Montana Wolf overseer surprised by high harvest
A premature NYT article about the Idaho wolf hunt had made it appear the hardly any wolves were being killed, now a different view from Montana-
Actually it is still too early to know if the states’ wolf “harvest” quotas will be meet, although the sudden jump in Idaho numbers as general elk season opened as well as all wolf hunting units open in Idaho, makes it more likely the quota will be filled.
The fact that wolf hunters are doing well in the backcountry has important implications if the trend continues. The reason is the deliberately propagated belief that hunting would disproportionately eliminate “problem” wolves in the front country where there are livestock.
Story: Montana Wolf overseer surprised by high harvest. By Brett French of the Billings Gazette.
I should add that Montana set a more cautious wolf quota than Idaho. Montana has a shorter wolf season too. Therefore, there is less chance of an overshoot than in Idaho. Idaho is also expected to use Wildlife Services, a quasi-federal agency to stage a pogrom against wolves after the hunting season to eliminate wolves in areas where the landed noblemen of the state have been disturbed by their presence.
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10/7. Update. Looking at the quick rise on hunter success as more deer and elk seasons open, coupled with snow, I think Idaho and Montana will meet their wolf quotas. Ralph Maughan
10/7. Story spreads to LA Times. Montana’s wolves surprisingly vulnerable during inaugural hunt. By Pete Thomas.
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.
164 Responses to Montana Wolf overseer surprised by high harvest
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Four of the nine wolves were from the Park’s Cottonwood Pack, inc. two with radio collars. The quota is 12 for the Absaroka-Beartooth zone. Carolyn Sime is quoted as saying that number may be met, before wolf season opens in the rest of the state.
There’s also a statement in the article, about wanting wolves to stay in the backcountry away from livestock. How about livestock staying out of the backcountry? Except in Wilderness, sheep and cattle are about everywhere in our Idaho backcountry, so near impossible for wolves to avoid.
The death toll for Idaho wolves stood at 28 as of last night with deer & elk rifle seasons yet to open in much of the state.
It is unbelievable that wolf managers don’t have the foresight to have a buffer (say 10 miles) around the park. I assume they know the millions of dollars that wolves bring to the economy and half of one of the Northern Range packs is wiped out. It doesn’t make much sense to me when they could’ve allowed those 12 to be taken in places like farms near Paradise Valley, etc.
The death toll, you make it sound like a serial killer is on the lose. They were delisted 15 years after the release, why not back off and see what happens for the next 2-3 years. If the states mess up and they get relisted it will probably be more than a decade before we get back to this point. Think of it as a low point on the population cylce. Wolf numbers drop low all the time as they cylcle with prey this is just doing that artifically.
Sime always talks about the “flexibility” that FWP has with these hunts, so why not close that area and save the remaining quota for the Paradise Valley etc?
She also talks about it being a “symbolic” hunt ………I’d like for her to explain exactly what she means by that.
And Ms Sime, I know you read this blog…..how about joining Mark (IDFG) on here with some comments?
hilljack – this mountain wolf advocate is not going to stand around for 2-3 years, waiting to see if IDFG, with the help of Wildlife Services [sic] kills off 850 wolves here, so that the feds might again relist them. Keep in mind that MN has 3000 wolves, and no plans for a wolf hunting season anytime soon. Never thought of IDFG/WS/wolf hunters as serial killers, but now that you mention it … .
Mmmm…I wonder if Dr. Mech is revising his stance:
Wolves are extremely hard to hunt and trap, and many that were killed in the 1950s and 1960s were shot from planes, an activity that is now illegal, Mech said.
”Short of poisoning them, I don’t know how they could hurt these populations now,” Mech said.
Seems like the experts forgot to include hate and high-powered rifles in their estimation of how hard it would be to kill wolves.
” The death toll for Idaho wolves stood at 28 as of last night with deer & elk rifle seasons yet to open in much of the state.”
The wet grounds and snows will benefit wolves, and their prey because that squishing and crunching gives them a heads up when those blood thirsty red necks try to sneak up on their hated prey those wolves.
Now all a hunter can do is watch migration routes, the game just changed out there. Your not going to walk up on anything in this stuff. ha ha.
This is slightly off the subject but I (admittedly of city origins and now an environmental attorney and writer but having worked for the Forest Service as a timber cruiser in places like Lowman – arguably at ground zero of Idaho’s firearms-bonding culture — and having received two degrees from the UI College of Natural Resources) would SINCERELY like to know how the “adrenaline rush” garnered from targeting, firing upon, and killing an animal (particularly a trophy species) outweighs watching the light snuffed out in the animal’s eyes as it crumples, confused, stunned and in pain, to the ground. Doesn’t any sentient being going about its business making an honest living have a God-given right to enjoy the short life he or she has on this planet just like the rest of us? Comments from female hunters particularly interest me but any hunter with the courage to answer this would be really welcome.
ANOTHER PACK GONE.
Thanks for this link. This government sheep experiment station, which few people are aware of, is a huge blockade to wildlife migration of all kinds along the Continental Divide. We have been planning an article on it. There is something damn suspicious about the whole enterprise. Ralph Maughan
Good question, Valerie, but be prepared to duck and weave…~S~as the responses come in…BTW, I too am an enviro attorney, going on 22 years now, but only part time out of my home now. As for hunting, I don’t do it. I can understand it IF the kill is necessary for the family to survive..subsistence hunting…just like the animal predator community. Restore the large predators to as much historic habitat as possible, even if it inconveniences some humans..and then talk to me about “managing the population.”
So, given the quickness with which the quota was met in this district; given the Idaho FG posture about getting into Frank Church to “count wolves”, and the general “get ’em all” attitude, does anyone really still think this hunt was a “good idea” that should be allowed to play out?
And if the hunting community, and the states really think this hunt is a good idea and they are holding their heads high, , why all the sophistry with terms like “harvest”? Call it what it is…killing. At least be honest about it…
That means of course all of the alleles for any unknown positive genetic trait will not be passed on. This is particularly problematic in the Centennial Mountains — a critically important avenue for genetic exchange. Would like to know from Simes how this “control action” is consistent with the tri-state Memorandum of Understanding promising to facilitate genetic exchange?
I believe if you read the latest pleadings, you will find that Judge Malloy has similar concerns, which bodes well for re-listing…
Do either of you two eat meat ?
Lowman is ground zero for Idaho’s firearms-bonding culture ?
You people are looking in the wrong direction, these habits were in stilled by government, this was the approved lifestyle of this continent..
Sure you have some very weird people around, do doubt, but to toss some one like me, into this nonsense rhetoric just shows me how selfish and biased you two are..
I have taken elk and deer for my meats. WHY, because it is my free choice to do so. Yes, killing and elk or deer actually is unpleasant, and very hard work.. This practice has been tainted by corporations selling products and making hunting videos..
If I do not harvest meats, I buy a free range fed beef. I never ever eat chicken or pork. EVER, that stuff is trash. Why don’t I buy the beef every year ? Is the beef’s life of less value than the elk or deer..
Vallerie, when you convince the government to give us back the right to grow industrial hemp for food, I’ll stop hunting meat for protein.
When can you can promise me that government will stop killing humans all over this earth for some religious or other wise dogma and they will stop trying to own me out right, I will smash my guns.. Be happy to..
Bugs/virsuses/bacteria etc come from FILTH. Just look how the FDA approved meats industry dunk these Beef/Pork/chicken carcasses into vats of water and feces. Their loaded with growth hormones, bugs you name it. This is why meats kill people more now than ever. This is why I hunt elk and deer.
Greetings Jim T.,
I am in complete accord. An yes — I am prepared to duck and weave.
BTW, it’s refreshing to “meet” another attorney for environmental justice.
I might add to my comments that if my existence depends entirely on killing another creature with blood coursing through its veins I would be prepared to do it. And I would try to make the contest as fair and humane as possible. And I know without a doubt that the killing would cause me a lot of internal conflict.
I have to wonder if the apparent need of hunters to bond through collective violence (albeit sanctioned and abetted by govermental authorities with a huge economic stake in all of it) outweighs the internal conflict that any non-sociopathic hunter must, somewhere inside, experience.
I’ve never even seen a shooting range in Lowman, and I grew up here.. You might SHtick your pin in Boise..
“And I know without a doubt that the killing would cause me a lot of internal conflict.”
24 elk, 23 deer, several grouse and fish. Every single one of them made me feel pain…
I ride into an Alpine Lake deep into the Frank Church, always seeking a monster rainbow, just one, I see them, down in those deep blue pools, well the third day, and 12 fish with eggs and rice later, I caught one, 32″ 9 pounds, reeled him up after a struggle, I am alone, my friends are across the lake, I admire this huge rainbow..My largest in 30 years, I don’t need any food at the time, not trophy, I remove the lure, never taking this fish out of the water..Knowing only this fish and me know what took place.. My camera is forty feet away in my pack, I finally did it, and I released that rainbow…
I can not describe those emotions, those releases, give me, that satisfaction, those moments remove some of those pains being and independent free man brings on himself in moments of harvesting..
I have released Bulls and bucks as well…Many.. Some days it is just better to watch them walk on..
Only some one who has never experienced these feelings of harvest and gathering could understand…
It is never easy feeding oneself…
And yet with all the whining and complaining about elk populations being decimated, which is one of the lame justifications for killing wolves, elk numbers are soaring. Idaho has 105,000 elk, Montana 166, 000.
I saw the jump to 28 wolves killed in Idaho and it’s only a little over a month since the hunt began. Idaho’s hunt runs through March 31. It seems as though they might reach their quota well before that date, especially when the vegetation falls and the wolves are truly exposed.
In my opinion, you’ve made excellent points about the state of the non-organic meat industry and the sanctioning of hemp (which thankfully by the way is now legal in Oregon and I think North Dakota).
The dangers of eating industry “grown” and processed animals are enormous and purposefully kept hidden by the USDA. In fact the Seattle Times this past Sunday ran a huge feature concerning a 22 year old woman from the midwest who is permanently paralyzed from the waist down from e-coli exposure from the eating just one commercially ground hamburger which was purposely mislabeled as of pure Angus origin — whereas the ground meat was derived from dozens of slaughterhouses and was fashioned from the cheapest trimmings near the bowel areas. Cargill Meats, the most profitable private company in the nation with revenues of about 116 billion, is legally responsible for this woman’s plight.
So while I don’ t eat any meat (there are plenty of soy substitutes and bean/rice combos, etc.) I sympathize with your plight.
My comments were meant more to address the trophy hunter and those hunters who don’t need to kill our precious wildlife (particularly our apex predators which when culled beyond a point of no return have caused ecosystem collapse around the world which should be deemed national treasures – not priced equivalent to a wild turkey tag) because they already consume industry processed meat.
“And yet with all the whining and complaining about elk populations being decimated, which is one of the lame justifications for killing wolves, elk numbers are soaring. Idaho has 105,000 elk.”
Your trusting counting estimations done by others, and those others authorized the killing of your wolf, they coddle Noblemen Ranchers… So then why are they being honest about 105,000 elk?
Sounds like good business to me, I have 105,000 elk, I hope to sell at least 85,000 hunting licenses and elk tags, for a whopping, rough guess, $3,600,000 in revenue..To a bunch of stupid hunters who will believe me..
I eat red meat infrequently, and if I do, it is always local ranches, organically raised, grass fed and finished, no feed lot. I do eat chicken with much the same guidelines..locally raised, free range, no cages. Fish–wild caught and certified as sustainable. The data about red meat and its health effects are daunting, especially for one who comes from a family with heart issues. So, my choice is made up of a number of concerns..treatment of the animals, ethical concerns, health concerns. It sounds like you have similar complicated reasons for choosing to hunt.
