The re-listing of wolves in Wyoming, prompted by law suits from a host of conservation groups has been celebrated as ‘righting’ what many have characterized as backwards and heavy-handed management policy  Researcher Daniel Kinka provides an alternative perspective in a recent blog post.  While acknowledging that Wyoming’s plan was “heavy-handed”, Kinka worries about how wolf opponents and residents of the state will respond:

What was ruinously overlooked, was the effect that this decision is almost certain to have on already dichotomized attitudes towards wolves, wolf conservation, and wolf management. Wolves are a divisive and polarizing topic in the West. However, in granting Wyoming the right to manage its wolves, a small step was taken towards the democratization of wolf management. It offered the people who live with wolves a say in how they should be managed; a chance to ease some tension on the subject. This lawsuit stripped that modicum of control from the people of Wyoming.

This idea–that wolf populations might be better off if those who oppose wolves were allowed greater say in their management–was the foundation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2009 attempt to remove wolves in the Northern Rockies from ESA protections (which ultimately became law) and the FWS’s recent (2013) attempt to remove wolves from protections nationally.  In the 2013 Rule, the Service wrote:

We strive to find a balance in wolf management that will sustain wolf populations but also address other human concerns in a way that maintains tolerance of wolves among the human populations that live with them (USFWS 2013 Final Rule, p. 35692)…[and] …Positive public attitudes continue to be fostered through management of conflicts and hunting and trapping opportunities and their associated economic benefits. (p. 35693, emphasis added).

Or as former wolf-recovery coordinator Ed Bangs put it, “A little blood satisfies a lot of anger.”

Questions about the ethics of such propositions aside (and acknowledging that they may in fact be central), there is little question that wolf populations in Wyoming were not immediately jeopardized by the state’s management.  Indeed, as Kinka points out, the population actually expanded after Wyoming’s inaugural hunt and despite classifying wolves as vermin in 85% of the state.  However, as yet there is also little indication that such policies have done anything to change attitudes toward wolves. (Indeed, while I have little doubt that a bit of blood-letting could result in more ‘tolerance’ for wolf management policy, I’m increasingly skeptical that it has done anything for wolves.)

One explanation for why policies directed at wolves continue to vacillate between protection and heavy-handed management is simply that different interests are empowered by federal and state-level control; or perhaps more importantly, some interests are dis-empowered under either arrangement (see Martin Nie’s Beyond Wolves).  Under prevailing common law, states manage wildlife as a trust for their citizens (the beneficiaries of the trust)–not the citizens of other states.  Consequently, when wolves were delisted, national interest groups and the American public had no say in wolves’ management despite the fact that wolves are largely confined to federal public lands.  In contrast, when wolves are federally-listed, their management is directed at preserving the species, which generally serves the interests of all Americans, however, can dis-empower local ‘affected’ residents.

The fundamental problem with this policy dichotomy is that both conditions are patently unfair.  Federal management under the ESA dis-empowers the people who live among wolves and are most likely to be impacted by them; yet, state management of wolves on federal lands–lands that belong to all Americans–dis-empowers everyone else.  Thus, each ‘side’ in the wolf debate has a strong incentive to change the policy to favor them.

Viewed from this perspective, it becomes clear that the problem (unfairness) will not be resolved under either policy regime.  And so the pendulum is likely continue to swing...

 
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About The Author

Jeremy Bruskotter

Dr. Jeremy Bruskotter is an associate professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at the Ohio State University where his research interests are centered around the human dimensions” of wildlife conservation and management. Jeremy is passionate about wildlife–at one time or another, he has called himself hunter, angler, and wildlife photographer. Most of all, Jeremy is concerned with bringing the tools and techniques of the social sciences to bear on pressing issues in wildlife management.

284 Responses to An Alternative Perspective on the Re-listing of Gray Wolves in Wyoming

  1. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    Whenever decisions can be made using science and on the ground information instead of politicians and lawyers, the better. I wonder if the USFWS knew the amount of time and resources that would be spent on wolves, if they would have decided to re-introduce them into Yellowstone and central ID.

    IMO, lawsuits are effective in getting species listed as it protects their habitat and illegal take, but I’ve witnessed four different recovery plans for the northern spotted owl because of lawsuits, yet the owl continues to decline.

    Lawsuits have created a wild horse explosion that is significantly damaging the rangelands as the BLM is handcuffed in reducing their populations.

    There is no doubt, there will be lawsuits to oppose the de-listing of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem while every lawsuit takes away resources that could be used to list and protect another species (there are hundreds proposed).

    Lawsuits will not allow wolves more freedom to roam the landscape without the threat of human persecution. They will only create more animosity toward wolves as those who live among them have less control.

    If we spent more time and resources in restoring and protecting habitat and less on lawsuits, wildlife would be far better off.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Gary Humbard wrote:

      “If we spent more time and resources in restoring and protecting habitat and less on lawsuits, wildlife would be far better off.”

      This statement assumes that the money and effort to initiate lawsuits and to protect habitat come from the same pot and the same people.

      They don’t. They have no competitive relationship to one another.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        it also ignores the persistent threat to wild animals that comes from resource extractors, poachers, and am anti predator population of ranchers, trophy hunters and others that will hate and kill predators at will unless they are prevented by statute or lawsuits.

      • avatar Gary Humbard says:

        Ralph, as a conservationist every month I have a decision to make, do I donate to a organization that is involved in lawsuits like CBD or to a organization like The Vital Ground Foundation (Missoula, Mont.) who secures conservation easements from private landowners that provide critical linkages for wildlife movement.

        Even though the monies are not directly coming from the same pot, some of the money is coming from the same people. I chose to support organizations that are involved in resolving and preventing on the ground conflicts instead of in the court rooms. I’m sure there are thousands of people who have to make this same decision, lawsuits or on-the-ground resolutions.

        • avatar JB says:

          Gary:

          About a week ago I was lucky enough to spend some time with Michael Soule — one of the founders of conservation biology. He was recently able to calculate the amount of money that Americans give to non-human causes like conservation. The result: approximately $1 in every $100 is given to non-human causes. That number is staggering, and suggests that we could all spend a bit more to help out conservation. Personally, I try to spread my donations around–and yes, I purchase a hunting and fishing license as well.

        • avatar MJ says:

          Gary, I am understanding you to say that there is one solution to this, but this is a complex problem. I don’t believe one route will fix this, it will take strong collaboration of many who want to preserve wildlife.

          Lawsuits are appropriate when immediate protection is needed, I think there is overwhelming evidence that the wolves are in imminent danger from those who might not obey the rules, ans well as those who have the power to make the rules.

          Their DNA needs to be preserved in either their natural habitat (best) or sanctuaries. I am shuddering at the thought of “restoring and protecting habitat” which has become a euphemism for a game reserve for recreational hunting. That is not a complete ecosystem, with the benefits that the Yellowstone studies demonstrated. That is not what the rest of us want for wildlife. Animals know they are being hunted, we tend to think that because they don’t have our frontal lobe that they don’t have emotional intelligence, they do.

          A solution I am not hearing enough about is changing industry from within to be more eco-friendly, vs the industry vs. nature that we have now. The problem with our politics is that politicians accept money for campaigns, quid pro quo, from industry. We need industries that are not dependent on destroying wildlife, and support coexistence. We won’t survive either on this planet for very long after we have decimated the animals for jobs. This is the bottom line, follow the money.

      • avatar Ken Cole says:

        It also assumes that money to save habitat is being legitimately used. With regard to sage grouse habitat restoration, it is a boondoggle. The money is being spent to kill sagebrush and create more cattle forage. Exactly the opposite of what needs to be done.

    • avatar MJ says:

      The idea that this is an issue of legal protections is long overdue, and that the politics do not reflect constitutional protections of the majority should be of real concern. Lawsuits are exactly what needs to happen, as with the civil rights movement it will also need public awareness of the issue and practical change in follow up to legal precedent.

      “Lawsuits will not allow wolves more freedom to roam the landscape without the threat of human persecution. They will only create more animosity toward wolves as those who live among them have less control.

      If we spent more time and resources in restoring and protecting habitat and less on lawsuits, wildlife would be far better off.”

      This is asking wildlife advocates to give up the fight. The “fudging” of conservation of hunting grounds for trophy hunting (“habitats”) being used interchangeably with conservation of a healthy ecosystem continues to go unchecked and is absurd. As we brutally slaughter our apex predators with extreme prejudice the balance of the ecosystem continues to decline and we will lose keystone species. The special interests, who are a minority of citizens at both the state and federal level threatening to poach animals and harass advocates is not an acceptable reason to abandon the laws that are meant to protect everyone’s interests. This should not still be happening in 2014. This is not a state’s rights issue, this is the right to representation by the general voter, and at the state level most people love animals, not corporate interests.

      Aside from the offense to those who love animals, the loss of a healthy ecosystem is a violation of the rights of the majority of citizens, whether voting in state or federal elections. Federal protections are meant to step in when the state has failed to protect it’s citizens, which is obvious in the wolf debate. This loss of our ecosystems effects our health and our future. We really don’t want to be forced to lose our wildlife so that we can be bullied by trophy hunters, and factory farmed animals / fossil fuels are forced down the throats of the majority.

      No where in the political sphere is political corruption, quid pro quo and outright bullying so obvious as in the struggle to protect wildlife. To be blunt, the “hunter’s high” and the rancher’s “rights” to decimate wildlife to increase a profit margin is based not in a legitimate cultural tradition but in the very ugly history that this county was founded on the taking of land by force and keeping it with force. Hate groups are rampant and very open in the wolf debate.

      Enough. The wildlife and the health of our planet belongs to the majority, not hate groups, not special interests who mean to bully our futures away from us. That is why we are a country of laws.

      • avatar Larry says:

        The above equates wolf advocates with wildlife advocates. I find many diametrically opposed. Uncontrolled growth of wolf packs has devastating impact on other wildlife. Many (most?)people I know have little or no use for wolves primarily because they kill other more desirable wildlife: Elk in particular. I have yet to meet anyone that “hates” wolves as some allege in this thread. If more people knew that wolves on average kill over 20 Elk per year even less people would advocate uncontrolled growth of wolf packs. On the other hand most of the people I know don’t have a problem with a reasonable managed number of wolves: managed along with other predators to meet societal goals. That is what agencies like the Idaho Department of Fish and Game do. IMHO they do quite well when allowed to do their job instead of spending money fighting lawsuits by people who contribute nothing.

        • avatar ramses09 says:

          Who are we to manage anything.
          Nature surely takes care of itself.
          Humans will always get in the way.

        • avatar Yvette says:

          Many (most?)people I know have little or no use for wolves primarily because they kill other more desirable wildlife: Elk in particular.

          ….and here is one of the major problems. People with an inability to see benefits beyond what we humans want or desire. Larry, there is an entire earth out there with systems that function and fluctuate that has nothing to do with what services it provides to humans.

          Simply stupefying.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          “Many (most?)people I know have little or no use for wolves primarily because they kill other more desirable wildlife: Elk in particular”

          Larry – most of the people I know have little or no use for hunters, because they often roam around in packs devastating wildlife, whether its elk or gophers.

          I got a chuckle out of Luke (who recently departed the discussions here) when he claimed wolves had stalked him. What else would they do? I mean if I saw a bush (camo) moving around in the woods or hills, human scent washed away to “fool” wildlife into thinking its a bush, I’d certainly investigate it 🙂

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          how many fish do sharks eat each year? how about how much underbrush and garden items does a deer or other ungulate eat each year? what about grizzlies eating salmon and berries. What product should wild animals eat that humans don’t claim, want to need, our discarded plastic. I hear the seas turtles aren’t doing so well on that.

        • avatar Jay says:

          Larry, my tongue-in-cheek response–more of a question, actually– to your assertion of “uncontrolled wolf packs” is, when aliens take over this planet, what species do you think they target for elimination as vermin first: a few hundred thousand wolves, or 7-plus billion (and rapidly growing) humans?

        • avatar JB says:

          “The above equates wolf advocates with wildlife advocates. I find many diametrically opposed.”

          Premise: Wolves are wildlife.
          Premise: An advocate is an advocate.
          Conclusion: Therefore, wolf advocates are wildlife advocates.

          In all seriousness, the problem is that your conclusion, “Uncontrolled growth of wolf packs has devastating impact on other wildlife” simply is not supported by any research.

          In fact, I just come from a research meeting where a number of prominent ecologists agreed that the evidence for strong effect trophic cascades (i.e., wolves impacting lower trophic levels via killing or moving their prey) is crumbling. The research indicates wolves effects on prey populations (deer, elk, moose) tend to be relatively weak, except under certain conditions. A new review article is due out soon…

          • avatar Jay says:

            20 elk per wolf per year, JB. Have you forgotten? Oh, and they’re Canadian. And they attack people left and right.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            In fact, I just come from a research meeting where a number of prominent ecologists agreed that the evidence for strong effect trophic cascades (i.e., wolves impacting lower trophic levels via killing or moving their prey) is crumbling.

            Can’t wait.

            Could it be possible that there are so many human changes made to the environment such as habitat loss and fragmentation that there is no ‘laboratory’ anymore to observe it?

        • avatar Unkar says:

          I would respectfully disagree about people “hating” wolves. I’ve encountered plenty of people that not only dislike wolves, but feel hatred toward them, both on Facebook and in person. Many of them have such deep hatred they constantly talk of “gut shooting” to inflict pain, not just killing wolves. These types of people came out in force during the recent Toby Bridges affair that made the news. They were evident for anymore who wanted to look.

  2. avatar Louise Kane says:

    If the USFWS were serious about its intentions in recovering species and following the mandates of the ESA then they would be looking at why intolerance is so persistent. It seems to be a combination of factors some of which you articulated very well. But they could take a lesson from big advertising campaigns directed at smoking, at civil right issues, at ending gay bashing. In order to change attitudes you need education, you need to make the negative action publicly unacceptable, and or you need laws to reinforce the undesirable activity. Instead of using the recovery plan as a tool to change attitudes the USFWS ignores the ongoing and continued war against wolves. The idea that blood letting is a pressure valve release is not proving itself to be true.

    • avatar MJ says:

      “The idea that blood letting is a pressure valve release is not proving itself to be true.

