for a rug or trophy.

          • avatar josh says:

            No Jon, they are going to the areas that they know hold wolves. Just like I go to the areas that hold elk, deer or whatever animal I am hunting. If a wolf/deer/elk happens to have a collar on it I would return it. And sleep very well at night.

            • avatar Mike says:

              What’s the point of shooting a wolf if you don’t eat it?

              • avatar Robert R says:

                Mike ask your self the same question, would you eat a wolf, proably not.
                But yet through all your anti trapping and hunter comments you or any of the professionals do not have a management plat for wildlife or habitat.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Montana, flat out says to reduce their populations. When agencies are reducing populations on one animal, in a disproportionate and indefensible way, then this may provide the basis to illustrate that management is not responsible nor is it being done to preserve, a resource. a basis I hope will open the door to a national strategy to protect carnivores. Carnivores are special but not in the way most people think of charismatic, helping to provide balance in nature, smart, resourceful, and in the case of wolves extremely social. They are special in that they have been singled out for barbaric, unusually aggressive killing to appease two special interest groups that have become expert at their vilification.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      I’ve thought about this too – but I am afraid that if it becomes illegal to shoot a collared wolf, the killers will just go underground and shoot, shovel and shutup. It seems there is no end to human deviousness. There are no ethics for some people.

    • avatar Adriana says:

      There is ethics involved when one kills a wolf for sport? Please enlighten me what is ethical about killing an animal, human included because you too are an animal, for sport. Am I the only one who is aware of the oxymoron?

      • avatar JB says:

        “Please enlighten me what is ethical about killing an animal…”

        Adriana: Most of the world believes it is ethical to kill animals–that’s where the majority of our protein comes from. I’m curious why you believe that the burden of proof should be with those who believe killing animals is/can be ethical? Humans have killed animals for food or to eliminate threats or competition for as long as there have been humans. If you believe killing animals is unethical, you’re the one that is out-of-step with human history and current society’s support for the farming of animal products. The burden of proof is on you to tell us why killing animals is unethical. Good luck!

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          May I but in? Entitlement and over wastefulness and the sheer volume of the population now makes it time for us to back off. There is no longer a threat to our survival, and we can raise our own food with agriculture and advances in technology – but there is a threat to the wildlife population around the world as their numbers dwindle. Our antiquated ideas need to catch up.

          • avatar JB says:

            Ida:

            Judgements regarding the feeling of entitlement and wastefulness of individuals may color your thinking about whether it is ethical to kill animals, but these topics are peripheral to making an ethical judgment. I would argue that they actually distract from the core question: should we (humans) kill non-human animals? Or perhaps, when are we justified in killing non-human animals?

            You contend that we can raise our own food with agriculture. Sure we can! But agriculture also includes raising animals for protein sources. Adriana questions whether it is ethical to kill animals at all–presumably, this would include agriculture?

            I would also point out that in many countries, fish are the primary source of protein. Fish are both commercially raised (agriculture) as well as wild caught? Is it unethical to kill fish? If so, are we talking about wild fish or commercially raised fish or both?

            Next, I would note that vegetable sources of protein are not directly equivalent to animal sources. In some ways they are better (e.g., less saturated fat than red meat), in other ways they are inferior. For example, vegetable sources typically contain fewer of the essential amino acids necessary for survival. Consequently, one cannot simply replace animal protein with vegetable protein.

            Personally, I think questions about the ethical use of animals are extremely interesting. But I balk when I see blanket statements about what is/is not ethical without any justification or consideration of the complexity of these questions.

            Simple minds = simple solutions.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Yes, simple minds = simple solutions, such as let’s kill off all the predators because we have no other source or revenue or that we can have more elk is a prime example.

              For me and many others, it is unethical to take life for anything other than necessity for survival, as is the rule with every other life form – and then only what you need. We all have to eat, but we should do it as humanely as possible. Taking it for fun is unethical. Taking it because of misinformation passed down through the years is unethical. Taking it because of “my ideaology’/religion is the right way and yours isn’t” is wrong.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                but these topics are peripheral to making an ethical judgment.

                Not at all. They are part of how ethics have been defined and debated thoughout the ages, whether by philosophy or religion.

              • avatar JB says:

                “Taking it because of “my ideaology’/religion is the right way and yours isn’t” is wrong.”

                But protecting it because “my idealogy is right and yours isn’t” is just fine?!

            • avatar JB says:

              “Taking it for fun is unethical. Taking it because of misinformation passed down through the years is unethical. Taking it because of “my ideaology’/religion is the right way and yours isn’t” is wrong.”

              That’s a judgement/conclusion, but you’ve provided not evidence or justification as to why. Without premises that can be debated, you’ve got nothing but your opinion, which ain’t worth any more than those who hunt wolves.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              JB you wrote this “Consequently, one cannot simply replace animal protein with vegetable protein.”
              Your last sentence is true but is also somewhat presumptive that animal protein is necessary and can not be replaced. There is more complexity to the animal/vegetable protein issue as it relates to our ideas of nutrition and human health and its value as a nutrient. I think you’l find this link interesting

              http://www.tcolincampbell.org/courses-resources/article/animal-vs-plant-protein/

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                Louise
                Question for you how much is a live wolf worth?
                I have 6 friends that will start trapping Saturday. I want to start a wolf relocation business. I have a friend with a plane for swift relocation, a vet to test DNA so you can buy a pair without being related. We will relocate to areas over 500 miles from Montana, we don’t want them back. It’s a cash business money up front.
                But what to charge any help out there?

              • avatar jon says:

                I would say millions. There is a lot of money being made off of wolf tourism.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Ya Jon,

                We all know what you say, and we know where you get your information.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                jon
                Yes, but how much would you pay to have a wolf released in your backyard?

              • avatar jon says:

                Yes, there are no wolves in my state. Bring em down.

          • avatar pam says:

            well said, Ida. soon, the only place we will see “wild life” will be in zoos or on “preserves”. sad sad state and what does that say about our humanity. We are crowding out their natural habitats – and then we wonder why we have “problem populations” – which, really, has the overpopulations – humans or animals. WHO ??? ever said the earth was to be solely human domain. What a sad world we are creating – taking away all the natural beauty. Whether it be wildlife or rainforest or pineforest or prairie …

            Personally, I don’t agree with wolf hunting at all. Nor do I agree with ANY kind of “sport or trophy” hunting. HOWEVER, I will defend to the end the right of hunters to hunt. My wish would be to see the *inhumane* wolf hunting stop. In WI they are now trying to add dogs to the hunt. I have heard it called “legalized dog fighting” and it breaks my heart. I strongly oppose using dogs and will fight to keep them out of this !! I’ve seen family pets caught in traps, I’ve seen gruesome videos of wolves being injured and tortured, with dogs sent in to “finish the kill”. Is this the legacy we wish to leave our children?

            Ah, but I digress from the real issue. The killing of collared wolves. IMO – not ethical (in MY upbringing of right and wrong – ethical and unethical)… HOWEVER, it IS so far “legal”. For bragging rights or whatEVER their reasoning, I will uphold hunters their right to shoot/kill. Let’s just keep it humane, guys. and until we can legislate laws that make taking a collared wolf illegal … we just have to stand by and let it be or work on those that can change the laws, without threats of life. As sad as it is to those of us that appreciate the beauty around us, be it wildlife or nature !!

            WHY can’t we all just get along.

            • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

              Pam,

              I have to disagree somewhat. It seems to me that other than topography and climate, the main thing that accounts for the presence of wildlife, especially a variety of large wildlife is politics, not human population density. We could well end up with a country where the Blue states, other things being equal, have a variety of interesting large and medium sized wildlife. Red states would have a boring 3-4 species raised much like livestock for the primary purposes of shooting. Of course, all states would have feral wildlife — non-native exotic species.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                Ralph Maughan says,
                “We could well end up with a country where the Blue states, other things being equal, have a variety of interesting large and medium sized wildlife. Red states would have a boring 3-4 species raised much like livestock for the primary purposes of shooting.”

                Much like fish distribution in countries that encourage or discourage conservation.

        • avatar aves says:

          Adriana clearly stated “killing an animal for sport”. Nobody’s eating the wolves or killing them because they are a legitimate threat to people. Plenty of people have objections to the hunting of wolves strictly for a trophy or out of a selfish disdain for predators.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            aves,

            I personally know 4 families that have hunted wolves and have butchered them and put them in their freezer as a food source, so don’t say that nobody is eating wolves.

            • avatar jon says:

              Savebears, if one of your buddies offered you a wolf burger, would you eat it?

              • avatar Elk275 says:

                Very good question Jon.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                I can’t answer that question, the opportunity has never been offered as far as I know. But I do know, there have been many things I have eaten over seas, that I didn’t know what it was, and I was not going to offend the hosts when they have enough trouble getting food.

                Why are you asking, I look at food a completely different way than most do in the United States.

            • avatar aves says:

              Thanks for the proofreading. 4>0 but we all know that protein is not the primary reason the vast majority of those who hunt wolves are doing so.

          • avatar JB says:

            Aves:

            As we’ve discussed many times, you cannot necessarily separate “trophy” hunting from subsistence hunting. Some subsistence hunters take trophies, some trophy hunters eat the meat. So I’ll call “bogus” on legislating a ban based upon intent. BYW: agencies get around this by using laws/rules/regulations that demand the harvest of meat (wanton waste laws).

            Again, I’m all for debating whether or not it is ethical to kill a wild animal, and I recognize that many of objections, what I don’t see is much in the way of reasoning for those objections. Just a bunch of “my opinion should mean more than yours”.

            • avatar aves says:

              I don’t like trophy hunting in general because it purposefully targets and removes the most genetically valuable animals from the population. I know the motives of hunters can be multi-layered but the rampant buck fever we all witness every fall is hard to reconcile with that. Many states have forced hunters to shoot antlerless deer first in order to reduce the population. Most hunters may not pose with their prey but I’ve never seen anyone pose with a doe.

              But this post is about the hunting of wolves which can be more narrowly defined as sport hunting than others. I would define sport hunting as legally and purposefully killing wildlife for reasons other than food, safety, or ecological need. The hunting of elk inside GTNP while wolves are hunted right outside makes it pretty clear wolves are being hunted for other reasons.

              I think hunting wolves for only a pelt or trophy is unethical because it is wasteful and disrespectful to the animal. It devalues the wolf, presenting it as simply a head or hide and not a whole animal perfectly adapted to its ecological role. I suspect breeders will be the biggest, boldest, and most likely to be seen in the open and shooting them will remove valuable genetics from the population as well as spilt up their pack. I find it unethical because it is unnecessary and often predicated on a hateful and ignorant attitude towards wolves. I find it unethical that wolves (and coyotes everywhere, prairie dogs most places, etc) can be hunted year round without limit because it’s managing wildlife not by ethics or science but under the sole guise of protecting the livestock industry.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Aves one of the most well written and thoughtful posts I have read in a long while, as usual

              • avatar JB says:

                Thanks, Aves. My purpose in pressing the issues is that I don’t think it’s really valuable to make strong statements about positions–especially when they don’t show any thoughtfulness about what these positions imply. It allows others to easily and summarily dismiss your arguments.

                Your reasoning if far more thought-provoking, and provides a much better starting place for debate. (I’m going to try and post on the ethics of wolf hunting in a few days).

              • avatar WM says:

                Aves,

                I agree with some of what you say, and personally have no desire to shoot a wolf. But how would you propose that a state which wants to reduce its wolf population go about that task. If you find the ethics of wolf hunting “for sport” distasteful, what is the alternative? Trapping or the black helicopters?

                And while I appreciate your ethical view on the perceived ecological importance of wolves, the fact is states will go about the business of controlling the distribution and numbers of wolves. Again, how should that be done, as an alternative to what is going on in five of six states right now, and likely to be going in an additional two in another five years, or so (WA and OR)? Do you see government hunters as an alternative to the other options mentioned.

                Doing nothing is not going to happen.

              • avatar WM says:

                apologies for the bad punctuation – need more ? marks.

              • avatar WM says:

                Aves,

                Let me open the topic even a little broader – is population control of any wild or domestic species “unethical?”

                Here I am thinking of the full range of predators, elk or deer in some locations where their numbers need reduction (one that comes to mind is the Air Force Acadamy grounds in Colorado Springs where there are often too many deer), dogs and cats (either feral or brought into a pound), European starlings or other invasive species like the pythons in FL. I am sure there are alot more examples. Do you not want any of these animals hunted, or their populations controlled even if governments enact laws/regulations/special rules for that purpose?

                Where should the “ethical” line be drawn when governments outline prescribed action – no sport or trophy hunting period?

