Interesting wildlife news (reader generated)

It is time to create a new page of “Interesting Wildlife News.” It has been a long time since we have had a new page. The page and comment loading time has become slow.  Do not post copyrighted material.

Here is the link to the “old” wildlife news of April 26, 2018. From there you can access links to older pages still.

Please post your wildlife news in the comments below

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

119 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife news? July 24, 2018 edition

  1. avatar Terry Singeltary Sr. says:

    SATURDAY, JULY 21, 2018

    Chronic Wasting Disease: new experience in Europe

    http://chronic-wasting-disease.blogspot.com/2018/07/chronic-wasting-disease-new-experience.html

  2. avatar Kathleen says:

    Four innocent New Mexico bears will be executed for the crime committed by one irresponsible human; the 70-year-old man admitted to feeding wildlife with cracked corn at his residence. He was bitten by a bear when he stepped outside.

    Excerpt: “We will now have to euthanize* the bears because they are habituated to humans and pose a serious public safety risk. My decision to euthanize* these bears could have been completely avoided had the bears not been fed.” ~NM Dept. of Game and Fish personnel
    *’execute’ is the correct word

    https://sangrechronicle.com/officers-investigate-bear-attack-in-cloudcroft/

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Doe the guy who encouraged them get even a wrist slap in all of this? These bears just need to be relocated. How many times do people have to be told, and for the bears to be made an example of, and still people keep feeding them or being careless?

  3. avatar rork says:

    http://www.miningjournal.net/news/front-page-news/2018/07/dnr-biologist-talks-predators/ is a pretty good review of wolf history and wolf political history in MI.
    The DNR gets one thing wrong though:

    Then there’s the question of who should be in charge of wolf management: trained biologists or voters.

    “If you had to have your appendix out, would you like to take that to the voters of Michigan, or would you rather take the doctor’s word for it?” Roell asked.

    I always get to make this same point (as do JB and other biologists): Scientists can know what is likely to happen as a result of actions, but we have no special privilege to say what the value of things are. I’m getting to hate it when people use analogies when there’s no need. There’s often a trick being employed.

    • avatar Mat-ters says:

      Rork, You may have missed a more glaring “one thing wrong” ….. “Presenting the program was Brian Roell, a wildlife biologist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, who noted there tend to be two polarizing sides to the wolf issue: people who want to protect them, and others who want every wolf dead.” I can honestly say I don’t know ONE PERSON that “want every wolf dead”! PErsonally, I think Roell should be reprimanded for making such an inflammatory binary choice that does not represent those interest in delisting and sound management for all wildlife not just predators!

      • avatar Hiker says:

        Sound management? Some would argue if management goes one way and others would argue if it goes the other. You can’t please all the voters, hence majority rules. Does the majority always get things right? Ask all the dead Indians and their descendants. Ask all the dead slaves etc. We often get things wrong. But, sometimes a wrong decision {who decides right and wrong? the majority} is better then NO decision. We can always change OUR minds.

      • avatar rork says:

        I agree wanting no wolves at all is not very common, but it exists. I took that as just illustration anyway. I do agree that both sides of any debate now often point to the most extreme views of (nuts on) the other side and try to tell you that is the view of the majority of the other side, and that this is a horrible trend.

        PS for Hiker: You likely know, that in a strange twist that the article mentioned the majority of voters passed laws to have no wolf hunts. The legislators decided otherwise. They had to do so three times before they found means to override the majority of voters.

        • avatar Hiker says:

          Did not know that. So much for majority rules. However, the voters can have the last laugh at reelection.

        • avatar Mat-ters says:

          The “majority” of the most affected voters overwhelmingly vote for the hunt (those in the UP) at around 67 percent. The “majority” of the counties voted for the hunt. ONLY 47 percent (not a majority) of all MI voters voted against the wolf hunt. Around 9 percent elected not to vote on the issue and around 45 percent of all MI voters voted for the hunt. Before the vote even happened voters in the UP collected 300,000 (grass roots) signatures prompting the legislator to pass the law making the referendums mute. HSUS spent 1.8 million dollars on advertising and used PAID signature collectors to get only 200,000 signature for the tax dollar sucking referendums. The VOTE speaks for itself!

        • avatar Mat-ters says:

          “I do agree that both sides of any debate now often point to the most extreme views” By your description Roell (A PUBLIC SERVANT) is taking sides! Hence, my comment. His description of the other side was not as radical.

          • avatar Jeremy B. says:

            “His description of the other side was not as radical.”

            There’s nuance to language here that I think is being lost. In my experience, the word “protect” (or “protectionist”) gets used by natural wildlife professionals as a pejorative, similar to “anti-hunters”. So while it may not seem as radical a description to lay folk, I suspect many (especially old-timers) in the wildlife profession view the idea of protecting predators as equally radical (to killing them all).

            Last year John Vucetich led a piece that carefully documents the political controversy surrounding the wolf hunt, and shows why the hunt was ill-conceived. I *believe* it is accessible on scholar.google.com and ResearchGate.

            See: Vucetich, J. A., Bruskotter, J. T., Nelson, M. P., Peterson, R. O., & Bump, J. K. (2017). Evaluating the principles of wildlife conservation: a case study of wolf (Canis lupus) hunting in Michigan, United States. Journal of Mammalogy, 98(1), 53-64.

