Charges dropped against N. Idaho man who shot wolf

The wolf was 170 yards away when it was shot

I think this is pretty serious. It goes to show the lack of an adequate regulatory framework on behalf of the State of Idaho. The wolf was 170 yards away when the guy shot it. If they can’t prosecute a case like this then they can’t prosecute any case of illegal wolf killing. Idaho is not upholding their responsibility to enforce laws protecting wolves.

The article is vague about the circumstances of the incident but one is left to wonder what the “valid” defense is.

Recall the incident in 2008 when there were “No Charges Filed in Wolf Killing Near Ashton, Idaho

Here are the factors in the ESA which are considered when a species becomes listed as endangered or threatened:

SEC. 4. (a) GENERAL.—(1) The Secretary shall by regulation promulgated in accordance
with subsection (b) determine whether any species is an endangered species
or a threatened species because of any of the following factors:

(A) the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of
its habitat or range;
(B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational
(C) disease or predation;
(D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
(E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

Charges dropped against N. Idaho man who shot wolf
Idaho Statesman

The common perception amongst most people, and apparently prosecutors, is that the present law in Idaho allows people to kill a wolf if it is causing them to worry.  Well, the Attorney General’s definition of “worry” is a little more specific than that.  Is the confusion intentional and was this language used specifically to make it harder to prosecute the illegal killing of wolves?

It’s now obvious that any definition of “worry” will suffice to allow someone to kill a wolf.

This is an email that was sent to all IDFG employees in 2008 explaining what the term “worry” meant in the context of Senate Bill 1374.

From: Strack, Steve []
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2008 4:21 PM
To: Groen,Cal
Subject: Senate Bill 1371- meaning of “worry”

Cal, as we discussed earlier today, the term “worry” has a definite and narrow meaning as applied to predators. The American Heritage Dictionary (4th ed.), defines worry to mean: “to pull or tear at something with or as if with the teeth.

Here’s the definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Worry: 2 a: to harass by tearing, biting, or snapping especially at the throat b: to shake or pull at with the teeth (a terrier worrying a rat). Link:

I would assert that the Legislature, in adopting Senate Bill 1374, intended to use the term “worry” as defined above.

The term “worry” was used in Senate Bill 1374 to describe the actions of a wolf that would constitute molestation. It was not intended to describe the effects of the wolf’s action on livestock. Therefore, the other common usage of “worry,” to “feel uneasy or concerned,” would be nonsensical. Courts will avoid nonsensical interpretations of statutes.

Steven W. Strack
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0010
Phone: (208) 334-4143
Fax: (208) 854-8072






  1. gline Avatar

    Blatant disregard for Federal Law, it seems the Idaho politicians think they are above Fed law.

  2. gline Avatar

    If one lives within a utilitarian worldview/perspective, however, one reads and perceives only for themselves, not anything else. Worry means to them -does it worry you? Or one can abuse that concept.

    Time for education in the courtroom.

  3. Salle Avatar

    Ha! Time for education, period.

  4. mikarooni Avatar

    So, what about Idaho do you still not understand?

  5. william huard Avatar
    william huard

    The ignorance is mind- blowing. If it wasn’t so pathetic it would almost be amusing. Take a blood-thirsty anti-predator mentality, add the psychological impairment of worry- and there you go – a license to kill. Just think of the discomfort that could have occurred if the wolf got closer than 170 yards!

  6. Salle Avatar

    “So, what about Idaho do you still not understand?”

    Absolutely nothing. I was well aware before I moved to Idaho in 1990. I did have the notion that my presence would assist those like-minded folks who were already there…

  7. Chris Harbin Avatar
    Chris Harbin

    That the charges were dropped is pitiful. However, at least he was charged. In Arizona and New Mexico, they are still ‘investigating” even though it is well known that at least one person was baiting wolves. To my knowledge, there has only been one successful prosecution of a Mexican Wolf killer and that was in the first year or two of the program.

  8. william huard Avatar
    william huard

    One of the posts made it clear that the shoot, shovel, shutup mentality is very acceptable. The blatant dis-regard for the law and the ESA is very troubling!

  9. Petticoat Rebellion Avatar
    Petticoat Rebellion

    So where are the Fed’s??!! The USFWS has law enforcement and they should be knocking on this guy’s door with a warrant! He clearly violated laws under Section 9 of the ESA and should be subject to the penalties associated with those violations.

  10. jon Avatar

    The blatant disregard for that animal’s life that was taken is very troubling William.

  11. jon Avatar

    Some of these people who shoot wolves illegally know what they are doing. They prolly have the same anti-wolf mentality as the hunters. They see a wolf and shoot it and than lie and claim that the wolf was threatening them.

  12. jon Avatar

    I guess we can’t expect anything different. We know it’s wrong, but it happened and nothing happened to the guy responsible for taking the wolf’s life. With wildlife services being free to wipe out wolf packs, how can anyone think that this guy would be prosecuted? A lot of anti-wolf mentality going around in Idaho nowadays.

  13. gline Avatar


  14. Salle Avatar

    As opposed to when?

  15. gline Avatar

    It’s nothing new!

  16. Ken Cole Avatar

    Petticoat Rebellion,

    The Feds have no management authority over wolves now since they are delisted.

  17. Salle Avatar

    Ken’s right. It’s all up to the state, and it’s quite evident where they stand, thank you Gale Norton.

  18. Ken Cole Avatar

    Here is another article (abbreviated from a longer subscription version) that explains more of the circumstances.

  19. Ken Cole Avatar

    Salle, don’t you mean Ken Salazar?

  20. Salle Avatar

    It was Gale Norton who signed over management control to the state on Jan. 6th, or 4th-?, 2004. But then we had the great misfortune of Kempthorne taking over from her and now Salazar who is no better (IMHO)…

    So I guess it’s all of them to some degree but it’s her signature on the document. It is, as you suggest, Salazar’s faulty rubber-stamping that makes it the worse, though.

  21. gline Avatar

    You are right Ken. It is state law at this point.

  22. timz Avatar

    “A lot of anti-wolf mentality going around in Idaho nowadays.”

    I think it stems from knowing they are going to lose control again. Hurry up and kill as many as we can, ignore the laws, etc. Then listen to them whimper about “liberal judges” when they loose.

  23. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Ralph – thanks for printing the factors for ESA listing. Clearly, we all can agree that the wolf is no longer an endangered species in the northern rockies. Any hand wringing is simply by pro wolfies that just want more wolves – or their lawyers who just want another billable hour for a bogus lawsuit.