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              JB while you often supply a wealth of factual information and reliable, credible data you are as guilty (maybe not as often) as the rest of us of making statements that are colored by bias, yours based in hunting. Its human

              • avatar JB says:

                Louise:

                I’m not biased for or against hunting (if it ends tomorrow, it won’t affect me). I don’t start with the idea that it is morally wrong to hunt, nor morally right. However, I do recognize that in our society the burden of proof is on those who would attempt to prohibit an activity to show that the activity is somehow wrong. I simply haven’t seen a compelling argument yet that suggests to me that there is something inherently wrong or immoral with hunting.

              • avatar JB says:

                Louise:

                The last time I hunted was (and I’m estimating) roughly 14 years ago. Last time I fished was two years ago (which makes me a little sad). The last time I traveled to photograph wildlife was last year (sad about that too).

              • avatar JB says:

                And you can look here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jtbruskotter/sets/72157607723453086/) if you want to see the results of my “hunting” pursuits.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                JB awesome photographs. I’ve produced a number of national and international advertising campaigns over the years and my husband is a photographer among other things. We’ve got a lot of professional photographer friends…great images really wonderful. I love several of them but especially the coyote in moving grass. Really nice!!!!what camera?

              • avatar JB says:

                Thanks, Louise. Lot’s of cameras over the years. Started with an old, manual Pentax (K1000) and moved to Canon about 12 years ago. Can’t afford any really long lenses–still shooting with a 300 f/4 and a 40D, though I’ll probably upgrade to a 7D this year. Don’t get to shoot much anymore.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                JB my husband Tom worked as a Pentax technician for several years (many years ago. He loved the Pentax gear and especially that camera. Good solid….
                We used to shoot everything in film. It took a good long time for Tom to accept digital as anything but inferior. Now its a silly argument digital is so advanced. Yet Tom loves the heft and design of the film equipment. We used to own an Arri III motion picture camera, it would take 2 of us and an assistant to lug it and the lenses to shoot anything. Then it cost a fortune to process the film which had to be shipped to New York. Then you had to do a transfer….It was a huge amount of work and cost. Now you can shoot motion, or still in digital with a 10th of the gear and truly amazing results. The RED CAM is currently in vogue. Despite some of the inconvenience of the old film cameras there is something magical about some of them, and some of my favorite footage were the aerials shot out of the side of a helicopter with that big ARRI. In any event, your images are really good. Good light, composition etc. Thanks for sharing. If sometime you want to see one of my favorite sequences of wildlife, Tom shot a big elk herd running though the Point Reyes Park, by the lighthouse. It was pretty spectacular. Fun stuff watching wildlife and getting that perfect shot!

              • avatar JB says:

                Thanks, Louise. I agree with your husband regarding film. Actually, as easy as digital has made it, I miss that feeling of giddy anticipation as you sit down at the light table with a pile of boxes full of slides.

                Funny story regarding the K1000: I once dropped that camera ~8 feet into a rocky stream bed while shooting in California. The fall put a nice dent in the front (filter thread) of the 50mm lens I had on the camera, but otherwise, it continued to function as normal (not so much the plastic Canon I dropped in Arches).

                I’d love to see your footage of the tule elk. Many of the elk images you see on my flickr page are actually from Point Reyes (we used to live in Oakland, and traveled there frequently). The picture of the coyote hunting was also taken out at Tomales Point (where the elk are located).

              • avatar WM says:

                JB,Louise,

                I, too, have enjoyed photography for many years. My first camera was a Pentax K1000, as well. I followed it with a Pentax Superprogram (big mistake and went back to the K1000).

                Then I became enamoured with the Nikon F3HP (especially the viewfinder options, and the wide range of high quality compatable lenses). Still have all my cameras and lenses, and have been melancholy over the change to digital, though we do have a couple – yeah for the Canon brand! Everybody is a photographer now, and most don’t understand the the physics of light and glass that technology allows them to make the photos they do. The purists as we know, call it “painting with light.” Most folks don’t understand the concept. And if they screw it up a few computer applications make everything right (so much for keeping you lens or sensor clean), or allow one to make changes to the photo that were never there in real life in the first place (Add uncle Ernie). We even have a verb describing the act –
                “I just Photoshopped the image, and the problem went away.”

                At least for awhile some film photography is around. The technology is gradually closing in on large format 4×5 inch negative photography. A digital back for this large format is clunky huge, expensive and requires a connected computer and time to reveiw the results. Of course, now the image that was created can be scanned to a digital file and, guess what, “Photoshopped.” My favorite large format is a Linhof Technicardan, with a Schneider or Roddenstock lens. All 19th and 20th Century technology, but not good for photographing wildlife for lots of reasons.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          JB the historical treatment by humans of animals, or people for that matter does not indicate that treatment is defensible from a moral, ethical or evolutionary stance. Nor does it indicate that most humans support killing animals.

          Its not that people don’t object or that history illustrates approval. There are many factors that have allowed obsolete laws or ideas to remain unchanged. The dairy and livestock industries are very successful in stopping or stagnating advancements in humane animal husbandry. They do this with deep pockets, lobbying, and false advertising. For hunting, lobbyists heavily influence wildlife management. We are also stuck with a corrupted wildlife management system; commissions with members who have conflicts of interest or no background in biology or science, agencies that ignore their own biologists and or commissions, and they treat hunters as their only clients. They ignore wildlife enthusiasts who don’t hunt.

          Whether dairy, livestock, or the NRA and its hunting affiliates, these industries have enormous power derived largely from the resources they extract, abuse, or profit from. The collective refusal, by many of these groups, to acknowledge animals as having value for anything other than profit, does not indicate approval or consensus. It has, though, blocked us from progressing from barbarians to the compassionate, humane stewards of this planet that we should have been long ago.

          • avatar JB says:

            Louise:

            Our historical treatment of animals is part of our evolution. We are omnivores. To deny people access to animal protein is fundamentally a rejection of who/what we are–our “role” in nature.

            The idea that most humans support killing animals is implied by the fact that the majority of humans consume animals. Moreover, it is supported by numerous studies that show support for hunting. To be clear: I don’t deny that support for hunting is conditional, nor do I disagree that people want animals treated more humanely. In fact, I fundamentally agree with both positions.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              You pulled in the vegetarian/omnivore debate. I didn’t think that was the issue – the ethics of hunting for non-sustenance, sport and so-called population control was what I thought you wanted to discuss. Two separate issues.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                And you made some assumptions that aren’t necessarily true as well.

              • avatar JB says:

                Ida:

                Louise wrote: “Nor does it indicate that most humans support killing animals.” There was no mention of why. I took that comment at face value.

                Which assumptions do you question?

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                JB,

                I thought you meant that I was a complete vegetarian, I’m not. One of the granola crowd. 🙂

                As far as invasive species are concerned, it may be a sad fact that in order to be ethical to native inhabitants of certain wildlife areas, they would have to be removed, hopefully in as humanely a way as possible. Perhaps this problem could be tackled on the other side, more strict oversight of non-native animals being brought into our country. There is no need for exotic pets, I don’t think that is one of our guaranteed freedoms as Americans.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                JB,

                My arguments re hunting ethics were pretty much the same as Aves’. If you find them to have no thought behind them, that is your opinion, but I don’t know how you would come to that conclusion. I can assure you that these matters, the continued decline of our wildlife and environment, are subjects I have given a lot of thought to. You can summarily dismiss all you like, but it’s still just your opinion. There are just some things you cannot excuse by attributing them one person’s ethics differing from another’s. The majority of civilized society finds certain behaviors abhorrent, period.

              • avatar JB says:

                Ida:

                I can summarily dismiss positions as opinions (you’ve heard the phrase, “opinions are like…everybody’s got one). I’m not interested in opinions about what is right or wrong, I’m interested in how people justify their opinions–that is the metaphorical “meat” of the argument.

                Apologies if I offended.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                JB,

                Not at all – you didn’t offend me. 🙂

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              more later on this…running out

      • avatar WM says:

        ++ethics involved when one kills a wolf for sport.

        Thinking of the issue a little differently, a state, acting under color and authority of law, and acting through its duly elected and appointed officials says our state wants fewer wolves, as they feel they have too many.

        Hypothetically the state offers these wolves to any other state which would take them (in fact ID’s governor made such an offer a couple years back with no takers), and receives no affirmative response.

        State then says OK we will offer people the opportunity to hunt these wolves to reduce their number for a nominal sum (price of hunting license and tag)and convert them to personal property. Is this the same thing as hunting for sport, or is it doing a civic duty. Is that ethical?

        Believe it or not, some wolf hunters have that justification mind set. One of my elk hunting partners, the one who very recently said he would consider buying a wolf tag next year, probably doesn’t really want a wolf, but he would like to improve his opportunity to get an elk. Is this ethical?

        • avatar aves says:

          I view your state scenario as unethical because I view wolf numbers from an ecological standpoint instead of the livestock or elk hunting interest they would likely base their claim on. I wouldn’t like your friends hunting scenario either because I put more value on the species that is rarer overall. I’m confident that over the long term elk will be limited primarily by habitat and wolves by the numbers of elk. But I don’t hunt elk so I can afford to let it play out without having my interests harmed in the short term. It gets tricky because all our views are equal and none of us view wildlife from an entirely benevolent and unselfish position.

  5. avatar Gravel says:

    @CodyCoyote

    Cody Coyote wrote,” … That so many collared wolves are being taken poses some serious questions. …”

    Now I’m not taking your words out of context, but did you even read the whole article? There were only a total of three (yes THREE) collared wolves. The way you wrote your comment you make it sound like hunters obliterated a pack of 50-60 wolves all collared.

    Personally I’d have passed up shooting a collared wolf, but not everyone sees things as I do. However, three collared wolves does not equate to “many.”

    ~G

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Gravel,

      I think we left an important fact out the story and this led to your comment. Three GPS collared wolves were shot, but six others with standard radio collars were shot too. We didn’t mention this fact in this particular story. I guess it should be added.

      Webmaster

      • avatar Gail says:

        All important info to be included. The research is apparently now null and void. I see NO reason why there should NOT be a penalty for shooting collared animals everywhere and anywhere. Clearly they are being studied and large amounts of money and time are going into these study projects. If their adrenaline can’t be kept in check, perhaps they should retire their weapons….too dangerous.

        • avatar JB says:

          Gail:

          The reason you seek is that collars are sometimes employed to understand mortality sources. So for example, if you have a population of 1000 with 100 collars and 10 animals with collars are killed by hunters, then you would conclude that 10% of the population is being killed by hunting. If you ban shooting collared animals, you lose a valuable source of information regarding mortality.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            JB hunters are required to report wolves they kill. whats wrong with that data? The states argue they understand the wolf populations, so what is wrong with hunter report/ data to provide information on hunting mortality, why the need to gain that information from collared wolves?

            • avatar JB says:

              Louise:

              Nothing is wrong with that data. However, the number of collars is perfectly known, the number of wolves is not. Also note that Gail said, “I see NO reason why there should NOT be a penalty for shooting collared animals everywhere and anywhere” (emphasis mine).

              I don’t think that’s a good idea; especially since collars are also used to estimate the relative impact of natural and human predators on other species (e.g., elk).

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                in this instance, what could it hurt to protect collared wolves? This would eliminate the problem of potential targeting of collared wolves, also prevent squandering research funds and data and provide some safety for some animals that might live out natural lives, free from human predation. Although that does not address trapping and snaring threats. Outlawing those activities would.

              • avatar JB says:

                If YNP wolves are the concern–and I believe they are–then I think buffers would solve the problem without having to worry about radio or GPS collars?

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Buffers would be a start JB but does not address the wolves with wanderlust like 06 who was 15 miles outside the park…protecting collared wolves by eliminating trapping and snaring, establishing buffer zones and no hunting….

              • avatar Savebears says:

                See, I told ya, a buffer would not be enough, or it will need to be larger, or it will need to be wider…

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                A/B = C/D

              • avatar jon says:

                sb, a small buffer is not enough. You’re right. I and many others want the buffer much bigger. This is not going to happen overnight, but baby steps is the way to go. People out there are trying to save the yellowstone wolves from dying from a hunter’s gun and bullet.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                You just prove the point I posted today, nothing it ever enough for you guys.

              • avatar jon says:

                Nor should it be sb. Not everyone no matter what side they are on is going to get everything they want, but they should still keep fighting regardless of the outcome.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                If people would just stop with the obsessive actions around wolves when they are in the park, the wolves might actually start avoiding humans. These are simply just another part of nature, but with what has happened in Yellowstone since re-introduction, it is no wonder wolves have no fear.

                The only reason the wolves that normally reside in Yellowstone have fallen victim and that is because of the never ending groups that follow them around in the park, they have no understanding that humans are not always safe to be around.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                You keep fighting Jon, more power to you..