  4. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    They are trying to pull this crap again. Always the ‘important stuff’. There is still plenty of habitat where wolves can be brought back:

    “The bill’s exact language would “remove the gray wolf in each of the 48 contiguous states of the United States and District of Columbia from the list of Endangered Species.” The legislation specifies there would be “no judicial review.””

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/connelly-grizzly-bears-gray-wolves-big-losers-in-house-spending-bill/ar-BBKQ04L

    Jon Tester’s legacy. 🙁

  5. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Well, no wolves at all may not be very common, but it has been said by a politician or two in the West, and I notice people are careful not to say that out loud so much anymore.

    But keeping wolves to unsustainably low numbers and quietly increasing the hunting quotas and expanding hunting yearly, is virtually no wolves at all, and is much more common.

  6. avatar Kathleen says:

    “Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado Billboards Target Yellowstone Grizzly Hunt”

    Awesome billboard by the Center for Biological Diversity!

    Excerpt: “Wyoming and Idaho should be absolutely ashamed for allowing some of America’s most iconic bears to be senselessly gunned down,” said Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Millions of people come to Yellowstone National Park every year to see these grizzlies. But the second these bears step out of the park, they could be shot dead by a hunter’s bullet. It’s ugly and reprehensible.”

    https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2018/grizzly-bear-07-26-2018.php

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      They have no shame. I wish I could remember who it was that said they wanted no wolves at all, I think it was Wyoming, and then whoever it was backtracked quickly.

      We all remember Butch Otter’s comments, and yet he still gets elected, and for years:

      https://helenair.com/news/state-and-regional/governor-wants-to-kill-all-but-idaho-wolves/article_2adbc3b8-7069-5c1d-8dfe-53c788c0a723.html

      And they are still being used as a political tool:

      https://www.gillettenewsrecord.com/news/wyoming/article_699faa54-352b-58e7-a470-f4ea751f25be.html

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Kathleen, I thought you would appreciate this. I have been hearing for years a wood thrush in the wooded area behind my home. Over the years I’ve seen what I think is one scratching through the leaf litter, and in the bird bath. I saw one the other day, and yesterday I saw a *pair* of them, scratching in the leaf litter under the bird feeder. There’s been a lot of bird fledging activity too.

      • avatar Kathleen says:

        Awesome, lucky you! Hopefully they had a brood and you’ll be hearing a symphony. The only time I ever saw one, I had to sneak through the forest to get a glimpse. We have Swainson’s and maybe hermit thrushes out here, but to my mind, nothing rivals the eastern wood thrush singing deep in a deciduous forest. Even HD Thoreau commented on their beautiful song more than once. Just FYI, we’ve been seeing a spotted towhee hanging around our place; lots of lesser goldfinches (put out a thistle sock because I cleaned up a patch of exotic thistles left by the previous homeowners that the birds had been using); scrub & occasionnally pinyon jays, white-breasted nuthatches, a lady Bullock’s oriole, western peewee, finches, mourning doves, etc., nothing else too exotic this year. (Exotic meaning unusual; we also have a pair of Eurasian collared doves for exotic in the bad sense.) Last year we had a little canyon wren come visit.
        https://musicofnature.com/video/wood-thrush/

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Wow. I love hearing about the birds of the West too. Yes, we’ve got American goldfinch babies and I had a pair of towhees too.

          I actually heard a wood thrush singing somewhere in the outskirts of a McDonald’s parking lot, of all things, recently. Adaptability. 🙂

          • avatar Larry Keeney says:

            My thrill every spring is hearing the first territorial call of my returning pileated pair. Every year at this place since 2002.

            • avatar Larry Keeney says:

              I have to post this because ya ‘all are the only ones that understand my excitement: so I make the above post yesterday, ….. re pileated Paul and this morning I go out to check my water fountain I created at my cabin just back of the house. I bring the card from the camera back and plug it in and bingo – pileated Paul is drinking the fountain about dry. He comes and goes 3 times this week. I haven’t heard him for about a month now, thought they took the kids and left. Doesn’t take much to excite me nowadays.

              DIFFERENT TOPIC: So Zinke responded to an appeal from the mule deer club to hold back drill leases in the migration corridor in WY. Seems his Teddy Roosevelt wannabe will stop drilling if it’s something to hunt and kill. But not so much for pygmy rabbits, California condors or beautiful historical monuments.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                🙂 That is something to get excited about! Sometimes I think some wildlife has gone, but then when I see them again it is thrilling.

                As Henry Beston said, “In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of 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,…”.
                I’m just happy to get a glimpse of them from time to time.

                Drilling in a migration corridor? I just don’t know what to say. This is one time I am grateful to hunters.

  7. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Having a debate where the subject of wolves is mentioned unfavorably at the National Guard Joint Forces Readiness Center just isn’t a good image in my mind. 🙁

  8. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    But who is voting for the legislators? Like Tammy Baldwin (D) who has co-authored legislation in the past to delist wolves without judicial review? I don’t think people are making the connection that once an animal is delisted – hunting is automatic afterwards.

    That’s what keeps nagging me about ‘support for the ESA is still strong by the public’. How in the world did Donald Trump become president then, when Republicans have been anti-ESA and environmental laws for decades? There’s a disconnect there.