  24. gline Avatar

    No, I don’t agree with you Talks with Bears, the wolf is always threatened worldwide. The “pro wolfies” that want larger population numbers is purely for the health of the species, not for the heck of it. Look at the numbers of wolves (bears, cougars, etc) this country used to have before manifest destiny.

  25. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    gline – I appreciate your passion, however; I do not agree with your position on the issue. In addtion, your position is unatainable do to the fact that humans are here and wildlife must be managed in accordance to the tolerance of the human/wildlife interface.

  26. Ken Cole Avatar


    FYI, Ralph didn’t write this post.

  27. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Ken – FYI, my comments still stand. Thanks for your assistance.

  28. Ronnie Avatar

    “Any hand wringing is simply by pro wolfies that just want more wolves”

    Actually, I would like to see accountability. Otherwise, all large carnivores will eventually become threatened if we don’t Keep people to their word. I agree wolves are no longer endangered in the legal sense; however, I see Idaho taking the same path Wyoming did when they had a window of opportunity to “manage” their wolves.

    Any “hand Wringing” done in behalf of the wolves would be to ensure we can KEEP them off the ESA. I don’t agree it would be a bogus lawsuit if “management” in Idaho stays on its current path.

  29. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    from a different thread,

    “Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Says:
    January 9, 2010 at 11:33 PM

    Jeff E –
    The IDFG investigated this incident, cited the individual for misdemeanor illegal take of a big game animal – out of season and recommended prosecution. From that point, the legal system takes over. The prosecutor in this case, as described in the article, made a decision that he could get a conviction and dropped the charges. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon outcome in our criminal justice system for many wildlife and other criminal charges.”
    I realize all that.
    The point is that the state of Idaho, at the government/legislative level and down to the various county law enforcement agencies, as detailed in other places on this blog and different media outlets, have no intention of treating wolves as more than, at best, a pest or vermin.

    Until that mindset changes, which is highly unlikely as long as we have a legislative body controlled by the livestock industry, wolves will never be considered as a “valued big game animal”.

    To claim otherwise is so much drivel.

  30. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    Jeff E –
    This type of violation and prosecution outcome is all too familiar for all species, including deer, elk, moose and others. There is nothing unique to wolves in the outcome of this violation. In fact, this outcome is common to ALL types of criminal charges. I don’t argue that there are hostile attitiudes towards wolves in the United States, including Idaho and other western states. How that affects the legal status of wolves under the ESA is another matter.

  31. jon Avatar

    Mark, do you think the wolves will be back on the endangered species list this year and also, how % of livestock kills are wolves really responsible for in Idaho? It seems that whenever livestock is killed, wolves get the blame. I don’t doubt that wolves kill some livestock, but I’m sure other predators and animals are responsible for livestock kills as well.

  32. Ken Cole Avatar

    To be fair the IDFG did give a citation to this person, however, it goes to show how the State has blatant disregard for rules protecting wildlife, especially wolves. Keeping that in mind, it seems that it would behoove the State to do more to avoid re-listing of wolves by making sure that these types of cases are prosecuted.

    The duplicitous jargon used by the Attorney General’s Office to provide cover to the State so that the Feds will accept their management plan is belied by their practice of not prosecuting these cases.

  33. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    here is some reading you might want to do if you have not already.
    Note that Idaho declared an actual ((state of emergency)) in regards to wolves.

    As opposed to what some would have you believe, that this is just the legislature venting, this is statuary law.

    Medieval Idaho, courtesy the livestock industry.

  34. JimT Avatar


    How about managing humans at the nature-human interface? Your phrasing betrays your bias for human first, nature section baseline for all decision making on this kind of issue.

    I also would urge you to read Michael Bean’s book on the Endangered Species Act. Your oversimplistic statement about Northern Rockies wolves and their status ignores case law interpreting both regs and statutes. When you go to law school, they tell you to “start with the statute, then the regs, then the lawsuits, and look at the whole picture”.

    I will agree with Mark G. on one point. This kind of thing happens alot in the sense of judges or magistrates slapping hunter’s wrists. It is because the state departments that deal with wildlife issues are mainly or solely dependant on the fees for their budgets, and everyone knows you can’t tick off the funders, no matter who they are or how you get the money. I saw this frequently in Vermont and New Hampshire with poaching deer.

    But this…this just takes the ridiculous to the sublimely ludicrous. Idaho politicians and state decision makers couldn’t be any clearer in their intent…they want all wolves out of their state permanently and won’t stop until they are.

    I really don’t see how you could work for such an agency, Mark, in good conscience.

  35. Salle Avatar

    Thanks for posting that Jeff E. I had temporarily forgotten that one.

    It is obvious, from reading this document, that any provisions in the State Management Plan are easily, and have been, circumvented by the legislature after the management plan was agreed to by USFWS and that USFWS has continued to look the other way with regard to these actions of the legislature.

    I guess that by declaring a state of emergency they can, probably by way of W-Cheney-speak, go about the business they have intended all along and ignore legal responsibilities due to the “emergency” that gives them license to do whatever… like that war in Iraq and the “war on terror”.

    This, in my experience, indicates that the state legislature and its agencies (IDF&G in particular) had intended to ignore their fiduciary responsibilities agreed to with the USFWS and bypass any prior agreements regarding the safety and well being of the previously deemed endangered specie. It is obvious that they have no intention of ensuring the recovery of this specie and are willing to break the laws requiring them to do so at the behest of extractive industries-their financiers. Gamblin’s propaganda comments are an offensive move to try and quell the public concern for this illegal activity with double-speak and two-faced answers to individuals. When you look back at the different answers to the same questions, Gamblin seems to be spinning the nontruths to sound as though there is true concern for the specie and that they are in good health and good hands when it is clear that nothing of the sort is taking place in the state. Watch their lips, if they are moving, they’re lying.

  36. IzabelaM Avatar

    Talks with bears,
    “humans are here and wildlife must be managed in accordance to the tolerance of the human/wildlife interface.”
    How about the fact that wildlfie was here first, we moved in and maybe we need to be managed not wildlife. The urban sprawl, the ever present cows and sheep and more more for rahcners and less and less for wildlife.
    Talk with bears, maybe you need to talk to bears to find out what they think about the wildlife management.

    Wolf got bad reputation and no matter what happens to precious cow or sheep, it is the wolf fault. And, why don’t kill wolves, cougars, coyotes, and other predators and be happy. It makes me sick to read all the lame explanations from Mark G. and other people defending cry babies ranchers and hunters.

  37. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    here is some more Sunday afternoon perusal.

    Notice with interest that it was thought that there would be no call to gun wolves from the air, (however give a boy a toy…..), and also Mech’s face to face, literally, interaction with Arctic wolves that had not been subject to “management”

  38. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Note that the Commissar can issue (a) kill permit(s) for any or no reason whatsoever.
    Just simply that wolves exist.