              • avatar jon says:

                Wolves in yellowstone are becoming habituated to humans. There is no doubt about this and I do it see it as a problem because the wolves are the ones who will unfortunately be paying the price for human stupidity. This makes the wolves in yellowstone more likely to be shot by hunters who wish to do them harm if they find their way out of the park. If the wolves weren’t habituated, it would most likely mean that seeing a wolf in yellowstone would probably be a bit harder. I think these hunters are shooting themselves in the foot by shooting collared yellowstone wolves. Big news outlet are doing a story on the wolf that was shot killed recently. This is international now.

              • avatar JB says:

                SB:

                The fact that YNP wolves have not learned to fear humans is what allows them to be regularly observed, and it’s what makes them so valuable. Note: It also doesn’t differentiate wolves from the rest of Yellowstone’s wildlife. The only reason this is a problem is that a few jerks have decided to hunt right along the border of Yellowstone to take advantage of wolves’ habituation and make an easy kill. Not exactly fair chase killing animals that have no fear of you.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                JB,

                Predators since the beginning of time have taken the advantage of the circumstances presented. I didn’t say it was fair chase, I didn’t say I agree with it. Now 06 was 15 miles outside of the park. So I don’t know that I would classify that “Right on the border”

              • avatar JB says:

                SB:

                It was this statement I reacted to:

                “If people would just stop with the obsessive actions around wolves when they are in the park, the wolves might actually start avoiding humans.”

                Your statement (above) implies that people should not seek to view wolves in the park. Yellowstone’s success, in part, depends upon animals that are easily seen. Make animals harder to see and people leave the roads and double-wide, paved trails. When people who don’t know about wildlife leave these areas, you will have more people getting injured by wildlife, more people feeding wildlife, and more damage done to trails and other natural features.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                JB,

                There is a big difference between seeing animals, as we did before the wolves were re-introduced and being obsessive in your quest. Until the wolves, I don’t ever remember a wild animal in the park, being described as a “Rock Star” I don’t remember the nick names.

                Things have simply got out of hand when it comes to wolves, they have learned, but some have gone over the edge.

                As biologists, part of our goal is to educate and bring new information to the table, but to promote an animal in the way the wolf has, is being detrimental to both humans as well as wolves.

              • avatar WM says:

                Rock star indeed.

                Stephen Mather, the first Director of the National Parks would have been proud. He envisioned national parks as a kind of an amusement park. At Yosemite NP they fed bears under the lights with Park visitors sitting in the bleachers, watching them scarf down garbage.

                It is all about keeping the Park visitor days up (and making sure the vendors sell lots of junk to the tourists). Who is most likely to return or tell their friends about the great time they had? Those who see lots of animals and get ooodddles of pictures. Mostly could give a hoot about the ecosystem, itself. Oh, and ya gotta have a great Visitor Center, with lots of varied hot food options (plus $3 bottled water) from the over-priced corporate run cafeteria/food service operations. Mather’s dream lives on.

              • avatar JB says:

                “There is a big difference between seeing animals, as we did before the wolves were re-introduced and being obsessive in your quest. Until the wolves, I don’t ever remember a wild animal in the park, being described as a “Rock Star” I don’t remember the nick names.”

                And yet NPS’s response has been great. Generally, wolf watchers keep to parking areas and pull-offs in Lamar, often in neat little groups with spotting scopes pointed toward the valleys.

                The Park Service has made a concerted effort to focus impacts of visitation, and wolf watching is no exception.

                You may not like the way it looks to have a big band of people standing along the road viewing wolves from far off; but this type of interaction is easier on the environment than dispersing these visitors into the park (40 years of research in recreation ecology underscores this point).

                Besides, I’ve been to YNP numerous times and on the whole, wolf-watchers are some of the best behaved people. The really crazy behavior is reserved for grizzlies–at least in my experience.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                WM,

                “It is all about keeping the Park visitor days up (and making sure the vendors sell lots of junk to the tourists). Who is most likely to return or tell their friends about the great time they had? Those who see lots of animals and get ooodddles of pictures. Mostly could give a hoot about the ecosystem, itself.”

                I know what your’re trying to say here. But one might also say the same about many elk hunters, in particular those on guided hunts in the good old days when elk spilled out of Yellowstone.

                Don’t be so tough on the tourist and his/her family. Perhaps many are in awe of Yellowstone, especially the youngsters. A trip up to the land of sky blue waters when I was three planted the seed to live in the North.

                Perhaps if my dad, did not take that trip with his mother, brother, and young family, I never would have had the life long interest in the North and the wildlife associated with it, and actually do some work to advance the knowledge of the fauna of the North.

                That seed just need be planted.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                JB,

                As expected, you have I have had far different experiences in the park. We also have far different opinions on how this has been managed.

                So I will leave it at that.

              • avatar SAP says:

                There is a very useful peer-reviewed article in Human Dimensions of Wildlife titled

                “The Wolf Viewing Experience in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park.”

                http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10871200500292843

                I can’t find an online copy right now but I do have a PDF somewhere, as I am sure Ralph does as well.

                Anyway: this paper is, to the extent possible with this kind of subject matter, quite rigorous and insightful. From the abstract:

                “. . .the Lamar Valley offers visitors an engaging wolf viewing experience opportunity that may be characterized as accessible authenticity. Visitors engaged in extended viewing events, which were characterized by anticipation, emotional involvement, drama, and mystery. Many of these elements were present even when respondents did not see wolves.

              • avatar SAP says:

                oops, hit return too quickly. Emphasis added.

                I think the authors there did a great job of capturing what goes on with Lamar Valley wolf viewing.

                There have been a few times when I found Lamar Valley wolf watchers to be a little grating, a little clique-ish. Setting that aside, I have to say that overall it’s a pleasant scene.

                I am out of patience with nincompoops who denounce the Lamar wolf watching experience as somehow just barely better than a petting zoo or captive facility. As JB describes, if you were going to get 200 or more people out of their vehicles to view wildlife in the Lamar, I don’t think you could ask for much better than to have them clustered at one or two roadside locations, being helpful to each other (mostly) and respectful of the environment they’re in. Rick McIntyre in particular does a great job helping folks find wolves, especially people who may be on a once-in-a-lifetime visit to YNP and may have no optics or wildlife spotting experience.

                Do these people care about “the ecosystem” or anything other than an open-air Discovery Channel thrill? I cannot say. I will say that “accessible authenticity” is a very good description of what folks get there.

                I believe they get it that this is Nature Unscripted, the opposite of a Disney experience, and far better than the edited fare of wildlife documentaries (generally authentic, but edited for short attention spans, available on demand [hit replay on the Blue Ray or YouTube], with the filmmaker exercising all the skill, none on the part of the viewer).

                I think it’s a rich experience that inspires many to become engaged in conservation. I sense that there are at least a score of regular contributors to this forum whose love of Greater Yellowstone and large carnivores started with a cold dawn behind a spotting scope in Lamar Valley.

                For me, that dawn was in 1992, watching grizzlies two miles away on Specimen Ridge. “. . . anticipation, emotional involvement, drama, and mystery” is a good description of what I felt that morning.

                I guess, as things evolve, maybe the only thing we could alter about the Lamar Valley wolf viewing experience would be to introduce an aggressive aversive conditioning program to keep wolves from getting too comfortable. Unpopular, expensive, and probably ultimately ineffective. More likely, wolves will end up like elk — they’ll figure out where the killing starts, and will change their behavior spatially.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Wow SAP, Really “nincompoops” I don’t think I have heard that term in this context since I was in High School.

                You get tired of others that have a completely different opinion as well as experiences than you have had?

                I have worked in the park, and I get tired of the visitors, not following the rules, tell others to shoosh, thinking that they are the only ones that have the rights to watch the wolves.

                I have seen it happen many times. My wife basically got kicked out of a pull out, because she voiced that she had no interest in watching “Dot” the wolf through a spotting scope.

                Yellowstone is an ecosystem, not just one or two species.

                A wolf had to be destroyed a couple of years ago, because of the actions of those who love wolves, they were feeding it and it started becoming aggressive to visitors.

                I agree, the special spirit of being with the wild is a good thing, and the wildlife in Yellowstone as well as else where has changed many peoples attitude about wildlife and wild places.

                As with all things, it only takes a few to ruin it, habituation of wildlife in Yellowstone is causing problems outside of Yellowstone.

                It matters not what side you are on, it matters that we need to change things, and the way we view wildlife and wild places.

              • avatar Elk275 says:

                SAP

                “. . .the Lamar Valley offers visitors an engaging wolf viewing experience opportunity that may be characterized as accessible authenticity. Visitors engaged in extended viewing events, which were characterized by anticipation, emotional involvement, drama, and mystery. Many of these elements were present even when respondents did not see wolves.”

                It sounds like who ever wrote that quote, has another job writing red wine descriptions. full body, fruity, with a hint of…….., aged,

              • avatar JB says:

                Elk:

                I would echo SAP’s sentiments. My first experience with wolves was 1996. Shortly after entering YNP from Cooke City, a wolf crossed the road within a few feet of our car. I’ve had several “close” encounters since; however, my favorite experience was standing on a hillside on the last day the park was open (usually the first weekend in Nov.) and watching a pair of wolves try and keep a couple of coyotes away from the elk they had killed. It was cold, windy and gray, but what unfolded in front of my eyes was fantastic and there is no where else in the lower 48 that I could’ve witnessed it.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                JB,

                I disagree, there is no place else in the lower 48, I have experience very similar experiences outside the west side of glacier several times over the years.

                The North Fork of the Flathead from Columbia Falls to the Canadian border offers these types of experiences without being in a National Park.

                We have often encountered wolves along the border with Canada and north of Whitefish during bowhunting season..

                If you doubt me, I will leave and invitation open for you to come up my way and you can experience none habituated wolves doing their thing.

              • avatar JB says:

                SB:

                I should have been more explicit–what made the experience unique was that we were standing in the open on a hillside about 200 ft away from the wolves and coyotes, neither of which even looked in our direction. Their habituation allowed us to see how they normally behave when there are not any people around. But now that you mention it, I could see where that could happen today in Glacier and Grand Teton NPs.

            • avatar SAP says:

              SB – “nincompoop” is part of my personal betterment effort, in this case cutting down on swearing. I’m trying to use “nonsense” in place of “b_ _ _ s _ _ _”, also.

              I try to get away from namecalling in general. I’m not saying that anyone who disagrees with me or had a different experience is a nincompoop or dip_ _ _ _ or whatever. Just that I have encountered a lot of people with zero or no experience with Lamar Valley who claim that it’s exactly like a zoo or some other Disney-esque experience. These nincompoops tend to stereotype Lamar wolf watchers as delusional types who are having a vastly inferior experience to their own experiences.

              Really just worn out with stereotyping and self-righteousness and smug superiority in general.

              I, too, have experienced some less-than-friendly behavior at wolf-watching clusters. I have a good friend from the Midwest who to this day has a bad impression of Yellowstone and nature lovers because of the clique-ish behavior we experienced one in YNP. In their defense, it was mostly a crew of researchers who would probably get very little work done if they stopped and made small talk with everyone who pulled over to see what they were up to.

              As to academic verbage sounding like wine descriptions — well. Nothing wrong with having a good vocabulary and using to make a useful description of phenomena. If I asked someone to fetch me a hammer from my workbench, they would either come back with a lot of questions or with the wrong hammer (or with all of my hammers, including 3# smithy hammers, a shot-filled deadblow hammer, a 23oz framing hammer, a cobbler’s hammer, two plastic head hammers, three rubber mallets . . . you get the picture, maybe).

              Descriptiveness is good. Wouldn’t have been much of a contribution to the literature to just state “people like to see wolves.”

          • avatar WM says:

            Is there a lay definition of “accessible authenticity” that involves standing around in the freezing cold and maybe a little wind. The attributes may be numb cheeks (both sets), fingers, and runny nose temporarily stopped with the back side of a mitten, stomping feet to keep the circulation going, waiting for the next wolf to appear, stirring emotions of “…anticipation, emotional involvement, drama, and mystery. Many of these elements were present even when respondents did not see wolves.”

            Strikes me as applicable to most any pursuit where the chance of being in the right place at the right time, as in steelhead fishing or elk hunting, except for many can’t walk back the 200 yards to the car, for a cup of hot cocoa, while the heater thaws your feet and you listen to a Inya from the 8 speakers in your Chevy Suburban or the tour bus.

            I’ll have to remember that term, “accessible authenticity.” Ranks right up there with “harvest.”

            • avatar SAP says:

              WM – yes, I think that hunting and fishing tend to have the same kind of authenticity.

              My understanding of authenticity is that it is very distinct from an experience that someone else designed for you, with a pre-determined outcome. Although I see a place for captive facilities (such as Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center), that is mostly a scripted experience that involves zero skill or hardship. While the captive animals’ behavior may surprise us from time to time, it’s mostly an engineered experience.

              In a way, spectator sports deliver the same kind of unscripted experience, which in part explains their huge popularity. Unlike wildlife viewing in Yellowstone, you can pretty much count on being able to find a football game occurring at a known time and place, so there’s little skill involved in “accessing” that experience.

