Wildlife Services blasts away Basin Butte wolf pack at Stanley, Idaho

Is there an explanation for this in the middle of the scheduled wolf hunt?

Right in the middle of the wolf hunt and in the zone where there is the highest quota, Wildlife Services took to the air this week in their gunships and blasted away the long-standing Basin Butte Pack at Stanley, Idaho. This is one of 26 wolf packs Wildlife Service has labeled as a “chronic depredating” pack, which seems to mean a pack that at one or more times killed some domestic livestock.

It doesn’t mean killed recently, however. All the livestock left the area for the winter in October.

This pack has lived around Stanley, mostly in Stanley Basin for about 5 years now. Even summer and part of the fall thousands of cattle and sheep are trucked into what many regard as Idaho most scenic valley.  Every year or so the pack kills a calf or two.  Amazingly it stays near the town of Stanley, even within city limits. If this was a pack that was going to be taken during the wolf hunt, this would seem to be it.

I think there needs to be some explanation why Idaho Fish and Game’s regional supervisor approved the killing of this pack of 7-10 wolves in the middle of the wolf  hunt 7 months before the cows show up again.

You might want to call Jim Lukens, the Salmon area regional supervisor and ask him. (208) 756-2271. Approval of Wildlife Services wolf kills has been parceled out to the regional supervisors, like Mark Gamlin (who seems to have few to no wolves in his district).

– – – – – –
The real wolf hunt is about to begin?

One possibility is they just got too frustrated watching this pack avoid wolf hunters. I have heard through the grapevine, however, that from now until the wolf population is down to the 500 they view acceptable (for now), Idaho Fish and Game and Wildlife Services is going to reduce the wolf numbers by any means possible. In fact, they admit it. They have spoken on the public record time and time again that they have lots of other “tools in the their toolbox.” The meaning should be clear. It is just the start date they haven’t announced.

Last winter, Wildlife Services said there were 26 “chronic depredating packs” that needed to be eliminated. I’ve reported on this many times before. Once a pack a labeled, WS means to get it. It doesn’t depend on the pack’s behavior. It seems to be like a child who comes from a family where one or more members got in trouble, so he or she is labeled as a “criminal type” for the rest of their life. They just need a nod from ID Fish and Game.

I have not ranted against the wolf hunts as much as some people expected. I’ve suggested data collection about the hunt that could advance the cause of science. I have been hopeful they will be responsible.

However, in Idaho the wolf take has stalled out for now at about 105 wolves, although I suspect it will become easier again once the snow is deep. At a deeper level, I haven’t complained about the wolf  hunt because I don’t think it is the real hunt. The real hunt is actually the slaughter, mostly from the air, that might now be underway.  There won’t be news releases. It will begin silently in the winter and there are really no quotas, no end of the season, and no limit on the methods — no fair chase. They may well be denning pups this late spring, even putting out poison if Idaho’s wolves continue to be resourceful. It is a 21st Century high tech killing machine against the spirit of the wolf, fueled by 19th Century beliefs on behalf of the state’s livestock nobility.

Please circulate this story widely if you are interested. You can bet the main stream Idaho media are not going to report this.



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  1. gline Avatar

    Lovely how they call it “tools in the toolbox”. just wierd.

  2. Percy Avatar

    After reading a lot about the Yellowstone bison yesterday, and then this, I just get to feeling so powerless. My tax dollars going to kill animals like this makes me sick. For me, animals are not just “populations” to be managed, but also individuals that each deserve consideration and respect, at the very least before they are killed. Like I’ve said before, I am not anti-hunting, but I am against killing for “sport” or money or fun, target practice, trophies, etc. We fought so hard to get wolf-killing from helicopters outlawed decades ago, and now we are back to where we started. I would like to see the “feminine side” of humans included in wildlife management; rather, I would like to see us embrace the “nurturing” of wildlife and ecosystems instead of just “controlling” them, having power over them, killing them, etc. At the very least, I’d like to see people thinking a little outside the box.

  3. Percy Avatar

    I mean, think outside of their “toolbox.”

  4. gline Avatar

    Amen Percy. but seemingly there is large resistance to thinking outside of the toolbox. I think it has to do with actually valuing the critter. There is no respect for them. This pack labeled a problem depredation pack? Where is the responsibility on the ranchers since delistment? None that I see. Just time to wipe the wolves out… It is become some have been angered all along to have wolves here, this culture has not changed under hostile circumstances at the wolves’ expense.

  5. Rita K.Sharpe Avatar
    Rita K.Sharpe

    Right on, Percy

  6. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    We should label certain ranches “chronic depredating operations.” Then legal tools would be used, not to kill them, but to direct them to mend their ways.

  7. gline Avatar

    The lawsuit may make things change..

  8. kt Avatar

    Someone, somewhere in Congress needs to call for, and conduct Hearings and a full-blown investigation of Wildlife Services.

    There also need to be whistleblowers come forward with knowledge of what all they may be up to/slaughters conducted/links to local wackos.

    Maybe they are sensing a Molloy Decision soon, and want to be as brutal as possible while they can.

    Killing this pack seems aimed at enviros and Lynne Stone in particular.

    There will be no way to know how many wolves are killed. Certainly not by Wildlife Services.

    IDFG is so much now bound into lying for livestock and SFW types these days – any tallies that might show numbers below 500 are likely to be fudged.

    AND: I think one of the reasons they are so hellbent on collaring all wolves in Wilderness is so they can slaughter any wolf that steps over the Wilderness boundary line immediately.

  9. gline Avatar

    The current activities just proves the irreprable harm (damage) done to the wolves that Molloy was looking for.. I hope.

  10. kt Avatar

    And maybe it is revenge for the bad publicity on the SFW Predator Derby.

    That would explain why the Basin Butte slaughter, and why now.

    Retaliation against someone who I believe first alerted some folks to the Death Contest.

    I would love to see an investigation explore the links between Idaho Wildlife Services, SFW honchos, and the Commission.

  11. william huard Avatar
    william huard

    Kt- I hope you are wrong. The thought of this being true is very disturbing.

  12. Mike Avatar

    There are lots of “tools in the toobox”, alright.

    What shameful action taken by these cowards. Eventually, this sort of cruelty will catch up to them. Karma can be harsh.

  13. Taz Alago Avatar
    Taz Alago

    The Basin Butte slaughter, aerial gunning throughout the west, the buffalo hazing and killing, all this times 1,000 – where’s the NY Times? Anybody got a good line to the Times man in Mountain West? And when is Malloy going to speak up? Seems by this implacable assault the livestock industry is just begging for a backlash. The public needs a jolt.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      You might want to contact one of the Associated Press writers who writes on these issues. There are a couple who have become well informed about all sides of these issues, and might find this interesting. They don’t do opinion. They do news, but they might find it factual that despite all the assurances to the contrary, bison, wolves, and a whole host of “varmints” are not managed as wildlife.

  14. jerryB Avatar

    Ralph or anyone….do you have an email contact for this Lukens guy?

  15. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I don’t, but working from analogy it is probably


  16. gline Avatar

    I’ve looked all over Idaho fish and game site for his email, cant find it. Lynne stone’s twitter says 7 were taken out, are there more than 7 wolves in this pack?

