Rare Fishers Heavily Impacted

A response to a state public records request, submitted by Western Watersheds Project to the Idaho Fish and Game Department, shows widespread capture and mortality of non-target species related to wolf trapping and snaring in Idaho during the 2011/2012 trapping and snaring season.  For the last two years, since wolves in the Northern Rockies were delisted, wolf trappers in Idaho have killed approximately 177 wolves.  However, during just the 2011/2012 trapping season these trappers have captured approximately 246 non-target animals.  Of those captured, 116 were released alive, 118 were killed, and the fate of 12 others were not reported.

Trapping is notorious for the suffering caused to animals and for the likelihood that non-target animals will be captured or killed.  Idaho wolf trappers are apparently no exception to this and have taken many non-target species while trapping for wolves.

The area where wolf trapping is allowed was expanded in some areas for the 2012/2013 season and 53 wolves have been taken with the use of leg hold traps and snares which are lengths of cable that tighten around the neck or limb of whatever animal happens to become ensnared by them.  Trappers are only required to check their traps and snares once every 3 days.

Included in the list of species captured are rare species such as eagles, fishers, and goshawk.  Despite the fact that fishers in Idaho are isolated and genetically distinct from other fisher populations, and there being no open season for fisher, a total of 22 fishers were captured and 15 of those died.  According to a 2009 petition to list fishers as an endangered species in the northern Rockies:

“The trapping season for fishers has been closed in Idaho since the 1930’s. The fisher is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need, and ranked “G5/S1” (IDFG 2005a). This means that it is globally secure, but within the State of Idaho it is: “Critically imperiled. At high risk because of extreme rarity (often 5 or fewer occurrences), rapidly declining numbers, or other factors that make it particularly vulnerable to rangewide extinction or extirpation”

A total of 83 deer, 18 elk, and 4 moose were captured by wolf trappers and, of those captured, 27 deer and 1 elk were killed.  Two domestic pets were killed and even a goose died.  26 mountain lions were also trapped, 13 of which were killed.  Since most trapping is conducted during winter months there was only 1 bear capture but it resulted in the death of the bear.

Jon Rachael, the IDFG State Wildlife Manager, explains that the information in the public records response was gathered from two sources of information:

The first summary is taken from furtaker report cards required to be submitted by licensed trappers at the end of the trapping season. For the trapping season year ending June 30, 2012, we received reports from 154 trappers who indicated that they trapped for wolves. Forty-one of those trappers reported a total of 99 nontarget catches. Fifty of those were released alive. I have attached a summary of those nontarget catches by species as reported by the trappers. Please note that, because of the way this information was collected on the fur-taker report card, we have no way of determining from these reports which or how many of the reported nontarget animals were caught in traps set for wolves vs. traps set by for other species. For example, 2 wolves were reported taken as nontargets and released alive.

Nontarget species reported
by fur trappers who also trapped for wolves.

Species
Caught

#
Caught

#Unknown

#
Released Alive

#
Dead

Black
bear

1

 

 

1

Bobcat

2

 

2

 

Cottontail
rabbit

2

 

1

1

Coyote

2

 

 

2

Deer

23

 

12

11

Dog

3

 

3

 

Eagle

2

 

2

 

Feral
cat

1

 

 

1

Fisher

21

 

6

15

Flying
Squirrel

1

 

 

1

Goshawk

1

 

1

 

Lion

17

 

10

7

Marten

1

 

 

1

Packrat

1

 

1

 

Porcupine

1

 

 

1

Raven

1

 

1

 

River
Otter

1

 

1

 

Snowshoe
hair

3

 

 

3

Squirrel

1

 

 

1

White-tail
deer

12

 

8

4

Wolf

2

 

2

 

TOTAL

99

0

50

49

Rachael continues:

The second summary is taken from response to a survey we conducted of 460 individuals who purchased a trapping license for the 2011-2012 trapping season and also had attended a wolf trapper education class. One hundred forty-three (143) of the 339 respondents indicated they trapped for wolves during the season and reported 147 nontarget captures, 66 of which were released alive (see Table).

While trapping for wolves, did you trap any of the following species?
If yes, how many of each species did you catch? Please indicate if they were released alive or if they died.

Non-Target species captured
by wolf trappers who responded to the survey

Species
Caught

#
Caught

#Unknown

#
Released Alive

#
Dead

White-tailed
deer

45

 

33

12

Mule
deer

2

 

2

 

Elk

18

6

11

1

Moose

4

 

4

 

Mountain
lion

9

 

3

6

Black
bear

0

 

 

 

Lynx

0

 

 

 

Bobcat

9

 

4

5

Domestic
pets

9

 

7

2

Coyote

45

6

1

38

Fisher

1

 

1

 

Goose

1

 

 

1

Skunk

2

 

 

2

Raccoon

1

 

 

1

Raven

1

 

 

1

Total

147

12

66

69

When the information from the two sources of information is combined you can see the extent of carnage and injury associate with Idaho’s wolf trapping.

Combined total of all data.

Species
Caught

#
Caught

#Unknown

#
Released Alive

#
Dead

Black
bear

1

 

 

1

Bobcat

11

 

6

5

Cottontail
rabbit

2

 

1

1

Coyote

47

6

1

40

Deer,
Mule

2

 

2

 

Deer,
Unspecified

23

 

12

11

Deer,
White-tailed

57

 

41

16

Dog

3

 

3

 

Domestic
pets

9

 

7

2

Eagle

2

 

2

 

Elk

18

6

11

1

Feral
cat

1

 

 

1

Fisher

22

 

7

15

Flying
Squirrel

1

 

 

1

Goose

1

 

 

1

Gosshawk

1

 

1

 

Lynx

0

 

 

 

Marten

1

 

 

1

Moose

4

 

4

 

Mountain
lion

26

 

13

13

Packrat

1

 

1

 

Porcupine

1

 

 

1

Raccoon

1

 

 

1

Raven

2

 

1

1

River
Otter

1

 

1

 

Skunk

2

 

 

2

Snowshoe
hair

3

 

 

3

Squirrel

1

 

 

1

Wolf

2

 

2

 

TOTAL

246

12

116

118

Here are the response documents sent by the Idaho Fish and Game:

2011-2012 Non-Target Species caught by wolf trappers
WWP PRR response Non-target 12-13-2013Non-target 12-13-2013

avatar
About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole, Western Watershed Project’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Coordinator, is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is also serves as a member of the board of directors for Buffalo Field Campaign and as a member of the Sierra Club Grazing Core Team.

158 Responses to State Public Records Request Shows Widespread Capture and Mortality of Non-Target Animals Related to Idaho Wolf Trapping During 2011/2012 Trapping Season

  1. avatar jon says:

    Wow, thank you so much for posting this. This really needs to be spread around. I guess Idaho fish and game doesn’t want to publicly release the truth about what collateral damage that traps and snares cause.

    • avatar Dan says:

      To put this in perspective I wonder what’s killed by vehicles every year in Idaho???

      • avatar Dan says:

        I have hit and killed a bear, a coyote, 3 deer, a duck, a pheasant, a grouse, an owl and probably a few other animals that don’t come to mind in the last five years. I drive mostly rural or mountainous roads and highways. I do not speed – last ticket was 16 years ago and was a lousy deal why I even was given a ticket. I slow every time I see animals but they seem to pop out of bushes from time to time.

        • avatar Patrick says:

          In 13 years of living in Montana near Yellowstone I’ve hit 1 deer and 1 grouse,in 10 years of living in Colorado I don’t recall ever hitting anything,is this just luck?

