Montana Bill favors wolf, grizzly hunts

The state of Montana has moved quickly to authorize wolf hunting and grizzly hunting (the grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone is expected to be delisted soon too).

While most folks expect Montana to be much more moderate than Idaho, the bill sets a low tag fee for wolves (lower than Idaho’s), and apparently doesn’t value grizzly bears much either ($50 to bag a grizzly). Tags will be awarded in a lottery. Whether Montana is more or less like Idaho will depend on the number of tags issued.

Grizzly bears are much harder to grow than wolves, so any depression in the grizzly population will be hardler to correct than with wolves.

AP story. Montana Bill favors wolf, grizzly hunts.



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  1. Peter Kiermeier Avatar

    Don’t misunderstand me: I am really not opposed to hunting or hunters. But when reading stuff like this it is hard to stay calm. Sometimes you feel so deeply frustrated from all that human perversion. Sometimes you are tempted to use words in a comment that any selfrespecting webmaster would and should censor. Therefore my only comment is: Ok friends: You are the good guys. Get your bargain tickets and go ahead. God bless you!

  2. Jim Avatar

    Has Montana even met the 10 packs with at least one reproducing pair in each of the ten packs who have at least one surviving pup at the end of the year, for three consecutive years requirement?

    Even if it has, what is the purpose of having a hunt when the limit will be a handful of animals every once and a while? I know it is so that men can satisfy their desire to kill something, anything, but MT’s wolf population hasn’t grown very well over the last fifteen years.

  3. Slow Elk Poacher Avatar
    Slow Elk Poacher

    Instead of hunting them, Montana should dart and transfer to central Idaho its poor starving Grizzlies.

  4. Howard Avatar

    I know that a few years back, grizzly bear reintroduction to Idaho was being contemplated. I believe it was essentially killed by then-Secretary of the Interior Gail Norton back in 2000. Does anyone know how far along the process was at that time? Is there currently any significant movement to restore grizzlies in Idaho?

  5. Kathy Avatar

    I like the idea of transferring those griz to Idaho. This is a much smarter plan than killing them. As for the wolves, I am outraged that anyone could find joy in killing a wolf. What kind of example are we setting for our youth?

  6. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    While Gale Norton formally killed the plan, it was governor Dirk Kempthorne who in reality killed the plan.

    He seemed very agitated about it, and said we oppose this “anti-social”, “massive, flesh-eating carnivore” into the state.

    A number of people wrote sarcastic editorials at the time about the governor’s fear, wondering if he was personally afraid.

    Here’s a story about Kempthorne and the grizzlies from 1998. Idaho grizzly plan shifts into low gear

  7. Jack Avatar

    Delisting the gray wolf in Montana is way overdue.The USFWS stated in their wolf recovery plan 10 breeding pair in Wy,Idaho and Montana would justify delisting. Montana has 25 breeding pair now.Wolves have devastated the wildlife in YNP.The northern Yellowstone elk herd has been reduced from 19,000 to 6700.The native coyote nearly gone killed by wolves also moose,deer,bighorn sheep as well as beaver.All contrary to their own policy “to provide diversified wildlife for the enjoyment of the public”.Wolves not killing bison however bison are destroying the range and bison will starve due to malnutrition,they are now. Environmentalists set by and watch them starve in YNP.In the meantime in Montana wolves destroying our valuable big game resource loss of hunting opportunity and USFWS dragging their feet as usual on delisting.Wolves from Canada not even a U.S.species.Were they tested for Echinococcosis a parasitic tapeworm transmittable to humans when brought in?Doesn’t appear so.Wolf re-introduction was the best anti-hunting tool ever invented.Wolves were there before the re-introdction in 96-97 and were secretively brought in from Alaska in 1970 from MT. McKinley N.P. and NPS/USFWS violated the ESA that would allow the existing population to recover.The NPS and USFWS falsified documents a violation of TITLE 18,USC “The False Statements Act” a felony.Montana,Wyoming and Idaho should file a joint law suit against the USFWS for immediate de-listing.Please look into the facts on this issue.

  8. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    You sound like someone who has never been to Montana or Yellowstone Park, but you do know your way around conspiracy theories.

  9. Jack Avatar

    I am a native Montanan and a professional wildlife biologist now retired.All 35 years were spent in Montana as a biologist and still in Montana. Have you been to our state?

  10. Jack Avatar

    I also visited Yellowstone National Park first in 1950 and have been there a least every three years many times in the winter and was there when they had the herd reduction program in 1961 when Stuart Udall was Secretary of the Interior all long before your time. I know YNP quite well as well as Montana. Thanks for the question. Anymore?

  11. Rob-S Avatar

    I like it when a professional wildlife biologist steps in, tells it like it is, and provides the truth about the effects the wolves upon our wildlife. I have always believed that the wolf advocates use the livestock industry as a scapegoat to state that there would be more wildlife if it were not for the cattle, when, in reality, it is the wolves that decimate our wildlife heards and not the cattle. Way to go Jack!