  39. gline Avatar

    I agree TWB- but it is how they are managed.

  40. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Jim T – thanks for your input. And also, thank you for proving my point. It is clear to anyone, but a lawyer, that wolves are no longer endangered in the Northern Rockies. Seriously, get out of arbitrary statues and accept what is happening today and everyday in the Northern Rockies b/t wolves/wildlife and humans. If you favor wolves then you and others like you would stop the ridiculous moving of the bar and hiding behind legal wording that does not represent reality. This leads to less public support to your position. As I have said before – pro wolf people know how to win but, have no idea how to be winners. You have won – wolves have been reintroduced and are here to stay – get a grip.

  41. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    IzabelaM – it appears you and I have a difference of opinion on the order of species – so to speak.

  42. Salle Avatar

    Jeff E,

    Indeed. The fact that they exist outside of a zoo is just too much for some people.

  43. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    This person is probably some sort of hero to the hunters and ranchers and to politicians like Otter and Rammell.

  44. Si'vet Avatar

    I am back from my self imposed time out, after loosing it over the U of I issue. Does anyone have a link to the article on the wolf killing in N. Idaho @ 170 yds. I would like to read it. Not every whining hunter feels poachers of ANY big game animal is a hero.

  45. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    As a hunter Prowolf, I can tell you, he is no hero to me…

  46. Cobra Avatar

    He should of lost his hunting rights for at least three years and been fined. Trespassers are supposed to get at least that much. I take offense that most here group all hunters into the anti wolf and poaching crowd. What he did was illegal and he should of been punished. I think it would of gone a long ways for public relations and how others view Idaho also. I would expect the same if it would of been an elk, deer or any other game animal.

  47. Elk275 Avatar

    ++He should of lost his hunting rights for at least three years and been fined.++

    In order for that to happen is that he must plea guilty or be convicted by a court of law. If the jury in that jurisdiction is so anti wolf that a jury of his peers in all probability will find him innocent why waste the taxpayers money. There are some on this forum that want it their way one way or another.

  48. vickif Avatar

    Some people would say that “ridiculous wording” which stands for nothing is what is used every day as a non-scientific means to destroy wolves.

    I get that wolves are no longer endangered in some of the northern rockies. But that doesn’t equate to the species being without threat of becoming endangered again. It doesn’t guarantee the wolves being able to sustain a genetically viable population. And it doesn’t, in any way, justify the species being killed via government free for alls.

    Most here think there is a better way to handle it than the current plan. I would be one of those people. However, I am not one of the people who thinks there will never be a time for wolves to be hunted. So, I hunt, and believe wolves belong in the ecosystem, and that they deserve the same conservation methods afforded other game.

    Hiding behind legal mumbo jumbo can be done by both sides of the issue. But the fact remains, legal wording exists, and is meant to be interpreted by people who are unbiast…ie: judges. Since nobody seems to be able to meet in the middle, it will be up to the courts to settle disputes on intention and interpretation. Unless you can come up with a different solution that satifies the legal and political issue? Believe me, I am all ears if you do.

    Until then, your version of reality is your version….but it is no more realistic to give vague and misguided management a chance to destroy what has taken decades to rebuild.

    Realistically, we need a balance, and a frikin ton of conservation, if anyone is to be able to enjoy the natural world in the not too distant future.

    I am also a hunter, and would agree with Save Bears.

    I understand that you have a warm heart, but expecting that humans should be less signifigant than animals won’t make too many people happy.

    Wolves have a place, and so do people. If you value animals, you have to see that evolution created a human species that dominates all others. The problem is not that people exist, it is that their evolution has been diverted by their selfish behavior. In the end, I fully expect that the lack of evolution of man will lead to his doom. If we cannot co-exist in the world with all things natural…we will cease to exist.

  49. JimT Avatar


    So, dealing with laws and regs isn’t dealing with the real world, eh? I guess you would favor….what? instead…duels? VBG..

    I mean, really. The courtroom is where science…read reality…can be explored in the context of society-governing rules and judgments are made…judgments, I might add that are purposefully made to be examined and appealed if required to “get it right”. I think the system works pretty damn well given the reality that it is human beings running it…Name another system that works as well, and no, you can’t reference Jermiah Johnson….~S~.

    You are saying those of us who favor wolf protections shouldn’t paint broad negative pictures of hunters. I say the same thing to you and those who would paint broad negative pictures of the law and our system.The law is a reality and not going anywhere. Accept it, learn about it, or be constantly frustrated by it. It’s your choice.

    These wolves are not out of danger by any means, nor “recovered” under the meaning of the statute and its various interpretations if the state “management” programs subject them to constant pressures by WS, hunting, and loose enforcement of existing protections to reduce those populations below sustainable levels. Even the bald eagle coming off the list is subject to strict monitoring and triggers if numbers go below acceptable levels, plus they have their own protective statute as well. Give wolves that kind of sustained effort and support the eagle received, and perhaps you might see some of us begin to relax about the wolf and prospects for its continued health. Given the realities that exist as of today when it comes to wolves and the prospects for the future, it would be folly to assume the wolves will always exist in sustainable numbers IN HISTORICAL HABITAT..let’s not forget that part of the ESA either. This is, in some ways, the opening battle to restore the wolf to the West. Who wins this battle determines the direction of that effort..up or down.

  50. Si'vet Avatar

    JimT your kidding right, in most respects the legal system is broken, with all due respect I can name a lot of other government systems that are just as broken. In fact if the system was that good, most of the issues on this sight would not be issues, it is just as bias and corrupt as let say “hunters”.. And I say this as a hunter who in over 50 ys. has never had legal issue. Bottom line, law is tied to politics.

  51. Si'vet Avatar

    Jimt your kidding right? in most respects the legal system is just as broken as are many other governmental systems. In fact if the legal system was that good most of the issues on this site wouldn’t be issues, it is as bias and corrupt as let say “hunters”. And in over 50 yrs. I’ve never had a legal issue so I’m not all that bias. Bottom line law is tied to politics and politics is linked to “oh ya” humans..

  52. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    To all you hunters on here I apologize for my comment. I should have rephrased it with anti-wolf hunters. It is just as much an insult to myself as I also hunt.