BTW, I am on your side about hemp. When I lived in Vermont, the farmers there, in an effort to hang on to a rapidly disappearing lifestyle, proposed to the state to allow them to grow industrial hemp for all sorts of products, and the whole issue of THC content was a red herring used by the state to justify turning the farmers down. It was a shame as dairy farming is rapidly declining there. It is hard enough with the stone soil of Vermont, plus the whole issue of the milk processors screwing the farmer on the wholesale price of milk. Add in the inability to grow a crop that increasingly is showing up in a variety of products..and it spells trouble.
I see no reason for you to feel attacked because I hold a different opinion or criteria regarding hunting. And my notion of hunting as a survival necessity is much closer to the roots and traditions of hunting in this country..well, before the slaughter of bison, beaver, birds, etc. for commercial reasons…than going out with the primary motive to kill for a trophy head or skin. I wonder sometimes if the whole “I eat it” attitude is merely an after the fact justification for the act of hunting and killing. As I have told other friends of mine who hunt, if that is the main reason you hunt…then don’t hide it. Just admit you like the thrill of the kill, and be honest. That I can at least respect even if I don’t agree with it. Make sense to you?
I do find it interesting that I, as a sometimes wildlife photographer..can do everything any hunter claims to do and enjoy about the process of hunting…being out in nature, enjoying its beauty, meeting the challenge of finding the subject and getting close enough to take a decent picture of it; there are not many of us amateurs who can afford a $7000 500 mm. lens..~S~. But, I don’t have to kill..that is the one big difference I see a matter of personal choice.
Valerie, humans are omnivores, so unless you’re a vegetarian, you have no room to criticize or pass judgement on those who choose to feed themselves rather than let a slaughterhouse do their dirty work for them. Like Stoney, I’ve killed animals to put meat on the table, and it provides absolutely no pleasure–on the contrary, it’s the low part of hunting. However, all you have to do is look at wolves to realize killing is a part of living. That’s nature for you in it’s coldest, most indifferent form.
“I’ve never even seen a shooting range in Lowman, and I grew up here.. ”
Actually there is one in Lowman, it’s unofficial however, I’ve used it many times. There is a large one between Lowman and Garden Valley on the Banks/Lowman highway.
There is no doubt that man does not need meats. Hemp proves it. I’ve known of these industrial problems with manufactured meats most my life.
Thus I grew gardens, (I have tomato plants all over inside right now under lights ha ha brought them inside before the storm) fished, hunted, and even though I do have a trophy bull, and four trophy class deer, I ate them. I doubt anyone despises out fitters, corporation canned hunting, video’s, and product inventions for easier hunting than me.
I do appreciate a decent gun though. And people curse the scoped gun, and it’s power, yet this weapon is more humane, than bow and arrow, spear, trap, muzzle loader, especially the muzzle loader, even accurate shots from the muzzle loader still often are not instant deaths, as is the wound from the scoped gun.
.I know, because I make my own bows, arrows, I shoot muzzle loaders, and I use the scoped rifle. Nothing hurts worse than causing a slow death rather than and instant lights out death..Nothing. The old native Americans used the hides and bones and horns for all kinds of tools and even arts..I do to.. The hunting well of truth has been poisoned with fibs..I tire of it.
I was referring more generally to the so-called “gun culture” of Idaho. I experienced first-hand the same in Seeley Lake, MT. The way guys swagger around in the early Fall with their latest acquisition and trade hunting hopes, stats, and war stories at the local watering hole
I wonder how many of the folks setting the hunting quotas hunt? I don’t mean have “been around hunting” I mean actively hunt now. The reach of modern firearms has extended considerably in the last few years. With today’s ammo, rifles, scopes and bipods, thousand yard kills are no longer out of reach (granted very few people can hit accurately at that range but some can – and I see them at the range every time I’m there). Shooters who spend some time and some $$$$ can consistently hit a wolf-sized target at 400+ yards, way beyond the range of hearing or vision concern range for animals not used to being hunted. In open country this can mean a lot. Hunters who spend the $$$$ and time to put together wilderness hunts are exactly the guys who also spend the time and $$$$ to become good long-range shots. Some of them are going to target wolves. Given that knowledge, which ain’t exactly rocket science, the results are predictable. Of course, since in my 25+ years of agency experience I ‘ve noticed that many biological managers don’t hunt or shoot much (some do, some do), I’m not surprised that this is a surprise. You have to get out of your particular box periodically and investigate the other fellow’s to understand what he’s capable of doing. Otherwise you’re learning with your forehead and surprises can be troublesome. There’s more to natural resource management than consulting the literature: things change every day and every change has the potential to change everything.
I’m truly amazed. How were you able to kill and eat the deer you personally raised? What did you say, if anything, to your charges before you dispatched them?
The main reason for such a high kill count in southern Park County was due to the presence of two outfitter’s hunting camps that were set-up by early September.
One of those outfitters has been one of the greatest opponent of the wolf reintroduction and a kill them all kind of person. This person also guides from his hunting camp into Yellowstone Park so that he is well aware of his environment, specially the wolves and elks. I will not know for sure what role he played into the killing of those 9 wolves until later on when they break down those hunting camps.
The attitude in Park County as of a month ago was we will kill them in the back country and Montana Fish & Game will kill them in the valley (Paradise Valley).
As a hunter, can I ask you a question? Why does it seem that so many in the hunting community are dead set against the re-establishment of the large predators? I see comment after comment online against the expansion of grilzzly habitat, or for increased hunting of lions in California. Is it a matter of not wanting the competition for the preferred human hunting prey..elk, deer..? You seem to be saying that you understand and sympathize with the predator nature of the wolf, and I find that I agree with that. Why aren’t a large majority of hunters working with the grizzly-lion-wolf folks to get them back to fulfill their natural role as predator in the ecosystem? Or do we just not hear from them? Is that it?
Quote of the day:
“We didn’t think wolves would be that vulnerable to firearms harvest.”
Carolyn Sime, wolf program coordinator for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, about the success rate of wolf hunters in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness along the northern border of Yellowstone National Park.
– Billings Gazette
I AM a vegetarian — though admittedly not a vegan (that choice takes much more discipline). And I also would like to know why hunters are against the expansion of large predator habitat? For expansion of habitat benefits allm species (predator and prey alike) — except of course the corporate comglomerates who have been steadily buying up ranches with attached grazing rights.
You might hold off on painting all hunters with one broad brush–I’m pro-predator. Actually, It’d be more appropriate to say I’m pro wildlife, predators being just one sub-group of that category. I’d love to see more habitat conserved through conservation easements, purchases, etc.
To answer your question Jim, my opinion is that many hunters who are anti-predator are either ignorant (i.e., have been taught to hate predators) or just plain selfish…they don’t want to share “their” elk and deer with wolves, bears, lions, coyotes, etc.
” I’m truly amazed. How were you able to kill and eat the deer you personally raised? What did you say, if anything, to your charges before you dispatched them?”
They raised themselves as I did myself. I did not provide them with their forage. I apologized to them for my killing of them, I used everything they provided me with.
And I thanked the Great Spirit before and after the hunt, no matter the final outcome of that days hunt.
I don’t hunt big game first of all, but Jay has a good point about ignorance. But let me state that CHANGE is a big factor.
People are resistant to change and I think that is one big factor.
In Livingston MT, for example hunters (the ones I know) that are against the moutain lions and wolves believe their local outfitter(s) and “friend(s)” are/have been impacted by the top predator(s) and are not making the money they use to make. The financial cycle is therefore diminished and they the huntes will feel impacted also.
A friend of mine in Lewistown takes elk, deer and turkey sometimes out of season has he does not have enough money to buy meat for his family. He is still my friend.
Another hunter in Livingston takes lions and now wolves for sport, he is not my friend anymore.
In my opinion if Doug Smith is not upset with the taking of two of his collared wolves, I should not be either.
Notes to a few comments above. Homo sapiens is an omnivore. They can eat animal products (parts) without any training but vegetation intake takes years of training (same for bears).
Herbivores can eat grasses without training but require a lot of training to eat the mineral and protein rich broad leaves (forbs).
Thus, for those saying grass fed beef is the mecca just remember all those grass fed animals you go for are very deficient in nutrients for your bodies upkeep. The “grass feds” are from weaned calves growing up with NO training to eat the flowers, seeds and leaves in proper season. Realize you are eating from GRASSIVORES not Herbivores.
That being said the “grass fed” cattle, I believe, is ethically a better choice than packed in, feed lotted steroid and antibiotic infected animals.
Ecologically, whether it is grass fed beef or modern hunt managed wildlife, both are limited in ecological sustainability, however. How can that be you say?…especially when elk and deer have calves growing up with mothers, They learn to eat both grasses and broad leaves, right?.
Without well infrastructured herds and the ever present fear in these refuge camp herds in and out of season there is abnormal grazing going on. The males are no longer alive to eat the coarser vegetation (which leads to more succulent growth for adolescents and pregnant females) and the young can not lead and be in front of the matriarchal components of the herd while movement grazing is going on. They are like restricted to diets the same as the older animals. And have more similarities to beef young that need creep feeding.
Yes, stoner is getting better food than most Americans, but unless he is hunting large private ranches where little if any hunting is allowed, what he gets from his elk and deer is the byproduct of chronic stress and “malnourished” animals.
It is not the same food as Natives had Pre Whiteman. And what does this all have to do with ecological sustainability? Dysfunctional herds means wholesale changes in the structure of plant communities. enough for now.
Every outfitter I know of, whether on the North boundary or South will be killing every wolf they can irregardless of hunting quotas or not….and without the backing of state game wardens…there will be an enforcement eye turned the other way. All the outfitters have to say and do is shoot every wolf somewhere in the body outside of a killing shot.
Wounded wolf crawls away to die later and no filling of tag. Simple and law proof logic taken from all big game hunting rules…only in this case there is little desire to procur the animal.
Suppose hunters just agree with your perspective, join you and we allow predators to manage these eco systems on their own, if most hunters fail to harvest to bad, I really could care less. But lets say this idea fails, and the predators not only wipe out their prey but themselves as well. Would that convince you then that you might be in error ? And my opinion of failure does not mean the prey or the predators are gone entirely, lets say all hunting by man is stopped. Because of a lack of sufficient prey for man and wild predators, then the predators are dying , leaving, and killing each other..If this were to play out do you see any government agency relinquishing that newly attained power, once they failed, even perhaps if they disarmed me and you, do you see them returning to this stage and allowing man to manage the hunt units ? I don’t. Seems to me you want to take a huge risk and you want me to risk it with you..
Show me and example of government backing off and returning powers to people once that government thesis failed.
The specific reason from my perspective to manage all wild life in these units of Idaho is because I want to be a natural predator as well, and I am, man is a predator, except I have intellect and the wild predator has senses and agility I can never match. They hunt in the dark, I hunt in the day. In this controlled environment surrounded by towns city’s roads rails, planes, how can this so-called tame land be returned to its wild state ? And if this is so important then why is the wild natural man expected to become tame then and withdraw from his natural born instincts and these lands.
Government wishes to regulate predators in order to sustain enough elk and deer for their tag sales, revenue, which is falling drastically right now, 30+% in Idaho, because most hunters don’t see elk and they don’t come back. I could care less about those guys as well, they should have managed their home sates better and then they would not desire to hunt my home state.. I want wild predators managed because they have no intellect likened to you or me, they can not count JimT, and they would kill the last two elk on earth, and lick their chops and look around for two more.