      +1

      The right to abuse animals is not a right, the absurdity of that sentiment is a symptom of how much power is in the hands of special interests. Legal protections are desperately needed.

  3. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Classifying wolves as vermin (usually something undesirable) is not management policy for a formerly endangered species that can be taken seriously!

    People have shown themselves incapable of handling the responsibility of managing our precious wildlife.

    Three or four years into the delisting, bloodletting doe not seem to be creating a tolerance for wolves at all, the killing just keeps escalating – dogs, contests, perceived threats. It really couldn’t get much worse. At least if they are protected, the SSS crowd might still exist, but we wouldn’t have these legal escapades that we see now.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      And you can’t just go by numbers. Are the packs healthy and genetically viable? Maybe the stress of hunters has the same effect on wolf health as the ranchers claim wolf presence has on cattle health – affecting reproduction and physical well-being.

  4. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    I really take issue with the idea of whether or not wildlife policies should benefit or should not benefit humans. An animal has a right to exist and the ESA protects their continued existence. Noone has a right to view them at Yellowstone (we get lucky), no one has a right to hunt them (they take it), no one has a right to shoot them for the cost of a risky venture they chose to get into.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      I guess what I am saying is that wildlife does not ‘belong’ to any of us, but we do have the right, and I’d even call it a duty, to ensure their continued existence because it is the right thing to do.

      • avatar MJ says:

        There are legal rights and there is what is right. Legal rights don’t always reflect what is right, we all know this. The ability to take what you want, right or wrong, call that “state’s rights”, and then resent the big bad feds for interfering, is what is happening here.

        Trophy hunting is legal, even though it is clearly correlated with the decline of many species and our shared ecosystem. So is the abuse and the killing of many species of animals, because laws are just beginning to reflect the need to protect them and are inadequate. Poaching laws are not enforced hostile states.

        The original point asks whether assuring legal protection under the Endangered Species Act is necessary. OBVIOUSLY IT IS.

      • avatar ramses09 says:

        Ida, love your comments! You always have such wonderful & insightful statements.
        Thanks 🙂

        • avatar Ida Lupines says:

          Awwww, thanks Ramses and MJ – I know sometimes it’s hard to get a word in edgewise because I comment so much, but these are topics I care so much about! The Tester rider has been tragic.

    • avatar Elk375 says:

      ++no one has a right to hunt them (they take it), no one has a right to shoot them for the cost of a risky venture they chose to get into.++

      Yes, I have a right to hunt them. I am leaving in a few minutes to go antelope hunting and upland bird hunting.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        I’m sure you will. But you do not ‘have’ the right, that’s why they call killing ‘taking’ life. Other humans have given you a right (because we make the unchallenged rules), but it is one-sided and doesn’t mean much when wildlife cannot defend itself against people who want to blow them away.

        • avatar JB says:

          Ida:

          From where are ‘rights’ derived, in your opinion?

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            That’s a difficult question, which I think of a lot. I think the way our rights derive, is the same for any living thing – the right to self-actualization, and to live in freedom without deliberate interference. There are enough challenges for us all to face naturally in order to survival!

            I wish we could all extend our concept of rights to other living things we share the planet with.

            I do not have a problem with a rancher taking steps to protect his livestock and livelihood from legitimate depredation, if he has tried all non-lethal methods without success, and has no other option. Lethal measures should always be a last resort IMO.

            I certainly don’t have a problem with hunting for food, because it is what all creatures must do to survive, and we are no different. Those here who talk about getting an elk or deer to last the season or to share with others is what it’s all about, IMO. There’s a respect and reverence for the creature that is missing with those who want to go out and shoot a an entire herd of elk or antelope, waste them in the field, or just take a trophy and leave the rest. Giving the meat to the homeless is kind of self-serving IMO, because they need lots of things besides that, and it is just using them as justification for hunting. As humans beings, we should approach our experiences with other creatures with our mercy and humanity first.

            I don’t know if wolf killing is in response to what some feel is ‘too much government’. It is the same thing that happened when colonists set foot on this continent when there was no government as yet. It’s shocking, and nauseating, to think of all the killing and torture that was inflicted on wolves and other animals simply because of questionable perceptions that were not even true. Driving an animal into extinction because of untrue perceptions is shocking. When I had first read of these things, it is what encouraged me to try to help see that this never happens to wolves again. All wildlife, but wolves especially, because they are so unfairly targeted for beliefs, not facts. Grizzlies haven’t fared that well either – I just cannot imagine pitting grizzlies in fights for entertainment (of course, defanged and declawed). It is sickening.

        • avatar Elk375 says:

          Ida

          My hunter/friend missed 3 different times, so sad. This morning we snuck up on a buck at 75 yards and he missed. It was a very good trip and I had a wonderful time with the fall colors in full display. Hunter zero antelope 3.

          • avatar topher says:

            I missed a total of three times chasing antelope, one at 40 yds. I can’t imagine it’s hard to hit one but they’re sure easy to miss. Even though I had an unsuccessful hunt it was one of the most exiting hunts ever. I can’t help but be optimistic about next year.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            Well, that’s the spirit! 🙂

  5. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    Everyone says we are a nation of laws, yet when the USFWS (a regulatory agency of the ESA) in conjuction with leading wolf scientists determines the minimum population and breeding pair necessary to remove a species from listing, is met (and far exceeded) that’s not good enough.

    Most of the commenters on this site continually condemn any form of wolf “management” so what is your answer regarding the future of wolves. No management what so-ever? That would mean the need to take the human factor out of the equation and that would violate the ESA.

    Its easy to say that ranchers should know they are in a risky business regarding wolves, the only problem with that mind set is where did these wolves come from, oh they were re-introduced by the feds (instead of dispersing on their own).

    So YOU are a third generation rancher who has adhered to all of the recommended non-lethal grazing practices and YOU still lose numerous livestock to repeat offenders, oh well YOU should have known the risk involved! Easy to say from a keyboard.

    I’m looking forward to your answers regarding if or when should wolves be managed by state agencies, under what circumstances should a wolf be killed for livestock depredation, and are conflicts better resolved on the ground or in courtrooms?

    • avatar JB says:

      Gary:

      To whom was your response directed?

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      We never seem to hear about the ranchers who are adhering to recommendations? We just hear from the same names over and over again. If there is a legitimate example of livestock depredation, then maybe a rancher can do something about it, but certainly a generalized hunting season isn’t necessary and does nothing to minimize rancher losses that are statistically minimal, with other inherent risks resulting in higher losses.

      where did these wolves come from, oh they were re-introduced by the feds (instead of dispersing on their own).

      We don’t seem to want to acknowledge the fact that they were reintroduced because human had nearly wiped them out. They never get a chance to disperse much on their own before somebody shoots them first, and there were not that many to disperse. You might hear the odd unproven anecdote (‘oh back in ’62 my grandfather saw a pack…), but it doesn’t amount to a large number. Wolves need protection from human beings. I don’t think there is scientific agreement on the minimum number that is healthy – just a minimum number that anti-wolf states want to adhere to.

      Conflicts are better resolved in impartial courtrooms, because it isn’t the wolves’, but human perceptions of them that are polarizing those who want to leave nature alone, and those who want to dominate and destroy it.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        I think that the wolf states had an opportunity to show that they could manage (I hate that word) wolves in an un-biased, scientific and healthy way, and they blew it, big time. They didn’t even try, just took advantage once the ball was in their court. They cannot be trusted any longer.

        It has been an ugly disaster. I think George in his article about mountain bikes if right when he says a little self-restraint is in order.

        • avatar Gary Humbard says:

          Again using the fact that we are a nation of laws and the ESA states that once a species is listed as T&E, a recovery plan will be completed. Recovery plans describe reasonable actions and criteria that are considered
          necessary to recover listed species.

          The NRM Wolf Recovery Plan, revised in 1994 set a goal of developing a wolf
          metapopulation that never falls below 300 wolves with 30 breeding pairs for three successive years in each of three
          recovery areas (northwest Montana, central Idaho, and the
          Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem).

          the FWS classified reintroduced wolves
          as “non-essential, experimental” populations. Under this designation, the federal government affords the FWS greater
          management flexibility to “reduce local concerns about excessive government regulation on private lands, uncontrolled
          livestock depredations, excessive big game predation, and the lack of state government involvement.”

          • avatar Marc Bedner says:

            The non-essential, experimental status has always been a major flaw in wolf programs, including in the Southwest, where wolves still are theoretically protected by the ESA. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be anything in the law which requires USFWS to actually protect endangered species, severely limiting the ability to get anywhere with lawsuits.

        • avatar ramses09 says:

          Agreed!

    • avatar MJ says:

      “when the USFWS (a regulatory agency of the ESA) in conjuction with leading wolf scientists determines the minimum population and breeding pair necessary to remove a species from listing, is met (and far exceeded) that’s not good enough.

      That’s just not true. The USFWS does not serve the public interest, they serve industry, that has always been their intent. That is the criticism of both the USFWS and Wildlife Services. No, their policy is not consistent with leading wolf scientists, wolf scientists have been removed consistently from all policy decisions and replaced by trophy hunters and cattle ranchers. A few bought studies by a few government-paid biologists is not leading a wolf biologist or any environmentalist opinion. The propaganda and quid pro quo is thicker than thieves on this issue.

      “I am leaving in a few minutes to go antelope hunting and upland bird hunting.”

      Hunting is a violation taken and bragged about, it is the “apex predator” fantasy, the fantasy of pushing your weight around and getting away with it, and annoying laws are meant to be resisted Cliven Bundy style. It seems the law has only one beneficiary. Those who are taking the resources of the land from the rest of us.

      Lawsuits need to happen.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Gary,

      “Most of the commenters on this site continually condemn any form of wolf “management” so what is your answer regarding the future of wolves.”

      When you write something such as this, I wonder how much time you really spend on this site, and how much thought actually went into that statement before you put fingers (or thumbs)
      to keyboard.
      Granted, some on this blog might feel as per your statement, but one most probably would expect to see a statement such as yours on one of the anti-wolf sites. Your statement is simply not true.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      “Its easy to say that ranchers should know they are in a risky business regarding wolves, the only problem with that mind set is where did these wolves come from, oh they were re-introduced by the feds (instead of dispersing on their own)”

      Gary, you’re now starting to sound stupid. “Dispersing on their own” was never an option (even while on the endangered list, back before reintroduction) in ranching country, do some research.

      And spend some time going over the weekly wolf reports for Montana –

      http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/management/wolf/wolfWeekly2014.html

      10 months into 2014 and livestock losses due to wolf depredation are less than 3 dozen. Wolves dead, out number livestock dead.

      • avatar Gary Humbard says:

        I believe one of the “rules” on this blog is not to attack the commenter, so can we agree to refrain from using words such as “stupid”?

        I’m well aware that when wolves were re-introduced, they were classified as “non-essential, experimental” populations. This classification was critical to the FEIS team as it afforded the FWS greater
        management flexibility to “reduce local concerns about excessive government regulation on private lands, uncontrolled
        livestock depredations, excessive big game predation, and the lack of state government involvement.” Organizations such as Defenders of Wildlife realized the importance of providing flexibility and set up funds to reimburse ranchers for losses of livestock.

        The issue to this comment is the effects of the latest lawsuit regarding the attitude toward wolves for people who live with them. After the state of Wyoming rectifies their wolf management plan to satisfy the court order, will the attitude toward wolves be different?

        • avatar Nancy says:

          Gary – forgive me if that sounded like an attack on your comments. Easy to get carried away here when people make stupid comments like “dispersing on their own” without checking facts as to why wolves were never able to “disperse” back to historic territories in the lower 48 after being eliminated close to a century ago.

          I live in a ranching community and before those ” fed reintroduced wolves” were even back on the landscape, I could count on planes, up and down my valley, early spring, with nothing more in mind than to take out coyotes (#1 predator of young, unattended livestock)

          No one I’m sure has looked at that cost (over the years) nor wondered why, with the information in this day and age, given packs and reproduction rates, why managing them has been a complete failure (unless your WS or just like shooting them)

          Some interesting facts about wolves in Wyoming 2013:

          http://www.pinedaleonline.com/news/2014/04/WyomingWolfPopulatio.htm

          • avatar Larry says:

            The management of wolves has been a failure when the States are not allowed to use their control measures. Keep in mind the agreed to control number was about 300 wolves; 100 in each “study area”. That number has been exceeded by over 500%. The USFWS rules do not have a way to manage that excessive growth.

            The key point is that, using the USFWS wolf counts, and the best number I could find of how many Elk per year each wolf kills (21.6) the wolves have killed over 400,000 Elk to date in this “science experiment”.

            (PS: Even if you believe the number is lower than 21.6, even the extremely low estimate made in the EIS, the number remains unacceptable to Elk lovers…hunters or not.)

            • avatar Nancy says:

              “The key point is that, using the USFWS wolf counts, and the best number I could find of how many Elk per year each wolf kills (21.6) the wolves have killed over 400,000 Elk to date in this “science experiment”

              Toss in the numbers of elk killed by humans (hunting, road killed) bears, mountain lions and coyotes, I’m amazed there are any elk left out there…aren’t you?

            • avatar JB says:

              Two quick points Larry:

              (1) First, there was no “agreed to control number” of wolves. The 10 breeding pairs / 100 wolves in three states was the MINIMUM number needed to trigger delisting and that was only one of the recovery criteria.

              (2) I love elk, deer, wolves, coyotes, blue birds, etc., and the number of elk taken by wolves is not unacceptable to me.

              P.S. I suggest googling “compensatory mortality” when you have some down time. 😉

              • avatar Larry says:

                Sorry, but Idaho has a wolf management plan that established a control number of 150% of the minimum. It was given public review, agreed to, and approved.

                Here is a link to it: Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan 2008-2012

                (Hope that works…it is awfully long to be a link. If not I’ll try again.)

              • avatar JB says:

                Yes, they have a management plan, but that was not what your first post referred to. Rather, you referred to the 300 (100 x 3 study areas), which was one criteria of the federal recovery plan. A recovery plan is not an ‘agreement’; the recovery criteria are set based upon the best available science.

              • avatar Larry says:

                Thanks for that clarification. Idaho met the numbers in the management plan, which BTW were well above the 10 packs and 100 critters up through 2012. Now they are looking to manage back down to the 150% of that original science-based goal.