  53. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Jim T – I have no issue with you talking your book – legal fees put food on the table. Glad to hear that you can leave some room for the legal system being less than perfect – we can still have hope for you. Did they teach you to be a sore winner in law school? VBG The “real world” I was referring to is the current state of affairs at the human/wolf/wildlife interface – do you really believe that the number of wolves can double or triple from here to fit someones scientific guess as to what is “recovered”? For goodness sakes, the wolves are recovered anyone can see that – look at the constant conflict between wolves and humans. BTW, wolves do not have a free pass in this world we all live in – just like other wildlife, they will be subject to management that will allow them to share space with us humans. Duels…………..would cut down on the legal fees. I am not even going to get into the whole Jeremiah thing with you – how did you know that he and I go way back – I mean that is priceless.

  54. Dawn Avatar

    Gotta tell ya still have a problem with manage and wildlife in the same sentence . If this continues nothing will be wild thanks to us . As nothing to do with passion but why must we always control ? WTF ? If I was a wolf and could take out a cow instead of a elk you know I am going for the cow ! Comman sense ! It’s like people going to Burger King and get that burger instead of cooking ! Need to change the attiude about the predator, people and gov need to respect more cause we are running out of time and wildlife .

  55. Si'vet Avatar

    I would like to make a slight turn from the legal topic. I had a chance to have a sit down chat with the infamous Nate Helm SFW Idaho. We talked about numerous topics, predator derby’s their supporters, negative issues with the regards to hunters, and wolves, and few challenge questions. He is as passionate about who and what he represents as are folks on this site. We agreed to disagree on a couple of issues, he is a respectable young man. Would he be a reasonable person you could have at the table to hash out some common ground. I believe so… Just something to think about.. Please remember I am not an SFW member.

  56. Si'vet Avatar

    Dawn, in a sense we manage most animals, if not we are considered irresponsible. If it were possible to spay and neuter wolfs & humans to control there numbers to that magical diverse, genetically viable population, I guess we would live in ??????? Utopia????

  57. Dawn Avatar

    I do understand that but I don’t like it ! And gotta tell ya I think you are wrong . Control why ? Maybe we need to control ourselves . Who are we to come in and take control ? Who gave us that right ? Nobody . Why can’t us humans who are on top of the chain ( maybey) learn from other beings then just kill them cause they are pest , in our way . Like I have said over and over wild and manage do not belong in the same sentence .

  58. Dawn Avatar

    Also I would like to sit down and talk to that man and learn how he feels, I have friends out here in Wyoming that do not feel the same way I feel BUT it is because it was passed down to them, nothing to do with knowlege about the wolf or other predators, that is what’s sad , it’s like it is inbreeded in them and you can not change their minds ! Also wish there was spell check on here !

  59. jon Avatar

    Dawn, you make a good point. Why is it that the animals always have to be controlled? Wolves regulate their own #s and have been doing so for many many years. Us humans can grow to staggering #s and yet animals like wolves have to be controlled. Animals are being killed and losing their habitat because there are so many humans on the planet and yet animals have to be killed. Why should the sport hunters be allowed to get the satisfaction of blowing away wolves for sport? Humans have messed up ecosystems.

  60. Si'vet Avatar

    Dawn, please reread, spay and neuter humans to control. It’s just not possible. WE are humans, the absolute top of the food chain, We control everything in this world that is in our control, why because we are at the top of the chain and we can. we are all a little different and have different priorities, it may not be right but it is so, if you have a neighbor that has a dog that barks you can call the sheriff to control. If you live in the country and you want to keep others off your property, you can.. As far as wild animals, in the lower 48, the wolf is without a doubt the apex predator, will it control it’s self, without infringing on others.. Dawn I am a hunter, I feel my priorities are just as important as yours.

  61. Si'vet Avatar

    Jon, I’ll make you a deal, you take yourself out of the human population, I will quit hunting.. If your not willing to make a sacrifice then why should I. Doesn’t make a lot of sense does it. Be rest assured I am a betting man.

  62. Si'vet Avatar

    Dawn, I am with you on spell check and MY grammar. I am probably a person you would really be interested in talking too. As I have posted before.. My very liberal parents not only didn’t hunt or own a gun, they thought hunting was a waste of time, and I had to eat everything I harvested.. My absolute love for hunting is something I came by on my own. And I doubt your friends who were raised in that environment spend more time in the field than I.

  63. jon Avatar

    Why would I do that si’vet when I’m one of the few that is admitting there is a problem? Are you gonna tell me wolves are overpopulated when there is what, over 6 billion people? I just find it funny that people are saying that wolves have to be killed to control their #’s, but no one says anything about their own species. I’m not advocating anything here, but I find it funny people like you never bring up this fact si’vet. It is always the animals to have to be killed to control their #’s.

  64. Si'vet Avatar

    Jon, 6 billion and growing, what’s your plan for human control, I am all ears.. PS: I ADMIT there is a huge problem with the growth of the human population Just don’t suggest anything that would harm “my” family, I would easily sacrifice myself to save them. Slippery slope, wouldn’t you say..

  65. jon Avatar

    I have no idea. Education is key, but most people just don’t really care and are gonna do what they wanna do. I just find it mind boggling that people are constantly saying that wolves have to be killed to control their #s. The fact is as our species continues to get larger and larger, animals will have to suffer for it. They will lose more habitat and conflicts with humans and animals will continue to happen. I don’t think it’s fair to animals at all. Animals have every right to live.

  66. Si'vet Avatar

    Jon,Dawn, it’s late I’m toast, here’s a little levity, to get a grin, maybe we should turn human population control over to Wildlife Services.

  67. John d. Avatar
    John d.


    Top predators don’t overpopulate because their breeding rate is controlled by the number of prey species in their territory – as well as other factors such as disease and adverse weather conditions, nor do they actively concern themselves with prey population levels: ‘what they should be like’, hunting is not a pleasurable experience – I suggest if you want to know what it feels like to be a top pred. get an elk to thrust its hoof into your gut and pull through without any medical treatment whatsoever.

  68. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I’ve been out in the hills all day. Now home, just doing a last check before I go to bed, but this point strikes me.

    Humans are not at the top of the food chain. That is a biological term that doesn’t apply to people.

    Humans are omnivores like bears, but humans have also transcended the limitations with their technology (at least for a while).

    I think it’s unfortunate that we can’t use our big brains to limit our population to something sustainable so we aren’t culled eventually like deer, elk, bears and wolves are.

  69. JimT Avatar

    For those of you who think the legal system is broken, you could kiss all those wonderful wilderness areas, parks,conserved areas, etc. goodbye if it wasn’t for tireless, committed, UNDERPAID public interest lawyers working sometimes for 20 years on a single case because the other side simply has more resources to keep it going. Talk to the people of Crested Butte. If it wasn’t for the legal system, Mount Emmons (The Red Lady) would have been hollowed out and the collapsed into a pile of rock decades ago. You all were celebrating the filing of WWP’s lawsuit. Why celebrate it if you think courts can’t be neutral decisionmakers and politics rule every thing?