Where as the Panda basically proves mans intellect knows when to reach in and stop the slaughter.. Even if that slaughter was by other men sick with greed. Once again management of eco systems does not just manage wild predators and their prey..That is why I can only harvest one elk, a year during a limited time frame…
BobJackson just showed you how to lesson the damage to predators, out law out fitting for legal hunts, change that profession to photo ops, and fishing adventures only, toss in a canoe. And stop non resident hunting nation wide.. Only instate resident hunting allowed. I can vouch for what bob is saying, as I have first hand experience seeing this as well.. I’ve been in two fist fights with these clowns in twenty years.. They wrecked one of my camps, and I returned out the Sawtooths in 2003 to find eight flat tires between my truck and goose neck. Out fitters are like government, they really hate competition.
I also grew up as a hunter. It is part of my connection to my family, my past, my culture and my pesonal belief system. I take responsibility for the deaths I cause so that I can eat, unlike folks who get their meat from a tray. I am also not anti-predator. To the contrary, I have worked most of my life to restore them and explain to people why we need them. But I do hunt, I do enjoy the hunt (although I regret the neccessity of the kill) and I do not apologize for that. Neither do I fault peope who feel differently – opinions have a right to differ. I would hope they would offer me the same courtesy. From a personal standpoint I wouldn’t shoot a wolf (or a bear or a cougar or a coyote, etc.) that wasn’t a threat to me or mine – and they’d have some convincing to do to get me there. But if they did, I would. I have been nose-to-nose with grizzlies, cougars and coyotes (one wolf but that was not a confrontation) and we all walked away intact. So far we’ve all been lucky or tolerant or some combination. I’d rather we all just got along and so far we have. Critters tend to be more tolerant than folks.
I’ve spent a lot of time talking to anti-grizzly, anti-wolf, anti-cougar folks and what I find they have in common is fear. Fear of animals they often don’t understand, fear of a changing world in which their span of control is limited and diminishing, and fear of the unknown. Getting the finger off the trigger means first reducing the fear. I found I was a lot less likely to be upset by the presence of large predators near me the more I knew about them.
I once heard a famous bear bio say “I’ve never had a dangerous experience with a grizzly. I know far too much about the bear to ever let that happen.”
My first thought was that he was an arrogant SOB. Then I recalled that he has been handling live grizzlies in the wild for over 30 years without injury to him or anyone working with him. Shortly thereafter I ran across a similar statement about tigers made by Jim Corbett. Made me re-think that knowledge of the animal thing. Now the more I learn, the safer I feel inthe woods – direct opposite to life in the city.
Wish we could get some of the 3S crowd to shout less and listen more. And maybe some of the eco-folks could sit down and listen to where some of the meat-eaters are coming from.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no illusions about what that would take – I’ve been doing it for decades. But if we don’t, who will? And who loses: the animals?
If we can get to where we work with facts – provable facts – we are at least basing our actions on valid information. If we stick with emotion, nothing changes.
SR25Stoner and all,
There will always be predators of big game and everything else. Heavy human killing pressure just makes the major predators smaller and more fecund.
I posted this article the other day, and a lot of people read it. Many who should have probably did not.
Loss of top predators causing surge in smaller predators. Since I posted the OSU news release, a number of major newspapers have picked up the story.
I once explained the relationship between wolves and coyotes to a wool grower then asked him if he would rather feed ten wolves or a hundred coyotes. Got an absolutely blank stare.
But it was worth a try….
Ralph: I did read the article you posted. This is not particularly new info but it’s nice to have more scientific ammo. Soem years ago there was a lot of conversation in professional circles that an outbreak of Hanta virus in teh SW just happened to follow abot a year behind a big push to diminish coyote numbers inthat very area. Coyotes, of course, eat mice which, by the way, carry hanta. There’s probably a name for that….
Ask a coyote plinker that thinks he’s saving a bunch of deer to go out and open the stomachs of the coyotes they shoot and report back what they find. No doubt they’d be surprised that they’d find mostly rodents of some type…
Until you and the other side learn to compromise nothing productive will ever happen. I don’t think IDFG is planning on killing 850 wolves I know you like to think that but it is not realistic. They set a quota and will follow that. I am willing to bet that if they keep the quota at this level it will not effect the population. I haven’t checked if kills made by wildlife services count against the quota but they should.
Mgulo: Your quotation really sums it up.
“I’ve spent a lot of time talking to anti-grizzly, anti-wolf, anti-cougar folks and what I find they have in common is fear. Fear of animals they often don’t understand, fear of a changing world in which their span of control is limited and diminishing, and fear of the unknown.”
The part about fear of a changing world and of loss of control is particularly insightful. Of course, whipping up that fear is a useful tool for those who seek political power—whether it’s fear of predators in rural areas or fear of people who somehow aren’t just “like us” in urban areas.
Not just on wolves, but generally speaking, the environmental community had always been the ones at the table that come with compromises while the extractive sides generally take a hard ass position, and the greens generally cave. Over a period of years, the pendulum has tipped considerably in favor of the extractive industries and their abuses of public resources–forestry, mining, grazing, wilderness, WSAs, endangered species. And you advocate compromising more? When does it stop..when all the old growth is gone, or habitat is fragmented to the point we have isolated genetic zoos, or public lands are nibbled to death and dirt?
I, for one, have had it up to HERE with the attitude that it is the enviros who must compromise; I don’t hear any calls from the “other side” to the grazing folks or the outfitters, or trophy hunters to restore the pendulum to a position of balance; and the fact is they will have to give up more to get Western resource issues back to a balance point because they have been the ones who have it skewed in their direction for so long.
That is not only true for the predators, but for the prey species as well..trophy fish are getting smaller, elk are getting smaller, big elk are more rare because the genetics are being taken out of the pool. We had that discussion and article somewhere in the archives.
What I said was I would like to see the hunting community in general actively support the restoration of the large predators to as much of the historical habitat as biologically, economically, and politically possible. Never said humans would have to stop hunting, although some sharing and restraint might be required if you want the ecosystem to work the way it has for tens of thousands of years. Managing is a human term, made necessary by human alteration and interference with the ecosystems. I think, in all honesty, we have screwed the pooch badly out here with growth and development, and it would take hundreds of years of no human presence for the natural system to restore itself.So, there will have to be a role for humans, and frankly, we are still very ignorant about all the important subtleties that go into making up a healthy, vibrant ecosystem.
Most of the predators self regulate in terms of offspring when prey is reduced in numbers. I think your observation about predators killing off all the prey and then dying themselves is fairly rare..can you think of an instance where this happened, and it wasn’t linked to human activity as the catalyst? In general, my years of reading about biodiversity and history of ecosystems has led me to conclude they do a pretty damned good job generally speaking of maintaining an active balance on their own; most of the disasters from a species or habitat destruction perspective have been human activity caused. Extinctions will occur, new species will emerge. Or at least that is generally what used to happen before industrial development mucked up the works on such a grand scale that traditional adaptive mechanisms don’t work. It is amazing what people believe. For example, at a Center for the American West conference in Estes Park over the weekend, one gentleman opined that since the polar bears evolved from the grizzlies, when climate change destroys the arctic ice environment, the polar bears will simply revert back to grizzlies…amazing….as if this would happen in a matter of a few years if at all…
I might point out — concerning wolves — that the hunters have ALREADY lost much opportunity. Additive predation by wolves has cost MANY hunting opportunities in several of Idaho’s elk hunting areas.
You kind of mention humans in passing — as tho’ the many millions of them are just kind of a “bubble” in this would be self regulating utopia. Sorry, it’s not going to work that way. There will be (for better of for worse) MORE millions of them rather than less. They WILL effect the evolution of the WHOLE biosphere we call earth.
Maybe one of the species that that you reference going extinct WILL be wolves, maybe it will be elk — who knows? But one thing is for certain — it WON’T be the humans — at least not really early in that end game.
Am I the only one who can see that we will always need some minimal hunting on the large preditors so that they do not become too habituated to humans and human environs?
If laws were passed protecting all of these preditors from harm by humans, it would not be long before wolves, grizzlies, and maybe even some black bears would be in town roaming streets and alleys preying on dogs, cats, kids, grandparents, the handicaped or any other meat they thought they could overpower.
Even elk and moose can become a danger when completly habituated to people. For awhile there, moose were killing one or to cross country skiers in Teton Park nearly every year. Image what would happen when we welcomed them into town to graze our lawns.
I am very sorry that the world can be so harsh but it just is.
“Am I the only one who can see that we will always need some minimal hunting on the large preditors so that they do not become too habituated to humans and human environs?”
Well, how do you “see” it? Do you have any research supporting this assumption?
Isn’t it a motto of all hunters to shoot for a clean kill- don’t shoot until you are sure you can bring the animal down? A dead animal isn’t going to pass on any fears. And, since most carnivore species aren’t too social, there aren’t any surviving relatives nearby to learn.
Plus, as is being discussed right now on another thread, a hunter can shoot a wolf from hundreds of yards away. There’s no chance for any survivors to learn what killed their companion- they will already have run away long before the humans appear on the scene.
And, of course, an invasion of *humans* into wolf territory isn’t going to teach wolves to stay way from *cattle or sheep.* It isn’t the livestock shooting at them!
So no, I don’t believe that random sport hunting is necessary to put the fear of humanity into carnivores. It’s an assertion that is often made, but rarely defended with facts.
“If laws were passed protecting all of these preditors from harm by humans, it would not be long before wolves, grizzlies, and maybe even some black bears would be in town roaming streets and alleys preying on dogs, cats, kids, grandparents, the handicaped or any other meat they thought they could overpower.”
That isn’t how it’s worked in California, where cougars have been protected for 40 years now. Sure, there have been a few public safety incidents- but, on the whole, given the size of the state and the number of cougars here , CA has no more public safety incidents or livestock depredation than many other states- and probably proportionally fewer.
I readily admit that one of the reasons I stopped hunting (in the mid-1990s) is that I developed an intense dislike of the kill. However, I had planned on hunting again this year until I was injured. The primary reason was the hypocrisy I felt for consuming meat (though I don’t eat much compared to most Americans); a second reason was that I have seen what white-tail populations are doing here in the Midwest. In lieu of “natural” control, hunting is–in my opinion–the preferred option.
To be frank, I firmly believe that if everyone had to hunt for their meat, we (as a society) would consume a whole Hell of a lot less protein, which would be great for our health and well-being.
“Well, how do you “see” it? Do you have any research supporting this assumption? ”
Of course I don’t have any research. Who would have done this research. That is called a “no” question where you ask it because you know what the answer will be and you put the witness in the “no” mood, leave him feeling negative, and put him on the defensive.
You failed in this attempt.
There is only antidotal evidence supporting my assertions but this antidotal evidence is overwhelming. I could go on and on with my antidotal evidence but do not feel like it now.
I will mention something I heard from an Iranian friend I once had who was in the middle of the Iran-Iraq war. He said that dogs became very dangerous in Iran during the war and that, in the war zone, all stray dogs were shot on sight. The dogs had started killing toddlers and eating them. It was thought that this was because, due to the strife, hungry dogs had been crawling under bombed buildings and were finding human flesh to eat. Once they had eaten human flesh, they were prone to kill small children.
Stoner is a troll. If you don’t believe it now, you will later.
“There is only antidotal evidence supporting my assertions but this antidotal evidence is overwhelming.”
Anecdotal evidence is just that- anecdotal. It isn’t something that actual wildlife policy should be based on.
“Idaho is also expected to use Wildlife Services, a quasi-federal agency to stage a pogrom against wolves after the hunting season to eliminate wolves in areas where the landed noblemen of the state have been disturbed by their presence”
Very well put and so very sad that a small group of people have so much influence on public policy. Looks like the practice of private landholders using the feds as their own wolf extermination service hasn’t changed one bit.