              • avatar Ken Cole says:

                The 2008-2012 was suspended by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commission in 2010. It is no longer being followed.

                Commission Suspends Wolf Species Management Plan

            • avatar rork says:

              Larry: what’s the famous estimate for how many fewer elk are shot by hunters cause the got eaten by wolves. Does the data amount to “it’s obvious”? Curious people wanna know. In MI we appear to have wolves at max densities (essentially no change since 2011, under negligible legal hunting), and we aren’t sure how much it affects deer. I take that back: some people are very sure, but they are simple-minded folks.

              • avatar Larry says:

                My current best estimate is that each wolf takes away 21.6 Elk per year per wolf. The wolf-killed Elk are not available to hunters. The other predators and natural causes continue to reduce the Elk carryover as they did before.

                The total herd size is limited by winter forage and depredation. There is no magic wolf food maker to compensate for the Elk taken by wolves. I know the 21.6 varies by when, where, predator/prey ratio and other factors, but looking at all the reports this seems like a reasonable average estimate so far. Even if you use the lowest number I have been able to find for any circumstance (11), it is still an unacceptable result.

                My calculations from the wolf population data show over 400,000 Elk killed so far by this science experiment.

              • avatar Larry says:

                This is from the Idaho 2014 predation management plan for the Middle Fork Zone:

                “Total elk numbers in the MFZ declined from 7,485 to 6,958 (-7%) from 2002 to 2006, and then to 4,229 by 2011 (an additional 39% for a total loss of 43% since 2002). Cow elk and bull elk numbers in the MFZ have declined 35% and 45%, respectively, between the 2006 and 2011 aerial surveys and are below population management objectives. The ratio of calves to cow elk during in the 2011 winter survey was less than 13 calves per 100 cows, suggesting further decline beyond 2011.
                This low level of reproductive success is well below that needed to recover the herd, and at its current level, the elk population will continue to decline. Based on research on causes of elk mortality conducted in the elk management zones immediately adjacent to MFZ to the north
                2
                (Lolo and Selway) and to the south (Sawtooth), wolves are likely a major source of juvenile and female elk mortality especially during winter, thus reducing the recruitment of juveniles into the herd and preventing the female elk component of the population from reaching management objectives (Pauley and Zager 2011). Based on population modeling, the MFZ elk population is expected to continue to decline at 3 to 7% annually if predation rates are not reduced.”

      • avatar ramses09 says:

        Wolves – they get 1 kill out of 10 every time they try & get their prey.

        • avatar Larry says:

          Yes, but like squirrels on a bird feeder, they are persistent. They do little else. It doesn’t matter how much they try. All that matters is how many Elk they kill. There is data on that.

  6. avatar Sharona Gilbert says:

    “A little blood satisfies a lot of anger”? First of all the idea that if you are angry at something you must demand a blood sacrifice seems like the ideals of a megalomaniac. Second, are the hunters REALLY angry at wolves? It seems to me a lot of the anger there is at people. Feds for bringing the wolves and advocates for wanting them here. So are wolves paying that price of blood for us? Does that really satisfy the hunters? I don’t buy it.

  7. avatar Immer Treue says:

    A little bit of blood satisfies a lot of anger.

    Sorry, but those wrapped up in wolf hate will never be satiated. On average, 10% of MN wolves are killed illegally each year. This same 10% occurred prior to, and post, delisting. The self righteous will do whatever they want, whenever they want. The “you don’t understand the impact of wolves in rural areas” argument is bullshit. I live rural in NE MN, and one can only wonder when that one lone rifle rings out, and there is no rifle hunting season…

  8. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Ralph,

    have you ever tried to poll TWN readers about their ‘social carrying capacity’ of wolves? maybe it would be interesting to separate enlightened hunter group from the rest?

    • avatar JB says:

      Mareks: We surveyed TWN readers a few years ago (2011), but the link was quickly picked up by other sites, including a very anti-predator hunting blog based out of Washington state. So the results aren’t really representative of TWN readers.

      • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

        thanks for the clarification, JB.
        haven’t thought that they would stalk TWN and try to skew the results – obsessive bullying as a sign of ‘patriotism’, I guess

  9. avatar Cody Coyote says:

    I have yet to find anyone on either side of the anode and cathode of Wyoming wolf polarity that says the actual problem wolves should not be taken out…those who prey on livestock or other domestic animals. There is that much consensus all around…no wolf gets a free pass if it is naughty.

    But Wyoming’s ” management” goes a whole order or magnitude further by condemning any wolf to execution for committing no crime at all, in 85 percent of the state. That’s called Napoleonic Justice…where the accused is presumed guilty as charged and must prove to the state it is in fact innocent ( unlike our justice system where innocence is presumed and burden of proof is with the state). Wolves are presumed guilty in most of Wyoming.

    No amount of wolf blood will ever dilute the anger in Wyoming to a level of acceptance. Not so long as whole packs are taken out, wolves are prevented from leaving the ridiculous zoo-like ” trophy zone”, and the livestock and hunting lobbies do not advance their belief systems to include sound Predator-Prey management tools other than a long range rifle or trap.

    But it’s all probably moot. Congress may not repeal the Endangered Species Act, but will likely neuter it by legislating wolves to Death Row against all reasonability and science, out of spite. In doing so, a Pandora’s Box of Machiavellian management is opened for all species everywhere.

    Today I read that a Canadian wolf has found its way to Utah , against all odds and overbearing dogma. So there is always a few particles of hope.

  10. avatar Derek says:

    I think the dichotomy that Dr. Bruskotter refers to is a false one, that is based on perception more than reality. The fact is, that the vast majority of the time that wolves were listed in N. Rockies, the states were essentially in charge of wolf management on a daily basis, via a memorandum of understanding with the USFWS. The states were even able to authorize lethal take of wolves in response to livestock depredation (and they did this a lot–hundreds of wolves killed while listed). Landowners were even allowed to shoot a wolf that was threatening livestock. The only thing that couldn’t happen under the listed status was public hunting and trapping. So, its kind of a misconception that ESA listing equates to the loss of state control and “disenfranchisement” of state and local interests.

    • avatar JB says:

      Derek:

      It’s a good point you make — the feds bent over backwards for locals in an attempt to reduce any burdens created by the ESA; however, the states have not been as considerate. So it was perhaps a bit hyperbolas on my part to say that both policy regimes are “patently” unfair.

      In fairness, however, the dichotomy I referred to is one of policy (i.e., listed or not listed). I don’t think that dichotomy is based more on perception than reality.

  11. avatar Yvette says:

    People and policy are usually the biggest part of a problem. Is that not what is the problem with wolf ‘management’? It is far more a people problem than a wolf problem.

    The Ed Bangs quote, “a little blood satisfies a lot of anger”. Maybe, but that is a people problem. When we implement policy or enact laws that allows for a ‘little blood to be taken to satisfy anger’ then we have just provided legal justification for a lynch mob mentality. Does it work? Are we resolving a problem or are we satisfying an angry rancher? Are the ranchers satisfied with a little blood or do they want all wolves dead so they don’t have to deal with the wolf ‘problem’. Further, immediately following the Ed Bangs quote in the article from which it was taken:

    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.”

    When discussing the dichotomy of the wolf management being unfair to both sides, we’ve left out a huge component—-the wolves. What is fair to the wolves? Do they not have a right to exist without being hounded, hunted, trapped, gut shot, and then have their bloody dead bodies posed for a picture with a man wearing a Cheshire cat smile? This is again, a people problem, not a wolf problem. Those two questions expose a cultural division that has long existed: how we view our natural world and what is allowed to continue to exist in that world based on a policy and law. We’ve not returned to historical wolf populations because under the ESA we’re not legally required to do so, but that is a human law, not a natural law. Further, wildlife management is based on populations vs. individuals. Predator research has shown that individuals do have different personalities and responses to management practices. Not all wolves will predate on livestock and not all wolves will respond the same to non-lethal management practices. We are dealing with individuals, but it appears wildlife management is setting policy based on the wolf’s potential to predate and because “ a little bit of bloodletting satisfies a lot of anger”. (which has not been shown to be accurate and most likely a little bit of bloodletting simply stirs the hysteria for more killing).

    We have to manage humans and we do so with laws. The lawsuit is but a tool to be used when humans fail to adequately manage themselves. Wyoming has shown they cannot adequately manage their anger and bloodletting. Wolves are not varmits. If anyone is afraid of the consequences of stirring the mob mentality it’s too late. That lynch mob has already been stirred and shaken. The rope is hanging on the tree waiting for the wolf. Anyone who needs a reminder should go look at the picture from last year with the group of men posed in front of the American flag, their Cheshire cat grin is obscured by the KKK styled white hoods over their heads. But this lynch mob didn’t hang the wolf from a rope. He is hanging from their bloody hands.

    Lynch mobs do not have a right to have a seat at the table. They have to managed.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      We have to manage humans and we do so with laws. The lawsuit is but a tool to be used when humans fail to adequately manage themselves”

      YES! Well put Yvette!

  12. avatar Rob says:

    I think Gary asked a key question, maybe THE key question – How much management do those on each side of this debate expect and how much are they willing to accept/tolerate. Obviously I am not expecting the extremists on both sides of the fence to reach a compromise, but the more reasonable people in the middle might be able to if they focus on the science and reality. Gary is correct IMO that to expect no management takes humans out of the equation. As much as I and many others might like to take humans out of the equation, I think we all know that isn’t going to happen.

    When I see Immer Treue’s response that Gary’s question doesn’t even belong on this website because it is not in line with what most of the others that regularly visit the site think (“When you write something such as this, I wonder how much time you really spend on this site….most probably would expect to see a statement such as yours on one of the anti-wolf sites.”)it highlights the real problem. Most everyone is talking past each other, or just talking to those who agree with them and no one is looking for a real solution.

    I think Louise Kane’s comment above about education holds some promise. USFWS really dropped the ball by not providing education to folks on both sides of the debate on what wolf management might look like after they were delisted. Some lethal management has always been part of the plan and expected. Certainly what the states came up with was/is overkill (pun intended) and it seems amazing to me that USFWS approved the plans in the first place. Given the attitudes of the states, it seems crazy that management should simple be handed over to them. This seems like the perfect situation to adopt an adaptive management strategy so the states and feds can learn as they go. A process that includes joint management that gradually changes from the rules under the ESA – i.e. problem wolves can be killed and gradually adds other aspects of management a bit at a time to see how the populations (both wolves and people)react. But the first thing is people need more education in what to expect. A reality check if you will.

    Fortunately, we now have almost 20 years of data on how this experiment is going. The best, most complete data set ever developed on wolf ecology and population biology. The data includes not only life history details but also hundreds if not thousands of examples of interactions between wolves and livestock, the effectiveness of non-lethal depredation prevention, and data on what livestock losses are to be expected under various situations. Not to mention a wealth of information on wolf/elk population dynamics/interactions. Given this remarkable data set, USFWS should be able to put together some excellent models and run scenarios on various management options that can show people what to expect long-term. Maybe these models exist and I’ve just not seen them. If they do I would appreciate a suggestion of who to ask to see them.

    I’m sure some will think this approach naive and I realize that, sadly, compromise has become an unacceptable outcome to many, but compromise is usually the only thing that works in the end.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      “Gary is correct IMO that to expect no management takes humans out of the equation”

      And that should be such awful thought to contemplate Rob, in what’s left to wildlife in what little wilderness areas left?

      • avatar Rob says:

        I’m Not referring to wilderness areas. I wouldn’t personally support management in wilderness areas. But, Most people on both sides support removing a wolf that continually preys on livestock. Wolf supporters do it reluctantly because they know it will in the long run be better for wolf populations. You can’t ignore the human population, it is there and to expect everyone to agree to no management of any kind will simply never lead anywhere except to the pendulum swing that was the point of this article – state vs federal management.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Rob,
      When you quote somebody, put the whole damn quote in if you have trouble understanding the meaning of what was written. I have never, let me repeat that for you, never been against humans managing wolves. Gary made a generalist statement about the people on this blog, and I made two points, that sort of generalism IS found in anti-wolf sites. Two, his statement:
      ““Most of the commenters on this site continually condemn any form of wolf “management” so what is your answer regarding the future of wolves” is not true.

      I hate to use the term “cherry pick”, but you most certainly did, by taking a portion of a quote, and twisting it to make your point.

      ” Most everyone is talking past each other, or just talking to those who agree with them and no one is looking for a real solution.”

      You make a rare appearance and make an assumption. If you have a question with what I write, then ask, or directly address me. That’s what undid for Gary.

      One more thing:

      “When I see Immer Treue’s response that Gary’s question doesn’t even belong on this website because it is not in line with what most of When I see Immer Treue’s response that Gary’s question doesn’t even belong on this website because it is not in line with what most of the others that regularly visit the site think When I see Immer Treue’s response that Gary’s question doesn’t even belong on this website because it is not in line with what most of the others that regularly visit the site think”

      Put words in your own mouth. You have a problem or question with what I say, be an adult and either ask or address me directly.

      Thanks.

  13. avatar Rob says:

    Immer Treue,
    My apologies if I misinterpreted your comments. I have read this page for years but it is clear I have some things to learn about posting on it. I meant no disrespect to you or anyone else and I take your criticism as a lesson to be learned. The last thing I want to do is start an argument. Again, my apologies.

    To everyone,
    What I want to suggest is a dialogue on what might be proposed as a compromise on the issue of wolf management. Clearly, as the article points out, what is happening now isn’t working.

    So let me try again in a very different way with two questions to whoever cares to respond. I believe similar questions have been posed before but it may be a good time to revisit them.

    1. Do you feel there is room to compromise – in other words is there a vision of wolf management that is somewhere between what was done under federal protection and what the states have proposed, that would be acceptable in your view.

    2. In four or five sentences or bullets, what might that look like?

    My answers would be:
    1. Yes
    2.
    – Develop a joint Federal/State management effort that starts with federal protection rules and progresses slowly with one added management effort at a time focused on need as determined by a balanced stakeholders group. With data collection and analysis at each step to evaluate and adjust course – in other words very science based.