  17. gline Avatar


  18. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I heard 7 wolves. I heard, it is possible one or two escaped.

  19. gline Avatar

    any pups?

  20. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Robust and healthy? Let’s see
    Idaho covers 83,570 sq. mi.
    that is 53484800 acres.
    If only half of that is suitable wolf habitat (conservative IMO) that equals 26742400 acres
    Divide that by the ~500 wolves that the State has so graciously said that will be allowed and you get 1(one) wolf for every 53485 ( fifty-three thousand four hundred eighty five) acres.
    Robust??? –Healthy only until you decide otherwise Mark.
    I don’t know who ass you think you’re blowing smoke up or why you think it’s working but you are making apparent that you and the state have no intention whatsoever of doing more than what the livestock industry commands you to do. Pathetic
    (Think of one acre as what would cover a football field from sideline to sideline and from one goal line to the opposite end to the 10 yard line. Go by a school and look at a football field then imagine 53000 of them.
    See the wolf?)

  21. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    shoot should have been on the Wild cards thread.

  22. nabeki Avatar

    The thought of Wildlife Services blowing away this pack for revenge is very disturbing. As Ralph said, why now? Why in the middle of the hunt? What’s going on? People need some answers. I’m getting pretty sick and tired of hearing about dead wolves every day. We have to stand up and be heard!!!

    The minute I heard the injunction to stop the hunts was denied by Judge Molloy, I knew hell would reign down on wolves. This is turning into a nightmare.


  23. gline Avatar

    That is what I thought too about Molloys’ denial of the injunction. Now I am thinking exactly WHAT is it going to take to stop this?

  24. nabeki Avatar

    Fury has been unleashed on wolves. Can we unring this bell? What was Molloy thinking?

  25. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    re: the hunting season.
    the single biggest reason for extending the season statewide is not to achieve “management objectives” because the “management objective” is to reduce the overall population to ~500, which the 255 allowed by the open hunt would not do.
    No, the reason is that it costs about $900.00 (?) per hour for helicopter time plus all other expenses for men and materials, which is the most effective method to kill, particularly in the winter. So the more wolves that can be killed in an open season the less the state would have to spend hiring the gunships. The state should also be able to get enough state gunners trained so that in the future it will be an operation solely run by the state, which may or may not be cheaper, but will result in no one looking over the states shoulder at times they are operating in say wilderness areas

  26. JW Avatar

    And this is why many of us nationwide think that many (at least running) state fish and game depts are a bunch of lawless rednecks. They have no accountability and governments (governors, etc) from MA to ID seem to not care about our wildlife (specifically predators), esp. with e/thing going on in the world/country right now. It is shameful and I experience the same thing in New England, supposedly the most “liberal” part of the country.

  27. Salle Avatar

    “Robust??? –Healthy only until you decide otherwise Mark.
    I don’t know who ass you think you’re blowing smoke up or why you think it’s working but you are making apparent that you and the state have no intention whatsoever of doing more than what the livestock industry commands you to do.”

    Like I said on another thread earlier, it doesn’t matter what they say they are doing, their action speak volumes. And, as I suggested, they lie a lot.

    As kt suggested, there needs Congressional attention to this travesty.

    As someone else said, it could well be in retaliation, spite and a number of other reasons. The one I suspect most is that the wealthy livestock barons have spoken and the IDF&G/WS gang jump at their beck and call to do their bidding with taxpayer funds to facilitate the activity.

    Thanks for the e-mail address, Ken.

    See why I was offended by Gamblin’s condescending tone in his response to my comments? I knew he was full of it and he thought he was treating me in an appropriate way considering my gender. What a fool ~ The nicest thing I can think of to say in a public forum.

  28. Cutthroat Avatar

    “You can bet the main stream Idaho media are not going to report this.”

    Are you certain Ralph? Todays Idaho State Journal gave “Thumbs Down” to the extension of the wolf hunt and front page coverage of WildEarth Guardians petition to Obama to end aerial gunning. Maybe they are primed for such a story.

  29. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    The Pocatello paper has been fairly balanced reporting about the contentious wolf issue.

    I just don’t think they are likely to pick up on the “the other hunt” or “the real hunt,” as I called it, because it requires close monitoring of Wildlife Services and Idaho Fish and Game added to the belief that Idaho’s wildlife political establishment would willfully mislead the media and the public. This is at a time when newspapers are barely scraping by.

    Various professional media folks check my web site. By reporting on this here, some might think there is a story worth digging into. My contention might get an independent look. It could be a national story.

  30. Rick Hammel Avatar
    Rick Hammel

    How much longer will Judge Molloy sit on his opinion? The time for action is now. Perhaps if the plaintiffs in the case wwere to ask for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to order Wildlife Services to cease and desist the killing of wolves until the judge has had an opportunity to review the case.


  31. Taz Alago Avatar
    Taz Alago

    I don’t think Malloy is considering the wolf hunt case from an ethical perspective, but from a legal one. He has a bunch of environmental cases on his docket. We’re passionate about wolves, he’s dispassionate. But I do think this is an opportunity for Earthjustice et al. to get a restraining order as Rick Hammel suggested. It would also generate press coverage.

  32. Brian Ertz Avatar

    Judge Mollly has denied wolf advocates’ request for a preliminary injunction.

    the hearing on summary judgement is scheduled and forthcoming. the arguments from wolf advocates on summary judgement are sound/compelling.

    unfortunately, until and unless a decision is issued remanding the delisting rule, the 10(j) litigation (which is also currently underway) is moot – WS’s slaughter of wolves is thereby technically lawful pursuant to the amended federal 10(j) rule even with an ESA protected wolf population.

    should the delisting rule be remanded, we will be pushing hard to bring the 10(j) litigation to the front burner.

  33. Chuck Avatar

    I get so frustrated when I hear news like this. At least for me it leaves me feeling helpless, I have sent Govenor Otter and Mr Gamblin emails. What is it going to take?? IDFG & WS has the ranchers on their side, our fearless leader Otter has family “Simplot” and all his rancher buddies on his side, they have SFW, they have Ron gillette, they have Tony Mayer’s group. Yes we have our groups also. But it seems like its a yelling contest, to see who is the loudest. Not quite being Hollywood here, but we do have a healthy population of Hollywood stars right in Sun Valley & Ketchum area. Has anyone ever tried to approach people like Tom Hanks, I see him doing commericals for the Nature Conservancy. Last year it seems the Phantom hill pack were putting on quite a show, thou I never got to go up there and watch it first hand. I would have thought IDFG would have been a little more cautious with this being the first wolf hunt, just look at Montana and how they handled their wolf hunt. I hope they are not factoring in how many packs we have the then throwing out a number as to how many pups these packs might have. Have they not looked at how many pups have survived in yellowstone for the last two years?? Do they not consider the “what if’s”. When the smoke clears from the hunting season and from WS non-stop season, there might be alot of finger pointing and a few more unemployed people.
    Now we have the senseless killing of wolves and in a couple months it will be the bison they are killing. Ok time to climb down off my soap box.

  34. Salle Avatar

    Since the ESA CH 4, sec 10(j) has been invented and refashioned so many times to suit the robber barons… (oops I mean cattle barons) it would do to eliminate it all together.