Back to the existing evidence- cougars are what I am most familiar with, and the “Cougar Management Guidelines—First Edition, by the Cougar Management Guidelines Working Group.1 2005” have this to say regarding sport hunting:
* “Sport hunting is occasionally proposed as a tool to reduce the risk that cougars will attack humans. There is no scientific evidence that sport hunting achieves this goal. In rare cases where a cougar exhibits dangerous behavior and needs to be removed, this job is best done by a professional to expeditiously track and kill the individual cougar, rather than via sport hunting.”
* “Short-term, non-selective cougar population reduction [as occurs via sport hunting] has not been demonstrated to reduce depredation” on livestock or other domestic animals.”
it should be noted that this publication was put together by cougar experts from throughout North America attempting to standardize cougar management guidelines based on existing science, not speculation. These guidelines immediately received heavy criticism from state wildlife agencies because they did not place enough emphasis on the “importance” mountain lion hunting to “stakeholder groups”! Yet another example of how the wishes of a few hunters overwhelm truly scientific management…
High harvest ? Hmmm… both Montana and Idaho have only taken about 1/7th of their quotas… 11 of 75 in Montana, and 30 of 220 in Idaho as of October 6.
I will be the first to admit that the Idaho campaign is producing more kills early on than I would have guessed. Not that the first weeks of the first annual hunts count for much. The wolves will soon learn. It’s the take from the 3rd or 4th year of sustained wolf hunts that will begin to tell the tale.
I have to agree somewhat with Bob Jackson , at least with respect to “hunters” in my neck of the woods—northwest Wyoming near Yellowstone Park. Many will shoot any and all wolves they encounter on their wilderness elk hunts , regardless, and without remorse and only small fear of prosecution. Even if they were caught, To them the probable $ 500 fine and a token suspension of hunting privileges for a couple years will be worth it..the old red feather in the hat Stetson brim and bragging rights.
I reiterate that when Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal was still just a US Attorney back in 1997, he reluctantly but successfully prosecuted the first illegal wolf kill. Freudenthal asked for only a $ 500 sentence for the perp, and that’s what the Magistrate handed down. Do not expect much better from any Wyoming wolf poaching cases.
BOY KILLED BY WOLVES
Kingman, Kan., April 7, 1907
Willie Hotchkiss, aged 10, a son of a farmer lining near Rago this county was attacked and kill by prairie wolves last night and George Nichols also aged 10 was severely bitten by the beasts but was rescued by neighbors, according to a story received here today. The boys were at play in a large pasture some distance away from their home at dusk when attacked.
Salt Lake Herald 1909-04-08
would SINCERELY like to know how the “adrenaline rush” garnered from targeting, firing upon, and killing an animal (particularly a trophy species) outweighs watching the light snuffed out in the animal’s eyes as it crumples, confused, stunned and in pain, to the ground.
Valerie, I myself do not get an adrenaline rush from watching an animal die. I will admit, that it does make me uncomfortable, especially if something is wounded. If I think I will wound something I won’t shoot. However, I look at hunting as a reason to get into the outdoors primarily. If I don’t shoot something so what. If I do get something, I like to be able to have fresh meat that is natural and healthy. I will add that I don’t shoot anything I won’t eat so things like predators and rodents are out.
“Anecdotal evidence is just that- anecdotal. It isn’t something that actual wildlife policy should be based on.”
Well then we should not have any policy because there is no research. People should be able to do what they want until you can provide research!
BOY KILLED BY WOLVES
Kingman, Kan., April 7, 1909
Willie Hotchkiss, aged 10, a son of a farmer lining near Rago this county was attacked and kill by prairie wolves last night and George Nichols also aged 10 was severely bitten by the beasts but was rescued by neighbors, according to a story received here today. The boys were at play in a large pasture some distance away from their home at dusk when attacked.
Salt Lake Herald 1909-04-08
Whoops…I have to retract the story of the Kansas boys killed by wolves in April of 1909. In a later issue, it was found that the one boy killed the other with a gun and then blamed wolves.
It does indicate, however, the belief that the boys had regarding wolves.
ATTACKED BY WOLVES
Rev. J Settte, missionary among the
Indian tribes around Lake Winnipeg and
Manitoba writes that camps of Indians
hunting on the other side of Lake Winnipeg
not very far from Vein Fiver
near Dog Head, were visited by a band of
wolves numbering about a hundred. They
attacked the camp and killed many Indians,
devouring them. One Indian
cudgeled and killed twenty wolves, another
Indian climbed a tree with his gun
and shot twenty. One got up on a stage
which was not very high and the wolves
got him down and devoaured him there.
Is a great panic among the Indians in aba
quarter the Indians say that there are
no deer, consequently the wolves are mad
Eastern Utah Advocate 1891-02-12
CHASED BY WOLVES
vancouver B C oct 4 A run for
life through underbrush and over boulders
for a distance of a quarter of a mile
and the whole distance by a
band of ferocious wolves numbering at
least a score is a synopsis of the tale
told today by George Skinner who arrived
here this afternoon from an expedition
to tho north end of
While camped on the shores of San
Josef Bay Vancouver Island, Skinner
started out to prospect a find carrying
only a shotgun. He soon met a number
of deer running helter-skelter, pursued
by a pack of wolves. When the latter
spied Skinner, they made for him he
had start of 300 yards and he ran for
his life but the wolves had all but
caught him when he fell panting into
his camp. Starret, his comrade, was in
the tent and with his rifle killed several
of the leaders. The rest of the pack
then turned and fled.
Ogden Standard Examiner The Ogden Standard Newspaper 1901-10-04
Would like to know from Simes how this “control action” is consistent with the tri-state Memorandum of Understanding promising to facilitate genetic exchange?
Valerie, her email is” email@example.com”
Good luck getting a straightforward answer, but if you get any response please share it.
I could post these all night…they’re kind of interesting.
EATEN BY WOLVES
A Hungarian Clergyman and His Child
Vienna, Nov 20 –A Hungarian clergyman named Ariania, while traveling on a sledge to Louis with his wife and was pursued by wolves. She was, terror-stricken at the sight of the animals, let the child fall from the sledge. The husband jumped out to save the child and both were devoured, but not before the father killed two of the wolves. Meanwhile, the horses attached to the sledge ran away, and the unfortunate mother, owning to the terrible trial to which she was subjected, was premature delivered of a dead child. The horses ran to Louis, and up their arrival there, the people found the woman, herself dead at the sledge. The terrible tragedy occurred with the space of an hour.
Salt Lake Tribune 1884-11-21
Short of me running around Idaho and Montana to count elk I do believe the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s report on elk numbers. They’re certainly not a wolf loving organization and if elk populations were declining they would be the first to sing it from the tree tops. Elk are flourishing, so the argument that wolves are killing all the elk is false.
But let’s be clear about this The reason wolves are being hunted in Montana and Idaho is ranchers, hunters and outfitters see them as competition and want then eliminated, it’s just history repeating itself. The irony is wolves and other apex predators are integral to maintaining healthy ecosystems.
I’m sure that if the wolf’s diet consisted mainly of rabbits we wouldn’t be having this discussion. It’s only because they hunt and kill the same ungulates that hunters are so fond of killing that they are now in the cross hairs for daring to compete with man.
What’s the point here? It certainly isn’t giving evidence for “we need to hunt predators to keep them afraid of people,” because all of these hoary old stories are from areas where wolves were hunted intensively…
Pointswest, you can find evidence of attacks from quite a few places. However, in North America there have been maybe four attacks in North America (according to what you have written) since European contact, let’s say in 1607 (I’m not sure when Canada was first settled). That many attacks in 402 years. I’m sorry, but I take a little comfort with those odds. It is more dangerous for a person to go out to the woods and shoot a wolf.
As far as attacks in Europe and India that are more common, you have to look at the population density, the availability of prey, and the prevalence of rabies.
DEVOURED BY wOLVES
Edward Conners was devoured by a
pack of wolves a few days ago in the
Gatineau District in Canada. He had
left the camp near Baric Lake in the
evening and gone back tor his ax to
have it ground for the next us work.
A party started to look for the missing
man and had not gone tar before it be
came evident that the worst fears had
been realized. The hungry animals
had overpowered the poor fellow and
literally torn him to pieces his boots
and clothing torn to shreds and soaked
with blood alone being found.
Emery County Progress 1902-01-04
Why are you posting these old stories?
No…I found a dozzen or so in just an hour or so of searching. I did not post them all. There are many documented attacks. I think they were so common that most did not make into newspapers.
“Why are you posting these old stories?”
Just a reality check. I think many have deluded themselves into believing that human attacks will not happen and that fears of attacks are unfounded and based on folkloric superstition. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
I want to help preserve areas for wolves and do not believe deluding ourselves about wolves is a help to that end. In fact, I think deluding ourselves will be a detriment to the cause.
“What’s the point here? It certainly isn’t giving evidence for “we need to hunt predators to keep them afraid of people,” because all of these hoary old stories are from areas where wolves were hunted intensively…”
Do you have research supporting this statement?
I can only give more antidotal evidence like I can remember shooting at the dog once for chasing my employer’s cattle and from that time forward that dog ran for his life whenever he saw my truck even at distance of up to a mile away.
Pointswest, you are right that people have deluded themselves into thinking that these attacks won’t happen. But as I mentioned, these few times in North America since 1607, I think those odds are good. You are more likely to die from:
*Colliding with a white-tailed deer
*Domestic Dog Attacks
*Falling from a ladder
Etc. etc. etc. These are in no particular order but shows how much of a danger wolves really are. Let’s put some things into perspective.
I have no problem with a few wolf attacks like I have no problem with car accidents. I do not want to ban cars because they are the single biggest killers in our society.
I am more worried about public tolerance of wolves. If they become too densly populated or too habituated to humans, you might have a public relations crisis with wolves. That is my concern.
I should add that people took great precautions again wolf attack prior to their destruction at the turn of the century. They traveled in groups, they carried guns. They were on horseback and often had dogs. The built big fires. Many of these things are illegal today and people simply not accustomed to living around wolves.
New folks are coming to this blog all the time. They often bring up subjects that have been hashed over many times. This is to be expected. It is good to do a search of the blog, however, to avoid too much repetition of topic. We discussed wolf attacks on humans in great detail about 2 or 3 weeks ago. Ralph Maughan
There are 30 dead wolves now in Idaho, including a young collared female of the Phantom Hill Pack near Ketchum shot Monday. Wolves are easy to track now in the fresh snow.
The general deer season and elk season for most of the state has not even opened yet. Deer begins Saturday, elk a few days later. Hunters are pouring into the woods. Over 19,000 wolf tags have reportedly been sold.
Reports are coming in from all over of camou hunters prowling the backroads, sometimes with hunters in the back, leaning over the cab, looking to git their wulf. The Southern Mountain zone quota is ten and that is going to met quickly once rifle season opens.
To show how quickly a pack can diminish, the Phantom Pack has lost three members inc. its alpha male since mid-June. We’ve only seen two pups. The wolf hunt goes until Dec 31st here, and until March 31st in the nearby Sawtooth Zone. And wolfers have made it clear they are not going to stop at killing one wolf, rather just report one. It would be helpful if more people were out observing what is going on, esp. starting this weekend.
hilljack – The IDFG wolf quota of 220 for general public and 35 wolves for the tribes (total 255) – does NOT include any wolves shot by Wildlife Services (101 wolves in Idaho as of last week), nor those poached, ran over, or found dead by unknown means. We could easily lose half of the wolves in Idaho with this current “management” scheme. IDFG stated last week in the Challis Messenger newspaper, that for every big game animal taken legally, one is taken illegally.
