Wildlife Services Montana kills twice as many wolves on Blackfoot Reservation than entire wolf hunt so far

23 wolves in pack killed for some reason-

So far 12 wolves have been killed in Montana’s wolf hunt. It has generated a lot of controversy because most were taken in a small area just north of Yellowstone Park. Montana’s wolf hunt quota is 75.

I read in the latest Montana Wolf Weekly Report today that in contrast to the 12, twenty-three wolves in the Livermore Pack on the Blackfoot Indian Reservation were killed by Wildlife Services this year. Fifteen were killed in September alone. These wolves were said to be responsible for an unstated number of livestock losses. I read a number of their past wolf weeklies and could find no information why 23 wolves had to die for killing something.

Here is the URL of the wolf weekly that reports this http://fwp.mt.gov/content/getItem.aspx?id=40509

While the focus remains on the wolf hunt, I must emphasize again the real threat to wolves is not hunters, but Wildlife Services with its huge budget, high tech gear, and a mandate to aid and comfort the noblemen of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.



  1. Ryan Avatar


    This couldn’t have anything to do with it could it Ralph? Same reason the Jacirillas weren’t really happy about the mexican gray wolf reintroduction. Its all about the Benjamins for the tribes, they sold out salmon recovery on the columbia and blatanly abuse the resources atleast in the Pacific Northwest.

  2. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson

    thanks for the link, Ryan. My thoughts are: dysfunctional systems, whether, white, red or other animal means disorder and non sustainable ecological systems.

  3. smalltownID Avatar


    Can you still act as a Graduate Faculty Representative?

  4. nabeki Avatar

    You are so right Ralph, it’s Wildlife Services that’s been doing the job for the feds all these years. Wiping out entire packs, just recently the last 4 members of the Sage Creek Pack, who used to number 8, were eliminated Last year they took out the 19 member Hog Heaven Pack, southwest of Kalispell.

    I have plans to write about them soon. The statistcs are pretty grim. In 2008 they killed 124, 414 animals, including 396 gray wolves, 89,710 coyotes, 395 black bears, 393 mountain lions, 14,580 raccoons and on and on. The slaughter is shocking. And I haven’t even included the aeiral gunning stats.

    This is being paid for with our tax dollars. Unreal.


  5. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Yes. I can be a GFR

  6. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Ryan, you might well be right. Seems suspicious when they don’t give a reason in their “Wolf Weekly.”

  7. Mike Avatar

    This is ridiculous. Wh yare these death squads allowed to exist?

  8. smalltownID Avatar


    Would you be interested in being on the committee for a mountain quail restoration based thesis? The biology dept will appoint a random GFR otherwise. Thought I might as well ask someone who might be interested. October 29th I will have the thesis to the committee and Nov. 12th I plan to defend.

    I know its not a very professional approach but I could not find your email through ISU. I understand if you are too busy or not interested.

  9. smalltownID Avatar

    i updated my email if you have access to that information for posting on your website

  10. Ryan Avatar


    If Wildlife services didn’t do it, the tribe would have. I have little respect for the tribes and their so called “stewardship” of our lands. If you saw what happens with ESA listed, threatened, and depressed native salmon stocks as well as big game populations in Washington and Idaho.. Its appalling.

  11. Cris Waller Avatar

    See, Ryan, we can agree on something- don’t forget the huge areas of ocean shoreline reserved for “tribal fisheries” and “tribal clamming” and the Makah gray whale hunt…

    Of course, here in San Diego they show their reverence for the environment by constructing gigantic, water-hogging, traffic-clogging, light-emitting casinos…we have more here than anywhere in the US except for Las Vegas!

    I am about as liberal as they come on most issues, but tribal sovereignty is one of my hot buttons.

  12. Ryan Avatar


    Don’t get me going on tribal issues or I’ll end up sounding like a Neocon racist. I should try and post some of my pictures of the aftermath of “tribal hunting”. Lets just say that spotlights and killing cows and does in July, orphaning young in’s, and wanton waste was probably not a traditional thing.

  13. Ryan Avatar


    Lets not forget the fact that almost all non tribal fisheries are limited to hatchery fish marked fish. (in the columbia non indians are allowed ~ 1% impacts for Spring chinook etc) Where as the tribes take a 9% because they refuse to follow any ESA rules or mortality advertment. Most sportfishermen have no desire to kill ESA listed fish, where as the Tribal hatcheries refuse to mark their fish so that they can continue to kill ESA listed salmon.

