Two cougar, a coyote and a bobcat caught in wolf traps-

Whether this is a lot of “by-catch” or not depends on a person’s viewpoint, but some felines and one coyote have been caught in wolf traps so far in the Montana wolf trapping season.  An additional cougar was caught in a “furbearer” trap (must have been a young mountain lion).  The trapping season began Dec. 15.  To put it in perspective only 7 wolves have been trapped, making the percentage of non-target animals pretty high.  However, a person must be very careful about generalizing from small numbers of events.

In Montana, non-target animals are supposed to be released.  Releasing angry/perhaps injured carnivores is not so easy and Montana Fish, Wildlife, Parks stands ready to help, especially for those who get a cougar.

The number of cougar in Montana is thought to be far greater than the number of wolves.

Story in the Billings GazetteMountain lions, other animals caught in wolf traps as season opens. Originally by Perry Backus in the Ravalli Republic

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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.

323 Responses to Some non-target carnivores being trapped in Montana’s first wolf trapping season

  1. avatar Jon Way says:

    You know there is going to be a PR nightmare from this if another predator hunter (a mt. lion hunter) basically comes out against this. Also, I would love to know if the trapper actually bothered to release the coyote or if coyotes don’t apply when the law says “that non-target animals are required to be released”.

  2. avatar Robert R says:

    If trapping regulations are followed for non targeted animals from coyotes to birds they should not be able to set a trap off targeting a wolf. Pan tension for a wolf is a minimum of eight pounds and recommended to be twelve pounds.

    Most here want to ban trapping then you need to come up with a management plan.

    And for the record Montana has trapped 13 wolves and Idaho 15 wolves.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      “If”

      • avatar Robert R says:

        Immer your if must mean (IF REGULATIONS)are not followed.
        A not targeted animal that is caught and FWP has to help release or something is suspected the trap should be checked.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Robert my “if” was paraphrasing your “if” and loaded with sarcasm, not at all directed toward you, but the if of your comments.

          I’ve been consistent in my position against trapping, and as entrenched as it is in some “cultures” in this country, at least the recreational form of trapping will be the first domino to fall “if” trappers don’t clean up their ranks.

          Trapping “is” indicriminate. Trapping with three day trap checks caters to the recreational trapper, and “is”cruel. One would think that “if” us humans are so darned intelligent, we would not subject the animals with whom we inhabit the earth to this inhumane practice.

          We’ve got a lot of metaphorical drunken sailors staggering about in different states, not using common sense nor following instruction when setting traps and snares, nor following the rules of where said devices are placed.

          • avatar Harley says:

            Why are the drunken sailors always getting a bad rap?

            What do you mean by ‘recreational’ trapping? I didn’t realize there was more than one kind of trapping.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Harley,

              Drunken Sailors: metaphorical. Could have said drunken teachers, drunken senators, etc. But doesn’t have the same ring. Yet, there does exist the song about Drunken Sailors.

              Recreational trappers are just that. If you’re not making a living at it, what else could it be called?

              Are you packing heat yet?

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Immer,

                All of the trappers I have met, do it with the intent of selling the pelts.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Savebears,

                Are they making a living at their trapping, or at least measureably supplementing their income? What is the Montana limit per wolf?

                Also, they could be great individuals, I just don’t care for trapping.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                I believe you can trap up to 3 wolves, in addition to other animals you can legally trap, you could make a very good living. Most of the ones that I know do it to supplement other sources of income. There is no limit on coyotes and the other day I head that good quality coyote pelts are being sold for the highest prices in years now. I do know tappers that are making more than 60K a year.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                And to add, I didn’t say anything about caring for trapping. I was simply stating I know trappers that are doing it to sell the fur.

                Just because a post on a particular subject, does not mean I endorse or condemn the activity being discussed in the thread.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Savebears,

                There was absolutely no insinuation that you trap. I have read your posts in the past. The “I” don’t care for trapping statement was just that. It had nothing to do with you

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Pardon, no insinuation that you cared for trapping.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Its 2012 and these disgusting devices litter the landscapes killing all kinds of animals and causing immeasurable suffering. recreation, income….not justifiable. inhumane.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      your point is?

      the pan tension is a non sequitur, as cougar, and any number of other animals, fall within that weight range needed to trigger the trap.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      1 trapped, snared, coyote, wolf, cougar, badger, wolverine, raccoon, or beaver is too much. A disgusting thing to do to animals. Who the hell do we think we are to inflict this kind of misery on wildlife. I am sick to death of these atrocities, which is what they are.

  3. avatar Immer Treue says:

    “Pauley said that it was to be expected”

    Soooooooooo what we have is an official from Montana admitting as much, that trapping is indiscriminate.

    So “was” setting traps close to cross country ski trails.

    Cougar stuck in a wolf trap: for how long?; oops, now have to get help, how much longer will that take?; in meantime, said cougar languishes in trap.

    Recreational trapping has nothing redeeming about it.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      “Recreational trapping has nothing redeeming about it.”

      could not have said it better

    • avatar jon says:

      It doesn’t make any sense to me. You have FWP admitting that trapping is indiscriminate yet they still allow it knowing full well that other animals could get caught and perhaps killed. I guess FWP doesn’t mind sacrificing a non-target animals as long as trappers kill some wolves.

  4. avatar cindy says:

    We had a neighbor who’s dog was caught in a snare trap around the Fall Creek Road area, right outside Wilson (7 miles from Jackson). Luckily she was right there and was able to get him free. From her letter to the editor: “I crawled through the willows to free him only to find that he was caught in a snare trap, a cable noose around his neck, which pulled tighter as he struggled. He was unable to bark because it was so tight, and unable to move far as the excess cable had wrapped around his body, making it even tighter. He had been lured to the trap by a large hunk of meat. I was able to release him, the difficulty being the tight noose. I found him to be scared and stressed but physically OK”. Now this is the road I live on, not the middle of Bridger Teton National Forest! This is a place most people in Jackson go to get their Christmas trees every year with their children. It’s disgusting, plain and simple. As much as I admire Mr. Niemeyer, which I do immensely, trapping is antiquated and is torture..period. Thank goodness Linnea’s pup had such a vigilant owner!

    • avatar jon says:

      To see your animal go through that must be so terrifying. I am glad the dog was ok. I agree with you 100%. Trapping is torture imho.

  5. avatar WM says:

    Not looking for a rumble with anyone on trapping. I don’t happen to care for it, personally, and I don’t know much about how it is regulated in MT.

    I quickly looked at the MTFWP website looking for trapping information on cougars and could find nothing relevant, as it does not appear a species with a quota or reporting obligations.

    Just a couple of questions. If a cougar is an incidental take in a wolf trap may it be killed as a hunted animal, instead of released, if it is in season? Before you jump on me, look at the follow-up question below.

    If a cougar is trapped in a GMU which MTGFP wants to increase elk calf recruitment, and cougars/wolves are thought to be a limiting factor, wouldn’t reducing the cougar population also accomplish this task, thus reducing the need to take more wolves?

    • avatar Robert R says:

      WM I’m not positive on trapping of cougars but they do have quotas and they have to be reported.
      http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/planahunt/huntingGuides/lion/mountainLionStatus.html
      You bring up a good question, if a cougar is trapped in a GMU which MTGFP wants to increase elk calf recruitment, and cougars/wolves are thought to be a limiting factor, wouldn’t reducing the cougar population also accomplish this task, thus reducing the need to take more wolves

      • avatar WM says:

        Think I am a little closer to figuring this out. If I did the math correctly the MT state-wide hunting take on mountain lions for the Winter Season (Dec. 1, 2012 – Feb. 14., 2013) exceeds a total of 700, with quotas of males and females for each of the several game units.

        It is prohibited for mountain lion hunters to use traps,snares, baits, etc. (p.4, http://fwp.mt.gov/eBook/hunting/regulations/2012/mtnlion2012/index.html ) , so it would seem a mountain lion accidentally caught in a wolf trap must, as a matter of law, be set free.

        That would appear to be consistent with the tone of the article in this thread. What happens immediately after the release, one might suspect is open to interpretation. One might also speculate on the challenge/effort/risk involved in releasing a larger live mountain lion from a wolf trap, and whether a trapper would take the time to seek assistance from a state wildlife officer, or just kill the lion, and maybe report it as required, or not (also depending on whether they had lion tag). Certainly the temptation would be there to poach, since lions are seldom seen without the aid of hounds.

  6. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I’ve never seen a mountain lion in the wild, but in ‘captivity’ at a cat show. She was not caged but in an enclosure. I’ll never forget it – what a magnificent animal. I’ll never forget her eyes – this beautiful shade of green. I had to look away because I felt like I was challenging her to look directly at her, I guess I felt a little fear. I think she was about six feet long? I can’t imagine trapping and killing such a beautiful example of life.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Ida, thats how I feel about all wildlife and wolves especially beautiful animals languishing in these disgusting torture devices while we go about our business. I am sick to think about these animals in traps, snares and being baited. It is a terrible terrible black stain in our history. These practices need to be outlawed, who does this to animals, how do we let this happen.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        add…to no good purpose.

        and u are spot on

      • avatar ma'iingan says:

        Be careful what you wish for – in Wisconsin, if trappers were not able to harvest wolves, hunting would extend into breeding season. And hound hunters claims that dogs are required to meet harvest goals would be bolstered. It makes far more sense from a population perspective to keep the season as short as possible.

        • avatar Jon Way says:

          MA, how about a short season using respectable fair chase hunting methods? If allotted quotas aren’t met then oh well. More for the wildlife watchers that also spend a lot of $$ on their past time, and definitely less political deadlock (hunters get a season, wildlife watchers get more than a token population).

          • avatar jon says:

            Fair chase methods? I see nothing fair chase about hunting in today’s age. You got high powered rifles, baiting, electronic calls, snaring, trapping, etc.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “If allotted quotas aren’t met then oh well.”

            The annual quota is part of the game plan to gradually reduce Wisconsin’s wolf population to 350 animals, as specified in the current management plan. It also provides opportunity for those who desire to harvest a wolf – and who fund ongoing wolf depredation payments and research efforts.

            “…using respectable fair chase hunting methods?”

            “Fair chase” is not a concept that can be defined scientifically (witness Jon’s comments) – Wisconsin wolf hunting and trapping regulations were formulated within a framework of common methods of harvest that have all been used for other state furbearers.

            …”wildlife watchers get more than a token population).”

            Wolf watching is not a very productive pastime in most of the WGL – encounters with wolves are extremely random and almost always momentary. A far cry from Lamar Valley or other places that provide long-range viewing opportunites – and it explains why Wisconsin’s wolf trappers had a much higher success rate than hunters.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Jon all good points, shorter season, no traps, snares and we should be letting the managers take responsibility for animals that are supposedly causing human predator problems. Allowing the public to hunt exposes these animals to some really creepy predator hating types and is really not fulfilling any necessary management objective that was not already being fulfilled. Wolves are not deer they depend on one another, live in packs and have a social hierarchy that should be respected. Thats the crux of it for me, wolf hunting is not necessary, killing animals for sport is unjustifiable and predators are not eaten so leave them be.

            • avatar ma'iingan says:

              “Allowing the public to hunt exposes these animals to some really creepy predator hating types and is not really fulfilling any necessary management objective that was not already being fulfilled.”

              Wolves are exposed to “creepy predator hating types” every day. Those types aren’t going to pay $100 for a license when they can kill wolves for free – they’ll simply keep doing what they’ve always done. Against their efforts, the Wisconsin wolf population has grown from nothing in the mid-70s to almost 900 animals at the end of last winter.

              And the “management objective” is to begin reducing the WI wolf population towards the current plan goal of 350 animals.

              I’m not sure how you’re qualified to interpret the balance in management that is required to serve Wisconsin wolf stakeholders, let alone declare that the current policies are wrong.

              • avatar jon says:

                How is Wisconsin going to get their wolf population all the way down to 350? If Wisconsin DNR has no idea how many wolves there truly are in WI, how is it even possible to getting the wolf population down to 350 wolves? If this does happen, it wipes out more than half of the wolves in Wisconsin.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                I object to killing down a population of animals to 350 to appease wolf hating individuals, or people that want to kill them for “fun”. Just what crucial management objective is being served here to drive a healthy population down from 900 to 350? I’m quite qualified to object to the lousy deal wolves are getting everywhere. Many Wisconsin stakeholders were against the nasty plan that was pushed through by the Scott Walker crowd and the cronies behind it.

              • avatar Jon Way says:

                MA,
                I suspect you won’t see this as there is a long thread of messages but there is much more to wildlife watching than looking at them, like in Lamar Valley (which I like doing by the way). Snow tracking, trying to get pics on trail cams, just knowing they are in many locations, hearing howling… all of these legit activities and more will be affected if you cut the pop of any animal in WI (and elsewhere) under half of its current level. Remember wildlife watching contributes more than hunting in almost every state.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Yes Jon,

                Wildlife watching does contribute more in almost every state, but what the studies fail to really address, how many hunters are also wildlife watchers in the off season? If we are to just split things based on the primary activity of an individual, how would the numbers look then?

                If we say, this is a study and you can only answer one of two ways, are you a wildlife watcher, or are you a hunter, no crossover whatsoever.

                I am a good example, I hunt, so I contribute in that way, but I also watch and photograph wildlife, so I contribute in that manner as well.

              • avatar WM says:

                Jon Way,

                Just to add to what SB says, I am a wildlife watcher too, for roughly 48 or more weeks a year; then for two or three weeks I am a wildlife watcher AND a hunter.

                If I recall the USFWS surveys that track hunting/wildlife watching do not make that distinction, that someone can be in both groups, or in both groups simultaneously. Their survey, uses PR and DJ exise tax revenues (allocated back to states on the number of hunting/fishing licenses sold. If I am a hunter with a game camera, other digital cameras for wildlife watching, and binoculars/spotting scopes used for both, how would I be classified, because these items are not taxed under PR or DJ? FWS has only been interested in showing how many people overall view wildlife, and it is a distorted statistic.

