Here we begin 2013 with a new edition of wildlife news discovered by readers. Please post your wildlife news stories and your comments in the open thread below. You can access the previous December 19, 2012 “Interesting Wildlife News” here.  


Elk wintering in the upper Madison Valley between the Gravelly Range (in background) and the Madison Range near the mouth of Wolf Creek. Copyright Ralph Maughan.


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.

584 Responses to Have you come across interesting wildlife news? Jan. 2, 2013 edition

  1. avatar Richie G. says:

    I must say beautiful picture Ralph, what a beautiful site

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Thanks Richie,

      I hope someone notices the elk are gathered near the mouth of Wolf Creek. This was named many years ago, and when the wolves were restored guess the name of one of the creek drainages that got itself a wolf pack?

      • avatar SAP says:

        nice! Doesn’t look recent – although there is not much more snow on that site today.

        Wolves have denned repeatedly right there around where Wolf Creek comes out of the Madison Range. Discrete wolf pairs (no known relations) have actually sequentially (not simultaneously) used the same den burrows there — which shouldn’t be too surprising, as they probably follow their noses right to the old den.

        We do have maybe 4,000 elk down on the valley floor today. A good bunch on Wall Creek game range, with most of the rest on Sun Ranch and a few smaller bunches down toward Raynolds Pass. FWP is doing a good job throttling back on harvest here, learning some lessons from other places. This past hunting season was way more sane than any in recent memory.

    • avatar JB says:

      Thanks for sharing, SB. I couldn’t agree more with Jim’s sentiments. Most people aren’t aware that the ESA passed with broad bipartisan support–the kind that really only exists today for military appropriations bills. It’s sad to see how much so-called “conservatives” have backed away from conservation and environmental issues. Part of the ‘regulation=bad, taxes=bad’ ideology, I guess…

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        thanks for posting SB
        as a note
        the HSUS have been working successfully to recruit young conservative christians to their humane animal rights mission. I read something in one of their magazines this last year about how Wayne Pacelle felt that it was a missed opportunity for animal rights groups to ignore conservative young christians. Its too bad that the GOP has allowed extremist tea party types to override some of their fundamental conservative core values, that did at some point include a strong commitment to conservation. This is a link to a republican who is working to restore conservation ideals within the Rep party.

      • avatar jon says:

        Yeah, now it’s the conservatives who want to amend or get rid of the esa. Conservatives are anti-wildlife.

        • avatar Savebears says:


          You are such a misinformed person, I would hate to live in your world, it must be a bleak and sad existence.

          • avatar jon says:

            Dave, get off your computer for once and go outside. Go grab a coffee or something.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Jon, First of all, my name is not Dave, second, I have all the time in the world right now as I am between jobs, what the hell is it with you nut cases?

  2. avatar Louise Kane says:

    a fellow poster sent this to me today. I’m not sure he was going to post so I am….
    from Charles Darwin on trapping

    ‎”It is scarcely to exaggerate the suffering thus endured from fear, from acute pain, maddened by thirst, and by vain attempts to escape.
    Bull baiting and cock fighting have rightly been put down by
    law….Some who reflect upon this subject for the first time will wonder how such cruelty can be permitted to continue in these days of civilization; and no doubt have been permitted to continue in these days of civilization; and no doubt if men of education saw with their own eyes what takes place under their sanction, the system would have been put to an end long ago. We shall be told that setting steel traps
    is the only way to preserve game, but we cannot believe that Englishmen when their attention is once drawn to the case, will let even this motive weigh against so fearful an amount of cruelty.”

    Charles Darwin. 1863 Essay “Trapping Agony.”

    let 2013 be more trap, snare and body gripping device free then 2012.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      One of the comments was excellent….”It doesn’t reflect well on our society that good people came together to help this family and their dog and yet these and other good people have no problem looking the other way as the dog’s closest cousin is maimed and killed just for fun. If the coyote had been shot in the rear-end and died slowly and painfully, there would have been no story at all. It’s perfectly legal to kill a wild animal in any manner you choose. Some people hunt ethically and what they kill is used; coyotes are killed just for the fun of killing them. All of us that share our lives with dogs and know what they are capable of also share in the shame for allowing coyotes and other wild animals no compassion at all.”

      • avatar Ryan says:

        They may look similar, but that is where it ends. Behaviorally they are completely different. I love my dogs, they are integral part of our family, coyotes on the other hand are vermin and while they serve a place in the natural order need to be kept in check.

        • avatar jon says:

          Coyotes are vermin? wow. A “conservationist” calling wildlife vermin.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Vermin is in the eye of the beholder. :)

        • avatar Ryan says:

          Vermin probably isn’t the right word choice, but they have been a PIA for me when they live close more often than not.

          • avatar Savebears says:


            Even Native Americans had terms to describe the Coyote, they were considered the jokester, the schemer, the thief. They are a very adaptable animal that is very successful in any environment they live in. This always leads to big challenges when they choose to live in the interface between humans and homes.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            “Vermin probably isn’t the right word choice, ”

            Better believe it isn’t.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            “Vermin probably isn’t the right word choice, ”

            Not in a blog that is about wildlife.

    • avatar Harley says:

      I’m curious. Where is the out cry about the owners being irresponsible for letting their dog wander afield? If this same dog had been attacked by a wolf, you can bet your bottom dollar there would have been many saying that the owner should have been more responsible, that it wasn’t the wolf’s fault and so on and so forth. But because it was hunters, who, it appears, were engaging in a legal activity….

      Just curious is all!

      • avatar Ryan says:

        Looks like a situation where idiots prevailed. The owners were idiots for not keeping their dog locked up (dogs running wildlife and livestock are not a good deal) and the people who shot are idiots for not identifying their target..

  3. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Posted on WCCL today:

    Terms Will Affect Public Records Requests Nationwide

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 2, 2013


    Darrell Geist, Buffalo Field Campaign 406-646-0070
    Daniel Brister, Buffalo Field Campaign 406-646-6506
    Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign 443-417-3106
    Daniel C. Snyder, Law Offices of Charles M. Tebbutt, P.C. 541-344-3505

    WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONTANA: Buffalo Field Campaign and the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (“APHIS”) reached a settlement today obligating the agency to undertake sweeping changes in how it processes and responds to Freedom of Information Act requests from citizens nationwide.

    The settlement, filed in Montana federal district court, resolves a complaint by Buffalo Field Campaign alleging that APHIS had improperly withheld government documents and had engaged in a “pattern or practice” of failing to timely respond to public information requests. The complaint further alleged that APHIS had repeatedly delayed public disclosure of the documents sought by Buffalo Field Campaign by giving itself extensions of time not permitted by the Freedom of Information Act.

    Requests made pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act require federal agencies to respond within twenty business days; in some instances, Buffalo Field Campaign says APHIS had given itself months of improper extensions.

    “The Freedom of Information Act is a powerful tool for the public to shed light on what the government is up to,” says Daniel Brister, executive director of Buffalo Field Campaign. “We will be watchdogging this settlement to ensure that APHIS complies with the public’s Freedom of Information Act requests.”

    The nonprofit bison advocacy group had submitted many public information requests to shed light on APHIS’s bison population control experiments, births and deaths and welfare of bison in quarantine and associated costs, funding agreements with the Montana Dept. of Livestock, and investigative reports tracing sources of brucellosis infection in Montana cattle.

    All of the documents received from APHIS have been posted online at the group’s web site:

    As a result of the lawsuit, APHIS will augment its Freedom of Information Act training program so the “unusual circumstances” provision of the FOIA, which allows agencies additional response time under certain specific circumstances, is properly used and followed by APHIS in responding to public information requests.

    APHIS has also agreed to implement new procedures including a phone number or Internet link for the public to use to check on the status of their public information requests.

    “Prompt public access to government records is a necessary ingredient for a healthy, transparent democracy,” says Daniel Snyder, an attorney with the Law Offices of Charles M. Tebbutt, P.C. who represented Buffalo Field Campaign in its lawsuit. “Timely access is even more critical here, where the records sought by Buffalo Field Campaign illuminate the federal government’s deplorable treatment of Yellowstone’s threatened wild buffalo population. The new procedures APHIS must implement nationwide as a result of this lawsuit should result in the punctual disclosure of records requested by the public.”

    Attorney John Meyer from the Cottonwood Environmental Law Center in Bozeman, Montana, also represented Buffalo Field Campaign as local counsel.

    APHIS will also pay Buffalo Field Campaign’s attorneys’ fees and costs to settle the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

    Buffalo Field Campaign is a non-profit public interest organization founded in 1997 to stop the slaughter of Yellowstone’s wild buffalo, protect the natural habitat of wild free-roaming buffalo and other native wildlife, and to work with people of all Nations to honor the sacredness of the wild buffalo.


    Buffalo Field Campaign
    P.O. Box 957
    West Yellowstone, MT 59758

  4. avatar Cris Waller says:

    I am sure this will be news on the blog later- but the minuscule Yellowstone border closure has been rescinded due to a lawsuit from hunters…

    “In his order, Swandal sided with the plaintiffs. He said the lack of public notice appeared to violate the Montana Constitution and threatened to deprive the public of the legal right to harvest wolves.
    He ordered the state “to immediately reinstitute and allow hunting and trapping of wolves in all areas of Park County.”

    • avatar jon says:

      Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim said state wildlife commissioners followed proper public notice requirements before closing the areas.

      “Our attorney believed we had acted within our authority,” he said.

  5. avatar Ken Cole says:

    FYI, from our WordPress Annual Report:

    Who were they?

    These were your 5 most active commenters:

    1 Salle 1615 COMMENTS
    2 Louise Kane 1353 COMMENTS
    3 Mike 1017 COMMENTS
    4 Savebears 981 COMMENTS
    5 WM 889 COMMENTS

    We got visitors from 176 countries. Unfortunately none from Greenland.

    • avatar WM says:

      Aw, come on Ken, at least make it a top 10 or 20.

    • avatar Salle says:


      That’s the first time I’ve topped any list I can recall. But I’m sure it’s due to my “Interesting News” posts on news stories I find elsewhere, some days there are lots of them. Doing my part to redistribute news.

      At least it’s a list I can feel good about. ;)

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        Someone has to be number one and today is your day. Congratulations, I enjoy your news post, Thank you.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:


        A cyber congratulations to you and your passion for wildlife.

        • avatar Salle says:

          Thanks, Immer. Gosh, I wonder if I get something for all that… like a cookie or a box of candy or something. I can’t believe I made that many comments, really.

          You did call that correctly though, I am very passionate about wildlife, what happens to them truly matters to me.

    • avatar DLB says:


      Isn’t it about time for a “best of” comments that were censored? I remember you did that a while back and it was quite entertaining.

      • avatar Ken Cole says:

        It’s been a while since the haters hated. I’m sure a few were missed and sent directly to spam. Ever since we got picked up in the google news feed the spam has been unmanageable so there is no time to go through each comment. Something like 500 spam comments per day now. If one of your comments is somehow sent there it’s lost.

        There have been, however, some real doozies by regular commenters that didn’t get through moderation.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      As we have not heard much from Mike lately, this sort of refutes his hunters are monopolyzing the blog drone.

    • avatar Mtn Mamma says:

      I live just a few miles from this incident. Very disturbing. Here is an link to the story with a video.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Since we have encroached so much on wildlife habitat, I think we should be a little more understanding about when an animal cross the imaginary line we create between us and them. Relocation should be the first line of ‘defense’, and lethal means should be a last resort. You would expect police officers to uphold the law and be an example, and put their personal desires aside. A poor animal who is disoriented or starving or with no understanding of human lines drawn in the sand should not be taken advantage of. The responsibility is on humanity to protect their own while still being humane to other living things that share our environment. Instead, we take the entire environment ans still want more! It is a good sign that their actions are being taking seriously.

  6. avatar jon says:

    A GAMEKEEPER has filled his home with a sickening display of 150 DEAD ANIMALS.

    Read more:

  7. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Minnesota will surpass the 400 quota for the combined early and late seasons. 147 wolves were shot during the early season.
    Late season totals, which can increase as season ends tonight.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      I seem to recall readng assurances about how elusive and difficult to hunt wolves would be. I guess not! Maintaining a healthy population number (+/- a few!) is going to be difficult, especially in Wyoming.

  8. avatar Immer Treue says:


    Don’t know if just you, and now me, but comments are all awaiting moderation. How can I keep up with Salle?

    • avatar Salle says:

      LOL! I haven’t even been here for several days and hardly at all for weeks! What have you guys been doing? When my stuff goes to moderation it’s usually because, by fiat of dyslexia, I manage to mis-spell my email address or something like that.

      You’ve got some serious posting to do to catch up, had no idea I was that prolific in posting… yikes.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        :) :) Kudos Salle!

        • avatar Salle says:

          Thanks, Nancy. I’m sure it’s all those “Interesting News” re-posts. Louise didn’t do that badly either as far as count goes.

          Been pretty chilly here the last few nights, the small amount of snow we have has turned to concrete and dust now that all the moisture has been squeezed out of it. I suppose you’re getting the same?

          • avatar Nancy says:

            About the same here Salle. No new snow. Temp was a balmy 29 degrees when I went to bed last night, its 3 degrees this morning (which is better than the 5 below a few mornings ago :)

  9. avatar Leslie says:

    There has been a thread previously about animal consciousness and feelings. I listened to this Radiolab story today which had me crying. It’s worth listening to the whole show, but especially the story of the rescue of the humpback whale and the whale’s conscious response at the beginning, and at the end is a great story of Paul Nicklen of NG filming a leopard seal who tried to feed him penguins for 4 days.

  10. avatar Harley says:

    I have a question.

    Just read an article about OR7 in California.,0,6588131.story

    The article states there hasn’t been an apex predator in that area for some time so the wolf is doing well. Don’t they have pumas in that area?

  11. avatar Immer Treue says:

    As a follow-up to My comment from yesterday the MN wolf season(s) are now closed. In 21 days of hunting, and 42 days of hunting and trapping, 411 wolves were “harvested”.

    The season ends at about the original endpoint, not the extended to 1/31/13 date as quotas were filled.

    Add in the 260+ removed for depredations and 17 by private property owners protecting livestock and pets, about 700 wolves were removed legally from the MN landscape this year, or about 23% of the estimated wolf population.

    Add in illegal take (estimated as high as 400 in years past)and one can assume the total wolf mortality due to humans in MN during 2012 ran between 23% to 37% if my calculations are correct. As many legally taken wolves were most likely compensatory to the illegal take, one might safely guess about 30% of the estimated MN wolf population have been removed.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Wow. All in just a few months. How are they going to justify this next year is what I wonder about. Young pups will barely make it to adulthood, or their parents will be destroyed affecting their mortality and pack survival as well. So taking one individual does have serious consequences for many more animals.

    • avatar jon says:

      411 wolves? The quota was 400 immer. 700 wolves died just for being wolves. I hope the quota next year is much lower than 400. Does the DNR count other mortality factors when coming up with a quota?

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Thank you Immer perhaps the grim and grisly numbers will be of some use in fighting this insanity of wolf hunting.

  12. avatar jon says:

    Concerns Persist About Dogs Tangling with Wolves

    Why is it that the Wisconsin bear hunters association continues to think that no problems will arise by letting their dogs chase after wolves? Are these people not aware of all of the dogs that have been killed by wolves in Wisconsin?

    “I think that if dogs become a constant enemy and constant harass of the wolf, the wolf is going to strike out at dogs and I don’t want to fear for this little guy just because we’re we’re walking down the trail in the woods or because my husband takes him out grouse hunting and he’s doing his job by running through the brush along side of the trail, trying to put up a grouse. I think that if we allow dogs to chase and attack wolves; the wolves are going to fight back by attacking dogs when they see them, instead of turning tail and running like they do now,” Rongstad says.

    Rongstad believes many hunters feel as she does, but is less sure why more have not made their voices heard.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      They probably don’t want to rock the boat. But the boat needs to be rocked, big time. I hope that when this issue is heard in court, it puts an end to hounding once and for all. The Great Lakes states have abused the concept of hunting.

      • avatar Tim says:

        How have they abused the concept of hunting?

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:


          Not all hunters of course, but some – going over quotas (implication being that they don’t have to play by the rules), demanding every conceivable way of hunting (implication that they can do whatever they want without restriction), killing an animal based on misconceptions, exaggerating depredation and dangers. Talk about people who don’t live in the states trying to dictate policy – some of these gun and hunting groups, and out of state hunters have considerable influence.

          I always think, or hope, that hunting has respect at its core – but today nobody has respect for nuthin’ anymore. :)

    • avatar Tim says:

      What does that lady think the wolves will do now when they see or hear her dog, run around and play with it? No they will chase it down and rip its guts out. Jon I’m sure the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association knows all to well how many dogs get killed by wolves. There are ways to hunt wolves with dogs. People in Norway are doing it with no problems. There is no reason it wont work here. You just gotta know what your doing. All hunters and trappers must stand together and support each other or folks like Jon will take what we love to do away from us, that is a fact. If you deny that you are blind. They are taking away hound hunting and trapping first because they are the least participated in activities. Next they are going to go after all bird hunting you can guarantee that!

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Tim you see nothing wrong with packs of dogs chasing down wildlife? Canids against Canids. Wolves with pups trying to outrun well fed, pampered and trained dogs. Sick, twisted and perverted.

      • avatar jon says:

        I would bet the most hunters in Wisconsin would be against using dogs on wolves. Using dogs to pursue wolves imo is a very stupid thing to do if you truly value your dog.

      • avatar JB says:

        “All hunters and trappers must stand together and support each other or folks like Jon will take what we love to do away from us, that is a fact. If you deny that you are blind. They are taking away hound hunting and trapping first because they are the least participated in activities.”

        I disagree. Oh I think Jon would like nothing more than to ban hunting and trapping completely, and there are certainly many more who agree with him. But its a straw man argument to say that because Jon and people like him want to ban trapping (or hound hunting), that letting them get their way will mean the end of all hunting. There is strong public support for hunting in the US. The same cannot be said for trapping and some other, specific types of hunting that are more controversial. Adopting a “hold the line” approach could actually backfire on hunters as they become associated with trappers and other forms of hunting for which there is less public support.

        You’ve essentially made a slippery slope argument here. The problem with this logic is that it (a) assumes everyone is like Jon (they’re not), and (b) once you give in on one issue, the floodgate will be broken (it won’t). In fact, a number of states have passed trapping bans without any impact to hunting.

        • avatar Tim says:


          Hunting is not going to be banned overnight, but overtime groups like HSUS will push for bans starting with the least participated in activities. How many people do you know that are die hard bird hunters. If a legislator tries to ban just dove hunting how many people are going to object? If they try to ban just sage grouse hunting how many people would object to that? It is happening slowly but it’s still happening. This year California legislators banned the use of dogs to hunt bears and bobcats because of the HSUS. There was a republican representative that voted against the bill when it first came out. After receiving a $25,000 campaign contribution from HSUS he voted for the bill when it came up for vote again. I guess he must have had a change of heart. Funny how that works.

          I don’t believe its a straw man argument at all. Once they take away hound hunting and trapping what do you think these people are going to do? Just sit around and talk about what they accomplished. No they are going to set their sights on the next rung of the ladder. That is what I believe to be the slippery slope.

          On another note regardless about how you feel about that topic I have always enjoyed reading your comments and you seem to be a very reasonable person. I hope you and others keep posting here as I have found it very informative over the years.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:


            In a short period of time, roughly two months, MN hunters and trappers “harvested ” over 400 wolves. No hounds needed.

            Wisconsin season, I believe, is over. Quota met without hounds.

            Dogs are not necessary to hunt wolves. Using them will only inflame the issue, and you can bet your ass, that the public and media response would be profound, in particular if one of those YouTube knuckleheads posted dogs and wolves getting tangled up. Then, you WILL have a shit storm on your hands.

          • avatar JB says:


            It doesn’t matter what they do after they’ve banned hound hunting, it matters what the public thinks is an acceptable practice. HSUS is a fringe group; they make up a small percentage of the population. They will only succeed where your average citizen agrees with them. Right now, practices like hound hunting and trapping don’t have much public support–at least in some states.