          • avatar Peg says:

            I’ve been driving for 40 years now and except for 1 opossum that wandered out into the road when I was learning to drive I haven’t killed anything else on roads that have ample amounts of wildlife crossing them. He’s either a horrid driver or needs to draw attention so is telling tales.

        • avatar Rich says:

          Wow, Dan. The carnage you have caused is incredible. I’ve driven for over 50 years throughout ID, MT, WY, UT, WA, OR, CA, AZ, NM, CO, NV and all the other surrounding states as well as throughout our country and only hit a few rabbits when the populations were robust. Either you are pulling our leg or a very poor driver. In case you haven’t read the driving regulations lately, you are supposed to keep your vehicle under control at all times. Bunting all those defenseless animals down the road doesn’t seem to comply. Let me know when you are headed out on the road so I can take shelter!

          • avatar Mark L says:

            I know this part of the thread is kind of a strawman anyway, but Dan’s roadkill isn’t that unusual, depending on where you drive. Having lived in the south, I’ve seen armadillos, raccoons, cats and dogs by the thousands (and nutria, snakes, etc.). Personally I’ve gotten more than him (just in my 40’s), but I drive daily through an overcrowded deer crossing zone….last thing I want is to see a coyote hit, they are population control.

        • avatar Dan says:

          The insurance company doesn’t think I’m a bad driver. Only 2 of the deer hit caused enough damage to file claims and they were both comprehensive. My rate has gone down in the 5 years. I live half the year in a small remote town and the other half 2 hours away in a larger but still very small town. I make many trips between the two and the highways are quiet remote and completely forested. The pheasant and owl where in farm country to the east out of the mountains. The owl swooped down to take a mouse lite up by my headlights. The bear was a cub on a night with pouring rain. It was extremely dark and I had no reaction time at all. The coyote was broad daylight and he had just caught a mouse in a meadow on one side of the road and was bent on getting back to the other forested side. I saw him with plenty of time and hit the brakes hard but he basically ran into me. Say what you will but vehicles kill tons of animals on forested roads most of the time with no way to avoid them. I was just trying to get people to think and put into the perspective the mortality of forest animals by man’s means.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            “”I drive mostly rural or mountainous roads and highways. I do not speed”

            So what you may be saying, not putting words in your mouth, you do the speed limit, correct?

            I also live in a rural area Dan, both mountainous and forested. The speed limit is 70 mph. I don’t drive over 50 mph and usually less than that if its dusk or dawn (I don’t drive at night anymore because of all the active wildlife in my area)

            20 years in the area and I’ve hit a couple of hares & probably that amount in gophers (both species seem almost bent on “hari-kari” :)

            Speed and not paying attention to your surroundings, is what kills way too many animals on roadways. I know because I’ve had more than my share of close enounters that would of been tragic if I had been doing the speed limit.

            We are required to slow down in school zones, residential areas etc. (to insure the safety of our own species) but little, if any thought, or consideration, is given to wildlife and their “neighborhoods”

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            Yes, this all has to be factored in and it isn’t. People aren’t even safe anymore from drivers. I live in a rural area which is getting less and less so by the day. I haven’t hit any animal in my driving lifetime, and I hope I never do. I would be very upset if I did. I am careful because we have a lot of deer, and of course dawn and dusk are active for just about every animal. Birds do swoop in front of cars too.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            Yes, this all has to be factored in and it isn’t. People aren’t even safe anymore from drivers. I live in a rural area which is getting less and less so by the day. I haven’t hit any animal in my driving lifetime, and I hope I never do. I would be very upset if I did. I am careful because we have a lot of deer, and of course dawn and dusk are active for just about every animal. Birds do swoop in front of cars too.

      • avatar jon says:

        You are trying to say that the wild animals that are killed by traps meant for wolves is insignificant.

      • avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

        This report is not about road kill but if you need to find out and inform the rest of us,go for it.However,you might want to post it in the column or section where,if you come across can any inertesting news,you can do so.

      • avatar Mike says:

        That wouldn’t put anything into perspective. hitting animals with cars is a unintended consequence of using cars for transportation.

        Trapping is designed to torture and kill animals, with no other uses.

  2. avatar Ingrid says:

    This report intensifies my dislike for trapping itself. But, at bare minimum, every state should mandate a 24-hour check of traps. The interminable suffering of animals left for even a day, let alone three (if they’re caught on the first day) is difficult to reconcile. I’m also skeptical about the accuracy of a self-reported survey like this. Self-regulation is notoriously problematic in any context, and my guess would be that people tend to underreport “collateral damage” of all kinds. Beyond that, the report doesn’t say now many of the animals released alive were injured or otherwise impaired. Having hands-on experience with wild animals in a hospital setting, I simply don’t see how a trapper releasing an animal in a high-stress setting, without any medical technical experience, could assess any of that. So, in other words, mortality and injury of reported animals could easily be higher than what’s listed here.

    • avatar frank krosnicki says:

      Ingrid, very well put, and I do not believe the numbers are correct in any case. What amateur trapper is going to admit his/her inability to catch only wolves? This is a very brutal sport, if you can call it that. I fully understand culling the wolves if/when necessary, but the hatred for them goes on and on. How many of these traps are not checked after placing, how many others animals lie suffering a brutal death, and how long will man go on brutalizing animals for their own self pleasure?

  3. avatar Nancy says:

    Thanks for posting this Ken. Its a sadly, sick, insight into what trapping is all about, here in whats left of wildlife and the ole west.

  4. avatar Joseph C. Allen says:

    Trapping Agony by Charles Darwin:

    “It is scarcely possible 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 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 an end to 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.”

  5. avatar Mike says:

    Trapping is absolute garbage.

    Hopefully, banning this atrocious “past-time” is something everyone on Wildlife News can get behind.

    Right WM and Savebears? Even you guys must frown upon the needless death of a cool animal like a fisher.

    I’m sure you guys would love to see this outlawed, too.

  6. avatar Elk275 says:

    How does one release a moose caught in a trap? I want to know.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Shoot the moose, remove the trap, then lie about it.

      Welcome to trapping 101.

    • avatar Robert R says:

      Elk
      I trapped when I was a kid and never got anyone’s pet and the only non targeted animals I ever trapped were skunks. I would bet most of the non targeted animals if legal to trap the hide was sold.
      As ungulates getting trapped it would have to be wolf size traps or snares.
      More than likely if a large or non targeted animal is caught the game department is called and the animal is tranquilized. The majority of animals do not struggle much if any when approached.
      The majority of trappers have a catch pole just like animal control to release non targeted animals.
      Most ungulates are somewhat submissive when caught. I have cut several deer out of fences and one elk and they don’t struggle they just want loose. I did have one doe deer try and bite me while cutting her loose.

  7. avatar Mike says:

    BTW, I look forward to the response here from Idaho Fish and Game. But I’m guessing it’s going to be a cricket fest….

  8. avatar Ken Cole says:

    This information is just the tip of the iceberg. Since it is only information related to trappers who are also trapping wolves, it doesn’t cover the number of non-target species that are being trapped by trappers who aren’t trapping wolves. It is also dependent on self reporting. I wonder if there have been lynx, wolverine, or more fishers that haven’t been reported.

    I am not the only person who is very startled by the number of fishers that have been trapped and killed. I have had a few phone conversations today about this and, for people who know more about what is going on with fishers, this is very upsetting.

    I have been very fortunate to have seen two fishers in the Lochsa drainage in recent years and they are interesting animals.