              • avatar WM says:

                The preliminary survey results from 2011 (latest available and reported earlier this month). Look carefully at how it is reported, and what it not stated, as mentioned above.

                http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/NationalSurvey/2011_Survey.htm

                So, if there are fewer, but still a fair number, of wolves in WI, or any other WGL or NRM state will that significantly reduce the number of wildlife watchers, the amount of time spent by them, or the amount of money they spend? In all candor, I don’t think so.

              • avatar ma'iingan says:

                …”but there is much more to wildlife watching than looking at them,…”

                I understand the nuances of the diverse behavior that is categorized as wildlife watching, and the importance of the activity for participants (many of whom are hunters as well).

                Wildlife watchers are well-represented on the Wisconsin Wolf Stakeholders’ Committee and their voices are heard on matters of wolf management.

                “Remember wildlife watching contributes more than hunting in almost every state.”

                I’m well aware of the financial contribution of wildlife watching – in Wisconsin, it brings in about half as much money as hunting, but even that is a very substantial amount.

                It’s also important to recognize that hunting and trapping license fees and P-R money disbursed to the state provide direct funding for wildlife programs.

                At this point it’s unknown how a gradual reduction of Wisconsin’s wolf population will affect wildlife watching income – personally I don’t foresee a major impact.

                Wolf harvest quotas in areas of prime habitat are purposely set low, and these are the areas that would likely attract most people who are interested in seeing a wolf, finding sign, or hearing howls.

              • avatar Jon Way says:

                Great, if you are a wildlife watcher and hunter then wildlife of all kinds should be managed ecologically rather than wolves at biological minimums like the western states are doing. I find the USFWS to be personally slanted towards hunting and celebrates the slight increase in hunting numbers while noting how much more wildife watching contributes to the economy. It is clear that even USFWS is tied to PR funds, etc, while thus that don’t hunt, don’t have a voice.

                Remember Wildlife Watching, whether you also hunt or not, is the most sustainable type of outdoor activity. An animal can be watched an unlimited number of times but can only be shot once…

              • avatar Jon Way says:

                To be clear: I am not against hunting, but against the incredible bias and favoritism that hunting gets. And yes, I know that is how state game agencies are funded… That is what needs to change. A diversification of funding sources so all of those billions of dollars that WW spend (incl hunters) are accounted for.

              • avatar josh says:

                Why dont wildlife watchers be required to buy “wildlife watching” licenses each year. Have them put some skin in the game, I rarely if ever see anyone out “watching wildlife” in the areas I hunt and scout in the summer. If I do they are other hunters…

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Josh,

                I have floated that idea many times on here as well as other places, including in front of the Montana State Legislature, guess what, it has been boooed by the very wildlife watchers that claim they spend far more than us hunters do.

              • avatar Elk275 says:

                The other day I was in the Shields Valley north of Livingston, working. I stopped four times to watch wildlife two herds of elk and two bunches of mule deer.

                Should part of the cost of my trip be allocated to wildlife watching and become apart of the total summation of money wildlife watchers spend. Everytime I go to Big Sky I spend 15 minutes watching mountain sheep this time of by the Conoco Station, am I a skier or wildlife watcher. Just about all skiers stop and look at the sheep, should the cost of there food and lodging be credited to the amount of money spend by wildlife watchers.

              • avatar Elk275 says:

                Josh and Save Bears

                Wildlife watching licenses or a permit is not practical and I am against it. If we had wildlife watching permits is a game warden going to be checking permits at the Big Sky Conoco Station every time someone stops to look at the mountain sheep. Let the people who have never seen a sheep enjoy them without the hassle of a permit.

                The enforcement of this reminds me of my first speeding ticket. I was about 10 miles south along Rock Creek east of Missoula going fishing. I was going 50 miles an hour on a gravel road with a speed limit of 35 miles an hour. Up the road a person steps out from behind a tree with a radar gun and a stop sign. I pulled over and the sheriff’s deputy tells me that I am going to get a ticket for $50. I told him that this was a way for the county to raise money and he said that I could pay now or send in a check later. I later learn that Granite County was making over a thousand dollars a day on the Creek Road nabbing speeders.

              • avatar josh says:

                I know its not feasible, it just cracks me up when I hear people state how much WW bring in revenue. When if you stopped to look at some geese at the golf course you are considered a “Wild watcher”. I rarely, if ever, see anyone in the mtns “watching wildlife”.

              • avatar Jon Way says:

                I and many other people would pay a WW fee if our voices were also incorporated into state wildlife mgmt plans. And yes, Elk, if you are stopping to watch sheep you are a wildlife watcher. The USFWS uses specific methods to come up with these figures. It isn’t a joke as you seem to be applying. Just like you, viewing wildlife is very important to many ppl and Josh, you and I don’t live in the same area – obviously – b.c if you did you would see me just about where ever I go, looking for wildlife.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Ida Lupine,

      You might not have seen a mountain lion in the wild, but if you have gone hiking in any Western state, they have seen you.

      The ratio of sightings to number present of mountains lions is probably lower than any other large or middle-sized carnivore.

  7. Recent cougar studies show that cougar populations don’t need thinning as if left to their own devices cougars will control their own population. I have been following a large male cougar for sometime and found that his area is free of other males, young cougars and contains only one female and her cubs, which he shares food with. There are several interesting studies being conducted now in Colorado which hopefully will make more people understand good cougar management does not include removing animals.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      that’s pretty much how it works about all wildlife. (humans too,truth be told)…no?

    • avatar Robert R says:

      Linda this don’t sound right because male lions are territorial and given the chance a male lion would kill or run the cubs off. He would kill the cubs to bring the female in to season again for breeding rights. This sounds wrong because lions are not a pack type animal.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Think I read somewhere that male lions will kill cubs if they are not his own. Maybe that applies to mountain lions? Would make sense if he’s hanging out with a female and cubs.

  8. avatar Mark L says:

    I’m not sure the ‘kill the cubs to bring the female back into breeding’ works as well for cougars as it does for African lions. Oddly, if it were, it’s a great argument for self control of populations in cougars…and presses the point that cougar hunting in a confined area is not advisable as they will eventually stabilize their own numbers.

  9. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Are trappers really as law-abiding as this article and some of the posts would suggest? I would imagine there’s an SSS crowd also, as it is difficult to imagine a trapper trying to release a full-grown, angry and in-pain mountain lion caught in a trap. The one I saw was on a “leash” and her powerful legs could have cleared the enclosure she was in a leap in seconds flat. What a beauty too.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      It is recommended that you call a FWP office or employee to release a cat from a trap, they will tranquilize and then move the animal to another area.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Sorry SB, but that sounds too much like the regs for “we respectfully request that you not shoot the collared wolves.”

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Ida,

          That is the recommended procedure. The wolf regs I read did not have that statement in them. I don’t know of a trapper that is going to kill a cat in a trap and then just throw it away, and I don’t know one that is going to take on a cat in a trap.

          Before anything gets solved, people are going to have to get over this “they will always do the illegal, when given a chance” Because that is not the way things always go.

          I was called on my pessimistic view the other day, but would say, the majority on here have a very pessimistic view as well.

    • avatar Harley says:

      Is it so difficult to believe there are law-abiding, ethical trappers and hunters in the world?

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        No offense, but the phrase “as rare as hen’s teeth” comes to mind…

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Ida,

          Watch out, there is that evil pessimism again!

          How many trappers and hunters do you actually know?

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            To be honest with you, SB, none – at least of this generation when things are quite different for wildlife and wild places than they were generations ago. To my mind, the same rules do not apply because wildlife and their habitat is in much shorter supply.

            Hunting and especially trapping is something I am just fundamentally opposed to and could never accept for anything more than basic survival and self-preservation if your life is in danger. Trapping doesn’t even rise to this level. Brutally killing an animal for their fur and causing them untold suffering for a pastime is hard to accept.

            There’s too much cognitive dissonance for me in hunting or trapping, and I don’t like the parasitic nature of the relationship humans have with animals.

            I’m sure hunters and trappers are the finest kind with other humans, but it’s the relationship towards animals that I am fundamentally opposed to, especially today. The only reason I would lend my support to hunting is for the protection of animals and wild places.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              So the fact that I only eat wild meat and hunt has no meaning? The majority of hunters in NW Montana I know use the meat to help feed their families. You don’t even know any of us in person and because of your belief system, you condemn us all.

              With that way of thinking we ought to let cops hand out the punishment when someone is arrested for something, just skip the court phase and punish them on the spot!

              Amazing.

              • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                how people in Romania or Poland which have much less income can feed their families than proud DIY folks in Montana, Idaho etc??

                Lou Reed’s song “Last great American whale” comes to mind:

                ” Americans don’t care too much for beauty
                they’ll shit in a river, dump battery acid in a stream
                They’ll watch dead rats wash up on the beach
                and complain if they can’t swim

                They say things are done for the majority
                don’t believe half of what you see and none of what you hear
                It’s like what my painter friend Donald said to me
                ***Stick a fork in their ass and turn them over, they’re done***

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Wow Mareks
                Lou Reed!
                Interesting thoughts on a wildlife blog, I love it. thanks for the flashback

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Being honest with you Mareks,

                It is none of your business that I hunt, I don’t care about people in Romania or Poland and how they feed their families, I am a hunter, I eat what I kill, I don’t spend money for hormone laden meats, I am healthier because it.

                I will continue to hunt and feed my family as I see fit.

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                Ditto SB,
                I also work with and know people that have emigrated from Poland, Romania, or moved here from places such as Guam.They are very appreciative of being able to pursue the opportunity to hunt and I have hunted with many of them. Also spent a significant amount of time in europe and talked to and spend time visiting with many hunters.

                Mareks, you are a troll

              • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                ok,Savebears, you can eat what you want, no doubt about that question :)
                but, honestly, I doubt that mountain people in Romania eat hormone laden meats and they also happen to shoot wolves to protect their herds (reasonable large predator management, I guess)

                and I don’t care what conclusions come out of your ‘analysis & synthesis’ Savebears, because I’m a Latvian and I do care about wolves in Latvia who right now are under extreme hunting pressure because of 60 years old Soviet hunters who like their comrades in NRM consider wolves as a pest (nevermind that majority of Latvians appreciate wolf documentaries produced by Americans and reject unnecessary killing of wild animals)

                so your analysis & synthesis hits chord with local Soviet hunters who claim that the only thing they ask for is ‘the reasonable wolf control/management’

                Jeff E,
                I doubt that you personally met plenty of Romanians – they are too poor to allow travel expenditures to the USA, and I doubt that their first choice would be to settle down in Montana

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Ok, Mareks,

                I am going to have to agree with Jeff on the troll comment. I have not been able to be very effective on the wolf issue in my own state, I know I am not going to be able to anything about it in Latvia!

              • avatar Filip Panusz says:

                Personally, I think killing wild game with a clean shot and feeding the family in this way is far more humane than confining cattle to feed lots for their entire lifetime, treating them with hormones, slaughtering them and then selling the meet in supermarkets to people who have no idea where their food comes from and do not care. So long as this is done sustainably and responsibly, it’s the best way to go. Of course the situation is different in Europe, where wildlife populations were totally decimated and now have to be totally protected. I should know. I was born in Poland.

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                Murky,
                Read closely, update your Google translator,have your mom bring you down some cookies, sit up and pay attention; I said “emigrated”.
                and you would be surprised how many Romanians escaped Romania and came to the best country on the face of the planet when Nicolae Ceaușescu was in power.

                hint;it was not latvia.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jeff,

                I agree, I actually know quite a lot of people that have moved to the US from that region of the world.

              • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                Filip,

                Romania & Latvia have a reasonable area for wildlife (so the whole thing isn’t so much decimated as you want to present here) + colonists came to the USA after Western Europe was ‘decimated’ :) so – give enough time to those European progenies and they will finish the business just fine :)

                Savebears,
                you can posture as a ‘reasonable hunter & caring father’, I don’t mind. It’s only a pity that your words are used by Soviet hunters here in Latvia to justify extreme wolf / lynx hunting and that trend is now spreading to neighboring countries like Lithuania and Estonia.

                To me Poland’s ban on wolf hunting since 1998 is similar to YNP policy and if Poland is a source of wolves for East Europe’s wolf metapopulation then Latvia acts like a sink – so it’s not so trivial and irrelevant for Latvia’s wolves what some NRM hunter is mouthing on wildlife forum

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Mareks,

                As Jeff said, you need to update your translation software..

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                what is kinda funny is latvia(62180 sq km) would fit nicely in a corner of Idaho,(216,431 sq km) and one would not even notice it was there, if not for the people wandering around without a clue.

              • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                Jeffy,
                I doubt that you have met sooo many Romanians or Poles in NRM – they have settled around Great Lakes / Northeast area… and Ceaușescu-time hunters are good comrades to NRM hunters, no doubt about that – a marriage made in heaven :)

                but don’t worry Jeffy, maybe somebody will appreciate your posture and will gratify you

              • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                ahh Jeffy,
                maybe you will find it interesting that such a small place have as many wolves as your mighty Idaho? and more people as well?

                how about that, troll?

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                Murky,
                having more people is a detriment, not an asset,as far as wildlife is concerned.
                so what is your point?

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                as far as the amount of romos or poles I know, doubt as you will, just confirms the obvious.

              • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                Latvia has 50% of territory covered with forests where lives as many wolves as in Idaho – just more people are living in cities (than in Idaho)

                how about that?

              • avatar Harley says:

                Aren’t you guys kinda on the same side of this issue, protecting wolves?