    – develop a list of available options with predicted outcomes. (I expect the list already exists but if not it would be developed by stakeholders group and include: no additional mgt; game animal status for wolves; permit system in areas with high stock depredation only; etc.)
    Using the wealth of data we have from the past 20 years, develop science based long-term predicted outcomes for each – e.g. wolf population and dispersion models, elk population predictions, depredation predictions.

    -Include a large science based education component for the public and stakeholders group based on all we have learned in the past 20 years.

    -Add one management effort, evaluate, repeat process.

    This would obviously be more involved than these simple steps with a lot to hashed out along the way but I think a lot of folks have been thinking of ways to do this for a while but because of the volatility of the issue many ideas remain untried.

    • avatar Salle says:

      The vast majority of compromise has been offered by wolf advocates only to be duped in each case by those who eschew science and scream loudly while not understanding the ESA nor the processes involved.

      Compromises in the past have been shown to be, in almost every instance, to be less than fruitful and often creating more problems than they might resolve.

      Sorry to sound like Debbie Downer but, honestly, take a look at the compromises of the past and try to come up with one since the reintroduction that has borne positive results for the wolves or the ecosystems they inhabit.

      The only time compromise was fruitful in this entire situation of reintroducing the wolves as fulfilling mandate 3 of the ESA was the restructuring of the 10(j) rule umpteen times now, agreeing to allow hunting as part of that compromise and redefining them as “experimental – nonessential” in that they were actually reintroduced at all.

      • avatar Marc Bedner says:

        My view is that any compromise on wildlife protection is a defeat. In the real world, it is often necessary to accept defeat, but it is neither necessary nor effective to present defeat as a victory, as so many environmental lobbyists have done.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Rob,

      Thanks for the reply. No damage done. Sometimes I get a bit amused at a couple daffodils who peruse here, take a bit of a quote, wrap it around their agenda and dive into infantilism.

      To address the point you were making:
      Hunting and trapping has always been part of the wolf management plan;
      Education becomes important when we hear numbers as JB pointed out to Larry;
      I believe Nancy had a documented comment that more wolves have been killed this year for depredation in Montana, than the number of wolf killed livestock. I might conclude that at times taking out an entire pack is a preferred “deterrent” but something sounds rather obtuse about Montana’s actions if this is true;
      I really would have liked to have seen a one year hunting moratorium (in any state that wolf hunting is allowed)following that first season in order to better follow resulting wolf behavior. Here in MN, livestock depredation decreased significantly after the first wolf season, but Dan Stark, MNDNR, was quick to point out that the decrease probably had more
      To do with a protracted winter, and a very weak MN deer heard. This supports a Mech/Fritts study correlation from the 1980’s;

      I’d like to see empirical studies- does wolf hunting splinter wolf packs, which might exacerbate livestock depredation;

      I’d like to see the extreme factions on either side of the wolf issue told to go bark at the moon, because they do nothing but pour gasoline on the fire;

      I’d really like to see some teeth put into ant-poaching laws. I’m sure if a family was having hard times, that deer or elk might mean a lot, but those that kill on a whim or out of malfeasance, should receive more, much more than a slap on the wrist;

      The money spent on helicopters and fixed winged aircraft to remove problem wolves often surpasses The replacement cost of lost livestock. Why not at least attempt instead, non-lethal methodology? There are people working on this. If we can put a man on the moon, we should be able to deter wolves from killing livestock without killing wolves.

      I know this is heavier on the livestock issue than wolves “harvesting” deer and elk, but if hue wolves are to be treated as big game, then they must be treated as such, or the advocates for wolves will never be silenced.

      The whole wolf issue is succinctly summed up by David Mech. “Wolves are neither saints nor sinners, except for those would make them so.”

      • avatar Larry says:

        With regard to “I’d really like to see some teeth put into ant-poaching laws. I’m sure if a family was having hard times, that deer or elk might mean a lot, but those that kill on a whim or out of malfeasance, should receive more, much more than a slap on the wrist”

        There you have a point all sides can rally around. While I feel the penalties in Idaho are reasonably harsh it seems to me that the problem is catching the perpetrators. Alas there is less and less money to do that because Idaho is having to spend over $1 million per year monitoring and reporting on wolves and another $500K in depredation payments. Those who planted the Canadian wolves in Idaho aren’t helping with those expenses.

        • avatar timz says:

          Why should they help, the state insisted upon management. If they cannot afford it they should give it up.

          • avatar Larry says:

            Because if they hadn’t planted the wolves the state wouldn’t have to do all that extra monitoring and reporting. It is required as a condition of the State getting back their wildlife management. They don’t need radio collars and other special studies on other predators. Wolves would be managed like other predators as part of holistic wildlife management. They aren’t allowed to do that.

            The State needs to control wolves because the growth far exceeded the 100 wolves and 10 packs promised in the EIS…and the USFWS did nothing about it. The effect on Elk herds was devastating. I’ve posted some of those numbers.

            • avatar timz says:

              “Because if they hadn’t planted the wolves the state wouldn’t have to do all that extra monitoring and reporting. It is required as a condition of the State getting back their wildlife management.”

              WTF ??

            • avatar Barb Rupers says:

              When will you read the criteria for delisting under the ESA and realize that the 100 wolves was not a promise of numbers to maintain in each state in the future but a minimum number.

  14. avatar Salle says:

    I haven’t commented in a while but this perspective described in the post has to have some points made that seem to slip through the cracks on most issues when wolves and their alleged management come up.

    1. Complain all you want about lawsuits and how they “turn people off” so to speak but… it is written into the ESA – specifically Section 11 – that litigation is the only tool for remedy of dispute regarding the Act and determinations made with regard to the Act and its mandates. Writing to Congress or anyone else is not sufficient to effect change regarding determination of the SoI within their authority to make determinations based on the mandates of the Act.

    2. Having been present during meetings to determine the parameters of Montana’s initial wolf hunt, I witnessed the comments made concerning the “let ’em kill a few wolves to encourage acceptance” concept and the idea that most of the hunting would be conducted in areas where depredation was deemed problematic and would, theoretically, help to reduce depredation…

    NONE OF THAT CAME TO PASS, PERIOD.

    Instead we got weenie waving wolf-haters having a heyday posting their blood lust online and touting how they were going to show those tree huggers who rules and the hunting units adjacent to Yellowstone NP were the units where the quotas were filled fist, every year, and resulted on the reduction of park wolves by more than half of previous population numbers and at great taxpayer expense. Not to mention threats made to wolf advocates over all the past two and a half decades.

    I call BS on all those arguments regarding the “benefits” of hunting wolves because people just plain don’t know how to behave or respond to wildlife and the manner in which we continue to destroy them and their habitat. Emotional rhetoric seems to be more important than science and on the ground evidence and when you’re dealing with an uniformed public, you get the results we’ve seen of late in the form of bad management policies and even worse behavior.

    The Endangered Species Act contains three primary mandates:

    1. Identify species in danger or threatened with extinction in all or a significant portion of their historical range.

    2. Identify and set aside Critical Habitat for said species.

    3. We have to devise a recovery plan and DO IT.

    Most species become eligible for “listing” due to loss of habitat. Get the reality into perspective, please.

    Grrrrr. 🙁

  15. avatar Ed Loosli says:

    If the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service would just do their job of enforcing the Endangered Species Act, instead of flouting it, law-suits by wildlife enthusiasts would not have to be filed, and judges would not have to put our so called “wildlife managers” in their place. Dan Ashe, Director of the USFWS, and his boss Sally Jewell, have shown no interest in actually doing their jobs, which is protect and conserve the wildlife and natural resources of our public lands. Both Ashe and Jewell would do the country a favor by retiring rather than continuing their charade. Until the USFWS stops taking their marching orders from cattle, logging, and energy interests, our wildlife like wolves, grizzly bears and bison will continue to be in trouble.

  16. avatar ramses09 says:

    Larry -I was in ID. a few years back, I attended an F&W meeting on the hunting of wolves. There were more folks there who were pro wolf. But the hatred I heard & saw in the meeting room for the wolf was astounding. I HAVE seen the way people who hate the wolf act. ID. is one of the worst states as far as wanting wolves back. Wasn’t it Gov. Otter who said that he was going to be the “first in line to get a wolf tag.?” Yes I think it was him. Of all the state that have wolves – I cannot think of one state that is wolf friendly. I always here negative shit coming out of the mouths of those who think they know what’s going on. Let’s face it. . . . wildlife has been here before you or I were even born. It’s man who thinks he knows what is best. I’m sorry to say that man (some) have no clue @ all. jmho.

    • avatar Larry says:

      Yes, and humans have been here hunting wildlife for at least 14,000 years. But with today’s population density that would quickly lead to no wildlife without management. Now that I’m retired I’ll make an effort to go to some of those meetings. In the mean time I invite any of you who would like to reduce hunting pressure to buy and Idaho non-resident license, and then not use it. There is a fixed limit that sells out. You’ll then be making a positive contribution to wildlife management in Idaho because license and tag revenues fund it. You can even buy some wolf tags and not use them.

      • avatar Ed Loosli says:

        Larry: I do not know if you are a wolf-hunter/trapper in disguise, however the truth is:…Buying Idaho and Montana wolf tags is not going to help wolves. Idaho and Montana are selling an unlimited number of tags. No matter how many tags a person buys there will be more to purchase. Therefore, if anyone is under the misguided assumption that all the Idaho and Montana wolf tags can be bought up, thereby saving Idaho and Montana wolves from being hunted, they are sadly misinformed. Please do not fall for this, it will not help Idaho or Montana wolves.

        • avatar Larry says:

          Idaho non-resident licenses are limited. If you buy one someone else cannot. Wolf management is costing Idaho over $1,000,000 per year. If you want a vote you should pay your share. Idaho hunters do. Also many Elk tags are limited. If you buy one someone else cannot. (PS: Wolf tags are cheap, but the money still goes to help the IDF&G.)

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Then the price of wolf tags should be raised. ~ 700 wolves in the entire state. Appears a rare opportunity for a Big game hunter.

            • avatar Larry says:

              Alas none of the hunters I know particularly want to shoot a wolf. But they will to protect the future of the Elk. I plan to recommend that you should get 20 free wolf tags with each Elk tag you purchase. They aren’t selling enough because most hunters aren’t interested in hunting wolves.

              Anyone with a hunting license can shoot as many coyotes as they want without tags. A few do; but not many. My son and I pass up dozens every year while Duck hunting. It is fun to watch their annoyance when we disrupt their sneak on the shoreline ducks we hunt.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Larry,

                I put in for the wolf lottery in MN. $ to MNDNR, and hopefully one less wolf shot.

                • avatar Larry says:

                  I bought my wolf tag on Friday. I won’t go wolf hunting but now I’ll be legal if one comes into my yard.

                  My interest in this topic peaked this last month. I have been getting more and more depressed about the Elk devastation in Yellowstone over the last five years. I used to visit Yellowstone a lot but now only do so a couple of times a year. Last month I only saw three Elk whereas before planting of the Canadian wolves I would have seen hundreds in the meadows: a magnificent sight. My grandchildren will never see that.

                  Then the wolves again ruined my Elk hunting trip. My first morning all I could hear was the wolves carrying on below where I was hunting. I saw no Elk the entire week.

                  The next day that same pack attacked my son and his friend while they were cleaning a deer. They held the wolves off without shooting them because they didn’t have wolf tags (they had guns). They were scared s%$&less. Their eyes were huge as they explained the encounter to me and assured me I wouldn’t believe the size of the things.

                  I got home and learned the wolves had killed the dogs at a house near mine (Idaho City)the week after.

                  The Elk have returned to our yard and are eating my wife’s flowers and trees. We are happy to contribute. The Elk get the memo on the hunting season so for now are only showing up in the dark. Our dog alerts us. There were 30 last night on the front lawn. I will protect them if given the chance.

              • avatar Jay says:

                Attacked them, eh? But not a scratch to show for the encounter, I’m sure. Yet another BS wolf “attack”.

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                Larry,

                Im glad to hear that your son and friend were able to survive the attack from the destructive Canadian wolf. I’m sure it was an incredible encounter. It sucks that an out of control federal government illegally forced this monster upon us to ultimately end hunting and gun ownership in this great country.

                I also miss the days when 20,000 elk grazed the Northern Range of Yellowstone and I also miss the days when the mysterious, native U.S. Stealth Wolf secretly roamed the landscape in pairs only, feasting on mice, prairie dogs and flowers. It is truly sad that the Canadian wolf has now driven the U.S. Wolf to extinction…..a wolf that actually had the decency of controlling its population by killing its young at birth.

                Again, I’m happy your son is safe, if not scarred, and I’m sorry that your constitutional right to harvest an elk was ruined by the devil dog of the far north.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Larry,
              This is part of Agenda 21. Wolves are intended to help with human population control, in particular in locales where women are not in control of their reproductive rights.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Also, though a Montana entity, the possibility of a wolf stamp, that would have provided an avenue for non-consumptive users of wildlife, was for the most part put on hold. Again, though a Montana project, loud noises reverberated from Idaho to block the wolf stamp. Face it, anti-wolf folks don’t want pro-wolf folks to either contribute to management of said mammal, or to have any voice whatsoever in their management. Bluff called.

            • avatar Larry says:

              Unfortunately loud voices do not constitute a majority. I think the stamp is a wonderful idea. Hopefully they haven’t given up.

              • avatar Yvette says:

                “My interest in this topic peaked this last month. I have been getting more and more depressed”…….

                Depression? You are worried that your grandchildren won’t see the high number of elk present when they peaked?

                Ask an Indian about depression over the destruction and devastation that has happened to the wildlife on this continent.

                Ask an Indian about the massive killing of bison.

                Ask an Indian about extermination of wolves by every despicable and atrocious method that could be devised.

                Ask an Indian about the stacks of dead cougars thanks to federal government eradication programs.

                Ask an Indian about the rampant killing of coyotes and bobcats labeled as a contest.

                Ask my great-grandparents and my grandparents what their grandchildren will never see, hear and touch. Ask my dad to describe the colorful snake species and song bird that are no longer there. I talk to our tribal farmer and he explains he can’t irrigate crops they way he did a few years ago because our groundwater is now too saline. I’ve had ceremonial leaders tell me of plants that they have used since we were moved to this region that are either gone or rare.