    These clowns keep complaining about how the wolf advocates “keep moving the goalpost” but from what I have witnessed in this long reintroduction/recovery effort, it is they who do so without accountability and without anyone bringing this fact out into public awareness. They will never be satisfied, to throw their words back at them.

    The IDF&G/WS hit squad needs to be shut down.

    I just read the posts at the web site/blog Ralph put a link to and I find it interesting that I have been lumped into a nebulous group known as the anti-hunting league. I find that interesting because I don’t think I can be anti-hunting if I feed from the freezers of friends who hunt for food. I don’t go out and hunt myself but I don’t feel that hunting for food is wrong altogether.

    I see a lot of this belly-aching from the wildlife opponents as blatant displays of the disparate acts of cutting education funding until the general public is lacking any ability in critical thinking skills and absolute ignorance in civics. I’ve said this for many years now, “Idaho is proud of its ignorance” ~ (or is that ignorants?) With all the $$ spent on this type of trashy activity, one can only shake their head in wonder at the rationale behind all the education funding cuts in a state that rates 47th, out of 50 (for several years), in the support of education for its residents.

  35. nabeki Avatar

    We just need to keep hammering them over and over with letters, emails, phone calls..whatever it takes. There is power in numbers and we can’t sit silently by anymore.

    I linked to Ralphs post on the Basin Butte wolves. I’m going to write more on this myself, we can’t let this go. As Ralph said this should be national news!! When are they going to pick this up and run with it??

    “The pen is mightier then the sword”….


  36. gline Avatar

    And this is all “lipstick on a pig”!

  37. Taz Alago Avatar
    Taz Alago

    Thanks Brian. I forgot 10(j) for a moment there. Major memory lapse. Still, there must be some advantage publicity-wise to the combination of the Idaho hunt and the Butte Basin holocaust if only it’s brought to the attention of enough media to take hold.

    Chuck has a good idea about some Idaho stars pitching in. Joan Baez lives in Idaho doesn’t she? But actually where they live doesn’t matter. Leonard de Caprio is a vocal environmentalist for one.

    Idaho’s treatment of wolves and other predators will not be altered by any internal political action or protests or letters IMHO. IDFG and WS and the state government completely disregard minority opinion in Idaho, offering only the thinnest justifications. Plus I think they’re personally vindictive.

    Outside pressure is probably the only effective force. Not that we should shut up. The more noise, the more national publicity. Well, we all know this already I guess. I’m probably just venting my spleen.

  38. nabeki Avatar

    When I said we should be hammering theim with emails, phone calls, etc…..it’s not that I think it will change THEIR thinking but it’s my hope it will bring national attention to this issue. If we stay silent, they’ll just keep doing what they’ve been doing and nothing will change.

    If anyone has any national contacts or celebrity contacts, nows the time.


  39. Taz Alago Avatar
    Taz Alago

    Right you are, Nabeki.

  40. Dawn Avatar

    Is tourism big in Idaho ? Is it important to the state meaning dollars ?

  41. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    Depends on which study you read, or who’s propaganda you read, just about like every other state in the country..

  42. Dawn Avatar

    What I meant is just like here in Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, alot of people back east don’t want to see wolves get shot , this is why they come here now , for the bears and wolves, if all these stories got out about Idaho and the practices they are using would that hurt the tourism industry ? I know Idaho is known for fishing , but this would hurt the state if all these stories got out , Idaho would lose that dollar

  43. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    The stories are getting out, there have news stories in the eastern papers and with the internet, people are more and more aware, I don’t know if it is as pressing to the majority back east, but there are people on this very blog that live all over the country..as well as the world.

  44. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I’ve noticed a lot of visits from Germans to this web site the last several days.

  45. Dawn Avatar

    Thank you savebears for your comments . I just posted on my Facebook page that my friends boycott Idaho Falls and not shop there . Also gave the link to wolfrecoveryfoundation to my family and friends back east . I have learned in past experiences that if you hit the pocket it will hurt . This is my way of getting the news out , also said look up the papers of Idaho and decide for yourself, I also emailed the Gov of Idaho, I have been busy .

  46. Taz Alago Avatar
    Taz Alago

    I guess most of you have seen “Lords Of Nature,” but if not it’s 60 minutes well spent. It’s a relatively objective coverage of predators in the modern landscape and the successful ways ranchers and farmers have coped with them. Includes the Phantom Ridge pack. Website: http://www.lordsofnature.org/

  47. kt Avatar

    Just wondering: Were any of these the same Wildlife Services killers that were involved in the infamous Easter Day massacre of the East Fork Salmon wolves several years ago?

    And in this instance: A Revenge killing near a Holiday. That’s how these sickos – federal employees paid with our tax dollars – get their jollies off.

    I hear there are some really bad, sadistic apples in Wildlife Services. Including those who may done some abusive things to wolves they have collared in the past.

    We really need the folks who know about this Idaho Wildlife Services sadism and sickness to come forward and speak publicly (or behind the scenes under oath).

  48. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    This is probably to get to the 500 target.

  49. gline Avatar

    Ralph: How does one find out about what Wildlife services does? Where would one find those stats? Are they published on F&G?

  50. gline Avatar

    Kt, very disturbing post- how do you know about the sadistic part? Doesn’t surprise me, but is it common with wolves in particular?

  51. gline Avatar

    3 pus were killed too, Ralph….:(

  52. gline Avatar

    Request: open thread on Monster Muleys, Stereotypingy is the key to be cool!

  53. kt Avatar

    Ralph: I think there are those who read this who know. They need to come forward! They can’t rely on enviros to somehow bring it all to the surface.

  54. gline Avatar

    how? We all want action- besides writing to the editor, giving to enviros, talking with friends/neighbors how else kt?

  55. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    If they start poisoning they will have nobody to blam but themselves if the wolves get relisted. They are bringing this on themselves.

  56. gline Avatar

    I hope so- (bring on themselves) but wolves are dying in the meantime- the poisoning sounds horrible. What kind of karma would poisoning wildlife bring to your life???

  57. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I have heard about about Wildlife Services being “rough” and sloppy collaring the wolves, and I’m being charitable. I have also heard they do not take clean shots of the wolves, and their bad aim is deliberate.

    However, all I have is someone said someone said. I’m also of the disposition to believe the worst about them. can’t prove it, and no one who oversees this is likely to talk.

    I hope that is just rumor, and they are all very professional about a job I inherently dislike.

  58. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    I imagine pretty severe, but not as much as aerial gunning.

  59. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Ralph, I would question how professional they are. I can’t imagine who goes into the line of work.

  60. gline Avatar

    yes that line of work. Think about folks in slaughter houses, hate to bring up that example, but the people that go into these types of jobs are not nice (for a lack of a better word). Where are they coming from anyway?

  61. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    I can’t imagine how nice you could be doing that. I do hunt, (missed some ducks this weekend 🙁 ) but I don’t understand how people can just kill for a living, no matter what the species is.

  62. gline Avatar

    sorry to say Prowolf, I’m glad for the ducks. I walked along a canal last night, all the ducks were in the canal, rather than the river. One year we had a BUNCH of ducks living all winter on the river. Most were shot by 2 college guys one night- not that that would be you. But it was sad when they told me. No more ducks.

    so exactly what would be a resume for a wildlife services personnel? Forestry? Criminal mischief?