Stoner – I’d like to hear more about your outfitter encounters.
Actually, there IS some very basic science on wolf attacks. I think this information is more useful than the crap that gets published in newspapers and magazines.
We seem to have the conversation about the danger wolves pose about once a month. It has gotten tiresome.
McNay, M. E. (2002). Wolf-Human Interactions in Alaska and Canada: A Review of the Case History. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 30(3), 831-843.
Abstract: After gray wolves (Canis lupus) were extirpated over a large portion of their North Amer- ican range during the early 1900s, researchers reviewed the history of wolf-human encounters and concluded that wild, free-ranging wolves posed little or no threat to human safety. However, documented cases of wolf aggression toward people have recently increased, indicating a need for further examination of wolf-human interactions. I reviewed 80 cases of wolf-human encounters and compared behaviors of wild wolves that interacted with people in different contexts in Alaska and Canada. Only 1 case of unprovoked wolf aggression was documented between 1900 and 1969, but 18 cases of unprovoked wolf aggression toward people occurred between 1969 and 2000, including 3 cases of serious injury to children since 1996. Increases in wolf protection, human activities in wolf habitat, and wolf numbers occurred concurrently with increases in unprovoked aggressive encounters. Aggressive behavior was documented in all regions and among all wolf subspecies of Alaska and Canada. Wolves rarely vocalized during unprovoked aggressive encounters, but wolves that were defending dens consistently dis- played loud vocalizations. Behavior of rabid wolves was variable and ranged from stub- born, persistent approaches to prolonged attacks. Habituation contributed to unprovoked wolf aggression toward people in 11 cases; nonhabituated wolves in remote areas dis- played unprovoked aggression in 7 cases. Where wolves are protected and frequently encounter people, some level of negative conditioning should be applied to prevent habituated and food-conditioned behaviors in wolves.
The Mountain Express has posted a story about the Phantom Hill wolf killed: http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005128163#list
Altho some have mocked this beautiful pack of black wolves as being the “boutique pack” because they live near Sun Valley, Idaho – I don’t think this is fair or funny. If we can’t keep a pack of wolves in the Wood River Valley, where the majority of the people support wolves (Blaine Co was one of the few Idaho counties to have majority vote for Obama), then wolves are really in trouble in Idaho.
Basically the events mentioned are it, other than several very hard stare down type confrontations on trails over the years, as I horse pack and hunt in “their” territory” Which was during rides in and out of the Frank or Sawtooth. I ride into Red Mountain quite often, either from Clear Creek, or I like the Warm Springs Creek Trail which intersects with the Clear Creek Trail, and Bull Trout Lake Trail, and those guides in there are more modern day types..
The fighting occurred at a trail head once, and at a camp once, years ago. Intimidation tactics which sorta backfired on a couple rough types back then. My WWII Vet Grandad taught me several things and one is that if a man walks in on you talking fight hit him in the mouth and get it over with, no sense arguing with em.. The human animal has a bad habit of under estimating its prey at times..
I can’t prove who flattened, actually ruined my tires, or tent. But it was right after a opening morning in the Sawtooths and I was packing out a buck, 37″ 6×6 200″ buck.. Apparently I was not the only person with eyes on that deer. The nasty looks I got that day while passing them told me I was trespassing and stealing.
Like I said before, if you can’t get in there and find it yourself, outfit yourself, and get it out yourself, bone it out yourself, steak it out and wrap it yourself, you should keep your self to home then.. I have no use what so ever for out fitters nor their clients.. And they have no use for independent guys like me that do not require their services.
The ONLY truly private guys to stay hunting in the Thorofare more than one year were the “tough ones”, the guys who resisted the outfitter thugs. But even these guys in the end would not last more than four seasons. They could physically keep their horses from being kicked out to the trail head or tolerate guides busting up a stalk on an elk, but in the end it just got to wearing. It wasn’t worth the hassle when all they wanted to do was do some hunting with their buddies.
I said TRULY PRIVATE because some guys had connections with the outfitters, guys who supplied hay to trailhead corrals or guys whose grocery store provided the grub for this outfitters camp. The outfitters would use these “private hunters” to “testify” to authorities of stellar relations when the level of private hunters complaints got too high. Of course the authorities looked no further. They just wanted an excuse to believe the outfitters and go back to the offices.
As for stoners case he knows it is worth it to him to go into forbidden country. There actually is more and bigger game in any protected turf whether it happens because of offical means, by ranchers protecting private land or by outfitters. And if stoner is by himself or maybe one other sidekick the outfitter can actually tolerate him. They have too much infrastructure in place to not get him out of there if they really have to. But it takes a lot of redistribution of resources to do so…and they can not afford to do this unless they have dude ranches and guest rooms available back at the trail head for most of their income . It is what he might start, more guys following him, that they are concerned about.
The only problem with outfitters protecting their livestock (elk) is most get behind on loan payments and thus take on more hunters than the country can support or they get into wars with neighboring outfitters. Then the feds come in to appease, insisting they get along (sort of like how the US did to neighboring Indian tribes) and for awhile both parties rape the wildlife of each others unmarked “ranch”.
The wars between outfitters actually were a lot more spectacular than the incidents stoner has to endure. Multiply individuals by the numbers of guides and wranglers in camp, give it a camp boss and outfitter to fuel this kind of stuff and you have right hand men with 44’s holding horses while the one outfitter tells the other to take the first “shot”.
Of course most isn’t quite as pure as in the movies. Back there somebody gets down and you are not let up to swing again. It is hands around the throat and the guy is gasping for air and kicking his feet. Then the strength of the situation depends on those right hand men with 44’s.
The real nasty and dishonorable, non western movie things then happen. Get a cook (only female in camp and better looking as the season wears on) to hook up between camps (panty hose flats was a location that comes to mind) with a young vulnerable guide and then one gets all the stuff of movies and espionage….to start with. Of course how it is all carried out on the ground isn’t the stuff of movies…like putting lots of lye in the others outhouse at night so it stings the moist membranes of those using it, wiping human feces on sleeping bags in all the giuide tents when it is between hunts and the cook or wrangler has been lured away…all this kind of stuff. It was all slime to me, including the chalky white colored swill hole next to the entrance to the cook tent.
The whole environment of these camps was deplorable. Hunters had to go through calf deep manure and mud to get to horses at hitching racks. Ya, and the worst thing was all those participating in things like this, hunters, game wardens and Forest Service thought it all was part of the real West.
Yes, what I repeat happened and happens is exactly as I say it. Do you want to know more…where they kick out a 17 year old kid from Texas drugstore origins in cowboy boots, give him a can of peaches and say hit the road…which is 30 some miles away…and this kid with only a levi jacket knocks on my cabin door shivering from foot to head at 5 in the morning and 10 miles from that camp and asks if I have any food I can give him. He still has that can of peaches in both hands in front of him because he doesn’t know if anyone will actually give him food. He is so scared and the outfitter that did this doesn’t care. No I don’t think those who want to romantize all this Western life want to know more.
“Only 1 case of unprovoked wolf aggression was documented between 1900 and 1969”
OK…there it is. Only one between 1900 and 1969…irrefutable, undeniable, unbiased, and extremely objective scientific research confirms it.
I get it now. I was confused and misguided before.
The newspapers obviously lie about these things to create sensational stories and to sell newspapers. I am so glad we have cleared this up.
I guess I’m not sure what your point is? Actually, I agree with your general premise–all large carnivores (and a host of large herbivores) can be dangerous to humans, and it is folly to think that wolves and people can exist side by side without any attacks.
However, if you are suggesting that wolves need to be hunted to prevent them from attacking people, then we will have to disagree. I posted the article because it helps clear up myths on both sides. Yes some attacks do occur (even in North America), but documented attacks are so infrequent that it can be legitimately said that the risk posed by wolves is trivial. You are far more likely to be killed by a deer.
You must be back from your trip.
I guess you come from the “dominion” end of the relationship with animals end of things from the overall tone of your post. You assume since humans are so numerous, we shouldn’t even try to restore a balance, or rein in some rather nasty tendencies to interfere with ecosystem relationships for our benefit only. I disagree strongly with such a species centric view, especially with the record so clear with the damage to ecosystem relationships such an assumption of entitlement to “do as we choose”. Your statement about losing opportunities to get some elk is illustrative of such an unwillingness to let the animal predators have their place. Maybe, instead of blaming wolves, you could blame habitat loss, climate change (recent article I saw is finding caribiou herds are smaller due to climate change effects..why not elk? ) disease….there is more evidence of that than there is that wolves are decimating the elk and soon cause ithat species to disappear…Didn’t anyone teach you to share your toys? ~S~
Tell me, if you didn’t get your elk, would you starve? The numbers of the FG folks in all three impacted states tell us there more than enough elk to be deemed very healthy populations, and if you need an elk fix that badly, Colorado has record numbers; perhaps you should come down here and try your luck. There were about two hundred of them on the front lawn of the Stanley hotel in Estes Park used for making of The Shining last weekend…VBG…
And as far as your comment about animals going extinct before humans…you are probably correct, but I have great faith in nature to restore itself over time; the adaptive mechanisms are truly things to marvel at. Humans…..well let’s just say that the line from the new re-make of The Day The Earth Stood Still resonates with me…Basically, the lead character is being challenged by a woman as to why he is starting the end of the human race with his actions..and he replies to the effect that ‘if nature dies, humans die as well. If humans die, nature lives’. There is some truth there , however unpleasant or “disloyal” it may seem to some. I think there will always be animals and plants and insects in some form; I can’t be so confident about the human species, not with our seemingly hard wired penchant for self destruction as well as destroying the very environment we depend on for life.
I just got back from the hunt in the East Fork of the Salmon area. I saw a lot of muleys and a few elk.
Every one was on private bottomland.
I read this just after reading Bob Jackson’s post and food poisoning immediately jumped to mind….
By Emma Jade, Local News 8 Reporter
JACKSON, Wy. – Teton County authorities said a 19-year-old California woman died after being rescued from a hunting camp in the Gros Ventre wilderness area.
The woman was on a hunting trip in the Purdy Creek Basin. Rescue crews were called after members of the hunting party said she was throwing up and unresponsive.
This week’s storm of wind and snow complicated efforts to land a helicopter in the area near the hunting camp. As a reult, crews had to set out from a trailhead on foot.
The woman was alive and responsive when rescuers arrived, but she later died after being taken to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson.
How far do you think your argument will get if this rare wolf attack were to unfold in the Sun Valley area, due to once again this local pack roaming the city streets of those two or three towns there? Lets say a billionaires child gets munched walking to school.. Is the child in the wrong place or is the wolf that might, even though this would be as rare as the bear or cougar in the wrong place? Obviously that pack hangs near town in winter.. Would you prefer that bad coverage and anger versus attempting to keep those wild wolves from roaming those city streets by instilling a little respect in them.. Which is going to be the higher price in the end ? You make valid points, BUT, if that kid gets munched, your done, and so is that pack.. And that is what pointswest is trying to relay.. You absolutely do not want that event to occur. The wolf is not safe in towns, people are.
Stoner and Bob Jackson,
My impression is the quality of outfitters is declining. I certainly saw it in the 15 years between my two guide books to the Teton Wilderness.
My late father-in-law was an outfitter, and a great guy. He knew that pleasant company often meant as much for a client as a successful hunt. In fact, a good time for whatever reason was success.
“You are far more likely to be killed by a deer.”