  9. avatar Kathleen says:

    More info about the circumstances of this grizzly encounter that was discussed on this forum:

    Excerpt: “…a field assistant working in a remote section of the Cabinet Mountains was caught off guard in mid-May in a surprise grizzly bear attack south of Libby while working on a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service grizzly bear project.”

    http://www.kpax.com/story/38750131/fwp-hosts-animal-attack-investigation-training-class-in-kalispell

  10. avatar Kathleen says:

    “MINNEAPOLIS MAYOR SIGNS PLANT-BASED PROCLAMATION”

    Excerpt: “Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey signed a proclamation last week urging citizens to eat plant-based foods. The withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement… prompted the mayor to issue the document in an effort to promote environmentally friendly eating habits. ‘If each American affirmatively chose to eat plant-based food at just one meal per week,” the proclamation stated, “the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off US roads.’”

    https://vegnews.com/2018/7/minneapolis-mayor-signs-plant-based-proclamation

    • avatar rork says:

      Blueberries from Peru in Jan are plant based. Maybe changing law would be more effective than personal virtue. Don’t get me wrong: most of the molecules of my body right now came from things out of my garden, but that’s partly because I’m privileged, with time to garden and cook and compost, skills, land.
      Let’s talk carbon taxes. Affects cows, affects those blueberries, affects gas.

  11. avatar Nancy says:

    Choices……

  12. avatar Nancy says:

    “This brings us to 4 vehicle deaths on this 13-mile stretch of Hwy 93 in 2018 and brings the NCDE mortality numbers to 26, 12 of which are vehicle collisions”

    https://nbcmontana.com/news/local/family-of-bears-killed-in-car-collision-south-of-ronan

  13. avatar rork says:

    I think I have not yet reported my annual findings on how deer are going in Michigan’s upper peninsula (UP, it’s not really a peninsula). Wolves have been steady at about 650 since 2011. Human howls of them annihilating the deer are much older, and became more shrill after deadly winters in 2014, and 2015. 2016 saw only around 20000 bucks tagged (legally killed and recovered). Sane people said it was the weather rather than the wolves.
    2017: About 30000 bucks were tagged in the UP.
    Reactions, retractions, or comment by UP deer hunters: zero.

    Other tidbit:
    Statewide 41% of deer tagged were antlerless – a horribly low number in my opinion. In our CWD zone, where I want instant reduction of deer densities via greater deer deaths and especially more doe deaths, 41% of deer tagged were antlerless. I hope I don’t need to apply additional sarcasm for either the UP or CWD stories.
    https://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/2017_deer_harvest_survey_report_628089_7.pdf
    One more bit of sarcasm: I was not emailed and I think there was no press release when the report went out. Almost no press coverage.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      MN DNR report. Echos the bad winters of 12/13 and 13/14.
      https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/wildlife/deer/reports/harvest/deerharvest_2017.pdf

    • avatar Jeremy B. says:

      “Nearly 50% of deer hunters indicated that deer numbers and harvest has decreased during the last five years…”

      If I’m reading Fig. 12 correctly, deer harvest actually increased during the past 5 years; so [surprise!] the perception of deer hunters does not match reality. Hmm…now why does this story sound familiar?

      • avatar rork says:

        I sarcastically commented on that at Michigansportsman too.
        In my area (Southern lower MI) only about 5% of folks thought there were more deer in 2017 than 5 years earlier. 2012 was exactly the year half of the deer where I hunt died of EHD before Oct. It didn’t happen that way everywhere, but our local area wasn’t the only place. Densities were lower for 2 or 3 years, but it seems right back where it used to be now. There are obviously more deer near me. There are too many deer in NE lower (Presque Isle) too. I found it hard to find the 2012 report though.
        Smaller point: Everyone bemoans hunter numbers decline (-2% for last year), but effort went up 5% last year. Numbers of bow hunters is down since the 90’s but I’d say number of serious bow hunters (that have chances) is obviously up. The rest bought bows but then realized it’s not so easy, and quit showing up. We called them “the gun hunters with bows”.

        • avatar rork says:

          SLP bucks 2013: 103416.
          SLP bucks 2017: 110876.

        • avatar Jeremy B. says:

          When Elk375 used to post here regularly, we used to have the same argument concerning elk numbers (where he hunted in MT). Here in Ohio, I had a half-hour argument with a guy at the deer stakeholder summit this spring about why hunter numbers are declining. He insisted it was because the deer population was down, and so I showed him 35 years of data that show a steady decrease in per-capita license sales. I also showed him that during that time, deer harvest had actually gone up considerably (in fact, deer harvest and hunter license sales were correlated at -0.92). Didn’t bother him one bit. He went right on insisting that hunter numbers are down because of the recent decline in deer.

          Apparently in the Trump era, if an argument feels right, it’s right. To Hell with the data.

    • avatar Mat-ters says:

      Rork, The complaint by hunters is that public lands hunting is suffering under wolf mis-management. I know that they give the statistics private vs public (at least they did in 2015) how much of your 20,000 / 30000 is private vs public. And what is the historic trends….? In the past roughly only 25% of the harvest was on public lands But, public lands way outnumbers the private land by far! ….looking at the numbers for just public lands was very telling!

      Wisconsin is now collecting public vs private harvest numbers.

      • avatar rork says:

        You don’t get to say what the complaint is. I’ve heard many. But I did do some of your homework.
        In 2012, 9106 public land bucks, 29109 private, 23.8% public.
        In 2017 it was 8464 and 22050 for 27.7% public.
        I can’t see effort split for private vs public though. People know the deer are just now rebounding from bad winters, but effort went up just 3.7% compared to 2016. Antler regs changed too somewhere in there.
        I can’t tell if this is telling or not cause I am not sure what you are trying to say.
        Deer densities may be much higher on private lands. Private owners try not to overshoot their deer, plant things for deer, farm and have fields. It’s the better land to begin with, like every other state. There might be more effort there too. Hunting big tracts of the nothing up there in November takes huge effort and gear. It is often like winter already. One of the bad years people could not get their cars to their hunting spots cause there was 4 feet of snow.