            The number of people that engage in an activity has nothing to do with it. If that were true, trapping would have been banned long ago. What makes an activity vulnerable is how John Q. Public views it.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              JB I’m not sure where you are coming from when you state the HSUS is a”fringe” group. This is not true, in fact “The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), based in Washington, D.C., is the largest animal advocacy organization in the world. It counts more than 11 million Americans among its members and supporters.[2] In 2009, HSUS reported assets of over US$160 million.[3]
              Journalist Fred Myers and three others founded HSUS in 1954 to address what they saw as cruelties of national scope, and resolving animal welfare problems by applying strategies beyond the ability of local organizations.[4] HSUS operates animal sanctuaries in five states. It does not run local shelters or oversee local animal care and control agencies, but promotes best practice and provides assistance to shelters and sheltering programs.[5] The group’s current major campaigns target five issues: factory farming, animal fighting, the fur trade, puppy mills, and wildlife abuse.[6]
              HSUS publishes Animal Sheltering, a bi-monthly magazine for animal sheltering professionals.[7] HSUS distributed the magazine to more than 450,000 people in 2009.[3] It also operates the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, which provides free veterinary services for animals in impoverished communities.[8] The Genesis Awards have been awarded annually since 1986 to individuals in the major news and entertainment media for producing outstanding works which raise public awareness of animal issues.[9]” The HSUS is not a fringe group they are doing good work on behalf of their 11 million plus membership. working to end dog fighting, wildlife abuse, puppy mills, fur trade …animal cruelty. I don’t understand why a wildlife lover would leap so quickly to dismiss their work and their achievements? Fringe no, mainstream against animal cruelty yes.

              • avatar JB says:

                [sigh] How much time do we spend on this blog arguing about what words mean? When I wrote, “fringe” I met: “something regarded as peripheral, marginal, secondary, or extreme in relation to something else: the lunatic fringe of a strong political party” (

                HSUS, like the NRA represents a small (11 million is ~3.5% of the US population), vocal minority. Their policy on hunting is, to be frank, out of synch with the majority of Americans:

                “As a matter of principle, The HSUS opposes the hunting of any living creature for fun, trophy, or sport because of the animal trauma, suffering, and death that result. A humane society should not condone the killing of any sentient creature in the name of sport.”

                You will respond that HSUS supports subsistence hunting, which is true. However, they do NOT support hunting for any other purpose, and fail to recognize that people can have multiple motivations for hunting (e.g., sport and subsistence). Most American hunters, in fact, do use what they kill (subsistence), though they may also be motivated because the finding hunting (which is different from killing) “fun”.

                The most recent research suggests between 7 and 8 in 10 Americans supports hunting of wildlife. HSUS’s policies, are therefore “extreme” in relation to the norm for our society. Same is true of the NRA.

          • avatar jon says:

            I really don’t think hunting in general would ever be banned, but things like trapping and hound hunting are another thing.

        • avatar A Western Moderate says:

          ++I disagree. … But its a straw man argument to say that because Jon and people like him want to ban trapping (or hound hunting), that letting them get their way will mean the end of all hunting. There is strong public support for hunting in the US. ++

          JB, I partially agree, but not entirely. Yes, currently there is public support for hunting in the US. However, HSUS and other anti-hunting groups do not hide their end goal of eliminating all hunting. These groups are skilled at manipulating emotions and leveraging ignorance. This country’s population is becoming increasingly urban. With that, connection to nature continues to decrease. With decreased knowledge of, and connection to, nature, it will become easier for perceptions to be altered by those aiming to eliminate hunting.

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but do not urban populations generally lean more toward mutualistic or distanced views of wildlife? As an increasing percentage of the population lives in that culture, are we really off base to be concerned about the growing influence of the distanced John Q. Public on policies that dictate wildlife management, including hunting? “What the public thinks is an acceptable practice” will continue to shift away from anything other than simply observing this foreign environment called nature.

          • avatar JB says:


            I see where your coming from, but you have to recognize that we have been an urban society for a long time. According to the US Census Bureau, more than 50% resided in “urban” areas by 1920. We have been over 70% urban since the early 1960s (more than 50 years!). And yet, despite the predictions of many during the 1980s that support for hunting would decline with urbanization, it has hovered around 70% since we started asking questions (in the 1970s).

            So yes, urban populations “lean” toward more mutualistic and distanced value orientations, but our society has been urbanized for a long time, and yet hunting persists. I do think practices like trapping, hound hunting, and shooting predators out of trees will be banned, especially in highly urbanized states. But I don’t think hunting is going anywhere any time soon.

            • avatar A Western Moderate says:

              JB, That is true. I have only to look out my window to see that we are already urbanized. Twenty years ago, it was a mile out that window to the nearest house. Now? About 50 yards. I worry about more than just the percent of urbanites vs rural though. The so-called “nature deficit disorder” is a problem I see increasing without end. That will create a lot more people with little or no understanding of nature. I think that will have a compounding effect on the existing problems between the urban and rural cultures.

              • avatar JB says:

                AWM: I honestly don’t know how I feel about Louv’s ‘nature deficit disorder’ hypothesis. Don’t get me wrong, I think he is absolutely right about children seeing less and less of the out-of-doors. I’m just not sure if/how that will affect people’s knowledge of ecology and affective attachment to “natural” (undeveloped) places?

      • avatar TC says:

        Disagree Tim. I’m not standing together with other hunters or trappers to face off against anyone. I make my own decisions, I live by my own moral code, and I don’t agree with a hell of a lot behaviors observed or opinions espoused by my fellow “hunters”. In fact, a few of them need a swift kick in the ass and some lessons on the value of life, the value of true wildlife and wild land conservation (not just of game species), and how to be respectful citizens of the world. Nobody is taking away our right to hunt birds or other game species when done legally and ethically – it will not happen in this country in your lifetime. Don’t use that irrational fear to justify morally bankrupt behavior or biologically/ecologically indefensible managment practices. I hate to say it, but some of the antis here are right (occasionally!) – we need to do a better job of educating, policing, and reforming our own. The illogical and hyperbolic emotions on both sides are starting to bug the ever-living crap out of me. Getting old I suppose.

    • avatar Savebears says:


      Hounder’s are well aware of the risks presented in hounding of any species.

      You are not that dense that you would think those that practice hounding would not know what the risks are?

  13. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    So releasing a bobcat from a trap is not so easy, not to mention a mountain lion.

  14. avatar Savebears says:

    Just in case anyone is really interested, and beings Jon has now taken to calling my “Dave”

    My Real Name is Donald.

    why Jon or anyone else finds it so interesting to know who I am, and now that my legal situations are pretty much behind me, I will start going by my real name.

    So Ralph or Ken, when we get down to it, I will be posting under my given name, which is Donald J.

  15. avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

    I agree with Immer stay with SaveBears.

  16. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    My name certainly isn’t Ida Lupine either – I like the names that have animals in them, so SaveBears is great. And Ma’ingan and CodyCoyote. I wouldn’t want anyone to feel their privacy wasn’t respected.

  17. avatar Harley says:

    I don’t care if the things ‘polar bear proof’, I think I’d probably have a heart attack! LOL!

  18. avatar Jeff N. says:

    I guess this is good news. Illegal killing of the lobo was down in 2013.

    I’m going to pose a question and I know I’m going to take some for it. Please keep in mind, and I’ve stated before, I don’t hunt but I’m not anti-hunting. I was even in favor of a wolf hunting season, but I’ve changed my tune on this after what is transpiring in WY,ID,and MT.

    So, what are the odds that whoever killed these wolves, also at times during the year possess a tag for elk, deer, bear etc.?

    Is there anything ethical hunters…TC, WM, SaveDonald…can do to police and condemn the asshole rotten apples in their barrel. Can more be done by ethical hunting organizations that respect conservation of all species, whether hooved or fanged.

    • avatar WM says:

      Jeff N.,

      ++Is there anything ethical hunters…TC, WM, SaveDonald…can do to police and condemn the asshole rotten apples in their barrel…++

      Forgive the candor here, but at times it is considered a virtue.

      You asked the question, so perhaps you can answer it. I have tried to answer it before, and always come back to my own question. What, exactly are hunters supposed to do about those who commit crimes or are unethical? Exactly what?

      There will always be a segment of any society that feels compelled to “color outside the lines.” The deterrent is that someone gets caught, prosecuted and sentenced for the bad conduct. How is that working in society generally from everything people do to each other, or to cheating on federal tax returns?

      Rural areas are large places, not everything that goes on there is heard or seen, let alone in the presence of a law enforcement person who can do anything about it. And, I suspect the majority if not all of the poaching of the NM and AZ lobos is from the livestock/ranching community (heck, maybe they even pay somebody to do it discretely). I get so sick and tired of assertions like yours it makes me puke!

      • avatar Rancher Bob says:

        WM and Jeff N
        Seems assertions are made by everyone, I can only say people are individuals who belong to groups. Personally, I belong to many groups, I hunt, fish, ranch, snowmobile, and hunt predators, one evil person. In all groups there’re individuals who break the law just read the post about tripping traps. Do ranchers or hunters poach wolves, one would be able to prove yes. Do all ranchers and hunters poach no. People like labels and like grouping individuals together.
        Have we heard of any conservation groups saying don’t break the law and trip traps?
        Label the individual not the groups.

        • avatar Jeff N. says:

          Rancher Bob,

          Based on pure law that analogy works, but in this day and age, the desire for people to trap animals is beyond me. I can confidently say that if I ever encountered a trap, I would trip it, knowing that I saved some animal an agonizing experience. Law be damned, I just saved an animal’s life.

          Why would conservation/preservation groups speak out against tripping traps? Taking wild life is not their advocation. I’m assuming that most U.S. Citizens are opposed to trapping in the first place. A tripped trap wouldn’t put egg on the face of any conservation group at all. Now spiking trees and destroying property is another story.

          Conversely, poaching has a direct affect on the perception of hunting/hunters. Hunting is about taking and poaching is taking illegally. Hunters are fighting an uphill perception battle.

          Getting back to tripping traps, as I stated I would do it in a heartbeat and would sleep well at night. However I wouldn’t destroy a deer stand or a duck blind. I’d probably use them to view wildlife, I actually have done just that.

          • avatar Savebears says:


            You could end up shot, if you get caught tripping or stealing traps, you could also be convicted of interfering with a lawful practice. I know getting shot is an extreme and the trapper getting caught would result in jail time, but you could be dead. I have fought for causes and almost ended up dead because of it, I do not wish to die, while the person that kills me remains alive.

          • avatar Rancher Bob says:

            Jeff N
            There lies the rub you think by tripping a trap you save a animal. Someone who poaches a wolf say by killing a wolf they save 20 animals. Could be argued that your no better than a poacher, it’s all about how you justify your illegal act.
            You justify your act by saying your part of some majority. It’s easy to justify any illegal act for most criminals.

            • avatar Jeff N. says:

              Rancher Bob,

              Very weak argument my friend. Kind of like me saying if I trap and poach 20 hunters I save 20 elk.

              Rancher Bob I implore you to look at a larger picture, where the wild landscape can accommodate predators that aren’t seen as competition to we humans. Last time I checked elk do not need to saved. I think the landscape is capable of supporting a few more wolves.

              • avatar bret says:

                Jeff, if you trap 20 hunters you likely only save 1.4-2.3 elk.

              • avatar Elk275 says:

                It is a strong argument Jeff.

                ++Last time I checked elk do not need to saved. I think the landscape is capable of supporting a few more wolves.++

                The last time I checked there was not enought elk or elk tags issued for every would be elk hunter in the US to go elk hunting every year. Wolf and mountain lions do decrease elk numbers every year which deceases elk hunting opportunity: shorter seasons, decresed tags and either sex tags antler restrictions.

                So should we elimitate all predators? No. By managing predator numbers we can authorize more hunting elk and deer tags and still have mountain lion and wolves on the landscape. Is it wildlife farming? Not from the elk I have hunted. It is what the residents of the state want, if they want more predators or elk it is the wants of the majority of the residents.

              • avatar Elk275 says:

                Good comment Bret. The sucess ratio is approximately 15 to 20 percent.

              • avatar Jeff N. says:


                It’s absolutely elk farming. Trying to sustain an unrealistic elk population in order to make sure every “would be hunter” bags an elk is anything but science based. It’s pure economics, you and I both know this….that’s what is going on here.

                Lions and wolves absolutely affect elk numbers, and elk numbers affect predator numbers..probably more so. So do other environmental factors, such as a persisting drought and an overall decrease in precipitation and warmer temperatures.

                I find it ironic that in states that have wolves, there are at times a need for supplementel elk hunts to minimize the damage caused by elk on agriculture.

                Heavy handed predator management is a farce….a perfect example of where money and fringe loudmouths win the day. Another day in America.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      About the only thing that we can do, is turn them in, call the tip lines when we see something and let law enforcement investigate.

      I don’t know of any hunting organization that condones poaching or illegal activities.

  19. avatar Jeff N. says:


    +++I suspect the majority if not all of the poaching of the NM and AZ lobos is from the livestock/ranching community (heck, maybe they even pay somebody to do it discretely). I get so sick and tired of assertions like yours it makes me puke!+++

    Do any ranchers on here want to address WM’s potential vomit inducing assertion that ranchers are responsible for most, if not all, poaching of the lobo?

    Geez WM I tried to be as sensitive as possible. As I was writing my post I actually had your sensitivity in mind. Undies a little too tight today WM?

    Now I realize that groups like RMEF, Safari Club, SFW, clearly would never come to defense of the wolf, but it would be helpful if the more conservation minded hunting groups would be a little more vocal in their support of wolf recovery (if in fact they are). It would certainly be a great addition to the dialogue.

    I am certainly aware that there will always be a few jerks out there who will break the law. But as hunters, wouldn’t it be to your advantage if you did a little push back, instead of being lumped in with the types of assoles that pose for a picture in front of a trapped wolf standing in blood stained snow. And I’m not just talking about posting your sentiments on a blog.

    • avatar Savebears says:


      The one thing you seem to forget, you have no idea what any of us Hunters do, other than what is posted on this blog, you have no idea of the many times I have testified in Helena, how many letters I have wrote to FWP. How many times I have attended meetings on how to reduce poaching, etc.

      Just because we post on this blog, does not indicate what other things we do, to stop illegal activities.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        One other thing I will bring up, the media in this country only focuses on the negatives, we see very few articles about positive things that get done when it concerns hunters, there are tens of thousands of hunters that do the right thing every single year, but no links to those types of articles. The reason? Because they are rarely published!

    • avatar WM says:

      Between 1998 and 2008 70 Mexican wolves were removed from the BRWRA for depredation (123 cattle, 12 sheep and 3 horses confirmed killed), by wildlife agents. Sixty nine percent of the BRWRA was open to cattle grazing at the start of the reintroduction.

      ( ) page 40.

      Do the math, and think about which group is affected most because it has a direct economic impact on their livelihood, Jeff. Come to think of it, maybe an outfitter might be motivated. General hunters, not so much, but probably somebody coloring outside the lines just might. Very unlikely those types would be easily caught, and a PR shame campaign by the general hunting community would do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Again, that is why I get nauseous by comments like yours.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        “123 cattle, 12 sheep and 3 horses confirmed killed”

        Correct me if I’m wrong here WM but I seem to recall, livelihoods (of ranchers) were already going down the tubes a few years ago in parts of the southwest due to drought conditions yet there were more than a few ranchers who wanted to blame it all on wolf depredation.

        • avatar WM says:


          It would seem logical if it became tougher for a SW rancher to stay in business because of drought (but wanted to buck the odds), they would be increasingly intolerant of ANY variable that increased the business risk. Wolves, if only by perception and mythical reputation, create such a risk. Remedy: eliminate the risk, however small if you can. Why is that part so tough to understand for some?

          And, for the record, I would like to see more wolves in the SW.

          Don’t look for any support in West TX from the ranching or hunting community (or state government for that matter), which is where some of these Mexican wolves would go, if allowed to expand range. And some of you guys think ID, MT and WY folks are intolerant of the federal government- be ready for a wake up call.

          • avatar JB says:


            I was dismayed to see that the White House ignored the Texas petition to secede from the Union. (

            I was thinking of starting a new petition: Non-Texans for Texas Secession. I wonder if we could get more votes than the original petition? ;)

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            Why is that part so tough to understand for some?

            I will never understand it. Because it isn’t based in reality (only his perception), doesn’t address the real problem (drought), could extirpate the animal, and doesn’t even help his situation. It’s more of a scapegoat for this hypothetical rancher to transfer his frustration and anger against. In short, it is the same kind of an emotional and irrational response that wildlife advocates are all accused of.

            I wonder if this is why we keep hearing the phrase – “let them hunt until they get it out of their system”. What is the “it” they need to get out of their systems – a dissatisfaction with the way our decades of poor leadership and our financial instutions wrecking the economy of our country based on law has messed every thing up?

          • avatar Nancy says:

            “Why is that part so tough to understand for some?”

            Not hard to understand WM, but for some, the BS re: mythical reputation, perception, increased business risk, is just that – pure BS.

      • avatar Jeff N. says:


        My guess would be that during that 10 year time frame, more elk and deer were taken by wolves, than the yearly average of 13.8 cows or sheep or horses. So who, in their “wolves are killing my elk” minds, perceive themselves to be more affected…whether the motivation to poach be economic or otherwise?

        Sometimes your reasoning is cause for severe nausea as well.

        I’m not so sure that, as you say, a PR smear campaign, would be ineffective, sometimes a little pressure from the inside can at least make someone do a little soul searching.

        I’d like to see a conservation minded hunting group become more vocal in regard to the positive effects of having a truly “robust” wolf population on the landscape. Maybe a few dominos would start to fall. Maybe some closet wolf supporting hunters would actually make a difference. It would be a welcome step in the right direction. How bout you WM? Do you have the nut sack?

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        whatever, whoever is responsible for the losses of a 70 Mexican wolves with a population of around 58 ….to “protect” cattle, sheep or horses…this is tragic. These animals are just about extinct. What the hell s wrong with this picture. To allow any of these animals to be killed to protect domestic livestock. jeez

  20. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    An on-camera interview with Carter Niemeyer at Vimeo talking broadly about Wolves. ( about 8 minutes)

    I had not seen this before. Apologies if it’s already been posted here..

    • avatar Salle says:

      Thanks for posting that Coyote,

      From the notation at the bottom of the screen, this video is only about a month old, I certainly haven’t seen it before.

      Should be seen by many, I hope lots of people with use the link you provided.

  21. avatar WM says:

    Wolves in Russia (Eastern Siberia, Sakha Republic), and some tension resulting from an apparent cyclical shortage in prey base, according to naturalists. Impacts to reindeer herders seem substantial. 3,500 wolves in an area, the locals believe can only support 500. Governor of Republic to give large cash awards to whomever brings in the most wolf skins:

    • avatar Robert R says:

      I guess this could happen any where if the prey species is impacted, even in America.
      Lets keep the wolf listed and let the population grow without management to see the outcome.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      WM another terrible story of wolf killing and predator contests – its so depressing really

      • avatar Robert R says:

        Some people’s livelihoods are at stake here and that’s all you can think about. People still live off what the land offers not. Out of a store

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          It doesn’t seem to bother our corporations in the US.

          Well, people are supposedly adaptable enough to find new livelihoods, such as the people who get laid off every day in this country. Nothing is guaranteed. For those outfitters who want to keep killing to save their livelihoods, they will kill themselves right out of existence. You cannot justify killing wildlife to save livelihoods, especially in today’s modern world where killing is high tech and animals don’t stand a chance.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Robert just because the country is experiencing economic issues doesn’t mean citizens need to ignore every other issue. Killing predators in killing contests is a bullshit thing to do. It pisses me off and it should you too. People that care about wildlife don’t deliberately terrorize wild animals by going out in big numbers to stalk hunt and kill as many animals as they can, for a derby. Its BS, and needs to stop. It perpetuates a lousy, disgraceful, ignorant attitude about wildlife as if they are disposable commodities or worse yet, vermin as they are sometimes called. stupid, ignorant, inhumane, and unacceptable.

    • avatar JB says:

      Cyclical population crashes are part of nature. What’s unnatural is trying to maintain constant harvestable surpluses of game. And in reality, populations still crash, even where predators are low or nonexistent.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      it’s interesting, that I recently ran a little social experiment here, (for my own edification) about a recent development in Florida concerning Boa constrictors and a “derby” that is set to take place;

      and too my utter surprise (not) there was not one of the usual suspects posting complete outrage at this “contest”. why?

      • avatar Robert R says:

        Jeff I guess I missed it but you have a very good point.

        • avatar JEFF E says:

          Mark L was the only one to comment. I suspect that being the charming fellow that I am, he is not the only one that reads my posts.

      • avatar Rancher Bob says:

        Jeff E
        That’s just damn funny I thought a python was also a predator. Please feel free to test the social fabric anytime.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Well, this one is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t type situation. No matter how you look at it, human beings have caused this situation. Until recently, there were not laws preventing the importation of exotic pets, or they are/will continue to be smuggled in. Or, the person with the exotic pet irresponsibly abandons it when it becomes too large, they not longer want/become bored with it. Or, due to our mobile modern world, the animals are accidently brought into our country via ships and planes.