    BTW, did you know that over 80% of the cases litigated in courts, clogging them up, are not PI cases or medical malpractice as the conservative right would have you believe every election time, but businesses suing businesses over money. So, if you want to point a finger at what is clogging the system’s processes, look to the corporate world.

    No one wants to choose to go to court, including me, unless all other avenues have broken down. But, I am glad it is there to be used.

    And I have yet to hear anyone in the chorus come up with an alternate system…anywhere…that works better.

  70. JimT Avatar


    Jermiah Johnson just seemed to fit your online personality and views…~S~. I just hope you still have your hair, Pilgrim…

  71. Si'vet Avatar

    Johnd could you clarify a bit, I am confused at where your coming at me from. thanks

  72. Virginia Avatar

    JimT – I, for one, appreciate you sharing your knowledge of legal issues. Regardless of what some on this site think about the law, in so many instances, things would be much worse without it; i.e., ESA, wilderness issues, Clean Water Act, and I could go on and on. Please continue to share your opinions and knowledge. It is refreshing for me to read.

  73. Si'vet Avatar

    Predator 1. one that preys, destroys or devours. Animal that lives by predation. I think that pretty much describes us humans and there surroundings.

  74. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    Jon –
    “Mark, do you think the wolves will be back on the endangered species list this year and also, how % of livestock kills are wolves really responsible for in Idaho…”

    Jon, I don’t pretend to have legal expertise and in any case, I wouldn’t predict the outcome of any lawsuit, especially one addressing such a complex issue as this one. I will say that there is no biological basis for a re-listing decision. I don’t have access, immediately, to livestock loss data to calculate the % of livestock predation losses due to wolves. Among wolves, cougars, bears and coyotes – wolves have become a significant source of livestock predation loss. How that should be dealt with, by society, as one element of wildlife management policy and programs is, of course, a challenge and a controversy.

  75. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    You are of course right in that being one definition of predation. However, I was writing of those who say human’s are “at the top of the food chain.” In a biological sense, it isn’t true.

    I think some people like that phrase, however, to imply they are the king of all animals.

    If humans were really at the top of the food chain, we would have many more toxins in our bodies than we do because many toxins are magnified (concentrated in fat) in each step of the food chain. Killer whales are in very bad shape that way.

  76. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Jim T – thanks for the Jeremiah shout out. I have been told by people that know me, that I was born a couple of hundred years too late. I have generally taken that as a compliment. JimT – I will leave the legal wrangling to you. Here is how I can help you – the poll of Montanans late last year found that 75% favored wolf hunting in MT. OK, clearly if people felt wolves were endagered they would not favor hunting. Therefore, most Montanans feel that wolves are recovered – this is a political reality that the pro wolf side must address. If pro wolf advocates push and pull AGAINST the majority opinion then they will suffer in the “war” as you state. The pro wolf side will lose support from wolf moderates such as myself – and clearly the pro wolf side needs the wolf moderate on their side.

  77. jdubya Avatar

    Well, when humans eat as nature planned for them to eat, then we do concentrate toxins just as any top-of-the-food-chain animal would….

    PCBs are fat-soluble compounds that tend to bioaccumulate along the food chain. Canadian aboriginal people, particularly those who eat substantial quantities of fish and game, have been found to possess relatively high concentrations of PCBs in their body fat. For example, the breast milk of Inuit women in Quebec contains the world’s highest concentration of PCBs.

  78. timz Avatar

    “I will say that there is no biological basis for a re-listing decision.”

    I’ll settle for your departments wanton killing of them as reason enough.

  79. jon Avatar

    I don’t think wolf haters would really care if wolves were considered endangered. I think some of them would still want wolves hunted. There are studies out saying that killing wolves doesn’t protect livestock in the long term.

    Calgary researchers examined wolf-control methods in Alberta and several U.S. states and determined costly and time-consuming efforts to eliminate wolves that prey on livestock and domestic animals are ineffective on a long-term, regional scale.
    Assistant Professor Marco Musiani, the study’s lead author, said lethal control to limit wolf numbers, thereby curbing depredation, requires 30 percent to 50 percent of an area’s wolf population to be killed year after year.
    “Killing that many wolves would be difficult,” Musiani said. “If society wants to co-exist with wolves, it has to accept that there will be losses and address the real issue, which is that if ranchers lose some of their animals, or if animals are injured, it costs them money. There are also significant labor costs for increasing livestock surveillance to prevent attacks.”
    Results of the study were presented Tuesday during an annual meeting of wolf scientists, ranchers and wildlife managers near Yellowstone National Park.

  80. gline Avatar

    Jon, a good thing to do, if you have not already, is not avoid eating store bought beef and any fast food “restaurant”. Since french fries are at the top of the list when getting fast food, you can boycott potatoes and beef at that type of establishment. Vegetarianism is growing worldwide.

  81. Si'vet Avatar

    So what Musiani is saying, you would need to drop wolf numbers by up to 50%, in order to control depredation, and that would be very difficult. This statement seems to weaken the relisting argument, it seems to support what several of the sportman groups advocate, as well as Mark Gamblin. The wolf is here to stay.

  82. gline Avatar

    “you would need to drop wolf numbers by up to 50%, in order to control depredation,”

    -Or park the cows off public land.

  83. gline Avatar

    John, noticed a grammatical error above, should read *avoid eating store bought beef…my bad.

  84. John d. Avatar
    John d.

    And screw up the ecological balance in the process.

  85. gline Avatar

    Lately when I drive by a Mickey D’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, or Taco Time etc. and see huge, obese people lining up for more hamburgers, I feel sick to my stomach…

  86. Si'vet Avatar

    Gline, when you read depredation all you see is livestock, when I see depredation, I see other big game animals.
    Johnd, do you believe we are currently in balance . I see a slight lean towards 260,000,000, other inhabitants, and growing by the second.

  87. gline Avatar

    No Si’vet I’ve been at this issue long enough to just choose one component at a time of the ever non ending blame of wolves. You know of the USDA stats on millions of cows and small stats killed by wolves. More livestock killed by wild dogs. That USDA stat does include the millions of cows in the midwest, (where there are no wolves) as well as the west. But think about how many LESS wolves there are than cattle. So MUCH less.

    Now think about what Musiani is trying to tell us: “If society wants to co-exist with wolves, it has to accept that there will be losses and address the real issue, which is that if ranchers lose some of their animals, or if animals are injured, it costs them money.”
    -Not killing 50 % of the wolves we have.

