Open topic-What do you want to talk about?

Because people want to write about something where the post may closed or whatever. I’m putting up this comment as a post, and removing from the Climate Rally story.

mikarooni wrote
April 15th, 2007 at 8:52 pm e
I didn’t see a way to post a comment on post 1013, “Fencing, range riders, guard animals show some promise in safeguarding livestock;” but, my experience has been very, very good in raising Texas (actually they’re hybridized, feral, naturalized Spanish cattle that the Texans found and sold, almost to extinction) longhorn cattle in wolf and lion country. I only have black bears and not grizzlies; but, the longhorns have a completely different behavior pattern than northern European breeds. First, longhorns have about a third of the muscle fat of northern European breeds, To achieve all that fat, the northern European breeds were selected to be sedentary and they stand around in a stupor waiting for predators to move in on them. Longhorns keep moving and grazing more evenly, like bison. Second, longhorns are much more athletic and thus harder for a predator to take on. Third, when you approach a northern European herd that has cows with new calves, the herd, including the mother cows, scatters. The mothers may leave reluctantly; but, they do leave and leave the calves to fend for themselves. Do the same thing to a longhorn herd and the mothers will bawl and call the herd to move in on you, which they will do, surrounding the calf and you. The closer that you get ot the calf the closer the herd moves in. Some of my older herd cows are nearly six feet tip to tip and, when they snap their heads from side to side, the horn tips really get moving at rapier speeds. Finally, most of America now has a weight problem, with morbid obesity at record levels. Yes, without the fat to boil the meat in, you do have to eat your steak rare; but, a rare steak is a good trade for one third the fat, actually more usable protein, and far less need to persecute predators.

So whatever anyone wants to write about. Add comments below.

post 1020






  1. Pronghorn Avatar

    “Yes, without the fat to boil the meat in, you do have to eat your steak rare…” Actually, you don’t have to eat steak at all.

  2. skyrim Avatar

    LOL. While Mikarooni’s post is well thought out and presented, I had the same conclusion as Pronghorn.
    I can tell ya this for certain; I find them Longhorns a helluva lot more intimidating than these other more popular bovines. I have to think that maybe other preditors may think the same.

  3. Layton Avatar

    Well Ralph, since you asked.

    How come, when a person that is NOT a “wolf worshiper” makes a comment/statement on this blog concerning whatever – wolf populations, elk populations, hunting success ratios, etc., there is an immediate demand for proof.

    If the reference cited is not — peer reviewed, double blind studied, published in accepted scientific periodicals, engraved in stone and brought down from a mountain by a person of biblical repute — it is considered garbage or “unacceptable science”?

    Contrast this with a graph from a newspaper article about a “semi-scientific” study from a graduate student, BUT submitted by one of the aforementioned “wolf worshipers”, and you get this;

    “It doesn’t show it directly in the graph, but because of the growing wolf population, you can assume that each year (x-axis) represents a larger population of wolves”. Ralph Maughan But it seems there is no requirement to check it for validity.

    Assume? Give me just a little break here. There are MANY holes in the hypothesis — the biggest being. Where were the wolves eliminated? Was in mainly in areas where livestock grazing was more active? In that case, while the statewide population COULD be growing, the population in those particular areas would be SMALLER. Therefore less predation on livestock.

    I really don’t think that the graph shows what you want it to. At least not in a scientifically supportable form.



  4. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    This would be a good comment, if it wasn’t prefaced by all that hostility.

    The graph isn’t from the graduate student. It’s from the Billings Gazette, and I assume they made from the 2006 USFWS wolf report.

    Your hypotheses are perfectly compatible with what I said — wolf depredations do not rise in direct proportion to the wolf population.

    There are lots of explanation for livestock losses in addition to the sheer number of wolves that are about, and your ideas might be some of them.

  5. Denise Johnson Avatar
    Denise Johnson

    You can criticize me all you like however; the fact of the matter remains there are ranchers who are learning (if education is to strong a word for you).
    “Education” implies that we have some facts or information that these folks don’t have. If they had them, they would change their behavior.”

    I think the story reflects that. After all it’s not the ranchers developing these non-lethal means to protect their animals.
    And they are getting assistance from outside organizations to do it.

    “If we serve up the facts and information and they still don’t change, why, they’re obstinate and obtuse and we’ll just need to get them out of the way.”

    This is your point not mine or the articles. You are putting words in my mouth here. Ralph’s comments lends to that theory as well.