  9. avatar Larry Keeney says:

    I can not understand how a person is not prosecuted for taking an animal that is listed as closed season. What part of “closed season” can’t be understood? I would like to know how many hunters are charged with killing a moose during the elk or deer season by mistake. Wardens routinely write tickets for killing a mistaken animal if the season is closed. What code gives a pass or exemption to trappers? And if 246 nontargets were taken during trapping and it is self reporting, you can bet the actual number is very much higher. I’m actually surprised any trappers report nontarget takes. And then of course how many that were released later died either outright or due to their inability to continue fending for their own life.

    The Charles Darwin quote is priceless. It is time to get this stuff in the mainstream. And I don’t mean at a booth at the next rodeo. Ken’s reporting is also priceless.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Larry,

      We discussed this in the past. How is it not poaching? It is indiscriminate. The problem with busting these individuals, it will contribute to TSS. Trap Shovel and Shutup

      Yeah, I’m also interested how you release a moose, deer, or elk from a trap. I doubt they will be very passive about it unless said incidental capture is stressed and exhausted to the point of being comatose.

      Folks, this is just Idaho. I’m going to start poking around MN for incidental catch records after reading this.

      • avatar jon says:

        How does a wolf trapper know how to release a moose from a trap? Immer, can’t the DNR give you a record of how many non target animals were trapped or killed by those traps specifically meant for wolves? FOIA should allow this.

    • avatar jon says:

      Why are these trappers not being arrested and fined for non target animals being killed? Idaho fish and game must have known they would be non target animals trapped and yet they went along with allowing trapping and snaring of wolves.

  10. avatar Leslie says:

    Thank you Ralph for posting this. It appears that as many as 2/3 other non-target animals were killed as were ‘target’ animal wolves. How can ID&G justify this kind of carnage?

  11. avatar JB says:

    I’m really surprised by the number of non-targets here. Trapping *CAN* be selective, but the trapper needs to know what they’re doing. A colleague, who traps coyotes for research told me that in 10 years of trapping they caught two non-targets (domestic dogs). Since these were snares set for capture (with a locking mechanism to prevent choking), they simply let the dogs loose and contacted the owners to return them. The numbers and variety listed here are startling.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      JB why would you be surprised. Thousands of trappers set traps. They are intended to catch animals,. Do you think your colleague would tell you or others if he were catching many illegal animals? I know he told you about the dogs but that story had a “Happy” ending. Trapping reminds me of setting gillnets in the ocean and its one of the reasons many ground fish have been wiped out. Putting thousands of nets everywhere, some left unattended or lost, and fish and everything else that crosses their paths killed. Traps are the gill and drift nets of the land. Where do wildlife have to go to escape these abysmal devices. And just how many traps are set out there? I hate hate hate these disgusting devices. Its not a few traps here and there, thousands.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        JB sorry, I saw you said colleague catching for research…but the researchers are going to be tending the traps and use a different standard of care I would presume.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        ” Its not a few traps here and there, thousands.”

        And herein is the crux of the matter about trapping wolves in particular when so many say that the wolves will learn… I say BS! It’s not just one or two grizzled trappers going after the few remaining lobos, but hundreds of not thousands with multiple snare and trap sets.

        And yes, I don’t live in Idaho. HTFC’s. A three day trap check is inexcusable.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          It did not take that long to wipe out the NE and NE Canadian fisheries. New technology, excessive effort and bad regulations overburdened the fishery and is caused the collapses. I see a direct correlation with the way the states are treating trapping, snaring, baiting, hounding etc. If one fraction of the license holders caught wildlife, there are thousands of permits out there. Just how much can wolves take? The number of traps, snares and other killing devices being left out and set all over the land is unconscionable; anyone defending these policies is out of their mind, and has their blinders on, as they say. Never mind, the mind blowing absolute inhumanity of trapping and snaring of any animal but especially animals that are like our dogs but even smarter.

    • avatar Mike says:

      The variety of large mammals in the Idaho backcountry is more than your average suburb fringe.

      You can’t really compare setting out traps in farm country to setting traps in remote woodlands that are home to lynx, goshawk, cougar, marten, fisher, wolverine, black bear, moose, elk, bighorn, mountain goat, etc.

      What happened in Idaho is just a bunch of ignorant hicks killing whatever they feel like without remorse or penalty.

      • avatar Mark L says:

        Mike says,
        “What happened in Idaho is just a bunch of ignorant hicks killing whatever they feel like without remorse or penalty.”

        Correct. And the state legislature is complicit in the fact that they pass laws permitting it. I’m not advocating putting people in jail for following the law, I’m just saying the laws need changing–there’s no direct consequence for a legislator to pass stupid laws, which is really the problem.

      • avatar Mark L says:

        Mike says,
        “What happened in Idaho is just a bunch of ignorant hicks killing whatever they feel like without remorse or penalty.”

        Correct. And the state legislature is complicit in the fact that they pass laws permitting it. I’m not advocating putting people in jail for following the law, I’m just saying the laws need changing–there’s no direct consequence for a legislator to pass stupid laws, which is really the problem.

      • avatar Mark L says:

        Mike says,
        “What happened in Idaho is just a bunch of ignorant hicks killing whatever they feel like without remorse or penalty.”

        Correct. And the state legislature is complicit in the fact that they pass laws permitting it. I’m not advocating putting people in jail for following the law, I’m just saying the laws need changing–there’s no direct consequence for a legislator to pass stupid laws, which is really the problem.

  12. avatar Nancy says:

    You only have to google Carnival Cruise nightmare or watch the nightly news to realize how, just a tiny fraction of our OWN species reacts to being “trapped” (and I’m not talking leghold or snares here, freezing temps and NO food or water for days) and no one’s gonna come stand on their chests to suffacate them or shoot them in the head, at the end of their ordeal.

  13. avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

    Thank you,Ken,for the post and keeping me informed.

  14. avatar Louise Kane says:

    I wonder if the reports of the animals trapped are like the fishery reports. Rarely do fishermen report everything they catch and sometimes its not out of evil intent, its often related to not remembering an accurate count, or keeping track and then again there is an incentive to not report accurately. I can only imagine what people leave out of trap reports. Like Ken said the tip of the iceberg.

    • avatar Cris Waller says:

      I notice there are no wolverines on the list, which I found very surprising, and I wonder if it’s an intentional omission.

      I also wonder- how the heck do wolf traps catch very light animals like pack rats and goshawks- and how are they still alive and releasable when the trapper gets to them?

      • avatar Ken Cole says:

        Keep in mind that there are two sources of info. One is a survey asking what trappers caught while trapping wolves, the other is asking what trappers in general, but who were also trapping for wolves, caught. The distinction is not really obvious but it is there.

        Since the information that I received was limited to just non target captures related to wolf trapping there was some info that came from trapping intended to capture other species too.

        The number of fishers captured is quite startling and I doubt that many of them were captured in wolf traps. It is my understanding that IDFG should expect to get another request from another group asking specifically about fishers.

      • avatar ma'iingan says:

        “I also wonder- how the heck do wolf traps catch very light animals like pack rats and goshawks- and how are they still alive and releasable when the trapper gets to them?”

        A properly-set wolf leghold trap is very selective – for wolves and heavier animals. When we set on wolves we almost never catch anything else – once in a great while a dog, but at 6-8 pounds of pan tension our traps don’t even trip on coyotes. And ungulates won’t come near the scent baits we use, so there’s no issue there.

        I tend to think a lot of the bycatch in these reports may be due to snares, which IMO should be banned everywhere. Cable restraints are more selective, and allow incidentally-caught animals to be released unharmed. Since we learned how not to catch deer, we’ve had almost zero bycatch with cables.