    And, I don’t think it is hunting issue at all. Wolves have a right to be here in healthy numbers. They should be able to pursue their choice of meat and not be treated like varmints for a silly lie that wolves eat ALL the elk.

  88. Si'vet Avatar

    Gline I agree, I never see those people on a 2 week hunt in Central Idaho. I wonder if I packed in some fries. I don’t think relisting the wolf, or ending public grazing will solve obesity, I think Jon said education for population control, add obesity to it.

  89. John d. Avatar
    John d.

    Considering that you feel that ‘wolves are here to stay’ needs to be said in order to reassure people that they are in no danger, puts me off in a major way. Because it is said where I am, where a species is being driven to extinction by sport hunting coupled directly with the whims of the livestock industry.

    As for balance, you really believe that constantly manipulating animal populations for the benefit the few humans that hunt for recreation results in a balanced ecosystem?

  90. Si'vet Avatar

    So which component, because above you reference both livestock and elk. Pick just elk, I am not a rancher.. I feel I should have the right to pursue my choice of meat. I have never used the term all, I have said significant. Enough so what I enjoy, worked hard, donated$$, will fade away if there isn’t some control. Again, what’s the healthy number?

  91. Si'vet Avatar

    JohnD, I say, here to stay, you use gone forever, or extinct or extirpated, etc. you use to scare people into buying into the plight of the wolf, horns on the same bull, my feelings verses yours. John the manipulation isn’t just for a few hunters, there are other reasons. Please give me an example of any animal in the United States that sport hunting is driving to extinction, because I can’t think of one right off, legal sport hunting certainly isn’t going to drive the wolf into extinction.

  92. jon Avatar

    John D, I don’t buy into the argument that human hunters balance ecosystems. As you said, they manipulate animal populations for their own benefit. Less predators and more prey animals are the way that hunters want it.

  93. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    Salle –
    “This, in my experience, indicates that the state legislature and its agencies (IDF&G in particular) had intended to ignore their fiduciary responsibilities agreed to with the USFWS and bypass any prior agreements regarding the safety and well being of the previously deemed endangered specie ”

    Help me out. What fiduciary responsibilities and prior agreements are you referring to with respect to this species (thats species not specie) – wolves?

  94. Ken Cole Avatar

    Mark Gamblin IDFG says:

    “I don’t have access, immediately, to livestock loss data to calculate the % of livestock predation losses due to wolves. Among wolves, cougars, bears and coyotes – wolves have become a significant source of livestock predation loss.”

    Wow, this is simply not the case. Other causes of livestock losses virtually flood depredation by wolves in comparison. Even when compared to coyotes, wolves constitute a very, very small part of the cause of livestock loss. You really need to look up the figures.

    I think the idea that wolves constitute a “a significant source of livestock predation loss” is a figment of many people’s imagination brought about by lack of research into the matter and an exceptional amount of media hype.

  95. Si'vet Avatar

    Jon, I think Johnd was being facecious about hunters balancing nature. As a hunter I have no intentions of trying to balance nature. I enjoy, hiking, taking photo’s and hunting, and when I am out I like to see lots of deer, elk, moose, and occasional predators. So if you don’t balance it so there are more prey animals than predators how does the system work again. Wave a wand and grazing goes away tomorrow.

  96. John d. Avatar
    John d.

    To peruse the choice of meat you want, you mean? So you fear grey wolves are going to take away your happy time?
    By the way, a donation is something that is given freely, not through a mandatory tax. As for numbers I could not say, but as far as I can recall wolves did not wipe out their food supply. Humans on the other hand…

  97. jon Avatar

    It balances itself si’vet. This is the way it has been going on for millions and millions of years before humans came into the picture. The biological truth is that animals regulate their own populations, based upon available food and habitat

  98. Elk275 Avatar

    ++John D, I don’t buy into the argument that human hunters balance ecosystems. As you said, they manipulate animal populations for their own benefit. Less predators and more prey animals are the way that hunters want it.++

    What is wrong with that. The hunters and sportman’s groups worked hard to rebuild the big herds of today. I and many others want good hunting every year and want over the counter permits.

    An interesting observation. I was both Borders and Barnes and Nobel bookstore the other day. There is 40 lineal feet of hunting and guns magizines at Borders and 24 lineal feet of the same magazines at Barnes and Nobels. I am the first the say the most of them are not worth reading. I did not find a magazine on wildlife watching. I wonder where the money is.

  99. Merdoch Avatar

    On the “wolves being a significant source of livestock predation loss” comment, that also tends to ignore the strong evidence that wolves substantially reduce the coyote population in areas they become established. For instance in Yellowstone the evidence is there has been an up to 50% reduction in coyotes population densities since wolves have becomes established in the park.

    Those talking about the threat posed by wolves against livestock tend to completely ignore the evidence that wolves in the area ordinarily limit the amount of livestock depreciations from coyotes, making the actual degree of impact of wolves against livestock producers in general even more questionable.

  100. John d. Avatar
    John d.

    Sure I can think of one, Polar bear.

  101. jon Avatar

    Elk275, what is wrong with that? About the fact that you hunters are killing predators, so you can have the prey animals to yourselves. It is well known you hunters don’t like having competing predators for prey animals.

  102. Si'vet Avatar

    Johnd, yes my choice of meat… If that’s what you want to call it “happy time” go for it. Can wolves deplete the current level of prey so I lose my “happy time” in the very near future if they aren’t managed, yes. My donations have supported all wildlife, my tags the management side, so that you haven’t had to be taxed, your welcome. Because I trophy hunt and eat the meat, my time, $$ support outweighs any harvest, so others who don’t hunt can see and film the same animals. You were going to tell me which animal in the U.S is currently being hunted to extinction by sport hunters.

  103. Si'vet Avatar

    Johnd nice try, CLIMATE CHANGE. Maybe your talking about the Polar Bears in Wisconsin?

  104. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    All –
    There is a common theme in this and prior threads that is fundamental to the controversy of wolf recovery and subsequent wolf management. That is the concept of “management” and the role of wolves in human society and, how humans should choose to manage our own actions and the role we choose for ourselves in nature.

    JimT and IzalelaM offered revealing comments:
    ” How about managing humans at the nature-human interface? Your phrasing betrays your bias for human first, nature section baseline for all decision making on this kind of issue. ” ; “How about the fact that wildlfie was here first, we moved in and maybe we need to be managed not wildlife.”
    There is an implied if not direct assumption in those comments that somehow, wildife should be left alone or managed for a purpose or purposes other than the benefit of human society. I offer, for the benefit of a better understanding of the foundation of all conservation laws, regulations and conservation programs – that the only reason we have those rules and institutions is BECAUSE they benefit human society. Those benefits take many forms including biodiversity, water and air quality, the dignity that wildlife and wild areas provide for the lives of humans, visual and intellectual enjoyment and perhaps most important – the opportunity to ingage in and experience our role in nature AS players in nature. Not an artificial role that is an irrelevant construct of human misunderstanding of nature, but the based on the reality that we are inextricably as much a part of “the ecosystem” as are wolves, worms, air and water.