        We have an obligation to protect our native fauna whereever they have been threatened by the introduction of invasive species by careless humans who don’t feel they need any restraint of their personal freedoms in any way, shape or form. But in order to protect the Everglades, it has been a nearly impossible task to remove them.

        Yes, there is outrage about another killing contest, and the fact that such a crude method is the only one we can come up with to “fix” the problems that we create all the time. But it is quite a bit different from persecuting our wolves and other predators.

        I don’t always believe either that the needs of humans always trump the needs of animals. It depends on the severity of the need, and trophy hunting for fun doesn’t make the cut, IMO. Nor does trapping for pelts, or the fact that you might come home empty handed from an elk hunt. Nobody guarantees you success.

        • avatar JEFF E says:

          “We have an obligation to protect our native fauna whereever they have been threatened by the introduction of invasive species by careless humans who don’t feel they need any restraint of their personal freedoms in any way, shape or form.”

          Domestic cats
          Eastern Brook trout in western US
          Coyotes in eastern US
          Feral pigs

          These are just a few, off the top of my head, which have been recently discussed here. So how do you propose that we protect the native fauna from these invasive species?

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            First, I don’t believe horses, burros nor Eastern coyotes belong on your list of ‘invasives’. They all have had a natural presence on the continent long before humans and long before the European invasion. Horses and burros are protected as living legacies. Coyote and wolf interbreeding happened decades ago when both were much more common on the continent, and have spread across the country naturally. Not our business.

            Killing contest? No. Non-lethal means? Yes. Nobody is saying that lethal means are the go-to method of choice or the only alternative.

            First we can address our own behaviour before these things happen by not letting our pets roam, having them neutered, not overbreeding, not importing exotics, not abandoning them. Invasives are animals that have been brought here by humans, and then abandoned and left to roam wild. Not their fault, and up to us to fix and not take the easiest route. If we can put a man on the moon . . .

            • avatar JEFF E says:

              First Ida, horses and burros were introduced by the Spaniards, I believe they are european

              Second, the spread of coyotes are as a direct result of wolves, by humans, being wiped out as the westward expansion was happining,

              Third, please get a clue

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              So I guess, reading between the lines, I am saying that Europeans have been an invasive species all over the world. For a people who show such refinement with art, music, literature, philosophy, but can also be capable of such violence, cruel domination and genocide of other peoples, destruction, greed and corruption is a paradox I can’t understand.

              • avatar WM says:


                ++ …violence, cruel domination and genocide of other people…++

                Give a little thought to ancient Japanese and Chinese culture (sand maybe not so ancient), and see which adjectives you apply to Europeans that do not apply to them? Fail to bow to the emporer, or maybe for no reason at all, lose your head. Like a little grilled dog on the menu, even today? Just Google the term. Speaking of invasive species – ever hear of Pearl Harbor and the war in the Pacific? By the way there are lots of other cultures throughout the world, and over time with the same mixed attributes. Invaders with so called sophisticated culture – Aztec and Inca Empires were not created without these tactic of fear and intimidation often accompanied by cruel violence and genocide.

                Geez, IDA, think, think!

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                I guess I will go have that more productive conversation with the tree stump in the back yard now…

            • avatar Savebears says:


              I have seen very thin evidence that horses may have had a presence, although I believe the DNA link is very tenuous at best on them.

              I have never seen a study about Burros being here before they were brought from Europe.

              I do believe there is evidence that coyotes are a species that is native to the continent.

    • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

      Last years story of the Superpack fell into the category “Bullshit”! This years story of thousands of wolves strongly smells like same category.

      • avatar WM says:


        It would appear this story has legs, and some basis in truth, at least by BBC standards of reporting.

        Or, would they just be reprinting lies, without some fact checking?

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          WM the BBC would not be doing an undercover check of the actual number of depredations, they are reporting what they are told so the story is one of what the officials or regional folk would tell. Think about how horrible this will be 3500 wolves down to 500 – a real slaughter. This world has some awful solutions to people wildlife/predator interface.

          “The wolf-hunting season has been extended to the whole year, as the target is to get the wolf population in the region down to 500 – reckoned to be the optimal number. Currently there are estimated to be more than 3,500.”

          • avatar WM says:


            Did you see near the end of the story, that 730 wolves were killed last year in that region?

            So, which facts in the story are truth and which are fiction? Regardless, I am thinking wolf tourism might be a hook for this region. But then what happens to the reindeer farmers/ranchers? Do they go on the Siberian welfare plan, whatever that is, or go to the big city where they have no marketable skills and even more of them become alcoholics, or worse?

            • avatar Mark L says:

              In the end, it’s just slanted market justification. The reindeer were fine for 50,000+ years without human help (and there were MORE wolves then). How in the world did they get along without people?

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              WM good idea about capitalizing on tourism and wolf viewing, wonder how that might work? Would be interesting to fit the reindeer into that equation. How many people see reindeer or wolves

        • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

          It´s BBC news and normally they are an extremely reputable source thus not entirely “fail safe”.
          But: In last year´s story out of the Soviet province of Yakutia there was mentioning of superpacks of wolves, exceeding 400 animals per pack and killing thousands of horses and reindeers and whatever. Fact is, nobody has ever seen this superpack, it was never photographed and never documented. Even the kill numbers have also never been proven. Nothing further was heard after circa February when the news item went cold. And, even in Russia itself, the comment was: “The deeper from Siberia the news come, the more absurd they are!” Now they come up with new horror numbers to support a fresh attempt of wolf killing.
          Yakutia is far off and does not receive much travelling from the west, nor from within Russia itself. What is known about the area is, that local authorities and local people are eager to kill as many wolves as possible for the same reason as everywhere: Protection of livestock interests. What is also known is, that the Russian mentality is one of heavily exaggerating things (even without the help of Vodka) to support intentions.
          I really like the Russians but I´m also very cautious what they say!

          • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

            Just saw, the old news item about that superpack and the 24 Brigades of hunters on snowmobiles and helicopters already after them was from January 2011. Seems the wolves took all of that heroic brigades because nothing was heard from them afterwards. :-)

          • avatar WM says:


            I tend to believe as you do, the “super pack,” was a hype. If there had been truth to it, surely some ambitious news service/rag reporter would have hopped a plane (or however one would get there), to verify. This seems to have a bit more credibility. Certainly the story has gone viral – a Google search with a 24 hour range will show how many on line news groups/blogs have picked it up. Sausage, cheese, loaf of bread and a couple bottles of Stoli, and you could be on your way. Dress warm. :)

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          What passes for ‘news’ today leaves a lot to be desired – it’s really more entertainment and ratings than actual facts. More feel good fluff and celebrities than any real, impartial facts. Do the people really want that, or is it what the news wants to give us?

          You rarely hear anything about climate change or wildlife decline in the US national news. It comes from having to get sponsors, money to pay the bills. They are responsible for a lot of negativity because of it and furthering their own agendas.

          The only really good news, at least I find, are the BBC and PBS, and BBC isn’t infallible. The really only consistently good news source is PBS, and of course funding for it keeps getting threatened for it by the Rethugs.

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      Because of the shortage of wolves’ traditional pretty – blue hares – they killed 313 horses and over 16,000 reindeer in 2012 …. seems improbable that wolf numbers increased from 500 to 3 500 on a hare diet

      Russians are writing that locals want compensation money for dead reindeer (not necessarily due to wolves) + to get a free ride on a plane when shooting wolves (entertainment)

      • avatar WM says:


        Perhaps you can point us the reported facts of your version of the story.

        I especially want to know about the growth of 500 to 3500 wolves on a hare diet. Don’t recall the logic of that – you know the growth part. Can you just point us to the paragraph and sentence that states that?

        And, then I missed the part about the reindeer herders asking for compansation.

        Or could this just be loose Latvian logic and understanding of biology. Careful, Mareks, you just might be laying the foundation for a reputation you don’t want to perpetuate on behalf of your fellow countrymen. ;)

        • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

          has called for an urgent cull of wolves after the predators swamped populated areas in a search for food

          ‘swamped’ means wolves suddenly arrived in great numbers (not that they steadily increased their numbers feeding off reindeer after they migrated from mountainous region )

          This year … a shortage of the wolves’ traditional pretty – especially blue hares – has seen vast numbers of the hungry animals migrating from their mountainous hunting grounds to central parts of the republic
          The local government says the territory can realistically support no more than 500

          so, one can get impression that wolves had destroyed their prey population and now arrived to destroy reindeer population as well

          about compensations – that’s what Russians have written on the subject

          В Якутии волки стали причиной режима ЧС

        • avatar WM says:


          ++…so, one can get impression that wolves had destroyed their prey population and now arrived to destroy reindeer population as well…++

          I was more under the impression from the article that the hare population crashed (for reasons not specified), not that the wolves had destroyed their population, though they would likely deplete many of the few that remained. But, that realistically, they migrated in large numbers to where the reindeer herds were, thus concentrating in number, causing the alleged problems the officials want to address. Hunger can be a great motivator.

          Maybe you have seen articles that point to compensation for reindeer herders, but I have to date not come across any. Probably just as well your link to the Russian site did not work.

  22. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I find it truly amazing that wolves are behind all the world’s ills in every country of the world in the past year. Especially in the places that wrote the books on wolf lore. Norway, Russia, etc. Also Canada, France, and the US are having troubles like never before. Hmmm…

    • avatar Savebears says:


      I don’t know that this is new, but it is certainly more visible now a days, and the news services are looking for every opportunity to exploit those incidents.

      It has only been in the last couple of years, that we have actually had good access to the foreign press and that the American press have started running many stories about what happens over seas.

  23. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    A story about the “Lone Wolf of California” at ABC news online today , a profile of our old friend OR-7

    It opens with : ” He doesn’t like busy Interstate 5 or eating cattle, at least so far. He gets along with his distant cousins the coyotes, likes to swim and roams a lot — an awful lot — around the northernmost reaches of the Golden State.”

  24. avatar Louise Kane says:

    “The male leaders of earth appear to have abandoned their very senses. …They murder humans and other animals, forests and rivers and mountains every day they are in office and never seem to notice it. They eat and drink devastation.” — Alice Walker

    Read more:

  25. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Beautiful post.

    The Portage Daily Register’s Mark Walters wrote a November article praising 12-year-old Tess Bigalke and 15-year-old Noah Renner, following them on one day of trapping, and the next day’s take. They set 172 traps “on an awesome flowage on a beautiful day.” Their one day’s trapping destroyed 52 muskrats and three raccoons. Trappers kill wildlife day after day. They clean out river after river, then woods and prairie. As the article stated, “Trappers … keep predator numbers down, which results in a higher survival of turkey, grouse, ducks, pheasant, rabbit and fawns.” So trappers kill out natural predators so hunters have more “game animals” to kill and farmers can grow farm animals to kill.

    It always saddens me when children are indoctrinated into this.

  26. avatar Mark L says:

    I don’t know about that JEFF E, (j/k)
    Honestly, I got a chance to have a good conversation with a south Florida derby sponsor and expressed my hesitation at letting non-herpers kill what they thought were boas. Just like people shooting coyotes in eastern North Carolina at night (where red wolves are), and shooting hogs in Louisiana (and bagging unfortunate bears) accidents happen…and populations dwindle. People want to feel like they are ‘using’ their hunting skills, but how we do it isn’t always the best way. just sayin’

    • avatar Savebears says:


      I honestly don’t understand why you stay in this country, I am sure there are areas in the world that you could do some good. But perhaps not, in many countries, those who you get in the way of will just kill you, at least here in the US, you can voice your opinion with no fear of being taken care of.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        at least everyone knows what I stand for. You like to pick pick pick but you don’t really support any one position. I hate killing for fun and trophys. I hate wasteful, inhumane wildlife policies. I detest trapping, snaring, body gripping devices and torture of wildlife. I posted that collage because really thats what we are doing to our wolves and it makes me ashamed to think that this country can’t do better for our wildlife. What do you believe Savebears? I think you are afraid to speak out one way or the other for fear of being labeled. after 2 days of being gone, there is stuff piled up in my e mail box that makes me want to weep, all of it related to killing wolves and other wildlife.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          and Savebears
          Thank you for your service, but there is more than one way to serve your country and lots of us do it every day by staying engaged and keeping our legislators accountable. Its not like it (everything) or leave it, its a lot more complicated then that.

          • avatar Savebears says:


            See that is the problem with you and others like you, in the many years on this blog, I have on many occasions stated my position about hunting, contests, trapping, poaching, and a host of other topics. But people like you don’t seem to take any notice of that. I didn’t serve my time for individuals like you that have only one freaking view of the world. So please don’t thank me, it means nothing coming from you.

            • avatar Savebears says:


              I am labeled every single day, and I am not afraid of anything, I post my position virtually ever day on this blog, you just choose to ignore it, because I don’t believe you are as committed as you like others to believe.

              • avatar Harley says:

                I think I know what Savesbears stands for. He does not like killing for the sake of killing. He’s not into cruelty. I think he also believes in an individuals right to hunt. He does not believe in poaching though. He also believes that your beliefs should not infringe on another’s rights. I also think he does not believe an animal’s rights trump people’s rights if the two are in conflict.

                Now, I could be wrong, but that’s what I’ve gained from reading his posts. I’m sure there’s a lot more to him than that simple summation!

              • avatar Cobra says:

                I think you hit the nail on the head with s.b. Most sportsmen feel the same way he does. It’s to bad that people judge each other on the extremes they see rather than the middle of the road.
                I think the middle of the road people are more quiet and don’t like to get in a pissing match with the extremes, kind of like pissing in the wind, I guess. I think it’s like my dad used to tell me, don’t worry about the loudmouth guy in the bar trying to pick a fight, worry about the quiet guy in the corner minding his own business, rile him up and things could get interesting.
                I wonder if those people so committed would still be that way if they were affected negativley personally by what they are committed to.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              ” I didn’t serve my time for individuals like you that have only one freaking view of the world. So please don’t thank me, it means nothing coming from you.”

              “I honestly don’t understand why you stay in this country, I am sure there are areas in the world that you could do some good. But perhaps not, in many countries, those who you get in the way of will just kill you,”

              Cobra the above quotes from SB to me must be the middle of the road you speak of…
              “I think the middle of the road people are more quiet and don’t like to get in a pissing match with the extremes, kind of like pissing in the wind, I guess.”

              SB posted those thoughts to me because I made a general post of a collage of dead wolves with the caption is this an America you are proud of. Not extreme just sick of the status quo . Why is it an extremist position to see evidence of egregious predator policy and to be outraged. Some Americans are desensitized by the constant killing….the quiet ones maybe

              • avatar Savebears says:


                Trying to have a productive discussion is impossible. As I stated the other day, you and many others don’t want to look at all sides of an issue. You and a couple of others continue to scrub the web looking for any and everything to discredit and make people look bad.

                Yes, there is a certain segment in the hunting community that is in your face and whats to shove it down your throat, just as there is on your side.

                Never once have I seen a link posted about those that do it right, that fight against the illegal activity. Never once an article about the thousands of miles of fencing that hunters volunteer to pull on weekends, opening up corridors for wildlife.

                There are many of us, that keep a cell with us and notepads, so we can write down information to turn over to law enforcement, the many of us, that go to court and testify against the criminals.

                You have one agenda, and be damned you are going to shove it down every bodies throat.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                SB nobody has to “scrub the web” to find disturbing wildlife issues. For example, this link to a lenghty list of coyote killing contests in PA (one state only) with more than 4000 hunters signed up for them, came to me today from MA coyote conservation alliance. Its amazing, there is a never ending stream of news about wildlife misery that comes into my mailbox, and I never look for it. I hope everyone takes a look at this and then someone please tell me that this is responsible “management”. And SB do you think its just going to get better without “people like me” saying something about it.


              • avatar Savebears says:


                You are so far at the extreme, that I believe that most people don’t even listen to you much. The solutions are going to come from those closer to the middle that can actually discuss things in a calm manner.

                Now, depending on your age, you may mellow in the future and become part of a productive dialog, which I have as I age and have seen so many brutal situations in my life.

                Right now, you seem to have no ability for a discussion, you just want to shove things down peoples throat, you expect change yesterday(ain’t going to happen, been there done that)

                One saving grace with you, you recognize the problem, you just have not figured out how to find the solutions yet, if you had, you would have never got that email, they had 4000 sign up, how many spoke up against it? Compare the numbers and draw your own conclusions.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                As far as getting it in email, you signed up to receive specific types of email that target one segment of society, so yes, you went looking for it.

                I get them from both sides every single day, because I went looking for the information and signed up to receive the updates.

                And to add, I have advocated for Bison for many years now, I have sat on the board of directors for a couple of the advocacy groups, I have worked on the front lines with the Bison Field Campaign, and it took over 20 years to see any movement at all.

                Change takes time, impatience never leads to change, it only entrenches both sides to fight and be irrational to push their agenda.

  27. avatar Leslie says:

    Another article on OR7

    I got home today from being away for over a month. With the loss of at least 5 wolves in the valley, the cougar hunters are back with their dogs. My neighbor says he knows at least 1/2 the fellows who got wolves so that means they are locals who know the area and the wolves quite well. The FS is logging extensively up here. Usually its a nice quiet winter, but not this one. Plus hardly any snow. Things are changing and in ways I don’t especially like.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      leslie sorry you are seeing such change. Its got to be very hard.

      Thanks for posting the article. I hope the agencies keep his whereabouts unknown. Although they did say they warn ranchers – which is worrisome. The comments are very ineteresting, wish they were similar nationwide. He is quite the handsome celebrity.

  28. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    It’s to bad that people judge each other on the extremes they see rather than the middle of the road.

    I wish some of you would stop using this excuse. I don’t think any of us can’t see those who aren’t extreme, and that there are hunters who are decent, law-abiding, nice people from all walks of life. But the extremes are the ones doing all the damage, the extremes are the ones pushing through legislation to damage wildlife and wild lands for their own selfish reasons, and our government is going right along with it, and good people are doing nothing. I wish the decent hunters would distance themselves from this group. We know you are there.

  29. avatar Louise Kane says:

    excellent comment by Chris Genovali about BC’s brutal wolf management plan although you could replace BC by every state’s wolf management plan in US or around globe, for that matter. Perhaps excepting Washington’s (prior to setting the kill first policy in the Wedge Pack killings).

  30. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Talking a lot about Russia on this blog today. Do you remember the video that went viral last year, featuring a wolf pack forcing Russian Cops into their cars? Turned out to be a vodka commercial at the end. Here is a different commercial, albeit not from Russia, showing the cozy side of the wolf:
    Don´t know if it has already been posted earlier here.

    • avatar Atlas says:

      I live near sutro baths in San francisco, the otter is really easy to view and is almost always out and about.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Very cool Atlas!

        Watched a family of otters a few years ago, up on the Sun River.

        They were having a great time, fishing and romping around the streambank. What a treat that was to actually see them in their natural habitat.

        Unfortunately, because their populations are considered “robust” in my state, some would rather trap these “clowns of nature” and turn their hides in for profit:

  31. avatar Maska says:

    We’ll see if this release actually happens. As of today, it has been 1512 days since the last initial release of a Mexican gray wolf into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area (BRWRA).

    • avatar Jeff N. says:

      This is supposed to happen tomorrow.

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      I haven’t followed the Mexican wolf issue, so I have a question how many of the released wolves have been “born and raised in a pen” before release?

      • avatar Jeff N. says:


        At the end of 2011 the minimum population was 58 wolves in the wild. Out of those 58 wolves, I’m pretty certain all but one was born in the wild. Bascically, the current population consists of wild wolves.

        The soon to be released male has been raised in captivity but his genetic make-up is a good match for the alpha female of the Bluestem pack. The alpha male was illegally shot this past summer.

        They plan on dumping this new guy near the Bluestem pack in hopes that he and the alpha female bond.

        • avatar Rancher Bob says:

          Jeff N
          Thanks I got most of that from the article but the raise in captivity part was new for me. It’ll be real interesting to see how the wolf fares. Talk about a steep learning curve.

          • avatar Jeff N. says:

            Yeah…That’s why I think they are reluctant do bunch of releases, in my opinion. The pen raised lobos can be a lot of work and can take a lot of baby sitting to keep them out of trouble.

            I think what we’ll see going forward are releases of individuals that can bolster the genetic strength of the population. Also, taking pups born in captivity, and placing them in wolf dens, is being considered. A fostering program of sorts.