When you say something like this, that you are more likely to be killed by a deer or a bee, it is because there are so few wolves now. I think the statistics would change if some had their way and wolf populations were allowed grow unchecked and wolves moved into populated or more developed areas.
Wolves are very prolific. Their numbers can grow at a rapid rate. If allowed, their numbers would easily grow into the thousands in a state like Idaho. They will start coming into towns and cities…a bad year might come along where they starve and there would be a real problem.
…reality check. That all…reality check. Some things people say boggle the mind.
“They will start coming into towns and cities”:
So explain why this hasn’t happened in Minnesota where their number are in the thousands. I’ve spent many weeks in the northern Minnesota woods and have only even seen wolves twice
“.…reality check. That all…reality check. Some things people say boggle the mind.”
Wait, there is a knock at the door…. and some words…
“And I’ll huff and I’ll puff…”..
OMG..they ARE in town…
“Wolves are very prolific…If allowed, their numbers would easily grow into the thousands in a state like Idaho. They will start coming into towns and cities…a bad year might come along where they starve and there would be a real problem.”
Indeed, it appears a reality check is in order. First, I don’t see anyone advocating inviting wolves into the downtown–but maybe I missed this? Second, any wolf that did make it into town would either be (a) killed by a car, (b) killed by a poacher, (c) killed by a concerned citizen, (d) killed by local authorities, or (e) killed by an agency (F&G/WS). Lets not forget the cougar incident in Chicago last year. The point is, in the extremely rare instance where large predators come into cities (well, outside of Anchorage anyway), they die. Third, (and to Timz’s point) Minnesota and Alaska have thousands of wolves and I don’t recall hearing about interlopers picking off kids at bus stops?
So let me turn your question around, how is hunting wolves in the back country going to prevent these impending attacks from occurring in the front country? You’ve heard the phrase “dead men don’t tell tales.” Well I’m fairly certain that dead wolves don’t either–and I hear they’re especially stingy about sharing with city wolves. 😉
The wolves starting coming down into the towns and cities within two years of being reintroduced. What was their population then, about 40?
Of course we won’t know now that the wolf population is going to be artificially reduced, but I doubt Idaho could support more than about 1200 -1500 wolves unless we let them eat livestock with impunity.
While a number of wolves have starved in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming none of them have attacked humans.
You need to read the article JB suggested and posted (in abstract form) to this thread.
There is evidence that wolf populations are not so much prey-limited as density limited. Look at the terrific interpack killing going on in Yellowstone Park.
I don’t disagree with you. I don’t want wolves in town. They shouldn’t be there. I do disagree that hunting wolves statewide is going to help reduce the threat of wolves killing people in the suburbs (what threat!?).
“I know you miss the Wainwrights, Bobby, but they were weak and stupid people – and that’s why we have wolves and other large predators”
How I miss Larson…~S~…
We are both prey and predators. I wonder if that is the reason why some folks find predators so disturbing. I have no desire to be prey…nor predator…but I do love seeing them. I would like to do one more backpacking trip into the Glacier back country before age makes that a foolish proposition, and I have no illusions about the risks with grizz. I will do I can..along with a hiking mate..to be smart and not find myself in a bad situation, but if it happens, hey, I made the decision, and the bear is just acting according to its nature. I have always told friends I would love to be 10 feet from a grizzly…so long as it was on the other side of a deep, impassable chasm and there were no points to cross for 10 miles in either direction…LOL…
Hmm..I wonder if one can put in a living will that if you are killed by a predator, you don’t want them destroyed. After all, it is YOUR life, and you should be the one in charge of what happens to the bear..~WINK~
My thought is this, a bear hurts people near or in town it dies. A cougar hurts people near or in town it dies. A wolf or two hurts people near or in town “Lets find that entire pack then” and it, the pack dies. I see that as the reaction by authorities. Who knows, the pack might get lucky, or stay lucky and not make a bad choice one day around a town. I’m not predicting anything, it seems I read predictions though that maintain it will never take place. Ok, cool. I do not think a bad event with someones child will be good publicity, at all. It will not be in your favor. Granted, black eyes heal.
“To be frank, I firmly believe that if everyone had to hunt for their meat, we (as a society) would consume a whole Hell of a lot less protein, which would be great for our health and well-being.”
Really JB? wild game is one of the healthiest foods one can eat.
“What I said was I would like to see the hunting community in general actively support the restoration of the large predators to as much of the historical habitat as biologically, economically, and politically possible. Never said humans would have to stop hunting, although some sharing and restraint might be required if you want the ecosystem to work the way it has for tens of thousands of years.”
But it wont work because of numerous issues, first off large carnivores are not limited by traditional prey species now due to livestock and pets being readily availiable as a substitute.
Most hunters wouldn’t mind large predator reintroduction as much if it wasn’t viewed as an avenue to replace hunters, which by most it is. (look at the groups pushing it, most are anti hunting groups, or thinly veilied as something else, at the core they are)
You misunderstand me, I don’t care about the people. 🙂
“I read predictions though that maintain it will never take place.”
I’ve read the same; they’re wrong. Carnivores are carnivores, and increased numbers increase the probability that someone will be attacked and killed. Still, it is a fact that even where wolf densities are relatively high, attacks are extremely rare.
– – –
Larson was awesome (Bummer of a birthmark, Hal). FYI: If you want to see grizzlies from a reasonable distance you should go to Lake Clark National Park in Alaska. It makes Idaho’s backcountry look like a suburb!
I disagree with you. There are some groups like PETA or some others who would like hunting to cease altogether, but like any philosophical movement..there are a number of position points as you proceed from group to group. I would hardly say the NWF or DU or even DOW want all hunting to stop. I think groups like the NRA use the extremist positions, package them up as the main view, and use it to scare and anger the hunting community–demagoguery ala Father Coughlin. Similar tactics can be found by the grazing lobbyists, anything to drive a wedge between hunters and environmentalists of all stripes to preserve the status quo–their power, their influence.
I think past history and current rhetoric by some of the more vocal of the anti wolf, anti bear groups, however, give a rational basis for those of us who would like to see the large predators back, and in more than just three states, to be wary of giving any ground for fear that the populations will again be pushed back to the brink, and it will be one more endless legal and political battle to gain back lost ground.
I also think the hunting community nationally has much more to fear from the technology-driven generations coming up and no longer being interested in any outdoor activities except possible RVs, or car trips where one drives to the edge of the Grand Canyon, pokes a video camera out the window, pans the horizon, and moves on to the next vantage point. I have seen it. Those participating in hunting are down in numbers; that is the overall trend nationally…Kids just don’t want to be outside, or get dirty, or make their own way anymore to a large degree. They are plugged in, tuned in, twittering tecnohumans. I can’t tell you how many young adults I see on trails around Boulder, or up in Rocky Mountain National Park on these wonderful trails with gorgeous vistas..and they are connected to iPods, or checking emails on Smartphones. It saddens me greatly because I wonder who will carry on the work in the next 50 years? There is a hell of a lot more to being an environmentalist than the current focus on energy…My wife and I just shake out heads. While it is certainly important that we transition from a fossil based energy system, for those of us in the West…WATER is the real tipping point, and will reach a crisis point for areas like Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, Denver before the lights go out.
I think you misunderstood my comment. What I was trying to say is that if people had to hunt for their own meat, they would eat a lot less (not wild game, but ALL meat). Eating a few less burgers would be very good for society! I think I can even provide some science to back up that claim! 😉
A return to Alaska is also on the list, and I will keep that area in mind, definitely. Fortunately, my wife is also a long time environmentalist and advocate, and shares my love of all things wild equally. She is an ED of a small but very well respected group in Boulder called Western Resource Advocates. This group’s primary concerns are energy, climate change and water, but for most of her career, she was a public lands and species protection person. Ralph has met her, thought it has been a long time now, since he was a witness at one of her wolf cases…wasn’t it a wolf case, Ralph?
“Stringing him up is just a figure of speech, Bill”…I have been searching for that particular card for years now…I am afraid it is like my personal Holy Grail…
“Of course we won’t know now that the wolf population is going to be artificially reduced, but I doubt Idaho could support more than about 1200 -1500 wolves unless we let them eat livestock with impunity.”
It sounds to me like some posting here do want to see wolves eat livestock with impunity and believe Idaho should allow a population of a few thousand. Aren’t we already at 800 to 1000 now?
I do not know how many wolves the states can or should support. I have to rely on what the experts recomend. But no matter what that number is, some wolves will need to be killed. That is, they will need to be hunted…except maybe in certain areas such as Yellowstone. There is no escpaping it.
I was responding to those who believe we can outlaw all hunting of wolves (and grizzlies) and allow their populations to grow and grow unchecked…into developed areas and even into urban areas or wherever they choose to roam. At some point wolf attacks will become a problem and you cannot deny that. We will need to keep them from some areas and from becoming habituated to humans.
It is only the extreme viewpoints I am responding to and the point I still stand by is that wolf populations will need to be controlled and it will mean killing in some way.
“So let me turn your question around, how is hunting wolves in the back country going to prevent these impending attacks from occurring in the front country?”
I am for creating wolf-priority areas. I a for a larger Yellowstone Park and for making the Frank wolf-priority.
When you say there have been few attacks in the “front country” near urban areas in Alaska and Minnisota I believe it is because, until recently, wolves were shot at on site and so their numbers are few and they fear humans. But I do not have any research supporting my belief.
Just one more point, wolves are different from grizzlies and cougars. Wolves are very prolific.
If Ralph’s numbers are correct and there were no wolves in Idaho prior to 1995 and that Idaho can only support 1200 to 1500 wolves, then we have gone from no wolves to the saturation point in just over a decade.
First of all, ranchers have been reimbursed for all kills proven forensically to be an actual wolf predation, not just a feeding site. One more myth the ranching folks want the public to believe.
Second, I am not at all apologetic about getting cows and sheep off of public lands. That welfare situation has gone on long enough to the detriment of the land, its residents, and the taxpayers. Once that is done, let’s see how many cows would still be prime targets for predation, and we can go from there in terms of increased habitat free of livestock. If, because we lost public land ranching supplies, beef prices go up a minor percentage (they only now are approx. 3% of total market supply, with the growth vectors being in the local, grass fed markets, not the feed lot agribusiness ranches that compromise the majority of ranching operations these days). And if there was a compromise reached where IF there was grazing on public lands, only bison would be allowed…there is a compromise worth exploring, but not with the business as usual attitudes we have now. What a rancher does with their own land…their business.
Third, is there someone here who knows enough wolf biology off hand to tell me if females can absorb pups in the womb if the food is low, or the conditions are not favorable, like the coyotes do? If that is the case, and there will always be interpack predation, injury deaths, etcl, I doubt the apocalyptic vision some have painted here and elsewhere of wolves ruling Idaho has any basis in reality.
Fourth, there are other states with areas that can accommodate wolf populations..Rocky Mountain National, for example. Perhaps the folks in Idaho Montana and Wyoming could work with wolf advocates to establish programs in these states…
This is a little off topic, but for those of you who don’t get this online service, you should go to the website and sign up. It is free, but they also need donations, etc. to continue to publish daily. It is an excellent snapshot of stories relevant and timely on a variety of Western issues.
I too am in favor of getting livestock off public land in certain areas. Other areas, might as well be grazed in the summer…the summer grazing is not too serious of an impact on wildlife. But I too believe grazing on most public land should cease.
“Third, is there someone here who knows enough wolf biology off hand to tell me if females can absorb pups in the womb if the food is low, or the conditions are not favorable, like the coyotes do?”