  14. avatar Kathleen says:

    Update: It’s now day 6 that the grieving mother orca has refused to abandon the body of her dead calf. How heartbreaking is this…The Southern Resident orcas are in a dire situation thanks to human impacts:

    Excerpt: “The whales are suffering from at least three challenges: vessel noise, which interrupts their foraging; toxins, which are released into their bloodstream and calves’ milk especially when the whales are hungry: and lack of food, especially chinook salmon.”

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/orca-mother-carries-dead-calf-for-fifth-day-her-entire-family-is-also-staying-close-by/

    If so moved, call WA Gov. Inslee and tell him “breach the lower Snake River dams now!” (360)902-4111

    Dam Sense on FB: https://www.facebook.com/damsense.org/
    Website: https://damsense.org/

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      It’s just so stomach-turningly sad to see the other rightful inhabitants of this planet suffer under the indifference of humanity. Many of the dams need to go.

      Yeah, I know there’s a handful of people who care, but it’s not enough.

    • avatar Larry Keeney says:

      The Question of Animal Awareness by Donald R. Griffin. We have to stop thinking we are the only ones that have feelings.

  15. avatar Kathleen says:

    It was bound to come to this:
    “Urban coyote bloodbaths are the future liberals want”

    *sigh*

    http://www.citypages.com/news/soucheray-sez-urban-coyote-bloodbaths-are-the-future-liberals-want/489528741

  16. avatar Kathleen says:

    “After third offense, Durango man fined $1,000 for feeding bears: Resident had been ticketed in 2010 and 2012”

    “A Durango man has been ticketed for intentionally feeding bears – for the third time in eight years – resulting in a $1,000 fine and a likelihood the bears will have to be euthanized.” (NOTE: Euthanized is the wrong word; the correct word is executed.)

    https://durangoherald.com/articles/234395-durango-man-fined-1000-for-feeding-bears-third-offense

  17. avatar Kathleen says:

    “Here’s How America Uses Its Land”

    A fascinating series of maps. Excerpt: “There’s a single, major occupant on all this land: cows. Between pastures and cropland used to produce feed, 41 percent of U.S. land in the contiguous states revolves around livestock.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-us-land-use/?utm_content=business&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&cmpid=socialflow-twitter-business

    • avatar Nancy says:

      FYI

      “As the world economy develops and many countries industrialize, people seek different uses of livestock. Today, non-food functions are generally in decline and are replaced by cheaper and more convenient substitutes. The following trends may be depicted:

      • The asset, petty cash and insurance function that livestock provide is being replaced by financial institutions as even remote rural areas enter the monetary economy;

      • With the notable exception of sub-Saharan Africa and some areas in Asia animal draught is on the decline as more farmers mechanize.

      • Manure continues to be important for nutrient management in mixed farming but its role in overall nutrient supply is declining because of the competitive price and ease of management of inorganic fertilizer.

      • Although the demand for natural fibres is still high, and in some places even increasing, there are increasingly more synthetic substitutes for wool and leather

      http://www.fao.org/wairdocs/lead/x6130e/x6130e02.htm

  18. avatar Immer Treue says:

    This is from February, so apologies if already posted, but it appears the Yellowstone elk population is rebounding very well.
    https://trib.com/lifestyles/recreation/famous-yellowstone-elk-herd-rebounds-two-decades-after-wolf-reintroduction/article_0f7eefd9-484b-5060-a68d-2ebfbed2b054.html

  19. avatar Kathleen says:

    Two items: “Yellowstone National Park responds to video of a man teasing a bison”

    Watch the video–absolutely appalling.

    http://www.krtv.com/story/38801578/yellowstone-national-park-responds-to-video-of-a-man-teasing-a-bison

    And “Birds learn another ‘language’ by eavesdropping on neighbors, scientists say”

    Excerpt: “To put it in human terms, it’s as though a person who only speaks English had learned that “Achtung” means ‘attention’ or ‘danger’ in German simply by listening to people yell phrases with similar meanings in multiple languages at once. ‘Until this study, we had limited knowledge about how an animal learns what calls from other species actually mean.'”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/science/ct-birds-language-eavesdropping-20180802-story.html?platform=hootsuite

    • avatar Elk375 says:

      Update on the bison teaser: He was arrested in Glacier National Park today and has been transported back to the Yellowstone National Park Jail in Mammoth. The article is in the Missoulian. He was in trouble in Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. Some people.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      This is what happens when you have three agencies, two of which don’t seem to know what is going on. And you can see the wolf haters are champing on the bit for a delisting, like rabid creatures. Can’t wait for things to happen in their due course, have to whip up controversy and make threats about having their cronies in DC change the laws to suit them, and circumvent any challenge.

      This person was employed by the Forest Service, wasn’t she? They should not have sent her in alone. Did they communicate with the WDFW?

  20. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I knew you’d have the bison story. The guy is making the park circuit, drunk and disorderly, and harassing the wildlife. Karma police, arrest this man! (and they have.) I hope he gets a fine, and more than a slap on the wrist.

  21. avatar Nancy says:

    US wildlife refuges end ban on neonics and GM crops

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45068650

  22. avatar Kathleen says:

    “IS SOUTHERN RESIDENT KILLER WHALE J35 REALLY MOURNING?”