              Almost the same could be said of wolf viewers who monitor park radio transmissions and rely on telemetry to find wolves. Or shooters who take elk over baits or inside a high fence.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Now that we are into archaic terms, how about gosh and golly, but I can’t believe that some of you knock tourists, yet in the same breath beckon that to have a voice in wildlife advocacy nonconsumptive users must pool resources to become as powerful as some of the hook and bullet “clubs”. Yeah, there are idiots who walk up to a bison and either get trampled or screamed at by those that know better. I bamboozled! You want these folks out there. Help them, otherwise your the bunch of obnoxious snobs.

                Analogy: when I raced mountain bikes, the learning curve was steep. Before a race, when I was a beginner, I had a mechanical problem and I asked for assistance. A simple adjustment was all it took, but I didn’t know that. I offered compensation for the time and effort and the reply was, “there’ll come a time when you can help somebody else.”

                If you look down your nose at the tourists, and their enthusiasm for seeing a wolf in the wild, well screw it, shoot all the god damned wolves.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                ??????????

                Immer?

              • avatar SAP says:

                Right on, Immer.

                I went through a nasty little spell of bashing “tourons” in the early 90s. Really just insecurity on my part, part of my own need to feel smug and superior.

                1995, there was a black bear near Gibbon Falls, Great big old Pontiac station wagon (late 70s vintage) rumbles up, plates from somewhere in the Midwest. Mom, Dad, and four boys pile out to see why everyone has stopped. Everything about them indicated that coming to YNP took some sacrifice, maybe even courage to cross the plains in that vehicle. Some old graybeard almost immediately adjusted his tripod so the boys could use it. What a great example — so a couple more of us followed suit and made sure they all got a good long look at that bear.

                We have no way of knowing the long term impact of helping someone have a good experience — making sure they really get to see the critter, and showing them some inclusiveness and kindness. Sure isn’t very hard to guess what doing the opposite would do.

                I am a tourist, sometimes. We have all been pilgrims, greenhorns, newbies, even wanna-be’s at some point. I look forward to opportunities to be a tourist again.

              • avatar JB says:

                Well said, SAP. I would add that I have spent a considerable amount of time of late pointing out the problem with stereotyping hunters. It sure is frustrating when the same hunters I defend turn around and make derogatory comments about tourists. Pot meet kettle.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                SAP and Immer,

                Despite working in the business, I am always a tourist, I enjoy watching and learning about animals, wild ecosystems and such, and I would have done the same exact thing as the old grey beard.

                But, there are certain people that you can identify, immediately, they are obvious, they are obnoxious and just generally rub others the wrong way!

                I remember a guy that used to hang out in the spring around Swan Lake Flats, I first ran into him right after I was released from the hospital when I returned stateside, man oh man, that guy was something!

              • avatar Savebears says:

                JB,

                At the point in these conservations we are, I would only have to say, what is good for the Goose is good for the Gander, after so long of reading it, you should expect what has happened.

                Some on here, just don’t seem to realize, everything they can find to bitch about hunters, can also be found to bitch about tourists.

                It is just a tit for tat game sometimes.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                SAP,

                As ever, you frame your point with a Saturday Evening Post cover with the story of the gray beard and the boys. Well said.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                Damn, some of y’all DO get it. That’s awesome to hear some get the ‘ambassadors’ thing. Without it YNP (hell, maybe the west) is doomed. Encouraging stuff.

              • avatar WM says:

                If I am critical of “tourists” it is first the institution that allows those who visit national parks of the West to enter without respect for what they are about to experience. Leave the iPods, bubble gum, sunflower seeds and cell phones at home. Keep your kids, and pets if you have them, under control, and reasonably quiet. If you have a motorhome you really don’t need a generator to watch DVD’s at night.

                Orientation on this stuff should start at the gate, with a signature that says you will comply.

                SAP’s advices on the value of being a good will ambassador are noted, and some of us try to do that sort of thing wherever we are, not just in a national park.

              • avatar JB says:

                WM:

                I can’t but help point out that publicly condemning legal behavior of people that are interacting with the resource in ways that you don’t like, is exactly what you and Save Bears normally rail against (i.e., Nancy, Louise, Jon and others condemning the ways in which you choose to interact with resources).

                I agree with you guys when you’re arguing the case for hunting–people here need to be more tolerant of others’ choices–but you guys are undermine your own argument when you show the same intolerance for tourists.

                People in glass houses…

              • avatar WM says:

                [For some reason this post has been in moderation, so I will attempt again]

                JB,

                “-but you guys are undermine your own argument when you show the same intolerance for tourists.”

                Do we, if the argument is based on advocacy based on “ethics” or a need to regulate conduct which makes the Park visiting experience better for others? Federal regulations already govern some of the things you cannot do in the Park, for example no public drinking, no generators on after 9 or 10 PM(?), no pets trails, no motorized vehicles on trails, and until recently no firearms (which I am sure they would still regulate but for a Constitutional issue, and luckily somebody who has one still can’t fire it without violating a federal rule).

                I am just saying governing conduct doesn’t go far enough (my rant), and if it did it might make the visitation experience a better one for everyone – initiating a level of respect and understanding for the resource.

                First example: There is a public campground along the coastal strip of Olympic NP. Unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean just off US 101. The campground is a long strip parallel to the highway. A few choice camp spots are at the very edge of the bluff down to the beach. Motorhomes crowd these spots, and those generators get cranked up so the occupants can watch their videos, run the microwave (anything requiring AC 120v current). The tent campers are relegated to a little grove of trees to the east of the view spot. Their view of the ocean stretching to the curvature of the earth is blocked by the motorhomes (or cars with travel trailer in tow) and the sound of the surf is drowned by some asshole’s generator late into the night, occupants watching videos. When I camp there I feel like a second class citizen IN MY PARK (we all pay the same camping fee because there are no RV hookups). A little more regulation would be nice.

                Second example: It takes alot of training and effort (safety risk as well) to attempt a climb of Mt. Rainier. Most do not do it without a guide. Not everyone is successful, and many have to get past the effects of altitude sickness at 14,000 ft., which include headache, lethargy and sometimes nausea. I have been fortunate to stand on the summit a number of times; the success is the product of honest physical effort and persistence (and a bit of crazy when the weather is bad, which can be often). My experience standing on the summit has been lessened in recent years, by some jerk yelling into a cell phone over a 45mph wind to repeatedly attempt to tell family and friends he made it to the summit. My experience is lessened by his desire to use technology to announce his accomplishment, as I and a very few other fortunate summiters savor a moment of personal accomplishement and wonder. My requested rule: NO cell phones in use on the mountain unless for an emergency.

              • avatar JB says:

                “I am just saying governing conduct doesn’t go far enough (my rant), and if it did it might make the visitation experience a better one for everyone – initiating a level of respect and understanding for the resource.”

                WM: So your ethics suggest that visitors should “respect” the resource (i.e., interact with it in a way that you find ethical). How is that different from Louise’s claim that hunters’ should “respect” wildlife by interacting with it in a way she finds ethical?

              • avatar WM says:

                JB,

                ++How is that different from Louise’s claim that hunters’ should “respect” wildlife by interacting with it in a way she finds ethical?++

                Actually it is not that different in many respects, except that the hunting resource use is consumptive, and by the exercise of the activity some of the things Louise wants to see may be lethally removed.

                Here is the difference. National Parks are few, and most in the West and some other places are set up as “preserves” in which the intent is to leave things in tact, including the ecosystems under a barrage of intense visitation by millions of visitors under mostly strict rules of preservation, like the ecosystems that are present. Of course there are national parks like Gettysburg NP which memorializes the battlefield, and where they really are not about the scenery, wildlife and the ecosystems upon which they rely.

                I simply don’t know how one gets over the “hunting is unethical” hurdle, when interacting with wildlife and intending consumptive use. Hunting on federal and state owned land generally occurs only a couple months a year. Here is a key and extremely important legislative purpose. Areas where people hunt are under multiple ownership and management agencies, most of which are operated under MULTIPLE USE and sustained yield management concepts (wood, water, forage, wildlife, recreation etc.). These are CONSUMPTIVE RESOURCE ACTIVITIES by definition. It begins and ends with federal and state law that allow these activities. And, of course, we know states manage the wildlife, in those areas, not the federal government, unless it is under special purpose legislation, such as the ESA (which ultimately gives authority back to the states when things get better for the species so that it is no longer endangered).

                What Louise seeks is a restriction on multiple use sustained yield in favor of “preservation,” apparently. Of course that won’t happen, on multiple use lands, and especially during seasons set aside by states for management and consumptive hunting/fishing activities.

                On the other hand the single purpose “preserves” are better suited to strict (or in my quest even more strict) rules governing conduct consistent with the purpose of the preserve. Do I think there should be more preserves? yes. And, if one thinks about it some other Forest Service, and Interior Department lands are quasi-preserves in some respects, in which most consumptive uses are prohibited. These are designated Wilderness (though one form of consumptive use is permitted in most – hunting/fishing – to the exclusion of others).

              • avatar JB says:

                WM:

                If I understand you correctly, you’re saying the difference is the type of land on which activities occur, and the purpose that those lands have been legally put to (i.e., preservation vs. multiple use)?

                However, both of examples you give (assholes yelling into cell phones and people using generators for their RVs) are not in conflict with the preservation mission of the Park Service–they do no damage to the land. Rather, your examples illustrate an intolerance for certain types of behavior (which I’m sympathetic to, btw) and a desire to see public lands managed differently (perhaps a bit more like wilderness?). Likewise, Louise, Mike and others are intolerance of the way you and other hunters choose to behave and so desire to see public lands managed different (in their case, more like NPs, less like NFs).

                =-=-=-=
                The only difference I see is that hunters’ behavior is less likely to actually impact others’, as it is less likely to be observed by others (I’m sure someone will scream that I’m wrong…so be it).

              • avatar WM says:

                JB,

                ++Louise, Mike and others are intolerance of the way you and other hunters choose to behave and so desire to see public lands managed different (in their case, more like NPs, less like NFs).++

                What I see in this comparison is that what Mike et al., would like to see interferes with the organic law governing these multiple use lands under federal and state statutes, and in the case of at least one state potentially interferes with a state constitutional right — Mike (Louise and some others) would like to eliminate hunting altogether.

                In contrast, my request for a little more accomodation comes easily with the NPS promulgating a couple more rules, or operating guidlines. Those are huge legal differences in my view.

                But, if Mike et al., seek only to alter hunting seasons and quotas for different species and different geographic areas in MINOR ways, those could also be accomplished with regulations as long as consistent with the statutory and constitional frameworks of the federal government and the respective states.

                However, minor change is not their objective; elimination of hunting altogher is. Watch the legal papers fly if that ever comes to pass (which it will likely not because of its absurd nature), beginning with changes in federal law, or as you have suggested in the past extension of Kleppe v. NM.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      Gravel, yer trying to do my thinking for me I tried to keep my comment short. never raised the spectre of dozens of collars being affected. But since you have queried it: GPS collars are very expensive. They cost north of $2500 per. But they also gather a lot of longterm uninterrupted data , including full time tracking of the animal’s ranging. You can make an accurate map of where that animal has been since the moment it got the collar. They have a store-and-dump feature .

      Cost alone prohibits their widespread use. As Ralph points out, only three of Yellowstone’s wolves had full-features GPS collars. The rest have standard $ 600 VHF ” ping” collars which do nothing beyond send out beeps.

      Usually only one wolf in a pack will have a GPS collar. One other may have a VHF pinger. Just guessing ehre witrhout really knowing, it sounds like from the total number of collars used in YNP, less than 10 total, only one wolf per pack has any kind of collar at all, mostly the VHF pingers.

      Which makes shooting any wolf wearing a collar all the more important. We’re not talking duck bands here.

      Of note, the Wyoming Game and Fish Dept went on a bit of ” colalring binge” since early autumn in advance of the opening of wolf season , with help from their good friends at Wildlife (Dis)Services. They tried to get as many collars into as many packs and dispersers as possible.

      That concerns me on several levels. Collars used for research are great tools. Collars used exclusively for tracking… bad. I’m pretty sure all the collars in YNP are for research ( how could it be otherwise? ). But those superfluous VHF collars attached to Wyoming wolves seem more for control and eradication purposes than any altruistic research to be done by Wyo G&F, who is decidedly not of good will towards wolves regardless of what their press releases may say.

      When Art Middleton was doing his Absaroka Elk Ecology Study beginning five years ago, his team collared 26 elk in NW Wyoming. Only 13 of those collars were recovered, many from hunters. I guess some data is better than none at all, but having collars remain on animals is always preferable, dontcha think ?

      Unfortunately , the wolves know no bounds, and there are no regs preventing collared wolves from being taken. I reaffirm I think that is a mistake in the case of wolves, grizzlies, and cougars. Like I said, a leg band on a duck or other bird or even a fish is another thing altogether, meant to be harvested for the most part but better maybe if not.