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                “just more people are living in cities (than in Idaho)”

                I’m sorry

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                ….let me check off yet again another reason to not move to latvia

            • avatar JEFF E says:

              Harley,
              No I am not about protecting wolves.
              Wolves live, die, exist just like any other animal including humans. nothing special.
              My position is that I had/have an interest in wolves which I acquired a very long time ago. I spent many years pursuing everything I could get my hands on concerning this topic. This was long before the Internet, and the current Internet heroes, was even a concept, so I cruised a great many libraries and studied the subject matter wherever I came across it. Due to the fact that I was also attending a university for most of this period of time , pursuing other course work, I was still able to apply the same level of due diligence to my hobby.
              There then came a time that some people moved into my home town that actually had a wolf.(this was also long before there was an ESA).
              Babe,(that was her name) had been taken out of Alaska when she was ~around three months old and brought to Oregon,where she did not really have a very nice life. She was passed thru several owners because the dumb-ass’s thought it would be so cool to “have” a wolf, but had no concept on how to “have a wolf”. (as an analogy I do not know the slightest thing about what it takes to “own” a camel, so if I all the sudden thought it would be cool to have one, the chances are it would die before I understood what its “requirements” were.)
              Anyway, Babe had such things done as have her larynx removed to keep her from howling, among other things. So when I meant the people that were her current owners they were very upset, because Babe, being a(very mixed up) wolf, was systematically removing and eating the competition, dogs, in the neighborhood, and the owners were facing several hundred dollars in fines from animal control. The last straw was when she was discovered with a newly killed Yorkie in a driveway down the street.
              So anyway these “owners” said that if I would take Babe I could breed her an keep the liter, and they would tell the dog catchers that she took off and they had no idea what happened to her.Deal struck. I was able to find another wolf of questionable linage out on the Res and seal the deal.

              So Babe came to term, and having dug her den, holed up for the happy event. The day that happened I crawled into the den to watch. While Babe was not really overjoyed that I was there we had bonded, so I was tolerated. She whelped 7 cubs and as I watched she went over each one head to toe in a very meticulous regimented fashion. She then killed two of them. pushed those two aside, and started to nurse the remaining five. Fast forward from there, I had one of that liter for thirteen years, overlapping that time period I have had others an some after that. The ones I have been fortunate enough to provide a home were ones that were pretty much irreconcilable due to idiot humans not understanding how to interact with a wolf. Unfortunately I couldn’t take more of them, otherwise it would have ended up in the hundreds. People think it is so cool to have a wolf and have not the slightest clue what that commitment means. they are NOT just some other dumb-ass breed of dog.

              Anyway, I am at an age and place that I just can not invest the time it takes for even one more special needs wolf. that make me sad as a wolf is expotentially everything every breed of dog is and then some. I sometimes smile at those who “study” wolves in the wild and post here and other places. Wake up with one watching you day in and day out, for several decades.

              Anyway I have rambled enough, probably did not make much sense.

              • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                Wolves live, die, exist just like any other animal including humans. nothing special.
                +++

                a variation from ‘populations matter, individuals don’t’

                well Jeffy, how about that – large predators are allowed to establish their range as far as naturally possible and NRM hunters are allowed to hunt only leftovers (and only to an extent that doesn’t threaten vitality of herbivore populations)

                and even if unemployment rises (due to missed $ 1 billion) it doesn’t matter as long as population still persists to let’s say some 1000 breeding pairs

                or as Jeffy is fond to say ‘having more people is a detriment, not an asset,as far as wildlife is concerned’

  10. My comment above was referring to new cougar information that is coming out of current research. The project is ongoing and I don’t have enough internet from Baja to find the conclusions for you . . start at
    http://beringiasouth.publishpath.com/teton-cougar-project

    But, there is reason to believe that what we think we know about cougars now is not completely correct.

  11. avatar Filip Panusz says:

    Several issues to clear up:
    1. The wolf trapping regulations state, “Incidental captures of non-target wildlife such as protected birds or mammals that cannot be possessed and that are uninjured shall be released immediately on site and immediately reported to an FWP Regional Office.” (FWP) The general furbearer regulations similarly state that non-target PROTECTED species must be released and reported. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT for a non-target coyote to be reported, released, etc. In fact, in Montana coyote can be trapped year-round with no quota without a trapping permit. Same can be said of all other carnivore and non-game wildlife species including badger, red fox, raccoon and many other species. Birds would similarly only need to be reported if it is a protected species.

    2. Pan tension is notoriously difficult to set accurately, which is why wolf trappers lobbied strongly against a required statewide pan tension. At the certification classes it was stressed repeatedly that pan tension fluctuates significantly with changing temperatures. Non target catch is inevitalbe – even for certain smaller species. BTW, wolves are tall and lanky but do not weigh much. Domestic dogs can sometimes weigh as much as a wolf, if not more.

    3. The percent of non-target catch in the wolf trapping season is just a hint at the amount of non-target victims in recreational trapping in general – an issue that we rarely hear much about. Trappers, for good reason, do not like the public to know much about their activities, which is why they largely opposed wolf trapping in both Montana and Idaho. They were concerned about the inevitable publicity.

    4. Are trappers law-abiding? Some are. Some aren’t. At the wolf trapping certification classes there were two types of trappers. (A) Experienced recreational trappers who just wanted another opportunity to trap another species, and a good number of those were probably there in good faith intending to try to follow the rules and (B) People who were there because they hate wolves and want to kill as many and as efficiently as possible, and I can guarantee you (judging by their comments) that they had little intention of following the rules.

    5. Jon Way: your comment is right on the mark!!! Thank you.

    6. My dog was killed by a trap in Montana (not a leghold). I have studied the regulations carefully and can attest to the fact that they are in fact a joke. As a supporter of Fair Chase hunting, I find trapping totally abhorrent.

    7. Baiting is never allowed for hunters in Montana. It is not consistent with the fair chase tradition. Other wildlife management protocols need to be explored. Recreational and private trapping on Montana’s public lands should END. I urge all of you to go to http://www.footloosemontana.org and get involved in helping end this practice that decimates our State economy, ecology and image.

  12. A wolf trap is a coyote trap, wolverine trap, bobcat trap, mountain lion trap, dog trap, eagle trap, moose trap……a trap and easily can trap a child or adult. 45,000 animals are reported trapped in Montana annually. Many don’t need to be reported. Only 4 species have a quota. Trapping is legal year round in Montana and does not require a license. Our goal is to achieve trap free public lands in Montana for people, pets and all wildlife. Public land amounts to approx 35% of Montana’s land. Not too much to ask, now is it.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      As I have said before, I don’t trap, never have never will, but those hunters and trappers have the same right to use those public lands legally as you do.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        They only have the same rights until the public decides what an outrage trapping, snaring and body gripping devices are. Hopefully soon…can anyone here can say they would subject their dog to one of these devices?

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Louise,

          They have tried to ban trapping in Montana, it has not even made it to the ballot, it has not made it to the floor of the legislature.

          You need to get over the emotional situation. The state will regulate as it sees fit.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            No Savebears
            I don’t need to get over the emotional issue, I need to keep working harder to help anyone involved in banning trapping. Just because it did not pass the first time doesn’t mean it won’t later on. It sometimes takes people a while to recognize cruelty and injustice even when its right under the noses, especially when others treat it like a sacred right. Slavery domestic animal abuse, dog fighting, child labor, domestic abuse for women. Legislation to prevent some of these abuses did not happen overnight but its happening. Right up there with trapping should be bans on animal killing contests, penning etc. some really terrible, inhumane policies need to be eliminated and sent back to the dark ages where they originated. Savebears you don’t like trapping so why not work to eliminate something you recognize as antithetical to your sense of just fair chase hunting? Its wrong, you admit it so why try and stymie every voice that speaks out against it? I am curious

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Louise,

              The biggest problem I have with you and a few others, is you are preaching to the choir on this blog. We are a small number of people who care one way or another on wildlife issues.

              As a resident of the state of Montana who has worked for FWP, I know how they think and act against those who do not live here. Your voice is falling on deaf ears, they are not listening to you.

              If change is to come in Montana, it is going to come from within, right now the tide in not in favor of banning trapping. I have talked to the state legislature on this very issue, they didn’t like what I had to say. Combine that with my studies on disease transmission between wolves and other species, I got booted out the door.

              I do have a good handle on what I am talking about.

        • avatar Filip Panusz says:

          No, Louise. We’re on the same side of this debate, but I would caution you against hyperbole. They will always continue to have the same rights as do we. We are not against trappers (the people) or their right to use the land (in responsible ways). We are against recreational TRAPPING. The public will eventually understand that recreational trapping is incompatible with multiple use of our treasured public lands, and they will accordingly enact limitations on trapping as they have already done in several other states, but that will not annul the right these people (former trappers) have to responsibly use the land and share it with us all.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Filip my meaning was that that if the public decides to ban trapping then the trappers rights to trap will be restricted. I think everybody got that meaning. Obviously the trappers right to use the land – will not be taken away just the right to trap. Point?

            • avatar Filip Panusz says:

              I understand that Louise. The point is simply that we have to be cautious in how we communicate. It is easy to slip into an “us” versus “them” mode of thinking/feeling that can end up being counter-productive, because it is not generally perceived very positively by the Montana voting public.

      • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

        eco-terrorist ‘legality’, that is – if one doubts that terrorists can have safe haven in the ol’US – better check out :

        Terrorist Cuban Exile Luis Posada Carriles Seeking Political Asylum in U.S.

        http://www.democracynow.org/2005/5/9/terrorist_cuban_exile_luis_posada_carriles

        http://terrorism.about.com/od/groupsleader1/p/LuisPosada.htm

  13. avatar Elk275 says:

    ++Trapping is legal year round in Montana and does not require a license. Our goal is to achieve trap free public lands in Montana for people, pets and all wildlife. Public land amounts to approx 35% of Montana’s land. Not too much to ask, now is it.++

    Trapping in Montana requires a trapper’s licence.

    Public lands (federal)in Montana amount to 29%. State lands (6%) are not considered public lands.

    Good luck with your voter initative you have not been able to get it on the ballot and it will not pass.

  14. Not surprising, another trapper/trapper supporter wrong again. A trapping license is not required in Montana to trap “nongame” ie raccoon, coyote, badger, skunk, etc. No training is required to trap other than to show up for a 6 hour class to get a certificate to trap wolves.
    If Elk275 is correct, even on one account, then all the less land available that warrants trap free.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      As I said above, just because someone posts on a thread about a certain subject, that does not mean they support or do not support the activity that is being discussed.

      The class for wolves is actually quite educational and does train the trappers.

      I would agree with his statement about the voter initiative, you have not shown success on this, the support for banning trapping is not currently strong in Montana.

      • avatar Filip Panusz says:

        Savebears:
        I am a strong advocate of Fair Chase hunting. I am also the director of Footloose Montana. Here is my question for you: if trapping poses a threat to other users of our public lands, if it limits the ability of recreationists to safely use a common resource, if it depletes that resource, if it adversely affects hunters, anglers, etc., if it infringes upon the rights of others in ways that hunting and other uses do not, does it deserve the same status on our public lands? Hunters, anglers, skiers, hikers, etc., can all share a resource without compromising eachother’s rights. Those who trap have every bit as much right to public lands as I do, and I urge them to pick up a rifle or a camera and spend as much time out in the woods as possible! But an activity that infringes upon the rights of others so broadly cannot be given the same status as hunting – can it?

        • avatar Savebears says:

          I know who you are, you and I have talked many times in the past.

          • avatar Filip Panusz says:

            Not sure I know you savebears. Perhaps I do. I have only served as director for three months, so maybe you are thinking of the former director. Whatever the case may be, I appreciate that we have many common beliefs and interests. One thing we evidently disagree on is the trapping regulations in our state, which is why I welcome your participation in this debate. Cheers.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Believe me we have talked…

              I don’t know that we disagree, but we do have a difference in approach.

              • avatar Filip Panusz says:

                Well, in that case, I hope to chat again soon! :-) FYI, there were approximately 20 people involved in spearheading the 2010 statewide effort and, with very very few resources, 31,000 signatures were gathered, although only 2/3 of those qualified, leaving the Initiative less than 2000 short of reaching the ballot. Much has changed in the past two years, although there is no doubt a long way to go. I do feel that the arguments are firmly against recreational trapping on public lands, although trapping will always continue to have a role to play on the broader Montana landscape. I guess I see no good reason to insist on recreational trapping when hunting is a far better option. The rights argument is questionable when dealing with an activity that impacts other rights. Our society makes that judgment call all of the time. The situation at Como Lake ski area is just one small example of how trapping affects other users – directly or indirectly.

              • avatar Filip Panusz says:

                And as for tightening regulations, that has been urged repeatedly, and the Montana legislature along with its cohorts at FWP and the Montana Trappers Association have clearly decided that they don’t want more regulation of trapping. Certain piecemeal changes could be made via initiative, minimizing the damage, but they would not address the many broad problems with trapping adequately. Warning signs or increased set-backs would minimize the public safety risk but would do nothing to address the broad impacts on riparian ecology or endangered species. Nor would they address the ethical problems. Increased recreation (which will only expand) means more likelihood for pet incidents, and no amount of carving small trap-free zones would eliminate that problem entirely. There is no way to eliminate non-target catch. The most effective way of “carving out” safe zones is to say that 35% of Montana is a safe zone. If trappers are interested in continued recreational trapping (and insist that this is somehow more rewarding than hunting, which is hard for me to fathom) let’s have trappers go into collaborative agreements with private landowners and provide a service by helping minimize damage to private resources on the 60% of Montana that is privately owned.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                Filip
                Once again I ask was the trap that your dog was caught in legally set?
                I ask because it seems that most dog/trap incidents involve illegally set traps.

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      We are both 50% wrong, you said a trapper’s licence was not required to trap in Montana, it is required for mink, otter, martin, bobcat, muskrats, swift fox, beaver, fisher and wolves. Most trapper’s trap for the above animals and they is a season on those animals with a quoted on four animals. Fisher is already closed.

      The State of Montana has said many times that state land is not public land. Fish, Wildlife and Parks land is not public land as the department pays property tax on that land. I am all for a ballot initiative banning trapping on public lands. If it does not pass then footloose should be respectful of voters wishes, which I doubt that they will. It will not pass at this time in the State of Montana. If it does pass, how are you going to monitor isolated sections of federal lands during trapping season (winter). Montana has millions of acres of federal lands that without a helicopter are impossible to access.

      I do not trap. I would much rather ski and soak in hot springs in the winter months. But I do not support a trapping ban. It is the start of anti hunting.