  63. steve c Avatar
    steve c

    Why hasnt IDFG sent anyone here yet to spread their healthy wolf population propaganda in response to this story?

  64. gline Avatar

    good question. my first thought is they dont need to.

  65. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    You’re entitled to your opinion gline. I have had fun being out in the blind and not shooting before. Last year we attracted about a dozen trumpeter swans. It was neat to watch them.
    I would like to see a resume for a Wildlife Service shooter (what do you call them, rifle technicians?). Do they have to pop a few prairie dogs to show how well they can aim?

  66. gline Avatar

    And so are you entitled to your opinion pro wolf. I just don’t see the point in killing so many… maybe a few for the dinner table. its just common sense.

    And where would the roughness training come in? The streets of Brooklyn?

  67. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    OK everyone,

    Here is Wildlife Services Idaho Report for 2008. It is the best official source of what they did during the year.


  68. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    In the report I just posted, WS plainly talks about using the winter months to kill problem wolf packs they couldn’t kill during the summer, and opines that sport hunters won’t do a good job killing enough wolves.

    What they are up to is not hidden. It is plainly there in their official document.

  69. gline Avatar

    so the other day you had mentioned there were 26 ‘problem packs” – they will be going after all of those?

  70. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Gline, I can assure you it is just a few for the dinner table. Never an excessive amount. You’ll never see me at any of those farms where they release birds.
    Ralph, what is the definition of a problem wolf or pack? This weekend I saw a coyote running in a pasture with cattle (no calves of course). If it was a wolf would that be a problem wolf?
    Gline, I think the roughness comes from shooting gophers and prairie dogs as a kid.

  71. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    That is what I have saying for a long time here, and Ken Cole did a post on it earlier this year. It is not just a notion I came up with. Here is Ken’s Post.

    IDFG’s plans to manage wolves includes killing 26 packs as well as 80% or 100 wolves in the Lolo

  72. gline Avatar

    Ralph, yes, i know you have been talking about it (WS killing wolves) for quite awhile. I was hoping it ‘true. but unfortunately, you are a good source! Plus at the hearing for the proposed injunction back in August, Idaho had said they want 100 wolves or less, not more.

    “Another (speculative) possibility regarding increased wolf depredations on cattle is that in some areas, the wild prey base (elk and deer) may now be low enough that wolves are relying to a greater extent on livestock at certain times of year.”

    Is that true? less numbers of elk/deer? Also, wouldn’t there be some ranchers more willing to work with DOW than others? If they didn’t work with DOW at all, then the wolves already had a death notice.

    You could really pick this report to pieces, -the lawyers will.

  73. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    ProWolf in WY,

    WS calls it 3 depredations in a year by the pack. In the 2008 report I just posted, they list 20 packs and the numbers of depredations.

    You should read it yourself, but to me only a few seem serious, but then I don’t consider 3 dead cow calves any big deal, especially with reimbursement. I’ve been around farmers and ranchers and know that they expect a certain amount of loss, and wolves are almost always just a fraction of losses during the year.

    Wildlife Services makes it very clear in the report they want to use the “chronic depredation packs” specifically as a way to reduce wolf numbers — the dead livestock are not a problem for them; they are an opportunity.

  74. Cris Waller Avatar

    As for what you have to do in order to kill wildlife for Uncle Sam, a (closed) job posting can be found here- http://icwdm.org/Professional/Jobs.asp

    “The position requires use of various control tools that may include pesticides, cage traps, leg-hold traps, conibear traps, shooting, aerial gunning, fishing with rod and reel, pyrotechnics and various non-lethal tools. The position requires the operation/maintenance of a government vehicle, power boats, laptop computer, and hand/power tools. The position requires excellent physical condition, as heavy lifting and walking are required. Adverse weather conditions such as heat, cold, and precipitation may be encountered.”

    As far as education; or other requirements- have a driver’s license, take drug and pesticide applicator tests, have some experience in “an agricultural field” and with killing animals, and be legally able to use a firearm.

  75. gline Avatar

    Just think if we had the opposite of this: to work toward coexistence with wolves. many highly technically trained, well paid personnel to assist ranchers ranching in wolf country. Would that cost less? It would be more progressive, and I could have a job (with some training!)

  76. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Gline, Wildlife Services wouldn’t let you in the door. 🙂

  77. timz Avatar

    Where are all the pukes like Layton, Wilderness Muse and Gamblin, who usually show up to defend this crap. Could they even have been left speechless by this?

  78. Rich Hurry Avatar
    Rich Hurry

    So sickening. $2,500/month buys you a professional killer, who is so poorly educated he (I’m presuming they’re men) probably can’t even understand the nature of his sins…

  79. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Oh come on Timz…christ..

  80. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Actually, they have been commenting regularly, except Layton who said he was going hunting.

    I don’t know what they might say, but Wildlife Services will be hard to defend.

  81. JimT Avatar


    Layton and I rarely agree on issues discussed here, but let’s keep the personal insults away from the blog, no matter which side you are on.

    Wildlife Services needs to be gone, but it is a tool of some very arrogant power centers, and those too need to be exposed and then neutralized. As I recall, there is a new-ish book on the Wildlife Services’ activities from one of the staff of the Center for Biological Diversity. Check out their website to see if the book is out, or if the author is given.

  82. JimT Avatar


    Is there any way to get the mortality, causes, etc. information of ranches who use public lands?

  83. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    No. WS keeps this secret. FOIA requests to them are remarkably unsuccessful. There attitude seems to be, “if you want information, sue us. You might win, but you don’t have the resources to sue us every time.”

  84. william huard Avatar
    william huard


    I have some supervisor contacts at HSUS, I left a message with one of them. They would be able to provide some exposure nationally to the two issues of Wildlife Services and the predator derby issue. Who should I have them contact in your area for more specific information? These are two issues that they have focused on before, and they have over ten million members at least.

  85. timz Avatar

    JimT, maybe I’ll quit when I stop seeing names like greennecks, wolfies, wolfpeople, etc tossed around. Sorry Savebears if your upset because I left you off the list. I see you havn’t condemed tis senseless slaughter yet.

  86. jerryB Avatar

    “No. WS keeps this secret. FOIA requests to them are remarkably unsuccessful. There attitude seems to be, “if you want information, sue us. You might win, but you don’t have the resources to sue us every time.”
    True statement, Ralph. I still have scars from my battle with them.
    My last correspondence from them was..”If you want that information, take us to U.S. District Court.” This was after I appealed their first refusal.

  87. william huard Avatar
    william huard

    The person that oversees Wildlife Services in Washington under sec Vilsack’s office is Gregory Parham- Assoc administrator for USDA- I spent an hour before finally getting this information. His email address is gregory.l.parham@usda.gov. That is an L not an i in the address. Hopefully we can get some accountability or at least get out our concerns to sec Vilsack ‘s office.

  88. william huard Avatar
    william huard

    He is in an office with the administrator of aphis. The phone number is 1 202 720 3668

  89. JB Avatar

    Some contacts within Wildlife Services have told me that research staff at the NWRC are increasingly uncomfortable with the actions of “field” personnel (predator control first and foremost).