    “This kind of thinking, I worry, leads us away from a clear understanding of the challenges we face in fostering coexistence between people and big carnivores.”
    “In a sense, it IS “all in our heads,” but we’re hard-wired to be that way. There’s little we can do about it except understand it, accept ourselves as the biological entities we are, and act within our own constraints, rather than ignore them.”

    Do you really feel that you are reaching the Western Rancher with this???

    “We can’t get down to the level of talking about fladry or guard dogs as long as the rhetoric keeps people this upset. Goes back again to trying to learn a card game on a tin roof in a lightning storm: not a learning moment!”

    If what you say is true then we wouldn’t have these innovative ideas being utilized by ranchers. Or articles being written about it. Or the ESA for that matter.
    I think your off on a totally different topic here….
    It’s unfortunate that people always look for the fault in something, instead of what has been accomplished. That to me is cynical attitude. From what I gather from your rant is that we were cutting our nose off dispite our face by simply reintroducing the wolf. I however chose to accept this change and see the benefits. And applaud the ranchers and civil servants that were infavor and work in a possitive direction. Because change can be difficult doesn’t mean its a bad thing. So what if people get upset. It’s a done deal…get over it. It’s all a matter of choice.

  6. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    On the other hand why is it that when anyone goes on one of your favorite blogs, bowsite, and makes a comment about some moron climbing into a tent and flailing about like a dying calf in a hailstorm, at the same time probably wearing scent blocking clothing and maybe drenched in cow elk piss, and then soiling themselves because some wolves are trying to figure out what in the hell is up with this idiot, that person is run out off that site on a rail. Why is that Layton.

  7. Howard Avatar

    As this is open topic, I guess this is a good place for this…
    I’m very interested in woodland caribou. Woodland caribou were once common ungulates in the east in Upper New England, and northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. I believe the only woodland caribou remaining in the Lower 48 is a tiny herd in the Selkirks of Idaho and Washington. Things do not look good for them… does anyone have any recent info on this herd, particularly relating to conservation efforts? Also, I do know that attempts have been made to restore caribou to Maine, and they have thus far failed. As near as I can tell, failure to reestablish in Maine was primarily the result of two things… 1) woodland caribou require old growth forests and the forests in Maine have not yet matured enough to suit them, and 2) they were very susceptible to parasites carried by the ubiquitous white-tailed deer (which was historically rare or absent from caribou country). Does anyone know if there are any future attempts being contemplated (and in accordance, as time passes, might acceptable caribou habitat return?) for Maine? Unfortunately, I also think that climate trends are against this species, and I have a sick feeling that the remaining caribou in Idaho/Washington will be extinct in my lifetime.

    Howard, I’ve been up there looking for them with no luck, but they are squeezed into a relatively small bit of old growth forest with clearcuts to the north in B.C., a valley to the east in Idaho, and clearcuts to the south in Idaho. The do have a patch of extreme northern Idaho and the smallish Salmo-Priest Wilderness to the west in Washington State, plus a little bit in B.C. just to the north, but the Crowsnest Highway cuts through the middle of the B.C. portion.

    I can’t see any opportunity to expand their habitat. As Jeff says below, at least the snowmobiles may be kept out. Ralph

  8. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Recently there has been a court battle to allow snowmobiles in the caribou range in Idaho. First some judge said yes allow it and then that was overturned on appeal so that at least for this year the caribou wont have to be subjected to snowmobiles. Which by the way can anyone anywhere tell me what good a snowmobile is for anything but noise, and pollution?

  9. John Avatar

    Anybody know what T. Sundles received as a sentence for his confessed poison bait crime?

  10. skyrim Avatar

    I don’t think he has been sentenced yet, has he? Nothing here unless I missed it.

  11. Michael Wolf Avatar

    First of all, congratulations to the poster for having the insight to raise livestock that are compatible with the landscape.

    That said, it is unreasonable to expect ranchers to adopt different species. This may come over time however. Ranchers are pressured to make as much money as possible to keep their financial situations from being desperate. So, they can’t take chances with bovine species that aren’t going to net them as much money. This is why there are so many complaints, and vocal ones, about wolf predation (nevermind the “wildlife prejudice” factor.)

    Ranchers, like farmers, will only adapt if they have to. They are generally staunchly conservative, which in their case, means not changing things, even to adapt. They succeeded in removing wolves before; and they feel they can succeed again (and they have the likes of Wyoming and Idaho to help them believe it.)

    Still, only through conversation like this, ranchers talking about their successes to each other; is very helpful in making these changes. Ranchers will listen to each other better than they will listen to politicians.