  32. avatar Nancy says:

    “Never once an article about the thousands of miles of fencing that hunters volunteer to pull on weekends, opening up corridors for wildlife”

    Noy trying to discount the efforts SB but is it not to their benefit, opening up corridors? I mean they are the ones who take advantage, having more of an opportunity, to shoot the wildlife, right? :)

    • avatar Nancy says:

      As in “Not trying”

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      nancy I gave up on this discussion. Extremist translates into someone not happy with the status quo. Usually directed at people who speak out against killing killing killing. SB is always right, always more experienced, always more middle of the road, more in tune.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Boy Louise,

        See you don’t have the strength to stick with your fight, you are simply another mouth bunny that likes the feel good you get from screaming.

        Yes, I do have more experience than you, yes, I am more middle of the road than you, I talk with both sides on these issues every single day, you simply read the bullshit extreme propaganda that hits your email box and start screaming bloody murder and try to shove crap down others throat.

        Be gone Louise, find a PETA or HSUS website that you will be welcomed with open arms!

        • avatar JEFF E says:

          as I have thought about this, it has become apparent that there are extremist’, and then you get into the realm of the “I do not have a clue crowd” , which is where the “extremist fringe” draws from for cheerleaders, ie. Ida lupine, truck stop Chandie as the yin and yang…

          • avatar Savebears says:

            And Notice Jeff,

            The vast majority of the time, Ida and I can have a conversation with no problem at all.

            • avatar JEFF E says:

              what is your point SB, other than I have noticed that there has been an effort on both you and Ida. It did not happen overnight, it has been process.

              On another note what the hell did you mean about your comment of me spinning out on the 5th? I posted one comment on the 5th and that was just a link. So??

              • avatar Savebears says:


                You asked a question of WM, ELK and I, and when you started getting answers, you went a bit wild.. You wanted to know what ethical hunters could do, and you didn’t like the answers that you were getting.

                As far as Ida, and others on this blog, the majority of us have been able to have very good and productive conversations, even you and I have shared some.

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                I think you are a bit confused SB.
                I did not ask any of you, together or separately, any such question.

                I hunt SB, every year, and if anything, I am at least, as much of an ethical hunter as you.

                Maybe you have me confused with….

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                I learned from my Dad…

              • avatar Savebears says:

                I am sorry, Jeff,

                I did confuse you with the other Jeff, sorry about that!

                My Bad.

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                No problem

              • avatar Jeff N. says:


                Not sure how you would define going wild, I thought the answers that you and Elk275 were your heartfelt answers. I happened to disagree with the answers that were given by Elk275 and WM, primarily WM’s….but that’s life. WM’s answers can have a little bit of an edge… big deal. I just give a little back. BTW, just having a little fun with your name based on the recent conversations on this site.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                No worries Jeff, call me what ever you feel appropriate.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Jeff E,

            Are your cyber ears burning yet? Not a slam, more of a compliment.

    • avatar Ryan says:

      Here are a couple projects put on by hunters for habitat.

      Lets not forget the Pittman Robertson act which pays for all of the national refuges etc..

    • avatar Savebears says:

      No, you are not right Nancy, many of the areas that I have pulled fencing from, is not even open to hunting, it is simply so the wildlife does not have to deal with the barrier.

    • avatar A Western Moderate says:

      ++I mean they are the ones who take advantage, having more of an opportunity, to shoot the wildlife, right?++

      You have denigrate every chance you can make, don’t you? All sorts of wildlife benefit from such projects, including species that are never hunted. Believe it or not, many of us hunters enjoy observing wildlife as much as non-hunters.

      I just read an article about one of these fence-removal projects on the Spotted Dog WMA. The volunteers – hunters – found a sparrow nest in the work area. You know what those evil hunters did? They built a protective barricade around it so the nest would not be damaged by the work.

      It’s really too bad people like you choose to continue to drive wedges between groups that could accomplish a lot of good by working together.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        “Believe it or not, many of us hunters enjoy observing wildlife as much as non-hunters”

        Wow AWM!!! Can you say oxymoron?

        • avatar Savebears says:


          I watch wildlife 12 months of the year, I only hunt them about 1 month of the year to put meat in the freezer.

        • avatar A Western Moderate says:

          ++Nancy says:
          January 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm

          “Believe it or not, many of us hunters enjoy observing wildlife as much as non-hunters”

          Wow AWM!!! Can you say oxymoron?++

          Yep, I can pronounce oxymoron, no problem. Can you comprehend that hunting and watching wildlife are not mutually exclusive?

          Like SB, I spend 12 months of the year watching wildlife. I have a list of over 30 species of birds – mostly passerines and other non-game birds – documented from my office window. I make special trips just to watch and photograph wildlife every year. I have spent hours cold, cramped and wet, waiting for a chance to photograph birds. I could go on about how integral wildlife is to my life, but this is too long already.

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            and, sadly, will be discounted

          • avatar WM says:


            I am also a wildlife watcher 12 months a year. Have a map of hummingbirds spotted in my neighborhood (Anna’s -they are very territorial, though not as territorial and aggressive as the Rufous). Saw a juvenile snowy owl (he’s big one too) being harassed by crows not far from my house, just yesterday afternoon. He has been spotted there by others within just the past week. Hope he continues to stick around, and use the same big old fir tree as a roost. I’ll have the binoculars next time. Did I mention he was a big one?

            Quit with the negative hunter stuff, Nancy, its beneath you.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Its not “rocket science” when it comes to just how destructive livestock grazing was and continues to be on lands out here in the west, especially public lands.

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      This study will be a boondoggle. It has a predetermined outcome and those who want to conduct it will make sure the right questions aren’t asked. I don’t trust these people a bit.

  33. avatar Salle says:

    [MT] Legislature again prepare to debate divisive ideas

    Other familiar and sticky issues will be returning, such as GOP proposals to limit the spread of wolves and bison and to reduce the state’s environmental protection laws. And some Democrats are eyeing changes to the GOP-led crackdown on medical marijuana that was endorsed by voters in November.

  34. avatar Sam Parks says:

    Two great pieces of news today. First, the wolverine is to be listed as a threatened species:

    Second, a Montana judge has dismissed a ranching groups lawsuit to prevent free-roaming bison north of Yellowstone. Judge says plaintiffs complaints about bison an “unavoidable consequence of living in Montana with it’s abundant wildlife”:

  35. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Savebears I’m done with this tonight but please before you call anyone a mouth bunny that is screaming, or profess to be middle of the road, just look at what you posted today, most of it started because you did not like my post about the collage. Its you who are doing the screaming. These are not calm, middle of the road comments, meant to induce productive conversations. Its bullying SB and not so nice. Just saying

    January 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm
    Boy Louise,
    See you don’t have the strength to stick with your fight, you are simply another mouth bunny that likes the feel good you get from screaming.
    Savebears says:
    January 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm
    Yes, I do have more experience than you, yes, I am more middle of the road than you, I talk with both sides on these issues every single day, you simply read the bullshit extreme propaganda that hits your email box and start screaming bloody murder and try to shove crap down others throat.
    Be gone Louise, find a PETA or HSUS website that you will be welcomed with open arms!

    avebears says:
    January 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm
    No, you are not right Nancy, many of the areas that I have pulled fencing from, is not even open to hunting, it is simply so the wildlife does not have to deal with the barrier.

    Savebears says:
    January 7, 2013 at 1:08 pm
    You are so far at the extreme, that I believe that most people don’t even listen to you much. The solutions are going to come from those closer to the middle that can actually discuss things in a calm manner.

    Trying to have a productive discussion is impossible. As I stated the other day, you and many others don’t want to look at all sides of an issue. You and a couple of others continue to scrub the web looking for any and everything to discredit and make people look bad.

    ” I didn’t serve my time for individuals like you that have only one freaking view of the world. So please don’t thank me, it means nothing coming from you.”
    “I honestly don’t understand why you stay in this country, I am sure there are areas in the world that you could do some good. But perhaps not, in many countries, those who you get in the way of will just kill you,”
    You are such a misinformed person, I would hate to live in your world, it must be a bleak and sad existence.
    Savebears says:

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Just go away Louise, we had productive conversations on this blog before you came along, most of us were actually conversing about the issues and talking about solutions.

      You are one to talk about bullying, your just pissed because some of us won’t put up with your BullSh!T

      • avatar Savebears says:

        And to add Louise,

        I will never be nice to you and I will never be nice to the other extreme on these matter either, you are simply a web scrubber, who wants to push through her extreme position and will not look at any other side of the issue. This blog was never set up to be anti-hunting, it was set up to discuss wildlife and land issues, which despite your BS, includes hunters.

      • avatar Jeff N. says:


        Talk about going wild….pot meet kettle.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      begone my pretty(petty) begone,

      you are irrelevant, then, and to this point

      • avatar Savebears says:


        I will never understand, why those individuals who are vehemently against hunting continue to pursue this blog, Ralph has always made it known, this is not an anti hunting blog.

        In this day and age, it is so easy to set up a blog and you can control the subject matter, discuss what you want and censor anything that does not fit with your view of the world.

        • avatar JEFF E says:

          it has solely to do with volume, not content.(Joseph Goebbels, “which by the way is slowly being whitewashed on the Internet”) I applaud Ralph for holding the line, I am not so sure about the direction of this blog going forward…

          • avatar Savebears says:


            I have followed Ralph’s writings, for many years now and I don’t think he will change our ability to be able to post to this blog, he may have a couple of others helping him now, which I fully understand, the the blog has pretty much stayed the same.

    • avatar Leslie says:

      I watched ‘Blond vs. Bear’. It was an interesting show and the woman was a good steward. But what was very evident from the show was the level of laziness and unconsciousness on the part of Tahoe homeowners. So much so it made me sick. If these people are really upset about bear shootings, then clean up their trash! From the show it was clear that people put their trash in dumpsters, regular trash cans or worse in Tahoe. Targeting people on the internet won’t help. Bear proof trash cans will.

  36. avatar ZeeWolf says:

    Three recent articles about wolves…. the first is an announcement by the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife regarding three public meetings to be held later this month. The second is about predator control in Russia and the last is an editorial from an Idaho newspaper regarding wolf OR-7 in California.

  37. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Essential reading.

    Human intelligence and the environment

    • avatar Salle says:

      En plus,

      Crowded Range: Wyoming ranch is first to house wild horses for tourism

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        What a blessing. There’s a lot to be happy about, for sure. :)

      • avatar WM says:

        Let’s see: 300 horses x $1.40/day x 365 days/yr. = $153,300/year.

        Your federal tax dollars at work (Oh, then there is the labor for gelding each and the transportation costs for each to the ranch. And, who pays for the vet care?).

        And, this”ecosanctuary” deals with reducing the 50,000 wild horse population that is costly to taxpayers and trashes other range holding areas in the US in what way?

        • avatar Salle says:

          Beats the sh*t out of spending it on oil subsidies, the MIC and the MedIC and wars…

          • avatar Jeff N. says:

            Or spending million on this debacle…


            Funny how we can piss away money on infrastructure in foreign countries but god forbid we spend money here (and not necessarily on wild horses, but in comparison, the cost of the horse sanctuary is kind of a drop in the bucket.)

            • avatar WM says:

              Pissing money away more on a dam in Afghanistan. We and the Russians (Soviets) still haven’t learned.

              Read James Michener’s, “Caravan,” published in 1963. The novel is set in post WWII Afghanistan, mid-1940’s. Nothing has really changed in nearly seventy years. Nothing.

              Between the Soviets and the US, we have spent alot of money, and wasted so many lives in a complex, backward tribal country that would seem hopeless and thankless for the efforts of those who would try to make life better for the Afghan people (while exploiting it, of course). The stories I could tell retell, from a friend who was an agricultural specialist (and retired Army colonel) working for USAID outside Kabul the late 1960s-early ’70s. Now there is some waste.

              • avatar Salle says:

                Thankless, backwards…

                Hmmm… so all other cultures, regardless of the intrinsic value they may have for themselves, are required by US mandate to conform to whatever WE decide they should be and how they live. And before you go off an a rant about the inequalities of gender and such, let me remind you that we have as much right here in “first world” US of A only in a more “cultured” fashion that is more palatable for those in control. Your estimation of the value of a culture is… no words for it really. Or should I say, if “we capitalists” can’t make a buck or a trillion off them and whatever resources we want to take from them, then they are not worth acknowledgement as sovereign, right? Sound familiar?

                In case you’re interested in our “budget” and how much we might be wasting on the natural world…


              • avatar WM says:

                Salle, read the book, then we can talk. My friend, the colonel and a fellow officer of my father, was a pretty bright and worldly guy. He and his family spent something like three years there, trying to do things that improved life for these people like better agricultural practices to feed families. No exploitation at the village level whatsoever. These folks just didn’t want the help, yet there we were/are today.

                Democracy is not alive and well in Afghanistan, Salle. Nor is gender equality. Corruption is everywhere, and tribal rivalries with lots of violence are common everyday occurrences. Ever hear of the Taliban?

                Far as I am concerned we and the Soviets should have learned lessons from history and just stayed out. Leave the culture alone gets my personal vote. On the other hand the country has strategic military and economic importance, which are reasons the US is there today.

              • avatar WM says:

                By the way, Salle, guess which country in the world is the largest illicit producer of poppies (think opiates and heroin, here, and supplier to the world, including its corrupt distribution web which amasses wealth in a few – think Talaban again, and the political implications of that)? That’s right, Afghanistan. It is about economics, and hence political terrorism, so you can add that to your “intrinsic culture” argument.

          • avatar WM says:

            That money will be spent anyway…this is in addition to, and could be eliminated. By the way, that is $511/horse per year to feed (doesn’t say who has to pay for winter hay) + neuter cost + transport to ranch cost + vet costs + ranch improvements for the ecosanctuary rancher + allocated program administration costs = ?????

            And, of course, this federally fattened horse will never make it to the commericial market place for any reason, so it would appear there is little value to the program, except to pay those who provide goods and services along the way. So, in the end, do these federal horses get put down or die a natural death on the range?

            • avatar Leslie says:

              WM, seems to me these ‘wild’ horses are pretty hard on the range–harder than cattle except they don’t congregate around water. Sometimes cattle move through here, but when the horses free range next door to me for a few days the grass is completely gone.

              Here in Cody they are trying a sterilization program that seems to be working.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                Or, just bring in some of those russian wolves referenced earlier and they will knock out dozens in an hour or so…..according to the Russians. (setting irony alert to a lower level)

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          I think we as Amercans a lot of the time are too preoccupied with making money and we lose our humanity in the process. I’d much rather my tax dollars are spent this way to preserve our legacy of the horse, rather than turning them into hamburger.

          Thinking outside the box, there are vets who would want to volunteer for such a noble cause, many people who would want to donate and volunteer to help.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            “I think we as Amercans a lot of the time are too preoccupied with making money and we lose our humanity in the process.”

            Banks! I know, nothing to do with wildlife, but everything to do with the above quote, in particular the humanity, or lack thereof.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        Wild horses my ass. What is the difference between these wild horses with gelded males and a bunch of brood mares and unbroken geldings running free on a large western ranch; it’s the lack of a brand. One can not fix stupid.

        Only a few are going to be impressed with this stupidity and they can not be fixed either.

  38. avatar Cris Waller says:

    Press release from WDFW- if anyone can make it to one of these meetings, they sound very interesting.

    Meetings scheduled to discuss
    gray wolf recovery, management

    OLYMPIA – The recovery and management of gray wolves in Washington and other western states will be the topic of three public meetings this month hosted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

    A panel of experts will discuss ongoing efforts to recover Washington’s gray wolf population, the latest information from population surveys in Washington and gray wolf management strategies used in other states.

    “Wolves are a high-profile species that attract considerable public interest from people who often have opposing views,” said Dave Ware, WDFW game manager. “This is a great opportunity for people interested in gray wolves to hear from experts about the recovery of the species throughout the West.”

    Keynote speakers include Mike Jimenez, Rocky Mountain wolf coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Wyoming; Carter Niemeyer, retired wolf specialist with the USFWS and the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services; and Donny Martorello, WDFW carnivore section manager.

    Lorna Smith, executive director of Western Wildlife Outreach, an independent wild carnivore education organization based in the state of Washington, will moderate the meetings.

    Each meeting will include an opportunity for the public to submit questions to the presenters about wolf recovery and management.

    The public meetings are scheduled for:

    Jan. 16 – Center Place Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, 6-8 p.m.
    Jan. 17 – Office Building #2, at 14th Ave. and Jefferson St., Olympia, 2:30-5 p.m.
    Jan. 18 – Magnuson Park’s Garden Room, 7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, 6-8 p.m.
    Virtually absent from Washington for more than 70 years, gray wolves have dispersed into the eastern portion of the state and the North Cascades from adjacent populations in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and British Columbia.

    WDFW has confirmed the presence of eight wolf packs in Washington. There is also evidence of unconfirmed packs near Kettle Falls in northeastern Washington, in the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington and in the North Cascades, as well as transient wolves.

    Gray wolves are currently listed as endangered under state law throughout Washington, and under federal law in the western two-thirds of the state.

    Washington’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan establishes a goal of 15 breeding pairs of wolves distributed among three regions of the state for three years – or 18 pairs in one year – before the state can delist gray wolves as an endangered species.

    More information on wolves is available at:

    • avatar Salle says:

      If Mike Jimenez and Carter Niemeyer are the keynote speakers, it’s a sure thing that it will be well worth the time to go.

  39. avatar Rancher Bob says:

    I must of missed the post calling for the killing of 3000 Russian wolves.

  40. avatar Louise Kane says:

    BC has terrible wolf policy…there is time to write and provide comments to the plan should anyone wish to there are some good talking points here. It looks like a good new site with a focus on collaborative advocacy. Sent by Nancy Warren of wolfwatcher.

    Greetings fellow wolf supporters. This email is to let you know that a new website has been launched for wolf conservation in Western Canada;

    It is still in its early stages and will continue to grow with your support. Information will be added over time. If there is a topic that you feel needs to be addressed immediately please use the contact form to let me know of your suggestions.

    For the wolves and the wild within us all, Sadie Parr

    “Is the world still wild enough for wolves? A creature is not a wild creature unless it is being polished by unfenced landscapes, abundant prey, and the freedom to pursue it. We have added roads and radio collars and exotic animals to the forces of evolution. Have we so carved the world into geometric shapes of possession, liability, privacy and commercial haste that it cannot abide wolves?”

    -Peter Steinhart from his book The Company of Wolves.

    Sadie Parr – Just Beings & the Western Wolf Pact
    21-514 Anderson Rd
    Golden, BC V0A 1H1

  41. avatar Savebears says:

    I find it amazing, in the header of this very blog, there is a picture of one of the most endangered species in the US, a beautiful Bull Bison, but yet, we see a whole thread on Wolverines being appointed to the status of Endangered.

    I find this very ironic, as we have very little data on Wolverines and we know exactly how many pure North American Bison still live on the landscape.

    I often get ridiculed for my “Devils Advocate” position on wildlife issues, but it seems to me, we are missing the boat here people.

    I have worked in the wildlife business, since I returned from Iraq in 1991, it was my dream, my goal and one of the main reasons I was able to recover from injuries received in the first Gulf War.

    I am so disappointed, I believe in the Endangered Species Act, I believe in listing wildlife for special protections, but I don’t agree with the way things are being administered.

    I am not against wildlife, I am against the politics of wildlife management, politics does not belong in the cause to save animals that are imperiled, it needs to be based on science, it does not need to be based on political boundaries, it needs to be based on ecosystems.

    Currently our Endangered Species Act has been prostituted by political agendas and I will take every opportunity to point that out, despite the many that feel I am the “Devils Advocate”

    • avatar Nancy says:

      “I find this very ironic, as we have very little data on Wolverines and we know exactly how many pure North American Bison still live on the landscape”

      And I find it ironic that we do KNOW exactly how many pure North American Bison live on the landscape, yet have no clue as to how many Wolverines still exist, in those same areas.

      Where do we go from here SB?

      • avatar Savebears says:


        I would like to see the USFWS do there job, without all of the BS, just for example, the political delisting of wolves in Wyoming and the now approved predator/shoot on sight zone, which I feel is wrong.

        2 years ago, they said that wolverines probably needed to be listed, but they didn’t have enough information to do so, yet, less than two years late, they now have enough, how did they gather so much information in less than two years? often times it take more than two years study, just to even have a small amount of information.

        I want to see the agency charged with protecting and recovering our wildlife do their damn job with out all of the crap.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          “I want to see the agency charged with protecting and recovering our wildlife do their damn job with out all of the crap”

          You, me and others, want the same thing SB, so where do we go from here?