                And you are depressed because there are fewer elk now than there were when the population peaked? Elk are not threatened. They still exist and in adequate numbers.

                Last week someone shared with me a quote by Oren Lyons (google him): “They are not natural ‘resources’; they are our relations.”

                This is the most angry post I’ve made on this blog, so I will now back off and disengage.

                I honestly don’t want to make enemies, but I will ask of you that the next time you get depressed because your grandchildren may not see the number of elk that were present when they peaked to think about what others have lost; not just Native Americans, but all of us; not just humans, but all of our relations.

                It is good that you are at least thinking of what your grandchildren may not see.

              • avatar Leslie says:

                “I got home and learned the wolves had killed the dogs at a house near mine (Idaho City)the week after.”

                You have got to be kidding me!

                In 2013 in the entire 3 states in the NRM, only 6 dogs were killed, probably sheep herding dogs.

            • avatar Barb Rupers says:

              The Idaho voices against the Montana Wolf Stamp came primarily from those in Idaho that complain the most about citizens from other states commenting on Idaho wolf and wildlife issues.

      • avatar Ed Loosli says:

        Larry: Please get to know your elk history of Yellowstone, before you whine about wolves wiping them out… Because it was wolves that had been wiped out in the Untied States, before the 1970s elk in Yellowstone were heavily culled by the Nat. Park Service to keep their numbers in check (well below 10,000). After the culling ended and with the absence of wolves, elk numbers in the 1970s,80s and 90s steadily increased to about 17,000 at one point in the 1990s. Wolves were then returned to Yellowstone which has helped restore a natural balance to elk numbers, that culling used to do, while at the same time many elk that used to spend the winter in Yellowstone are now spending it in the safety of private non-hunting ranches North of Yellowstone. Relax, there are still several thousand elk in Northern Yellowstone NP and thousands more on private land, and also there are wolves to complete the picture. The ecological health of Yellowstone is better than it has been in a long time.

        • avatar Larry says:

          I personally observed that history and am well aware of what went on. Yes, the government did also screw up on disallowing effective population control measures.

          The way the Canadian wolves were introduced to that ecosystem caused a disastrous crash of the population. I hope they divulge the 2015 count. As you may know they claimed they couldn’t do the 2014 count due to weather. My observations suggest otherwise.

          The wolves have now crashed too. They appear to have eaten themselves out of house and home. That is how it works.

          • avatar Ed Loosli says:

            Larry: Yes, wolves have crashed in the Yellowstone ecosystem because they are now being regularly shot to death when they have the nerve to venture out of Yellowstone Nat. Park. It is this wolf crash that is the reason why the wolf must be re-listed under the Endangered Species Act in Montana and Idaho — As ENDANGERD.

            • avatar Ed Loosli says:

              Larry: I am curious, that since according to you, wolves have wiped out the elk in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and now elk numbers are so low, have any of these states canceled elk hunting by humans?? I didn’t think so.

              • avatar Leslie says:

                The last 2 years in Wyoming saw the highest hunter elk success of all time, almost 50% of tags filled.

                In some areas like Meeteesee, elk hunting season was extended as the G&F wanted to thin the herds.

                • avatar Larry says:

                  Idaho has had to cut back on tags and seasons; in particular in the zones where the wolves proliferated such as the Lolo, Sawtooth, and Selway. You can see that in the Idaho Elk Management Plan. Elk harvest in Idaho has had to be cut back from 19,251 in 2004 to 15,139 in 2011, the latest data I saw in a table. I think it has recovered a bit since wolf control has been instituted.

                  The math isn’t that hard to do. Each wolf kills over 20 Elk per year. The total Elk herd is limited by depredation and winter forage limitations. What the wolf eats has to come directly from the hunter harvest. There is no free lunch. When the total wolf count approached 2,000 that is 40,000 Elk per year taken from hunters.

            • avatar Larry says:

              Wolves aren’t endangered. There are over 60,000 wolves in Canada and Alaska.

              • avatar Larry says:

                This is from the Idaho wolf management report: “USDA APHIS Wildlife Services agents recorded 46 cattle, 413 sheep, 5 dogs, and 1 horse that were classified as confirmed or probable wolf depredations (killed by wolves) during the 2013 calendar year”

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Neither are elk. ~>100,000 in Idaho alone. Record or near record Wyoming elk season last year. I believe Montana elk population is well over 100,000. And there is always Colorado, Utah, Washington, and Oregon. Probably well north of half a million elk in those states. Time to stop crying about all the Elk being killed by a comparable handful of wolves.

                • avatar Larry says:

                  The problem is that wolves each kill about 20 Elk per year. Elk don’t kill anyone or anything.

                  Thus a handful of wolves can kill large quantities of Elk. The nearly 2,000 wolves that the population blossomed to in the Rocky Mountains kills about 40,000 Elk per year. That’s two to three times the total hunter harvest in Idaho.

                • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

                  Larry,

                  I am sorry that I have not followed your comments and replies. I have been gone a lot (including Yellowstone!). One thing comes to me quickly. Has anyone discussed “additive” and “compensatory”mortality in the matter of wolf predation on ungulates?

                  If there is compensatory mortality in a wolf/elk area it means that the elk population will not decrease by the number of wolf-killed elk (or total kills from all sources). If all the mortality is additive, however, then elk will decrease by the number of elk killed.

                  Compensatory mortality is when an elk that a wolf kills would have not made it through the year anyway. For example, if it would have died of starvation or disease but a wolf gets it first, there is no net loss of elk. Your figures need to be modified by the amount of compensatory mortality. This of course, varies from place to place and year to year.

                • avatar Larry says:

                  Yes, thank you. Reasonable interchanges are rare here.

                  I understand that difference and some of the papers I have read account for it. That is one reason why you see a lot of variation in the kill rate per year. Another is the effect of other predators. There appear to be seasonal differences as well. The prey/predator ratio in an area also appears to have a large effect.

                  I have seen some data on the distribution of kills vs. age of the Elk. They take less in their prime of life…preferring calves and the old which are apparently easier to kill.

                  The net result is that a small number of wolves can be tolerated with little effect on the Elk herds. Once they exceed a certain density that is no longer true. Since the wolves have few predators (mostly themselves) and reproduce quickly they don’t remain at that level without control.

                  Had they been controlled to the 100 per area promised in the EIS the controversy outside Yellowstone probably wouldn’t exist. Even the models used in the EIS suggest that 100 wolves in Yellowstone is too many…and they were allowed to increase to over 200 before they crashed there.

              • avatar timz says:

                Larry, take a break from whining about wolves and complain about this for a while.
                http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/10/10/3420653_another-case-of-elk-shot-and-abandoned.html?sp=/99/110/&rh=1

              • avatar timz says:

                Larry,
                read this well written LTE in today’s Idaho Statesman. you may learn something.
                http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/10/15/3428621/letter-wolves.html?sp=/99/106/127/
                – — – – — – –

                Well, I do like that letter 😉 It seems to me that we should expect that the number of hunting units both above and below elk population objectives would be distributed in kind of a bell-shaped curve. That is what we see.

                Ralph Maughan, webmaster

          • avatar timz says:

            “The way the Canadian wolves were introduced”

            Anyone who still insists on calling these animals “Canadian” wolves can be dismissed as an ignoramus.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Larry,
            Woman killed in accident with elk

            http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2014/07/elk-caused_accident_in_baker_c.html

            Plus nice playing with stats. 2,000 wolves in NRM states, not Idaho. So only 12,000+/- elk taken by wolves in Idaho.
            Roughly on par with annual Idaho hunter take.

          • avatar Jay says:

            Read this one Larry–it sheds a little light on your “selective fetus/pregnancy predation” theory.

            Selection of Northern Yellowstone Elk by Gray Wolves and Hunters
            No Access
            GREGORY J. WRIGHTa,1,2, ROLF O. PETERSONa, DOUGLAS W. SMITHb, and THOMAS O. LEMKEc
            aSchool of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
            bYellowstone Wolf Project, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA
            cMontana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Livingston, MT 59047, USA
            1 E-mail: gjwright@mtu.edu
            1012 Present address: Michigan Technological University, Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Houghton, MI 49931, USA

          • avatar timz says:

            I remember reading one of R. Petersen’
            books on his Isle Royal wolf studies. He wrote he spent an entire summer on the island with the highest density wolf population per square mile and “thinks” he may have caught a glimpse of one once. Not seeing them doesn’t mean they’re not there.

            • avatar timz says:

              Lewis and Clark never saw a single moose. I guess they weren’t in the NW either.

              • avatar Larry says:

                “eubin Field wounded a moos deer this morning near our camp,” Lewis wrote on July 7, 1806, adding, “my dog much worried.” The Corps of Discovery encountered this species only one other time during the entire expedition. That was in northeastern Montana on May 10, 1805, when, according to Joe Whitehouse, the hunters claimed to have seen “some Moose deer, which they said was considerably larger than the common deer.” This has been interpreted as meaning they probably had seen mule deer, but that is open to question, as the synonomy below might suggest. There is just on other journal reference to moose being in the same vicinity as the Corps, as when a Nez Perce informant told the captains there was “a plenty of Moos” over on the Salmon River southeast of Camp Chopunnish. Also, Clark found reason to mention “moos” and “Mose” three times in his descriptions of the resources of Indian tribes living in the Missouri River basin.1″

  17. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    JB,

    around what criteria (‘sound & robust science’ goodies) one could advance a ‘solution’ ‘social carrying capacity’ or wolf discourse in NRM in general?:

    1) wolf compensatory mortality (~30%) & intraspecific violence in non-harvested population (~30%)

    2) or wolf-prey biomass ratio

    “wolf biomass ranges only between 0.15 and 0.52% of prey biomass, based on studies in Alaska (interior and southcentral), MN, MI, and northcentral Canada reviewed by Wisconsin biologist Lloyd Keith. Even the wide swings in moose and wolf numbers reported by Rolf Peterson for IR between 1965 and 1988 changed the ratio of wolf biomass to prey biomass only from 0.46 to 0.58%. These figures mean that one 34kg wolf needs between 5.9K and 22.7K kg of prey on its range each year. In terms of actual animals, a single wolf must share the land with between 14 and 55 moose, or 86 and 333 deer, to assure it gets the fraction of that needed to stay alive.” (Wolf Country: Eleven Years Tracking The Algonquin Wolves by John B. and Mary T. Theberges’ p.27-8)

    3) ungulate compensatory mortality (I mean, when wildlife managers will publish estimates about necessary ungulate (elk, in particular) numbers to allow the co-existence of hunter industry & wolves (that is, when ungulate reproductive capacity compensates mortality caused by both hunters and wolves/predators)

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      even with sound&robust science goodies there’s a huge difference possible in choosing specific wolf policy.

      On the one hand, wolf killing guided by such sacrosanct mantra-chanting as “A little blood satisfies a lot of anger” / “Population matters; individuals – don’t” etc.

      On the other hand, co-existence with wolves because wolves will not affect total numbers of ungulates (at carrying capacity’s density) because ungulate reproductive capacity will compensate both hunter & wolf kills

      “The best wolf habitat resides in the human heart. You have to leave a little space for them to live…” – Ed Bangs

      Talk about pendulum within a mainstream wolf biologist community …

    • avatar Larry says:

      You state, “when ungulate reproductive capacity compensates mortality caused by both hunters and wolves/predators”.

      The studies I have found so far report just the contrary: with wolves the elk calf production goes down. Can you give a reference for your claim/assumption?

      One of the problems is that wolves preferentially kill pregnant cow elk to eat the fetus. They appear to rip it out and eat while the cow is still alive. They can preferentially catch the near-term cows in the spring when they are depleted, snow is deep, and the cows are less able to run.

      The other reason given is that the stress on the elk causes less cows to get pregnant in the first place.

      So I am quite interested in a logical basis for a theory that suggests otherwise. And of course any testing of that theory.

      • avatar timz says:

        i don’t see any studies attached to your post that back up your claims.

        • avatar timz says:

          Here’s a study for you, maybe you can get somebody to read it to you.

          “Wolves are not responsible for low pregnancy rates in elk,
          according to a new study published today in the journal Ecology Letters.
          The research, led by recent University of Wyoming Phd graduate Arthur Middleton, shows that elk don’t respond frequently enough to wolves to impact body fat and pregnancy rates.
          Wolves’ impact on elk populations is limited to direct predation,
          not harassment or stress that leads to lower pregnancy rates or poor body composition.

            • avatar Larry says:

              Oh, and in case it is too hard to read it all: “Recruitment, as measured by the midwinter juvenile:female ratio, was a strong determinant of elk dynamics, and declined by 35% in elk herds colonized by wolves as annual population growth shifted from increasing to decreasing”

            • avatar Nancy says:

              WOW Larry! Impressive bunch of photographs, fresh blood and all (in way too many of them) almost like these saviors of ungulates (til hunting season rolls around 🙂 were boots on the ground and just looking wolf kills……..and perhaps why so many ungulates were left, uneaten?

              I mean really, if I were a wolf, just settling down to a meal with family, I’d be heading for the (exit) hills if someone yelled “HUMAN!!” Snowmobiles and what were those boxes being towed behind, hounds Larry?

              And seriously, if you want to talk figures, how many female ungulates are pregnant when they are shot by hunters each fall & into winter?

              Guessing a hell of a lot. But I’m sure those fetuses don’t count, being just what, weeks old, right?

              • avatar Larry says:

                Uh, no ungulates are pregnant when they are shot in the fall. They get pregnant during the mating season which generally follows the hunting seasons. Of course antlerless Elk are potentially pregnant, so the effect on the herd is the same.
                The reason it is important has to do with how they count kills and recruitment.

              • avatar Nancy says:

                Larry come on, do a little research – the rut (mating season) starts in September and can start as early as August.

                • avatar Larry says:

                  I know that because I’ve experienced it for over years and because it happens in my yard. Freshly pregnant cows are not slowed down for the wolves.

                  If your point is that hunters could unknowingly be shooting freshly pregnant cows that is correct. But they don’t preferentially get the pregnant ones as the wolves do later in the year.