    To argue that because “wildlife were here first” our decisions to manage wildlife for the benefit of society is somehow misguided or unethical is to naively misunderstand our inescapable, unavoidable role in nature and the choices that will be made – consciously or by default. The issue is not whether wolves will be managed, it is how they will be managed and for what objectives. That is the difficult challenge wildlife managers and each of you in this blog community are faced with.

  105. Si'vet Avatar

    ELK375 note I added the 100 inches, go big or go home. I am sure you only harvest predators because you are a selfish you know what. Or do we hunt them because they are an even tougher challenge?

  106. John d. Avatar
    John d.


    Wolves don’t wipe out their food supply, shooting them results in fragmenting packs, which can lead to livestock depredation from younger wolves, or making the packs, obviously, smaller. Generally, smaller packs kill more often while larger packs kill more less often. Breeding rates are controlled largely by prey availability, when this food can not be substantially acquired either the litter is smaller or breeding does not take place for that year. Humans also kill more elk than wolves do.

    And no I’m talking about the people who spend over ten grand+ to shoot a polar bear in Alaska. Climate change is a major factor yes, but people shooting them for entertainment is not helping either.

  107. Merdoch Avatar


    A huge distinction is almost any other animal being hunted is around in much larger numbers. If you’re talking about somewhere around the vicinity of 115,000 elk in Idaho for instance, that obviously means they can have allot more animals taken without actually threatening the population than if there are perhaps somewhere around 800 wolves in the state.

    Having said this, the issue isn’t merely hunting, its all the wolves potentially lost through aggressive actions by Wildlife Services in reaction to any livestock depreciation, as well as poaching and other sources of mortality.

    I don’t think the wolf population will actually be wiped out in Idaho, but I do have concerns that if the current situation is left as is regarding delisting, the wolf population could be dropped to about 150 and kept just high enough to avoid being put back on the endangered species list. That among other things could threaten the long term genetic health of the wolf population, and as noted in the past on this blog, and also leaves the wolf as being effectively “functionally extinct” as far as its impact on the ecosystem in concerned for most of Idaho if its only around in such small numbers.

  108. Si'vet Avatar

    Johnd really, Polar Bear hunt for 10, 000$ maybe back in the 60’s, need to update your info. An elk in the US can go for 30K. Johnd, I could care less how many cows, pigs, chickens, etc. wolves eat. My wife has 4 hay burners, I wish the wolves would get 3 of them. I am talking about, deer, elk, moose, etc. depredation. I don’t want wolves reducing prey species down to the point, I loose my “happy time.”

  109. jon Avatar

    In Idaho, human hunters do kill more elk than wolves. Somehow, wolves are being accused of wiping out the elk. I guess when hunters blame wolves for the lack of elk, they don’t think about all of the elk that they harvested themselves.

  110. Si'vet Avatar

    Merdoch, we go back and forth, back and forth. Why is it that no one on this site will give me a “number”.. How many wolves would end the $$$$ spent on litigation etc. Is it a secret or is there other motives. You say 115,000 elk, I think your numbers are up to date. We should see some counts come out soon. Mark might know when.

  111. John d. Avatar
    John d.

    Granted. But didn’t you tell me to list an animal that sport hunting endangered? Its still around in Canada, by the way.

    The wolf reintroduction was to naturally curb the elk population. Wolves, as apex predators, control their own population size.

  112. Si'vet Avatar

    Jon, I have to say really again!! F&G have very good numbers on how many elk are killed by hunters. Every year most hunters review those numbers, we know pretty darn close what the legal harvest is. If for some reason prey populations are down in an area, those hunting opportunity’s are reduced. When the numbers are up they are increased. For the most part hunters are “controlled and managed” That’s what we pay the Fish and Game to do, manage so we have an opportunity to hunt, and view wildlife. Now with wolf reintroduction, an Apex predator who has the ability to kill large numbers of game all year round is changing the game, more balance, less balance, matter of opinion.

  113. Merdoch Avatar

    Si’vet: Personally I would absolutely be willing to accept wolves at their most recently recorded population census levels for Idaho and Montana for that matter. In fact, if I trusted Idaho and the 500 wolf number objective was a hard number where hunting would be cut off if necessary and Wildlife Services would dramatically change their policies to reduce their impact on wolves if the population dropped under this number, I would view 500 as acceptable for Idaho given the scientific evidence on this point I have seen so far.

    Wyoming is clearly more problematic given their previous policies and current suggested future policies, with a substantial portion of my objection being the proposed predator zone which can effectively end up as a free fire zone blocking wolves from migrating in Colorado. However a reasonable enough wolf management policy would be acceptable if proposed by Wyoming if enough specific requirements were imposed by the Department of the Interior or the courts on such a plan.

    Ultimately while I am not thrilled with hunting where there is no intention to eat the animal, I can live with that in of itself. (Such hunting goes on in Alaska for instance with both bears and wolves and I’m basically fine with the pure hunting, with the only real concern being the aerial gunning component.) My concern is with the reality that Idaho and Montana can right now get away with imposing wolf management policies dropping wolf numbers down to at least 150 each without consequences if delisting is allowed to go on as it currently is.

  114. Si'vet Avatar

    Johnd “The wolf reintroduction was to naturally curb elk populations”. Stupid me, I thought the reason they were an endangered species in the lower 48 that needed to be reintroduced into their native environment. And that there were people who are truly passionate about having wolves around to hear and see on occasions. Johnd if that’s not the case, and it was to just kill elk, I am no longer on the fence. “I Hate Wolves”. Anyone know where I can get a “smoke a pack a day” bumper sticker.

  115. Si'vet Avatar

    Merdoch, thanks, 500 in Idaho, I’m just looking for a number, gray areas on both sides make people really uncomfortable. You see the mistrust goes deep both ways.

  116. JimT Avatar

    Mark G says…..

    “There is an implied if not direct assumption in those comments that somehow, wildife should be left alone or managed for a purpose or purposes other than the benefit of human society.”