  12. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Yes Jack,

    I am very knowledgeable about Western Montana and Wyoming, Idaho and Utah, having lived my life here and written a number of hiking guides, filed numerous appeals of timber sales and grazing plans, as well as being a plaintiff in a national grazing lawsuit, Maughan, et. al. v. Rosenkrantz.

    Your post made some sense until you got in the conspiracy stuff. You must have picked that up after you retired.

    There may have been a few wolves in Yellowstone in the 1970s. The explanation is easy — they came from the same place as those that recolonized NW Montana starting in 1980– Alberta and B.C.

    The wolves were all tested for parasitic and other diseases. I know the folks who carried out the capture of the wolves that were reintroduced.

    All canids, all carnivores tend to have dangerous stuff in their scat, including tapeworms. I hope you never smelled coyote scat those parasites can go right to your brain.

  13. Jack Avatar

    Dear Ralph.I was in YNP in 1971 on a field trip with Glen Cole at Mammoth. I knew Glen.Over his desk was photographs of wolves and crates and the Lamar Highway and close to the Buffalo Ranch.I asked Glen about the photos and he got nervous about my questions. Later I knew a F&G biologist who went to work under Glen.He told me those wolves were brought in as an experiment from MT.McKinley Alaska.I wrote a few aricles about this.Then I read in Alston Chases’s book “Playing God In Yellowstone”chapter10, read it “The Wolf Mystery”.I am looking at it now. Look at the bibliography page 413,#3 Glen Cole#52,#57,#86.I have copies of these.Then Cole,G.F.1971.Yellowstone Wolves.Research Note No.4,YNP. I have that as well.6pp.Found out later the Unv.of MT,Missoula Wildife Cooperative Unit(USFWS) was involved and a F&G warden.I also sent a FOIA Request to the USFWS Director in washington.You used the word “conspiracy”I didn’t. Its more like violating the federal laws including the Lacy Act and NPS Laws and policies and public information.Now with the wolves with ‘mange’ it will be good to allow big game populations to recover,hopefully.The NPS tried to stockpile wolves and biology at work population density will bring diseases and parasites into play.Hopefully these wolves will mix with wolves outside YNP and the state and federal bureaucrats won’t have to make the ‘big’ wolf decision.Also when you examine the news releases in 1995 you will find Frank Dunkle then Dir. of USFWS stated publically wolves are there now and wolf re-introduction will violate the ESA by not allowing the existing population to recover. I have that as well and knew Frank.Breaking the laws is the issue!

  14. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    As a professional wildlife biologist could you perhaps enlighten me on how a totally imaginary man made line on a map determines a species designation?

  15. Jack Avatar

    Jeff, that is a good question. It is an imaginary line drawn as a “recovery area”.The line is not based on any science.Bureaucrats line up around the table and draw these lines that are the magic lines.Interesting the the bigger the line the more federal money they can expect.The line drawn around YNP is a good example.Also a magic line for the grizzly bear and that species is fully recovered.So we have wolves recovered within the magic line and still not delisted… why? federal dollars to federal and state agencies,call it wolf pork just follow the money trail.They feel our big game resource is ok to feed the wolves.

  16. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    So, then, the border between Canada and the States has nothing what so ever to do with what species of wolf inhabits the western United States.

  17. Jack Avatar

    You should read the EPA. When a species is designated as threatened or endangered a recovery area must be defined.You are thinking too broad.Maybe you are thinking border security and the illegal immigrant problem.I know of no recovery lines from the US.mexico to canada border do you? what species?

  18. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    I’m not talking recovery, immagration or the EPA. I was just wondering in your first post you stated that the wolves were not even a U.S. spiecies and if in fact a imaginary line on a map determined a sub-spiecies.

  19. Jack Avatar

    The wolves from B.C. and Alberta were not a species from Montana.Call this a subspecies if you like.Those wolves are also larger in body size.Dr Geis an authority on wolves also stated those canadian wolves have dog genes.I have the information on that.Before wolves were brought here the biologists in B.C. and Alberta said we were crazy to bring those wolves into the U.S. they were and still are trying to control them.I have copies of their letters.In Alaska they have had quite an impact on moose and caribou. You can go to the Alaska Fish & Game site on that.Better yet contact,Alaska,B.C. and Alberta and the Yukon Territory on the subject. I’ve done that and very interesting comments. We are having the same problems here in SW Montana.In the last 3 years wolves have displaced elk off of winter ranges ,Robb-Ledford,Blacktail and Bear Creek in SW Montana. Alberta had the same problem and elk were driven into subdivision areas to get away from the wolves.Do some checking on your own its all there and also Minn.on moose and deer.. Thanks.

  20. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Wolf biologists have a very large sample of wolf genetic material on hand. Almost every wolf radio-collared has had a blood sample drawn.