    Kudos to this scientist for stating this so unequivocally!

    Excerpt: “For years scientists vigorously avoided using emotional terms like happy, sad, playful or angry when describing animal behavior. But as Carl Safina reminds us in his treatise on animal emotions, Beyond Words: What animals think and feel, if animals have the same brain, same hormones, and same neurotransmitters as we do, why wouldn’t we expect them to have the same emotions? Are we, after all, so arrogant to think we have the market cornered on emotions even though other highly social animals have the same hard wiring?

    “So, can we scientifically call J35’s behavior mourning? Yes! Not only do I think we can call it mourning, I think we must call it mourning.”

    https://www.seadocsociety.org/blog/is-southern-resident-killer-whale-j35-really-mourning

  23. avatar Mat-ters says:

    Its not rocket science Rork. Those that love to make excuses for the wolf always try to expand away from the root of the problem. You know as well as I do that the overwhelming majority of wolves reside on the public lands in the Upper Peninsula. This is where they are negatively affecting the once heathy deer population. Sure a few wolves live on and tramps on private lands. But we both know the problem is those public lands.

    Your “howls” of the sane people look at the trends for where wolves are saturated. If you are really interested in seeing what the wolves do, map out the historic trends for those public lands in the UP.

    From 2011 to 2017 the UP public land harvest went from 13225 to 8464! DOWN 36%

    IN contrast the NORTHERN LP public land harvest went from 23,876 29,828 UP 24%

    TELLING!…… Gotta question for ya Rork…..are the deer in the Northern Lower Peninsula on public lands healthy?

    • avatar Moose says:

      Winter severity has always been the primary variable in deer survival in the UP. Comparing population dynamics in the UP and NLP without considering the severity index difference between the two areas is disingenuous.

      From DNR Harvest Reports:

      Public land harvests UP/NLP
      2010 – 12,983 / 18,900
      2011 – 13,225 / 23,876
      2012 – 14,677 / 28,470
      2013 – 11,697 / 28,065
      2014 – 5,882 / 23,282
      2015 – 5,037 / 24,987
      2016 – 6,103 / 24,987
      2017 – 9110 / 29,828

      As you can see the hard winters of 2013-2015 took their toll on deer numbers…. much more so in the UP. Numbers are beginning to rise again due to milder winters of late (though this Spring was a tough one).

      Good summary of the history of deer numbers in UP here:

      http://www.woods-n-waternews.com/Articles-In-This-Issue-i-2016-12-01-224615.112113-WHITETAILS-OF-THE-UP.html

      • avatar Mat-ters says:

        Thanks for the backup info to Dr Mech’s quote

        “During two decades of wolf research, conducting studies in northern Minnesota and on Isle Royale in Michigan, I have learned that, far from always being ‘balanced,’ ratios of wolves and prey animals can fluctuate wildly – and sometimes catastrophically. Wolves may actually starve after killing off almost all the moose and deer in an area. This explains why wolf-control programs may sometimes ensure greater and more stable numbers of both wolves and the animals they hunt.”—L. David Mech

    • avatar rork says:

      2011 is cherry picked – that was max deer in the UP. BTW it was also max wolf.
      Winter is not the same in the UP as in the northern lower.
      Antler point restrictions were applied in the UP during the time you are using data for, reducing the kill.
      After harsh winters, we kill no female deer or young in the UP. In contrast the DNR has been trying to get us to shoot more anterless deer in the northern lower to reduce densities (helps with TB for one). I can shoot an extra 5 antlerless deer in the NE lower for the past few years, and the tags cost less.
      So those are 5 problems with your data.
      As for health in the northern lower, my observations from Presque Isle county are that their condition is not good, and the land is being harmed by too many deer, despite the encouragements of the DNR to knock them down. What the deer weigh is my data, and whether white cedar can establish.
      Maybe you could try and say what your point is once in awhile. If it is that wolves kill deer, and slow rebound after harsh winters, I agree. I also agree that lows are lower. My suggestion is that we learn to live with it. The forestry people agree. Maybe we can regenerate our wintering sites thanks to some lower density deer years.

      • avatar Mat-ters says:

        My original point was that the public land data is the best picture of the wolf issue …. you posted your “sane people” comment based on data from ALL of the UP when you knew full well that the public land data doesn’t water down the issue. Your whole harvest numbers you tried to throw in the face of those advocating for better management is only a ruse when you have better data and you choose not to use it.

    • avatar Jeremy B. says:

      “This is where they are negatively affecting the once heathy deer population.”

      “negatively affecting” = reducing densities of
      “once healthy” = overpopulated

      —-

      Let’s put things in perspective: Everywhere there are wolves there is continued deer and elk harvest. Is it as much as the folks who want a deer (or elk) behind every tree would like — nope, not in a lot of cases. Then again, in my experience those folks are never satisfied.

      • avatar Mat-ters says:

        Ohh Come on JB, It’s those that continue to promote wolves that are “never satisfied” Secondary prey like the moose in the GYA are an example of your folly! Heck, wolves could kill off EVERY endangered caribou on the Slate and Michipicoten island in lake Superior and there are still those that don’t want any kind of management.

        Rork knows full well that most units of the UP have always matched up well with specific units in the northern half of the LP. Its the units right on the boarder with Superior that get the lake snow WHICH also occurs to a lesser extent in the LP. Severity indexes in certain WI MI and MN all tend to reflect each other year after year…! Rork embarrasses himself to portray all the the UP as having no resemblance in climate to the northern half of the LP. Moose’s data needs to go back to the late 1990’s to get the clear picture as units matched up well with units in the LP….. before wolves!