  42. avatar Jeff N. says:

    I find this sentence in the first paragraph pretty ironic:

    “The Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association has discovered that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has been crafting much of their policy about wolves based simply on social pressure, not on data”

    Considering, current wolf management is primarily based on “social pressure, not data”

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      The cattlemens association must hate this plan as Washington did use public input to craft it. And that is why the plan is so much less anti-predator/wolf. These groups are used to being able to strong arm the agencies into aggressive anti-predator management. In a way the livestock industry was successful in over riding the public’s wishes to see non lethal options exhausted first by pushing for and achieving the extermination of the Wedge Pack. Hopefully Washington will continue to use public input (by all its constituents) in its decision making policy, I think 78+ of the respondents wanted to see wolves in the landscape, to see lethal removal as a last resort, and their attitudes were favorable about wolves.

      • avatar WM says:


        This “cattleman’s association” is just the local one near the Wedge Pack territory, so their say is probably limiting to some extent. However, the WA wolf management plan was rammed through with a citizen advisory committee whose membership did not reflect those who would be most affected (a minority report was even prepared and as it turns out the their predictions were right to some extent), a core staff that didn’t listen to their input, and most of all mandated by a DFW Director who is no longer there. The plan is voluminous, but does not address what the Cattleman’s group alleges about the prey base effects.

        The Commission, at its final adoption hearing in Dec. 2011, finally figured this stuff out and in a proviso to the plan committed to be flexible and adjust it as needed. The “public’s wishes” as you suggest is the folks west of the Cascade Mountains in the strip along I-5, mostly the urban folks. The people to date who are now, or will be affected most for awhile are in the rural areas and to the east of that area. Lethal removal, I suspect, will be thought about a bit more before carried out next time, but I think it is still a viable option – at least the Colville Tribe thinks so, removing as many as 5( or 9?) wolves, and is carrying it out as this is being typed.

  43. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Edit (doing a lot of that lately):

    Considering, current wolf “management/control” is primarily based on “social pressure, not data”

    Hey Mods….can I suggest a “modify/edit post” option.

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      I found a plugin that allows commenters to edit their comment. I’ve set it so that you have 10 minutes to do so. I don’t know what side effects it might cause though so it may not be a permanent fix.

  44. avatar Salle says:

    I have absolutely no respect left for the commissioners at this point… and I’m only sorry about it because they have proven that they have no sane values.

    State Wildlife Agency Remains Opposed to Wolverine Protections
    Spokesperson says FWP will seek authority to continue trapping

  45. avatar Salle says:

    Interior Dept. Expedites Review of Arctic Drilling After Accidents

    Not holding my breath while Kenny-boy is still driving that desk.

  46. avatar Salle says:

    Family, RMEF protect elk habitat near Garrison

    “Known as Dave Gulch, the land sits at 6,000 feet elevation in a mixture of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and grassland.

    The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks acquired 27,616 acres of neighboring ranch land in a 2010 transaction that consolidated access to another 10,260 acres of public school trust land. Stretching between Garrison, Avon and Deer Lodge, the area is one of the largest undeveloped foothills areas in western Montana.”

    Wonder if they’ll be hunting there.

    • avatar Savebears says:


      There is no indication they won’t, normally when the agencies and RMEF work together, they don’t close an area to hunting.

  47. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Montana will seek authority to continue trapping, on the grounds that the issue is separate from the future perils wolverines face.

    It is not. If the species is in decline for any reason, trapping cannot be justified, which decreases their numbers further. Even if only to continue their trapping, why don’t they want the animal protected from extinction? Is short-term monetary gain worth it? I hope they get slapped down but good.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Ida this kind of “reasoning” is very hard to understand. Its like passing the red face test doesn’t even matter anymore. Arguing/pushing/advocating to continue trapping when there is such a tiny population of animals speaks legions to the problems inherent in wildlife management. Nothing off limits, no humanity, no justification. No shame

  48. avatar Sam Parks says:

    Kills keep trickling in from the Wyoming wolf hunt. At least two were illegally killed in the trophy game area after the hunting season. Another one was legally killed in the predatory area. This means at least 118 wolves have been killed since 2012 began.

  49. avatar Sam Parks says:

    At the end of 2011, the minimum population estimate was 328 wolves in Wyoming (including YNP), and 230 wolves in WY outside of YNP. Pups would have been born April and we don’t really know for sure how many pups survived to year’s end. Assuming mainly adults were taken in the hunt and control actions, the kill would be over 1/3 of the total adult wolf population including YNP and over 1/2 of the Wyoming population outside of YNP. Again, that’s assuming mostly adults were killed. The end of 2012 numbers will depend on pup survival. Some years it has quite bad, some years it has been quite good. We do know that 51 known dead wolves was enough to a cause a slight decline in the Wyoming population between the end of 2010 and 2011. I wonder what 118 known dead wolves is going to do?

    • avatar Leslie says:

      As far as Zone 2 where I live, haven’t seen any evidence of wolves as of late, but they are doing winter logging here with trucks running up and down the road. But I’ve driven the road way up into sunlight and seen more coyote tracks than ever before. That usually indicates less wolves in the area

      • avatar Leslie says:

        They don’t mention where (what zone) those two illegal wolves were taken in. G&F sure doesn’t give much info out except hard numbers.

    • avatar Leslie says:

      Although I didn’t hear or see any, G&F supposedly has been out doing their wolf counts this week by copter.

  50. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    A comprehensive article at the Casper Star Trib of the biggest poaching bust in Wyoming history . Ranchers in the Tensleep area of Washakie County in northcentral Wyoming were providing their personal landowner licenses to out of state hunters . They made hundreds of thousands doing so, and it took a massive effort by Wyo G & F to nail ‘em. Two felony convictions and hard time have been handed down so far, but as many as twenty people will be charged and adjudicated before it’s all over.

    The case files are two feet high.

    • avatar WM says:

      I wouldn’t mind knowing each of these guys forfeit a left testicle at their sentencing hearing. Now that would get around and be a deterrent. :)

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        WM- My preferred method of ” Enhanced wildlife violation enforcement” is to confiscate all equipment used in the commission of the crime(s) – a relatively new law in Wyoming – which G&F later sells at auction and proceeds go to state general fund (?). The perp is forbidden from buying back his own stuff, by the way.

        This includes any guns, spotting scopes, etc etc —-AND any motor vehicles such as pickup truck or ATV etc. Dunno about saddle and pack horses but that would be a nice deterrent as well.

        First time that law was used , a guy lost his red Robinson helicopter. Not kidding

    • avatar Salle says:

      That’s so awful, made me cry and I can’t sleep either. Really, really sucks. It’s some -20F there tonight… Looks like there’s quite a few of them too, what a tragedy if they don’t make it.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        This is worrisome. Has anyone heard anything more?

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        salle I think we are alike this way. I feel so terrible nights thinking about wolves and coyotes trapped and waiting to die, alone, away from their packs in fear and pain, I sometimes don’t sleep. The Orcas being trapped….sucks perhaps there is some way for them to be helped, I think humans have helped whales escape from packed ice in the past.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Trapped orcas appear to have left.

      Whether a suicidal dash for open water, or not, a compelling story searching for a happy conclusion.

      • avatar Salle says:

        Here’s another story on them that claims a change in current broke the ice enough, a large crack, that allowed them to find a pathway out. I hope that’s true. I was up half the night praying for them and for just such an event. I hope they can get to open water.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          A happy ending for sure. Its also an interesting anomaly. I wonder what it is that makes people come together at times to act supremely humane but yet ignore situations that are much more egregious in the wildlife world. I am always encouraged when I see stories like this, of people working to rescue an animal, but wonder why the plight of so many other animals is ignored. Its as if an animal must attain a celebrity like status to merit assistance. There was a quote in the article that referenced who unusual it it is for people to help predators that compete for the
          same reccourses as humans….”People here were very much ready to help and it is surprising because the killer whales are (our) competitors for the same species,” such as seals, he said. “We were ready to give aid to make sure that they survived until help could come.” I’m very relieved they escaped. They work cooperatively to hunt, I’m sure that collaborative nature helped them to escape, along with the fortuitous break in the ice. Salle someone heard your prayers.

          • avatar Savebears says:


            We can ask the same questions on any number of occasions, I watched a news story the other night about the tragedy that happened in CT last month, the amount of outpouring is amazing, the city of NewTown has received so much in the mail for the victims of the shooting, they have had to open up a warehouse to catalog the stuff, it includes over 40,000 Teddy bears.

            But yet, only a few miles away, families are still without their homes because of Hurricane Sandy, they have little in the way of donations coming in.

            The human is indeed a weird species, but we pick and choose what is a good cause, and what cause means very little.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            I read that quote also, and it shouldn’t be unusual for humans to help out a fellow creature. I was offended by that comment. Today maybe it is unusual.

      • avatar Harley says:

        Thanks for the update Immer. Didn’t they make a movie not so long ago about grey whales that had been trapped in a fairly similar way? Big Miracle?

        • avatar Salle says:

          I read, in one of those reports, that while waiting for the ice breaker to show up, if one was actually coming, the villagers were planning to use drills and ice saws to keep breathing holes open for them. And mention of the grey whales who were trapped a few years ago was mentioned. The part where the villagers were setting up to cut holes was interesting and hopeful as the nearest ice breaker is apparently ten days out. There was mention, also, that they might have been willing to make a system of holes all the way out to open water. They were on their way to go start the process but saw that the orcas left already. I hope they can keep track of them and help if need be as they make their way to safety.

          They claimed that the current changes with the new moon and that there was a large crack that allowed the orcas to make for open water. I looked at a map. It’s a long swim to the open ocean from where they were, I hope they can get out of the bay.

          And to Louise, I haven’t slept well since the hunt started, I know several locals who are out there killing them, makes it hard to go into town and see those people and not express my disgust. Several of the wolves I was watching and tracking for years have been killed.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Salle I can imagine how heartbreaking that would be. One of our neighbors killed several coyotes a few years back, that my Dad and I watched and loved. It left me feeling a deep sadness and fighting hate in my heart.

          • avatar Harley says:

            Salle, in the initial report it said that the ice breaker was too far away to be of any use. Not sure if they went ahead and were sending it anyway and I’m not sure/can’t remember who’s ice breaker it was, if it was ours or another government’s.

            • avatar Salle says:

              In the NBC report there was mention that there was one in the St Lawrence area dealing with a ship that got caught in the ice, and that’s a long ways away but there was also a “team of experts” (whatever that means in Canada) to assess the situation but the villagers were willing to do whatever they could to help by making holes in the ice until something changed… whatever that would turn out to be.

              It does look like it warned up a little in the bay so maybe they have a fair chance at getting out altogether. I’m still concerned for them again tonight though, it’s getting back down to single digits and subzero in Montana so it’s probably going to get really cold again, and for much of the rest of the season up there, it usually does. We had a mini heatwave here, it was way up in the 20s for the past few nights and warm enough for the collected snow to slide off the roof the past couple days, but that’s over now until at least next week sometime.

  51. avatar Amanda says:

    Interesting take on the Siberian wolf issue-

    “Experts say the wolf problem is not so much a matter of overpopulation as a cyclical collapse in the wolves’ primary prey, rabbits. In the remotest areas, the rabbit cycle is typically trailed by a decline in the numbers of wolves as they starve and freeze to death. But in populated areas, packs switch to livestock.”

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Then, on the other hand:

      South Georgia prepares to cull invasive reindeer:

      Isn’t there any other way?

    • avatar WM says:

      From the article:

      ++…And the hunters are expected to continue to get a pass from the country’s conservationists. “There are too many wolves in Russia,” said Vladimir G. Krever, the director of the program in biodiversity in Russia with the World Wildlife Fund. …++

      Interesting comment by a WWF leader, but maybe a practical one.

      Somehow I don’t think the reindeer ranchers, or local officials are too concerned about the apparently increasingly important (to some anyway) “social relationships” of the members of these wolf packs.

      Just what are humans to do where there are wolves in greater numbers than are apparently wanted by some who are affected by them – social relationships and all?

      • avatar Mark L says:

        So would russian wolves be at artificially high numbers because russian reindeer are at artificially high numbers (and horses too presumably)? Is that what you are asking? Did people create this situation?

        • avatar WM says:

          Mark L.,

          From the articles on this issue, apparently a significant portion of the regional prey base is the blue hare. The population of the blue hare is down (no biologists have given an explanation for this but rabbit/hare populations do go cyclical). Thus, these wolves are migrating to, and concentrating, where the easy meals, and so are people. They have always been the bane of the reindeer herders in Siberia, however. That is how these folks make a meager living.

          Think about the recent human history over the last four hundred years or so. Predator/prey cycles have always been,but humans have been an increasing factor on the landscape, giving some of these predators an alternative, and sometimes easier, prey base. That is where this all gets complicated. Then there are the folk lore tales about wolves, some of which likely have at least some factual foundation, it would appear.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        “Just what are humans to do where there are wolves in greater numbers than are apparently wanted by some who are affected by them – social relationships and all?”

        Then another Will “copy and paste, oh where was I” Graves can come along and compile more meaningless tripe in an amorphous dialogue to fan the flames of predatory fear and hate.

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      I always wonder about these Russian articles about super wolf packs and large numbers of wolves in one place. I remember one Russian conservation advocate mentioning that part of is that if a group or community can make it sound like they’re up to their ass in wolves and in dire trouble, the government sends resources to deal with it, generating some economic activity if nothing else.

      We discussed an account of a Russian super pack just a couple of years ago.

      As I commented at the time (citing a Canadian study), improbably high density and relaxed territoriality is a common phenomenon with tundra wolves in Northwest Territories, but amidst a super-abundance of prey, not scarcity as always seems to be the case in Russia.

    • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

      Again, this is not an issue of exploding wolf populations or collapsing rabbit populations it is a purely political and propaganda issue. The local livestock lobby want´s to get rid of as many wolves as possible. Local boot-licking officials readily agree and a corrupt WWF member adds his two cents. Guys, why should Siberia be so much different to the American West?

  52. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Minnesota Wolf Hunt Article.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Immer this must be hard for you, I know you value wolves greatly and are not a proponent of trapping.
      I saw this today and thought of you
      maybe trapping will end one town at a time

    • avatar rork says:

      The last quote from the HSUS guy, Goldman, had logic that pained me. About reaching quotas early:
      “It says wolves are much easier to kill than had been speculated. Which is why they need to be protected.”
      Wish the reporter could have found a better go-to person.

      I do worry that killing 20-25% per year may not reduce wolf numbers, and people will then think the culling acceptable – a sustainable fur harvest, and extra recreational opportunity, about like muskrat or weasel. I know some predict livestock predations will increase under such a plan, but I’m skeptical that it would be enough to cause a reconsideration. Might even cost more ungulates per year, but that probably won’t get on the radar either (and I’d actually count that as a benefit, at least for a few years). If anything it might just convince people that wolves need to be knocked down even harder. Social interaction changes or more killing of each other won’t even be on the map for the public.
      If your crystal ball is less cloudy than mine, tell me what you see.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:


        I really hope the biological decision makers, not the legislative ones, take a long hard look at the data that comes in from the MN and WI hunts.

        So far, it looks like another mild Winter up here in the North. Bodes well for deer, more body fat, more fit fawns. ma’iingan has talked about an article by Mech and Fritts that support more wolf depredation on livestock under these conditions.

        Now add the variable of possibly social disruption of established packs. I don’t know if this has really ever been documented. Could this lead to more livestock depredation? If it does, does this create a large negative feedback loop, where more wolves get killed?

        Money has the power to call the shots. I’m beginning to find out how powerful $ and the $ interests have become.

  53. avatar Atlas says:

    Hey I have a quick question are wolves still listed on state or federal endangered species act in the lower Michigan peninsula?

    • avatar rork says:

      I think they gave us back the whole state to manage. There are almost none in the lower right now, but there are places I expect they will occupy in the northern half of it. How many can fit down here in troll (“below the bridge”) land? Not sure. Science doesn’t hand you answers, it is only a defense against endless error. has the management plan.

      We passed the law to allow a hunt recently, which enables our game officials to set rules for a hunt if they wish to, and it is almost certain some hunt will happen, but we expect only in the upper peninsula. I’m very anxious about how rational it will be – I have a crazy hope we will be conservative about it compared to others, and I would burst with pride if we could do lots better. Our ranchers are weak by comparison to out west, but our hunters are many, and some blame wolves if their freezers aren’t full of deer. Coming to the game late might help too, cause we’ve learned history from the westerners and WI/MN – not that many here keep up with environmental issues. This site is the very best place I’ve seen to learn about the issues (beyond that wolves are cute or cool). I owe plenty.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:


        Good comprehensive site provided by MI DNR. Perhaps I missed it, but anything about trapping? MN and WI wolves got nailed by trappers.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          “conservation” group for hunting wolves…it never ends


          January 10, 2013

          Contact: Amy Trotter, Resource Policy Manager; 517.331.1909

          NRC Hears Wolf Status Update
          Wolf Season Structure Could Be Proposed By Early Summer

          A presentation during the January meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission outlined a process that could produce recommendations by early summer for a potential wolf season. Public Act 520 of 2012 (Senate Bill 1350) designated wolves as a game species in Michigan when it was signed into law in December.

          “We commend the DNR for acting swiftly to outline a transparent and scientific process for moving forward with a wolf season,” said Erin McDonough, Executive Director of Michigan United Conservation Clubs.

          The update, which was requested by new NRC Chairman J.R. Richardson, was given by Adam Bump of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. In his presentation, Bump covered the history of wolves in Michigan and the forthcoming process for determining how a public hunting and trapping opportunity could be structured.

          After being extirpated in Michigan, wolves were granted state protection in 1965 and designated an Endangered Species in 1973. They began returning to the Upper Peninsula from Wisconsin and Canada in the 1980s. Wolves were delisted from the Endangered Species List and management returned to the state early in 2012, after more than tripling the original recovery population goal of 200. A Wolf Management Plan was created in 2008 by representatives from diverse stakeholder groups, which recognized public hunting as an acceptable management method, particularly where population density was linked to wolf-human conflict, such as livestock or pet depredation.

          According to the presentation, there has been a correlation between wolf density and livestock depredation events in the Upper Peninsula, warranting consideration of a possible wolf season. Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason stated that the Wolf Management Plan would be closely followed. The presentation outlined some recommended next steps that may be instructive in forecasting when any wolf season might be implemented.

          This month, the DNR will begin a wolf abundance survey and meet with tribal biologists per the 1836 Consent Decree. Tribal consultation will continue throughout the process. In February, there will be a Wolf Forum meeting, followed by public engagement through a series of meetings in March. Another Wolf Forum meeting will be held in April, as well as completion of the abundance survey and a summary of depredation and human/wolf conflicts. A recommended wolf season structure could be proposed in May or June.

          MUCC supported passage of the Wolf Bill, having adopted a policy resolution at its 2011 Annual Convention to support the creation of a wolf hunting and/or trapping season.

          Founded in 1937, MUCC is the largest statewide conservation organization in the nation and is dedicated to uniting citizens to conserve, protect and enhance Michigan’s natural resources and outdoor heritage.

      • avatar Atlas says:

        yeah I was wondering if the small population in the lower peninsula will be allowed to grow

    • avatar jon says:

      These republicans in Montana who hate wolves really are something.

      “Washburn’s plan also would set an Oct. 1-Feb. 28 hunting season and an even longer season for special districts next to Yellowstone and Glacier national parks.”

      “FWP Wildlife Bureau Chief Ken McDonald planned to tell the committee that setting that 250-wolf maximum could trigger a review of the state’s management plan. It also would require precise and expensive management and expose the state to possible lawsuits, according to a draft of McDonald’s testimony prepared before the committee hearing.”

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        …and an even longer season for special districts next to Yellowstone and Glacier national parks.

        These guys sure are brazen, aren’t they.

        • avatar Savebears says:


          Unfortunately, I think they are going to become very brazen and in your face, I just don’t see anything good going on right now.

          People on both sides are pushing as hard as they can.

      • avatar JB says:

        Importantly, they’re also exposing the weakness in Wyoming’s plan. Wyoming relies too much on the YNP wolves to meet its ESA minimums. If MT (or ID or both) decide to reduce wolf populations where it’s easy (i.e., outside YNP), Wyoming’s population is potentially jeopardized.

        I see this move as a way for right-wing, states’ rights nuts, to punish the elitist, socialist, tree-hugging, environmentalists from out-of-town who pushed for wolves’ protection. The politics of identity trumps common sense.

        • avatar Leslie says:

          JB, Not clear what you mean by WY relying on YNP park wolves to meet its ESA minimum. They are not included.

          • avatar JB says:


            You’re right. Poor choice of words on my part. What I should’ve written is that Wyoming is relying too heavily on YNP wolves as part of a recovered population. By managing for 10 packs/100 wolves outside of the park, Wyoming shows its willingness to push the boundaries of what constitutes a viable population. In adopting this population objective, I think they were counting on a “robust” YNP population to act as a buffer against any sort of legal challenge. The hammering that YNP wolves have taken this year reveals another weakness in WY’s plan.