        The other major contributor that I see is the 72-hour requirement. No excuse for that, and Idaho trappers will have no one to blame but themselves if they lose their trapping privileges.

        Their state may have outmoded trapping regulations, but there are trapping BMPs for every species – trappers should be embracing them voluntarily.

        • avatar Larry Keeney says:

          So what are your thoughts on the concept that setting and leaving these nonselective lethal contrivences on the public lands is not consistent with common sense and befitting a compassionate human being? How does the trapping concept with snare or jaws differ from just leaving a poison nugget or small explosive to kill whatever steps on or eats it?

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            I think I pointed out a couple of methods that can be very selective if trappers follow BMPs. If we had that kind of bycatch while trapping wolves for collaring we wouldn’t be allowed to continue our work.

  15. avatar Lyn McCormick says:

    I am spending the winter in the beautiful Uintah mountains, outside of Vernal UT. I live in a small mountain community near Flaming Gorge reservoir. Unbeknownst to me, until the dogs brought home three discarded, skinned (paws still on) bobcat carcasses, I arrived in the midst of “bobcat season?” it was probably an entire bobcat family ! Being an avid outdoors-person; mountaineering, backcountry skiing, hiking, horseback riding, and big game hunting, I have to say that in 40+ yrs of those activities I have only seen (fleeting) two bobcats in the wild. Now, I am sad to say that I have seen more dead bobcats than live ones. Pardon my naïveté, but would someone please explain to me WHY and WHAT is driving the market for bobcat pelts and how do we stop this destructive and unnecessary practice ?

    • avatar Leslie says:

      China mostly and Russia.

      I think it’s despicable to kill animals for money. I found out that here in WY they don’t even do a yearly count on their bobcat population. They have no idea of their population, don’t care, and have no limit on how many bobcats you can trap in their quite long season. Speaking of non-target animals, in his bobcat traps this year I heard he got a cougar and an eagle and who knows what else.

      • avatar Leslie says:

        oops, “in his bobcat traps” refers to a guy who traps bobcats for a living around my area and, by the way, puts them right next to the road where dogs people whatever can get into them.

  16. avatar Peg says:

    I think all of the states need to get together to fight against all the trapping in the USA. That’s the only way things are going to get changed if there are enough supporters instead of each state on it’s own. More voices to be heard by whichever Federal Gov. agency regulates it. WE also need more tourism people, photographers, and the Parks to join in. Forget the people who only go to ski but if you figure in the ones who go to see the wildlife, and the photographers who don’t want to take pictures of just snow, it would make a difference. Also, sorry to say but get the collars off of them. Study some other way so they don’t have a target painted on them ! AS for the mentality of the trappers who inflict such pain and murder without feelings…put them in Chicago here and they’ll be killing each other. Same low life mentality.

  17. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    I suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg. If folks want to do something, they might contact any news media in their area as well as national media such as the New York Times to shine a light on these practices.

    Traveling. Posted by Kindle Fire.

  18. avatar WM says:

    Ken,

    Good topic and thanks for posting. I am no fan of trapping. The non-target captures are disturbing, whether the animals were alive or dead. I do have a couple of questions.

    Couldn’t tell if each of the reports was mutually exclusive of the other. One is a voluntary tally of trappers sending in information (hard to tell whether it under-reports due to its nature). The second is a response to a survey of trappers who attended a workshop for wolf trapping. Is it possible some trappers who sent in their voluntary report also filled out the survey? So, that if both charts are combined it might over report the numbers recorded?

    Second, in view of the number of fisher reported as caught, is it possible some might be their smaller relative, the marten (I have always known them a pine marten). Don’t know the relative densities of each, or whether because the marten is smaller it would be less likely caught in traps intended for other species. Depending on the ability of a trapper to tell the difference between the two, is it possible some non-target species were mis-identified?

    Third. The reports do not specify type of trap in which each species was caught – leg hold (padded leg hold), snare, snare with some kind of chock stop to keep the animal, especially a smaller one from choking, or connibear traps of various sizes. Was this information sought and obtained by IDFG, but just not given to Ken?

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      I have some of the same questions and I explained what I think is going on in my last response to Cris Waller.

      As far as martens being mistaken for fishers, I find that unlikely. I think most of the fishers reported in this information were captured by trappers who were targeting martens and they knew the difference.

      When I submitted the request I was trying to obtain just information about what non target species wolf trappers were catching:

      Under Idaho Code §§ 9-337 through 9-350, Western Watersheds Project (WWP) is requesting information pertaining to wolf management in Idaho.

      Specifically, WWP is requesting data showing capture or mortality of non-target species such as deer, elk, mountain lions, fishers, wolverines, eagles, pets, bobcat, etc. caught by wolf trappers in Idaho.

      Read the letter from Jon Rachael closely. There is some overlap with other types of trapping in this information. I think it would be useful to ask what non target species all trappers are catching. While it wouldn’t weed out the information that I was after, it would be informative.

      I think I have more-or-less stumbled upon information that could cause the USFWS to have to reconsider the status of fishers in Idaho and Montana.

      • avatar Kathleen says:

        Plenty of animal advocates felt that fishers should be included when the attempt was made to close wolverine trapping entirely in MT back in 2008. In all my time in the wild, I’ve seen exactly one fisher (and one pine marten, and no wolverines). But closing trapping for particular species is almost irrelevant in light of the fact that those listed above are ALL non-target victims of traps set for BOTH wolves and other prized (read: lucrative–bobcat, $411.84, 2011 prices) fur-bearing species. Wolf trapping is not the problem–TRAPPING is the problem. Who but trappers are allowed to set and bait multiple concealed–and in many cases–lethal weapons and WALK AWAY from them? One suspects that, often as not, they are home in bed when their cruel devices spring on a victim who then suffers terror and pain for hours if not days…what kind of pathological mind does it take to be OK with this?

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      I think the information contained in the table titled “Non-Target species captured by wolf trappers who responded to the survey” shows only species captured while wolf trapping. The other table shows some of both. I doubt that there is much overlap unless the number of trappers in general is very, very small.

  19. avatar WM says:

    For those who do not know the difference between a fisher and a marten here is some good information.

    http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/zielinski/psw_zielinski026.pdf

  20. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    It is stunning. The nonchalance about non-target species, especially with ever-decreasing wildlife under so much pressure from an ever-expanding human population and their ‘needs’. It’s not the same world as it was when trapping of old (not that it was any less cruel then of course). The mindset is a lot like commerical fishing, Louise. Harvest till it’s all gone, despite warnings – then wonder what happened.

    Yes, thanks Ken for bringing this out.

  21. avatar jon says:

    I hope people in Idaho will attend these fish and game meetings and ask these fish and game people about all of the non target animals that are being trapped and some killed by traps meant for wolves and what they plan on doing about it or are they just going to allow the same ol continue.

  22. To the compassionate and enlightened among us:

    Here is another horror to consider (this kept me up for two nights straight):

    Last July Idaho Fish and Game (perhaps Mark Gamblin can shed some light on which individual(s)generated this monstrosity) approved (for the first time ever) the use of intentionally “taken” wolves for use as bait for further wolf trapping (so long as the hide has been removed)

    Specifically, refer to IDAPA 13.01.17 Use of Bait and Trapping for Taking Big Game Animals 400-02.-i. “Gray wolves may be trapped near a big game animal that has died NATURALLY and the carcass has not been repositioned for trapping purposes … and ii.”Gray wolves may be trapped using a carcass of a LEGALLY TAKEN gray wolf with the hide removed.” (emphasis added).