    I have supported Wildlife Services in the past because of my interactions with researchers at the NWRC, and because I believe their research on topics like zoonotic disease transmission are crucial and are generally not supported by grants from NSF or NIH.

    While I despise the practice of killing predators for the benefit of agriculture, the agency–especially its research arm–does important work that needs to continue. Personalizing the topic (e.g. referring to WS field personnel as murderers) does not contribute to a solution. Condemn the practice, not the people.

  90. JimT Avatar


    One, my experience with scientists and researchers is that they are extremely reluctant to have their research or results politicized, so they don’ often take a stand in public. Perhaps if they did, it would lead to some changes and some reins on the field personnel. The guy at NASA who took all the heat for backing up his research in public, taking the heat, and coming out of it looking like David vs. Goliath proves it can work.

    Two. you can’t “murder” an animal, but the activities of these field personnel can be correctly labeled as butchery.

  91. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    I have no need to condemn this slaughter on this blog, I write my letters and make my phone calls, and you including me on any list, make no difference to me, or this issue…

  92. Layton Avatar


    Yes, thank you, I had a good time in the mountains, no meat in the freezer, but that’s just icing on the cake anyway.

    Since I was mentioned up above several times I thought I should comment about WS.
    I thought the following paragraph from the report was really interesting — especially since time after time I see on this blog that “the feds” are violating this or that law.

    “Chronic Depredating Wolf Packs/Individuals Involved in Livestock Depredation: At the time of the initial reintroduction of experimental-nonessential wolves to Central Idaho, the FWS addressed the issue of chronic depredating wolves in their 1994 10j rule [at 50 CFR 17.84(i)(3)(vii)] with this specific language: “All chronic problem wolves (wolves that depredate on domestic animals after being moved once for previous animal depredations) will be removed from the wild (killed or placed in captivity).” Significantly, this language does not specify that chronic depredating wolves “may” be removed from the wild, but that they “will” be removed from the wild. Removal of chronic depredating wolves has been required by law since 1994.”

    This statement, coupled with the fact that I personally know two of the people that are intimately involved with these “control actions” make me doubt that WS is in reality “mass murderers” or “blood thirsty monsters” or a host of other names. I know one of these guys very well and know that he is anything but what he is portrayed as here. Seems to me that they have a job to do and they do it.

    If there is something to blame it would seem to me to be the LAW that says they should do the job “this way”

    The only personal involvement I have had with them (WS) has been when I saw them take out a pack north of McCall, a pack that, IMHO needed to be taken out. They had killed a couple of hundred sheep and were causing a LOT of damage — it wasn’t in 2008, I think it was in 2006, but I’m not sure.

    With that in mind, I think I will keep an open mind about their usefulness.


    Did you wake up this morning with your undies in a bunch?? Glad to see that you still have your normal ration of “computer courage”. 8)

  93. JB Avatar


    The extent to which government scientists are allowed to advocate for their research is a hotly debated issue. Personally, I have mixed feelings about the practice. Advocating for the legitimacy of your research/method is perfectly fine; the questions is where to draw the line? Some scientists seem to feel that it is acceptable to go waaay beyond their research, advocating positions that require many additional assumptions not addressed in their studies. I am very uncomfortable with this practice. For this reason, I only ever bring up my academic credentials when I feel I have data that speak specifically to some question that arises.

    Regarding your second point… I don’t care if you call the practice “control”, “killing”, or “slaughter”. My point was that the PRACTICE should be condemned, not the PEOPLE. Condemning people personalizes the issue and forces people to adopt a more defensive posture; in my experience it is a precursor to name-calling (which is a waste of everyone’s time).

  94. timz Avatar

    “that you still have your normal ration of “computer courage”.
    Layton, I say nothing here I wouldn’t say to your face. Anytime you want to get together and “discuss” my courage I’m sure it could be arranged.

  95. gline Avatar

    With a complete overhaul akin to what I was speaking of, they would prowolf 🙂 There would be new “management”.

  96. gline Avatar

    Gamblin said he was taking some time off a few blogs ago to let others participate (right in the crux of a good debate between himself and JB I think about states rights vs Fed control) – just in time for this news evidently.

  97. Kathryn D Avatar
    Kathryn D

    The best thing that could happen to the planet would be that the dangerous human species would become endangered.

  98. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    The recent book on what is now named “Wildlife Services” is “Predatory Bureaucracy” by Michael J. Robinson (Univ. Press of Colorado).

    This agency has been around for a long time. The name changes but their emphasis on lethal control coupled with a vestigial scientific arm has always been the case.

    Originally they were the Biological Survey, which also did some useful biological research, but the research arm and the field predator operations arm have always been always been pretty much unreleted except when research came up with great new lethal methods.

    Over the years the agency has been part of the Forest Service, Grazing Service, Dept. of Agriculture, Dept. of Interior, and now, again, Agriculture. Their orientation and devotion to stockgrowers never changes, however.

    There have been many campaigns to eliminate this agency. They are always saved by a handful of Western Senators. Even when the Secretary and the President has been hostile to them, they have managed to survive. They have nourishing roots growing at the state and county levels. Their funds are often added to from these levels, and, as we have seen, sometimes by hunting groups who think the secret to more game is always to kill the predators rather than confront the political power of the habitat destroyers.

    The stories told today about predators are hardly changed from stories told by the Biological Survey in 1915.

    The near extinction of the Mexican wolf, the gray wolf in the lower 48 states, and the grizzly bear in most of the Western states was primarily the work of the Biological Survey. Their chief weapon was poison which they used indiscriminately, stuffing carcasses all over the place with poisons that killed all the scavengers too.

    Mountain lions avoided the fate because they tend less tro feed on carcasses they find.

    By the 1950s the mentality was kill the coyotes and then poison the resulting explosion of rodents (and kill the hawks and eagles that ate the rodents).

    In other words, no knowledge of ecology at all.

    Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter did the most to reign this agency in, and they have been trying to get back to the old days ever since.

  99. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland

    timz when are people on here gonna drop the “red-neck” “cabela’s queens” and many other names you label us hunters?

    I do get irritated when WS caters to public land ranchers. I would be happy to cows off the range.

  100. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    When people call you names it is hard not to call them back, but Josh is right on this unless you want to try to demonize someone or some group.

    I realize that some will say I am hardly one to talk, but I think “landed nobility” is a partially accurate description of our social reality in regard to large livestock operators on the open range.

  101. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    TIMZ – not sure if you were around a few weeks back for the “greenneck” discussion – I was. Just so you will know, it was a pleasant discussion taken in good humor by all parties involved – that includes self admitted “greennecks” such as Ralph.

  102. Alan Gregory Avatar

    Good newspape article here http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20091130/COLUMNISTS01/91130003/%E2%80%98Coywolves-a-product-of-evolution on what many people refer to as the Eastern coyote, but is actually, thanks to evolution, now known as the “coywolf”

  103. Cris Waller Avatar

    Interesting article. Impressive how massive the jaws are on the mounted specimen that they picture in the article, compared to needle-nosed California coyotes!