  14. gline Avatar

    Has this been posted at all? don’t see and the open thread is closed, but I thought this would be of interest:


    – – – – –

    I had read read it, and should post it. Ralph

  15. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    I saw it on the news last night and they have NO business in this, just another reason, I don’t belong to the NRA, because they can’t keep their mission straight.

  16. gline Avatar

    I agree. Wonder what jerry b thinks… jerry are you quitting your membership???

  17. steve c Avatar
    steve c

    I would love to know the cost of these flights vs the cost of lost livestock.

  18. gline Avatar

    Ralph, just curious, what kinds of responses to you get from the noblemen of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming when using this term for them?? I love this wording btw.

  19. Mgulo Avatar

    “Don’t get me going on tribal issues or I’ll end up sounding like a Neocon racist.”

    “See, Ryan, we can agree on something- don’t forget the huge areas of ocean shoreline reserved for “tribal fisheries” and “tribal clamming” and the Makah gray whale hunt…”


    Maybe a little investment of time studying up on the role of treaties in American and International law might be enlightening? Perhaps some study of the history of “Indian Law”?

    I work on ESA issues with tribes all the time and find them much like us Amer-Europeans (human, that is) in that they often respond in favor of their own best interests and they have their difficul-to-control outlaws and scofflaws as we have ours. I do know that, in Washington, they have been powerful advocates for restoration of wild fish runs, fish passage, etc.

    And, despite 25+ years of wildife management and personal residence on Washington’s coast I know of NO extensive coastal areas reserved for tribal clamming, fishing or whaling except within reservation boundaries.

    The Makahs have a treaty right to whale hunt. They had it before the treaty, they reserved it in the treaty, and we signed the treaty. Ever hear the term “white-giver?”

    Got some “first stones” guys?

    Nope, I’m not tribal. But I have worked and lived with tribes for many, many years. Mostly I find they’re a lot like other humans of their economic status and background.

    Save bears and gline: I tossed my NRA life membership years ago. Only my heirs will get my guns but those guys definitely have gotten my goat!

  20. gline Avatar

    lol, Mgulo

  21. Cris Waller Avatar


    The problem is, they have their own best interests at heart and there is nothing we can do when those interests counter ours and they refuse to work with us.

    There is a tiny tribe where I live-about 50 members- their “reservation” is 4 acres in size. They want to build yet another casino. They disenrolled all of their members that opposed the casino and wanted to live on their land (a common tactic here) and bulldozed their houses- after they signed papers saying that they wouldn’t. They refuse to abide by state laws regarding freeways and are planning to build their driveway directly onto the rural freeway that abuts the land. It’s a dark-sky area but they want glaring lighting, even though they are surrounded by an ecological preserve on 2 sides. The 2-lane rural freeway is one of the most dangerous in the state- most stretches are rated D or F and, I can tell you, an accident is a major disaster; traffic has to be rerouted for miles. And accidents happen all the time- we are near the border, and vans full of aliens overturn on a regular basis, plus plenty of drunks go off the sharp curves. We don’t need hundreds more drunks on that road every night!

    Polls show that 99% of the community here doesn’t want the casino. All the local government officials oppose it. NO ONE but the tribe and the Minnesota corporation funding them wants it. But we have no say. We are disenfranchised. And the tribe isn’t going to pay us when our house values plummet. They aren’t going to fix the roads they will clog. They won’t pay for the crime that the casino will bring. Several tribes here have drained aquifers dry and then gotten County water piped in- while their neighbors have to have water trucked in or move. The tribes have been caught piping raw sewage onto hillsides. I could go on and on.

    As I said, I am a liberal, pretty far left of most on most issues. But this is ridiculous- and it certainly doesn’t help the image of these tribes any.

  22. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    They haven’t picked up on it yet, but I’ve noticed the term used by a few folks on other blogs now.

    I hope it will go viral. It needs to.

  23. Ryan Avatar

    ” I do know that, in Washington, they have been powerful advocates for restoration of wild fish runs, fish passage, etc.”

    In a nice loud Coffing voice….. Bullshit.
    Thats why they took a Pay off from BPA instead of demanding the lower snake dams come down. Thats why the insist on netting the Olympic peninsila rivers to near extinction. I know treaty law, boldt decision, etc. That does not make what happens right. Every other conqueored nation throughout history has had to assimilate, why are the indians any different.