    Clearly, this admin. rule reflects how much ID F & G reviles and misunderstands the most important ecological actor we have by deceptively turning a species which is closest to humanity in terms of cooperative breeding, etc. into cannibals. So much for managing wolves “just like any other big-game wildlife.” Right, Mark Gamblin, Ed Bangs, et. al?

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      “Clearly, this admin. rule reflects how much ID F & G reviles and misunderstands the most important ecological actor we have by deceptively turning a species which is closest to humanity in terms of cooperative breeding, etc. into cannibals.”

      It’s not at all uncommon for wolves to kill and eat each other, or to eat packmates who have died. Pups have even been observed eating a dead parent. Wolves eat dogs with gusto, why wouldn’t they eat another wolf?

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        what would not be ok for wolves? oh right anything thats not legal and remind me again whats not legal?

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “what would not be ok for wolves?”

          Valerie claimed that using a wolf carcass as bait would be “deceptively turning a species…into cannibals.”

          I pointed out that wolves are commonly cannibalistic – so her assertion is untrue. I didn’t make any value judgement claiming that the practice is “ok” for wolves.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        could you comment on what you think of the state policies toward wolves? I am interested, do you really feel they are defensible? Its probably impossible for you to reply due to your position, but I find it hard to contemplate a person who has decided to pursue a career in wildlife defending these policies or having studied biology to find any of them as having ecological, ethical or scientific merit or justification. and how does one reconcile treating extremely intelligent and social animals so cruelly.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          I can’t comment with any conviction on the NRM states’ wolf management policies – state wildlife management is mainly driven by local cultural factors as much as anything. I’m not a resident, so I have only a second-hand understanding of the social fabric.

          I can comment on specific practices that are outmoded, as I did, and suggest that there are better alternatives that could address some of the issues that concern you as well as ethical sportsmen.

          I can also comment on the wolf management plans in the WGL, where I am familiar with the culture – the Minnesota and Wisconsin wolf management plans are capable of maintaining healthy and sustainable wolf populations. So yeah, that’s “defensible”.

          • avatar Mark L says:

            Michigan’s (current) plan?

            • avatar ma'iingan says:

              Michigan’s plan is in flux – wolves were recently classified as a game animal and the state’s natural resources commission is charged with implementing changes to the management plan, presumably to allow a public harvest.

              I don’t doubt that the result will be a plan that balances ecological and social factors – and that Michigan will maintain a healthy wolf population.

              • avatar jon says:

                Is Wisconsin going to allow hound hunters to use dogs to hunt wolves or is there going to be more lawsuits filed? Any legislation that you know of in WI that will try to ban hound hunting of wolves? If hound dogs come across wolves, what do you think will happen to the hunting dogs?

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                aren’t all the states managing for that oh so healthy and robust population of wolves. The wolves that are left each year after their family members have been snared, trapped, shot, bowed and arrowed and soon to be chased by dogs. Michigan citizens are working for a state based initiative to prevent the same kind of balanced plan that you are speaking about from being foisted on their wolves. I hope one state keeps its wolves safe from that kind of a “balanced” plan. Is that a script?

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Valerie, nothing surprises me anymore but the level of anger, disgust and outrage I feel regularly now toward wildlife managers, legislators and the dnr agencies that propose, advocate for and implement these horrific laws and policies. Its like they are from another planet, the evil planet immorality where no shame, compassion or humanity exist.

  23. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    And here I thought I had reached the height of my disgust with Idaho Fish and Game, eclipsing even my own Wyoming game ranchers. Yet IDFG keeps raising the bar…

    We would be thrilled to see a Fisher here in NW Wyoming where they once lived but were mostly trapped out. I have not heard of a confirmed sighting in many years.

    What’s the Coefficient of Disgust here…?

  24. avatar Natalie Kruse says:

    Now that we have this depressing information what can we do about it?

  25. Ma’iingan

    In a fundamental sense, the point I was making is that a forty-three million dollar plus wolf “recovery” program which was described (at its zenith) by Secretary Bruce Babbitt at the 1995 YNP reintroduction dedication as SECRETARY BRUCE BABBIT as such:

    “The reintroduction of the wolf after decades of extinction is an extraordinary statement for the American people. It reconnects our historical linkage with the wilderness that is so central to our national character. It admits to past errors and asserts our willingness to correct them” has, in my well-researched opinion, reached its nadir in July 2012 when I F & G authorized the use of the YNP and Idaho descendants as bait to kill yet more wolves.

    So whether or not wolves regularly cannibalize each other (my supposition is that they don’t but I certainly intend to research the issue) it is disturbing to me that you entirely missed the moral point. Perhaps you have been involved in promulgating the same regulation wherever you happen to be??

    • avatar Harley says:

      Valerie,

      Cannibalism is rather common as wolves are an opportunistic animal. If it’s dead, it’s fair game so to speak. There have been several instances of cannibalism documented from the studies on Isle Royale. A rival or strange wolf in enemy territory is killed and eaten. Wolves will also eat dogs, which are very closely related to wolves. Would that not be considered cannibalism too?

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Harley,

        As I am in transit between one place and another, I have none of my IR/ Mech/Peterson stuff at hand. Not to be contrary, and not to say that it hasn’t happened, but I don’t recall much if any cannibalism among IR wolves.

        If you have some info on that subject, please do share as we can then go to the IR web site and, well, cite it.

  26. Ma’iingan

    In a fundamental sense, the point I was making is that a forty-three million dollar plus wolf “recovery” program
    reached its nadir in July 2012 when I F & G authorized the use of the YNP and Idaho descendants as bait to kill yet more wolves.

    So, whether or not wolves regularly cannibalize each other (my supposition is that they don’t but I certainly intend to research the issue, it is very disturbing to me that you entirely missed the moral point. Perhaps you have been involved in promulgating the same regulation wherever you happen to be??

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      …”it is very disturbing to me that you entirely missed the moral point.”

      Again, I didn’t “miss” the moral point. I addressed a biological point – that your assertion that the practice will turn wolves into cannibals is untrue.

  27. avatar Robert R says:

    The only targeted species is the trapper.
    Get real hear!!
    There are more non targeted animals killed daily on roads by vehicles.
    How many non targeted animals are killed by controlled burns.
    How much have any of you contributed to wildlife programs?

    2012, $8.1 billion has been generated and passed on to state wildlife programs through the Pittman Robertson Act.

    • avatar Jay says:

      I like the logic Robert–P-R funds generated from people that buy sporting goods (some of which MAY be hunters) go into wildlife programs, therefore it’s OK to torture animals in traps.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        “(10) Trapping contributes little to the Montana economy. In Fiscal Year 2008, trapping brought in a total of $94,000 in revenue to the State of Montana. In comparison, over the same fiscal year, hunting generated direct revenue to the State of $45 million and fishing generated direct revenue to the State of $20 million. Federal studies show that wildlife watching brought $376 million into Montana in 2006. If trapping were limited to private land this financial contribution would likely increase as rare species become more abundant and visible on our public lands”

        http://sos.mt.gov/elections/archives/2010s/2010/initiatives/I-160.asp

        • avatar Robert R says:

          Nancy
          You always gravitate to wildlife watchers contributing more money.
          Does their money go to habitat, wildlife management, streams, fencing, or help purchase land to keep it from development etc and the list is endless.
          You live in a big time ranching and hunting/trapping community you should know.
          They don’t live in Montana year around so why would I want them dictating how to run Montana.

            • avatar Robert R says:

              Most of the jobs are seasonal temporary jobs.