  104. JimT Avatar


    Landed nobility is certainly how the public welfare ranchers have come to think of themselves, with “in fee” property rights to public lands instead of revocable permits as the courts have repeatedly ruled. I know of no other “profession” with the sense of entitlement they have to their business no matter the damage to the land, or how much of a handout they expect from taxpayers. In some ways, it is a fascinating study on how myths persist despite facts. We have urban myths..why not rural myths? ~S~

  105. JimT Avatar


    I wasn’t just referring to government scientists, but I understand their reluctance, especially given the very active, very visible effort on the part of the Bush Administration to silence science that didn’t fit its political agenda.

    I think that is why scientists should have a serious debate about the past practice of staying out of the fray; to speak up when good, peer-reviewed science is buried. Probably not ideal, but seems to be the sad political reality. When you have the Gov. of Utah, one of the naysayers on climate change, saying he will have a summit to get the REAL story and science out on climate change, how can you sit back and watch that kind of farce go on, especially if it is your own life’s work?

  106. James Gluc Avatar
    James Gluc

    I would have a lot more sympathy for the ranchers if they weren’t profiting off bargain lease rates. They say they want Easterners and the Federal government off their backs.

    I propose a fair trade; they pay rent at market rates in exchange for control of predators. If not, what I want, wolves, is as important as what they want, profits.

  107. JB Avatar


    Most of the scientists I know are happy to speak out on behalf of their work. Unfortunately, we are often undercut by our own legislatures (i.e. the people who write the checks for the public universities that we work for). My wife was recently called a Nazi and compared to Hitler for authoring a paper that showed no association between smoking bans and job loss in bars and restaurants. A conservative state senator (a lawyer by training) had the gall to write the university president with a critique of her work (which used an extremely complex statistical procedure).

    Then, after we’ve been insulted and publicly berated for doing our jobs, we have to compose calm and thoughtful replies explaining why our methods are correct and conclusions sound. So, rather than berating scientists for doing their job, I suggest you take your complaints to your elected officials.

  108. Cobra Avatar

    Any ideas on this one?
    An aquaintance of mine shot a wolf on saturday not to far from town. The pack was across a steep canyon about 350 yards away. By the time he went down the canyon and up the other side to where the wolf fell it was gone so he followed the tracks and drag marks about a hundred yards to where the rest of the pack had already torn up and eaten at least half of the one he shot, when they saw him they ran but not the other way he said they actually ran around him in the direction he had just come from. Kind of scared him that they were behind him so he got the hell out of there as he was by himself. Any ideas on this anyone.

  109. James Gluc Avatar
    James Gluc

    JB —

    You’re so right. Recently discovered e-mails show a concerted effot to silence global warming skeptics.

  110. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I’ve never heard of wolf cannibalism. It hasn’t been documented in Yellowstone where scores of wolf attacks on each other have been documented in detail

    I can’t say it didn’t happen, but people also tell tales.

  111. Cobra Avatar

    He’s a young guy but has been in the woods his whole life and he seems like a pretty straight forward kind of guy. Hard to say I guess and since no one else was around there is no proof of what exactly might have happened. I have heard of a couple of cases up here about wolf cannibalism.

  112. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    If it happened, it’s too bad photos weren’t taken so biologists could check it out.

  113. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    I just did a quick Google search and came up with an article that seems to suggest cannibalism occurs and is fairly common in Alaska wolves. It appears to be a reprint of a February 2009 Farbanks newspaper piece. Here is the link cannibalism is discussed in the last few paragraphs, and the biologists interviewed seem qualified to offer the comments.


    Wolf Song of Alaska is a 501(c) (3) that represents itself to be an apolitical resource group.

    Whether this young hunter Cobra speaks of is telling the truth is yet another matter.

  114. gline Avatar

    Funny Mech and Murie don’t talk about wolf cannibalism in their research. Much more research on wolf pack loyalty. Sounds like a tall story – re cannibalism.

  115. Cindy Avatar

    Tall tale indeed. If he was so close to town why be scared off before pictures were taken, or more shots fired into the air to scatter the pack, or even going to round up some friends to come take a look. come on, this on seems far fetched.
    Also, maybe we actually do need more research on Wolves before we go blasting them away during an extended wolf hunt and predator derby, so we can learn more about this behavior.

  116. Cindy Avatar

    Actually on second thought if cannibalism did occur, who cares? This is a WILD animal, doing what wild animals do to survive in a wild world. I think we equate this animal to closely with our mutts lying at our feet (I have one doing that right now), that we can’t stomach what wild is. As much of a pro-wolfer as I am, I don’t watch video tape of wolf kills, although I’ve had many opportunities, I don’t need to see half eaten calves or the stomach ripped out of an antelope fawn. As I don’t need to see video of cattle or chicken slaughter houses or any of the inhuman treatment of farm animals that goes on everyday. Wolves are animals folks – doing what animals do.

  117. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Bears eat their young, so why is it far fetched that wolves would eat each other? Bears and wolves are at the top.

  118. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Cindy – better be careful around here – reminding some in this community that wolves are just WILD animals can unleash “the fury”.

  119. Cindy Avatar

    Once I was able to balance my deep emotional attraction to My Brother Wolf, with some real facts and hard science on how they live, it was very liberating. I now can love them and look at their medicine for guidance on how to conduct my own life. Pathfinders indeed! And I get to be a bitch if I want to:):):)

  120. JimT Avatar


    Whoa, big fella. Berating? I think I sense a little defensiveness there VBG

    I sympathize for folks being pressured because they want to get their academic or scientific work out there, explain it, and without the risk of a job…I know of several folks(one on this list for sure) in the Feds and state bureaucracies who were either forced out, kicked out, or decided to leave because of political pressures, and some of those include scientists. It is ugly.

    That said, it appears as if the political reality is ” severe attack mode”, no matter your field of study, and if the scientific community as a whole doesn’t recognize that fact, and do something as an entity to fight back…publicity, lawsuits….it will just continue. It isn’t enough just to do your work anymore, sadly.

  121. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    If starvation is or cannibalism is the choice guess what the decision will be.
    Even among humans

  122. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    JB and JimT,

    In the Unites States today, I’d say science is confronted by an enemy just as dangerous and backward as the Church against Gaelio in the 1600s.

  123. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    The thing about the cannibalism story from North Idaho that doesn’t ring true is that the few cases of wolf cannibalism reported are of one wolf pack eating dead members of other packs or unidentified carcasses.

    In the story Cobra wondered about the wolf pack was said to have half eaten a member of their own pack, and so quickly that he could not retrieve the wolf he shot.

  124. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    Even more important, is whether this hunter is compelled to notch his tag and deliver the remains to IDGF for inspection within the allowed time, and if the kill would be included in the quota for the unit and the total. To do otherwise, would seem to be illegal.

    Cobra, maybe your young friend could use a reminder.

  125. gline Avatar

    Talks with Bears, To be correct you should read the science from the experts that have spent hours, years in the field observing wolves rather than surmising if bears do it, why not wolves? You are spreading the tall tale and it is offensive.

  126. gline Avatar

    The point is if there were cannibalism in wolves it would be rare and out of desparate need, kind of like, well, us. Spreading tall tales around that they are monsters eating themselves (how would they still be here) is offensive and well, untrue. Just the facts mam…

  127. Layton Avatar


    I realize that, in your eyes, wolves are pretty perfect. But here is a pointer to an article that you might want to read on the subject.