  24. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Ralph, I’m not sure where this is most appropriate, but this is an interesting link:

  25. gline Avatar

    Perhaps they won’t pick up on it because they don’t “get it” or they will deny it, but it’s out there. So true and very funny of a concept. Wish the NY times would do a story in examining the psychology behind this concept of Idaho, MT and Wyoming ranchers acting out their “noble” (meritless) roles.

    Us :”peasants” ain’t so happy about these roles….

  26. Dawn Avatar

    You are right about the wildlife service Ralph and thank you for the link, was hard to read but it is happening .

  27. Percy Avatar

    I bet most people don’t know their tax dollars go to something called Wildlife Services. I found out about their deadly pursuits back in the mid-70s as a young girl in high school, ordered one of their annual reports and was appalled. Yes, our tax dollars going to kill non-target animals including songbirds and raptors. This should be on the chopping block of federal services when cuts have to be made. More Americans deserve to know about it.

  28. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Wildlife services in many different forms has been around since the day of western expansion and before, there has always been government sponsored and backed destruction of wildlife deem dangerous and destructive to the interest of “progress” or “habitation” what we know as wildlife services actually is an outgrowth of the “Indian Wars” in which the Army of the United States mounted a campaign to either destroy or relocate native American tribes to make room for citizens moving into their native grounds, this is not an entity that is going to be easy to get rid of, as it has roots in many different branches of government and employs hundreds of thousands of individuals in many different divisions..

    If you look at wildlife services as a whole, it is one of the larger branches of government, and has very little oversight..but rest assured, people are becoming aware of this behind the scenes killing machine. Now that said, there are wildlife services areas that do have some positive impact in the environment, unfortunately in this day and age, the positives don’t outweigh the negatives…but it is another out of control government bureaucracy that needs to be revamped, just like many others.

  29. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Yes, and they use their name to hide what they do. The other day a newspaper reporter was interviewing me about the wolf hunt. I told him the real danger to wolves was Wildlife Services, and, not surprisingly he didn’t understand. He thought I must mean the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.

    So I explained, and he caught on; but that is the hard and slow way to do it.

  30. JB Avatar

    “This [slaughter] is being paid for with our tax dollars. Unreal.”

    If you are going to write/blog about WS, I would encourage you to do your homework. In fact, many of the “control actions” that WS takes are paid out of pocket by the landowner, at least that is the policy here in Ohio. In Ohio WS is currently engaged in a large project to fight the spread (westward) of raccoon rabies and has been helping airports modify their landscape to reduce bird strikes. Yes, they kill birds and mammals at airports too, but one of these killings might have saved your life! Wildlife Services (part of APHIS, USDA) also has a big research arm based out of Fort Collins that is currently engaged in a number of studies on various zoonotic diseases.

    My feeling is that people in the West are outraged by the killing of predators to support an already heavily subsidized livestock industry–especially when this involves the use of aircraft (which is extremely expensive). Frankly, I couldn’t agree more. This practice should end. However, I would be careful of painting the entire agency with an overly-broad brush.

  31. gline Avatar

    So JB are the airport “owners” paying for the “control” of the raccoons, (as well as innocent bystanding mammals)? just curious

  32. gline Avatar

    From wikipedia (and I hate quoting from this source but it is so easy) “Wildlife Services is an agency with the U.S.’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which is itself part of the United States Department of Agriculture. Wildlife Services is charged with protecting agriculture, property, human health and safety, and natural resources from damage or threats posed by wildlife. Wildlife Services was formerly known (until 1997) as Animal Damage Control (ADC)”

    In 1997, it was reported that ABC newsman Sam Donaldson has been keeping agents from the government’s Animal Damage Control agency busy on his New Mexico sheep ranch trapping, shooting and poisoning animal predators. ADC agents made 412 visits to Donaldson’s ranch between October 1, 1991 and July 31, 1996. One agent spent nearly 1300 hours attempting to kill coyotes, bobcats and black bears on the ranch. The final body count for this effort included 74 coyotes, 3 bobcats and 2 foxes. New Mexico wildlife activist Pat Wolff estimates that Donaldson’s use of the ADC’s services cost US taxpayers “at least $100,000.” During the same period, ADC agents spent 316 hours making 99 visits to the ranch of New Mexico Congressman Joe Skeen.

    Source: “Samicide,” Earth Island Journal, Spring 1997, p4. Tom Skeele, “ADC: Making Life Easier for Hobby Ranchers,” The Home Range, Spring 1997, vol 7, no2, p10.

    How is this not my tax dollars JB? I realize it is within out culture and esp if this agency is under the USDA, to get rid of anything in our way, ie, viewed as a pest. Very unethical.