      This issue needs to be addressed by the state game departments for next year’s hunts.

      • avatar jon says:

        Collars are being used for research, but it makes no sense why the fish and game departments would let hunters and trappers to kill these wolves. You can’t have it both ways. If you want research, tell the hunters and trappers to stop destroying these important wolves with collars on them. This won’t stop until there is some law saying you can’t kill a wolf with a research collar on it. How are you going to track wolves if all the wolves with collars are gunned down by trigger happy hunters? Some thing has to change.

        • avatar rork says:

          If the scientists want collared wolves protected, I’m all for a law about it, but they have gotta make a case. Has anyone even proposed it? I can see why state managers might not just do anything the Yellowstone research folks want though, especially if they aren’t part of the research team.
          I repeat my story of collared deer in Michigan, where we can obviously see the collars, but the scientists in some cases want us to be indifferent to the collars, since cause of death is one of the things they want to know. It’s not true that we can just assume scientists want their collared animals protected.

      • Wolf collars in Yellowstone are used more for locating wolves for tourists on the Yellowstone Park Association busses than they are for “research”. Wolves that are not available for easy viewing in the South end of the Park do not get collared.
        Yellowstone Association employee Rick McIntyre (Unit 1)is out every morning locating wolves. He immediately relays the info to the Yellowstone Association bus drivers so they can rush their passengers to see the collared wolves. Other wolf tour operators listen in so they can get their paying customers to the wolves also.
        Don’t believe me? Stand by Rick (Unit 1)for a few days and listen. They pay him to do this.

      • avatar TC says:

        The costs of GPS collars have come down a bit – well under $2500 (you can get them for less than $2000 now depending on application). Having three GPS collars out on YNP wolves = seems pretty useless. There are power calculations and other methods that should be used to determine how many GPS collars you need out to address specific research questions/objectives, but if the loss of three GPS collars killed a study, it was a very flawed study from the start. There’s been a lot of heat about the loss of these collars (and the wolves wearing them, obviously) – does anyone know what the research objectives really were, and how they planned to meet them with only three GPS collars? That’s a fishing trip, not research (or at best, very qualitative/descriptive research without a sample size suitable to any meaningful analysis).

  6. avatar Richie G. says:

    Doug Smith writes,we need hunts ,so the hunters don’t feel the hatred for wolves,that they will not feel the feds putting wolves down their throat, I disagess up to a point. Their will always be people who do not want wolves here period,no amount of hunting will solve this.As for sb,you would be a good lawyer for the hunter,you state every reason why hunters want wolves to be hunted.Because of the collar, then they won’t be able to hunt no wolves in the end. Because of a buffer zone,then a bigger zone,then no hunts.As I see it,they went from a hunt in certain zones, then more time to hunt wolves,a bigger time frame to hunt. Then right up to the parks boundary to hunt,then after that,traps ,why not traps,the wolves we can’t get with the thick snow cover we will trap,oh I forgot gas pups too in dens,and pregnant ones too why not, kill them all. So who has gotten almost everything they wanted sb, the people who love wolves or the hunters?

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Richie,

      You again are exaggerating. You have to remember the border of the park, then becomes the state of Montana, Wyoming or Idaho. You are trying to dictate what can be done in a state you have no say in.

      As far as I know, they are not gassing pups in the den. Also, tell me how you are going to know if a wolf is pregnant, I don’t know if a deer or an elk pregnant when I am hunting.

      As far as being a lawyer, I have actually thought about getting my law degree, the wildlife degree sure has not panned out as I am not a lock step type person, so hence no regular job!

      Richie,

      Sometimes the way you rationalize in your posts is very difficult to follow.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      And Richie, actually the pro wolf side has got a lot, they got to re-introduce them didn’t they?

      • avatar CaptainSakonna says:

        You call that a lot? I almost wish the reintroduction hadn’t happened. So far all it has meant is more wolves getting killed in more places. Maybe the token populations that the states are willing to leave in place will bring some benefit to the ecosystem, but how does one measure that against hundreds of individual lives lost before their time?

        And yes, I do hope this buffer zone eventually leads to a complete ban on predator hunting across the states. I do not think this is an extreme position; rather, it is needless killing, even of ONE individual, that is extreme. I guess anti-slavery advocates should have aimed for a nice compromise which allowed some people to continue keeping others as property? (People freak out when I use this analogy, because they think I’m equating wolves with humans. I’m not. I’m comparing one matter of basic justice with another. Killing a wolf is less serious than enslaving a human, just as petty theft is less serious than murder; however, even minor injustices that are recognized as such are generally made *completely* illegal. Since I and many other wolf advocates believe that hunting predators is unjust, why do you expect us to be happy as long as even one wolf is hunted?)

        • avatar Mark L says:

          CaptainSakonna says,
          ” I almost wish the reintroduction hadn’t happened. So far all it has meant is more wolves getting killed in more places. Maybe the token populations that the states are willing to leave in place will bring some benefit to the ecosystem, but how does one measure that against hundreds of individual lives lost before their time?”
          Everything that has ever lived has also died (OK…more or less). Don’t fret this. If even a few wolves get to breed then the program is a success. Same goes for people….a tribe of 20 celebrates a single kid’s birth, the same kid born in a city of millions is ignored by most. Same kid. Others will benefit from the way things are now.

        • avatar Adriana says:

          @CaptainSakonna – great point. Sadly, people with god complex will never understand. They are speciesists very much akin to racists. Some of them throw a fit when a woman gets abortion but have no problem killing another living creature and call it sportsmanship. Pathetic. I think at It would be only fair if I and my buddies started hunting sportshunters. Some pay lots of money for human skulls. It would be fun and profitable. Sorry just trying to get into their mindset.

          • avatar jon says:

            The thing is some people who hunt to kill animals think animals are here for them to do whatever they want with them. They think animals are worthless creatures. I am amazed at the lack of compassion that hunters have for the animals they kill. Their lack of compassion for the wildlife that they kill deeply troubles me. This doesn’t apply to animals that are killed mainly for food such as deer and elk.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              It is deeply troubling. And all I can come up with is is that one reason is that it stems from what we are taught by religion, sadly enough. Organized religion is the cause of more loss of life. 🙁

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                I should add: things are changing in our modern era about the environment and wildlife and whether there is spiritual value to anything other than human life, but there is much carryover from centuries of these teachings, for which no proof exists whatsover. Killing for no reason other than what is in our own minds.

          • avatar josh says:

            Adriana I dont think you would last long hunting an “actual” hunter. Though you could go join the Marines at give it a go! See how it works out maybe? 🙂

        • avatar WM says:

          ++I almost wish the reintroduction hadn’t happened. So far all it has meant is more wolves getting killed in more places.++

          It is not just a “So far….” thing. That was always the plan for the “non-essential experimental population wolves” of the NRM. That will always be the formula as wolves expand into more territory (whether the population is 1,000 or 3,000, and at 3,000 the number killed by hunting and trapping could be 3X the number killed while the population is at about 1,700). There will always be that tension. It exists in nearly every place wolves and humans attempt co-existence on a more crowded landscape, wherever they are in the world. Some folks just don’t get it.

          Are some who want 2,500+ NRM wolves prepared for a continuing annual take-off (kill, harvest or whatever term makes you feel good), because it will happen at that level, and as range expands?

          If and when wolves make it to CO, I could see a population of 2,000 established fairly quickly in a prey rich environment (300,000 elk and largest migratory mule deer herd in NA). It would not be a stretch to think of 500 wolves killed every year by hunting, control of problem wolves and trapping.

          • avatar Mark L says:

            So you are assuming wolves cannot control their own numbers? You assume they MUST be controlled by humans or what happens….what is the ‘worst case scenario’ if wolves are abundant in the wild?

        • avatar josh says:

          BINGO!! There is the final truth, not one wolf killed EVER… The initial plan involved HUNTING from the beginning. That was all agreed upon before the re-introduction began, that was the “other sides” compromise to all them to be re-introduced. You got what you wanted, now wolves get to be hunted. Live with it! :)And stop moving the freaking goal posts! 🙂

  7. avatar Richie G. says:

    opps disagree

  8. avatar Richie G. says:

    opps disagree sorry

  9. avatar Richie G. says:

    Sb; That was because of Bruce Babbit president of Wilderness Society, and Clinton has been said by many to be the best environmental president we ever had,look up his accomplishments,he has string of them. Yes and their was a movement,I know I bought all the papers and the tapes. Yes their was a movement,but can you entertain the thought,that we wanted to make up for the killing and the landscape was being ruined by elk. My vet who was born in Idaho,told me of elk flooding up a dam in Yellowstone because of all the dead elk.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Richie,

      There are no dams in Yellowstone, where do you get this stuff.

      As far as Clinton, no need to tell me about him, I served under him when I was in the Military.

      I know the exact reasons for the re-introductions Richie, I was there the day they were released.

      Why is you, always think I am against wolves? I have never once said that I am against wolves, not once.

  10. avatar Richie G. says:

    sb; I pay taxes too, and have been out west many times,and have paid dollars to see them too. Which paid for people who have jobs inside the park,so they can live and buy food and toys for thie kids at Christmas.O.K. I do not live off the land,where I live I pay for my beach so the cops and township can live and eat.I pay tolls to go to work,so the Port Aothority can make their salaries to live a good life. I am a tax payer,and those government taxes pay for Montana,with under a million people I bet the government gives more money to you than Montana gives back, my tax dollars and every other person in different states that like to see wolves.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Richie,

      What the hell are you talking about, you sound like you are just a bit upset today? We all pay taxes Richie, some more, some less, but I am a tax paying citizen as well, and when it comes to the state owned lands, you have nothing to say about it, Just as I don’t in your state.

      Now you have to remember, even the federal lands in Montana with wildlife are managed by the State of Montana, that is a power given to the state by the Federal Government for the purpose of hunting and fishing, been that way for a long time now.

      Calm yourself down Richie..

  11. avatar Richie G. says:

    Because I never have heard you in defense of them. Maybe I missed something. If so, I am wrong, but I do know you are always sounding off for the hunter. As for my vet, this is what he told be, and he does know the entire area. He was brought up there. His degrees are from your neck of the woods.
    – – – –
    p.s. to Richie G. and all. Using ALL CAPS is discouraged. We changed Richie’s to boldface. If folks want to use emphasis, bold, etc. use the common HTML commands in angle brackets, and you will get bold, italics. etc. Ralph Maughan

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Richie,

      I am a hunter and will always take the side of the legal hunter, you might want to read back some of the things that I have just posted in the last few days about hunters doing things wrong.

      I don’t care that your vet was raised out this way and his degrees are from out here, there is no dams in Yellowstone.

      I will never speak out against hunters who are not breaking any laws. I have never condemned wolves at all.

      You need to calm down Richie, your going to blow a cork if you keep it up!

  12. avatar Richie G. says:

    SB,

    You always sound upset or talking from a pulpit.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Richie,

      I am not upset at all, I think it just pisses you off, that I can maintain a pretty much neutral position.

      Turn your caps lock off Richie, it makes your messages even more difficult to read than normal..

  13. avatar Richie G. says:

    You are neutral,yes this is true,but I listen to you many times,and most you are on the side of the hunting,as I said for food o.k. I ‘ll buy that but wolves are getting the short end of the stick,and I said that a few paragraphs ago. O.K. sb ?

  14. avatar Savebears says:

    Richie,

    I am always on the side of legal hunters, why wouldn’t I be, I am one of them. I am never going to condemn legal hunters participating in a legal hunt.

    I will be the first in line to condemn those doing it illegally, heck I am one that has posted many times, that I think poaching should be a felony, and they should loose their guns, never be able to hunt again and spend time in jail on their first conviction.

  15. avatar Wilderness Guy says:

    I think it’s somewhat obvious that these wolves were intentionally tracked using the same collars they had on. This is something that I guarantee someone with some moderate knowledge of telemetry could do. I heard that a group of outfitters were responsible for a majority of the wolves killed. If this is the case, killing these wolves was intentional to do exactly what they got. They knew exactly what they were doing. To these extremists that hate wolves, this is a war on their part.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Is there some sort of law on the books about tampering/destroying a government study or property? Can the outfitters be prosecuted?

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Yes, Ida,

        It has been against the law for many years to use telemetry equipment to track game animals. If that is what happened, they should be prosecuted if caught. They should loose their Outfitters licenses and not be allowed to hunt anymore.

  16. avatar Mark L says:

    Which goes to show you the YNP wolves were not in a natural state to begin with….they had Judas wolves that gave away their location. The more we attempt to study something, the more we deconstruct it through unknowing intervention (20/20 vision and we still can’t see). Hmm…like some particles. A collared wolf pinging its location is more or less a ‘natural’ wolf in the landscape to all creatures save two….other wolves and humans that track them. That makes them unnatural to all. They had to go. Find a different way, cause collars that broadcast are apparently not the way to go.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Mark L.