    By the way, it’s on a site that very much favors wolves.

  128. catbestland Avatar


    As the article mentions this is “Intra-spacific strife” Territory wars, and it occurs in all predator species. Look at lion prides in Africa. It should not be used to demonize wolves. Rather wolf on wolf killing should be factored into the equasion to determine a “sustainable population” and taken into consideration before a decision on how many wolves should be removed from any given area. I doubt that it was. Those who wish to demonize wolves are quick to point out their “supposedly evil tendancies” but neglect to use this same information when it comes to preserving the species.

  129. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Gline – it is clear that the video evidence provided above supports my opinion regarding the wolf cannibalism. If you still find my opinions offensive so be it. Just the facts. Let them be wild!!!!!!!!!!

  130. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Wilderness Muse posted the same link earlier. I reacted to it further up.

  131. Layton Avatar


    Sorry about that – didn’t notice it was the same thing.


    “Those who wish to demonize wolves are quick to point out their “supposedly evil tendancies” but neglect to use this same information when it comes to preserving the species.”

    Not trying to “demonize” anything. Really it’s pretty simple. Someone tells a story that says “wolves sometimes eat each other”, that story gets on this blog, most everyone says he’s not telling the truth “this doesn’t happen”, evidence is found to the contrary “this does happen”.

    It’s denied. End of story.

  132. Cobra Avatar

    Actually the guy I’m talking about was hunting wolves and waited till later in the season to get one because he wanted a pelt. It was getting close to dark and not many of us carry cameras or video recorders while we hunt. The area he was in is only a couple miles from here and pretty rough terrain as almost all of north Idaho is. It’s not an area were you just load up and go to town and back in a half hour. None of us were there with him so he’s the only one that knows the whole story. All outdoorsmen have probably seen things while hunting and hiking that do not ring true with whats supposed to be. Wolves are just another wild animal and do not always follow the rules that are written in a book. Guilty until proven innocent seems to be the way anymore if it does not follow your beliefs. If he just wanted to shoot a wolf and not punch a tag why not shoot and just shut up. It amazes me how many of us can read minds. I wasn’t there and he’s been a straight shooter the few years that I’ve known him so I tend to believe him. Wild animals are unpredictable, he’s the only one that knows for sure.

  133. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland

    I know coyotes will cannabilize.

  134. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Cobra – thanks for sharing the story. Just know that many on this site are interested in news only about the soft and fuzzy side of the wolf or bear.

  135. Cindy Avatar

    Oh PLEASE – give us pro wolfies a little more credit. I believe most of us do understand and respect the essence of the “Wild Things” , AND we truly do love ’em just the same (or maybe even a little more because of it). After all, they are beautiful creatures trying to carve out a living on the Earth, just like us! See, no panties in a wad here!

  136. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Oh Cindy – just going by my experience here and elsewhere. Cindy, I must say that you are much more down to earth than the rest of the pro wolfie crowd. Bet you would dig into an elk burger at the cookout?

  137. JB Avatar

    Talks with Bears:

    After posting here for two years, I can honestly say that I can’t recall a single thread about the “soft and fuzzy side” of wolves and bear. Perhaps that’s because wolves tend to get extremely negative news coverage?

    Wolves will resort to cannibalism under some conditions (same as humans, bears, coyotes, etc.). It doesn’t make the “bad” any more so than being pack-oriented makes them “good”.

  138. Cindy Avatar

    Opps – Not I said the fly. I actually gave up the last of the meats in the Spring of 2008 when the Montana Department of Slaughter took down over 1,500 Bison, and 13 Wolves were gunned down in Sublette County – 7 days after being removed from the List. Fish and Fowl only. I actually prefer my share of Elk to go to the Wolves….:)

  139. JimT Avatar

    Does anyone know Doug Smith well enough to ask him about the cannibalism issue?

    Is it any “worse” than male grizz going after and killing cubs?

    I think think this may be a case of us imposing our taboos on the inhabitants of wild places..silly.

    Was on a walk today with my almost 15 year old Lab near some open space here, and suddenly, about 20 yds away, the “grass” stirred and it was a coyote lifting its head to check us out…virtually invisible this time of year. Saw us, yawned, curled up again and went on waiting for a rabbit to happen on it…LOL…

    Ralph, I agree about your point about a war on science. There was a book written about this a few years back; the name and author escapes me, but a few NPR interviews with him stuck with me about the immense pressures being brought on scientists by Bush and the cronies to shut up or get shipped out. I am encouraged by the fact that Galileo won out…~S~ BTW, the book about the daughter of Galileo is worth checking out…

  140. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    I went to the link suggested by Layton and found an interesting tidbit about those monster northern wolves.

    “”If you’ve got a small pack, you won’t have two big males,” he said. “But if you get a pack of 16 or 17, there’s going to be two or three 120- or 130-pound males.””

    These are the ones that do the most fighting according to the author.

  141. Cindy Avatar

    Ralph can you ask Doug? I think someone may have asked him in class last summer, but it just doesn’t seem like we spent any time on the subject and for the life of me I can’t remember. I have read 5 or 6 of his papers the past few months but none speaks of cannibalism. The Yellowstone wolves definitely kill each other and sometimes kill quite viciously. Actually now that I think about it didn’t the Slough Creek females held captive by the mystery pack consume their pups while they were stuck in the den?

  142. gline Avatar

    I would enjoy an elk burger Talks with Bears, in fact I have. Why do you assume if someone likes wolves they are against hunting for food?

  143. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Sure I can ask him.

    If wolves sometimes eat other wolves it is not ethical issue.
    I just raised the issue because the story told by a wolf hunter in North Idaho seemed unlikely. It still does.

    It seems wolves sometimes eat dogs too, but not often. They just kill them and leave them.

  144. Cindy Avatar

    I think the story is very unlikely and I think sometimes this type of hype is put out there just get me all fired up!! I’m pretty sure those Slough Creek wolves had to resort to eating the pups out of their own situation of starving because they could not get out of the den. And yes, not ever an ethical issue, anthropomorphizing doesn’t work on Wild Ole’ Wolf!

  145. Phil Maker Avatar
    Phil Maker

    Sorry if this is somewhat out of synch (I only got about halfway down the comments before I felt compelled to chime in). Wildlife Services should have absolutely no say in the “management” of wolves in ID- they do control work at the behest of the State (IDFG). It is highly presumptuous of them to recommend control tactics in their annual report since they really have no authority in those matters; this is a case of the tail wagging the dog.

  146. Phil Maker Avatar
    Phil Maker

    In response to Layton’s assertion above about WS’ contention that the federal gov’t. is violating its own laws by not removing chronic wolves: “All chronic problem wolves (wolves that depredate on domestic animals after being moved once for previous animal depredations) will be removed from the wild (killed or placed in captivity).” There is also some verbiage in this that indicates that the wolves must have been moved (re-located) at least once before they would be permanently removed from the wild population. In reviewing past NPT and IDFG annual reports, there have been 0 (zero) wolves re-located in the past several years, so WS’ “reasoning” is faulty to begin with.