              • avatar Nancy says:

                Robert R – The services industry in Montana is huge, I wouldn’t discount it by saying “Most of the jobs are seasonal temporary jobs”

                I know a lot of people who would be considered “seasonal” They work a few months at one job and when the season ends in one area, they find another job, in another area.

                And the big time ranching/trapping community I live in, contributes little to actual employment (kind of obvious on the chart) Family makes up most of the help, with maybe parttime help in the summer) and it only takes one to set a trapline.

              • avatar Jay says:

                And wildlife related jobs that rely on exploitation of “game” (i.e., outfitting/guiding) aren’t seasonal temporary?

              • avatar Robert R says:

                Nancy do me a favor. Would you explain to the ranching community of the Big Hole Valley that they are contributing very little to Montana’s economy?

                Jay not all but most outfitters run year around with summer pack trips to hunting from August until June of the next year. Oh that’s part of the wildlife watchers using guide services in the summer.

              • avatar Jay says:

                Most Robert? Numbers to back that up? I’ll bet you most are working 5-6 months tops (2 months around elk season, and the 3-4 months of summer tourism).

              • avatar Jay says:

                Fact of the matter is, revenue is revenue–I doubt the communities that are the primary recipients of the money derived from the various recreationists–hunters, wildlife watchers, or otherwise–care what the breakdown is of temporary or permanent jobs.

              • avatar Robert R says:

                Jay I never realized it you hit the nail on the head with your comment.

                And wildlife related jobs that rely on exploitation of “game”
                That is true for both wildlife watcher’s and hunters.

              • avatar Nancy says:

                “Nancy do me a favor. Would you explain to the ranching community of the Big Hole Valley that they are contributing very little to Montana’s economy?”

                Robert R – I think this subject has been covered in the past. Just take a look around you, especially at the little towns, the stagnant little towns where most shop keepers are barely making a living. Its been that way since I moved here 20 years ago.

              • avatar Jay says:

                Seriously Robert? You consider wildlife watching as a form of exploitation on the same level as hunting?

      • avatar WM says:

        Jay,

        I am having trouble with this part of your statement:

        ++…P-R funds generated from people that buy sporting goods (some of which MAY be hunters)…++

        Please indentify which goods upon which a P-R exise tax is assessed at point of manufacture, that are not purchased/used by hunters.

        • avatar Jay says:

          Firearms and ammunition.

          I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I’d be willing to bet the vast majority of guns and ammo are purchased by non-hunters, or are non-hunting firearms/ammo (e.g, .357 and .45, or .223 for the AR-type guns).

          • avatar Nancy says:

            Here ya go Jay –

            “According to the latest available figures from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, about 13 million Americans hunt, but estimates of the number of gun owners in the U.S. range from 60 million to 90 million. This means that only 14% to 22% of the people paying into the Pittman-Robertson fund are hunters”

            • avatar ma'iingan says:

              “This means that only 14% to 22% of the people paying into the Pittman-Robertson fund are hunters”

              Oh come on. Most of those firearm owners made a one-time purchase of a gun and ammunition.

              • avatar Jay says:

                Really? So why are gun sellers having trouble keeping pistols and ammunition in stock?

              • avatar Elk275 says:

                “Oh come on. Most of those firearm owners made a one-time purchase of a gun and ammunition.”

                Oh come on. Every time I have extra money I am off to my favorite gun store, Shedhorn Sports in Ennis, Montana, sometimes two to three times a year depending upon money or at the minimum once a year I purchase a firearm never less than one a year regardless.

                Most of the firearms purchased in the US are never going to be used for hunting but there still is an 11% tax at the manufacturing point.

              • avatar Jay says:

                Oh come on Elk, stop being so intellectually dishonest! :)

            • avatar Jay says:

              Thanks Nancy.

              Regardless, I don’t give a shit if 100% of funding came from hunters, that doesn’t excuse cruel, inhumane treatment. I hunt and I kill animals, but I do my damn best to make sure there’s as little suffering as possible, and I do it to put food on my table. Trapping is the antithesis of this–it’s done for fun and profit (in direct contradiction of the North American conservation model), with no concern for undue suffering.

              • avatar ma'iingan says:

                “Really? So why are gun sellers having trouble keeping pistols and ammunition in stock?”

                If you cared to be intellectually honest, you’d know that the answer is an extraordinary and short-term spike in demand – the same that occurred the last time there was fear of a ban on hi-cap firearms.

              • avatar Jay says:

                If you cared to be intellectually honest, you’d acknowledge that non-hunting firearms sales are steady due to the fact that these buyers are typically collectors and enjoy taking their firearms to the range to shoot. Contrast that with a hunter, who might buy a rifle or two, and the occasional resupply of ammunition.

          • avatar topher says:

            I’d be willing to bet that most firearm owners in the western states were introduced to firearms through hunting, whether they continue to hunt or not.

        • avatar WM says:

          OK. Thanks, I’m good with that.

          • avatar WM says:

            There are, of course, the archery (bows/arrows/accessories) and black powder (rifles/caps/powder), and optics (scopes are P-R taxed,too, I think).

    • avatar jon says:

      Wow, you’re incredible. Are you trying to dismiss all of the non target animals caught and killed in traps meant for wolves?

  28. avatar Robert R says:

    Nancy who started these wildlife programs. you and others want to take credit. you and others may be a part of trying to help wildlife and habitat now, but where was these types decades ago?

    • avatar Nancy says:

      And who killed off most of the big game (and ravaged small game by trapping) Robert R? Self serving wouldn’t you say?

    • avatar jon says:

      It was hunters who killed the big game off in the first place.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      Robert- when the first Anglos landed at Plymouth Rock from old England for a new life here, what would later be called the Lower 48 States was home to an estimated 10-12 milloion ELK. The elk herds ranged from the Berkshires of Massachusetts all the way to the Pacific.

      Then the indiscriminate killoing began , ion the name of Manifest Destiny. Doesn’t matter if it was for meat on the table or elimination of competing wildlife to make forage available for Herefords and Hampshires alien exotic imported livestock, the Elk and most other Big Game in America were almost eradicated in the nest 250 years.

      Depending on who you cite, the Elk population at its nadir was maybe 125,000 remaining animals by the late 1880’s. Which is to say 99 percent of them had been killed off. Same rough mortality as Grizzly Bears and Bison. Without a native complementary prey base, the remaining Grey Wolves turned to livestock, and they , too were all but eliminated by 1930. I’m sure we Whites would have killed all the Cougars if we could have only found them. We did utterly extinct many smaller species , not the least being 2 BILLION Passenger Pigeons. For what ? In a word, Arrogance. because we could. Was it right? In a word, No.

      The apex of this wholesale Big Game slaughter in the American West came after the Civil War and B.T.R. ( Before Teddy Roosevelt) when the market hunters stormed west of the 100th merdian.

      Yes, Robert, the biggest PERPS responsible for the killing off of wildlife in the American West were HUNTERS. Such as my town’s idolatrous namesake Buffalo Bill Cody who personally killed over 4,000 Bison.

      Therefore, the modern hunter has great shame in his heritage…a shame that has not been wholly absolved no matter what you think or say about the cumulative of the so-called North American Model of wildlife management. Because NAM itself was flawed. it failed to account for that positive ecologic and wholly necessary force of nature known as ” apex predators”. The science has not been born uet that allowed teddy Roosevelt and his peers to factor in predators, although they later figured it out on their own. Thankfully , that epiphany came not a decade too late. ( Thank you Also Leopold et al).