      Nothing pisses me off worst when I am riding up a trail and someone’s loose dog starts barking and nipping at the heels of my mule/horse. So dog walker’s kept you dog on a leash; it will not get in a trap nor will it get kicked by livestock or get a rider bucked off.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        “I do not trap. I would much rather ski and soak in hot springs in the winter months. But I do not support a trapping ban. It is the start of anti hunting.”

        Thats the problem Elk even though you don’t support it you won’t support a ban? Its not the start of anti hunting – it would be a step in the direction of fair chase and respectable hunting that you all claim to strive for.

        • avatar Elk275 says:

          Louise, trapping is not hunting, trapping is trapping, therefore we can not expect fair chase. Do not confuse trapping with hunting.

          Trapping is a commercial actively that is done for monetary gain. My nephew in the early 90’s was a high school student and trapped on the family farm. The limit was 2 bobcats a year and those pelts sold between $400 and $600 each. Fox and coyotes were additional income. A thousand plus dollars for several weeks of work after school was good spending money. The long term bobcat, coyote and fox population was never hurt.

          • avatar Filip Panusz says:

            Elk:
            The problem is that trappers themselves often argue that trapping is like hunting and deserves the same privileges. They minimize the differences and intentionally obscure them to make it appear to the general public that there is nothing wrong with trapping because there is nothing wrong with hunting. Many people therefore associate trapping with hunting and do not perceive the obvious differences. Many trappers argue that there is nothing unfair about the trap line and that the animals don’t suffer (neither physically nor psychologically). I respect your honesty in acknowledging that trapping is qualitatively different from hunting. But then you have to justify trapping on its own merits. For instance, what justifies the suffering that a trap (or the trapper when he kills an animal that has not been killed by the trap) inflicts? As you well know, most trappers do not kill with a gun. In order to preserve the pelt, the animal is often strangled, drowned or crushed. Minimizing suffering is a broader social principle. Hunters decided to abide by this principle because they understood that by adopting it, they were bringing their practice in line with a broadly accepted ethic. This became one of the several key elements of the Fair Chase ethic: a clean kill. Trapping is not fair chase. We both know this. But having acknowledged this, trappers must come to terms with the fact that their practice will not be broadly accepted within our society. Once upon a time gladiator spectacles were abolished for similar reasons. Society evolved, and this did not mean that rights were necessarily restricted on the whole. By limiting certain privileges, other privileges and opportunities are vastly expanded for everyone. A truly free society needs some guidelines, ethics, principles and rules, otherwise no one can feel free.

            • avatar Elk275 says:

              Filip Panusz

              Trapping is commerical. The fastest way to end trapping is to curtail the demand for fur. Today is December 27, at 8:00 tonight in Vail, Colorado I would venture to guess that at least 10 women were walking around the Vail Plaza wearing lynx coats, the same with Aspen. Lynx seems to be a favorite of ski areas with men wearing coyote, used to teach sking in Steamboat.

              ++As you well know, most trappers do not kill with a gun.++ How do you know this? Have you ever been out on a trapline? If I was a trapper dealing with a bobcat, coyote, fox, badger, beaver or wolf I would use a .17Mach2 with open sights. Very small hole and no pelt damage when shot in the back of the head.

              • avatar WM says:

                ++…I would venture to guess that at least 10 women were walking around the Vail Plaza wearing lynx coats, the same with Aspen.++

                Elk,

                Based on my experiences in those places from years past, I would venture the number of folks there wearing fur to be vastly greater -especially Vail and Beaver Creek. And, the majority of those women wearing those items are not US citizens. Rather they are Mexican Nationals (the rich ones with all the political power and the money), here legally, for the holidays, and quite a few Japanese and European fashion types.

                I remember skiing Vail a number of years back, a couple days before Christmas. Specifically, I recall the last run to the bottom of the hill. Oddly, gathered at the bottom of the hill at Lions Head, there were all these mothers, dressed in fur, or the most gaudy colors of nylon/down coats (often with fur hood trim), waiting for their skiing children, and speaking languages other than English. Vail and adjacent Beaver Creek/Avon are big international destination resorts.

                As long as there is a world wide demand for fur, there will be economic pressure to trap, or raise fur bearing animals commercially on farms.

              • avatar WM says:

                Just to punctuate the demand for fur as stated above, here is a link to a very trendy clothing shop in Vail that has been in business since the start of Vail Village back in the mid-1970’s. They have expanded and now have stores at many of the bigger ski areas, selling the same high end fur clothing….to someone.

                http://www.gorsuch.com/category/womens/outerwear.do?nType=2

              • avatar Filip Panusz says:

                No doubt, for some of the larger species a gun is used more commonly than for the smaller species (for which it is almost never used). But even for fox, bobcat, badger, etc. a common method is strangulation or crushing. I may not have run a trap line, but I’ve chatted with many trappers, listened to their stories, followed their blogs and seen a lot of their posted photos/videos, etc. In one case – a wolf – the standard method is in fact a gun.

              • avatar Filip Panusz says:

                The fur industry has waned significantly since the “old days” when fur was the standard – certainly in this country. This has happened primarily for ethical reasons, and for the fact that many other alternatives are now readily available. There are still stragglers, no doubt, but they too will go the way of the phonograph. The primary market is currently in asia, russia, etc. I look forward to the day when that market crashes, because you are right: recreational trapping tracks fur prices and nothing else. That’s part of the problem of commercializing wildlife – the fewer wolverine and lynx there are, the more valuable their pelts.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                Reminds me of the 1900’s when women used to wear rare bird feathers in their hats (snowy egrets, etc.). Whatever happened to that trend?….

    • avatar WM says:

      Footloose,

      You might think twice about how you worded your reply to Elk275. A license IS REQUIRED for furbearing game species which MTFWP chooses to regulate, and those include 4 species you mentioned in your first post, plus wolves, if I understand correctly. And, there are seasons during which trapping of these game species animals is not allowed. So, in that respect he was not completely wrong.

      We can probably mostly agree that traps intended for non-regulated predator species, sometimes get other things not intended and that is a reason to discourage trapping (maybe even stop some of it).

      If I had been an MT resident, and you were trying to pursuade me to join your view, you might have lost my vote with your “attitude.” Just, sayin’.

      _______________

      Elk,

      Why do you say state lands are not “public lands” in the classic sense? Not sure I understand.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        ++Elk,Why do you say state lands are not “public lands” in the classic sense? Not sure I understand.++

        Because that is what the State of Montana has repeatly said many times. State lands are considered school trust lands. Until the mid 1990’s the public was not allowed to trespass on state lands. It was Jack Atcheson Sr. a well known hunter’s booking agent in Butte, Montana who with other sportmen’s started a lawsuit against the state that finally opened up those lands. Until then only the rancher who leased the land was allowed to access that parcel. Talk about bullshit. I give one hundred dollars toward that lawsuit which was settled out of court.

        If one wants to access state land’s they have to purchase a $5 state land permit or that fee comes with your basic hunting license. There are certain times of the year where one is not allowed to access state parcels, it is a trickly situation.

        • avatar WM says:

          Elk,

          Even though there may be an access fee, that doesn’t really not make it public. There can, of course, be state/county/city owned lands to which the general public is denied access. Then there are those lands which a public agency might exclusively lease, or right to use to someone for a specific purpose, to the exclusion of others. There are federal lands which also deny access, as in some wildlife refuges, military reservations, etc.

          My definition of “public” land is more along the lines of how real property is carried on the tax rolls.

          • avatar JB says:

            Elk:

            I’m with WM–I was also confused by your statement. If they belong to the state, then they belong to the people of the state (i.e., the public). I have no idea what the state means when they insist that these are not “public lands”? That seems an absurd argument to me.

            • avatar JEFF E says:

              go to Montana and try to access some water across “state lands” that a rancher has grazing “rights” too.

              it will be quickly clarified for you

              • avatar JB says:

                Jeff et al.

                Still trying to grasp this…

                There are plenty examples of states restricting access to public resources for a variety of reasons (the state house is technically on public land, and I can’t access it whenever I like). Does Montana have some specific legal designation for “public land” that separates it (and appropriate uses of it) from other state lands that are grazed?

            • avatar Elk275 says:

              I am very tired and am going to bed, lots of things are absurd in Montana thanks to the Anaconda Mining Company, Montana Power and the Montana Stock Growers association.

      • avatar Filip Panusz says:

        WM, As the director of Footloose MT, I will be the first to agree with you that how facts are stated is very important. There are ten furbearer species legally defined in the Montana regulations (swift fox, bobcat, wolverine, otter, mink, marten, fisher, beaver, muskrat & lynx). Trapping of any of these species would require a permit by Montana state law. most other species are categorized as Predators or Nongame Wildlife. The FWP regulations clearly state that no permit is required for trapping these species, which do in fact include coyote, red fox, badger, raccoon, skunk, weasel and many other less commonly trapped mammals. The regulations are also quite clear on quotas, seasons and setbacks: these do not apply to trapping of these NON-furbearer species, so it is in fact legal to trap coyote et al. throughout the year. Various seasons apply to furbearers depending upon the species. I urge you to verify all of this information at the FWP website. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify this. Respecftully, Filip Panusz, Executive Director, Footloose Montana.

    • avatar WM says:

      Oh, yeah, and there is that part about somebody’s dog running loose and getting in trouble, chasing wild animals, bothering others – like the time we were camped along a trail, and my dog is in the tent, and some asshole’s dog running loose bit mine through the tent, ripping it, then the guy wasn’t going to pay for the damage his dog/he caused.

      • avatar Filip Panusz says:

        There is no doubt that dog owners have the burden of responsibility to keep their dogs under voice command, to train and socialize them properly, to use the resource responsibly, to follow the rules, etc. As for having dogs on leash permanently, I would propose having this conversation with hunters who run their hounds and retrievers on public lands. A friend of mine is the president of the local retrievers club. You can start there.

        • avatar WM says:

          Filip,

          I don’t know about the hound thing. I haven’t run into folks doing that much. My objection is to the casual hiker, with their dog(s) out front of them on a trail, maybe 50-100 yards. The dogs get into trouble before their owner knows it. Whatever game was on/near the trail is GONE. So that if I am approaching from opposite direction or following along the trail, my experience has been deminished. Then there is the part, Elk275 objects to. Having your dog “under voice control” is a myth for many under the influence of the right stimulus that gets their interest or excites them. I have seen a few instances of lost dogs, with frantic owners on the trail, handing out scraps of paper with their name/number, or telling where they are camped in case you see their dog. That is why I prefer the leash thing, and mostly I just leave my dog at home, anyway. It is the best place for them, IMHO, for so many reasons, including your personally unfortunate experience involving a conibear trap.

          • avatar Filip Panusz says:

            WM, I think we mostly agree on the dog issue. It’s a matter of degree. I would be in favor of stricter regulations for dog owners, but would still allow for some off-leash experience. BTW, yes, retrieving is more common than hounding these days.

          • avatar Leslie says:

            Throw a few wolves and bears in all the hiking mixes and you might see dog owners tightening up their handling. An unresponsive dog that runs after a wolf could be a dead dog. A dog that is out in front 100 yards, or wandering through brush can bring back a griz. I keep my dog on an electric collar and he knows the command ‘Stick around’ to mean stay within a 15′ zone. A well-trained, and I mean well-trained, dog can deter, rather than bring back, grizzlies. I hike with my dog for my safety and use the electric collar for his.

            Unfortunately, WM, irresponsible and lackadasical dog owners, like unethical hunters, are what ruin it for everyone. In California, for example, there are pretty much no beaches that allow dogs anymore. Its a shame.

            • avatar WM says:

              Leslie,
              ++…shock collars…++

              I know there are responsible dog owners out there, especially those who might have a safety reason to have a dog along. My wife likes to have the dog with her on long walks or photo outings.

              We have a shock collars, mostly for use on our dog when on our rural property and want to let him loose, but don’t want him to go to the neighbors, to see his dog buddy or chase deer. Ours is a PetSafe brand – 1/4 mi. range, with 7 power settings + warn tone. They are relatively expensive (some other brands/types 3X our cost). And, used properly, they do serve a purpose to control. However, collars are subject to a couple of important variables most of which are the sole responsibility of the human. Failure of ANY one of these attentive responsibilitis leaves the collar system ineffective.

              Things to constantly think about:

              Both the collar and the controller have to be charged, and the collar “on” (we have found charging to be constant annoyance, as well as remembering to put it on the dog and make sure the device is “On”).

              Collar has to be snug enough to give adequate shock -not real comfortable for the dog.

              Human has to be CONSTANTLY cognizant of the dog’s whereabouts. It takes less than four seconds for a dog to be invisible in brush or tall grass, or over a topographic obstacle that renders the controller-collar useless, since they are line of sight devices.

              And, last, the dog needs to understand (via training with the device) that the objective of the shock/tone is to come back to their human with the controller, rather than take off the other direction. Sometimes it works, including when the collar is not on the animal, or “On,” but then sometimes not, in our experience.

              • avatar Leslie says:

                I have been visiting relative in southern california for a few weeks and haven’t been here in over 30 years. Besides the wicked sprawl that has destroyed the desert habitat, dogs are no longer allowed, at all, on any trails here, BLM or forest. This is because 1. endangered desert bighorn and 2. irresponsible dog owners who allow dogs to run after wildlife etc.

                I strongly believe in the philosophy that if you have a dog, you must train the dog. I trained my last dog without any shock collars. She was easy. My current dog was a wild guy and I sent him to a trainer for 3 weeks and she said he was one of her most difficult clients. He is really the best dog I’ve ever owned now as he is so responsive but still tons of fun.

                You have to train them on a lease first; then move to the shock collar for off-lease. I found that after a few corrections, if you just put the collar on they are better behaved.

                I agree though, its the owners that are the problem. I found a lot of people treat their animals like they treat their kids–either no rules, too many, or abusive.

    • avatar Robert R says:

      A public resource is a public resource and if it’s legal and there is a season it will happen and the same goes for public land.