        • avatar Jeremy B. says:

          “It’s those that continue to promote wolves that are ‘never satisfied’.”

          — Without passing judgment on either statement… both can be simultaneously true. However, the desire for less (no) lethal management is not ecologically equivalent to the desire to have an overabundant deer herd. Wolves and their prey persisted without human management for thousands of years; wild ungulate herds protected from predation are a much more recent phenomena.

          “Secondary prey like the moose in the GYA are an example of your folly!”

          ??? Moose are in trouble because of climate change. Predation (whether by humans, or native carnivores) can certainly aggravate the problem, but we made the coffin for moose, not wolves.

          “Rork knows full well that most units of the UP have always matched up well with specific units in the northern half of the LP.”

          Sorry Matt, I’m not buying this argument at all (I’m actually from the northern lower peninsula, and vacation there every year). There are PARTS of the NLP that receive similar snowfall to the UP, but the two are not equivalent. For example, the counties of the NLP most resemble the counties of the southern part of the UP in terms of snowfall; however, these areas have different soil types. The northern UP — which has similar soils to the NLP — actually gets waaay more snow: http://geo.msu.edu/extra/geogmich/where&why.html

          More to the point, a recent study found wolves were not the primary predator of deer neonates — it was coyotes (then black bears). https://www.mlive.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2012/04/experts_surprised_by_which_pre.html

  24. avatar Salle says:

    Someone hit a bear on I-90 about ten miles east of Livingston Sunday morning. I saw it in the median as I was traveling by. I haven’t heard any news about it, I did call to report it but it had already been reported. Looked like it could have been a black bear but all I could see was the fur on its back.

  25. avatar Nancy says:

    FYI Shouldn’t surprise anyone given the push to do away with wilderness study areas.

    The current administration has lined out a number of pricks (Zinke included) who can’t wait to end protections for wilderness areas.

    https://nbcmontana.com/news/local/group-says-us-energy-panel-stacked-with-industry-supporters

  26. avatar Kevin Bixby says:

    Registration is still open for Wildlife for All: Re-envisioning State Wildlife Governance. This meeting is being organized by the Southwest Environmental Center and Western Wildlife Conservancy, and will be held in Albuquerque on August 14-15.

    The purpose is to convene wildlife advocates from around the country to answer the question: how do we create the policies and institutions we need to protect all of our wildlife, for everybody, in every state, forever?

    Topics include: Report from the States, Public Trust Doctrine, Alliances for Change, Finding Alternative Funding, and Building a Movement. Speakers include: Adrian Treves, Martin Nie, Mike Phillips, Jill Fritz, Camilla Fox, Ruth Musgrave, and many others. More info at wildmesquite.org.

  27. avatar WM says:

    NE Washington wolves treed a female USFS employee a couple weeks back. Dispatch dialog just became available on the incident. WDFW wolf management is not getting good marks for its response to the incident, and who should be involved in s time sensitive “rescue” of the treed person. Also some blaming from WDFW, and lack of communication with Okanogan authorities. One more bad mark for the Loup Loup pack and WDFW, with wolves doing what they do. Worth watching this short TV segment:

    https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/rescue-response-delayed-for-woman-treed-by-wolves-in-washington/277-580035863

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      A matter of lack of communication/cooperation that allowed a simple incident balloon into unnecessary controversy.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Blast from the past for any Dana Carvey fans out there – 2:22 minutes in

      https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/tom-brokaw-pre-tapes/n10894

      Again, how many hikers have enjoyed the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park (since wolf reintroduction in 1995) and NO ONE yet has been run down, treed or been eaten by wolves?

      Did this, what appears to be an inexperienced? seasonal? “grad student/researcher”, stumble upon a pack of wolves, who were just trying to warn her away from their family/ den site?

      And how many of us, that are fortunate enough to actually live around wildlife, say birds? have been “dive bombed” warning us to stay away for their nest/ babies?

      “For over an hour” according to this news report, this student spend in a tree, before being dramatically rescued (after who should be doing the rescuing, was finally sorted out)

      That comment had me flashing back to an incident with a local rancher, a couple of decades ago, who spent an hour or more, in a tree, when the “biggest Gawd damn black bear I’d ever seen” came barreling at him, mad, while he was repairing fence line.

      It was spring time. Could of been an old boar (male bear) enjoying a fresh caught elk or deer calf, could of been a female bear with cubs, warning him away from her family. But fact was, it was on the cusp of where public lands meet private lands.

      I saw that rancher the same day of the incident and he held out his hands and said “I’m still shaking”

      But, back then I was sympathetic, “hey how cute a cattle drive” and had no idea at the time the lengths many ranchers go to retain the “good stewards of the land” title, till I lived here for a few decades and started witnessing, firsthand, the destruction, annually, to public lands and native wildlife, by continued government sanctioned, invasive livestock.

      Course that thought isn’t going to make an immediate impression on most folks, who don’t live in wild lands, until they can no longer find enough wild lands left to visit while on vacation….

    • avatar Yvette says:

      Always the drama with wolves. “Surrounded by a pack of wolves.” She spent an hour in a tree.
      I have reservations about the authenticity of this story. How many times over the last 200 years has anyone been actually been attacked by a pack of wolves?