      Hunter — AND trappers — still have a helluva lot to atone for today . I’m sorry to say theya re headed back the wrong way , led by their own state Game and Fish departments. We all know that ranchers will never change and ranchers are the sworn enemy of free roaming big game herds and balanced ecology and stewardship of all the lands for the benefit of wildlife to the extent possible.

      But trappers ? THOSE we can control and lower the boom upon. We should make it so. There is small place in modern society for trappers. QED.

      The evidence presented here about the collateral damage in Idaho is Exhibit A.

      So–what to do about hunters and trappers while there is still time ?

      • avatar Nancy says:

        “So–what to do about hunters and trappers while there is still time”

        Good question CC. Especially when you’ve got atleast 3 states in the west, thumbing their noses at the idea of ” a balanced ecology and stewardship of all the lands for the benefit of wildlife to the extent possible”

        • avatar Larry Keeney says:

          CC and Nancy: So–what to do about hunters and trappers while there is still time”

          When Idaho had their wildlife summit a few months back many of us here were surprised at the nonconsumptive wildlife voices that were vocal. That is the key to turning wildlife management back to science and away from this all out consumptive use which includes habitat removal as well. What has surfaced in Idaho’s management style or political style since then? Nothing. The political monsters of which there are few, but wielding a big bully stick, will pull out all stops to see that environmental voices such as wildlife watchers, etc., are quieted or at least suppressed until the top political ranks are voted out. Idaho has had no leaders embracing science since Andrus. Until the voices that are being bullied rise up in opposition to the powerful it will be status quo. The only exception to that is the work from such organizations as WWP through the courts. And that will be changed legislatively as much as the bullies can do it (ESA removal for wolves, etc.) I think it is very important to attack on two prongs, (1) vocally and with votes, (2) donations and support for the WWP type court active organizations. The latter has the biggest bang for the effort.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            Larry – re: with support and votes, sadly it just seems anymore that politicians are not what they appear to be.

            Fanning & his opinion regarding Bullock. Bet Fanning couldn’t wait to get up to Helena and apologize to the Gov. Probably took him out for a steak dinner :)

            http://www.lobowatch.com/adminclient/WolfPolitics3/go

            • avatar Larry Keeney says:

              Nancy: Politicians are two-faced, no doubt about it but our vote and the courts are still our most potent tool in this country. Be thankful for being able to vote and having the court system available to us. Think how bad it would be if the wildlife consumption bullies were able to avoid all restraints. Hard to imagine but certainly could be worse and it may get worse before it gets better. Science must be pushed forward by those that support management by science.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Cody Coyote a voice of reason in Wyoming, are you sadly the only one!

      • avatar Ken Fischman, Ph.D. says:

        Thank you Cody, for your inclusive summary of many of the ways in which humans have extinguished what at first seemed to be endless numbers of wild animals.

        To continue this thread about anthropogenic effects on wildlife, The Humane Society estimates that automobiles kill 360 million animals a year, while the Federal Highway Administration believes that one million are killed annually(NYT 9/12/10). Quite a difference, but when you consider whose ox is being gored(an inadvertent metaphor), you can see that both sources are suspect. So, the real number is probably somewhere in between.

        Any way you look at it, that is a lot of dead animals. I do believe that mankind has made progress in respecting the rest of the community of life, the sad story of wolves excepted.

        One of our leading authors, Barry Lopez, has a sobering and touching story of the roadkills he encountered on one trip. It is called “Apologia,” and is well worth your reading. I know that it sensitized me to the terrible toll we heedlessly take while barreling down the highway. I now remind myself each time I take a road trip to be superalert to the wildlife.

  29. avatar Larry Keeney says:

    Addendum: The bully pulpit is in the courtroom!

  30. ma’iingan says:
    February 16, 2013 at 8:31 am
    …”it is very disturbing to me that you entirely missed the moral point.”

    Again, I didn’t “miss” the moral point. I addressed a biological point – that your assertion that the practice will turn wolves into cannibals is untrue.

    ****

    I stand corrected. Wolves occasionally eat their dead pack mates. But again, my point is (and I suspect that if you do know my point but are trying to deflect) that IF& G has reached a yet a new nadir when a species, which has receives the most poignant acclaim I’ve ever read coming from a public official (see Sec. Bruce Babbit’s reintroduction dedication comments supra) has been so marginalized to the point that IF&G considers it acceptable to slice up skinned wolf corpses into bait hunks to attract other wolves, and yet it not acceptable to use other intentionally killed game as bait hunks!

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Leslie – seems to be a BIG difference in the human mind and the mind of other species, considered further down the evolutionary scale, when it comes to “waste not”

      Will again reference the Carnival Cruise nightmare that recently happened – WHAT IF there had been no way to get to that ship of happy and then suddenly angry, frustrated vacationers…. for weeks? Even though other ships were dropping off food?

      And not to make light of this “terrible” situation but how come, atleast some of those 3 thousand passengers aboard, were not taken off the ship, when those other ships came by to drop off food, in order to alleviate some of the mounting problems?

      Wasn’t quite newsworthy yet?

      Eating other passengers, out of desperation, would of been…..like finding a meal, any meal, in the wild, when you’re hungry.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1972_Andes_flight_disaster

  31. avatar Mark L says:

    I think I recall non-traditional cannibalism being a parallel to hopelessness in most humans that don’t already practice it (no hope of ‘rescue’), whether in pyschological form or from situation. It’s not a normal response in the wild except to disrespect.

  32. Dear wolf advocates,

    I’m incorporating the final finishing touches into a massive five-year project describing the journey from the zenith of conservation(1995 gray wolf reintroduction) to the nadir where wolves (via IF&G’s 07-16-12 admin.rule) are now being cut into bait chunks to attract other wolves into death traps.

    I would VERY MUCH appreciate anyone’s perspective — in broad strokes only — on how and why (e.g. the most important players and events) the NRM wolves have become so marginalized.

    Thanks!

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Broad strokes
      1) anti american, anti wildlife groups
      NRA
      Big Game Forever
      Safari Club International
      Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
      these and other groups using dissatisfaction in of social and economic status in people’s lives to malign wolves and other predators. and huge sums of money to buy policy
      2) I think many Americans are unaware that some of the most atrocious policies like trapping, snaring and hounding of wolves is allowed. Most people are surprised to learn wolves can be killed. So lack of awareness
      3) a hesitancy by Congress to rock the boat when it comes to trophy hunting and sport killing. a hesitancy to challenge so called cultural practices or rights even when the public comes out against these practices. Just as its proving hard to make meaningful legislative reform in gun control its going to be extremely difficult to achieve much needed reform in wildlife management
      4) lack of unity in wildlife and especially wolf advocates
      5) a terrible wolf recovery plan using indefensible recovery numbers…and a lack of unity to challenge that recovery plan
      6) an eroding ethical underpinning in some regions. Proliferation of killing games etc….
      7) inability to apply adaptive management policies by the agencies and to recognize that the NA model of conservation should not apply to predators and is seriously flawed in that respect.
      8)The intent of the ESA was abrogated by the special status provision, see of wolves and welfare ranching
      9) special interests trump public policy that should preserve public trust resources
      10) ignorance, ignorance, ignorance…until wolves and other predators are protected from stupidity and ignorance they will always be persecuted. The only way to do this is to protect them federally until another generation that has not been steeped in hate and ignorance is of voting age.
      11) Ken Salazar and the current administration’s lack of leadership in this area

      as I think of more I’ll submit. I’m sure some will disagree.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      It’s a new low isn’t it. I have read where wolves are not cannibalistic, only under extreme circumstances. I don’t think these people have hit bottom yet, however. But I wonder if a lot of this is just to outrage wolf advocates, and perpetuate myths about them so they can carry on with eradicating them. The laws are ridiculously extreme.