            • avatar WM says:


              A footnote to your conversation with Leslie. The Wind River Indian Reservation is excluded from the WY obligation, and counted with YNP. It is about 3,500 sq. miles, and has a fairly large prey base of deer, elk and moose. As of 2007 there were at least two known and documented wolf packs there, and possibly more wolves. Nobody talks about that contribution, though it appears the WR Tribe seems, at present, tolerant of their presence, subject to the 23,000 head of cattle that are grazed there under several permittees. So, it may be fair to assume over time they are good for at least another 15-40 wolves added to the buffer of YNP’s 75-100, or so (if they don’t start getting into trouble).

      • avatar Mark L says:

        The electronic calls bother me more than most of the other stuff. There’s no skill involved, just opportunism from a false electronic broadcast. How does this make anyone a better hunter?

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      One of the comments from the article you posted Kathleen. Montana, Idaho and Wyoming are at war with wildlife. This state management plans are a national tragedy.

      rogerranger – 4 hours ago
      Wolves never should have been de-listed from protection by political maneuverings and now politically managed in western states that are hostile toward them and by agencies that have traditionally been hostile to them in particular as well as other predators. Western and mid-western states are going very far against hunting ethics or anything that resembles fair chase to cull wolf populations down to marginal numbers. Now, in Montana and other states we are even having a trapping season and bills in legislatures are proposing more drastic measures and minimalist populations. Basically, western states will not stop until wolves are endangered again or even eradicated again. This majestic, ecologically natural and essential apex animal is being treated as a varmint by sportsmen, ranchers, state and federal wildlife agencies. Hostile western states cannot responsibly manage the wolves or even other predators.
      Managing wolves by hunting and trapping is asinine, cruel, barbaric and unnecessary and poor management strategy. It does not work well. It is bad public relations for Montana and other western states. It is vendetta, anti-wolf hysteria, pushed by self-serving hunters, trappers, ranchers, supported by rancher politicians and rancher government officials and agencies. If Montana and other states have to hunt, why not stick with a fair chase season and then call it good no matter what the outcome. Spare us the perverse arguments of need for management by trapping, extended hunt seasons, bounties, more than one kill ticket, use of calling devices, need to hit a quota, or use of other barbaric measures of unneeded control. Hunting and trapping are barbaric “sports”. We do not do near enough about non-lethal means of control or management.
      A hunt and trap season is indiscriminate in killing. Wolves causing no problems are killed. Alpha males and females are killed. Wolf families are disrupted. Pups are left to die or learn on their own when a female parent is killed. Wolves that are leaving humans alone are killed. Animals are wounded and not killed. Many hunters and trappers take a sadistic pleasure in how they kill. Hunting and trapping tends to drive down the average age of wolf populations. Some younger wolves are not given the opportunity to learn from adults to stay away from human domains and how to hunt their natural prey.
      Trapping is cruel even if done legally, even if it is a tradition, even if seen as a management tool. Traps are cruel. It should be banned for the public, allowed as necessary for wildlife officials who use it vastly too much with a pervasive kill attitude of their own. Why should animals suffer for private economic gain on fur sales or to artificially farm (boost) elk herds? Over 4 million animals are trapped each year for “sport” and millions more for “management” and millions more as collateral damage. Hunters worldwide kill over 100 million animals. USDA Wildlife Services sees killing animals, for control or management, as their single mission.

      The western states are locked into a mindset of quotas and marginalizing wolf populations by hunting and trapping and other lethal methods. Quotas for delisting were based on outdated figures for sustainable wolf populations in the first place as they were politically delisted. Wolves have not harmed game populations or significantly harmed stock populations (.0048%), contrary to repeated and repeated anecdotal opinion. Elk populations are up, from around 89,000 in 1992 to over 140,000 plus now. Hunters had great seasons on killing ungulates in Montana, 25,000 elk in 2010 and 90,000 deer (per FWP). Elk harvest is generally up, 100 to 127% per MT FWP. Wolves regulate their own populations as they have in Yellowstone where their numbers and bear numbers go down naturally. Problem wolves and problem packs should be “managed” but usually not always by lethal means and not by hunters and trappers. Wildlife agencies seem only to have a kill mentality wanting to control predators by hunting and trapping and other lethal means. Wolves belong in the wilderness and are good for the ecological systems as has been proven in Yellowstone. Wolves are more natural in the wild than man, who no longer needs it for subsistence; now only for sport killing—- take a camera instead and go to the grocery to get your meat, take a hike or bike or horse, or go camping.

      Read more:

      • avatar Rancher Bob says:

        You picked a real smart one there,”go to the grocery to get your meat.” Now where does that store food come from? Appears that we need to find out where store food comes from before we begin to understand anything about humans and wildlife.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          I’ll agree RB I don’t agree with that particular part of the comment…
          I think some of the comments that are posted in response to newspaper editorials or articles indicate serious frustration. Perhaps some of the commenters are not as educated as some here, yet the comments are often very revealing in that they reveal a good understanding of the basic issues. Many of the general public do not support the ridiculous, inhumane anti-predator policies coming out of the western states.

      • avatar Kathleen says:

        Yes indeed, Louise. I was taken to task at the site where I guest blog for saying that the Northern Rockies states are waging war on their own native wildlife.

        Hyperbole? I hardly think so. And now today we see know-nothing MT legislators with narrow political agendas and a healthy hatred of predators introducing bills to mandate how wolves are managed, how many can live (250), how many must die (all the rest of ‘em).

        I recently received a message from a MT wildlife conservation group (hunters/anglers)with the subject line: “War on wildlife: bison.” The legislature is gearing up with anti-wild bison bills, also. So yes, I’d say ‘war on wildlife’ is accurate. One of the commenters at the aforementioned post put it this way:

        “Maybe it isn’t a genocidal war that will completely wipe out the wolf species, but it’s still a campaign of organized, deadly, and largely unprovoked violence. If that’s not a war, what is?”

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          yes Kathleen, a war against highly intelligent social creatures who have no defenses against the technology or masses working to kill them. It is appalling and heartbreaking. I could never have guessed it would be this bad How can this be happening in 2013?

  54. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    …eliminate the requirement that hunters wear fluorescent orange outside of elk and deer season.

    Well, there’s a silver lining to every cloud, isn’t there. ;) jk

    • avatar Savebears says:

      This is one that I will fight vehemently again, I remember when the hunter orange became law, and it has save many lives. I don’t consider it a silver lining, I consider it a reckless move backwards.


      I know you don’t want anyone to get killed and life is very frustrating now a days, but come on?

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I know. It’s just very frustrating. They don’t even seem to care about safety. I don’t know that the wolves can distinguish the color?

        • avatar jon says:

          That is troubling. Hunters wear orange so they let others know they are a hunter and they are a human. I also heard of another bear hb 144 which would allow hunters to use dogs on bears in Montana. I believe this is currently banned as there are grizzlies in Montana who can’t climb trees. Maybe sb knows something about this?

          • avatar jon says:

            another bill is what I meant to say.

            • avatar Savebears says:


              What the hell are you talking about, I have hundreds of pictures of Grizz climbing trees, see this is one of the problems, many people advocating don’t know what the hell they are talking about!

          • avatar Tim says:

            I’ve seen pics of grizzlies in trees. They don’t do it often but occasionally. Also Alaska, British Columbia and Idaho all have grizzlies and allow hunting bears with dogs. You can easily train dogs not to chase certain species just as we do with ungulates and coyotes.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        I hate hunter orange. One of these days I am going to get a ticket as I wear very little. I love hunting Alaska, Africa or BC where it is not required.

        • avatar Savebears says:


          It was one of the driving forces to change to bowhunting, I am not required to wear orange, but for the majority of the public, it has saved lives.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      Back when I was a bartender at the Cowboy Bar in Meeteetse WY , we had the annual Halloween costume contest on my Saturday night shift..

      First prize went to the Michigan road hunter who happened to walk in that night, dressed from head to toe in Everything Orange Outta The Cabela’s Catalogue. And I mean Everything… ammo belt, boots, knife sheath…the works. ( I’d bet his long underwear and emergency TP were fluorescent orange) .The only thing not orange on this guy was his own skin, which was more of a ruddy red from sunburn and exposure, and stubble beard.

      The guy was the God of Orange. A Halloween Costume contest winner if I ever saw one…

  55. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Haven’t seen this cheery bit of Wyoming wolf news posted here yet, so…

    Two overt illegal kills of wolves in late December along the Gros Ventre River just outside Grand Teton Park.

    The state chief game warden , Brian Nesvik, says G&F is rigorously investigating these poachings, but we’ll see about that .

    Too bad poachings don’t count against NEXT year’s trophy hunt quota , eh? …

  56. avatar Robert R says:

    [Url=””]wolf hunting extension[\url]

    If this don’t work I will post it again.

  57. avatar Jeff says:

    Wyoming makes a pretty solid effort to find the poacher(s) who shot two wolves in the Gros Ventre drainage east of Jackson Hole. A $5000 reward for two poaches wolves is pretty substantial and might cause pause for those who say Wyoming won’t professionally manage wolves.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Wyoming encouraged this behavior by making wolves varmint with their irresponsible wolf plan. Its good to see them investigating the poaching but really this state has put into a place that will leave virtually no wolves outside the park.

  58. avatar Leslie says:

    Jeff, that is good news. Glad to see they are taking it seriously. I suppose with their numbers getting close to the edge of relisting, they have to.

  59. avatar Leslie says:

    Just so you know, we’ve had poaching in our area for years before this years hunt. Its common

  60. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Zambia bans lion, leopard hunting,+leopard+hunting/news.aspx
    “We do not have enough cats for hunting purposes, especially if we have to save our national resources,” tourism minister Sylvia Masebo told AFP.
    “Blood sport is more beneficial to this country than game viewing,” said Gavin Robinson of the Professional Hunters Association.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Hooray for Zambia!!

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I have always wanted to see Victoria Falls – I would love to go if they are going to develop wildlife viewing. What an experience. When do we leave? :)

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      Zambia will not ban lion and leopard hunting. I follow african hunting daily. What you are reading about is some chest thumping, things will return to the old in a few months.

    • avatar jon says:

      About time. Shooting leopards and lions with high powered rifles for sport and for trophies is not conservation nor will it ever be.

  61. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    A wilderness encounter with a full grown mountain lion
    And the best part is: Everybody survived (but probably not for long)!

  62. avatar Louise Kane says:

    This was in my in box this morning….a topic discussed here in the past – there is a petition at the end of the note

    I am Captain Jim Horton, an enlisted man who rose to be a decorated officer as a result of my multiple tours in Vietnam. We need the Honorable Raul Grijalva to be the next U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Why? Because Congressman Grijlava (D-AZ) and I share a common vision of the “big wild.” I am from Sierra Vista, Arizona and am a conservationist, an avid bird watcher, and someone who supports the outdoors for all Americans. The Secretary of the Interior is the most important job in America for protecting wildlife, public lands and natural values. Please join me and the over 250 conservation, recreation and citizen groups who support this nomination!

    Please sign this petition to President Obama by clicking this link:


    • avatar WM says:

      I think Grijalva is better suited exactly where he is, for the reasons in this short video (important stuff), while someone with the credentials AND experience to run a large department, like Chris Gregoire gets the nod for Secretary of Interior (she is in DC this week, by the way):

      If Grijalva were to become Secretary of Inteior who would backfill for him in AZ?

      • avatar WM says:


        …who would backfill for him in AZ, and in a very disfunctional Congress? Obama is already catching heat for not having enough women in his cabinet (after departures of EPA Admin, and apparent inability to get Rice in as Sec. of State). Gregoire is immenently qualified for either, and would be a sure bet for Obama (not coloring outside the lines and staying on script) in either EPA or Interior, IF she wants it.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        The best person for the job, man or woman, should be appointed. Appointing a woman simply because you don’t have enough women on your team is the worst reason. We need someone who can do the job fairly and ethically, not just continue catering to the usual crowd.

        • avatar Salle says:

          …and there is plenty of evidence that Gregoire is too ready to give up protected public lands to the cattle industry for not much in return. I defer to Ralph and Ken (especially) for reference.

          • avatar bret says:

            I think part of the motivation for the ill advised pilot grazing program was to demonstrate that she is the gov. Of the whole state not just three county’s in puget sound area.

            She will serves at the behest of the President and carry out his agenda, I believe she will do a fine job and represent WA and the PNW well.

    • avatar Robert R says:

      While their at it why don’t they have a memorial for the ungulates the predators have killed.
      After all it seems the pray species don’t mean much.
      I don’t see an effort to save dwindling moose populations in some areas but then again how do you protect any pray species.

      • avatar Jeff N. says:

        Robert R.,

        Stop the nonsense. Predators have been killing “prey” (not “pray”)for millions of years, I assume you know this, maybe you don’t. It’s what happens in nature. Instead of bringing your nonsense here try reading a book.u

        • avatar Robert R says:

          Jeff explain why ungulates are a disposable resource and the wolf is idolized. Also lets hear your management plan to protect any ungulate and do you condone hunting to manage the wolf.
          It seems all pro wolf people dodge the question and only have a tunnel vision for predators.

          • avatar jon says:

            I don’t see ungulates as being a disposable resource. Predators are much more persecuted and demonized than ungulates Robert.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              “Predators are much more persecuted and demonized than ungulates”


              I believe you have pegged it. When it comes to anthropomorphizing and deifying, animals such as the wolf have had a history of being demonized.

              There was a time in Europe when people could be cut some slack on the topic, but not now.

              As I write this, it has nothing to do with NOT, managing wolves. But for all those who make the claim that wolves have been unjustly deified, for how long have they been unjustly demonized?

              It’s only been in the last fifty years or so that people are willing to step in for the wolf, after so long at the apex of persecution.

              • avatar JB says:

                Well said, Immer.

              • avatar savebears says:

                I agree Immer, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

              • avatar WM says:


                Nothwithstanding JB and SB’s apparant agreement, you lost me.

                Not trying to put words through your keyboard, but are you saying in light of historic negative anthropomorphism and persecution, the deification now is justified, because the historic persecution was unjust?

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                I don’t want to get in between WM’s question to Immer, but I wouldn’t label the “demonization” as only historic, in a past tense way. Even today the demonization of the wolf has the upper hand over the deification. Lets keep it in context. Carry on gentlemen.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                I attempted to reply before, and I don’t know where the comment went.

                No, I’m not saying that the deification of wolves by some is justified. People have only began to understand that the wolf has a place in our wild lands.

                Look how far into the past the wolf has been demonized, and most often unjustly. The demonization continues to this very day. Some ranchers have been hi hard by wolves, but most have little to no wolf predation, and how much stock is taken by wolves that are compensatory?

                Hell, there are some on the far right who believe wolves are part of a government plot to have their guns taken away. The unjust demonization continues, with much more effect than any of the aforementioned missplaced deification.

          • avatar jon says:

            There is no management plan that is going to protect the ungulates. Sooner or later, the ungulates will meet their demise either by wolf, bear, cougar, or human.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Not true. Only ask that wolf management be done fairly, not reactionary. I also presented my “idea” for a plan, I think to you, about a month ago.

            Saying that “all pro-wolf people dodge the question and only have tunnel vision for predators” is disingenuous.

            It is as disingenuous as saying all hunters are unethical.

      • avatar WM says:


        I think you are on to something here. There are the prAy species and the prEy species, the former being deified canids for which memorials are held. The latter just don’t seem to matter to those who do the worshiping.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Now let’s not exaggerate. Humans don’t like competition for the title of deity, it is true. :)

          • avatar Salle says:

            I suspect the purpose of wolf memorials are more a form of protest in order to point out the poor attitudes toward them and how the states are “managing” them to death.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Yes, I would agree with that. We can see know what a terrible mistake it was to take them off the endangered list. The demonizers are more dangerous than the deifiers, that’s for sure.

          • avatar WM says:


            Who is exaggerating? Some of us are still being accused of worshiping trees. Ever read John McPhee’s “Encounters with the Arch Druid?” LOL

        • avatar Jeff N. says:


          Weak WM. I have an idea, regarding animals we revere and put on a pedestal.

          I suggest we set up wolf refuges and feeding stations, like they do for sacred elk. We can then artificially bolster wolf numbers, while folks like WM and RR pray for the survival of the highly endangered, misunderstood, persecuted elk population.

          • avatar WM says:


            You might note there was already one wolf refuge in the form of Yellowstone NP. With its huge excess of elk from the 1987 fires. They ate their way through the excess, and migrated out as their population exceeded 220 wolves, if I recall correctly.

            I would just like to keep the NRM wolf numbers generally at the agreed levels for delisting – management for about 1,000 wolves, maybe a few more.

            The problem with some wolf advocates, is they ignore the number, push for more, and “worship” the ones that have been killed by WS, state agencies, or harvested by hunters. Even if the number is 2,500 wolves, there will ALWAYS be take-off. And, the more wolves the fewer elk. So, where is the balance point?

            I’d say more wolves in more places, managed for lower density, that still allowed for genetic connectivity AND meets the ESA statutory obligation.

            But, there will still be some who hold their “memorial services” and other so called deification rituals.

            • avatar Jeff N. says:

              Yellowstone wasn’t/isn’t specifically a wolf refuge, so I’m not sure what your point is. Whereas, the feedlots, for example along the Gros Ventre in WY, and of course the Elk Refuge in Jackson are specifically set up for elk. I guess animals are worshiped in different ways.

              Artificially feeding the animal you worship has a direct effect on the population, whether good or bad in the long run. Whereas praying for them and memorializing them probably doesn’t.

              I’m certainly for for more wolves in more places and I think despite hunting and control we are slowly heading that way. The next 10-15 years should be a pretty good indicator.

              • avatar WM says:

                Jeff N.,

                I think we both know the elk feeding issue is directly related to lack of availability of winter range. In areas where they hang out the other eight or nine months of the year or so, there is plenty of forage, and space for them to live and procreate. Sure supplemental feeding for a very small part of the year has a direct effect on population, as it is a means of keeping the populations up, where there is not enough winter range. Is that artificial? I suppose so, but only because there is not sufficient natural range for that short period.

                Of course, your wolf refuge idea simply won’t work because they don’t tend to want to be together (social rules and all that result in intra-species killing). And, whether you want to acknowledge it or not YNP is a wolf refuge (though not perfect), or certainly as close to one that will ever exist. Come on, Jeff, you are being disengenuous if you do not accept that.

                By the way, I don’t worship elk. I just want the opportunity to see them and maybe harvest one during the very short elk season. Not all elk habitat is like the rolling hills and sparse tree covered landscape shown on the picture at the very top of this thread. Some of the city folks (and others) don’t know of the variability in the country elk inhabit, some of it with slopes of greater than 100%, and very dense tree stem/vegetation density.

            • avatar Jeff N. says:


              I wasn’t being serious about a wolf refuge. Sarcasm doesn’t translate well to text. And yes, recently YNP serves as a wolf refuge, but only since 1995. Whereas it has served as an elk, deer, antelope, bison, bighorn, bear refuge, pretty much since the late 1800’s. Just ask the outfitters who set up salt licks on its southern border, allowing their hunter clients a better opportunity to shoot an elk.

  63. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Robert R.,

    I don’t view ungulates as a disposable resource. I like them. I don’t hunt, but I find it odd that you, who I assume hunts ungulates, would accuse those who choose not to hunt and support wolf recovery, as the ones who view ungulates as disposable. can you explain this? There appears to already be management plans in place for ungulates, it’s called hunting. State Game and Fish Depts. have population objectives for ungulates. They are managed, and apparently some are disposable based on management models.

    You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who posts here, who views ungulates as being truly disposable, you know this. Be honest with yourself Robert R., what you are actually saying is that you don’t like the competition from the wolf. Every elk a wolf kills is one that you can’t kill. That’s what you are actually saying.

    I’ve posted many times on this site that I am not anti-hunting in general. I understand its cultural significance, hell, I even respect it.

    In regard to the wolf hunt. I initially,begrudgingly supported it, in hopes that it would be conservative and it would dampen and settle the emotions of then “antis”. But what we are seeing now are state sponsored eradication programs. I’ve changed my tune on wolf hunts. I do support them in their current form, and as we are now seeing in Montana (I respectfully ask your permission to speak about Montana wildlife issues, even though I am not a native), it’s not so much about scientific management as it is a deep emotional desire to kill as many as possible.