      Here we go with anti trapping! I’m fine with your agenda but it seems that’s your only agenda, if you were putting money fouth for wildlife and habitat it would bea different ball game but i have not seen any proof.

  15. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    This collateral specie trapping issue has more than one side, as most issues do. While the big concern here is other carnivores getting snared when the intention is to snatch a wolf or coyote, I heard a story on the obverse of the same topic that warmed my heart at the Christmas dinner table.

    The most vocal ( read: loud) anti-wolfer in the Cody WY area also happens to be a private trapper. He runs a nuisance animal service, and over the years has been the defacto mouthpiece for outfitters, gun rights advocates, and regularly blows hard on local AM conservative talk radio with extreme right wing talking points. But above all in winter he is a trapper.

    He told one of his like-minded cohorts that the cougars have made it so hard for him to trap this winter he’s tossed in the towel and yanked a lot of his traps. The cougars are taking “his” animals before he can.

    For which I thank the thick cougar population of northwest Wyoming for a valuable public service , besdies doing what they can to keep the deer herds in check. My part of Wyoming around Cody is the one area in Wyoming that has a huge excess of Mule deer. Any given day , we have at least 250 deer right in town. Wyo G&F did a courtesy census for the City Council last spring and came back with a number of 350 town deer .Cody folk would freak if they also knew how many cougar come into town for a meal of said venison. Driving only 20 miles up the South Fork of the Shoshone on Christmas day , I must’ve seen a good two thousand resident deer.

    Elsewhere in Wyoming the deer counts are quite low. Alarmingly so.

    I’m glad that a few local cats have the audacity and bravura to hammer the right wing loudmouth’s traplines.

    Go , cats !

    • avatar Leslie says:

      And because of the wolves, people up my way have not been hunting cougars like they used to. Go wolves!

  16. TOP 10 REASONS TO OPPOSE PUBLIC LANDS TRAPPING:
    1. Trapping takes an enormous toll on riparian ecology by especially targeting beaver. This means less water and less riparian habitat for all species (humans, songbirds, ungulates, fish, etc.)
    2. Trapping causes excessive suffering
    3. The trapper can’t aim a trap like a hunter can aim a gun and engages in no meaningful pursuit
    4. Traps kill endangered species – wolverine, lynx, fisher, etc.
    5. Traps are baited and thus attract pets
    6. Trapping costs us millions in lost revenue due to its indirect impact on water resources (esp. in an arid state like Montana), tourism (less furbearers means less wildlife watching) and wildlife (historically, trapping was the primary culprit in sending many of our species onto the Endangered Species list, necessitating recovery, for which we’ve been paying millions ever since).
    7. Traps are a hazard. Trapping is poorly regulated. Traps are concealed, baited and no warning signs are required. Traps can be set year-round and almost anywhere on our public lands.
    8. With very rare exceptions, trapping is no longer done for livelihood. Recreation is wonderful so long as it is responsible and is not predicated upon wanton suffering. That’s why we no longer have gladiators, frown upon dog fighting, etc.
    9. Trapping uses a public resource for personal gain without contributing significantly to the public interest, as does hunting. The state income from trapping is negligible. The costs far outweigh benefits.
    10. Trapping is NOT an effective management tool, as it causes more problems than it resolves. Trapping on public lands should be relegated to public safety and scientific research and only when done by public employees for the public interest.

    • avatar jon says:

      Well said.

    • avatar Robert R says:

      Yes a beaver dam can store water, but how do you take care of nuisance beaver, you cannot keep relocating them.
      If you endorse hunting and not trapping, what is your definition meaningful pursuit?
      Yes attractants are used for so,e traps but not all. The city garbage is the biggest attractant of non targeted animals and especially dumpsters.
      Trapping was not primary to putting animals on any endangered list, subsistence and market hunting was.
      Yes traps are a hazard to most of the general public because they know nothing about traps and public land is public not just for a select few.
      If trapping uses a public resource without contributing than we are all guilty, from timber,precious metals to water.
      Basically what your last statement says is that your hypocritical.

      Trapping on public lands should be relegated to public safety and scientific research and only when done by public employees for the public interest.
      Excuse me but government trappers and biologist have also caught pets in traps even with signage to warn people I know this because I have herd it directly from them.

      • avatar Filip Panusz says:

        Robert R.:
        1. Beaver can be managed properly through a combination of relocation, beaver decievers, hunting and trapping (most nuisance issues are either on private lands or pose a public safety risk and hence would not be effected by an initiative)

        2. Trapping is not fair chase for five basic reasons. Baiting confers an unfair advantage, which is why it is illegal for all hunters. A trapper does not see his target, and the first law of fair chase hunting is “know your target.” Trapping is not a clean kill and does not minimize suffering. There is no “chase.” We outlawed gamefarms in Montana becuase the elk were “sitting ducks” in the same way that an trapped animal is when the trapper approaches. A trapper does have to set out his baited traps, but then he sits at home and does not pursue his quarry. Finally, Trapping commercializes wildlife.

        3. I challenge you to find a trap that has none of the following: bait, pheromones, urine or lure. You know as well as I do that trappers are smart enough to bait their traps so long as they are allowed to.

        4. Market hunting may have been the primary reason for ungulates and some larger predators (e.g., bear). This is certainly not the case for fisher, wolverine, marten, otter, beaver, swift fox, and generally most of the medium to smaller sized furbearers that were targeted by trapping and went regionally or locally extinct in many areas of the lower 48.

        • avatar Rancher Bob says:

          Filip
          As for your point 3, I could take you out and show you several trap sets that don’t require anything but a well placed trap.
          Then I could show you several trap sets where the targeted animal dies when the trap is sprung. Kind of makes me think what else is BS.

          • avatar Filip Panusz says:

            Rancher Bob: No doubt there may be several exceptions out there, but the vast majority of traps are baited. As for lethal traps, Conibears kill quickly, but often not instantaneously. I’ve seen one at work. It took about 45 seconds for my dog to die in my arms. Longest 45 seconds of his (and my) life. There’s no BS here.

            • avatar Rancher Bob says:

              Sorry about your dog, was it a legally set conibear?

              • avatar Filip Panusz says:

                Rancher Bob:
                Sorry. The way this website reply thread is set up makes it damn near impossible to track all concurrent responses. Didn’t notice your question until now. The answer to your question is complicated: the trap was a Conibear. The location was legal (although it was relatively close to the parking lot at a popular recreation area). The trapper had set the trap 1/3 submerged, which meant it was a water set (therefore did not require a cubby). The water level had dropped just enough to expose the entire trap, but my dog could have still easily gotten into that Conibear with 2/3 exposed above the water surface. The trapper has a current license, but he forgot to affix the new tag, so he was cited for having the old tag on the trap. They also cited him for no cubby, although, like I said, his original set was proper (within the guidelines).

              • avatar Filip Panusz says:

                Rancher Bob: Sorry for the small typo in my response. I meant to say he “had” (not “has”) a current license. This was five years ago.

            • avatar jon says:

              I am very sorry for your loss. The trapper should have paid you for damages.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Filip,

              I am very sorry for your loss, I would have been devastated as well.j

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            Rancher Bob,

            I have seen many traps and followed traplines. Other than snares, I have never encountered a trap without a bait. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some unbaited traps, but not in my experience.

            • avatar Rancher Bob says:

              ID
              Well then our experiences differ. Try reading the Alaska Wolf Trapping Manuel, it’s interesting and it will show you something new.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      This is the same information you used to try and get the initiative on the ballot and the majority of Montana residents didn’t believe you, hence you did not get it on the ballot.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Thank you Footloose

  17. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    And the “management objective” is to begin reducing the WI wolf population towards the current plan goal of 350 animals.

    This is utterly disgusting. What on earth could be the reason for cutting down the wolf population by nearly 2/3? What is the reason? I pray that the Obama administration will see the folly of this underhanded delisting tactic for what it is and relist wolves as soon as possible. What a mess, what stupidity. It is not enough animals for a healthy population. I hope they get the crap sued out of them.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      You guys keep praying to the Mighty Obama, just don’t hold your breath, cause you will turn blue before anything happens.

      The USFWS does not consider wolves to be an endangered species any longer and the only way they are going to end up back on the list is if population numbers go below a certain threshold.

      Wolves have been declared recovered and I don’t see them having a chance in hell getting back on the list anytime soon..

    • avatar Robert R says:

      Ida
      What is enough wolves ?
      Let’s say you get ten times the wolf population and the possibility of them becoming urbanized like coyotes and they start killing pets and targeting small children as the urban coyote has.
      Hypothetical question but you must way the pro’s and con’s of a robust wolf population.
      After you get this larger population don’t you think you will be back to hunting and trapping the wolf for management.
      I don’t think the larger wolf population most want will be tolerated with today’s human population.

      • avatar JB says:

        Robert:

        Wolves were successfully managed without recreational hunting and trapping in Minnesota for 40 years. Importantly, despite having ~3 times as many wolves as exist in all of the Northern Rockies and living in areas with higher human densities, wolves never moved into “the cities” nor was anyone killed.

        To be clear, I’m not opposed to wolf hunting or trapping (though I find the latter extremely distasteful); rather, I question your assumption that wolves will necessarily NEED to be hunted.

        How many wolves is enough is another question entirely.

        • avatar Robert R says:

          JB

          I’m saying it could be possible for wolves to become urbanized like coyotes or the coy-wolf which has been proven to have wolf DNA.
          Just for something to do google, urban coyotes. I believe the show I watched about urban coyotes was called Invaders.
          I also find the research center in LogAn Utah very interesting.
          http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/nwrc/field/utah/indexut.shtml

          • avatar JB says:

            Robert:

            It is *possible* for wolves to become habituated to humans such that they are living close to urbanized environments. I believe that has happened in a few instances in Canada and Europe. However, it hasn’t happened in the Midwest and up until now we have not had recreational hunting and trapping of wolves; in contrast, we have had recreational hunting and trapping of coyotes, which has not prevented them from adapting to urban environments.

            My colleague (two doors down) has a ~12 year project studying coyotes in the Chicago metro area. No attacks on kids yet–though I know it has happened in other areas of the country.

            I’m familiar with the Millville research facility. In fact, I worked on a conditioning experiment on coyotes there about a decade ago.

            • avatar Elk275 says:

              Last summer I saw 2 wolves in a subdivision outside of Bozeman. I have seen a picture of a wolf less than 2 miles from Montana State University. They are not living in Bozeman but have been very close to town.

            • avatar ma'iingan says:

              “However, it hasn’t happened in the Midwest…”

              The only “urban” habituation that I know of happened in Ironwood, MI last year – a pack of wolves began frequenting the city and were killing deer in residents’ yards and showing low avoidance response to humans. The resolution was lethal removal of the entire pack.

              There have been two instances of habituation that resulted in human health and safety concerns in Wisconsin, but these were in rural settings.

              • avatar JB says:

                Thanks for the clarification, Ma. Despite my best efforts, I just can’t think of Ironwood as “urban”. :)

                To be clear, I recognize that wolves will become habituated to people (in both rural and ex/suburban settings) and sometimes require lethal removal. What I object to is the implicit proposition that recreational hunting and trapping will somehow solve this problem.

                Despite the predictions of some biologists and ~40 years of federal protection, wolves have not set up shop in the Twin Cities. In contrast, coyote hunting/trapping allows for extremely liberal take and coyotes have proliferated, moving into some of our most densely populated cities.

                In reality, even if wolves were to move into urbanized settings recreational hunting would not solve the problem, as firearms cannot be discharged in these settings (trapping too is problematic). Thus, animals that move into urbanized settings and become habituated or food-conditioned will almost always be removed by agencies.

          • avatar Mark L says:

            Robert R,
            The coywolves you referenced, are they a red/eastern wolf or gray wolf mix? There seems to be a notable difference in the disposition of coys from each, from what I’ve heard. Just to play devil’s advocate, I don’t think there is documentation of red/eastern agressiveness near humans (Jon Way may know more on this).

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Ida Lupine,

      The state legislature is what needs to be changed and the Scott Walker gotten rid of.

      It is true that Obama will do nothing, and he is far too bogged down with the “fiscal cliff” to pay attention to his Secretary of Interior.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Hmmm … I am really anxious to see what happens as far as SOI. :(

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          ^^and I should add the new EPA appointment as well. It’s terrible to see all the positive change made since the 70’s eroding.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Ida,

            See there is one of the problems, you see it eroding and there is a large group of people seeing it as improving.

            Who is right?

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      “What on earth could be the reason for cutting down the wolf population by nearly 2/3?”

      The reason is to provide a balance for the diverse user groups that depend upon Wisconsin’s natural resources. The 350-animal management goal has been in the Wolf Management Plan since 1999.

      The only reason the WI wolf population has grown to its present level is the succession of lawsuits that blocked delisting, even when the USFWS threshold of 80 animals in WI had been achieved many times over.

      “I pray that the Obama administration will see the folly of this underhanded delisting tactic for what it is and relist wolves as soon as possible.”

      I don’t know what “underhanded” delisting tactic you’re referring to? WGL delisting was accomplished under the USFWS plan established in 1978. There was no legislative end-around like the congressional rider that delisted NRM wolves.

      “It is not enough animals for a healthy population.”

      I’d like to see your rationale for that statement – WI had a minimum of 350 wolves in approximately 100 packs in 2003, and those numbers have since grown to nearly 900 animals in 230 packs. By any measure, it would appear that 350 wolves are well-suited to maintain healthy recruitment and genetic interchange with the larger WGL population.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        1. The reason is to provide a balance for the diverse user groups that depend upon Wisconsin’s natural resources.

        Diverse user groups? An overpopulation of mankind. Completely out of balance. Mankind’s activities have much more of an effect of WI’s natural resources depletion than the wolves as far as habitat destruction, decreases in wildlife. But hunters intend to fill the void left by wolves in order to keep ungulate populations in check.

        2. Whatever WI’s 1978 plans were, Federal endangered species protection would have trumped them. They only were able to proceed since the ‘underhanded’ delisting rider the precludes judicial review, which most would see as unconstitutional.