      Yes, what you say is technically true. However, for purposes of studying prey, wolf territory, and pack dynamics, a collared wolf that is not hunted or harassed is as natural as an uncollared wolf.

      I don’t believe the GPS collars are trackable because the signal goes to a satellite. It is the standard radio collars you can track.

      • avatar SAP says:

        Ralph, the GPS collars are also VHF. The really fancy GPS collars used to be called “real time,” in that a tracker can get GPS data without retrieving the collar.

        The cheaper GPS collars are called “store-on-board,” because the data are kept in the collar’s memory and cannot be accessed remotely. You have to physically get the collar back to get the stored data — usually by having the collar programmed to fall of on a certain date.

        There is an awful lot of speculation about hunters using telemetry to hunt these collared wolves. It is true that some non-agency people may have telemetry receivers and the specific frequencies. That’s pretty rare, though.

        It’s also true that yes, someone with a telemetry receiver could conceivably scan for and stumble upon frequencies of specific animals. In my experience, this would be similar to stumbling upon someone’s cellphone number through trial and error.

        Simplest explanation is that YNP wolves are just very used to being around people and experiencing no consequences from them. They’re probably very easy to hunt, telemetry or not.

      • avatar SAP says:

        Here’s a spec sheet on GPS collars:

        http://www.lotek.com/gps4500.htm

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      To all,

      It should not be assumed that the collared wolves had their collars tracked by those who shot them. That is only someone’s hypothesis because we know it is possible.

      It could also be chance, and that means there might be a fair number of other wolves missing from Yellowstone, dead, but had no identifying collars.

      I am saying I have no confidence in the figure of 81 remaining wolves.

  17. avatar Jeff says:

    Is it possible that the collared wolves being shot in the long haul will actually benefit wolves? Less contact with man, less known habits etc…

    • avatar Savebears says:

      That is exactly what needs to happen Jeff, less interaction with man will be a benefit, Yellowstone wolves have been studied to death and unfortunately it has created the perfect storm..

      • avatar Mike says:

        ++That is exactly what needs to happen Jeff, less interaction with man will be a benefit, Yellowstone wolves have been studied to death and unfortunately it has created the perfect storm..++

        The only “storm” being created is by the cantaloupe brains who pull the trigger. This is the only thing killing wolves. Attempting to blame other things is quite bizarre.

  18. avatar PNW says:

    SB

    You say ” You have to remember the border of the park, then becomes the state of Montana, Wyoming or Idaho. You are trying to dictate what can be done in a state you have no say in.”

    but in fact isn’t much of the land surrounding the park federal land?

    I realize this may be in name only because the USFWS gave authority to the states. Can the USFWS unilaterally make that decision? Does the NFS have any authority? There’s the BLM too. Not that these entities seem terribly interested in conservation.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      PNW,

      There have been Supreme court cases on this very fact, the states have the charge of managing on Federal lands that reside within the borders of the state.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Sorry that is managing wildlife, it has been to the Supreme court more than once. Wildlife resides in a state is the charge of the state, even if the wildlife resides on Federal lands.

  19. avatar jon says:

    I agree that there are extremists on both sides, but the ones on the pro-wolf side can’t hold a candle to the likes of Marbut, Fanning, Bridges, Rockholm, Gillette, etc.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      And you accuse me of supporting them, amazing!

      • avatar Savebears says:

        By the way Jon, What about the pro wolf people that actually threatened the person that took the first legal wolf in Idaho a couple of years ago, there were quite a few that threatened that guy. That pro wolf element is not as extreme?

        • avatar jon says:

          sb, I said there are extremists on both sides. My own opinion is the ones on the pro-wolf side can’t hold a candle to the likes of Marbut. Hinkle from Montana, Fanning, Rockholm, bridges, Gillette, etc. These people that I mentioned are just too far out there.

        • avatar jon says:

          I think the anti-wolf side is much more extreme sb, but I also think there are extremists on the anti-wolf side. No side is perfect by any means.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Watch out there Jon, you are backpedaling..

            • avatar Mike says:

              Try to focus, Save Bears. This thread is about hunters wiping out Yellowstone wolves.

              • avatar WM says:

                ++This thread is about hunters wiping out Yellowstone wolves.++

                Indeed it is. The questions that need to be asked (and answered):

                1. Were the hunters complying with applicable laws for harvesting wolves in the states in which they hunt? Should some of those laws be changed?

                2. Should a buffer to protect more YNP based wolves be established, and if so, how big should they be and where? Should the states do it, and should it be voluntary?

                3. Would such buffers, if established, create some kind of precident the states might have in the future to honor (like for bison)? Is this a defacto expansion of the national park?

                4. Would such buffers for YNP wolves, provide protections for other wolves which are not YNP based, and ultimately interfere with harvest prescriptions for the respective states, thus adversely impacting their objectives to manage the species in conjunction with the prey base (possibly reducing elk hunter opportunity)?

                There are a whole bunch more.

          • avatar jon says:

            I also think there are extremists on the pro-wolf side is what I meant to say.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              But those on the pro wolf side that actually threaten people are not as extreme?

              • avatar jon says:

                Did I say they weren’t extreme sb? I said there are extremists on the pro-wolf side.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                You said, the antis are more extreme than the pro, I am just highlighting the fact that many on the pro side actually threatened a guys business, his house and in a couple of instances his life.

                That seems pretty damned extreme to me.

    • avatar Jeff says:

      I’d have to disagree on the right’s extremists being any worse than the left’s…there are loons on the fringes of the political spectrum regardless of their location.

  20. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Threats are one thing, but actually carrying them out is another. Noone can hold a candle to the antis. Here is something I found about how a well know advocate we all admire was harassed by the antis:

    <i“Nabeki” didn’t expect everyone to love her when, in September 2009, she founded the website “Howling for Justice” to celebrate the return of gray wolves to the Northern Rocky Mountains and to protest the then-pending wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho. She didn’t expect to fear for her life, either. But after she posted the names of Montana wolf hunters on her site, the threats began. On a single day in February 2010 the anti-wolf movement sent to her 3,000 messages. Some of the e-mails expressed their desire for her to leave the Rockies immediately. Some messages contained graphic descriptions of wolf killing clearly meant to cause her anguish. “When I pulled the trigger, I think I saw the wolf cry,” one person wrote. “Then it’s [sic] guts where [sic] blown onto the hillside and it moaned.” A few of the messages hinted at attacking her personally.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Ida,

      Nabeki received no worse threats than those who have been legally successful in their wolf hunts.

      I know what it is to fear for my life, I have had credible threats that the local sheriff office investigated, it is the reason I carry most of the times to this day.

      When it comes down to it, neither side should be threatening anyone, it does nobody any good.

      Nabeki is one of the reasons that laws were enacted that prevent releasing wolf hunters names, because the legal wolf hunters were also receiving threats.

      Anybody that makes a threat and is caught needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows, I don’t condone it on either side, it is stupid, childish and accomplishes nothing, but if it keeps up, somebody is going eventually end up dead.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I agree with you, and you seem to be a decent person.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        “Nalbeki is one of the reasons that laws were enacted that prevent releasing wolf hunters names”

        posting those folks names was one of the all time dumb ass moves of the century, IMO

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Yep,

          You wonder how many of them would have or actually did reveal their act/name with online/YouTube postings alla josh the trapper from last year.

  21. avatar Leslie says:

    I don’t think having a rule/law that you can’t shoot a collared wolf is practical at all. As Cody Coyote points out, the collars serve a dual purpose, different inside than outside the Park. But although he only see them as nefarious and much of the time they are when used by G&F, they are also enabling game wardens to keep a count so their numbers don’t fall too low due to not just hunting but disease, etc. I know that Rancher Bob says you can track, but the Absarokas are some of the roughest terrain in the country, and the snow gets deep. The G&F cabin is empty in the winter, and most of the time you can’t get in due to drifts.

    If MT. keeps their buffer zone, and ID has little migration problem due to the Madison Valley, then what should WY do? RIght now, WY’s trophy zone IS essentially the buffer zone for the most part.

    WY has a kind of double speak going on. If you listen to the G&F, they’ll tell you that there is little good habitat outside the trophy zone for wolves as, besides a few mountains here and there, it’s mostly high desert, etc. They’ll tell you most of the wolves are just in the trophy zone, and although we’ve seen 19 wolves in the predator zone killed (I don’t know where but I’d bet mostly in the Pinedale area which is good habitat and wasn’t included because of a lot of ranches and grazing), that is probably a true statement. Most of the 220 wolves we had outside the Park stayed in the forested zones for over ten years.

    On the other hand, they pushed for the predator status, which makes no sense if they say wolves don’t like to go in those areas.

    I am curious what others here might think, besides the obvious of getting rid of predator status, would be a WY solution. At this point, all I can see is to reduce the quotas and the hunt times in sensitive areas, like my area zone 2 where at least 2 of the collared wolves were taken. Hunt 2 had a very high quota, the highest of all the areas, of 8 wolves. Way too many; and some of the best habitat outside the park, and a known area of genetic exchange with Lamar wolves.

    • avatar TC says:

      No answers for you Leslie, but it always makes me laugh when people refer to species like wolves or especially elk as obligate forest-dwellers, with the best habitat in the forests at high altitude (in the mountains, conveniently in national forests and national parks). They’ve been reduced to these areas as refuges – both historically occupied deserts, sagebrush steppe, short- and long-grass prairies, and other open ecosystems and thrived there…

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        were not elk originally a plains species, with caribou the “obligate” forest dweller(ungulate)?? Mayhap I am wrong. Links?

        • avatar Savebears says:

          The current species in Yellowstone was a plains species, however there were forest species on the west coast.

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            the roosevelt(?)

            • avatar Savebears says:

              That is one species, then you have the Northern California/Southern Oregon species Tule Elk

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Most information you see on the Tule says they are only in CA, but there have be a couple of small herds found in Southern OR, They have migrated back and forth over the last few years.

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                there you go. are the Tule not known a as a larger breed? and the Roosevelt as more reclusive. or do I have it backwards? and why are the R named after the pres?

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Tule Elk are actually the smallest of the elk subspecies, sometimes they are called dwarf elk. Roosevelt are a large bodied elk, but their antlers are a bit smaller than the rocky mountain elk, which is what inhabit Yellowstone.

                The president took a great interest in the NW Washington elk and actually transplanted elk to supplement those herds because they were in decline. Since then they have been known as Roosevelt Elk.

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                thank you sb.
                I have never been able to nail that down

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Here is one for you Jeff and anybody else that thinks the cattle wars only happen in the NRM area, this article should blow you away.

                http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/dianne-feinstein-targets-tule-elk/Content?oid=3306155

            • avatar WM says:

              Dianne Feinstein and the plight of the Tule elk. Now I have even one more reason not to respect the esteemed senior Senator from CA (and SF). One would think the Center for Biological Diversity, WWP and like organizations would be all over that issue. Elk displacing cows grazing on public lands, in need of being trimmed back in population. Oh dear, I mean, Oh Elk!

              Roosevelt – is more elusive and heavier bodied than Rocky Mountain subspecies, and the antlers on a mature bull will sometimes have a “crown” of two or three tines at the tip. In Olympic NP they like the relatively broad valley floor of the Hoh River during the rut in September. You can hear them tooting off, and they are a delight to the Park visitors. But rarely are that many bulls seen because of the dense vegetation. I have wondered if they would be so vocal if wolves were around, thus reducing the Park visitor experience for elk. Of course the vegetation would prevent seeing wolves too. My experience elsewhere, in ID is that bull elk in the rut are not so vocal in the last seven years, or so, not wanting to reveal their position to listening wolves.

  22. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Et tu, Diane? This is the reason I am so disappointed with Democrats lately. It is also an area where I thought Ken Salazar did a good thing, not renewing the oyster farm lease at Point Reyes when it expired. But I wondered why he left the ranchers alone. Cattle is king – is it because of our crappy economy? Food for our large population?

    I would call those who ambush wolves outside Yellowstone lazy hunters, if I didn’t have some idea of their mindset already. Out of respect for the studies going on, our oldest national park, and its visitors – you would think resident of border states would be proud of it and not be acting the way they do. Just because they can, doesn’t mean they should – there’s the difference for you. No, we don’t live there – but we don’t need to where our National Parks are concerned.

    • avatar josh says:

      Ida the wolf 06 was killed like 17 miles from the border of YNP. What would be an acceptable distance to shoot a wolf from YNP? Can you give me an exact mile range?

  23. avatar Richie G. says:

    To sb; I knew you would jump on a comment made on a larger buffer zone. Didn’t take you but one comment,quick draw Mc Graw.