              • avatar Jay says:

                Larry, you sure don’t know much about a subject you act to be knowledgeable about. No elk killed that are pregnant? Really? Most of the controlled cow elk hunts happen in November and December, so they are most certainly pregnant at that time. The average anterless harvest between 2004-2011 (most recent data avail from IDFG website) was about 7700 elk, which means a whole bunch of dead PREGNANT elk.

                • avatar Larry says:

                  My point about them getting pregnant in the fall is that you can’t tell a pregnant one from a non-pregnant one then. It does not affect their movement and thus vulnerability to wolves till spring. Also, not all cow elk get pregnant (numbers vary from 50-70%). Antlerless elk include male calves as well…preferred by some hunters (like veal).

      • avatar Yvette says:

        Larry no, you are not interested in logic. Reading your previous blather on elk and this latest one about wolves preferentially kill pregnant cows it’s obvious you are; 1) a troll, or 2) dumb as a box of rocks, or 3) both 1 and 2.

        Logical you are not. Mister, you would try the patient of a monk.

      • avatar Jay says:

        “One of the problems is that wolves preferentially kill pregnant cow elk to eat the fetus…”

        Another problems is that on nights of the full moon, they turn into werewolves and lurk around remote, small-town bars waiting to kill and eat the drunken patrons as they stagger home to their beds. Only those armed with a firearm loaded with silver bullets has any chance against them.

        Maybe that’s what happened to your nephew or whoever it was that was “attacked”?

        • avatar Larry says:

          Try this (you may need to refresh); esp. p. 10 forward.

          http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fgraywolfnews.com%2Fpdf%2FThe_Sad_Story_of_Idaho_and_Montana_Ungulate_Slaughter.pdf&ei=5G4oVPTFB4usogTBxIHgDw&usg=AFQjCNEJz4x2CJRoj7hhlosRioWn8Fs9ew&sig2=dy8ShfP3FKkXxOaflRKjFw

          I know how hard true believers find it to accept reality. Attacking the messenger only devalues your inputs. It is a logical fallacy as well.

          • avatar Jay says:

            I don’t even know where to start Larry. First off, you post an anti-wolf web site as your “reference”? That’s like posting a KKK website link that proves the superiority of the white race. Secondly, are you gullible enough to believe wolves surgically opened up those elk and removed the fetus? They used their large wolf teeth to open them up with precision and extract out the fetus, which is up in the body cavity probably 16″ or so, by sticking their heads through that small hole? Wow!

            Ever hear of birds, Larry–you know, like ravens and carnivorous raptors such as eagles? Of course you’re aware that they don’t have the ability to open up a carcass through the side, so they have to go in by starting at the soft, relatively hairless tissue–tissue around the anus, not unlike the pictures you “referenced”.

            Or, you can keep foolishly believing that bullshit you read on your anti wolf page.

          • avatar Jay says:

            I’ll be damned Larry–look at page 5 on your “scientific” proof: that bull elk had his fetus torn out! Freaking AMAZING!!!!!!

            • avatar Larry says:

              Sorry but that image makes no such claim. Wolves often attack the hindquarters. The posters seem quite aware of that difference. They were showing another abandoned kill in that photo…a key reasons that Elk kills does not equal Elk eaten and that estimates based on body mass need to account for abandoned kills.

              Wolves taking down healthy bull Elk seem relatively rare, though. As noted it often comes along with wolf mortality.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Larry,
                In regard to the whole abandoned kill thing. Of all the kill sites I have seen, most in Winter, within days one finds a socked hide, rumen pile, and the remainder looks as though a bomb went off…parts scattered all over. This goes for deer and moose. Only once have I found an underutilized kill, and this was near a portage. The question then is, how tolerant will wolves be toward disturbance by man, even to the point of abandoning the kill.

                Bulls/bucks. I don’t know if bull elk are like whitetail bucks, but many bucks will quite literally “screw” themselves to death during rut. There is a name for it, something like …myelopathy where fat reserves are all but gone, and winter just begins, the bucks are so weak, that some just lay down and die. Easy pickings for wolves of a seemingly healthy buck.

                • avatar Larry says:

                  I have seen reports of the same for bull elk. As noted above the elk rut earlier than deer (late Aug to Sep elk vs. Nov for deer in Idaho)so they might be more able to recover before the deep winter snow.

                  One interesting thing I have noted in recent research is that the models for wolves in the wolf EIS assumed that they would kill about 50% deer. The ones in Yellowstone and rest of Idaho appear to kill a much higher proportion of elk; i.e. about 95%.

              • avatar Jay says:

                It’s called sarcasm Larry.

                here’s a little challenge for you: you get a hold of an average sized wolf head and a cow elk pelvis–then try to fit that wolf head completely up through the pelvic canal WITHOUT using a sledge hammer or explosives or a hydraulic ram. That’s what would have to happen in order for your ridiculous theory of “fetus extraction” to occur.

  18. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    is it possible to mobilize / galvanize the ant-wolf crowd in WY more than now?
    if not, then every success @ the courts is a positive thing

  19. avatar Joanne Favazza says:

    I am so sick of all of this “management” debate. We are not God nor some divine power, nor will we ever achieve such lofty positions. There is no wild species on earth that needs to be “managed” by humans– period. Indeed, if any species requires “management,” it’s the 7 billion of us who are causing more damage and destruction than any wild species ever could or ever will. Our hubris, selfishness, and stupidity continue to astound and infuriate me.

    • avatar rork says:

      You haven’t seen our deer problems in MI, or are assuming that we have adequate predators to keep them down – we don’t. We can predict which plants and other animals will go extinct if we don’t kill deer, or get predators to do it for us. In a utopia with almost no people or agriculture and lots of predators, things would be fine, it’s true. We wouldn’t need to manage, we’d merely exploit the resources.

      I reduced the problem by one (very non-trophy) deer yesterday morning. A mile from the road, ugh. My botany friends approve.

      • avatar Ed Loosli says:

        Rork: My I suggest that you and others get on the bandwagon to end hunting of wolves and coyotes in Michigan so the deer will be in better balance. Forget hunting/trapping predators as it does more harm than good.

        • avatar rork says:

          Your sarcasm may be more true than your straight writing. The effect of wars on coyotes in states near me is approximately zero wrt deer population. Check Leopold’s “Game Management” for stories of hunters predator killing only to make things worse, not that it’s an inevitable outcome. The land here fears deer. I think deer carrying capacity has been reduced, by the deer themselves. MI game managers are not likely to admit that, and managers out west are no different. Simple is good, but that’s not what nature hands us.

          • avatar rork says:

            Maybe you didn’t intend sarcasm – my apologies. I plead mistaken identity.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            Dated but good article on too many deer rork. Little mention of the predator’s important role here.

            http://blog.nature.org/science/2013/08/22/too-many-deer/

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Here in NE MN, red and white pines are continually mowed down by white tails, with aspen(popple) and balsam shooting up all over. The maple I have close to the cabin is continually cropped and looks more like a bush. When snow begins to melt up here in the Spring, exposing young pines, it’s one of the only food sources for deer.

            ma’iingan was not very complimentary about white tail effects on Wisconsin forestry. They sure taste good, but sometimes they are referred to as large rats.

  20. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    “They determined that the wolf had been shot by a farmer who had pursued the animal for several miles in his vehicle after seeing it near his farm,” said Nate Pamplin, the agency’s wildlife program director.”

    http://www.spokesman.com/outdoors/stories/2014/oct/14/farmer-being-investigated-for-shooting-gray-wolf/

    1) “The shooting does not appear to have been associated with a defense-of-life action,” Pamplin said.

    2) And the shooting did not appear “to take place under the statutory authority to shoot and kill a wolf that is caught in the act of attacking livestock in the Eastern Washington recovery zone,” he added.

    3) Pamplin said he was not aware of any problems with wolves and livestock or pets in the area in 2014. None was confirmed in previous years.

  21. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Well, so much for that bullshit myth that wolves are difficult to hunt:

    Hunters Kill A Dozen Wolves the First Day and a Half of Wisconsin Wolf Hunt

    • avatar rork says:

      They are allowed to bait, use electronic calls, and use foothold traps, which might help. It’s not “hunting” in the common usage of the term. Allowing baiting sounds risky, though I’m not expert. Electronic calls are illegal in almost all hunting. Trapping is obviously not hunting.

  22. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Again, so much for the myth that wolves are difficult to hunt:

    Wisconsin Wolf Hunt Already Ending in One Area

    Five other zones still remain open in the state. As of midday Friday, 28 of the 150 wolves available for harvest had been taken. That’s almost 19 percent of the season’s quota and, if the pace keeps up, it could mean an early end to the hunt. The season is scheduled to run through mid-February, but the state will shut zones down as hunters approach the harvest quota in each area.

    The Wolf Patrol is reporting that trappers can set anywhere from 6-9 traps at least, so there could be many traps out there.

    Thank you, Wolf Patrol.

  23. avatar Ed Loosli says:

    With the feds (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) refusing to intervene in wolf conservation, it calls attention to how important state politics are. Look at how wolves are being slaughtered in Wisconsin, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, compared to state wolf management/conservation in Oregon, Washington and eventually California.

    • avatar Gary Humbard says:

      Ed, while there are only ~64 wolves in Oregon and ~52 wolves in Washington compared to over 650 each in Montana and Idaho and ~400 in Wyoming, I will agree that state politics have an influence. Oregon, Washington and California are strong “blue states” while Wyoming and Idaho are strong “red states” with Montana being neither strong blue or red. It will be interesting if wolf management in blue states change as wolf populations increase.

      The judge in the latest lawsuit found that gray wolves have recovered and are no longer threatened or endangered in the Northern Rocky Mountain region and once Wyoming makes the necessary changes this lawsuit will be met.

      What specifically do you want the USFWS to do regarding wolf conservation. Please be specific in how they are not in compliance with the ESA and do not bring up the rider bill that was found to be constitutional (whether we like it or not).

      • avatar Ed Loosli says:

        Gary Humbard: Regarding what states can do to assist the comeback of gray wolves, and stay in compliance with the Endangered Species Act, I would specifically start with:
        1. Stop “managing” (ie killing) wolves through hunting, trapping and poisoning. Wolves do not need to be managed, as they self-regulate their own populations, as they have done for thousands of years.
        2. Where there is a conflict between wolves and privately owned cattle & sheep on our public lands, it is the cattle & sheep that should be removed, not the wolves.
        3. When there is a conflict between wolves and livestock on private land, rather than contracting with the federal “Wildlife Services” at taxpayer expense to slaughter wolves, states should mandate non-lethal methods be employed in keeping peace between wolves and private livestock, before any depredation actions can be taken. Some non-lethal wolf actions included, guard dogs, range riders, night corrals, as well as birthing sheds for both cattle and sheep.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Ed Loosli,

      I note that the three states that are better on wolves are blue states. The states that slaughter wolves are all red states.

  24. avatar Kerry says:

    I just spent a month, camped above Green River, WY. Many of the local people I spoke to felt that their state was over run with wolves and that hunting had become increasingly difficult (never mind that elk had not yet come down from their summer ranges). However, when I asked one died in the wool hunter about this, his response was, “Be a better hunter.”

  25. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    While we’re discussing ‘eventualities’ (on the Mountain Biking thread), the Wolf Patrol is reporting that the JB *Drab Grey* yearling female has been killed in the 2014 hunt in Montana – with more calls for safe zones/buffer zones around the Park. Hopefully, that is only a matter of time also. It’s nice to see that so many people support the preservation of wolves.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      many people support the “preservation” of wolves. It’s the agencies, state and federal and DNR departments that unfortunately create laws and rules that are ecologically destructive, wasteful, and that ignore public sentiment and wishes. It seems like these institutions are part of secret handshake hunting club.

      Its hard to believe that scientists coming from accredited institutions and working in these agencies would not object to dog hunting/hounding of wolves, snaring, trapping, almost open seasons and killing pups less than 6 months old.

      There are few like Adrien Treves, Paul Paquet, Chris Genovali, Jon Way, Gordon Haber that have the courage and conviction to speak up even weighing the chances of losing funding for their research.

      A top down paradigm change needed. To quote an old movie all of us should be ranting “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        and yes whoever is about to yell but Haber is dead, I know that.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        Louise, I don’t know why you have the word ‘preservation’ in quotes, but here is why I chose it:

        1.

        to keep alive or in existence; make lasting:

        2.

        to keep safe from harm or injury; protect or spare.

        Antonym: Destroy

  26. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Two more wolf zones closing in a week or less. What the hell is going on out there? Met most of the entire state’s quota in one week?

    http://www.wkow.com/story/26824435/2014/10/19/wisconsin-dnr-closing-2-more-wolf-zones

      • avatar Ed Loosli says:

        The term “shooting fish in a barrel” should apply to “shooting wolves in Wisconsin”… This wolf slaughter is sadistic and far removed from anything related to sport, as in “sport hunting”.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        This is truly a waste, and cannot be anything more than an attempt at population control. Now that hunting and trapping of wolves have set in, I don’t think it will ever disappear.

        As very few of the wolves killed will serve as any type of meal, it’s all about the fur, which is still NOT prime, so of decreased value in any type of market. Probably 30% or more will be “smallish” 5-6 month old pups. If one looks for any sort of positive from this, wolves are entering a tough survival period as deer at this time of year are tough to bring down. Many of those pups would not have survived winter, this one could conclude the take is/was largely compensatory.

        If Wisconsin DNR really had its act together, with a target of “only” 150 wolves, they could have pushed the season on wolves back a month, where if for no other reason, coats would have been approaching prime.

        • avatar Yvette says:

          What is happening in Wisconsin is so far removed from the culture and mores from which I was raised that I am basically at a loss. Loss of words, loss of logic, loss of hope. I’ve always been around hunters, but not like these people. Not like these predator hunters. I’ve never experienced such wide acceptance, tolerance, and even pride and arrogance, in the killing of animals from as I’ve seen when it comes to wolves.

          Cultural shock.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            +1 Yvette this is one of the important messages that has to be gotten out.

            “I’ve always been around hunters, but not like these people. Not like these predator hunters. I’ve never experienced such wide acceptance, tolerance, and even pride and arrogance, in the killing of animals from as I’ve seen when it comes to wolves.”