It’s called diapause and bears are capable of it but I hve never heard of it being done by ANY canids,
That is not only true for the predators, but for the prey species as well..trophy fish are getting smaller, elk are getting smaller, big elk are more rare because the genetics are being taken out of the pool. We had that discussion and article somewhere in the archives.
Your wrong here with regards to big game, the record books get more and more entries every year due to proper management practices. What gives an animal trophy size is age, in areas that are managed properly these genes are passed on. Certain fish species are taking a decline in overall size, but more so due to commercial overharvest than sport harvest.
As for your previous comments, if you look at the lists of groups and members involved in these lawsuits, there us a very anti hunting undertone. Hence the skeptisim, much like the paranoia thrown around that hunters will be the end of wolves in the GYE as they were before, which is a lie. If you look at the frame work of the origional relisting plan with regards to minimum population size compared to the current populations you could see the concern. Wolves were extirminated by goverment trappers, trappers, poisions, ranchers, and in maybe a few taken by sport hunters. The midwest arguement doesn’t hold much water due the difference in terrain and the population of the prey base.
In AK there still shot onsite, hence the lack of issues.
Diapause is not absorption of the embryo but a pause in the development of that embryo which may or may not resume development at a later time. Any mammal, including humans can absorb an embryo for various reasons including lack of food, malformation or injury. Often times ectopic pregnancies in humans are re-absorbed.
When one talks of “numbers” as criteria for management there is a big difference in “numbers” of lions, bears and coyotes when comparing “numbers” to wolves.
All have social networking but wolves (outside scout males) can not exist outside of packs. the more the numbers of individual wolves the more there is likely chance of form up, but their long term cohesion is important for sustainability of those packs. Thus even recently formed up “packs” are at a disadvantage compared to healthy infrastructured packs.
A lot of mt. lions hunt solo as well as coyotes. Thus it is like comparing apples to oranges when we justify management based on NUMBERS of wolves because we knew of other predators NUMBERS and their survivability chances.
I can easily say shooting 1000 coyotes in a state hasn’t near the detrimental effect on coyote populations compared to eliminating 250 wolves out of that state.
You’re right — but I figured it was what JimT was talking about.
He actually mentions absorbing “pups” which I figured was beyond the scope of the reabsorbing of an embryo.
Guess I shouldn’t “figure”.
Why do you bring up stories from newspapers from a time when people liked to sensational attacks from animals or Indians. Why not look at modern science. In one of the stories it talks about a 100 wolves attacking an Indian camp. When have you ever heard of a wolf pack that included a 100 wolves? The largest packs recorded by early naturalists were 40-50 wolf packs that were found on the prairies. These animals were called prairie or buffalo wolves because of their dependence on buffalo heards. Do you think these stories may be sensationalizing a little to sell a product. Kind of like tabloids today!!!
As a long time resident of Minnesota wolf country I have heard the wolf arguments for my 50+ years. They are the same as the arguements from the west. Yet with over three thousand wolves in the state today we have not had a single attack on a human. Instead of the arguement of wolves taking to many elk it has been to many whitetail deer. Yet with 3000+ wolves we have more whitetail deer today then ever before and the last few years deer hunting seasons have allowed more deer to be harvested. The increase in deer is due to improved habitat from increased clearcutting of aspen for 20+ years and milder winters. Wolves have benefitted from the increased deer numbers.
As a hunter I would like to point out that I am pro-predator. We do have some anti-predator hunters here in the state, that practice the 3s’s, but I feel they do not represent the vast majority of hunters. With over 100,000 deer hunters we would not have 3000 wolves if most hunters were anti predator. I have had many hunters tell me about their great experience of seeing a wolf from their deer stand or hearing wolves howl. In my life I have on 5 occasions seen wolves here in Minnesota. In all cases the wolves ran off within seconds. I recently met a wildlife photographer who said he had seen a pack of seven wolves but was only able to get one quick shot that he showed me. The wolves here in Minnesota continue to be be afraid of people because there are still farmers, ranchers, and rednecks who will take a shot at them.
Pointswest stories like the ones you send out only add support to the antiwolf redneck thinking. I suggest that you visit the Wolf Center in Ely, MN. They do a great job of educating the public with factual material.
Sal_N.. I’m curious about this statement…
“In my opinion if Doug Smith is not upset with the taking of two of his collared wolves, I should not be either.”
Wonder what was the cost of collaring those wolves? Any idea? I know helicopter time is about $900/hr. Add that to the cost of YNP employees on the crew and asking some pilot to risk his ass flying at low altitudes. Then there’s the cost of the collars.
Bet that if that $$ came out of Doug’s pocket he’d be upset, but fortunately it’s just us taxpayers that are paying for it.
A couple of killers got one hell of a discount…$38 for 2 wolves.
Thanks for Carolyn Simes’ e-mail link. I’ll follow-up with my inquiry and let you if I am able to glean any candid informatoin.
Thanks for your thoughtful perspective about hunting.
The point is that there are few attacks in Alaska-where they’re shot on site-AND Minnesota-where they have been protected.
The reason I am arguing the point is that your assertion that wolves “need” to be hunted assumes that the populations will grow indefinitely unless they are hunted. Minnesota tells us this is not the case. Plenty of food (deer) in the state but the wolf population has been relatively stable over the last decade. In fact, most of the deer are in the south part of the state (the agricultural region) while wolves are confined largely to the northern half–meaning despite having lots of food in the south something has prevented wolves from expanding their populations further. That something, I believe, is people.
Minnesota’s situation at least suggests to me that wolves do not need to be hunted, either to control their populations OR to prevent attacks. Their numbers have been limited by other factors (most likely roads) even though wolf populations have been protected (as a threatened species) since the inception of the ESA.
Now, let me be clear: I am not against wolf hunting nor control of wolves that become a problem via food-conditioning, disease, or for some other reason. I simply reject the notion that wolves NEED to be hunted.
I recall the cost of a collar being a bit over $3,500.
The wolf project may not be getting all the funds they used to get but I have not talked to them in a couple of years now regarding funding and needs.
The tax payers did pay for those collars but then again we pay rancher subsidies and other “entitlements”. Most of those funds came from larger states that contritube to the “entitlements” of extremely ungratefull ranchers, residents etc…
Before anyone questions my comments Montana get $1.5 for every $1.0 contributed in Federal taxes, Idaho and Wyoming is about $1.2.
I will stop here for now.
Yes Jerry those killers got a hell of a bargain.
Interesting article on study of whitetails in Minn wolf country
The term “could care less” is overused. Perhaps, it would be used less if it was stated to reflect the users intent.
Your October 6, 1:55 PM post above stated:
“if most hunters fail to harvest to bad, I really could care less.”
“most hunters don’t see elk and they don’t come back. I could care less about those guys”
In each instance it would make more sense from the content if you “couldn’t care less”.
I couldn’t care less about grammar. 🙂 If you’re going to judge a man by his grammar I couldn’t care less one way or another. 🙂 Have a nice day.
Pointswest, I am not saying to deny that wolf attacks occur, I am saying that we should present the facts as they are, and that is that your chances are extremely slim.
“When have you ever heard of a wolf pack that included a 100 wolves?”
We may not know what wolves will do when their density is high and a starvation event suddenly arrises as was described in the article. The unusual nature of the event is why it was newsworthy.
“Yet with over three thousand wolves in the state [of Minnesota] today we have not had a single attack on a human.”
OK…did a google search and I think that is probably a true fact. There have been 1000 reported attacks on domestic pets ( in Minnesota and Wisonsin) but none on humans. There were a couple of human attacks across the border in Ontario, however.
But it sounds like Minnesota and Wisconsin have been overpopulated with whitetail deer too. I do not mean to whip up fear, but it would be interesting to see what happens when the differntial equations that govern preditor-prey populations run their course over several years and the wolves begin to starve. But it sounds like the wolves will soon be delisted in Minnesota too and the populations held around 1600.
So are you advocating that they never be delisted in Minnesota and their let the preditor/prey populations growth/decline simply run its natural course?
but it would be interesting to see what happens when the differntial equations that govern preditor-prey populations run their course over several years and the wolves begin to starve.
This is probably why places like Europe and India have had more cases of wolf attacks. Also why India has had tiger and leopard attacks. Starvation is a huge factor in any predator attack on a human. It is not normal for predators to view humans as prey.
SR25Stoner, If you care about communicating with equals you should be precise, not sloppy, in your wording.
I will try harder Barb, I wish to be excepted as a human to, instead of as a lowly dumb animal. I do have few million bucks stowed away will that get me into your club? 🙂
Shucks, I guess not. (a)
“I will try harder Barb, I wish to be excepted as a human to, instead of as a lowly dumb animal. I do have few million bucks stowed away will that get me into your club? “
Stoner; you want to be “excepted as a human”
“Now, let me be clear: I am not against wolf hunting nor control of wolves that become a problem via food-conditioning, disease, or for some other reason. I simply reject the notion that wolves NEED to be hunted.”
(I am going to have to pull out my roomate in college credentials.) I had a romate in college who was a top notch grad student and was participating in several population studies. Back in the 70’s, he and his professors were some the first to write computer programs to model population growth/delcline in various species of fish in a lake. The same software was used to model mamal populations as the principles are the same. As you may or many not know, the population of fish in lakes can vary wildly over time. Sometimes a lake gets overpopulated with a certain species. The densities get so great that they kill off all their prey and starve and there is a great die-off and their population dwindles to only a few. Something like did arrise in Elephant Butte reservoir in New Mexico with their stripped bass population. I read about it when I lived in New Mexico. It seems like, something like this was happening in the newly constructed Dworshak Reservior in Idaho at the time my friend was working on his software. This can arrise because a prey species had a preceding boom due to an abundance of its food source.
These population models use differential equations and if you have ever worked with differential equations you know that they often contain poles and zeros. That is, the values in differential equations can suddenly jump to infinity or drob to zero after being stable for a relatively long period of time. Two or more popultion that are interdependent can only be mathmatically modeled by differential equations. Interdependent population, like differential equations can suddenly explode into extremely high numbers or dwindle to nearly zero. We see it all the time in nature. Wolf popultions are no different. If left uncontrolled, at some point, they will explode to some high number where they will kill off all the prey and then enter a starvation event and dwindle to a very low number.
It may take awhile…decades. It may take some strange weather or disease in the food chain or some unusual event but it will eventually happen. Overpopulation events followed by starvation events happen all the time in nature. Things are worse when human activity such as logging, grazing, and chemical use have entered the equations.
I think wolf populations will always need to be controlled…most probably by hunting.
There are many people here with a greater education than I myself have been blessed with. I merely wished to share my feelings concerning experiences I have enjoyed in the Idaho mountains and reach a common ground of sorts as well as learn more about our environment I use daily. I have learned a great deal here in a short time and gained respect for others and their passionate opinions I have read at this place. I do not understand this line of questioning and fear I must have offended you in some fashion, if so I do sincerely apologize.
I in order to function grammatically correct Unlike most here I must think about it, review my quotes, as this skill does not come naturally for me, I understand what I read. I also look up words which I do not recognize. Simply put I am just a horsemen, a welder, a mechanic. I understand metals. I worked outside for my living. So yes, you are my better obviously. Thanks for the lessons in reading.
Barb Rupers Says:
October 7, 2009 at 5:43 PM
SR25Stoner, If you care about communicating with equals you should be precise, not sloppy, in your wording.
So are you saying the heading of this article is correct?
A premature NYT article about the Idaho wolf hunt had made it appear the hardly any wolves were being killed, now a different view from Montana-”
So you are saying Ralph must not be your equal because of his sloppy wording?
I type one finger at a time. Until a few years ago I could only find the keys for W.A S. It was so easy to spell that word. Thus when I finally look up from the key board it looks like mayhem on the print.