        3. We all know that they will never reach that 900 number again, let’s not kid ourselves. 350 (or less) isn’t a healthy population. It’s a bare minimum.

        Again, just my thoughts.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “2. Whatever WI’s 1978 plans were, Federal endangered species protection would have trumped them.”

          The 1978 plan that I referred to WAS the
          Federal plan – USFWS Recovery Plan For The Eastern Timber Wolf.

          “They only were able to proceed since the ‘underhanded’ delisting rider the precludes judicial review, which most would see as unconstitutional.”

          Wrong. There was NO delisting rider for the process in the WGL states – delisting was accomplished solely under the USFWS plan, once the lawsuits ceased. You’re attempting to apply some kind of revisionist version of what actually happened.

          “3. We all know that they will never reach that 900 number again, let’s not kid ourselves. 350 (or less) isn’t a healthy population. It’s a bare minimum.”

          And why should it reach 900? The WI management plan, established in 1999 with input from a broad group of stakeholders, specifies a threshold of 350 animals.

          It’s interesting that people not remotely affected by living with wolves are so adamant in prescribing what other states’ populations should be. You have no clue what constitutes a “bare minimum” number of wolves in Wisconsin, or any other state for that matter.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            I wouldn’t mind them a bit, and I’ll trade places with any malcontent. :) People in wolf areas share living space with them – there’s no more way around that than changing the weather, unless you want to destroy another living being for selfish reasons, which is immoral to most all people. We don’t have to live with them to recognize they have a right to exist.

            It is interesting that all hunting began after the delisting, everywhere.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              The delisting in MT and ID was not, unconstitutional, the 9th, which is one of the most liberal benches in the country reviewed it and it stood up to the test. The No Judicial Review has been invoked many times over the years since this country was founded.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Hell the President has the same power, it is called an executive order, I am sure no one would be bitching if he created a new park using his powers!

              • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                it was a cake walk for those who were not shot.
                +++

                I see your point, Officer, but don’t expect that I will unabashedly support USA foreign policy … as a foreign national I’m looking for a big picture (and victims were on both sides, to say the least…)

              • avatar Savebears says:

                I don’t expect you to support US foreign policy 100%, hell I don’t support US foreign policy 100%.

                But our discussion here is not about US foreign policy, it is about wildlife issues and policy.

              • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                you are playing out your ‘rationality’ again, Savebears :)
                I just felt you were tired to repeat your usual line 50 times per day – so for hell’s sake I tried to diversify your responses, old-timer!
                cheers

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Mereks,

                Whether you want to accept it or not, this blog is not about US foreign policy, it is about wildlife, now if we want to find a blog to discuss US foreign policy, I am more than happy to move the conversation to another blog. Then we can really get to the nitty gritty of US foreign policy, which I do know quite a bit about.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                And Mereks,

                I never get tired, I have a very good stamina when it comes to discussing wildlife issues as well as US policy issues.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            “It’s interesting that people not remotely affected by living with wolves are so adamant in prescribing what other states’ populations should be”

            Ma’ I live with wolves (although I seldom see them due to the state’s “management” practices) and like others who post here, who also live in Montana and have no problem living with wolves, the loud whining to control them, is too often dominated by the few who won’t get off their backsides to protect their investments (livestock)

            Got a dressing down just this morning from a “bible thumping friend” who claimed wolves were eventually gonna destroy the lives of all the ranchers in my area. And that wasn’t right, because “God” said, animals were put here to “serve” mankind.

            Is it any wonder why its 1 step forward and 10 steps back, when it comes to the rights of the other species we share the planet with?

          • avatar jon says:

            That was 1999. It’s 2012. 350 wolves is too low of a wolf population. I askED you before, how does the DNR plan on getting the wolf population down to 350 from 900+ wolves you claim are in WI? Killing off more than half of the wolf population is not a good idea and it will backfire on the Wisconsin DNR.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Jon,

              So you are an expert on WI as well, how do you know that 350 is to low?

              • avatar Filip Panusz says:

                Savebears:
                You are an enigma. You seem a realist who likes to point out facts (good – I like that), but as for your own commitments, it’s hard to pin you down. Which is fine, particularly if it means that you simply reserve the right to remain open minded. But it may also mean that you are conflicted and don’t know what the hell you believe and end up standing for nothing because perhaps you are afraid to commit to anything, in which case I wish you good luck figuring it out! I, for one, am also a realist. I realize that there is a long way to go between where we are and where I believe we ought to be. I’m no fan of illusions or radical ideals that have no point of contact with reality. I respect where Montanans stand and do not choose to wear rose colored glasses. But I am also committed to helping make change, and I am optimistic about its prospects (given time, effort, persistence and work). What you may see as a knee jerk reaction may for someone else be a position born of years of careful consideration, reflection, research and self-critique. It’s easy to live in the past and to use “facts” as excuses for a crappy future. You say you’re not sure if we agree or disagree. Is that because you don’t know what I believe, or is it because you’re not sure what you believe? You can rest assured that I do NOT believe in ravaging riparian zones, in risking wolverine and fisher population viability, in having to fear walking along public rivers and streams with my dogs come every furbearer season, or in torturing an animal for a pelt. (And make no mistake: the Montana furbearer season is managed for recreational harvest opportunities – not for anything else). I’ve decided there are better alternatives.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Filip,

                I am a former FWP employee, that did studies on wolves and would not publish the incorrect information that the agency wanted to keep the populations down.

                I have been in the system for a number years now and do work as an independent biologist for private groups.

                I know what my position is, you have not been around long enough to actually read the conversations that have occurred about this as well as many other subject concerning wildlife management and such.

              • avatar IDhiker says:

                “Savebears:
                You are an enigma.”

                I don’t know, SB. I’ve been around for a long time, yet I am confused as to where you really stand also.

              • avatar jon says:

                It’s my opinion. 350 wolves is too small of a wolf population. No one talks about reducing other natural predators down to a few hundred animals. Killing off more than half the wolf population in WI will backfire on the Wisconsin DNR if they do intend on bringing the wolf population down to 350 animals.

              • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                The government is suppose to work for the people, our current government serves themselves and screws the people.
                +++

                I see – it’s a novelty for you, congratulations & Happy New Year!

                I always enjoy having conversations with foreign nations who really have no understanding of our way of government. No matter how they believe, they always prove they are ignorant.

                ++++
                about the USA foreign politics & mass media I’ve read such American authors as Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman, William Blum, Gabriel Kolko, George McT. Kahin, Nick Turse etc.

                on economics & finance – Dean Baker, Robert Pollin, Yves Smith, Robin Hahnel etc.

                and I seriously doubt that you have more insight about USA gov’t than they

                however, Grenada & Iraq-1 was a cake-walk … so you probably felt greatly united both with your troop mates and Republican gov’t (great sentimental value which you probably can’t re-live with NRM mainstream hunters)

                I use a long bow
                ++++

                that’s great – I support such hunters in Latvia and elsewhere who use that technology … it is a more ‘ancient tradition’ and gives more relief to wildlife as well (cheers, Savebears!)

                you are mistaken if you believe I am against wolves
                ++++

                I know your wolf position – don’t worry. But if I have to choose I prefer Louise, Salle, Nancy, IDhiker, Aves etc. not such rational hunters as you, WM, Jeff E etc.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Merek,

                Well since I spent over 2 years in the hospital having reconstructive surgery to a hip that was shattered by an AK47 round, I can say I feel that Iraq 1 was a cake walk, I still walk with a cane and can’t walk all that far, it was a cake walk for those who were not shot.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                IDHiker,

                Don’t be confused as I gave up my second career beings I would not publish false information concerning my study, I don’t want wolves gone, I also don’t want them everywhere. There are simply to many humans on the landscape now to allow wolves to run all of the areas they historically did.

                I enjoy watching and listening to wolves quite often from my home on the edge of Glacier National Park.

                As my postings have shown in the past, I am 100% against hunting contests, I am of the opinion and our current laws are to soft on poachers, one time, you are charge with a felony, if convicted, you loose your ability to hunt for life and you loose you ability to own a gun for life.

                I am very skeptical of people who don’t live here, or those who have not at least visited the area that they want to control.

                I have never not stated my opinions on these issues.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            MA The problem is that the “broad group of stakeholders” you say have input are not generally given the same weight as lets say trappers or hunters. Montana’s last poll/survey about the use of traps during the wolf hunting season did not indicate widespread support, in fact the opposite and I think 70% +- of those polled about a MN wolf hunt did not want one. The two conservation groups included in the wolf recovery planning process did not agree to the wolf recovery plan. There are numerous examples that illustrate that even when planning or polling is inclusive of non consumptive or conservation user voices, they are not listened to.

            • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

              Savebears is a ‘rational hunter & caring father’ who sticks his guns with mainstream NRM hunter community because legal threshold is 10 breeding wolf pairs

              that’s what he learned in Vietnam – don’t rock the boat, or else

              Savebears mentally is still serving in the USA Army – desperately trying to reconcile his individualistic ‘analysis& synthesis’ with duty to serve ‘majority’ / government (be it of local or national level)- that’s why Savebears is so fond to talk about ‘legality’

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Now let’s not be cruel.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                I didn’t serve in Vietnam, I served quite a bit later than that time period, I was in the first Gulf War, my first action was in Grenada.

                Yes, I am military through and through, and I am proud of my service. As you can see by my posts over the years, I am Military, but I am no longer a government supporter, I think our government is corrupt and has lost its way as well as focus.

                The government is suppose to work for the people, our current government serves themselves and screws the people.

                I always enjoy having conversations with foreign nations who really have no understanding of our way of government. No matter how they believe, they always prove they are ignorant.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                By the way, I don’t hunt with a gun, I use a long bow with wooden arrows and a two blade razor sharp broadhead made out of carbon steel. I have not hunted with a gun since 1997.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Also, you are mistaken if you believe I am against wolves, never have been against them, was there the day they were released in Yellowstone. I do however believe in management, with the current human population levels, you can’t have the levels of wolves that NRM region carried in the past.

                Also, I am not a member of the NRA and voice my thoughts on them quite often as well.

              • avatar Filip Panusz says:

                I am definitely a neophyte here, but that does not necessarily mean that I haven’t thought things (e.g., wildlife management issues) through over the years, esp. during the years I spent earning my university degrees. One of my observations from that time was that scientists are often very adept at assessing, judging and communicating facts, but often struggle with values and commitments (above and beyond the commitment to accurate data). This explains their tendency for inordinate positivism (the assumption that valid truth is found only in scientific knowledge) and their discomfort with anything normative. It explains why they often argue that the only legitimate ground for policy is “objective science,” dismissing all other arguments. This shows a gros misunderstanding of reality and human commitments, which are always predicated upon a combination of both facts and values. There’s no position out there that is purely scientific or purely objective. Even science itself is value-laden and inevitably always to some degree subjective. Scientists often like to hide their feelings or biases behind a scientific veneer, because that is a convenient excuse for not embracing or not committing or not being honest or open about one’s commitments. Sticking to the facts and being brutally honest about them can be a virtue, no doubt, but facts will only get us so far. At some point we need to take a stand for (or against) something beyond just a commitment to facts, lest we realize that we actually stand for nothing at all. It would be presumptuous for me to assume that you, SB, fit into this paradigm. I don’t know you or your positions nearly well enough. Your comments do, however, seem to place you closer to this end of the spectrum than the other: The flip side of this, of course, being people who are all zeal but no fact. I know some of these too, alas. These folks have a really easy time expressing their feelings and desires, even if that means fudging or ignoring or not learning the facts.

  18. avatar Harley says:

    Immer
    sorry this is way out of order but i find myself on my kindle at a tollway oaais and i have no idea hoe to respond directly! lol!
    No, not packing. I would be afraid of shooting off my own foot! and i was just teasing about the sailor remark. my son likes to joke. he says its not right to compare congress spending like a drunken sailor because most of the sailors he knows only spend their own money lol!

    Jeffe,
    thanks for your response. its ok to ramble. it helps me understand a bit more.

  19. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Ugh. I can’t believe in today’s world that people are still wearing real fur. Then to add insult to injury by dying it garish colors. Especially since there re so many gorgeous faux alternatives. The insensitivity of humanity never ceases to amaze. I keep saying over and over that it isn’t the same world as it once was – there is not as much wildlife as there used to be, and our human population has tripled since the 1950s. Something’s gotta give, and it will be our wildlife and environment.

    I remember seeing a gorgeous full length faux seal coat made out of fleece or some other man-made material with the same frog or rose buttons of a real fur coat. It was the most beautiful thing, I should have bought it. “St. Lawrence” was in the name of the manufacturer and I thought that was rather clever too. What a treasure.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      ^^oops, make that “the US population has doubled since the 1950s.”

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      “Especially since there are so many gorgeous faux alternatives.” I’m not a connoisseur of fur — nobody in my family wears it. However, I spent a week in Paris over New Years a couple of winters ago where many of the women were wearing fur head gear, most of which appeared to be faux fur. I have to say it all looked like sewer rat compared to Alaska marten.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        It’s true, it probably can never equal the real thing, and that’s why fur is coveted. But it is a good alternative to coveting an animal’s fur right out of existence. :)

        • avatar Leslie says:

          Basically, our fur-bearing animals should be treated like the ivory industry–illegal to sell, period.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            Yes, totally agree for both.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Do you folks ever look at the other side of an issue? There are many things that are banned in this world, all it has created is a large and often times violent underground market.

            Drugs, banned, large cartels killing tens of thousands to continue their profits.

            In many African countries, banned, trophy hunting, large underground market of violent poachers.

            Banning is a feel good approach, but in reality often times creates a larger problem than before.

            • avatar Leslie says:

              Poaching is illegal yet happens. Does that mean we should just forget about selling tags?

              Trapping is a strange business on our public lands–something out of the 1800’s. Let’s assume we can move on. I would bet it is a very small percent of the population that traps, yet they cause a lot of grief. There is something bizarre about not being able to relax and recreate on public lands for fear of traps. Not just dogs–I have a friend who almost stepped into an unmarked hidden leghold while winter hiking in the high desert.