  33. JB Avatar

    “How is this not my tax dollars JB?”


    Holster your anger for a moment, and go back and re-read what I wrote. The policy here in Ohio is that private landowners pay for control actions on their property. I believe that the policy with respect to western public lands is different. To be clear: even if landowners are paying, your tax dollars are still being spent to subsidize the agency. Clearly you don’t like this; that’s fine. I’m just trying to make sure people have their facts straight.

    As far as “innocent bystanding mammals” are concerned… I don’t recognize animals as being guilty or innocent (those terms imply that some type of crime or infraction was committed). Animals that are killed or moved are simply occupying space that some people view as inconsistent with human activities. Right and wrong are moral judgments that should not be applied to the actions of animals.

  34. Richie Avatar

    To both of you;
    Right or wrong hey should not use our tax dollars. If I am reading this correctly why should a congressman bring in a fereral agency to kill animals on our dime, just for his own purpose? This has been going on for years in many circumstances, and that does not make it right ! Only thing that suffers are the dead wildlife,we are still here, the congressman is still here, where are the wildlife, oh dead !!!!

  35. gline Avatar

    What do you mean anger JB? It was a question. Please don’t assume I am “emotional” thanks.

  36. Richie Avatar

    they and federal sorry too many errors I will be more careful

  37. gline Avatar

    You are talking about Ohio, I gave you a source referencing Federal tax dollars… simple concept I think.

  38. gline Avatar

    JB, you said “many of the “control actions” that WS takes are paid out of pocket by the landowner” you are trying to defend this agency, and it just doesn’t work.

  39. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Sam Donaldson, is actually a good one to bring up, if you really look into what he does, you would be fuming, he gets subsidized for his neighbors cattle being on his property, he pay no fuel taxes on most of his vehicles, because he claims ag exemption, he does a lot of things behind the scenes that would amaze people..he takes every single advantage of the ranching system possible, in addition to getting tax breaks on his broadcaster salary due to his claim of being a rancher…

  40. JB Avatar

    Okay Gline, I’ll bite: why doesn’t “it” work? You see, from where I sit (a) research into the prevention of zoonotic disease transmission, (b) research into the prevention of livestock losses to predators, (c) control of birds and other species around airports are all good things. I agree that subsidized predator control for ranchers that raise livestock on public lands is a waste of taxpayer resources. But that is not all that Wildlife Services does. That is what I have been trying to convey. If it feels like a defense of the agency to you then so be it. All I’m trying to do is add a bit of good old fashion reason to the conversation.

    People who want WS to disappear might stop to think what might replace the agency were they to disapprea, because I’m here to tell you that conflict with wildlife is not going anywhere. Would you rather have conflicts handled (lethally or non-lethally) by a Federal agency subject to governmental oversight and FOIA requests, or handled by mom and pop private trappers with syringes full of chemicals mounted to broom sticks?

    FYI: I realize that Wildlife Services is a Federal agency, but they have different policies in different states and regions. I conveyed what I know about policies here in Ohio. If you have information to the contrary, I would be happy to hear it.

  41. jerryB Avatar

    gline Says:
    October 16, 2009 at 2:41 PM
    I agree. Wonder what jerry b thinks… jerry are you quitting your membership???
    Gline…..I think you know that I oppose 99% of their policies and I only support gun rights.

    I had an ulterior motive for joining and bet you can figure that out also knowing what I’ve been involved in the past 4 or 5 years.
    Kinda like listening to “right wing” radio.
    Nuff said……

  42. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    I find it interesting how things work out sometimes. We put the indians on reservations and told them they needed to learn how to farm and ranch to make a living. The Blackfeet are trying to ranch on their reservation as they were told, and it looks like they learned how to behave just like the rest of the ranching community. When you have predator problems, call Wildlife Services.
    I do however, think they have the right to decide what is best for themselves and their reservation. If they decide that they don’t want wolves, that is their business.
    The Blackfeet traditionally killed wolves and were disgusted when the early fur traders wanted beaver pelts and didn’t
    want their wolf hides.
    I have been in Browning, Montana many times and have always been treated graciously by the Blackfeet.

  43. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    The WS control killings were on the reservation. We don’t know what happened or who they were for.

    Therefore, speculation about the Tribe and wolves seems premature to me.

  44. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    The STate of Montana would do well to provide us with a bit of information.

    Isn’t secretive government fun?