            Its not about hunting its an ingrained cultural pride in being able to take out fear, social and economic inadequacies, and to promote hate and continue ignorance that rules this. Nothing less is required than federal laws designed to protect predatory animals from wanton waste and abuse is needed. The laws msut emanate from the fact that wildlife management left to the states is outdated, inhospitable to healthy management for maximum biodiversity, does not allow for healthy wildlife corridors from one state to the next, contains no series of national refuges from hunting, and is damn inhumane to predatory wildlife. Predator management is historically unnecessary killing by the very state and federal agencies that should be promoting and enforcing regulations and laws that benefit ecosystems and the public as is their duty as public trust resource managers. Instead they act like hunting lobbyists and manage for game farms.

        • avatar rork says:

          In 2012 it was 50% 0-year-olds, 25% 1-year-olds, 17% 2-year. About 70% males. I can’t see similar stats from 2013. Table 5 of http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/WildlifeHabitat/wolf/documents/PostDelistMonitor.pdf

          If people are in a rush, cause quotas fill quickly, that is probably a good thing, cause they will be less choosy (and less hunting with dogs, which I’d rather not become popular). Whether early time is so deer hunters have chances (sell more licenses maybe), or an idea to reduce poaching, or what, I don’t know.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            What’s the rush, though? It’s crazy.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Rork,

            Only way it reduces poaching is the legally “harvested” wolves cannot be poached. The lupophobes will always be lupophobes and will kill regardless. Without being redundant, on average 10% of MN wolves were illegally killed annually prior to hunting seasons, and that 10% has not changed since the onset of said seasons.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              OK, so why do we need a hunting season, and why can’t these people act like reasonable adults, instead of acting like berserkers? I don’t know why you defend this practice, Immer.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Ida,

                I’ll try to be nice, and believe me, your comment makes this a pretty difficult task. One would be hard put to find examples of where I have defended this practice.

                The wolf seasons are here, and no matter how much you wine, your not going to get rid of them. As senseless as wolf hunting and trapping is to you, it is more so to me if the fur is next to worthless. I’ve tried to work with different organizations, and they are all trying to end wolf hunting, and that is not going to happen anytime soon. I am not defending the process. My input has emphasized poaching, the where and the when of wolf hunting and trapping. All along, private land ranchers/farmers should be given the right to protect what is theirs.

                Masticate on that a bit prior to putting your head where it shouldn’t once again become inserted.

              • avatar Barb Rupers says:

                What practice is Immer defending?

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              So you have the ten percent plus the legal number? How does that even make sense? It doesn’t. It should go back to the way it was. No legal wolf hunting. Making something illegal is a very great deterrent – and only the really bad ones will poach. Now, with it legal, those who might be a little more inhibited can indulge too.

            • avatar JB says:

              “Only way it reduces poaching is the legally “harvested” wolves cannot be poached. The lupophobes will always be lupophobes and will kill regardless.”

              Immer: I definitely don’t want to get into an argument about this, but rather, represent the other side of the story. First, while correct from the perspective of proportions, one could argue that if hunting reduces the wolf population and the rate of poaching stays the same, then hunting has actually reduced the occurrence of poaching (in absolute numbers). (I’m sure I’ll catch some hate mail for that comment).

              In any case, the *better* argument (from my perspective) is that we do not know what would have happened had wolf hunting remained illegal. If, for example, intolerance for wolves is growing (as Adrian Treves’ data suggests) then keeping hunting illegal could have prompted a backlash that *may* have been prevented by legal hunting and trapping. To be honest, I don’t think we had reached that point before; however, I wonder how much the ensuing controversy has forced hunters to take sides? There might actually be a greater tendency to poach now than before, and if hunting/trapping were banned in their entirety, then we could see even greater poaching occur as a form of backlash.

              Lots of ‘maybes’ and ‘coulds’, but I think it is important to ponder these alternatives. Then again, I just made a consequentialist argument (the ends justify the means); one (I’ll pick on Ida) might also argue that we should do what is ‘right’ from the beginning and to hell with the consequences?

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                JB,

                No hate mail at all. All I am asserting, based upon private conversation and communication with MN DNR officials is that, on average, annually, 10% of MN wolves are illegally killed. One might logically conclude then, if fewer wolves exist, in particular when the woods are flooded with hunters, and poaching accelerates, there might be a few less wolves to kill illegally.

                Observes a bumper sticker today:
                Gun Club
                Dead Wolf

                Come up with a logical solution for that mindset.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                JB,
                Re-read your post. Sorry for the redundancy. Your second paragraph is like a convoluted Russian egg with what if scenarios.

                With respect, I will repeat to you, unless someone comes up with repeatable empirical evidence, that wolf hunting and trapping(I oppose all forms of wolf trapping and hounding) only accerbates wolf “problems”, wolf hunting will not disappear. It doesn’t matter if I like that or not, it’s just how things are.

                I put in for a wolf license this year in the lottery. Take a deep breath as I have no intention of hunting wolves… My statement that seems to have brought out the disgust was the waste of the wolves killed. If a hunt is to be held, it’s too damn early in the season. The pelts, not prime, are all but worthless. This does not mean I support wolf hunting. One more time, trying to ban wolf hunting is all but a fools errand. However, if it is to be done, using logic, one might be able to shift the when, where, and how. And with emphasis, I’d like to see some teeth put into prosecution for illegal take, but with the laws the way they are, and with the small number of conservation officers in the field, I don’t feel positive of that happening anytime soon.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                what about he other scenario not mentioned here, if the trapping and hunting of wolves was not legalized what data do we have to show that tolerance might have increased and poaching decreased. If Treves et al (including yours) studies are valid then one might suspect that tolerance was increasing over time and is decreasing now. Why is the question? Perhaps because trapping and hunting wolves legitimizes killing them, and allowed cultural bias against them to resurface?

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                should have said what proof is there that if wolf hunting and trapping was not legalized that tolerance would have increased and poaching decreased.

                How would you ever conduct a study to determine that?

        • avatar Ida Lupines says:

          So you can see that it isn’t about the fur either – it’s about a perception of an animal that isn’t accurate. I just don’t understand why this kind of lawlessness is tolerated. If you look for a positive in it, you are an enabler and complicit.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            Ida – a dated but good read:

            http://ifpe.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/our-projective-dance-with-the-wolf/

            Lopez wrote “Historically the most visible motive and the one that best explains the excess of killing, is a type of fear: theriophobia. Fear of the beast. Fear of the beast as an irrational, violent, insatiable creature. Fear of the projected beast in oneself. The fear is composed of two parts: self-hatred; and anxiety over the human loss of inhibitions that are common to other animals who do not rape, murder, and pillage. At the heart of theriophobia is the fear of one’s own nature. In its headiest manifestation theriophobia is projected onto a single animal, the animal becomes a scapegoat, and it is annihilated. That is what happened to the wolf in America”

            About 20 years ago I had a heated exchange with a ranch manager in my area about wolves (wolves had barely made a comeback in Yellowstone at the time but a few wolves had decided to head north, out of Yellowstone and into trouble on a few ranches. I believe Carter Neimeyer makes a reference to that time in his book Wolfer)

            Dealing with and having to care for domestic livestock, he hated wolves being back on the landscape. Coyotes were bad enough in his mind…..

            Fast forward – the same ranch manager (now retired but still living in the area) has now come to realize all predators have a place on the landscape, especially when the landscape for wildlife gets smaller and smaller.

            If you want to get outraged, start by questioning why the fur trade in this country has rebounded after years of protests. Wolves are not the only species being served up in the name of greed.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              Wow, great post Nancy.

            • avatar Mark L says:

              So I suspect what you are really asking is whether wolves are being made into a commodity, right? Oddly, the ‘off prime season hunting’ scheme seems to be pushing against commoditization this year and leaving the hunters who are in it for the pelts left holding the bag and irritated that the season will end early (which is exactly what some politicians want). Anyone think calls for even more wolves will occur next year?

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                Is that why they are going apeshit in a week, because the DNR had the audacity to lower the take this year?

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Mark,

                Who knows what makes Wisconsin work. My take for the early wolf season is fewer deer killed by wolves. If the hounders don’t get their “take” they will yowl. As the sun rises in the morning, the cry for a higher take next year will be profound.

  27. avatar Elk375 says:

    Plus one Immer, maybe 2 months.

  28. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    Does anyone know if a poll was ever taken to find out the leading reasons why hunters want to kill a wolf? Even though wolves have been shown to be a leading cause of ungulate mortality in a few isolated areas, the pro-hunting groups jump on that anytime they can and unfortunately the state agencies don’t contradict the information.

    Hanging a wolf pelt in your home, having the satisfication of killing an extremely intelligent animal, boredom, high levels of testosterone, camaraderie, and maybe one of the highest is to spite the wolf advocates.

    Would a hunter get fully compensated for the hunting license, tag, gas and other expenses for the sale of the pelt?

    As a dog lover, I would think it would be very difficult to kill an animal that looks like a husky or malamute and is the original canine where all dogs evolved from. Is this why we tend to use the wolf as the “poster child” in our attempt to conserve wildlife. Certainly cougars, bobcats, black bear and coyotes are all hunted, get little recognition for their importance, and yet are just as important to the landscape.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      None of them get persecuted as much as the wolves do, except maybe the coyote. I know I keep repeating this over and over – but no one wants to accept this as an answer.

      Spiting wolf advocates is an extremely childish response.

    • avatar rork says:

      WI itself contradicts that wolves impact deer much, in this document that seems intended to educate hunters about the complexities:
      http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/documents/predators.pdf
      Maybe hardly any have read it though. They have draft results of a survey up – deer hunters like wolves less and are more scared of wolves than bears. Modeling without experimental data seems too hard (weather, habitat change, predator interactions).

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Gary,

      “Would a hunter get fully compensated for the hunting license, tag, gas and other expenses for the sale of the pelt?”

      Tanning costs
      http://www.moytown.com/services-fur.html

      MN, only one tag. NRM states?

      One might be able to buy a bag of groceries with the profit of a nice pelt. Based on laws, both federal and state, one might not be able to sell a wolf pelt outside of the country where the demand is higher. Rug mounts and full mounts will go for much more, but so does the preparation. A good sized MN deer head mount will push through $600.00 in taxidermy fees and take close to a year to be done.

      How one would sell said pelt is anyone’s guess, but I’d assume most will end up on the wall of the hunter/trapper.

      Disclaimer: I do not hunt or trap wolves, nor do I have deer mounts.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        A bag of groceries? Oh please. At that rate, there’ll be no wildlife left.

        I would not kill another living thing simply for a bag of groceries. There’s another photo over at Patricia Randolph MadRavensSpeak’s blog that shows a poor raccoon being drowned beneath a trapper’s boot, with an expression on his or her face begging to live, no different that you or I would if we were being murdered.

        These people need to go out and get a real job, or perhaps they are mentally defective and killing animals is all they can do for a living, and all for fur coats for shallow people who would probably think of them as trash. I wouldn’t contribute to that for a few measly bucks.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          You know what? I was attempting to address Gary’s question.

          Valuable time, time that could have been spent intelligently promoting wolves in particular and wildlife in general, has been wasted on you.

          You brought it up; allow me to reciprocate. Consider yourself ignored.

          JB, can you bring all of us back on topic in regard to the original intent of this posting.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            Great. Please do! I really should just read-only anyway. I’m trying very hard to withdraw from commenting too much.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      +1 Gary

  29. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Here’s another ghoulish photo making the rounds (From Patricia Randolph MadRavenSpeak’s blog, Our Wisconsin, Our Wildlife. These people are not acting like grown, mature men and women. They are acting like arrested development teenage vandals. I hope they screw it up so badly this year that they are the cause of ending wolf hunting for good – they are an embarrassment to their state. They just can’t seem to control themselves.

    Anybody who dignifies them or tries to support them by saying that people should try to understand them is complicit in wolf killing, IMO. This is psychological territory I do not want to venture into.

    The stacked DNR board is trying to ‘gerrymander’ zone 6 also. Four of six zones are closing already due to this out of control mess.

    http://ourwisconsinourwildlife.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/another-wolf-kill-zone-goes-over-quota-silence-from-dnr/

  30. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Immer,

    I’m going to have to start not reading your posts. You accommodate these people too much, and it is nearly as bad as they are. You try to be reasonable, and you stretch that a little too much in the process. I can’t read your posts any longer. I’m going to skip over them for the sake of peace. There’s no way rationality has anything to do with this kind of behavior.

    As far as these poor wolves possibly not making it through the winter, how do you know they wouldn’t, and who appointed us the ones to make that determination of whether they do or not? So you think being tortured by a wild-eyed biped for kicks is better than starving? I’d take my chances.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Then begin with this one. When you make false assertions, be prepared for some fallout. I’m beginning to understand how SaveBears felt. I expect to receive friction from the anti-wolf people, and for that matter, the absolutely clueless pro-wolf folks. It is utterly amazing, that all the time you have spent on this blog, the endless patience some have extended to you, you are, as yet, clueless.

      I have never been for the hunting and trapping of wolves, but I always knew it was part of the equation, from days prior to blogs such as this. My contentions have been, if it is to be done, do it correctly, much in line with David Mech.

      Bring a flashlight with you in your future meandering.

        • avatar JEFF E says:

          My suggestion is for Ralph to shut the website down. it has become nothing more than an bully pulpit for a very focused advocacy group. Of course if that is what you want, Ralph, that is your choice, you own it. I will not be commenting here again.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            Happy trails!

            • avatar Elk375 says:

              Ida you comment is cold, very cold. We all have different opinions and points of view. Jeff E. has contributed a lot on this forum.

              Check your emotions at the key board.

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                Yes and no. Some of his awful name calling has been called out, several times. So gathering up his marbles and going home in a huff is a little prima donna-ish of him, this time. And more than a little hypocritical. It’s amazing how some of the big he-men hunters become crying babies if anybody dares to speak up.

              • avatar Elk375 says:

                “So gathering up his marbles and going home in a huff is a little prima donna-ish of him, this time. And more than a little hypocritical.”

                It’s amazing how some of the PRO WOLF PEOPLE become crying babies if anybody dares to speak up.

                Go look at yourself in the mirror.

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                Elk, I wish some of you wouldn’t turn this around – the question is why do we tolerate sadism and unnecessary cruelty as part of wildlife management? It has nothing to do with me.