      I’ll have to think about this for a bit – but off the top of my head I would say that the extreme hunting groups and wolf haters have always been there, but they have gotten a foothold now because nature and wildlife just are not on the average person’s radar anymore, unless it affects them directly. With a worldwide bad economy, people are looking for a scapegoat too. You’ll notice that wolves are on the Most Wanted List in a lot of countries around the world as well.

      There was an ‘enlightened’ period for awhile when people cared about the environment, and wolves were reintroduced – but not anymore.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      A false sense of entitlement and arrogance, thats been passed from one generation to the next, to the next, regarding the land and wildlife.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Competition. We prefer the stacked deck.

    • avatar Leslie says:

      Valerie, in an attempt to see a wider view:

      when i first moved to WY in ’06, someone told me who’d lived here for years that with the ranchers “it used to be the communists, then it was the coyotes, now its the wolves. Always have to blame their troubles on something else.”

      I think too that with all the efforts needed to get the wolves back here, there was not much left for re-education. The people who have lived here, grew up here, they watched the government kill all the wolves and place bounties on them. Now the government was bringing them back. There’s a disconnect there for them. Prejudices die hard and get passed on to the next generation.

      Also, I observe that people’s litmus test for what’s ‘normal’ is their memories, not facts. Relying on that, outfitters who’ve moved here in the late 80s after the fires, saw the elk blossom feeding on the new lush grasses and think ‘those are normal numbers’. Or the people who tell me that the herd in Sunlight used to be 4000-5000 in the 70’s. Maybe that was true then, yet my neighbor who is 90 and grew up here said there were few elk here in the 30’s. People don’t look at the whole history, nor care to understand the biology. They just want to talk story and think that’s what’s right because that’s all they know.

      One other thing is that at least here in Wyoming, the political climate has changed enormously. People are moving in who are extremists and a lot of them from the South. People also move here with a strange romanticism about the West, cowboys, Indians, and an idea that’s there’s a culture of freedom to do whatever you want without any ‘gobermint’ interference. I’ve heard New York transplants talking about ‘shoot, shovel and shut up’ like it’s a mantra they can chant and be in the ‘in crowd’. Or the New Jerseyite that got here 6 months ago and is now head of the ATV club in town and is pushing for roads everywhere in the forest. Those types of people do not help things.

      • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

        Leslie,

        NC gives an excellent summary how farmers’ culture/independent thought changed in last 160 years

        Noam Chomsky “Public Education and The Common Good”

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7TLZN92-dZo

        Noam Chomsky addressed more than 800 students at East Stroudsburg University on February 7, 2013.

        Mr. Chomsky gives to us an eloquent historical, present and future perspectives as to the public educational system in the US how he believes it has been used not for the common good, but rather for the special interests of those who have power and money and want to perpetuate a docile non-critical thinking population..

        Society, or the common good, as Chomsky called it, encourages people to focus on themselves and their own success. Programs such as public education and Social Security, which are now under attack, are based on a different perception.

        “They are based on the perception that we should care about other people….That’s a dangerous perception. It means you should be a human being and not a pathological creature,”

    • avatar Barb Rupers says:

      http://oldmanoftheski.wordpress.com/author/busch42012/ “Men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights and responsibilities, including dominion over nature.” Steve Busch

  33. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    I would add a few to the list:
    A belief that man is the apex predator; move aside you others.

    Some religions preach that God gave man dominion over earth and all its creatures.

    Some believe that animals exist for man’s taking.

  34. Louise, Ida Lupine, Barb Rupers,Immer:

    THANKS! Very helpful!

    One last question: does anyone have an idea as to why the dismal recovery standard was not changed during the friendly Clinton administration, when Jamie Rappaport was chief of the U.S.F.W.S.?

    • avatar Kathleen says:

      In response to Valerie’s question–underlying ALL the excellent answers above is speciesism (an answer that someone else might have offered and I might have missed). Speciesism not only drives the hatred of wolves and other nonhuman animals, but also drives the exploitation of domesticated “livestock” species; drives the desire to kill “game species”; is responsible for the human construct that sees animals as an “other” unworthy of moral consideration–seeing them only as competition, nuisances, objects of sport, food, and entertainment; that considers animals a means of ego enhancement and of generating income. Speciesism casts a wide net that entangles all animals–without regard for the lives of individuals and always for perceived human gain.

    • avatar Barb Rupers says:

      “One last question: does anyone have an idea as to why the dismal recovery standard was not changed during the friendly Clinton administration, when Jamie Rappaport was chief.”

      I have been a predator supporter since I was in mid school. When the wolf reintroduction occurred I felt that the mood of the country had changed to be more accepting of wolves since bears and cougars were seemingly more tolerated by many citizens than they had been decades before. A false sense of security led me to believe the tough fight was over when wolves were actually released. Perhaps the same was true of those in charge of the reintroduction. Bruce Babbitt and Jamie Rappaport were strong supporters of the federal position at that time. Perhaps they thought the big hurdle had been jumped and finer tuning was not needed.

  35. addendum: and thanks to you Leslie!

  36. avatar Mark L says:

    Re; your new westerners
    if you get a chance read Jared Diamond’s ‘Guns Germs and Steel’ where he talks about dejected Greenland colonists coming back to Europe and trying to be ‘more European’ than the Europeans through force of habit. This is essentially the same fairy tale-infested drama centuries later (I’ve seen it in missionaries also). People buy a vision and then go with it. Blame TV and a common storyline? (maybe I’d blame Louis L’amour some also but I like his writing).
    BTW the south says thanks for unloading some of our ‘oddities’. We’ll send more if needed.

  37. avatar Zach says:

    Does anyone know if any Democratic members of the Idaho legislature support wolf restoration, are anti-hunting, or just against the extreme hunting going on with wolves now?

  38. avatar Ken Fischman, Ph.D. says:

    Thank you Cody, for your inclusive summary of many of the ways in which humans have extinguished what at first seemed to be endless numbers of wild animals.

    To continue this thread about anthropogenic effects on wildlife, The Humane Society estimates that automobiles kill 360 million animals a year, while the Federal Highway Administration believes that one million are killed annually(NYT 9/12/10). Quite a difference, but when you consider whose ox is being gored(an inadvertent metaphor), you can see that both sources are suspect. So, the real number is probably somewhere in between.

    Any way you look at it, that is a lot of dead animals. I do believe that mankind has made progress in respecting the rest of the community of life, the sad story of wolves excepted.

    One of our leading authors, Barry Lopez, has a sobering and touching story of the roadkills he encountered on one trip. It is called “Apologia,” and is well worth your reading. I know that it sensitized me to the terrible toll we heedlessly take while barreling down the highway. I now remind myself each time I take a road trip to be superalert to the wildlife.

  39. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Ken to amend your statement “I do believe that mankind has made progress in respecting the rest of the community of life, the sad story of wolves excepted.” I would add predators excepted….globally

  40. […] is indiscriminate.  ‘Non-target’ animals are killed every year.  During the 2011/2012 Idaho wolf trapping season, for example, 246 non-target species were […]

  41. avatar Janice Sampo says:

    Traps and snares need to be made illegal,it is the most Inhumane and Cruel way to die,to say nothing of the suffering!

  42. avatar Vickie Kreider says:

    The massive killing of wildlife by mistake due to traps, is inexcusable. This inhumane treatment and waste of wildlife MUST STOP!!!!

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

~ Edward Abbey

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