  64. avatar Mark L says:

    Jeff N says,
    “In regard to the wolf hunt. I initially,begrudgingly supported it, in hopes that it would be conservative and it would dampen and settle the emotions of then “antis”. But what we are seeing now are state sponsored eradication programs. I’ve changed my tune on wolf hunts. I do support them in their current form, and as we are now seeing in Montana (I respectfully ask your permission to speak about Montana wildlife issues, even though I am not a native), it’s not so much about scientific management as it is a deep emotional desire to kill as many as possible.”
    Very astute observation, Jeff N. I felt somewhat the same, but have hunted and seen the hate already….not for wolves, but hate is hate….even if your relatives say it’s a tradition.

  65. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    The nation’s Newspaper of Record, the New York Times , is disbanding its dedicated Environmental reporting ” pod” , and will henceforth report on the environment, climate change, conservation etc etc etc from within the primary newsroom flow.

    The NYT has been really diligent on Northern Rockies resource issues over the years, especially considering the editors are 2000 miles away. Hopefully they will keep the stringers out this way gainfully employed.

  66. avatar Salle says:

    Not a good omen!

    Parks Canada moves ahead with plan to privatize hot springs

    Critics fear ‘iconic’ natural settings, integrity of pools may not be preserved

    What could go wrong?

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Cheap, tacky, plastic bottles and garbage everywhere comes to mind. I am reminded of a rusty old lawn chair I saw stuck in one of the hot springs in Yellowstone, I think Morning Glory Pool. I wonder if it is still there!

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Any number of things – once it is out of the control of the government, the park can be totally transformed – trees cut, selling mineral rights, etc. At least in the US some are champing at the bit to get at mineral, oil/gas reserves in the National Parks. Any revenue wouldn’t go back to the park, but goes to the ‘corporation’ (lining someone’s pocket), and a rise in fees might not be reflected in quality. At least the government is subject to some kind of oversight.

    • avatar WM says:

      From the article:

      ++The park designation will help increase the number of visitors and boost tourism, Boxer said.++

      Typical spin from Barbara Boxer. Funny, I thought national parks are intended to preserve stuff. Designation as a national monument pretty muh does the same thing, actually a bit better, without all the fanfare and added tourism, which is sometimes actually worse for the wildlife and the habitat. Its been a monument for over 100 years. Some improvement.

      Now it will appear on more lists, get even more visitors and go the way of many other NPs. Wonder if the condors want that?

  67. avatar Salle says:

    Talk about a misguided sell-out…

    Baucus Says Goals Include More Help for Vets [by putting them to work, temporarily, building the Keystone XL pipeline].

  68. avatar Salle says:

    Bounty offered in cases of two poached wolves

    “The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the prosecution of those responsible for poaching two gray wolves in the Gros Ventre drainage.”

    “Ten wolves have now been shot in the closed hunt area, gray wolf area 8, where the poached wolves were found frozen solid and dead from gunshots, Long said. The area has a hunt quota of seven animals.”

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Not even an SSS? These people act with impunity now. What a huge mistake to delist.

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        Agree with you both . Let me expand.

        Of course Wyo G&F will put up the appearance of tackling this double wolf poaching case head on with vigor. And the posting of a reward is S.O.P. more or less in the semblance of any high profile case, but it is also good PR and useful to get people to take their eye off the ball. An interview with Chief Game Warden Brian Nesvik was on Wyoming public radio earlier today and he spoke to this case and made sure we all heard how dedicated Wy G&F was to conserving the wolf and keeping it viable blah blah blah.

        Except that Nesvik was the WyGFD Supervisor here in Cody for about a year before he self-promoted himself to the Cheyenne post as head game warden ( you get to wear a big red feather in your hat for that coveted job ). He sang quite the different tune while in Cody during the pre-delisting skirmishes , an his boys could hardly be seen to be ever acting to conserve wolves, ever. The Cody District is entirely beholden to the upper tier elk hunting and ranching stakeholders who in reality make policy. Make no mistake about it: Wyoming Game and Fish does not like wolves , never has and never will ; consider them a resource drain and a situation foisted on the State by the Feds against their will , and WyoG&F will not expend one more microjoule of effort nor spend one more dollar to ” conserve” wolves than they absolutely have to , let alone aggressively investigate and prosecute wolf poachers …especially so near Grand Teton Park. Whomever poached those greys caused only crocodile tears among the GF wardens , not any outrage over wanton wildlife destruction. Don’t be fooled. It’s all just a facade. The only proactive plan is to keep the Wyo GFD and its state wolf management plan hovering just above the mortality quota for relisting.

        We will not have sufficient hard data for any of that till later this year , if at all, since WyGFD will certainly not be nearly as diligent about publishing wolf reports as USFWS and Mike Jimenez were before delisting. I’ll repeat what I have said a couple of times here: the number of people in Wyoming in any agency or any capacity that deals with wolves dynamically —who really truly know the actual box score, the sites of wolf-livestock depredations, the extent of Wildlife Services eradications and control work , the extent of collaring and the tracking from said collars, etc etc etc—can be counted on one hand most likely . We will never ever see a map of where trophy wolves were taken , or more importantly map tacks of where wolves and cattle conflicted . All that essential useful data was closely guarded before, and will be damn hard to come by now that the State of Wyoming is in 24/7 charge of wolves and Fish & Wildlife have moved several steps back and have pretty much washed their hands of the Grey Wolf in the northern Rockies in the interests of political expediency. The Wyoming wolf management plan specifically excludes revealing the location and circumstyances of trophy wolf kills and most wolf control. It’s the old ” trust us ” thing.

        I…do…not…trust …my…Game and Fish…when it comes to wolves. Not until they prove me wrong with actions and deeds and prosecutions. All we have for now is lip service.

        When it comes to wolves in Wyoming in the crucial months to come, we the public will not know what we don’t know. (Except anecdotally)

  69. avatar Louise Kane says:

    I posted a site yesterday that housed information about an astounding number of predator contests to be held in PA. Today I received this notice of a multi-country predator killing contest held over many months. Has anyone else noticed that killing contests are becoming epidemic, that killing wildlife en mass for fun is commonplace. Now before you get up in arms (no pun intended), take a look at some of the comments. There are hunters here who post about killing hundreds of animals. Think about killing a hundred animals, what does that make you? a winner?

    Please note the point system. Killing wolverines, badgers etc get one a certain number of points while killing wolves get the most. This is like a perverted aberration of a game my Dad used to play with us, when we were little. Sometimes when my poor father was forced to take trips with his two bickering daughters, and at his wits end, he would devise games as some parents do. Being a single parent Dad was sometimes more desperate than most parents in his attempts to reign in our bad behavior. Our “what do you see” game required a lot of concentration on our part and kept us from touching, harassing, whining and complaining about one another for an acceptable amount of time so my Dad could “think”. The game was simple. We were directed to look out the windows, faces pressed to the glass, and to identify any animals we saw. We kept track of them and then were awarded money for sightings. The money part ensured we kept focused on the game, and not each other. I guess it was rewarding bad behavior but I’m quite sure he did not care. I can recall being pretty bad on these trips. I’ve forgotten the exact amounts but we’d get a nickel for spotting animals like rabbits (we used to see many) dogs, cats etc; 50 cents for foxes, hawks or some birds, 1 dollar for a coyote, 5.00 for bears or deer (much less likely) with the big money reserved (100 dollars) for elephants, zebras, etc. We always expressed lingering doubt about the ability to see exotic wildlife but nonetheless I remember being hopeful. At the end of the trip we collected our prize money. As a kid I was so excited when we played this game because we got to impress our Dad with our skills at sighting animals. He was always duly impressed and often found an excuse to pull over for a better look or description of the animal’s life history, or attributes or just to admire it.

    As a grown up, thinking that people seek out and kill animals for fun, makes me ill. These contests are wildlife terrorism folks. I think about how the game we played taught us to see viewing wildlife as valuable. Contests to kill animals teach children that dead wildlife is valuable and worse yet teach children that serial killing of wildlife is normal, and legal instead of deplorable.

    I hope some here will post this atrocity, and work together to ban killing contests in all states. This is not a defensible cultural tradition or one to be proud of.

    note the intro of the contest rules, “this is meant to be lighthearted, fun, friendly…..”
    FOXPRO Staff

    Join Date: Oct 2010
    Posts: 151
    FOXPRO Online Predator Contest 2012-2013 Rules and Regulations
    FOXPRO Inc. 2012 – 2013 Online Predator Calling Contest Rules & Regulations

    1. FOXPRO’s Online Predator Calling Contest is designed to be a fun, friendly, and lighthearted event. While you are competing against other hunters from across the U.S. and Canada for prizes, it is important to remember that this contest is in a public forum. The spirit and intent of this contest includes providing an opportunity for hunters to come together to share predator hunting stories and pictures and to show hunters who are not using FOXPRO game calls how successful they can be.

    2. All scoring and judging of the contest is done by FOXPRO staff members. Since this is an online contest and we will not be present to inspect each entry or harvest, we ask that all participants conduct themselves in an honest and ethical manner. Cheating, forgery, and other trickery will not be tolerated and will result in disqualification.

    3. Keep it friendly. FOXPRO will not tolerate any contestants harassing each other via private messaging, email, or by any other means. Any contestants or other users who are found to be harassing other contestants will be disqualified from the contest and banned from FOXPRO’s forums. A lot of viewers check in to see the contest progress. Every individual should conduct themselves with honor, integrity, and treat each other with respect.

    4. FOXPRO’s Online Predator Calling Contest opens at 12:00AM EST Thursday November 1, 2012 and closes at 11:59PM EST on Sunday March 31, 2013.

    5. All contestants competing in the contest are required to have their topic created on the FOXPRO forums by December 1, 2012. Any topics started after this date will not be accepted.

    6. A contestant is defined as the individual who has harvested the predator and who appears in the photographic contest entry. Nobody other than the contestant may post contest entries within their respective contest topic. No exceptions will be made this year.

    7. Each contestant competing is required to create a single topic within the appropriate regional category based upon their geographic location (see the geographic listings at the end of this post). If a contestant creates multiple topics within a particular category, they must alert a moderator to delete the excess topic(s) and retain a single topic. If a contestant creates a topic in the wrong geographic region, a moderator will move the topic to the correct region. Each contestant is permitted to compete in one geographic region only.

    8. Contest entries are made in the form of photographs. You are welcome to use an image hosting site. Scoring is not completed until the contest closes. If your image is removed from the image host or otherwise moved or lost, they will not be counted. Images must be present for the duration of the contest.

    9. Contest image entries should not contain more than 5 harvested predators at a time and the predators must be clearly and easily defined. If you have a large harvest, split them into groups of 5 and post multiple pictures.

    10. Please try to post tasteful pictures.

    11. There will be specific details regarding contest image requirements posted on October 31, 2012.

    12. All harvested predators submitted as contest entries must be harvested by the contestant who started the topic. Another person cannot post images on behalf of the contestant.

    13. Hunting in teams is permitted, however, only the shooter may take credit. The shooter must be the contestant. Another person or contestant cannot post nor take credit for another hunters or contestants harvest. Two separate contestants who share a stand cannot re-use an image in a different topic for another contestant.

    14. Harvested predators must be taken by legal means in the state in which they were harvested. If any entry is found questionable or in violation of federal or state regulations, the entry will be thrown out and the contestant will be disqualified.

    15. No FOXPRO field staff, pro staff, or Team FOXPRO members past or present are permitted to compete in the contest.

    16. No field staff or pro staff members past or present from competing companies are permitted to compete in this contest.

    17. The contest is limited to the United States of America and Canada. International entries will not be accepted this year. If enough interest is shown, we can consider making provisions to include international locations in the future. If you are in support of FOXPRO including international locations, please email us your thoughts.

    18. The list of acceptable predators that can be submitted into the contest along with their respective point’s values can be seen toward the end of the rules. Images displaying species not listed here will not be accepted or awarded points.

    19. FOXPRO reserves the right to disqualify any contestant that has entered the contest with malicious intent and/or who does not support the true spirit and intent of the contest. Prizes will not be rewarded to such contestants.

    20. FOXPRO reserves the right to update and modify the rules at any time without given notice in accordance to the spirit and intent of the contest.

    21. ALL PARTICIPANTS: Each photo of your kills must contain these items. You must have the monthly image along with your FOXPRO game call, also the person who shot and killed the animal must be in the picture to claim the kill.

    Eastern Region
    Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Alabama, Mississippi

    Midwestern Region
    Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Arkansas

    Western Region
    Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska

    Canadian Region
    All Provinces of Canada will compete together this year.

    A points system will determine the overall winners for each one of the four regions. Here is the breakdown of all applicable animals and their respective point’s value:

    Wolverine, badger, and raccoon are worth 1 point.
    Coyote, fox, bobcat, and lynx are worth 2 points.
    Wolves are worth 3 points.
    Mountain lions are worth 5 points.
    Zack Stains
    FOXPRO Retail Sales
    (717) 248-2507 Ext. 118

  70. avatar savebears says:


    I don’t agree with predator contests, but it seems at this point in time, we are outnumbered, it continues to happen and for the time being, it is going to continue. Public tide is not on your side right now.

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      This is exactly what riles me up about your comments SB. Every time someone challenges the status quo you intone that we should all just shut up and accept the status quo…. nothing can be done. It’s an easy position to defend but it guarantees nothing will ever change.

      The status quo of killing stuff for entertainment is f****d up. It isn’t some kind of heritage that needs to be defended. It needs to be challenged.

      • avatar savebears says:

        Well, I am sorry Sir Ken, that I offended your feelings, there is no status quo on my part, I am out there every single day, making phone calls, sending letters and making sure my opinion is know to these jerks.

        I know you have the ability to get rid of me, but get off your freaking high horse Ken, I have been in this mess for a lot longer than you have, you might have the position, but I have the experience.

        You really need to brush up on your reading comprehension Ken.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        I posted this Ken, because these contests are so fkd up I believe that if hunters and non hunters can agree on limiting any hunting practice it could be these “contests. As you agree with me, I’ll restate, these contests are not a heritage to be passed on condoned or tolerated. The hunters here that profess to practicing ethical hunting should have no problem wanting to see these depraved practices shut down.

    • avatar JB says:

      I’m not sure that it is true that “public tide is not on [Louise’s] side”. Rather, I think the general public is largely unaware of such contests, as folks are concerned with more…”pressing” issues. One thing is for sure, however–policy will not change unless there is some kind of catalyst.

      • avatar jon says:

        Killing contests of coyotes and other predators for prizes and money really gives the whole hunting community a bad name. I am not surprised that a lot of people are against these types of contests. They are sickening and disgusting and they show a lack of respect for wildlife.

        • avatar savebears says:


          When you learn that the hunting community and the contest community is completely different, then you will be so much farther ahead of the game.

          Right here right now, you have a lifelong hunter disagreeing with the contests, as I have since the first day I posted on this blog.

          Get the hell off the blanket statements and we might find that we are closer in our belief than you know.

          • avatar Jeff N. says:


            When you realize that the public does not differentiate between contest hunters and ethical hunters, maybe you’ll become a little more ahead of the game. And I’d like to hear about your “outside the box suggestions”, and I’m serious. What do you have in mind? As a “hunter” what are some of your thoughts/ideas?

        • avatar Jeff N. says:


          In the eyes of the public, this IS the hunting community.

          I alluded to this perception recently, but in regard to poaching. In that post my suggestion was that ethical conservation minded hunters/hunting groups become more vocal in their opposition to anti-wolf hysteria, or as in this case, predator contests. A particularly sensitive hunter who posts on this site took exception to my “ridiculous assertion”.

          But the reality is that in the public’s eye hunters will continue to be defined by these types of activities…poaching, animal cruelty, predator hunting contests. And unless they decide to speak up, they will continue to be lumped in with the asshole-hunter-status quo.

      • avatar savebears says:


        In my many years of experience on these issue, it is unfortunate, that I believe the majority of the public don’t care about these subjects.

        There are so many articles in the news these days about wildlife, how much change have we really seen due to those articles?

        Getting pissed at me, does not change the fact that the majority of people are not paying attention, we have a problem in this country, and it is a shame that most people will shed a tear, but will not do a damn thing to change it.

        We all argue every single day on here, and the other blogs I visit, but nothing is changing, in fact many times it is getting worse, we are not making a difference.

        • avatar JB says:


          Sorry if I gave the impression that I was “pissed” at you. Not my intent. I think you and I agree about as much as we disagree–at least when we aren’t talking politics. :)

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        JB I think that you hit the nail on the head when you said the public is not aware of such contests. I was not until the last year or so, that I knew they were legal. Often in discussions I may have with friends or colleagues they have no clue that wildlife contests or penning occur. People generally react with disbelief and horror when they are told or shown. This is one of the reasons I think its going to be so important to create national collaborative campaigns that illuminate these abuses. When people learn of these contests they do not support them. I also think people are desensitized to violence especially when it comes to wildlife. It takes the killing of 20 children to address the sanity of allowing access to assault weapons and even then the NRA holds fast to its, until you take my cold dead fingers attitude. To change these contests they will need a lot of exposure. SB I think a good example of change here and how it can be facilitated is the huge outpouring of sentiment against the recent NM coyote killing contest. The BML and state shut down their public lands to the contest, after thousands of people protested. “All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing…..”

        • avatar savebears says:


          All I can say, is getting pissed at me, is counter productive, I have fighting this fight for a wide variety of species for over 30 years, I cried the other day, when we finally had a judge say, if you live in Montana, you will have to put up with wildlife, but yet, I am always chastised here because of the way I put things.

          I fight for wildlife very single day, hell my wife of 25 years is ready to divorce me most days because of my passion!

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            I did not write anything about being pissed at you SB I posted two examples of collaboration that worked. i Thought I was being quite polite.

            • avatar savebears says:


              The messages between you and I have been nothing but angry since the day you started to post here.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                SB I really meant what I said the other night …if you look at what I posted it was not in anger…and I am not. No kidding, I don’t want to engage on that level. I’m sorry if you thought it was an angry post it was not. seriously

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Perhaps bill board campaigns are a way to start. Just such a movement began in MN this year to counter wolf trapping. It sure as hell did not terminate the trapping season, but it was at least a step in that direction where thousands of people saw those bill boards.

          You can’t have fluffy pictures of pups, you have to go visceral and show what happens to these animals.

          This blog site is as good as any to begin, to open lines for such communication, and the necessary action.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Immer that billboard campaigns are great. The Howling for Wolves group put them up. The woman responsible is a real go getter. I have a lot of respect for what she is doing. Its Maureen Brackett. I think she is a physician. I’d like to see a a number of the advocates come together to collectively fund campaigns. Unfortunatly I agree with you about the need to show the gore. The nice stuff is not working. And the gore is truly what happens behind the scenes. When people are comfy and cozy in their beds some poor tortured soul is waiting in the cold, in pain, and fear, removed from its family in isolation, for a terrible, untimely and unnecessary death.

            • avatar savebears says:

              How effective were the billboard depicting aborted babies a few years ago? It didn’t stop abortions.

              • avatar savebears says:

                And believe me, I am not trying to be negative, I am trying to get us all to think outside of the box, the ideas being posed on here have been tried a hundred times for various issues, they have not been effective.

                Think outside the box.

              • avatar Robert R says:

                Why are most of you not trying to be proactive instead of reactive. I will say it again there is no middle ground here, it’s one way or no way.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:


                It’s a start. It draws people’s attention to something they may have had no clue was about to occur. As sad as it might seem, people might have more empathy for animals. Do you really want to get into the abortion issue/philosophies here?

                The bill boards are a start. There are already those postulating a higher wolf take in MN next year. Civil disobedience, go postal, frisking phone calls and letters didn’t work last year either and the bloody legislators extended the season an extra month. Much to their chagrine, quotas were met with a month to go!

                The goddamned banks and big business are jerking us around like puppets on a string. Perhaps Romney and his handlers should have won. At least we’d know that there was no hope.

                I came, I saw, I ranted.

                Now breath.

            • avatar savebears says:

              Sorry Immer,

              These boards me nothing when it comes to talking to the people that actually make the rules when you and others actually understand that, then you will be far better off.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:


                The boards, if nothing else, caused awareness where none existed before. The only way I can think of to foment change is to hit the pocket books of the rule makers. You, I and others have spoke of the $ issue before. How does one organize a machine that won’t implode before it does any good?

                At the Idaho wildlife summit hissy fits were thrown by those who thought nonconsumptive users have not contributed to the growth of wildlife, thus have no place at the table. It’s got to start someplace.

                Hell, in the 20’s and 30’s, the only ones standing up to the ranchers, hunters, and their government lackies were a few mammalogists. The general public had absolutely no say, let alone any idea what was occurring.

                There are a great many ununified folks out there, who need to be united into a front that has impact in decisions. There are followers, and there are leaders.

      • avatar Jeff N. says:

        I’ve decided that I will address Save Bears and Robert R as one going forward.