                When I first got here, there was a lot of fighting and petty name-calling. It seems a lot more peaceful and issue-focused now.

                Immer, are you saying that what happens in the woods stays in the woods? That those sadistic what should be called pornography photos should be ignored? If so, that is where we part company again. This wolf management farce is an absolute joke and you know it.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                I thought the gods prevailed in regard to your ignoring me, but it looks like they have fled.

                “Immer, are you saying that what happens in the woods stays in the woods? That those sadistic what should be called pornography photos should be ignored? If so, that is where we part company again. This wolf management farce is an absolute joke and you know it.”

                Stop putting words in people’s mouths.

                And in regard to JEFF E. I believe his comment carries much merit. He participated on this blog prior to me, and if one goes back through the archives, one can see the level of discussion was higher than it is now. Most current discussions evolve into pablum, and I confess that at times I have contributed to some of the degradation.

                I don’t know what you do off this site, nor is it my business, but being shrill and handwringing here does absolutely nothing for the plight of any wildlife.

                This is a still a great place to learn, and share ideas. Today’s thread seemed to be going in that direction until…

                Elk’s advice is good, sometimes tough to follow, but good sound advice. “Check your emotions at the key board.”

              • avatar timz says:

                For many years this was a great wildlife site until the pro-hunting anti-wolf people started showing up. To bad they don’t stick to the many site they have available to them.

              • avatar JB says:

                That’s an interesting comment, Timz. I’ve been posting here for about 6-7 years and during that time a number of prominent contributors who hunt have left or contribute far less frequently (e.g., ‘save bears’, ‘seak mossback’). Robert Hoskins — a hunter, also used to post frequently but no longer does. During the same time, we’ve picked up Mike (or “Chicago Mike”), Ida, Louise and others.

                I think the blog works best when there is a diversity of opinion and people communicate respectfully despite disagreement.

              • avatar Barb Rupers says:

                I have appreciated JEFF E’s comments over the years; and miss those from ones JB mentioned, particularly Robert Hoskins and Savebears. Robert Jackson added a lot to the discussion. I’m glad to see that Salle has commented recently. It has been an interesting mix and hope it remains so.
                http://newwest.net/city/article/bob_jackson_waxes_about_bison_culture_and_traditional_ag/C396/L396/

              • avatar topher says:

                I’ve noticed fewer comments lately from some of the people who seemed to have the most to offer. It’s always nice to get the facts from the people who have them. I can go anywhere to read an article but tend to learn more from the discussions that follow them. I enjoy hearing both sides.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        Part of the equation, maybe (what’s been happening over the years has caused me to question that) – but not what it has descended to as of late. That’s the problem. No matter how low it goes, some who claim to be wolf advocates still defend them. It isn’t helping.

        I think poor Dr. Mech’s comments have been cherry-picked and taken out of context quite a lot. Not unlike the Bible. But I also think of his quote where he said we have to outyell, outdo, outthink, and outmaneuver the anti’s. Have you forgotten?

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          That didn’t take you long to break that “resolution”. Sure, I remember those and I read them a long, long,long time ago.

          More recently, he warned of science sanctifying the wolf, but my favorite goes something like this.

          “Wolves are neither saints nor sinners except for those who would make them so.”

          Mech is a man of science. Really read what he has to say about wolves, and if you ever have a chance to listen to him, please do so. I’ve read the antis who cherry-pick him.

          The Bible? What’s that?

          • avatar Yvette says:

            “Wolves are neither saints nor sinners except for those who would make them so.”

            Fourteen words that capture the gamut of the wolf wars of our current era.

            I’ve read this quote multiple times since I’ve started following and learning more about wildlife issues and management. Tonight I put more thought into the quote after reading this thread off and on through the evening. At first, I thought “yes, it’s true but only in a purely logical sense, but humans are emotional beings, as well as all canines”. When I read the quote one last time the part I placed in bold was key for me. “except for those who would make them so.” For me, that is what makes this quote powerful. That is what takes the quote beyond a simple logical statement.

            If it was my comment from this morning that started this keyboard melee, I apologize. I do attempt to temper my emotions, but often fail when it comes to animals. It is not just wolves, but animals; all of them. For that I do not apologize because that is the side of the fence I stand on. Most on this blog do stand for animals, but we differ in our approach.

            This WI wolf hunt is difficult and I’m not following it much because of that. I think it is worse than the Salmon, ID killing derby. Maybe the emotions and hand wringing that comes over on blog posts is the counter to the ‘fear’ and ‘fear of wildness’ that was discussed in the link that Nancy posted. Maybe both extremes are driven by a similar force; lack of control. Isn’t that usually what drives fear? On one side is the fear that is eloquently explained in the link Nancy posted. On the other side are those of us who know there is little we can do to change the hunting and trapping methods that we find cruel, outdated, and vile. People work on change, but change comes slowly. Even if WI is going over their quotas in several of the zones I highly doubt that anyone will be held legally accountable.

            My frail, elderly mom lives with me. On occasion she reminds me that there will always be things in this world that I will not like and that I cannot change. Good, logical advice. Good thing I’m not always logical.

            Hope everyone has a better day tomorrow. All of you.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              It was not your comment Yvette. It is the WI wolf killing frenzyhunt and even more so, the fact that people try to legitimize it. I’d rather have emotions when it comes to this, rather than not. I won’t be brainwashed by those who try to belittle those who show human emotions. But I’ll try, for the sake of the readers of the blog, to keep a lid on it. 🙂

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              In our experiment, we were intermediate actors, and the wolves were unknowing subjects. They were wolves, so they weren’t innocent, but they were wolves, so they weren’t guilty. It is the recurring theme of Wildlife Biology; managing animals is difficult, but managing people is hell. In our interactions with predators, we will have failures even given our best intentions, and we will have to be as persistent and clever as the animals we are working with.”

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                I’m sorry. This was directed toward Yvette, don’t know why my “preface” wasn’t included, but a slightly different twist to the Mech quote from Jim Shivik’s The Predator Paradox.

            • avatar JB says:

              Lots of talking about emotions here. I wonder if any of you have taken the Myers-Briggs personality test? I think many of our communication failures are due to different personality types, including the ways in which we process information. I’m an INTP (generally, rational and skeptical of emotion); if you’re interested in the test, here’s a quick version:

              https://memorado.com/pti_test?r=istj&utm_campaign=EN%2FCOM_facebook-share_mbti&utm_content=mbti&utm_medium=facebook-share&utm_source=VIRAL#.VEQ_2L0Fzav.facebook

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                Oh yes, informally. I was pleased and felt lucky to be an INFJ and/or INFP. Fun to learn about our personalities. 🙂

              • avatar Barb Rupers says:

                Took the test with the same results as yours. Always fun to see how one compares with others.

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                Oh yes, informally. I was pleased and felt lucky to be an INFJ and/or INFP. Fun to learn about our personalities. 🙂

              • avatar Yvette says:

                The professor from one of the last classes I took, ‘Environmental Problems Solving’, required us to take this test. I’ve taken it several times at different sites and always come out INTJ. I’ve always been a bit skeptical of these personality tests. I just took it again at a site that did a good job of explaining how INTJs will generally act/respond to different life situations. However, I know I’m more willing to express emotions than those results stated. Everything else was spot on.

                Good idea, JB. This is the site I used, http://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

              • avatar topher says:

                I don’t usually include myself in these conversations but I do read them so I took the test. I believe I have taken this test before but I’ll have to dig up the results and see if they are consistent. The short version they offer says I’m INTP.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                ISFP PERSONALITY

                I change during the course of a day. I wake and I’m one person, and when I go to sleep I know for certain I’m somebody else.
                Bob Dylan

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                ENFG
                interesting test

                Immer love that Dylan quote
                another I love is
                “They say that patriotism is the last refuge
                To which a scoundrel clings
                Steal a little and they throw you in jail
                Steal a lot and they make you king”

                I’ll stop posting now to take my buddy out for his last walk of the night!

              • avatar Nancy says:

                Seems I’m an INFJ personality JB.
                Difficult in wolf country 🙂

              • avatar JB says:

                Wow. After reading the category descriptions and everyone’s results, I’m actually impressed. Based on my interactions with you all over the past few years, these seem pretty diagnostic.

                If you’ll permit an observation, it seems to me that there’s a lot of tension on this blog between the xxTP folks, and the xxFJ folks (with the xxTJ and xxFP folks caught in the middle).

              • avatar Barb Rupers says:

                My reply got separated from JB. I am an INTP.

  31. avatar Ed Loosli says:

    More than five months have passed since Defenders of Wildlife formally requested U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (U.S.FWS) to conduct an urgent review to reassess the status of wolves in the Northern Rockies, based on the aggressive “management” (killing) of wolves by the state of Idaho resulting in wolves being in severe decline.
    Time is running out for Northern Rockies wolves and U.S.FWS has so far stuck it’s head in the sand!
    We need to tell the U.S.FWS to reassess the status of wolves in the Northern Rockies, TODAY!

    LINK: https://secure.defenders.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2801

    I took action – won’t you?
    Thanks!

  32. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    What practice? Wolf killing, by making excuses for it and defending it. People like that are the very definition of the Edmund Burke quote ‘all that is needed for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing’.

    I’m no longer reading or responding to posts like that. I’m not getting dragged in to discussions that defend wolf killing, in any way.

  33. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Here’s another one. Just look at the fear, pain and suffering on the faces of the wolves in the two photos I posted from Patricia Randolph MadRavenSpeaks’ blog. And look at the expression of perverse glee on the face of the cause all that suffering. What kind of thing gets off on that? Was this supposed to be part of the equation?

    http://ourwisconsinourwildlife.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/horrific-photograph-shows-true-nature-of-wisconsin-sportsmen/

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      You are playing on emotion that has been replayed and replayed and replayed here. Once again, in particular for you, I have always questioned the perverse requirement for grinning fools to pose and smile with their dead or soon to be dead animals, or perhaps YOU have never read that in my posts.

      Perhaps you and CM-B can get together, share pictures of outrage and it will slowly morph into Munch’s “The Scream”.

  34. avatar Nancy says:

    “What kind of thing gets off on that?”

    Ida, did this quote from Lopez, sink in at all ?

    **Historically the most visible motive and the one that best explains the excess of killing, is a type of fear: theriophobia. Fear of the beast. Fear of the beast as an irrational, violent, insatiable creature. Fear of the projected beast in oneself. The fear is composed of two parts: self-hatred; and anxiety over the human loss of inhibitions that are common to other animals who do not rape, murder, and pillage. At the heart of theriophobia is the fear of one’s own nature. In its headiest manifestation theriophobia is projected onto a single animal, the animal becomes a scapegoat, and it is annihilated. That is what happened to the wolf in America”

    • avatar Nancy says:

      And before this story becomes fodder for local anti-wolf sites:

      “BREAKING NEWS!! 3 YEAR OLD CHILD ATTACKED BY VICIOUS WOLF”

      Here’s the actual story:

      http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/child-bitten-by-wolf-at-zoomontana/29240258

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Nancy,

      From Henry Beston:

      “For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings, they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time.”

      In a way, complimentary to your quote from Lopez.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      I can’t believe it is that simple, I just can’t.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        ^^My post was in response to Nancy’s, not Immer’s. Immer’s was a beautiful one. The other one is too ugly.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      And it appears to be fear of the inability to be able to spell and use proper grammar too. Some of us see the ugly human beast right where it belongs – in ugly humans, the worst and vile and vicious creature ever to walk the earth. *shudder*

  35. avatar Ed Loosli says:

    Ida: Thank you for reminding me of the quote from Edmund Burke; “All that is needed for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing”. These wise words are most appropriate today as human evil stalks the woods and the halls of Congress, State Houses and the White House.

  36. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Oh Immer. Please don’t be treacherous like the anti-wolf types. Fromm what I have been able to read, they don’t respect you, trust me.

    SaveBears, JEFFE, and Louise, Mike and a few others used to fight like cats and dogs. Or I should say, they used to level barbs at Louise and Mike. Calling women “Hot Flash” isn’t what I’d call a high level of discussion. Calling Mike “3 Dollar” wasn’t either. But if I recall there you were, or perhaps it was WM, trying to put a positive spin on it. The level of discussion was not higher than it is now, believe me. You and others are just trying to play to the newcomers who weren’t around then, but if they have the time to go back and read some of the posts, I’m sure they will draw their own conclusions.

    SaveBears could be very nice, and he had the courage to stand up and not doctor facts for his boss, and lost his job because of it. I got the impression that he worked for F&W or something? That is integrity.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      And now I’m done, I won’t draw myself in to these waste of time discussions again, just so you can try to discredit me to suit your own agendas.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      My parting words:
      “…the anti-wolf types. Fromm what I have been able to read, they don’t respect you, trust me.”

      You’re not telling me anything new. The product of sparring with them, for the past almost six years. I believe I’d find myself in good company on their Sh!t list so thanks for the compliment.

      Es war ein netter Spaziergang, Auf wiedersehen.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        I only say this to you and others, because you have not and it appears you never will, change their minds. Valiant in intent tho. These people’s minds cannot be changed.

        • avatar Barb Rupers says:

          My objective was to place other perspectives out for the readers of those blogs, not to change the minds of those spouting false information regarding such topics as: larger wolves from Canada, Echinococcuse granulosus, illegal introduction, dumping wolves into unsuspecting states . . . .

  37. avatar WyoWolfFan says:

    If only Wyoming would have reasonable wolf hunting laws. I think that would go a long ways.

    • avatar Ed Loosli says:

      WyoWolfFan: Yes, and fortunately U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson agrees with you, and at least, a Wyoming wolf hunt will not happen this year.

  38. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    The point is, hunters have a very high likelihood of killing a pregnant female elk. They know she could be pregnant and they do not care. Their want of an elk for a trophy, or food is more important (to them). Then we have the illogical denying another living creature the same chance for food. We have a choice in the matter; wolves do not. As far as wolves targeting heavily pregnant elk – hogwash. You are going to tell me that humans wouldn’t do that also?

    There was just a story of a bison cull with a fetus left in a pile to rot. The difference is, we know, and do not care.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      I don’t even bother to look at the photos of supposed wolf killed elk. It is preposterous to me to read the outrage people have, when not only do they do the same thing, but many times worse.

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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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