  45. jerryB Avatar

    Ralph….there has been a request for information sent to MFWP about those 23 wolves killed on the reservation. I’m not sure who has the management responsibility, tribes or the state.

  46. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Wouldn’t that be the tribe’s management responsibility?

  47. Mgulo Avatar


    American Indians are in a different position than other “conquered nations” because the US is different: a nation of laws where the laws are at least supposed to apply to everyone. In fact, a number of treaties predate the Constitution, which names treaties as the supreme law of the land. So, if we signed ’em, we gotta abide by ’em, or give it all back. That’s not Indian law, that’s US law. Up for that? You say you know treaty law? I won’t use your word but I’m thinking it.

    By the way, the NW tribes were not conquered. When they signed the Stevens Treaties in the 1850’s the tribes far outnumbered and could easily have out fought the fledgling American presence on the West Coast. The US sought the treaties because the US was locally weaker than the tribes and didn’t want to incure the immense costs of an Indian war 2000 miles from their tiny army to protect commercial interests they couldn’t control. So it was a commercial deal for the start.

    Now as for netting the OP rivers to extinction, those must not be the same OP rivers I fish. Those would be the rivers that have been improving annually since we got a handle on non-tribal commercial logging? Seems to me they get 50% and we get 50%. That’s fair, given that they used to get 100% before they started dealing with us. By the way, those fish populations were doing fine before the US govt and US industry destroyed all the up-drainage habitat, overnetted the rivers and the ocean (yup, Europeans) and built illegal dams. That’s not tribal netting: that’s uncontrolled industrial exploitation on a huge scale. By non-tribals. All Boldt did was enforce a treaty we proposed, wrote (in English, not the local language) and signed, according to our law.

    Following “their” interests with no regard to “ours” isn’t what we taught them? How is that different from us following our interests by denying them an income source regardless of their poverty? Don’t they get to do on their land what we do on ours? That is, pretty much what we want to? Depends on whose foot the shoe is on, doesn’t it?

    Taking money instead of taking down dams? How is that different from your average Congressman?

    We need to get over this “them” and “us” stuff. This is a small planet and we all live here. Education is the key but we have to apply that both ways.

    I stand by what I said: in my expereince the tribes have been powerful advocates for wild fish in Washington.

  48. Ryan Avatar


    The Hoh, Sol duc, queets, Bogachiel, Chelais, Humptulips, and the list goes on, have been consistently under Escapement for winter steelhead and chinook for the last several year and yet the tribes still insist on netting them 3-5 days a week. How about the incendental take of ESA listed puget sound chinook, steelhead, etc due to their massive netting campaigns. I will never say that the white guys didn’t start these problems, but to allow the pillaging to continue under “treaty” is a travesty.

    “Taking money instead of taking down dams? How is that different from your average Congressman”

    It still doesn’t make it right.

    “How is that different from us following our interests by denying them an income source regardless of their poverty? Don’t they get to do on their land what we do on ours? That is, pretty much what we want to? Depends on whose foot the shoe is on, doesn’t it?”

    But we don’t get to do on our land, what they do on our land. Infact we enacted laws in many cases to make it illegal.

  49. gline Avatar

    Speaking of wildlife services or those responsible for killing small “innocent” animals: (I personally like this word because many do treat them as criminals).


  50. gline Avatar

    Jerry B, I just remember you stating that you were a member of NRA, awhile back…

  51. gline Avatar

    Just givin you a hard time Jerry B, for C sake!:)

  52. gline Avatar

    “I agree that subsidized predator control for ranchers that raise livestock on public lands is a waste of taxpayer resources.”
    Nuff said right there JB, you’ve talked yourself into it.

  53. Cris Waller Avatar

    “Don’t they get to do on their land what we do on ours? That is, pretty much what we want to?”

    I can’t build a casino in my back yard. In fact, no one in California can build a full-service casino- unless they are an Indian.

    I can’t do much of anything on my land unless I get the proper permits and follow city, county, state and federal rules. They can. They do. And it negatively impacts all those around them- but they don’t care, at least in the case of the CA casino tribes. But they are the first at the door for government handouts come any disaster or inconvenience to them. As an example, as I mentioned, the Barona tribe here drained the aquifers dry for their golf course/casino complex and drove out the residents- many of whom couldn’t even sell their waterless houses. They then built an illegal pipeline to the local reservoir- and, when caught, just said “Ooops- but we’ll go on taking that water, we’ll just pay you for it now.” No such luck for the drained-dry residents; not an option for them.

  54. JB Avatar

    Talked myself into what?


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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