Here is yet another news article about Governor Otter’s comments.

It is from the latest Boise Weekly, and written by Shea Andersen. Fire When Ready. Otter’s anti-wolf rhetoric grabs headlines, muddies debate.

Did anyone see an editorial in any on-line newspaper favoring what the governor said? I don’t want to give a misleading impression of editorial comments, so please email me if you know of one.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

9 Responses to Fire When Ready. Otter's anti-wolf rhetoric grabs headlines, muddies debate

  1. Robert Hoskins says:

    I would like to share from the Boise Weekly a comment on Shea’s editorial from a bow hunter who refers to himself as Big Gear. Nothing more need be said, except that I have noticed that bow hunters tend to me more thoughtful and observant than the average hunter:

    “BigGear, Boise 1/17/2007 – 9:31pm

    It seems we have come a long way from considered discussion in this country to a point where only those that yell the loudest are heard. I remember a time when such behavior would draw scowls of disapproval. I even remember the common refrain, “Empty tin cans rattle.” These days rattling tin cans are all the rage- literally. I am an elk bow hunter and I hunt in an area which has a wolf pack present. The elk habits have changed since the wolves have come back. They are less vocal and don’t lounge around in the open areas as in the past. This does make elk hunting more difficult but if I had wanted it to be easy I’d purchase one of those canned hunts. Funny thing is, I never see any other hunters when I’m up on the mountain. The only I time I see other hunters is down on the roads on their ATV’s and motorcycles. Of course, these are probably the same people that complain they aren’t seeing elk. Maybe if we could train the wolves to drive the elk to the roads these guys would stop complaining. Probably not, as I said, “empty tin cans rattle.” You might be interested to know the last National Geographic magazine had an article on wildebeest and lions. These two have existed in balance for millions of years on the African plains. The lions never eat “all” the wildebeests as some claim the wolves will do to the elk. Interestingly, they state in the article that what limits the number of wildebeests isn’t the lions but the amount of grass available. They are both limited by the base resource that fuels the life cycle-grass production, just like the elk. It is all about the productivity of the habitat just as you alluded to in your piece. I am also tired of the comments that these wolves aren’t native to the northern Rockies. The Gray wolf is native to almost the entire northern hemisphere including Idaho. These wolves may have been transplanted from Canada but they are far more native than the guys that want them dead. Butch Otter should be ashamed of himself for degrading the office of Governor with a baseless stunt like that. I sincerely hope this is the low point of his term.”

  2. Layton says:

    Gee whiz Robert,

    Thanks for the comment about bowhunters being “more thoughtful and observant than the average hunter”.

    However (isn’t there always a however?) some/most/part of us that bowhunt would disagree pretty vehemently with this Big Gear person.

    Most (yes, most) of the bowhunters I know have changed quite a bit with the introduction of the Canadian wolves. For one thing we DO hunt differently as this person says — a significant portion of us now carry side arms in the woods.

    I hunted with a rifle for quite a few years and then “evolved” to hunt with a bow. I did that quite happily for about 20 years. Since an incident with a pack of nine wolves three years ago, I again “evolved”, to carrying something in addition to a bow when I hunt, or when I want to go for a walk in the woods with one of my dogs for that matter.

    If you look far and wide enough, you can usually find something that you want. To quote someone from the Boise Weekly is really a stretch however. Have they ever SOLD one of those? When I see them on a shelf someplace they always say “FREE”.


  3. Robert Hoskins says:

    I find it interesting, Layton, that you are able to pack iron when bowhunting. Here in Wyoming, it’s illegal.

    In all my experiences with wolves both in Canada and here, I have never seen the need for a weapon for protection against wolves. For two-legged varmints, yes, but never wolves.

  4. JEFF E. says:


  5. Layton says:

    One of two things guys.

    1. You’ve never been REALLY close to some to these critters you think are so neat. (like 3 feet from a pack of nine)


    You’re just great big macho guys that aren’t cautious about anything.

    I KNOW which one I suspect.


    Did you ever get the Email I sent? No comments??


  6. Layton,

    Tell us about your experience with the pack of nine. Folks would be interested, I’m sure.

  7. Layton says:


    I’ve told you about it, I’ve told F&G about it, I’ve told the tribal biologists about it. I even gave folks GPS coordinates – only to be told that “since there was no collar on one of the Bunch, it really wasn’t a pack”. I was the third person to report the same number of wolves in the same area, but it wasn’t a pack!!!!

    After the reception that this site and you gave the last guy to have an “experience” with your pets, I think I will regretfully decline the offer.

    I’m sure you have the resources to look it up on the tribal reports in the Warren area. It happened in 2004.

    You folks aren’t very interested in the truth or gracious to the person that relates it when it comes to interaction with the puppies.


  8. JEFF E says:

    I did, thank you. My work has kept me away from really looking through them but I believe I will have time to do that this weekend and look forward to discussing them with you. Jeff

  9. Kim says:

    I would Be really interested to heare what happened to you in the woods with the pack of nine.. sincerely I would .. I have worked with many wolves in many situations
    please send me an email and if you would rather not talk about it



‎"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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