  147. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Gline – I do not assume that at all – pro wolfies/bears have to eat also. Would you care to agree with me that on this site many are less than enthusiastic and at times down right rude towards those of us that choose to kill our own food instead of hiring someone to do it? Glad to hear that you would enjoy the elk burger – that could be a conversation starter at the cookout.

  148. JimT Avatar

    Talk With Bears,

    Will you agree that some of the pro hunting crowd on this blog is somewhat condescending and superior towards those of us who prefer to experience the wild places sans guns? That somehow, the hunting experience makes one automatically closer with nature?

    Two sides to every story…~S~.Why not agree to disagree, and let’s put that discussion to bed, so to speak? As I have said, I am not anti-hunting. I am just pro “predator hunting”…you kill to eat because you have to in order to survive.

    No elk for me, but I have had bison burgers….~S~

  149. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    When we are talking about wild animals, there is no ethics, there is no murder, come of folks, lets stop applying human ideals to wild animals, who cares if one wolf consumed part of another, once an animal is dead on the ground, it is nothing more than food, that includes humans as well as virtually any other species on the planet.

    Cannibalism is a human definition, it has no application to wild animals!

    There is no condemning or praising here, wild animals eat what they can to ensure two things, continued survival and continued reproduction!

  150. Salle Avatar

    Save Bears,

    “Cannibalism is a human definition, it has no application to wild animals!”

    Thank you. Spoken like a true biologist, and I mean that as a compliment.

    I’ve just read through the day’s posts here and I can’t believe how the conversation has veered off into some tangent of vitriol that includes anthropomorphizing a facet of wild carnivore behavior.

    Now that the brick wall has been identified and reached, can we return to the thread of origin?

  151. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Well, orginally it was whether Wildlife Services and ID Fish and Game have teamed up to have a second wolf hunt run invisibly along side the official hunt.

    I know my post has made it around the country on many listservs. We will see if newspapers pick it up.

  152. JimT Avatar

    I KNOW it made it to the exec.offices of several of the national wildlife groups because I sent it there. We will see if their publicity folks pick it up and run with it. But, frankly, with Obama’s speech tonight, etc….I suspect there will be no national newspaper coverage.

    If WS files are as secretive as folks say and have found, it will be hard to document, however. These folks appear to know how to cover their paper trail.

    FWIW, my old law school’s clinic put out a “People’s Guide to FOIA” a bunch of years ago that was and is still helpful to the layperson. If you are interested, you may want to contact WELC in Eugene to see if they have a copy..I think the original author was Mike Axline, one of my teachers at the environmental litigation clinic there.

  153. JimT Avatar

    Ralph, perhaps if you forwarded it on to Tim Egan’s NY times blog, he could pick up the theme; I know he has a national readership….

  154. Cris Waller Avatar

    Jim T-
    “There was a book written about this a few years back; the name and author escapes me”
    Would that be Chris Mooney’s “The Republican War on Science”?

  155. gline Avatar

    Talks with Bears, folks have been downright rude about a lot of things on this blog, out of emotion or whatever, but not just about eating meat. I personally would rather have people eat wild game then slaughter house abused, neglected, exploited meat of mcDonalds or , activity that also contributes to loss of wolves indirectly, (ranchers and their heavenly cows, until slaughter time of course) and many many other bad side effects. So if it is a choice, wild game would be better but only if we are to not exterminate every other predator that needs to eat as well. We need to share the wealth and not blame wolves for loss of deer / elk/ caribou etc. but thats just me. Guess I am a biocentrist.

  156. Salle Avatar

    “Guess I am a biocentrist.”


    I think a big problem with the wildlife issue is that many folks are “speciecentric”.

  157. gline Avatar

    what the heck is that?

  158. Salle Avatar

    Since it’s a term I think I may have invented, I define it as the phenomena of believing that only one specie matters in the grand scheme of life ~ that would be humans in this case ~ all other species, in this definition, are there for the convenience of the only one (specie) that matters.

  159. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    gline – I appreciate your position. You have made it clear that there is room for us (hunters) and we are happy for that. Cheers.

  160. gline Avatar

    oh I see so, the opposite of biocentrism, like anthropocentric?

  161. gline Avatar

    room? I haven’t made any room for you, you are there already! I dont think you have a problem making room for yourself… thanks for trying to make room for us wildlife watchers… and the wildlife that deserves to be here, because they are here.


  162. Snobr9 Avatar

    JEFF E Says:
    November 28, 2009 at 1:38 AM …
    (Think of one acre as what would cover a football field from sideline to sideline and from one goal line to the opposite end to the 10 yard line. Go by a school and look at a football field then imagine 53000 of them.
    See the wolf?)
    Jeff-this is a very powerful picture you have painted. Thank you!!

  163. Jinny Lee Avatar
    Jinny Lee

    We have a moral and spiritual obligation to be good stewards of this planet and that INCLUDES its animals.

  164. JimT Avatar

    Chris…Yes, that is the book.

    I also forgot that the Office of Technology Advancement was abolished several years ago, and I think that may have started this trend that science is not required as part of governing a country, just rhetoric.

  165. JimT Avatar

    I believe the Animal Rights folks call the unwillingness to consider animals on a equal plane when we make these huge ecosystem changes, or just assume they exist for whatever purpose humans deem positive for them regardless of impact on the animals as “species-ism”

  166. Ernie Miller Avatar
    Ernie Miller

    If you want to stop the actiona of Idaho or Alaska or any other place. you should know by now you have to attack the $$$ so put the publicity of Agraculture or toursim or any other major money source in that State. Make the public know that a company is buying Idaho’s potatos and by doing so they are Killing the wolves. Does Mc D’s use their potatos? if so put the guns in Ronalds hands. that would look good to all the kids in America! Work to put a hault to the toursim. Find a major company that buys or has bought beef from there. Even if it is just a couple % of their over all product use make them the people holding the gun because ultimatly they are. if they do buisness there they are the ones KILLING the Wolves. Take away the income and tax dollars and the ranchers and government will listen. if they sell their beef and the purchaser get slammed for being wolf killers they will not come back to buy more. Public image is everything to Corperate america and they will do waht it takes to make them selves look good to make more money. Put the gun in the hand of any public person that owns or does buisness with any State killing the wolves. Start the cry “are you killing the wolves or just looking the other way!”

  167. JimT Avatar

    Or was it Technology Assessment?…That sounds right.

  168. charm Avatar

    this is totally outrageous! to kill a pregnant wolves, and let the wolves pups died of starvations is not acceptable! people needs to starts standing up for these innocents animals! the wolf hunters have no respect for natures at all! let me tell you something wolf hunters….what goes around will comes around! don’t ever whine about you or your families will one day experience starvations..it can happens to you too! I looked at wolves as a dogs…but they are wild animals. dogs are more tame. you need to start targeting birth control at them not to kill!!!!!!

  169. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Take the time to spell, and I can’t do anything about this.

  170. Ernie Miller Avatar
    Ernie Miller

    No you cant alone we all need to work to find a perminant solution. whit a little efforet we can do it. I will do some reasurch and see where it will impact the most $$$

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      Has everyone forgotten how to spell all of a sudden?

  171. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Thank you for your comments. I am closing this thread. We’re pretty much down to people who can’t take time to edit their comments.


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

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Ralph Maughan