More news from Wyoming where wolves have killed all the big game. Not!

Of course, wolves haven’t and these recent articles indicate. This new info is just short of incredible given all the ranting and raving by Wyoming politicians and some hunting organizations over the last ten years about how the wolf had decimated the elk.
April 26. Wyoming Game and Fish proposes additional hunting licenses to offset forage shortage. By Brodie Farquhar. Jackson Hole Star-Tribune correspondent.

The drought has greatly reduced the forage and so the number of animals needs to be reduced, but the elk and most other ungulate populations are well over objectives. Of course, the drought is not a happy situation because it will reduce the number of elk and deer, and pronghorn, but the point here is the problem is not wolves. We can imagine, however, that once drought and hunting have reduced the numbers, wolves will be blamed for the reduced numbers.

May 12. Wyoming Game and Fish predicts good hunting. By Ben Neary. Casper Star Tribune. “”Elk are probably at an all-time high historically,” said Bill Rudd, assistant chief for of the wildlife division for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in Cheyenne.”

New. May 17. Elk numbers soar as hunting seasons set. Wyo. population grows to 99,867 animals, 17 percent above objectives. By By Angus M. Thuermer Jr. Jackson Hole News and Guide.



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  1. Mike Wolf Avatar
    Mike Wolf

    Wait a minute…”Elk are at an all-time high”?!?!

    Isn’t that contrary to ALL of the testimony against delistment in Wyoming recently?

    Is FWS going to take that into consideration?


    I do hope someone sues FWS when they move forward with delisting.

  2. elkhunter Avatar

    why would they sure Mike? They have met all the requirements for delisting. Or could it be like in the great lakes, that you just cant please an activist. I think that could be it.

  3. be Avatar

    they have not met the requirements for delisting ~

    State, feds reach impasse over wolf delisting

    WY hasn’t yet submitted an approved managment plan – and the Gov. says that a state law prevents them from doing so until FWS hands over managment. problem is, FWS won’t hand over managment until a state managment plan is approved.

    The article quotes WY’s AG as stating that “any federal effort to remove wolves from protections under the Endangered Species Act without including Wyoming is ‘doomed to failure.’”

    From the article, it sounds like FWS is losing patience…

  4. elkhunter Avatar

    BE, you and I both know that even if WY did submit an approval you guys would still fight it. You would think of some issue that you could use as a leverge tool, whether it be habitat, or any other reason. The grizzly bear de-listing is a perfect example, you watch if WY does submit a plan, I guarantee de-listing will still be fought.

  5. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    The thing is, one of the main criteria for delisting is approved management plans for the three states. It does not get any clearer than that. So your second point, elkhunter, is irrelevant and they clearly have not met all the requirements.

  6. Vicki Avatar

    Elk Hunter, I had forgotten about your ESP. You can not predict how ANY of us would react if Wyoming was more reasonable about their management plans. But that isn’t the point, the point is, HUNTERS can’t blame wolves for a decline that simply does not exist. But they will argue against their own former allies-FWS- now that they have disproven hunter’s big argument. I guess that it is all irrelevant, because wolves haven’t eaten all the cattle, and bison haven’t wiped out all cattle with burcelosis either… And yet, many ranchers still use those absolutely false (lies) arguements against wolves to this day!!!

  7. Vicki Avatar

    And against bison as well….

  8. Vicki Avatar

    Ralph, I have a question that I’d like to ask, off the blog. I have recently heard something that I find fascinating, but don’t want to be public knowledge. I’ll send an e-mail soon.

  9. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Hi Vicki,
    How did the meeting in Cody go. It’s curious that Wyoming Fish and Game had to know this information about the elk herds, or at least the preliminary data which should be pretty accurate, but apparently did not bring that out at the Cody meeting. Anyone else smell something rotten?

  10. Austin Avatar

    Elk and game populations are up in Wyoming? But wait I thought that the wolf population nearly doubled in Wyoming over the last couple of years? I got it the wolves must be waiting to launch their attack to decimate the Elk population. Otherwise the anti-wolf folks don’t have any legitimate argument for predator control. Also what about the study-saying wolves are affecting the Elk pregnancy rates? Guess that is not such a big deal after all.

  11. Jeff Avatar

    Another article in the JH News and Guide today. Seems even the herds that Gov Dave has cited as being decimated are over objective as well. Calf recruitment isn’t nearly as bad as suggested either. 25 per 100 in the Jackson Herd. I find it rather humerous when Wyoming’s own Game and Fish Department undermines and proves false the all the rhetoric and lies perpetrated by Wyoming’s politicans.

  12. Sally Roberts Avatar
    Sally Roberts

    These lies are not only perpetrated by Wyoming’s politicians, but also by Wyoming’s own Game and Fish Department!! Where do you think these politicians get the ideas? Elk are practically more precious than cattle in Wyoming…they eat better, and get better care than some of the cattle there.


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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Ralph Maughan