      1. How many wolves were there when she got treed?

      2. How far away were the wolves when she first noticed them?

      3. Did they actually tree her or did she see them in the distance and panicked since she was alone?

      4. Did any of the wolves charge her? Chase her?

      5. Did the ‘pack of wolves’ that ‘surrounded’ her circle the tree? How did they behave?

      5. Any witnesses? She managed to call for help. Did she have a phone where she could video this pack of wolves that treed her? Everything is caught on video in this technological era. Why is there never any evidence the “chased by, treed by, surrounded by” “pack of wolves” stories? Not once. Ever.

      So much drama. Centuries of it. Same old stories and never any witnesses. “Victim” is always alone.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Many different story renditions.
        1. She had a satellite phone, thus no pictures.
        2. I believe there were two wolves, with barking and howling.
        3. She discharged bear spray, to no avail.
        4. She called her supervisor, who suggested she climb a tree.

        From there the mess begins…

        • avatar Yvette says:

          Of course. I just did a quick search. Check out the hysterical comments and bad grammar in the comments on this site. Plus, one comment states she was a ‘seasoned researcher’ rather than, ‘seasonal researcher’. Big difference since seasonal workers are usually grad. students or recent graduates.

           Taught staff how to perform a stream habitat assessment and did two assessments on two different creek sites. 07/18 and 07/19.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          OMG! Mat-ters. Did you really think this guy was in danger?

          Wolf; tail wagging, romping around, almost at this guy’s feet?

          Big guy and on cue, thrashing sticks, screaming at the wolf…. Wolf wondering what WTF and finally wandering off?

          One of those videos that gets dragged out of storage (its what 3-4 years old?) every time wolf opponents need to drive home a point about how dangerous wolves are?

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            The animal is so far off (and friendly, even trained) it could even be a dog. I can’t imagine a wolf behaving that way. The guy sounds like Bigfoot.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      What were the other ‘bad marks’ for the Loup Loup pack? I must have missed them?

      I think people have to be realistic about how quickly someone can be rescued in remote areas. Again, she shouldn’t have been sent out alone. The FS ought to be responsible for its own employees?

  28. avatar Yvette says:

    Why is it that people rarely get worked as up when they are in mountain lion territory as they do in wolf territory?

    If a mountain lion attacks they usually pounce before the human victim ever notices the cat. They quietly stalk, pounce and kill. Much more dangerous and deadly than wolves.

    I am a cat person. Love all of them from the smallest felines to the biggest. However, if I were out and had a choice of encounters, I’d take my chances of survival to be more likely with wolves than it would a cougar.

  29. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    She would seem to be a very good climber, of just the right tree, also.

    You can’t blame the Loup Loup pack, but the people involved. Three agencies and they don’t seem to be able to communicate. I’m willing to cut the WDWF some slack. As I said before, are budgets so tight that only one person can go out into the field? No matter how you look at it, it is the agency (FS) at fault here.

    With WA and OR, and the Great Lakes, champing at the bit for delisting, you’ve got to take some of it with a grain of salt, IMO.

  30. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    There’s an account from MN of a guy out hunting grouse whose dog was chase by wolves. Apparently, he had his 3 year old son and 5 year old nephew with him. What do people think, really? Sanitize the landscape of wildlife so that they can do whatever they want?

    https://www.twincities.com/2017/09/27/northern-minnesota-hunter-has-harrowing-encounter-with-pack-of-wolves/

    Insisting upon taking dogs out to train for bear hunting in wolf country is just asking for trouble as well. People are the ones who are supposed to be the smart ones, not competing with wolves.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Step back and let Bailey’s “first person” account,sink in Ida:

      “Bailey and the boys continued to hunt during the afternoon in an area about 10 miles from where they had encountered the wolves. Bailey shot one grouse. The boys seemed to find the wolf encounter fascinating, he said.

      They thought it was the coolest experience in the north woods,” he said. “They were seeing all kinds of wolves all day long.”

      The encounter has made Bailey rethink hunting grouse with Henry.

      It makes me not want to bring my dog in the woods anymore,” he said. “It makes you think twice.”

      IMHO, a person that has now given some serious thought (from firsthand experience) to what wilderness areas are all about, predators, etc. need to be recognized, so few are not…..

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        You would hope so, but I’m skeptical. I wonder what wasn’t said and published. I’m not naïve enough to think anyone could have a magical conversion. What’s been done for decades, even centuries, especially that we’re hovering on the brink of it again, to wolves has sunk in enough for me, thank you very much.

        I can’t imagine a 3-year old would be that aware of a wolf, especially when by the account ‘everything happened so fast’. Maybe the 5-year old would be. Thinking twice about taking a dog out, and hopefully thinking twice about taking toddlers out too. The ka-blams! might be a little too loud for their little ears?

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        It would not be very cool for the wolves to have to be destroyed because of the idea of the dog being killed, or the man of his children injured.

        I don’t know what ‘makes him rethink’ hunting really means. Is it just another disguised argument to have a culling done so that it is safe for hunters and their family bonding and to be able to go out into the woods and not be encumbered? Calls for safety are already being written about in the media, after the treed FS employee. Ridiculous hope just allows more wildlife to be killed.

        I was reading that people today ‘don’t know’ about the government-sponsored elimination programs for wolves and other wildlife, a comment made in response to the book American Wolf.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          Again Ida, take a step back?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAaHUg0wSzo

          You actually came to mind, while watching this documentary, when someone yelled ” Call the Coast Guard” 🙂

          I so appreciate knowing both these species are still managing to hang in there.