  12. Renae Avatar

    Do you know that life and death are opposites. What is the definition of Wildlife? What is a predator? Something that causes death? Wildlife is wildlife and predators are predators. TOTALLY OPPOSITE

  13. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    You quickly became nothing but nasty and ignorant. Get off of my blog!

  14. elkhunter Avatar

    I have longhorns near my house, they are kinda tough looking thats for sure. I dont think that would totally solve the problem, it would obviously help I would imagine, but I bet wolves are pretty adaptive, and would figure out a way to get at some, I watched a video of them killing a bull moose, it took them awhile, but they finally got it.

  15. Layton Avatar


    I took this part of your comment about the graph to mean that (at least some of) the data for the graph came from this graduate student — sorry about that if I was wrong.

    “as I reported earlier the idea came from Montana FWP, Wildlife Services, and a USU graduate student who are doing this as a semi-controlled experiment.”

    Jeff E.,

    Your post: (I took some out for the sake of brevity)

    On the other hand why is it that when anyone goes on one of your favorite blogs, bowsite, and makes a comment about …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. that person is run out off that site on a rail. Why is that Layton.”

    If you are referring to the comments that Ralph made about the incident you are talking about —- well, If I came on here and used the same sort of comments about one of the people that post here — direct insults to the person’s credibility, claiming to know more about wolves and their behaviour than this person had just experienced, etc. — I doubt that I would have the privilege of still posting here.

    Run out on a rail? C’mon — ANYONE that posts here in favor of the wolves is a lot more thick skinned than that!! I think Ralph can take care of himself — again, if that is who you are referring to — if it’s someone else, I don’t know what you are talking about.

    And you my friend are one of the people which I speak of in my comment — you question, demand proof, belittle it when you get it and then out and out quit posting when it turns out that what was said was, in fact, correct.

    Some of your comments about “short dark trips” through my mind and “that is obsolete science” come to mind.


  16. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    You are the only one that has ever posed a question directly to me that has taken until now to respond to. Two reasons for that is one I wanted to nail down the latest data on calf recruitment for the northern Yellowstone herd and second as I read your posts the last few months and seeing more and more of your belittling the wildlife supporters be it wolf or otherwise, interacting with you steadily moved down my list of things to do. So to make a long story short here you go. Northern Yellowstone Herd:
    1995-96 ~20,000 first year for wolves; start of severe
    drought conditions. >3,300 elk taken by
    hunters in Montana late hunt, mostly prime
    breeding aged cow elk. Montana knew that
    the herd was way over populated and was
    trying to reduce it through hunting.
    1996-97 no count preformed. Massive winter kill
    (1000s by best estimates) and >3300
    hunter harvest. Again the hardest hit are
    prime breeding aged cow elk on the hunt and
    the youngest and oldest from the winter kill.
    1998 ~12000 elk
    1998-00 population increases to ~15,000
    2000-05 population decreases to ~10,000. Factors
    identified were continued high hunter harvest
    of prime breeding aged cow elk outside the
    park, predation by bears and wolves and
    climatic variations which negatively affect
    pregnancy rates and calf recruitment.
    1996-2001: 22-34 per 100 cows
    2002-2005: 12-14 per 100 cows
    2006: 24 per 100 cows
    Factors cited for increase in 2006
    1. Drastically reduced hunter harvest of prime
    breeding aged cow elk
    2. Significant reduction of wolves on the
    northern range.

    So there you have it Layton. I hope this helps answer your questions about the Yellowstone Northern herd. If I can be of further assistance let me Know as there is usually room at the bottom of my list of things to do, and don’t fret, I’ll bring a flashlight.
    Articles cited
    Greater Yellowstone Science- Yellowstone Elk Overview
    Yellowstone National Park- 2006 Winter Classification and Count of Northern Yellowstone Elk

  17. Layton Avatar


    Pardon me for thinking – from our Email conversations, where you WEREN’T on “display” for your friends here in wolf worshiper land – that you might have some sort of a viewpoint that would allow you to see something besides your (to say the least) myopic views concerning your “pets”.

    I too have learned in the intervening weeks – you will attempt to find, justify, invent or otherwise manage to come up with some sort of rational to put the blame for any decrease in ungulate numbers somewhere other than where it belongs.

    Thanks for the offer to “assist” me with my poor attempts to interject some sort of logic into the discussion. Just go ahead and leave it on the bottom of the list — in fact, you can just go ahead and delete it.


  18. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Posting to this thread is now closed.



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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