For some reason the first letter of the sentence always comes up with the small letter. Then I have to go back through it all and change all those darn smalls to the biggies.
I miss some ..or I don’t have time to correct before I have to get some buffalo in ….. or something like that. Then its a decision of whether to go ahead and push the send or wait till I get back and hope those words are still there.
You see, I really do fear this machine. It does all kinds of weird stuff. Sometimes I punch a button and the whole post I’ve written disappears ….. forever.
Coaching from others has made me a bit less apprehensive. But I do wear the letters off those CTL C’s too fast. Maybe ten times a post when all that blue comes up.
Ah, but for that final rush of relief when that CTL V brings back my words after I punch Ralph’s “submit”…the words are gone …and still no post on the site.
Maybe Stoner is like me, the fear being so great with these contraptions, just getting a post in there, whether it is correct or not, is worthy of “mission accomplished”.
What is the explaination for wolves not moving into southern Minnesota? I understand there is more cultivated land and fewer forrests. But wolves once roamed the the plains. It sounds like there are plenty of whitetail deer. Are farmers shooting them even though it is illegal?
There has to be some reason.
Pointswest, there have been wolves that have moved into southern Minnesota. I think the reason they probably don’t establish packs is due to the fact that it is much more settled than northern Minnesota. Probably the same reason you don’t see black bears there much. There are woods along river and creek bottoms but too many people. Farmers are also probably shooting them as well.
That is why I hired and accountant and secretary to run my office years ago, I made that part of my business look like a rats nest. Set me down in front of a machine or lathe and I am at home. The wife has a degree in English and Grammar and boy o boy do I get it often..
You had me until you said, “Wolf popultions are no different…”
Your statement conflicts with another I’ve heard time and again: “All models are wrong, but some are useful.”
You see, you’ve just used a mathematical model to assert that wolves will–invariably–overpopulate. In fact, as I read your statement, you’ve asserted that all predators (unless controlled) will overpopulate and wipe out all their prey. If this were the case, every predator that wasn’t hunted would invariably go extinct (after it caused its prey to go extinct). However, we do not hunt the VAST MAJORITY OF ALL PREDATORY SPECIES, and yet the vast majority of them persist.
Studies of fish ponds are not relevant as there is no in or out migration (i.e. movement from one area to another). Moreover, your suggestion assumes uniformity in habitat conditions (in this case, that habitat will be uniformly bad and wolf populations trend upward in every area all at the same time). This simply isn’t going to happen.
My opinion is it’s best not to have get in an uproar about grammar and spelling unless someone obviously doesn’t care whether you can understand their comment or not. You can tell if a bad speller nevertheless fails to use the on-line dictionary.
“you’ve asserted that all predators (unless controlled) will overpopulate and wipe out all their prey. If this were the case, every predator that wasn’t hunted would invariably go extinct (after it caused its prey to go extinct).”
I meant vituall all. Of course a few survive to restart the cycle. Also, sometimes it is not that the preditor species population get so high as it is that the prey species populaton collapses. Once it reaches a certain point, the ratio of preditor to prey is very high and the prey species suddenly collapses and the preditor species follows a year of so later.
It happens all the time. I’m sure there are many, many studies published on the phenomena.
They had quite a problem with jack rabbits around Mud Lake Idaho. The rabbits would over populate about every 10 years until there were tens of thousands. I saw this with my own eyes. They would have rabbit drives and kill rabbits thousands at a time. This was partially due to the indicriminatly killing of coyotes, the natural preditor but I think it was also an unatural cycle due to the development of irregation in the area. After the rabbit drives, the elevated coyote population would dwindle after they killed the last few rabbits.
The above linked photo is of a rabbit drive in Oregon but looks very similar to ones I saw near Mud Lake, Idaho.
These rabbits were killed off by area farmers but disease or starvation would have killed them if the farmers had not. What do you supposed happened to the elevated coyote population after the rabbits died off?
Oh boy, oh boy!!! tell me more about the online dictionary, Ralph. Is it part of this site or do you mean part of “tools” on my computer. When I write on word doc. a speller and grammer checker helps out (same for e mails), but I don’t want to put every post on a desk top to do this …and then bring back to this blog for submitting. I always seem to have something else to add then I have to start the process all over again.
Isn’t a desktop what the computer sets on? I sure wish I could figure out how to put those smiley or frowning faces on posts. Maybe that way It would be easier for others to tell when I’m being facitious, ? ah crap, where’s the dictionary, sarcastic.
The firefox web browser has a built in spell checker.
I guess I am so used to using Firefox that I forgot other web browsers may not have spell checkers.
How in the heck did we get into a webnet thread? LOL…
There are websites for the little figures we all make to make sure folks understand sarcasm, humor, etc. Do a google search on “emoticons” and have fun. You can download programs that allow you to insert the the animated figures, etc, but that all depends, of course, on whether you are running Windows, Linux, or Apple system software and programs.
Best class I ever took in high school was typing. I had the mixed blessing of a K-12 Jesuit education (rigorous, thorough, and abusive), and we were allowed 1 elective in our four years of classes. Rigid education doesn’t even begin to describe the environment. LOL. And yes, I am a very lapsed catholic..more of a mixture of Native American views, Buddhist views and some Ed Abbey natural environment thrown in these days.
I recommend Firefox as well. I have tried Safari for Windows, and Google’s browser, and just think Firefox is more stable.
Stoner, next time you find yourself in need of a computer I highly recommend you dump the PC and get an iMac or a Power Book. As soon as the Dell laptop of mine gives up the ghost, I am heading over to the Apple side of the aisle. Much more intuitive and user friendly.
I think your reaction is close to mine. The industry makes their money on software, so they are constantly upgrading your software packages, and reducing backwards compatibility so you are forced to spend money you really didn’t need to except for them creating an artificial market. Add in the fact that they add in all the goo-gas we don’t need or use–they are catering to the “dude!” crowd, instead of the thinning, gray hair crowd ;*)–and it just leads to frustration. I am definitely leaning in the Luddite direction these days.
“What is the explaination for wolves not moving into southern Minnesota? I understand there is more cultivated land and fewer forrests. But wolves once roamed the the plains. It sounds like there are plenty of whitetail deer. Are farmers shooting them even though it is illegal?”
“Southern and central Minnesota poses problems for wolves for several reasons. Foremost, increased residential development and farmland means less places for wolves to prosper, and less access to essential prey, shelter, and habitat. And where people live, more violence is exhibited upon wolves. The habitat surrounding Northfield, as well as much of the southern and western portions of the state is a prairie environment, not capable of supporting wolves. Wolves thrive in environments deep in the woods, far separated from human intervention.”
Wolves DID once upon a time THRIVE on the prairies….with lots of people around…only these people did not kill these wolves.
Yes, because they had prey, buffalo and elk, which was once a plains animal.
“Yes, because they had prey, buffalo and elk, which was once a plains animal.”
I thought I read that there are plenty of whitetail deer in the south of Minnesota. Whitetail deer do quite well in farmland as long as there are areas of brush and trees around to provide daytime cover. There are probably more whitetail deer in Minnesota today than before 1800. In fact, someone posted that. I have read there are more whitetail deer in the USA than before 1800.
Maybe wolves have trouble hunting in farm country where whitetails can leap fences and wolves cannot. But there has to be a reason why wolves have not moved south. It sounds like people are still shooting at them and so they stay in the cover of the forests in the north.
Iowa is ranked number four in the nation right now with numbers of deer hit by vehicles (West Virginia is number one). Iowa is smack dab in the center of original tall grass prairie lands. The 7′ high prairie here has been replaced with 7’corn stalks…which all those deer run in. It also has very fertile soils which means the Leopold dictum of “the amount of wildlife is directly proportionate to the fertility of the land”.
The numbers of small mammals in any of this hay or pasture land is far and away more per acre than anything where wolves now roam in the US of A. I think any wolf pack would love to be feeding in this kind of environment…if they were not being shot at.
And by the way I have an active mountain lion marking tree right on my property. Another lion was killed a quarter mile north of my farm 5 years ago…and I have bob cats rear broods of young about ever other year in my farm yard post pile. The otters that live on my land love the fish in my 50 plus farm ponds and 7 streams…. and I still catch 36″ long walleye and 10 pound bass in them (put brush in them so the fish can escape the otters).
I would love to see wolves on my property. I don’t think my naturally formed up and well structured bison herds bull groups, some numbering in the 20’s and 30’s of varying ages (something even Yellowstone or anywhere else in the countries bison herds can come close to duplicating) would allow much predation on my matriarchal component herd
…but now all those deer on my land (some of state record Boone and Crocket range)…and flocks of turkey might have to hide a bit better in my tall grass. Of course, my virgin hardwood forests flying squirrels, I think, would love seeing all the ruckus below. All this on a thousand acres, something not possible on 50,000 Mt acres out west.
Yes, I think wolves would do very well in this prairie area with or without the elk. Only if I could hear the howl like I did in Thorofare. Maybe throw in a couple of griz just like this land of mine had pre whiteman (remember Lewis & Clarks’ Indian named “Yellow Bear” Missouri river island in what is now the nw corner of Iowa?). God, the number of predations on humans by these bears must have been high in such thick grass.
I listed the reasons they are not moving south in MN. That came from a University study. They aren’t being “shot at” because they are not going there. They are called a “timber wolf” in MN for a reason, they stay in the woods.
They are dispersing to the east, the woods of Northern Wisconsin and Michigan.
BTW, it could be that they are just smart. If you’ve ever been to Southern MN you’d know what I mean. It’s flat, ugly and boring. Growing up in the Twin Cities area I don’t remember a single family vacationing in Southern MN. everybody went “up north”.
And the reasons griz never expanded south of Yellowstone until the endangered species designation?…and that little $50,000 reward the Audubon society slapped down on the table?
I guarantee if the same reward was put out for killing wolves in Minnesota you would have wolves in not only Minn. but Iowa as well. The wolves of Iowa were exterminated well after the elk and buffalo were gone, by the way.
I’d have to say the folks doing the “university study” don’t know in the slightest what farmers and “sportsmen” in the southern part of the state are doing to keep the wolves out of their area. Nor do they know how much poaching is going on in the N. part of the state. Take out all poaching and you have wolves everywhere.
And it was us flatlanders who went on mecca every summer to fish for your southern Minn. lakes bull heads. Thank you for vacating it for my parents and the rest of my siblings.
Bullheads,yuk. We were up north catching crappies and walleye. The two best tasting freshwater fish imho. And I’ll never forget seeing my first wolf trolling the shoreline of a remote northern lake, two little pups splashing about on the shore near a fallen tree.
And have you ever caught a nicely filled out 36″ walleye up in those N. woods? Doubt it. I catch them right out of my house….in Iowa. It all has to do with control of habitat…and fertility …..whether it is wolves, walleye or nice fat, yellowbellied bullheads.
And have you ever got to watch wolf pups play or a moose grazing as you fished in Iowa? Doubt it. “It all has to do with habitat”
But there is the duality of mankind to consider here…..such as watching wolves playing at their den a lot of evenings from my pasture fence in Thorofare… the exact spot noted as the furtherest point from a road in the US of A. I’m saying whether it is Yell. or Iowa, the land is “right”. Its just the people who aren’t.
“I’m saying whether it is Yell. or Iowa, the land is “right”. Its just the people who aren’t.
We may not agree on fishing but on that we can agree whole-heartedly.
Long time silence, Stoner.
October 7, 2009 at 7:26 PM
That is why I hired and accountant and secretary to run my office years ago, I made that part of my business look like a rats nest.
What was your office business?