  24. avatar Richie G. says:

    Nobody knows this, but when and why, if at all, will they stop trapping wolves?We know most traps are inhumane,and a trapper does not have to pick them up within a 48 hour time frame. At one time nobody even discussed trapping, now it’s the norm.When will hunting stop, at what limit?? Will it depend on public outcry or just a lack of wolf population. What I see that has gotten lost,is wolves are not the major cause of a decrease in elk or cattle. I hear the states want to kill some elk because their are too many ,and may cause diease to their heards. Wasn’this the purpose of bringing in wolves in the first place? What is out of wack here,I know something is,but on this blog we been going round and round. No buffer zone,then when one gets mentioned,alas oh no they want a bigger one. Or we must kill collared wolves,how else will we know how many wolves are being killed,how about by the current wolf kill? Less wolves taken,should equate to less population,I’M not the expert here.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      “I’m Not the expert here”

      Richie, that is clear.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Also,

      Richie, there have been buffer zones mentioned many times for the last few years, trapping has been mentioned many times over the last few years.

      The hunts have been part of the plan since day one, you need to spend some time reading, go back to the original proposals that happened in the 1980’s and start reading how this all came about.

  25. avatar Richie G. says:

    SB; Trapping was spoke but was always on the back burner,that I do remember. So as it comes to wolves where both not experts.Again trapping was always in the backround.

  26. avatar Richie G. says:

    SB; Trapping was spoke but was always on the back burner,that I do remember. So as it comes to wolves where both not experts.Again trapping was always in the backround.

  27. avatar Richie G. says:

    Look that one up.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Richie,

      I don’t need to look anything up. I will be more than happy to send you any document you want on this subject.

      Being pissed at me, is not going to do a damn bit of good, what happens on this blog is not going to do a damn bit of good, you need to be calling and writing those that can actually do something.

      I know I do.

  28. avatar Richie G. says:

    So who will say when the hunting of wolves end,at what number will end the hunt?When does science play a role,in this,as we know more cattle are killed by wild dogs,and other predators,so when will the hatred of the wolf stop?

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Richie,

      All of the seasons have closing dates, the Wyoming season has quotas, where number 06 was killed is a closed zone now.

      As far as the hatred stopping within certain groups, don’t count on it happening in your or my lives, it is going to take a few generations before the change happens.

  29. avatar Richie G. says:

    SB; I am not pissed at you,only your cute remarks,which are not needed. I have called Obama’s hotline several times,Defaziao has been trying for years to reign in the BLM. I really do believe we need new blood,like the Clinton years,or I hate to say when their are only a few wolves left,then things will swing back again.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Richie,

      I will determine what is needed when it comes to the comments I make, a lot of people on this blog and many others make comments that are not needed, including you. I don’t want anyone resembling Clinton back in office. Calling Obama’s hotline is not going to do a damn thing. His administration could really care less about environmental issues.

      See one of the keys, despite the hunting seasons and the management actions by the agencies, the wolf populations increase virtually every year. They are not going to go endangered again, they are prolific breeders, they are very smart animals, just as your dogs are Richie, they will survive.

  30. avatar Leslie says:

    SB “If people would just stop with the obsessive actions around wolves when they are in the park, the wolves might actually start avoiding humans.”

    I agree. Every time I go in the Park there are hoards of people obsessively following rangers around who have telemetry units. It’s one thing to see wolves, its another thing to use telemetry to alert others, then camp out waiting with walkie-talkies.

    I think its great people observe wolves. People today are hungry for wild connection; the mind needs wild animals. But I think it went too far for the animals at least, as we have seen.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Hmmmm..

      JB, it seems as if Leslie and I have experienced very similar actions in the park, perhaps You and I should hook up and visit the park together, so I can see what type of experiences you are having?

    • avatar Jerry Black says:

      Exactly Leslie and that was a point made by both Commissioner Ream and Moody…..the Park needs to share the blame because they allow excessive human habituation….these wolves have little or no fear of humans which Ream called tragic.

      • avatar Jerry Black says:

        Maybe what’s needed is a large buffer between these Park wolf watching tours and the wolves…..200 or 300 yards isn’t enough.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I’m so sorry to hear that – I don’t think the Park has to share any of the blame. It is unscrupulous wolf hunters who don’t respect the process.

        Nobody but Washington, DC is to blame for these results. There’s no other way for the park visitors to have a viewing experience, nor a place to keep a wild ecological balance in today’s world. Washington DC has allowed a Pandora’s box to be opened, which may never be reparable again.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Ida,

          How many more names can be thought up to call the hunters? ’06 was over 15 miles outside the park. I am not defending or condemning, but how do we know that they knew or didn’t know it was a study wolf, Wyoming collars wolves to target them for specific acts of depredation.

          I just don’t understand, with the distance outside the park, that this happened, how it was supposed to be known it was a park wolf.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            I know, I don’t mean the good ones – any ones that may have getting rid of wolves as their goal. I know there’s no way to know for sure.

      • avatar JB says:

        I disagree, Jerry. I don’t think wolves’ level of habituation (in general) has been excessive; rather, it has been just about right for letting people get close enough for a good viewing opportunity, but not too close (where it becomes unsafe).

        Decades ago when YNP fed bears there were dozens of incidents every year, and bears were often killed in response. The Park Service has since has been aggressively trying to dissuade people from feeding animals, but allows them to become habituated, which is why YNP arguably has the best wildlife viewing opportunities anywhere in the country. The 35 million in additional revenue folks like to cite so much would not be possible were it not for this kind of opportunity–and people would scream were NPS to start aversive conditioning.

        I agree it’s a travesty that these wolves were killed, but I disagree that the Park Service is at fault.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        What would the illustrious Geist say about this? It’s a wonder these illegally introduced Canadian wolves didn’t eat one of these clueless, naive tourists.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          I still don’t understand, the illegally introduced argument, there is genetic exchange going on with the wolves that migrated in from Canada, which of course are natural wolves.

          As far as clueless naive tourists, unfortunately, I see far to many of those immigrates also!

  31. avatar Leslie says:

    Any know: I’d love to see a breakdown of the 8 wolves with collars killed in which zones. At least the WY ones. I haven’t seen this info anywhere.

  32. avatar WM says:

    It is probably pretty safe to say wolves that primarily stay in the NP’s (and elsewhere if there is any federal money) will be collared again – likely most from the same packs they have been studying. It would seem the situation is salvagable, although it would have been nice to avoid in the first place. Guess there is a teaching moment here for all agencies involved.

    And, maybe there is a little job security for chopper pilots and the guys doing the darting for awhile longer.

  33. avatar Mark L says:

    Interesting. In case you weren’t aware, wolves kill each other too. It’s a dog eat dog world they live in….bingo or no bingo.
    So if there are not enough wolves to hunt…if their numbers are too low to take any (by law), what then? That would make a NON-HUNTING situation. Who is wanting this situation? Nobody! If there are ever 3000 in the NRM, I doubt many would be able to argue against a hunt, it would just be a question of WHICH wolves are hunted.

  34. avatar Richie G says:

    Basically this is what it comes down too,people who live out west especially ranchers, just don’t want wolves. The government with the reintroduction,just shoved it down their bellies. Now with the explanation of a controlled harvest,people can hunt, trap and gas wolves in their dens,oh only in Wyoming this is allowed.But in the end ,they want to extinguish the wolf. Let’s not put labels on this issue.

    • avatar Salle says:

      Actually, there is a good number of we westerners who WANT wolves here, but we get shouted down when we try to speak up about it, intimidated by bullies with guns, threatened, sometimes our property is vandalized and ignored by authorities even when we have appropriate data to back our narrative.

  35. avatar SEAK Mossback says:

    It is quite interesting that in my neighborhood (in contrast with the Lamar Valley), wolves have been here all along right around the edges of town but most residents know almost nothing about them, and many have lived here many years and never seen one (due largely to the mountainous, forested terrain). Here a young guy recently photographs a few next to town and shares it with the newspaper, and he catches it from both sides in the comments.

    http://juneauempire.com/outdoors/2012-12-14/wolf-pack-sighted-salmon-creek-reservoir

    Wolves that get too used to people have a pretty dim future almost anywhere, with commenters here making the point that that’s the way it should be — keep em’ wild. I have to say that while I completely understand that very healthy wolf populations can and do exist (seldom seen) and even thrive in many places (like here) relatively unprotected and with little conflict, I see substantial value in the very few places where they are able to ignore people and go about their other business while people discretely observe. Unfortunately, most of those protected places (like Denali Park) are not large enough without some outside consideration by surrounding jurisdictions. I had thought from an earlier map of delineated pack territories, that Yellowstone was ample enough to at least protect most habituated packs from significant hunting/trapping mortality. Maybe that’s wrong? Why? —- is hunting pressure surrounding the park that intense, or have the recently reduced number of park wolves expanded their territories with the decline in elk prey in the park, to take in more outside prey pockets (like the herd segment wintering north of Dome Mountain)? Or were they always ranging a lot outside the park?

  36. avatar Richie G. says:

    O.K. so went does it end now we are in the season for traps.

  37. avatar ZeeWolf says:

    Regarding specifically the wolf packs that primarily reside within Yellowstone National Park and the perceived value that they provide for wildlife viewing as well as researching (relatively) unadultered wolf behaviour:

    Buffer zones seem like a reasonable response to the situation, but can be opened or closed by the whim of the neighboring state, regardless of public opinion.

    Why not simply expand the YNP boundaries? For example, the new addition could include the Hellroaring and Slough creek drainages; most if not all the federal land in Sunlight basin could be transfered to the Park Service’s administration. I’m sure there are numerous other additions that could be included, such as the entire upper Yellowstone.

    While this solution would still have the same problem as buffer zones in that wildlife could always go further and stray outside of protected areas, it would probably allow the core wolf packs to be able to travel in safety. Of course, I understand there would be exceptions.

    The only real question to me would be if congress would be willing to pass such a bill, and if not would the President be willing to use the Antiquities Act to establish a Yellowstone National Monument bordering the park? What would be the downsides to this, besides a loss of hunting revenue for the states?

    • avatar Savebears says:

      This has been discussed quite a bit over the last year on this blog, the chances of it ever happening is virtually nil. Besides all the other stuff on the plate of the Politicians, there is very little public support for such a move.

      If even proposed, you will see the lawsuits start flying left and right from the states affected. Rarely do you see this type of move be successful without the support of the states that the land is in.

      • avatar ZeeWolf says:

        I suppose it would have been too much to hope for having an original thought! I have been trying to find an older discussion about boundaries but so far have only found discussions about so-called buffer zones. I hate to ask someone else to do my research for me, but am interested in this subject, so maybe you or someone else could point me to a relevant thread. I did try the website’s search feature but am still not finding a good discussion beyond buffer zones. If you are opposed to such an idea that is fine with me as I generally find validity in both sides of an argument.

        Out of curiosity, on what basis would a proposal to expand YNP, much less any national park, lead to a lawsuit, especially if the lands involved are already part of the federal/public domain? While I wholeheartedly agree that the congressional will might be lacking (they can’t even pull their collective heads out of thier arses much less pass a piece of legislation) that doesn’t necesarrily preclude action from the executive branch of government. I also agree that whilehaving the backing of the respective states would help facilitate any such move, I have to add that it isn’t truly necesarry. After all, Utah was in stern opposition to the creation of Grand Staircase-Escalante NM but it was still created out of existing public lands.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Zee,

          In the current climate of states passing laws to leave the union, I just don’t see it happening.

          Although the executive branch has the power, the current administration has shown very little interest in these issues.

          • avatar ZeeWolf says:

            Well, I do certainly agree with your second sentance about the current administration; in the end I am just bringing up the argument as a hypothetical possibility.

  38. What is wrong with these states for allowing their citizens to do this.?!!! You can’t tell.me they couldn’t see these animals had collars on and what’s even more distrubing is these wolves are used to human presence due to them being tourist attractions wich bring in income to you. You also keep a record of who shoots what wolf and where. Not only should the persons responsible for shooting be held responsible but so should your politicians, wildlife officials.and anyone else involved that allowed this to happen. Shame on all.of you. You.can.never repair the damage you have done. I wish no.mercy for you when the time comes.

    • avatar Salle says:

      Well Karen,

      That would be the problem. Even though we, in Montana have a “no outside money in elections” law, we still have politicians who are bought and sold who sell us down the road at every opportunity. (look at Sen. Baucus and his ties to AMGEN and the tidy little sum of over $700mil to them that he just helped slip into the Debt Ceiling Bill last week). And then there’s Sen. Tester who cowrote and sponsered the rider that got slipped into a Budget Bill a few years ago that removed wolves from the ESA list and got to hunting BS rolling… and this is probably more accepting state in the reintroduction DPS. As I said in a post above, there are many of us in this region who do want wolves here and not hunted but we are shouted down, threatened and harassed and generally ignored by our so called representatives because we don’t have a few million$$ to “donate” to their campaign war chests. And it sucks.