        Many of us aren’t just sitting on our hands doing nothing. Reactionary and pro activity can also go hand in hand. I, for one, am not of the mindset that “the times aren’t right for change in wildlife policy, so I’ll just sit on my butt and wait for a better political climate” …the mentality that SBRR default to on a regular basis.

        SBRR….give us something. As self proclaimed moderates on wolf issues, what do you have in mind? Stop labeling folks as reactionary. Quit the “nothing can be done” bullsh&t.

        What are your true intentions?

        • avatar savebears says:

          What the hell do you mean Jeff? My true intentions are to have wildlife on the landscape.

          This blog is accomplishing nothing, you a$$holes want to bitch, when was the last time you were in front of the legislature of you state, fighting for what you believe in? When was the last time, you gave up a career to fight for what you believe in?

          This is Bull$hit, you bunch of freaking hypocrites, get off your a$$ and actually do something, instead of bitching about it on here!

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            SB – i do spend a tremendous amount of time advocating for wildlife, and I know others do too. For example, Paul Collins who used to post here regularly now has a website and advocates for change in wildlife policy in Wisconsin, Jerry Black can be seen testifying at the hearing at Washington state after the Wedge Pack disaster ( a link I posted sometime ago) and I know he has for years, others I know of for sure that devote their time and energy Jon Way, JB, Kirk Robinson, Filip (new poster), I know Salle spent years working on these issues. It sounds like Immer, Cody, Mt Mama, Leslie, Ida and a lot of others also do their part. I think a great many people here devote countless hours to wildlife advocacy one way or another.

          • avatar Jeff N. says:


            I do what I can. I have done and continue to do volunteer work in the lobo recovery effort.

            I’ve written letters/emails on issues that accept public comments. I’ve phoned legislators. I’ve donated money..time..etc…

            I also b!tch on this site. It’s fun.

            Thanks for asking SBRR.

            Hey Ralph Thank you for the edit post option.

            • avatar savebears says:


              But yet if anyone of us hunters bitch about something on this blog, many you are like pack dogs and jump in with teeth bared ready to tear us apart!

              We get told the only reason we hunt is to make our body parts seem larger, we get told we don’t do anything to help get rid of the bad element in the hunting community.

              We have many here that play games with our names, get told we just want the status quo, get talked down to.

              We all have a stake in this, we all love wildlife and don’t condone contests, poaching or animal cruelty.

              This has never been a blog that excluded hunters, to some here, they think we have taken over, which is incorrect.

              There are a few here that are obsessively anti hunting, but most accept hunting.

              We always hear about the bad guys, the criminals, the sick people, but rarely does anyone post anything about the good hunters, the people that do it right, the people that volunteer their weekends and evenings to teach the future generations, to work on making habitat better for wildlife.

              I am sure there are a few here that are writing letters and attending meetings, but it is obviously not enough.

  71. avatar Louise Kane says:

    I also posted hoping some wildlife lovers here would call the company to object to their year long slaughtering contest. Cabellas has shut down predator contests in the past at the public’s insistence and as I pointed out the BLM and state of NM closed their public lands in NM, after a huge outpouring of rage against a contest to be held there. That was a big deal and a good example of what collaborative advocacy can accomplish.

  72. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Ed Markey running in special election for Kerry seat in MA
    Elizabeth Warren and Markey….

    A national leader on energy and the environment since his first election to the U.S. House in 1976, Congressman Ed Markey is now running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator John Kerry.

    Contribute to Ed Markey’s campaign via LCV Action Fund’s GiveGreen. Let’s get behind his campaign now and help make him the next U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.

    With this week’s announcement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that 2012 was the warmest year ever recorded in the U.S., it’s more important than ever that we fill the halls of the U.S. Senate with legislators like Ed Markey who are willing to tackle the climate crisis. Frankly, we don’t just need another vote in the Senate — we need a climate champion.

    Fighting climate change has been the cause of Ed Markey’s life. That’s why I’m standing with Ed, but I can’t do it alone. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that — if he gets elected — he will be one of the greenest Senators in Washington and a bulldog on climate. That is why LCV Action Fund is 100 percent committed to his race.

    Ed Markey is one of the strongest champions we have in Washington fighting the climate crisis. He co-authored and introduced the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) in 2009, during which he chaired the powerful Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. He also chaired the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming from 2007-2011, which held 80 hearings and briefings and contributed to the advancement of smarter energy and climate policies, including the first increase in fuel economy standards in three decades. As a response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Rep. Markey has been a leading voice for holding BP accountable for the disaster it created as well as reforming offshore drilling to incorporate lessons learned from the spill. A member of the Natural Resources Committee since 1976 and its current Ranking Member, Markey has also pushed to protect public lands, leading the fight to permanently protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    His impressive voting record has earned Markey a remarkable 94% lifetime score on LCV’s National Environmental Scorecard.

  73. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Are you kidding mods. My previous post has been in moderation for almost an hour. Why?

  74. avatar Jeff N. says:


    In the eyes of the public, this IS the hunting community.

    I alluded to this perception recently, but in regard to poaching. In that post my suggestion was that ethical conservation minded hunters/hunting groups become more vocal in their opposition to anti-wolf hysteria, or as in this case, predator contests. A particularly sensitive hunter who posts on this site took exception to my “ridiculous assertion”.

    But the reality is that in the public’s eye hunters will continue to be defined by these types of activities…poaching, animal cruelty, predator hunting contests. And unless they decide to speak up, they will continue to be lumped in with this stereotype.

    • avatar jon says:

      I believe you are 100% right Jeff N.

    • avatar jon says:

      I believe that the hunters who participate in these killing contests do not care about what the public thinks of them. Any sane person who loves wildlife would be against these types of contests.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Just talk to the cretins who revel in the atomization of prairie dog colonies. There’s some sick puppies.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Immer These contests are all pretty sick. I’ve called very many sponsors or individuals of these contests to protest and more recently hoping to nicely inquire if they might want information on the biology of coyotes. I do this in the hopes of reaching a sane person who might perhaps be misinformed, asking them to think about the issues or read something published by a biologist or visit a credible site like Project Coyote or Jon Ways Eastern Coyote Research. From the numerous calls I have made, most of these people are only interested in preserving their ability and right to kill. They always raise the issues that its legal. I had one particularly disturbing conversation with a sponsor from NY that could have been a scene right out of the movie Deliverance. I was speaking to a man asking him if I could send him some information about coyotes when I heard a cackling (you could describe it as the sound you might imagine a witch bent over a cauldron making). The man and woman started conversing while I was on the phone. The conversation went something like this. Man “got one of them enviro yote lovers here claiming we don’t know nothing bout those yote varmits. Woman cackles, coughs and ask s “gimme another Bud Bud hah hah aha cackle cackle cackle” Man says ” tell her what we do with those yotes” Woman cackles again, coughs and screams “hunt em down kill em and watch their babies cry” Then he says into the phone, because i tried to explain to him that killing coyotes does not reduce their numbers, ” I know that killing em makes more of em and thats a good thing,cause we get to kill more hah hah hah” I thought I could throw up I felt so sick.
          The thought of these evil morons out there hunting, stalking and terrorizing coyotes gave me shivers. It was such a twisted and sick conversation. I’ve had other conversations that were bad, but not as bad. I then spoke with the New York division of Environment and Conservation which is the agency that determines procedures and policy for hunting coyotes. I’ll dig out the notes I made and post them later if anyone is interested. The officer was polite but basically brushed off my concerns that these killing contests might need to be reconsidered. I sent him a series of images taken by people in NY where killers had posted dozens of dead wildlife which he said he would pass along to his supervisors and never heard a peep back. The only people who ever repsond to pressure are the companies who may loose business through bad press. Cabellas has shut down some contests. The contests that are organized by sports or hunting clubs are pretty bad. The people engaged are the dregs of the earth. Sorry I know thats a general and broad sweeping statement but thats been my experience. Misinformed, full of hate, killing machines that have no respect for wild animals, no understanding of ecosystems, no remorse, no humanity. These people do need to be controlled and shunned by “ethical” hunters. And the rest of us need to really push to get exposure about these contests they extend to prarie dogs, gophers, foxes, all carnivores and I see they are threatening populations of eastern diamond back rattlesnakes as well as other species of snakes. Its god awful. More reasons why carnivores need national protection and wildlife management needs an overhaul.

          • avatar Robert R says:

            Louise I can understand your dismay towards contest and I’m fine with that.
            On the other hand if there was national protection (which will probably never happen) the government will probably take over management which would mean gunning from planes.
            Coyotes will need management.

            • avatar jon says:

              Why do coyotes need killing?

              • avatar Robert R says:

                Jon, hypothetical ?

                If you lived in the country and you had a coyote population that was not managed and you lived in fear from having your pets killed,, what would you do ?
                I have had a dog attacked and have seen coyotes eating a calf while the cow was still trying to give birth.

              • avatar ma'iingan says:

                “Why do coyotes need killing?”

                Studies indicate that coyotes can and do exclude or displace foxes, and there is an inverse relationship between abundance of coyotes and foxes.

                In a study conducted in Texas (Henke 1992), the relative abundance of bobcats, badgers, and gray fox increased on controlled areas after initiation of coyote removal.

                That said, I don’t support coyote derbies, or year-round coyote seasons. The furbearer committee in my state is attempting to gain recognition for coyotes as a game animal, with a closed season and bag limit – management similar to other furbearers.

              • avatar jon says:

                And what is going on with that right now ma? I would love to see coyotes listed as a game animal. Right now in most places, coyotes can be killed year round and this includes pregnant coyotes and coyote pups. This is not right nor is it ethical to allow the killing of a certain animal all year round.

      • avatar savebears says:

        No Jon, they don’t and your griping has not made a difference, You are not effective, you are preaching to the those who believe the same as you, you are not talking to those who oppose you.

        People, we are not being effective, we are simply preaching.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Ma at least a bag limit and season would be a step in the right direction

          Its interesting to read the justifications for “managing” populations of animals. “Studies indicate that coyotes can and do exclude or displace foxes, and there is an inverse relationship between abundance of coyotes and foxes.”

          There is an indisputable inverse relationship between abundance of humans and all other wildlife. Humans have managed to largely undo what it took nature millions of years to accomplish, in less then a few hundred years.

          How can we be so screwed up? Wildlife managers fighting to allow trapping of wolverine, to increase take and methods of killing to drastically reduce wolf populations (to achieve target goals) etc

          how bizarre is it that wildlife management is often focused on reducing numbers of animals. If you really think about it, its pretty screwed up.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “There is an indisputable inverse relationship between abundance of humans and all other wildlife.”

            Hardly indisputable – in fact, we were talking about coyotes, and they have benefited greatly from human impacts to the landscape. They’ve moved east from the Great Plains due to the expansion of agriculture and associated fragmentation of habitat. Coyotes didn’t occur in your part of the U.S. until around the 1930s – and I don’t know of any part of their range where they’re not thriving.

            “…wildlife management is often focused on reducing numbers of animals.”

            Wildlife management may entail the reduction of certain populations for any number of outcomes – sometimes to protect other sensitive species or landscapes, sometimes in an attempt to provide a balance for a diverse set of stakeholders. You’re oversimplifying the complexity of wildlife management to fit your own one-dimensional perspective.

            • avatar jon says:

              So, the judge said that it’s ok for Wisconsin hunters to use their dogs on wolves next wolf hunting season. Is the DNR really going to allow this and do you expect any other lawsuits to be filed to stop hunters from using dogs before the next wolf hunting season in Wisconsin?

              • avatar ma'iingan says:

                The Wisconsin DNR has no authority to prohibit the use of hounds for wolf hunting – that was provisioned by legislation. WDNR establishes rules, such as the portion of the season when dogs may be used, times of day, and number of dogs permitted.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              when it comes to predators, my perspective is sadly realistic and its not just bad in the west. Coyotes filled a niche that was left as other predators were eliminated, like wolves

              • avatar savebears says:


                Your realistic and someone else realistic are not the same, that is one of the big problems, you think that your belief is the only belief. You don’t seem to be able to separate your perspective from another.

                The way you believe, although honorable, is not the way others believe.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:


              I was over at the IWC, and inquired about that Mech/Fritts study about Winter severity connection with livestock depredation in MN. They emailed as it was on file, and some time this week I’ll take a trip back to the IWC to go over it. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a copy or “two”. Interested?

              • avatar ma'iingan says:

                Thanks Immer – I have access to the article through JSTOR. It’s also on the IWC website, however one of the pages of the PDF is missing. You might suggest that they fix that.

      • avatar Rancher Bob says:

        What you and others don’t understand is the people who hunt predators will hunt predators with or without a contest. The contest is just a contest. First one must understand.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          RB not if we can get the laws changed, and thats what I want and will continue to work for. Anti predator policy needs to be exterminated, not predators.

        • avatar jon says:

          Wrong Robert, people clearly understand that. A lot of people are against hunting predators in general, but to have some hunters being in contests where you kill the most animals simply for prizes and money is sickening and disgusting.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          I feel that the bad thing about contests is they offer an incentive, where someone may hunt a few animals, but a hunting contest encourages hunters to get more and compete with other hunters for more. We all know how humans love to have bigger, more, and better – and this kind of thing encourages it. Kind of a macabre aspect, especially when associated with ‘fun’. That’s the impression I have anyway.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            Problem animals, if they are causing problems, should be removed on an individual basis, or however F&W or DNR deems appropriate measures. Just killing animals for the sake of killing is unethical, and for animals whose populations are not large or on the brink, such as wolverines, it is especially wrong to encourage killing as many as you can.

    • avatar WM says:

      OK, Jeff,

      I will rise to the bait again. Poaching is one thing. There is not much that one can do to be effective to deter it except be there and report it, or to some extent try to stop an act of poaching. That, of course, would be illegal conduct for which there is a remedy (read as further as further deterrence).

      On the other hand, I don’t find predator contests very ethical or productive (shoot as many as you can of something in a given time period and win a prize). I have made a few phone calls, or sent emails in that regard even to a couple of the sponsors, but beyond that not sure what else I (or most other hunters) would feel compelled to do. Though one may find it disgusting, it is legal. If perceived as useful to control some species of predator for some agricultural purpose, the wildlife agencies/commission are unlikey to discourage them either. Nor would they likely make shooting some predators no longer legal.

      That is the part that you haven’t figured out Jeff N. Yet you seem inclined to attempt to pressure hunters, at least the ones posting here, by saying their inaction is somehow unethical. Let me just call bullshit on your value judgement. In fact, it’s actually kind of irritating.

      • avatar Jeff N. says:


        I’m not questioning your ethics at all. For all I know you may be very outspoken and active in regard to poaching or unethical hunting practices. But I think you last sentence reinforces my point a little. Your sensitive to how hunters (you) are perceived, and the public in general equates hunters with the buffoons who participate in predator contests, poachers, and a-holes that pose for pictures in front of trapped animals. I’d be irritated too.

        Thank you for your response.

  75. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Someone on WCCL sent this to me
    the trailer of what looks to be an excellent film by NRDCA about the war on predators and the ways that some ranchers are working to live with instead of killing, very hopeful. also covered the wildlife services issues many of you are familiar with

    • avatar Harley says:

      Nice link, thanks Louise.

      I would love love love to see solutions to livestock depredations due to predators that does not involve poison or trapping and isn’t too costly for the rancher.

  76. avatar Jeff N. says:


    ++++We get told the only reason we hunt is to make our body parts seem larger,++++

    Well, does it actually work?

    • avatar jon says:

      Ed Bangs, a recently retired coordinator for the federal Fish and Wildlife Service Wolf Recovery Project, said that the shooting of wolves is a move to placate hunters. “A little blood satisfies a lot of anger,” he said.

      Reducing wolf numbers won’t work, he contends, and it is not sound wildlife management “Research shows you need to reduce a lot of predators in a large area,” he said. Mountain lions, bears, and coyotes prey on elk as well.

      Killing wolves and other predators, he said, “isn’t wildlife management — it’s farming. You are farming elk for hunters.”

    • avatar Leslie says:

      “Gould said the department will ask trappers what would be of help to them and suggested it could be something as simple as helping with gas money or other expenses.”

      Geez, not only do they get to sell their pelts for $$$ but also they get a gobermint handout too.

  77. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    The first would take $50,000 from a coyote control program in eastern Idaho and use it to supplement wolf control efforts in areas where elk herds are in decline.

    Wow, they must really hate them if they would be desperate enough to take it from coyote money. ;(

    • avatar jon says:

      You know how fish and game agencies are. They want to kill as many predators as possible, so there are more deer and elk out there for hunters to kill. Animals like wolves and coyotes are persecuted animals.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        The sad thing is is that it isn’t going to affect the number of elk, I don’t think.

        When the wolves are gone from the West, who will humanity have to vilify then, and blame their problems on (depredation of livestock, lack of elk and deer, etc)? I guess they do fill quite a niche. *sarcasm*

      • avatar Robert R says:

        Jon I’m sure you understand that the fish and game uses hunting as a management tool to regulate ungulate numbers and in there way of thinking, you cannot manage or kill ungulates, and not manage apex predators. To them the coyote is not considered an apex predator, only mountain lion, bears and wolves are considered apex predators that impact deer and elk. The coyote mainly targets antelope and deer fawns as far as big game.
        This is why both Idaho and Montana implemented the use of trapping to further decrease the wolf population.

  78. avatar Louise Kane says:

    how have the wildfires impacted Idaho and Montana? the wildlife in particular, anyone know

    • avatar savebears says:


      Not often do you see large fires kill wildlife, it will displace them for a short amount of time. Elk for instance normally thrive the next year after a wildfire goes through an area, one of the reasons we have seen Elk reduction in parts of both Montana and Idaho, has been because there have been no large fires in certain areas.

      Ultimately, fire is good for the ecosystem as well as the wildlife.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        The fires that occurred in Idaho and Montana the last years seem to be excessively large and widespread, unusual. There must be negative impacts that exceed the usual? Like this article that describes certain species as endangered or extinct as a result of the fires in West Australia

        • avatar savebears says:


          They were no larger that the 1988 fires, the 2001 fires or the 2003 fires, Australia is an entirely different situation when it comes to endangered species.

          There has been no major impact on our wildlife numbers due to the fires the last couple of decades.

          Large fires in timber and grassland country is really not unusual. It only became unusual when man started managing the forests.

          • avatar Leslie says:

            THe West is fire adapted. Fire suppression has been occurring for over 100 years. Thus, instead of a natural mosaic, we have large stands of pines and flammable underbrush.

            The SNF is doing a logging project this winter (and the next 5) in my valley. Although logging consciously can somewhat mimic a fire, it doesn’t really. Many plants only sprout with fire–most of the first plants to emerge are nitrogen setting plants. Personally, I’d rather see more control burns than logging, but they are controversial politically.

          • avatar Leslie says:

            Interestingly, the jury is out on whether Australian plants adapted naturally to fire (they are fire adapted as well) or if the burning by aborigines over 50,000 years caused their adaptation.

            I understand though that the weather service has created a new color for extreme temperature in Australia as they are experiencing temperatures unknown before.

  79. avatar Louise Kane says:


    Snow leopards poached for luxury home decor markets and by ranchers….full story in link above

    an excerpt, sound familiar?

    “While novel trends in the luxury home décor market have been driving a recent increase in the trading of snow leopard skins, populations of snow leopards have been in jeopardy for quite some time. Unusual for most endangered species, habitat degradation is not the main issue for declining populations of snow leopards. These cold-hardy cats inhabit frigid, rugged, high-elevation environments that are inhospitable to most human development. In addition to poaching, the two gravest threats to wild snow leopards are a decline in their native prey and direct killing by ranchers and herders.

    In recent years, snow leopards have been under threat as increased grazing has eliminated the cat’s natural prey. Facing less food, some snow leopards have turned to prey on domestic animals, which makes them targets for livestock owners. While many snow leopard killings are not motivated for sale in the illegal wildlife trade, inevitably, that is where they end up. A herder who kills a leopard eliminates a threat to his flock and may also earn a payout for his kill. The typical price paid for a snow leopard pelt varies by region and purpose: some pelts are sold locally for a mere few dollars while others, sold to tourists and foreigners, go for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.”

  80. avatar Louise Kane says:

    This is an image from a coyote derby, there seems to be some debate about its time frame but if this happened once in the history of man it is once too many times. Prepare yourself before opening

  81. avatar jon says:

    Extremely sad story, but it looks like the dog will be alright. This dog is a fighter in every sense of the word.

    We got some truly evil people in this world.

  82. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Poor thing, surviving all that. WTF is wrong with people. But there will be someone who will give him a very good home, I hope.

  83. avatar Louise Kane says:

    FYI showing of movie True Wolf in Madison Wisconsin

    There are links in the poster to the site with a trailer and other listed showings

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