    I have been at a number of presentations of scientific papers on the genetics of the restored wolf population of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. There are no dog genes. The reintroduced wolves have slightly more genetic variation than those that recolonized NW Montana.

    There is no evidence the wolves are bigger.

    Alaska had nothing to do with the 1995-6 reintroduction.

    The deer population in Minnesota is not depressed.

    You are new to this blog, please do a search for earlier discussion on this matter.

  21. Jack Avatar

    I didn’t say the last re-introduction came from
    Alaska I said B.C. and Alberta.The farther north you go the larger the animal. This is Bergmans principle.Ever wonder why moose are larger in Alaska? Wolves as well.I will not waste my time on this nonsence any longer you wolf people are mostly beyond help.

  22. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Aww, come on Jack, come out and play. I was just getting started, and poor Rob-s needs a buddy.

  23. Jack Avatar

    Like to stay on Jeffery but got to go out to the shooting range to check my rifle .300 Weatherby magnum never know when you might see one of those ‘mange’ wolves…right buddy Rob in Idaho with 670 ‘mange’ wolves.

  24. Jack Avatar


  25. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Weeeeell, I guess he bigger the boom the bigger the man, eh Jack

  26. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Folks like Jack wander by every so often to talk about the big Canadian wolves.

    So once again I’ll post the actual weights of the wolves from Canada. I copied the figures from the actual handwritten capture records.

    * Fate of the 1995 Yellowstone wolves (table). Final revision Jan. 9, 2003. All the 1995 wolves are now dead.
    * Fate of the 1996 Yellowstone wolves (table). Final revision March 4, 2004. All of the 1996 wolves are now dead.
    * Fate of the 1995 Idaho wolves (table). Revised Dec. 4, 2005. A number of these wolves are still alive!
    * Fate of the 1996 Idaho wolves (table). Revised Dec. 2005.

    Jack was smarter than some. He did know that animals tend to get bigger in general as you move north, but the weight of the actual wolves is a matter for observation, not something derived from a principle. There are also no good records of the size of the wolves in Idaho, Montana, etc. in 1850 or thereabouts.

  27. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Thanks for posting the weights, again, by the way was it determined if the wolves had just ate before they were weighed because as you know a wolf can consume 20 -25lbs in a single sitting and might skew the numbers a bit. As far as body mass of animals the thinking that it has more to do with being able to withstand the extreme cold weather of winter seems most valid. As for Moose any professional wildlife biologist would or should be able to tell you that the Alaskan Moose is a distinct, and largest, subspecies, and that is why it is, well, larger than the local verity.

    The wolves were weighed in the field, so when they last ate varied from wolf to wolf. Ralph

  28. Rob-S Avatar

    Unfortunate that you all discredit a wolf biologist contrary to your threads and not even request to see his data on wolf size, genetics, etc. At least, you could do that much. However, the results are contrary to all you beleive and have been told and if you Jack did show evidence you would discredit anyway.

  29. Jack Avatar

    I planned never to look at this again but Rob has a good point.You wolf people are in most cases self-styled experts and only look at what you want to look at. I would believe someone like Dr.Giest before I would believe anything you jerks had to say.I consider him one of the best authorities but never seen any of your names in any scientific journals or elsewhere else.I guess you write for the Defenders of Wildlife or some other nutty environmental organization but no science.Its obvious you don’t hunt or believe in it.Its hunters who pay the bills and do most for wildlife.Ever hear of the PR Act that funds fish and game agencies with cost share money from gun purchases,etc.? Wolf people are always looking for a free ride.Maybe ‘mange’ will solve the problem lets hope so.So get lost!

  30. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    It’s kinda hard to give up on the forum isn’t it, Jack?

    Maybe you will post some data like I did rather than tell us Dr. Giest is an expert, which we all know.

    Once again, Jack, read some prior posts before you venture your opinion about who hunts, who works for whom, and how knows about the Pittman-Robinson Act and who doesn’t.

    You might be surprised.

  31. Rob-S Avatar

    Ralph, your ignoring my request. As Jack for his documentation and data. Or are you too afraid he may be right so yo elect to ignore anyway.

  32. Rob-S Avatar

    #31 should read:

    Ralph, you are ignoring my request in post #28. Ask Jack for his documentation and data. Or are you too afraid he may be right as to your wolf agenda so you elect to ignore anyway. Lets see the results

  33. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    No, I’m not. You posted so quickly I didn’t have time to reply.

    Jack should post it, at least the abstracts. The rest has to be summarized as scientific publications are often behind an expensive wall of copyrights.

  34. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Sober up and read Ralph second sentance of his last post s l o w l y.

  35. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Oops. #30

  36. Jack Avatar

    Canadian wolves in YNP from Alberta and B.C. “Killing machines”.Stockpiled by the NPS and now with ‘mange’.Perhaps the elk will return and recover now to YNP.Does ‘mange’ spread fast?

    Jack, have never supplied us with any information. It seems like you are just a jackass. Now go away.



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.

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