              • avatar Leslie says:

                Besides SB, illegal to sell and banning are two different things. I abhor the commodity approach. I suppose if on your own lands you want to trap something, then you could.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Leslie,

                See there you go, you assume because I bring up a point on this issue, that I am saying forget it! That was not what I said, I said, look at both sides and what ramifications come if a certain approach is taken.

                In the sense we are talking about, yes banning equates illegal, once to you ban the practice of trapping, anything taken in that way become illegal to sell.

                There are many species in the world that banning the take of, has not stopped the supply of parts to the market, it has only allowed the criminal element to raise their profits as well as become much more violent in the process.

            • avatar Filip Panusz says:

              Savebears:
              That’s a really good point, and there’s no doubt that trapping will never disappear – legal or illegal. I guess I would say two things in response. (1) 60% of Montana is private, and I think it would be wise (as a way to minimize the risk that you describe) to foster relationships between trappers and private landowners, as I have said before. I suspect those relationships would be forged naturally if an initiative were to pass. (2) Our culture, educational system, enforcement mechanisms and economic status are quite different than that of Africa and Mexico, and I think there are social mechanisms in place to minimize the risks (3) Trapping is on the wane as a way of life, and educating new generations is a critical part of the equation moving forward. This is part of our collective job, and something we are actively pursuing.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Filip,

                You are correct, our economic status is quite different here in the states, but as we have found out, the foreign nationals have stated setting up shops here in the states.

                You and I are on the same level when we talk about education and generational changes. We are not going to see a large change happen until generations are educated on these issues.

                Knee jerk demands and reactions have not worked in the past and they won’t work now.

          • avatar WM says:

            ++..our fur-bearing animals should be treated like the ivory industry–illegal to sell, period.++

            It will never happen. We could run down the list of substantial differences in sources, ethical issues, international trade aspects, ranching of fur bearers as opposed to free roaming that are taken through trapping or hunting, and a whole bunch distinctions. Then there is the part about “possessing” or owning the banned item pre or post ban. Again, the “banning fur” issue is too messy, and it will never happen. What are we going to have for enforcement, the “fashon police?” The challenges we have living in a free society, vs. a police state.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              It is already that way now for endangered furbearing animals meaning illegal to sell, which at one time included the wolf. Fur from an endangered animal not allowed to be hunted legally is considered poached. A free society in my view does not include the right to harm other living things or exploit them. The ‘industry’ of farm raised animals could be regulated to be more humane. This does not affect any freedoms from society, unless you include the ‘freedom’ to be sadistic and cruel as a right, which most people frown upon.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Yes Leslie thank you for that thought. Illegal period the animal needs the fur we do not

      • avatar Nancy says:

        “I have to say it all looked like sewer rat compared to Alaska marten”

        Seak – yet at the same time, no animal had to sacrifice their skin, a warm part of their ability to exist, fur coat (something all fur bearing animals need) come those cold winter nights, for that “sewer rat” faux fur, right?

  20. avatar Leslie says:

    Ida, amongst many reasons, what I find most offensive about trapping is that the overseas markets are driving it i.e. China mostly. Like in days of old we are selling our wildlife treasure to fuel an overseas market that has absolutely no connection to what they are wearing. This seems to be happening with hides in general, no matter how they are taken, as I went to buy a tanned deer hide this winter and their price was almost double since last year. We are shipping them to an insatiable Chinese market.

  21. avatar Rancher Bob says:

    I have a question for everyone but no time now for the debate, so given that wolves will continue to produce pups and wolves will be state managed. Given the reality that Montana is not a national park and wolves will not be allowed to self regulate. If trapping is not used as a way to lower the wolf population.
    Which method should Montana use to kill wolves?

    • avatar JB says:

      Bob:

      I doubt many here will be willing to accept your “givens”. For my part, I agree that wolves will need some management and that management will be done by the states. However, I reject the implicit assumption that wolf populations need to be lowered. Spread out a bit (maybe), but I don’t think there is currently a good reason to lower wolf populations in Montana.

      • avatar Rancher Bob says:

        JB
        Yet my state feels the population needs to be lowered so that is why my conditions are such. Current state of affairs as they are I live now not in some future. Things will change and always will. Accept or not.

        • avatar Filip Panusz says:

          Rancher Bob.
          1. I did finally your question about the legality of the trap that killed my dog. You can find it above.
          2. There is no clear scientific consensus at the moment regarding the effect of wolves on elk populations, etc. Some studies in the Bitterroots have shown that the primary player is the mountain lion, although wolves no doubt have had some effect. Elk and deer numbers were never very high historically in the Bitterroot, as this is not prime habitat. It is far too steep and rugged. That is borne out by Lewis and Clark’s accounts. As for the threat to ranchers and their animals, this is certainly an issue that will require management over time. A combination of aversive conditioning, hunting, private landowner management (which could include traps if they so chose, because no one is talking about eliminating trapping rights on private lands) and compromise should allow coexistence. Problems and conflicts will arise. They will have to be addressed in a variety of ways. The wolf is no doubt a native and important element in the integrity of the Northern Rockies ecosystem (as is every other native species), and the decision has been made that Canis lupus will continue to be part of the equation, so we will all have to learn to live together somehow. Trapping is a solution that generates more problems than it solves.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Filip, I realize you are attempting to take a conservative approach but why is footloose not asking for trapping to be eliminated on all lands? There are some huge tracts of private lands and trapping is cruel, outdated, barbaric and unnecessary on public or private lands. I’m quite sure in MA that all traps are banned for hunting anywhere period.

            • avatar Rancher Bob says:

              Louise
              He’s thinking long term and taking one small bite at a time because he knows he can’t bite off stopping all trapping at one time. That’s how stopping a activity is done pick off small groups.

              • avatar IDhiker says:

                Rancher Bob,

                As someone who helped gather signatures for the trapping initiative, and sat in on many Footloose meetings, I can assure you the idea of banning trapping on private lands never came up. There is no conspiracy.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                ID
                Thanks I’ll keep that in mind.

            • avatar Filip Panusz says:

              Louise,
              There is no talk of eliminating trapping on private lands in Montana because we are realists, and we are serious about our commitment to make a difference. No doubt trapping is cruel everywhere, but there are legitimate reasons to not infringe upon the rights of private landowners. If we want to make a difference in this area, the only appropraite route is education, conversation and exploring creative solutions to inevitable conflicts. There are many benefits that accrue to landowners when they create wildlife habitat on their property. The Beaver Working Group is a great example of far-sighted professionals coming together to envision such possibilities.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          RB – Montana is the 4th largest state in the US, ranks 3rd as least populated state (only surpassed by Alaska & Wyoming) Most of Montana’s population can be found in our around, big cities.

          I’d be willing to bet it is not a majority of the state that feels the need for wolf populations to be lowered. Its more like a minority that demand it from politicians who also happen to own and run ranches/ farms while not sitting in on legislation :)

          • avatar Rancher Bob says:

            Nancy
            I’m not asking what the number of wolves should be, the state makes that decision. My questions was, if trapping is not used to kill wolves which method should we use?
            Hunting is going to be one tool what other tools should be used if not trapping?

            • avatar jon says:

              Fwp only has so many weapons in their arsenal for wolf killing. Poison will never be used again in Montana.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Never say never Jon, there are still poisons that have and probably be used again in the future. You not living in Montana, have no idea of what they might allow again in the future.

                Remember it can be as easy and simple as a sweetener.

              • avatar jon says:

                You can say that the feds are trying to get out of the wolf business, but I expect the feds to get fully involved if FWP even thinks about letting people poison wolves in Montana. You have hunting and trapping and then you have things like poison which eradicated the wolf. You will always have nuts talking about throwing meatballs that have poison in them all over and sprinkling xylitol on dead elk.

              • avatar jon says:

                Yeah, xylitol is what you are talking about. A lot of people like to talk especially when they are still very angry that wolves are back in Montana. I don’t think many hunters or ranchers are throwing xylitol around just to kill some wolves, but who can really say for sure.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                The Feds have turned over management to the states, it is up to the states to use what means they deem to control wolf populations.

                You guys put way to much faith in the Feds. What has the mighty Obama done for you lately? Remember Salazar is still in charge.

                Hell I live here and don’t know as much about how the state is going to go as you think you do!

              • avatar jon says:

                I don’t sb, but as a former employee of FWP, do you seriously think FWP is going to let poison be used on a controversial species such as the wolves which came off the endangered species list not too long ago? You don’t think the feds would intervene if FWP started letting people poison wolves in Montana in order to “control” their numbers? Do you remember what happened in Idaho with Jeff Siddoway? Montana FWP I am sure wants wolves to stay under their management.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                As a former employee is why I am saying poison is not off the table, the state is going to manage as it sees fit, as long as those numbers don’t drop below a certain level, I would say everything is fair game right now.

                The Feds don’t care as long as the numbers stay above certain levels.

                As I have said many times, you are out of your comfort zone Jon, when you start making statements in the absolutes..

                In other words, you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.

              • avatar JB says:

                SB:

                You’re being disingenuous. (Sometimes I think you contradict anything Jon says just to get a rise out of him.) If the states started using poison, there would be a petition to relist within a month, and they would have a hell of a time arguing in a federal court that they could control “harvest” with poison on the landscape. Obama wouldn’t need to “do” anything, it would be in the hands of a federal judge.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Well JB,

                You do have a right to your opinion, but I have the knowledge of the agency involved in this.

                As far as getting a rise of Jon, I am not doing it to get a rise, but he is the one thinking he knows it all when it comes to the game agencies in the states involved.

              • avatar jon says:

                That’s a bunch of bs sb. You’re telling me FWP can use poison on wolves and get away with it and not have the feds intervene at all as long as they keep Montana’s wolf population above 150 animals? You do know what happened with Jeff Siddoway in Idaho right?

              • avatar jon says:

                That would give the pro-wolf groups plenty of ammunition to get wolves relisted. I don’t think an agency like Montana FWP who fought so hard for wolf delisting would throw it all away to use poison on the wolf population in Montana to supposedly control their numbers. Poison also kills other animals.

              • avatar jon says:

                “If the states started using poison, there would be a petition to relist within a month, and they would have a hell of a time arguing in a federal court that they could control “harvest” with poison on the landscape.”

                I couldn’t agree more JB.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Jon I am definitely on your side but here I might agree with SB only because I had some long conversations with MF&G and was told they would never go back to trapping and never lengthen their seasons. That all changed really quickly – actually right after the commissioners voted not to extend the hunting season into the rearing of young seasons. Against that backlash they then implemented trapping. All the states keep upping the ante, pushing for more methods, lengthier seasons, and for WY anything goes. Idaho has almost year round wolf killing. Id hate to think the states would do this but nothing would surprise me anymore.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                No matter what you think, the states have a goal to get wolves to a certain level.

                If my findings had been reported the way that FWP wanted me to report it, then wolves would have been eliminated by FWP employees, we would not even be talking about hunting.

                I have nothing against the majority of employees with the agency, but there are some key players that wield a lot of power.

                Ask me how I know?

                I am no longer with the agency because of those few people that want certain results, no matter what the findings show.

                My results didn’t show what they wanted and expected and I would not publish false information, so cya later, good bye career, good bye retirement, good bye a lot of other things.

              • avatar jon says:

                Trapping is something totally different than poison Louise. Most expected hunting and trapping to be used on wolves. This wasn’t a shock to a lot of people.

          • avatar Rancher Bob says:

            Nancy
            I did a little research and I would take that bet. I would bet the majority of Montana residents feels the population of wolves needs to be lowered, urban or rural.
            Then again that wasn’t the question.

            • avatar Filip Panusz says:

              You’re probably right at this point, Rancher Bob, although it’s not by a large majority. Certainly statewide. Not sure about urban folks though.

            • avatar Nancy says:

              I know RB. The question was how to kill them. But the problem is, you see a need to kill them and I don’t, so your question will go unanswered, atleast by me.

      • avatar Harley says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong here, but wouldn’t relocating not be very affective given how far a wolf can travel? What would prevent a wolf or wolf pack from returning to their original place of origin? Unless you relocate several states away?

        • avatar Cobra says:

          Harley,
          I don’t know about the other states, but Idaho probably doesn’t have anymore room for new packs to be relocated. If they relocated a pack or even a single wolf the chances a good that they would be killed by the local pack.
          If I remember correctly Idaho has already offered wolves to others states and there were no takers.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        JB – Not sure I have ever heard you state that you reject the assumption that wolf populations need to be lowered. so very good to hear

  22. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    How awful, Elk. I have to say that I have seen all kinds of people literally hold up traffic to help turtles across the street – policemen, an office coworker, automobile drivers, myself. :)

  23. avatar IDhiker says:

    Rancher Bob,

    “My questions was, if trapping is not used to kill wolves which method should we use?”

    Avoiding the issue of whether wolves need to be killed at all, I would propose that the FWP Commission never gave hunting a chance, and according to what they say now, trapping was always in their plans.

    Last year, only 18% of big game hunters even purchased a wolf tag. Perhaps that is because most hunters really aren’t bothered by wolves and aren’t interested in killing one. I doubt it was the expense of the tag, but even so, I wrote the commissioners and suggested they make tags free with the purchase of an elk or deer tag. And, to consider more innovative ways to increase hunter participation to avoid having to institute trapping.

    But, I don’t think they cared if hunting did the job or not – trapping was coming. Trappers are the “NRA” of Montana wildlife management. Small compared to the whole population, but very influential with FWP. I have testified at several commission meetings and where were the people opposed to trapping? The trappers were always there in large numbers…they found the time to get off work and those in disagreement with them were only a token number.

    Bob Ream told me that he compromised with the rest of the commissioners on the trapping issue in order to keep snaring off the table. He felt snares were even more indiscriminate.

    Change in FWP will not come from within. Hopefully, the new governor elect will shake things up in FWP. I know he is aware of the disfunction in Helena, but how, or whether he will address it remains to be seen.