  39. avatar Rebecca Johnson says:

    And it amazes me how all the hunting trapping pages are posting this and bragging complete with showin photos of the dead collared wolves! They are so proud of themselves for getting them all.. As one Facebook page brags ‘smoke a pack a day’ what we left some there. Or ‘kill all the wolves’ page gut shot em til there all gone

  40. avatar Loun says:

    i don’t understand why these people are not punished hardly by law if they killed gps-collared-wolves helpin research ? Are they idiot or ignorant ? They have their photos on FB with dead collard wolves in their arms as trophies. These people should be punished by law ; police can find them with these photos. or in the USA, is it allowed to kill specail gps collared wolves ? That’s non sense !!!!!!

  41. avatar Savannah says:

    Why couldn’t they make it illegal to kill wolves with collars? It can’t be that hard to see if a wolf has one or not.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      When it comes to hunting deer and elk where there are regulations depending on sex, age, antler size, etc. fine distinctions (from a distance) are required.

    • avatar SaveBears says:

      There is no other wildlife species that is hunted that have restrictions due to them wearing a collar and that includes the deer, elk, bears and other species that leave Yellowstone Park, why should wolves be different?

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Folks up here in N MN are discouraged to shoot radio collared bears. And there are a lot of bears up here. It would seem that a “sportsmen” might have the common sense to know that a collared wolf is of a very small/select number of animals and again might be better left alone.

        • avatar cobackcountry says:

          Some times a collared animal is a part of a population density study, or mortality study. The animal, and it’s mortality signal, could be used to assess how many animals are being killed, how they die, and how many can be hunted.

          There are many reasons to collar an animal.

          How do you pick and choose? Will we paint neon pink x’s on the backs of wolves and other animals that can be hunted? A hunter cannot know which animals and collars are better left alone.

          Also, collars have batteries, which go dead.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            In a perfect world, none would be more important than any other. But if people truly respect the process, and mean what they say about taking seriously the management of a recovered species (the success story), then I think the collared wolves should be respected. Hunting is supposed to be a challenge.

  42. avatar cobackcountry says:

    A radio collared wolf is important. The resources expended to collar them are extensive. The research they are a part of is even more important.

    I’d have to question though, is a wolf with a collar more important to a food web or ecosystem than a non-collared wolf? I doubt it. Why wolf is collared and what is being studied is a bigger deal than the wolf its’ self (for regulatory purposes).

    There are a lot of collared animals, and in some cases human caused death is an important part of the data being collected (numbers and counts etc.)

    Telling people they can’t shoot a collared animal is hard to enforce, and irrelevant if the animal ends up dead any how. It would be more about prevention than punishment. Once you reach the point of punishing someone, you have failed to reach your objective (to keep collared wolves from being shot).

    It stinks that this happened, but finding answers won’t be easy.

    • avatar SaveBears says:

      As they are classified as game animals in all three states in the hunting areas that border the park, there is no legitimate reason to treat them different, all species that are classified and hunted that leave the park are subject to the hunting regulations in the respective states they end up in.

      If we start treating wolves different, then there is going to be an even bigger back lash against them.

      • avatar Robert R says:

        You have to love our national park collared zoo pets. They have studied the wolf for over a decade and still can’t figure the wolf out.
        Someone is making excuses and wants job security.
        Is it really natural to see wild animals with collars and treat them as if they are pet celebrities?

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          It isn’t the intent of the scientists to treat them as celebrities. Peole love them. Is it the park trying to bring in money to encourage visiting? Sort of like outfitters but no hunting involved. It is habituating them which isn’t good.

          It doesn’t sound like the family at Banff feeding wolves rice cakes would be too fearful at the bus stop.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            I thought I was reading where Algonquin has ‘howls’ where visitors come and especially children to listen and learn, not chase their wolves or see them. The old fashioned way – no feeding rice cakes, photo ops, electronic devices, etc.

            And btw, how does one feel confident that a state is going to manage their wolves properly when they are classified as vermin to be shot on sight like in WY? Spin job in the press is an epic fail.

        • avatar Jeff N. says:

          Is it just me, or since Robert R’s post, doesn’t it feel like this thread has been dumbed down?

        • avatar Jeff N. says:

          Robert R.,

          Wasn’t it you, just a few months back, lamenting the loss of the “celebrity” elk in Mammoth due to wolf depredation.

          Before you post nonsense, get your sh!t together son.

      • avatar Jeff N. says:

        SB,

        Bigger back lash? We are already there and it started in 1995 with McKintrick and has reached it’s apex and given its blessing by the state governments of ID, MT, And WY. Realistically it wouldn’t matter. The dimwits would make up anything to “back lash”.

        Your entire “we can’t piss off the anti’s anymore than we already have or else” mantra is getting old and tired. Put it to bed already.

        • avatar SaveBears says:

          Jeff,

          Why do I need to put my opinion to bed anymore than you do, what I have been posting for over a year now is coming true, or have you not noticed that…..

          Or is it just pissing you off, I saw this crap coming a couple of years ago.

          I will never put my opinion, or as it turns out my truths to bed, nationwide delisting, state management, congressional delisting and in the future, it is going to be the ESA that is targeted, I have never said I like what is going on, I just happen to know what is going on!

          • avatar SaveBears says:

            Guess what Jeff, pissing the anti’s off, is not working, the pro’s are loosing this battle, you have to be stupid if you don’t see how this has backfired? Please tell me you are not stupid?

            As Jon, likes to post, the minority is ruling the majority and it is only going to get worse.

            • avatar timz says:

              It’s not working because we’re not pissing the anti’s off enough, they’ve gotten everything the want, basically open season on wolves. It was playing, “mr.nice” with them that was the big mistake. The pro wolf movement
              needs a Jon Marvel type to lead it.

              • avatar timz says:

                And as an aside for all you who berate the lawsuits and the constant legal challenges the courts are the only reason a single wolf still exists in the west and he remains their only hope.

              • avatar timz says:

                oops should have said they remain their only hope.

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                Tim Z.,

                Just got back from dinner. Thank you for reinforcing my exact point.

                SB – You can keep posting your opinion, but the “let’s just walk softly in regard to the anti’s and not further piss them off” mentality is ridiculous and highlights how weak minded you are. Pro-wolf people need to push back now, more than ever, in order to blunt the anti-wolf bullshit, and the acceptance of their bullshit that you, Robert R., and Rancher Bob have eagerly gobbled up.

              • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

                timz,

                Although I recently wrote that this is a cultural conflict and no tactics by wolf conservationists were likely to work because they could have hardly foresee this right wing rural reaction to the last 100 years coming along, I do agree that if wolf conservation groups had been as aggressive as Western Watersheds things possibly have gone better.

                The only thing that is going to save Western wildlife as wildlife is going to be to go after these nut job politicians. A lot of the issues that will take them down are not at all wildlife related.

                For example, we were just talking about which of his orifices we wanted to stick Governor Scott Walker’s trans-vaginal probe in.

                The same thing happened in the 1920s with the second rise of the Ku Klux Klan, which was primarily not an anti-black organization, but one against women’s freedom and anyone that didn’t agree with their cramped and cranky set of values.

              • avatar SaveBears says:

                Ya Right, I am weak minded, but yet, I am still able to say what is going to happen, it is going to continue to be pushed and Congress is going to step in again and take that ability away, just as they did with the Congressional delisting in Montana and Idaho. Remember they stipulated “No Judicial Review”

                You seem to think they can’t do it again. There is already a movement to rewrite the ESA. If that happens nobody is going to be happy.

              • avatar jon says:

                The republicans attempt to gut the ESA will be a waste of time. As bad as Obama is, I will be very surprised if Obama signs this legislation to gut the ESA. He will be feeling a lot of heat from the environmental/pro-wildlife groups.

            • avatar Jeff N. says:

              SB,

              I am not stupid. Thank you for asking.

              • avatar Robert R says:

                Jeff N I am not an anti and yes I’m a hunter. I call it like I see it and some like you are the ones pissing people off.
                I do not resort to name calling as some do. I think my comments strike a nerve and some like you cannot reply without flying off the handle.
                I will not change my point of view. I do not want the wolf or any animal eliminated only managed. The wolf is here to stay.
                The problem is, enough is never enough no matter what the number is.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Robert,

                In your opinion, how many wolves are enough?

              • avatar Robert R says:

                Immer to start with it depends on the geographic location and human encroachment and or a agriculture state like Montana.
                Number wise my opinion is around 2000 in Montana but it will never happen because of agriculture and hunting and both are huge in Montana.
                Immer at least you willing to discuss things and not judge others as much like some.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Robert,

                2,000 in Montana alone? I think any prowolf contigent would be ecstatic with that number, yet I agree with you that it would probably be a cold day in hell before Montana has that many wolves.

              • avatar jon says:

                It’s no surprise that most of the people trying to gut the ESA are anti-wildlife republicans. Their war on women and wildlife sadly continues. The only way to get rid of these extremists is to vote them out of congress.

              • avatar Robert R says:

                Immer I put that number out there because Montana is a huge and diverse state and mostly agriculture wich is tied to ranching. Ranching and agriculture go together because a lot of ranchers do raise crops.
                The big problem is that the majority of wolves are populated in the mountiness regions of Montana. The eastern half has very, very few wolves. Which raises the question that comes up all the time (the elk population is increasing)mostly in the eastern half. The reason for the increase is two fold. Not many apex predators, large tracks of private land, where only a select few can hunt (mainly outfitters).
                I think the wolf pack map tells the whole story of where ungulates and yes livestock are impacted the most.
                All thought livestock depravation is a very low % most do not understand the stress that goes with the presence of predators, but who cares its not there livelihood or business and they only want one thing.
                I’m not a selfish person and I try to remain open minded on the wolf issues and look at both sides but in most cases its a one way street.

                http://fwp.mt.gov/fwpDoc.html?id=45636

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Robert,

                “All thought livestock depravation is a very low % most do not understand the stress that goes with the presence of predators, but who cares its not there livelihood or business and they only want one thing.”

                What most folks don’t understand about the low % of livestock depredation is that the depredations, for the most part, are very local, thus greater impact for that individual rancher/farmer.

                Back to a conversation from yesterday on the blog, something more creative needs be done. Special license plates, wolf stamps, something to both raise money for both creative means of preventing depredation and a depredation fund that does not come out of taxpayers pockets. Prowolf folks must contribute to the process, if a meaningful place at the “table” is to be reserved for them.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      It keeps their population protected and information about them for scientists. So yes, it is more important because it could be the very thing that ensures the future of all wolves. I believe a collared wolf must be kept separate from hunted wolves. The states are pushing for hunting, not the wildlife advocates. This is the case where a compromise would do a world of good.

      If it causes a backlash, then it is not being fair to those who want to study and preserve the wolf population, and it won’t give wildlife advocates the confidence that states truly want to manage their wolves.

      • avatar cobackcountry says:

        Ida,

        Good points. However, a wolf can be collared to track movement, mortality, to locate an entire pack, to study dispersal rates, and much more. Scientists have to do all of their evaluations based on the facts and with considerations to variables. By protecting a collared wolf, you alter the natural order of the pack. Maybe you inadvertently give longevity to an inferior wolf while making it more likely that someone hunts the alpha who wasn’t collared? You would be promoting a weaker pack. It could go many different ways.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          But the natural order has already been altered? Hunting is the luck of the draw, but collaring gives an unscrupulous hunter a way to get at the park wolves which one who were to have no faith in humanity might think would be the intent. They might get a better picture of wolves who are hunted.

      • avatar SaveBears says:

        Ida, Fair has nothing to do with this battle, would you please wake up and smell the flowers! Come on folks! This is not a war, were each side lines up, nods to each other and shoots on command. Those that are in control right now, don’t care if they give the wildlife advocates, especially those in favor of wolves confidence, they want the wolf advocates to stop and they are going to do anything they can to make it happen!

        Those in favor, need to really come up with a far different strategy.

        • avatar cobackcountry says:

          SB,

          Suggestions?

          • avatar SaveBears says:

            coback,

            I have no suggestions, all I know, is what is going on right now, is not working, there is a stalemate and it is getting worse, it is going to go to the point that every wildlife law we have in this country is going to be rewrote, neither side is going to like the outcome.

            • avatar Jeff N. says:

              SB,

              Of course you don’t. You have accepted the “shut up and sit on my hands mentality”.

              I say litigate the f^ck out these decisions. The ESA is a powerful tool. Use the strength and purpose of the ESA and if it means going to court again and again, do it.

              • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

                Conservationists are going to have to develop a more explicit political strategy too because the right to litigate can be taken away just like they are trying to take the rest of our rights.

                I seems to me that there must be some pro-conservation billionaires who don’t like this “let’s sit down an talk it over bull,” who would help finance some serious political action.

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Quote

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

~ Edward Abbey

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