          Grey whales have made a come back after being endangered from decades of abuse by the whaling industry but killer whales are becoming endangered now, due to the decades of dams (their natural prey are salmon, who need to spawn in rivers, that were dammed decades ago) and over fishing of salmon in the oceans, before they even get to their rivers of origin, to reproduce.

          Had to have been a depressing boat ride for those just hoping to see marine wildlife but fact is, nothing escapes “our” attention anymore due to the wonders of technology and its too bad we (humans) aren’t paying more attention to the effects we might now be having, that might be causing changes in behavioral patterns in the wildlife around us?

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            That’s true. There isn’t much left out there. I think our own bad behavior escapes our attention for the most part because people don’t want to believe or face it.

            That’s true. It’s been very upsetting to read about that poor mother Orca and her dead baby, the pod starving and not having had a successful birth in 3 years, while humans are just running rampant with gluttony and reproducing.

            Our answer to the salmon damming problem is to kill sea lions who are eating the hatchlings.

            Even if that guy in MN had the best of intentions, it won’t take much for those of the old mindset to seize upon it and demand a delisting and a hunt for ‘safety’. I just thought it was very irresponsible on his part, and obviously in all his years on the planet, he hasn’t had to consider anything other than himself.

            Even if this man had the best of intentions, it won’t take much for someone of the old mindset to seize upon this and call for hunting, culling, or safety cages at the bus stops.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              sorry for the duplicate lines, my screen went blank and I thought I lost what I had typed! 🙂

            • avatar Nancy says:

              “I just thought it was very irresponsible on his part, and obviously in all his years on the planet, he hasn’t had to consider anything other than himself”

              And I am STILL, really puzzled at what you found “irresponsible” on his part, Ida.

              “Bailey said he never thought about shooting at any of the wolves” even with the drama unfolding, right in front of him.

              Recognize the situation for what it was, Ida – being in the wrong place, at the wrong time (when it comes to nature)

              I didn’t get the impression that Bailey was hysterical or went running to the press after this encounter, other than to maybe give others a heads up about close encounters they might have, in areas wolves might frequent.

              You do realize the local press/news titled this a “harrowing encounter”

              I didn’t get that impression when I read the article. And got to say also, kudos to Bailey’s dog Henry (a pup really) who had the good sense to bail INTO the truck, before the wolf gave him a sound thrashing 🙂 for intruding on what that wolf, no doubt thought, was his territory.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                I didn’t feel the man was hysterical either – just not very aware for a supposed outdoorsperson. But then I suppose most people feel entitled to go out into known wolf areas and wilderness with very young children and a dog, and are surprised if they encounter wildlife? Wolves are not the only danger in this situation, so it was very ill-advised IMO, and hardly a surprise.

                It really isn’t wrong place, wrong time in that respect – it was going out into the woods, and people should be aware of these things. Does he not read the news or check with his local DNR or R&W? I think the dog running away would be a natural response, and the dog owner is very lucky nothing happened.

                Yes, of course I realize it said ‘harrowing encounter’ – it makes for a good story, which is all the media is after a lot of the time. I just rolled my eyes because these kinds of ‘harrowing’ encounters are avoidable. It’s not like people don’t know there are wolves in MN.

                And the media whips up trouble like this for a good story, which is also irresponsible, and many times they are not knowledgeable either.

                When people have every advantage and dominate the landscape, I cannot have sympathy if they are out touring their ’empire’ and get a rude awakening. I don’t need to step back either.

  31. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Father and son (sportsmen) illegally kill black bear sow and cubs. Evidently, it’s all on film.

    http://time.com/5361963/police-alaska-bear-cubs-shooting/

  32. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I hope we are done now discussing this. To be perfectly honest, I thought it was one of the dumbest things I have ever read, and I found it difficult to believe that anyone could be that clueless. The children were practically babies, and there was a gun involved as well. Wild animals are wild and unpredictable. It reminds me of the old ‘wolves snatching babies’ myth told in a new way.

    People have been responsible for more and more destruction of wildlife and wild lands over the decades and centuries, and I can’t cut them anymore slack. I can’t support the idea of some environmentalists and wildlife advocates who unwittingly contribute to more loss by continually making excuses for people’s behavior and dumb mistakes.

  33. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Well I can tell you I am not satisfied. I’d like to see wolves back in the Northeast on the border of Canada, the Northeast Kingdom of VT, and Maine, so there’s still lots of good habitat and the job isn’t done yet, IMO. The barest minimum of recovery (look at the before and after maps) really ain’t that great, IMO. I don’t think it is fair for the minority of those who have financial interests in not having them to deprive the rest of us.

  34. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    ^^and the Adirondacks, I should add.

  35. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Folks need to make up their minds in regard to woodland caribou. Either you try to save them, or not. Culling wolves does absolutely nothing other than kill wolves, as more move into vacated territories, ultimately resulting in absolutely no benefit for the long term existence of the woodland caribou. If, destruction of old growth forests continues, as well as seismic testing lines, snowmobile paths, etc, the woodland caribou is good as gone.

    https://www.news1130.com/2018/08/11/clear-cut-logging-discovered-within-area-deemed-critical-threatened-caribou/

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Wow. What can you say about something like this? Very disappointing.

    • avatar rork says:

      If it’s like wild salmon, we can have “mitigation”. We’d raise a bunch in high fence enclosures and release some on occasion. Those trees are worth money, and we’d still have some caribou to see. /s

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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."

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