Audio device uses howls to keep track of wolves. By John Cramer of the Missoulian

A lot of people don’t like radio collars on wolves. These “howlboxes” could eliminate much of the incentive to collar them. It ought to make photographers happy and elminate the impact a collar has on wolf behavior.

On the other hand, they might be able to find every wolf pack making Wildlife Services’ killing activities even more lethal.

As far as counting wolves goes, in the past wolf conservationists have argued that the official count is fairly accurate and maybe a bit high. Anti-wolfers have spun stories that the actual numbers are twice, even ten times the official count. With state management this could be reversed with wolf conservationists saying the states overestimate the population so they can pretend they are conserving the wolf.

Perhaps the howlbox could make the process of counting more objective.

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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.

7 Responses to Audio device uses howls to keep track of wolves

  1. Sarah K says:

    I am not for things like collars to keep track of wolves. It seems to me that the ecosystem was fine until we came along. Is the fear more along the lines of being wiped out by wild life? Is there a way that humans and nature can life peacefully and not have any endangered species?

    One final question:
    How well do you think the hunters are going to do with hunting wolves? Do you think that this will be an easy task?

    Just curious…

  2. TallTrent says:

    “How well do you think the hunters are going to do with hunting wolves? Do you think that this will be an easy task?”

    Yes, I really do think it will be an easy task. I know where I could go from my home to find wolves to hunt in the Gallatin National Forest, if I was so inclined. I am not going to be hunting wolves, but those that hunts wolves are going to have an easy time finding wolves to kill. I think it is going to be much easier than many of the predictions of difficult hunting that people have talked about I think all three states will hit their quotas of dead wolves each year.

    That is why making sure those quotas for hunting as not set very high when the states set those specific numbers is so important.

  3. Izabelam says:

    Hi Trent,

    My husband and I met you at Discovery Center in November.
    Right after the Mollies kicked the Haydens. You are the really nice guy there.
    Please educate all the ‘rednecks’. Please, spread the good word about wolves.
    PS. This is really great site. And Ralph is so good. amn..we need more people like him.
    When is the official park openning.
    Izabela (with big camera).

  4. jeffro soule says:

    Izabela, whats a redneck?

  5. Ronnie says:

    I think the first couple years hunting wolves will be easy,
    but I believe they will adapt and become educated on hunters and guns.. Plus,, there are SOME serious hunters, but most will be lazy and not willing to put in the time and effort to get off their horse/ATV..

  6. Mack P. Bray says:

    jeffro soule, here’s a definition of redneck, from Wikipedia: Redneck, in modern usage, predominantly refers to a particular stereotype of people who may be found in many regions of the United States (mainly the Southern regions) or Canada. Originally limited to the Appalachians, and later the Ozarks and Rocky Mountains, this stereotype is now widespread in northern states and the Canadian provinces. The word began as a pejorative classist slur with a racial component, indicating poor, ignorant persons of European descent, but has also been ‘reclaimed’ and is now often used by those wishing to show pride in their heritage and/or upbringing.

    You could at least spell Izabelam’s name correctly.

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

  7. TallTrent says:


    Education about wolves is important for EVERYONE. Furthermore, environmental education in general is extremely important. Most anti-wolf (and anti-grizzly) rhetoric is based on ignorance and societal prejudices and we need to work to change both of those. Glad you enjoyed the center and hope we can reach others here.

    That being said, maybe I better borrow Mack’s line:
    “My opinions are my own” as when I post I post as a private person, not a representative of any institution.

    – TallTrent


March 2008


‎"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