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      ID
      It will be a interest time the coming years. New F@G director and a ecosystem in change, interesting time to live through, we may even learn a few things.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      This is exactly what I heard but did not want to name names

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        Louise

        Why does a person who lives in Cape Cod care about the internal workings of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The new director will have a multitude of tasks more important than wolves. The game wardens are demanding more pay and rightly so. Landowner-sportsman relationships are always contentious and need full time attention. Members of the Republican controlled state legislator want to change the stream access law and then there is a slow movement to eventually privatize fish and wildlife on private land. The next 90 days are going to be trying for the department, commission and the hunters and fishers as the state legislation introduces bills to commercialize resources.

        Very few Montana citizens care how other states manage their wildlife but thousands of non-residents including non-resident hunters care how Montana manages their wildlife. Montana has been managing their wildlife for over one hundred years and the state is has developed of the best hunting and fishing in the nation — the state has done things right. With abundant fish and wildlife for consumptive users means abundant fish and wildlife for wildlife watchers.

        I am a fourth generation Montanan;I believe that fish and wildlife decisions belong to the individual states and decisions regarding the management and usage belong to the voters of that state. You will come back and say that Montana is 29.1% federal land. Several posts back you even want to regulate trapping on private land. The states under the 10 th amendment, tradition and court cases with the exception of National parks manage state fish and wildlife. Montana should and is managed by the State of Montana, each state should manage their own wildlife without other interference.

        The biggest challenge for any state is going to be the privatization and commercialization for wildlife resources on private land.

        Louise your biggest ambition would be the first non resident appointed to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks commission. Every month you would fly out here to participate and vote on commission matters giving non consumptive users your voice.. It ain’t going to happen.

        • avatar JB says:

          “… each state should manage their own wildlife without other interference.”

          Elk:

          The migratory bird treaty came about because, like air and water, wildlife have the annoying habit of not paying any attention to political boundaries. For species that “stay put” and are relatively numerous, state-led wildlife is not problematic. However, for migratory birds it was, because each state had a tendency to try and maximize its own harvest. Wolves, like migratory birds, move considerable distance on the landscape. Other species of wildlife are also under federal or multi-state jurisdiction. Where I live, for example, harvest quotas for yellow perch on Lake Erie are determined via a multi-state and provincial process–meaning what folks in Quebec think affects how Ohioans fish get managed.

          You also note that about 1/3 of Montana is federal land; however, you fail to acknowledge that wolves live disproportionately in these areas.

          The federal/state divide here is not as black and white as you seem to want it to be.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            JB,

            Many don’t want us to have a multi state commission to make those choices on how to manage wolves, so now we see three individual plans. In NW Montana, wolves live and migrate primarily on private land, but yet, we have people who don’t live here, wanting to put sanctions on those private land owners.

            • avatar JB says:

              SB:

              I’m merely stating the similarities between wolves and other species that demand federal management (e.g., migratory birds) or multi-state coordination (e.g., the Great Lakes fisheries). What you or I (or anyone else) wants is largely irrelevant. The important point is that wolves bear some similarity to other species that require this type of “broader” management (at least in the NRMs).


              Personally, the “but I want to do X with my private property” argument rings hollow for me for a whole variety of reasons we have previously discussed.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                I know JB,

                You and I have discussed the private property issues in the past, no need to get into that discussion again.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            JB

            ++You also note that about 1/3 of Montana is federal land; however, you fail to acknowledge that wolves live disproportionately in these areas.++

            I will bet you this evening more than 1/3 of the wolves in Montana are on private property; I think over 50% of the wolves are on private property or isolated federal tracts surrounded by private lands or state wildlife management areas at this moment. The deer and elk have moved to their winter ranges, the wolves follow. The best winter range is private property. If you are in doubt fly out and we will drive down the Madison Valley south of Ennis, Montana along the Madison River. The elk are on the CB, Carrol, Sun Ranch and several other ranches or the Wall Creek State Management area. I was down there last February working and I talked with several wolf hunters and ranches that never have allowed public hunting were encouraging wolf hunting. All the wolves were being shot on private property.

            • avatar Robert R says:

              Elk for some reason most will never understand. Many say the elk population is increasing, they are only right in the sence that most of the increase is on private land and hunters cannot hunt what can’t be hunted. Part of the increase is where wolves are not tolerated. I guess you have to live it to see it.

              • avatar Elk275 says:

                The elk increase is in Eastern Montana, not in Western Montana where the most of wolves live. My little sister’s family has a large farm/ranch where the Bighorn runs into the Yellowstone. My nephew is an excellent hunter and grew up on the farm. Years ago he said to me “uncle I use to be able to go hunting anywhere until the elk came”. The elk are now a cash crop.

                Many people outside of Montana do not understand the elk population distribution and think because the herds are growing wolves are not having an effect.

                If each adult wolf kills between 15 to 20 elk a year 20 wolves could and will have an effect on the length of season, number of permits issue and the quality of hunting. But let us not forget the affect of mountain lions either. This forum has been very informative in regards to mountain lions.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Elk were a plains animal, not a mountain species, we are now seeing that wolves are moving Elk back to the plains, they are moving farther east again, there is a decrease in Elk populations in the western regions of Montana, this has been documented.

                It is no just wolves, but bears as well as lions are having an impact. But the population dynamics are once again changing.

            • avatar JB says:

              “I will bet you this evening more than 1/3 of the wolves in Montana are on private property”

              Given that ~1/3 of Montana is federal land, if there was no association between land-type (i.e., federal vs. private) we would expect to find 1/3 of wolves on federal land, 2/3s on private. Yet your claim is 1/3 of wolves are on private land. Great–you’ve essentially just verified what I said: wolves use federal lands disproportionately.

              I understand the importance of private land as winter habitat, but none of that negates what I wrote above. 95% of Ohio is private land, yet multi-state/provincial management of Lake Erie is a reality and migratory birds are protected by federal law here the same as they are in Montana.

        • avatar IDhiker says:

          Louise,

          I didn’t know you lived in Cape Cod, but you really should move to Montana! I’m serious! It is a great place to be for people that appreciate wilderness and wildlife. I’ve lived here for 45 years. There are many threats looming to what makes Montana special – many from natives, as well as outsiders.

          Once here, you could vote and help change things, hopefully for the better.

        • avatar Leslie says:

          “the state has done things right”

          Don’t see MT doing so great with bison.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            Leslie, I have every subdivision plat map for Gallatin, Park and Madison Counties in my computer. After the bison leave Yellowstone National Park where are they going to go — to a 20 acre ranchette in Paradise Valley. Bison are going to go where the grass is greener. That means the Yellowstone river bottom and 20 acre tracts not the National Forest Service lands that this time of year are belly deep in snow. There is some land around West Yellowstone that could and should have bison but if they wander down the Madison River Valley they will encounter 20 acres tracts at the intersection of Highway 287 and Highway 87 at the Raynolds pass bridge. Or they could cross over the Gallatin divide and up the Taylor’s fork and down Indian Creek into the Madison Valley. Are they going to be welcomed on the CB, 320 Ranch or the Carroll Ranch? No

            Some people may want bison on there land and others may want to kept the grass for their own livestock. Bison can and do cause damage to fencing. If I had 20 acres I would not want bison on myproperty completing with livestock, mules do not like bison. Unfortunately the United States did not create a needed Bison reserve in the 1800’s similar to Yellowstone National Park.

            Bison will come back in the future when the American Prairie Foundation completes their acquisitions in Philips County. This is one of the best land acquisitions in the nation. Unfortunately I and others are going to be old or dust in the wind when bison have two million acres to roam.

            • avatar Leslie says:

              APF is doing great things. But it took heaven and earth to move along with a secret trip under dark cover to allow those brucellosis free bison onto reservation land. The bison controversy is a dark stain on Montana. At least WY allows bison to move onto Shoshone forest freely in the winter from the east gate.

            • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

              Elk275,

              I remember that before Montana stated its biocide against bison outside Yellowstone Park, they wandered with little difficulty north of Gardiner to Yankee Jim Canyon which was, and has to be their limit. No they can’t use Paradise Valley, and that is kind of a phony issue.

              They used to use the area around U.S. 191 in and northwest of Yellowstone Park in the 1980s. I remember it well, driving through many times. They were allowed to use the area around West Yellowstone too, and in fact even today the residents who have 20-acre and smaller tracts on Horse Butte are supporters of free roaming bison.

    • avatar Filip Panusz says:

      Thank you IDhiker. Could not have said it better myself!

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      A good comment from that article:

      That is why it’s called nature. Wildlife have always had it hard living in the wild, it’s even harder when humans come into the scene and want to kill them left and right. Who are you to determine if wildlife needs be be managed? They have always managed themselves before the human animals came and believe they need to manage wildlife.

      I’d like to see hunting only, no trapping, no poison, and buffer zones around the national parks. All of them, including Denali.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        And of course, no hounding.

        • avatar Leslie says:

          from the comments “These are animals…not sentient human beings…don’t put lesser developed species in a human context situation. Same thing as if ..do fish feel the hook?”

          Ugh–here is the heart of the problem!

          • avatar SAP says:

            “human context situation”! Wow, that sure makes me think “highly evolved!”

            Leslie, life is hard enough. Do yourself a favor and resolve to never ever read the comment section of an on-line article ever again.

            Those comment sections attract the worst of the worst. They exist solely to keep people coming back to the site, which pumps up visitor numbers, which theoretically attracts more advertising revenue.

  24. avatar IDhiker says:

    Savebears,

    You said:

    “If my findings had been reported the way that FWP wanted me to report it, then wolves would have been eliminated by FWP employees, we would not even be talking about hunting.”

    I am curious what your findings were, and how did FWP want you to report them? What results did they want? I can make assumptions concerning what the agency wanted to hear, based on what their actions have been, and it appears that a small group is running the show. But, these are only assumptions.

    It would be valuable to everyone if you would share more details of what you hint at, as you are someone with real first-hand knowledge of the internal workings of FWP management.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      IDHiker,

      In the past, I have alluded to what I was working on at the time I left the agency. It concerned disease transmission between one species to another.

      My findings did not show what they were expecting or wanting and I would not doctor my study to fit a certain agenda.

      I am reluctant to elaborate further, as it caused me quite a bit of trouble.

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        SB,
        I can understand that. Perhaps it is better to not “stir the pot” any longer regarding your past affiliation with FWP. Sort of reminds me of my previous career in teaching, which I was lucky to have enough years in to gain retirement. Lot’s of bad memories at the end.

  25. avatar IDhiker says:

    Savebears,

    Another question:

    “I don’t know that we disagree, but we do have a difference in approach.”

    Since you indicate you don’t always disagree with Filip, how is your approach to trapping different than his?

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Id,

      Filip seems to be a reasonable person, he and I have met, although it sounds like he may not think so, but again, I don’t think he is unreasonable, I don’t happen to agree with the direction that Footloose has taken in the past, I reserve judgement to see how things go in the future.

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        I don’t know Filip well, although I have met him also. I believe he will take a realistic and pragmatic approach. I know he is respectful of others and their opinions, even though they may disagree.

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        SB,
        I am curious what you mean by, “the direction that Footloose has taken in the past.” Can you elaborate?

        • avatar Savebears says:

          ID,

          I don’t like the in your face way of trying to change things, which footloose has done in the past, I have met a lot of folks that belong to that organization and have not like the my way or the highway approach. The issue is bigger than just what one group wants.

          I have an extensive amount of work that I have done in the Bitterroot and have talked with many of them, most of them are transplants who moved here for the same reasons we love. But they just have been very abrasive with a whole bunch of people who were born here.

          I think, if he keeps his focus, Filip may be that one person that can actually change things.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            SB,
            I hope you are right. I think all new organizations go through growing pains. New people come and others leave, while hopefully maturing their positions to focus on what is possible, not perfect. Most people do not appreciate or listen to people who are totally extreme on any issue.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++ But they just have been very abrasive with a whole bunch of people who were born here.++

            And those Montana born people’s great grandfathers were the most abrasive of all to the Flathead and Blackfoot tribes.

            Another lame argument by Savebears. Another deflection that fails to address anti-predator behavior.

            Savebears has an incredible ability to blame everything in the world except for the actual trappers and hunters. It really is amazing to watch this in action.

  26. avatar Dora Herbert says:

    It cannot be helped that mountain lions and other animals will be trapped since there is a great number of them out there compared to wolves. I just wonder how they handle those trapped animals and what they will do to them.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Dora Herbert,

      You handle them very carefully. ;-) I recently put up a video of some guys trying, finally with success, to release a bobcat. Wow!

      Here it is again.

  27. Ban all trapping. Why do some people think wildlife needs to be managed?!! They do just fine all by themselves without intervention from man. Just another created position. From what I’ve read most of the locals are not in favor of trapping. They need to stop killing the wolves as well. They don’t bother you unless you go into its territory & even then they’re not a threat to humans. & if you bring your hounds up there then what did you expect..for them not to defend themselves? People are ruining the natural system of nature by interfering.

    • avatar savebears says:

      karen,

      Humans ARE part of the natural system, we have been for many thousands of years now.

      What do you propose? Should we all kill ourselves?

      • avatar Mike says:

        There’s Savebears, apologizing for anti-predator behavior again.

        Like clockwork. ;)

        • avatar Harley says:

          There’s Mike, antagonizing and baiting anyone who hunts again.

          Like clockwork. ;-)

        • avatar savebears says:

          How did I apologize Mike, please explain it like I was a 5th grader?

          • avatar Harley says:

            SB,
            Mike is like that little kid, you know, the little shit of the class? The one who likes to stir up trouble by poking and prodding and teasing and then he just sits back with a smile on his face.

            • avatar savebears says:

              Harley,

              I am amazed that Mike would move to Montana and continue to contribute to a blog that is so against him, I don’t understand in this day and age, that he does not start his own podium website so he can control what is being said, he seems to be the perfect candidate to do this.

              • avatar savebears says:

                To add, my wife runs an internet company, that I am not involved in, but I will give him the space to rant, free of charge as long as he wants, I will ask her to set it up for him, I will not be involved in it.

                Mike, here is your chance, free of charge, no obligation, no commitment, you got it if you want it.

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

~ Edward Abbey

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