    I would submit, Mark, that is a close to a direct statement as to what is fundamentally wrong with the immediate situation with wolves and other predators, if not the entire philosophy underpinning human’s relationship with the very environment upon which the species depends on life. The necessity for “management” of air and water quality, of toxics, mutagenics; the record numbers of extinctions of species, both plant, animal and fish, the diminishing habitat for the natural world, and the harm humans do the lands we have developed–all of this only became necessary as human population exploded and spread with an ethic that only its development and comfort mattered. That ultimately self defeating, perhaps self-destructing attitude continues unabated,

    Indeed, Mark, I submit WE created the mess, and now have to try and manage the mess, and we largely prove pretty bad at putting it all back together again, never mind the original state. It isn’t that Nature benefits from humans, Mark; it is exactly the opposite.

    We are trying to fix the problems using the same kinds of thinking and philosophies that CREATED the mess in the first place. Einstein condemned this kind of problem solving. Indeed, some schools of psychiatry would define insanity as continuing to behave in a certain way despite the clear evidence it is causing harm and destruction to the actor and the surrounding environment in which that entity lives.
    Does that sound like a underlying ethic or premise upon which we can build a system of “managing nature”?

    Mark G says…
    . “Not an artificial role that is an irrelevant construct of human misunderstanding of nature, but the based on the reality that we are inextricably as much a part of “the ecosystem” as are wolves, worms, air and water”.

    This almost sounds like which came first, the chicken or the egg. In our case, it is easy to show scientifically that worms, air, water came first, Mark, and had been growing and functioning and evolving millions of years before humans showed up on the face of the planet. So, I don’t know if seniority counts for much, but let’s be clear: our species is the newcomer on the block whose abilities to manipulate the environment around him/her has proved to be toxic for the natural environment’s health and welfare over the centuries. People argue that ‘there have been good things too, like the bald eagle restoration, or the creation of parks”…No doubt. The weakness in that argument is that it is WE who caused the eagle to get that position in the first place, and that it was our greed and our inability to rein in those impulses that was a huge reason why the Park system and indeed the national forest system was created. Do you see the trend here?

    You say it is naive to say we can avold our role in needing to manage the world around us, that we can just let the wildlife be. I would argue that it is tragic that we appear to need these management and restoration statutes and programs. I would argue that even if one recognizes the inevitable need for human intervention, doing it with the same underlying philosophies and ethics with which it is currently being done dooms the efforts to ultimate failure. I will say I am fundamentally biased for letting the wild world be whenever possible, Mark, but I don’t see any inclination on the part of the feds or the states or the extractive users of the ecosystem to admit that needs to be a key, prominent part of any management program, must less the dominant consideration. I never said humans weren’t part of nature; I say we have proven ourselves very good at causing problems that require us to intervene, and that we are doing a poor job of it. So, if the present approach isn’t working, do you think it wise to continue it? Don’t you think there needs to be a fundamental reorientation in the thinking and actions of those who make and influence ecosystem management decisions of all kinds?

    I would state that it is the human species who must change its relationship with nature based on what it best for nature if meaningful, lasting gains are to be made, especially now in this time of climate change and the almost incomprehensible effects it will effect on this earth and its inhabitants for the next hundred years even if we stopped carbon loading today. The great irony here is that we don’t recognize this kind of sea change is necessary for the continued health..emotional, mental, and physical…of the human species.

    The wolf restoration effort is a microcosm of this more fundamental problem that underpins efforts to keep air and water clean of pollutants as well as to ensure the wild world is there for future generations. The decision-makers–wildlife management agencies at the Federal and State level as well as entities such as grazing industry power brokers— in this struggle are selfish, arrogant, and only focused on getting rid of anything that gets in the way of profit, power, or pleasure.

  117. Si'vet Avatar

    JimT , Your last word pleasure, who’s should be the highest priority, yours or mine???

  118. gline Avatar

    “Now with wolf reintroduction, an Apex predator who has the ability to kill large numbers of game all year round is changing the game, more balance, less balance, matter of opinion.”

    So, Si’vet you sound like you live in AK. (Wolves killing all of the caribou)

    Predators play a significant role in ecology. They need to play that role for our benefit, as well as many other species. As well, they should be a valued and cherished animal. You have to “share the wealth” as a human with your animal counterparts for your health as well.

  119. Si'vet Avatar

    Gline, that’s EXACTLY what I said ALL. I think I used the word significant. The number of elk doesn’t need to be at zero for my hunting opportunity’s to be at Zero. Alot of us can see thru the thin vail, grazing today, and if wolves go unchecked, the only way to keep them feed and away from livestock, is with elk etc. And bingo you win I loose my “happy time”. Think I will go quietly into that good night not hardly. Not from AK, just fish there… G- Never Cry Wolf was just a “movie”.

  120. JimT Avatar


    Neither. Whatever is best for the things we humans depend on for survival in the long run. I think your black and white phrasing of the problem typifies what I was saying to Mark G. is the fundamental problem and barrier,,always defining natural issues and concerns in terms of what is best for us. I personally don’t benefit from the reintroduction of wolves, but the ecosystem does. I take pleasure in the notion that wild things can thrive. What, in this context, is your “pleasure?

  121. Si'vet Avatar

    JimT, with regards to outside my family, being outdoors, HUNTING, fishing, occasionally harvesting a trophy in my “eyes”. I am older so I work hard to stay in shape, I continually redo my gear, for weight and functionality. And I practice,practice, practice shooting. When I pull that release, or trigger I take very seriously the consequences. The feeling I get when it all comes together, is hard to describe, but I am way past just “happy”. To describe the “pleasure” would be like trying to describe color to a blind man. The only thing that supercedes it in that situation, is it to have it come together for a son or grandson, and see them experience those feelings. For me in that context is true pleasure. I also enjoy camping, hiking and filming animals.

  122. Dawn Avatar

    I do respect hunters, and gotta tell ya had elk last nite, damn good and better for me then store brought beef ! But I do not agree with trophy hunting . My opinion . The fact that the human population has exploded in the West plays an important role with wildlife . Yeah you love Bambi in your backyard but not the wolf ! We as humans gotta learn more about the wildlife that now is in our backyard and live with it . More sub divisions are popping up , pretty soon not alot of places to hunt either .

  123. Si'vet Avatar

    We agree on eating elk, not on trophy hunting, wildlife in the back yard we agree, loosing hunting grounds we agree. Not bad..

  124. Dawn Avatar

    Also I do want to add this, I have never seen such a love/hate relationship with a animal . Don’t you kinda find it strange ? Hunting is hunting, but taking a animal and tying it to 2 horses then pulling it apart like they did back in the day is sick . The predator derby is sick . Kinda scary that these people have breeded .

  125. Si'vet Avatar

    Dawn, what love hate relationship would you be refering to, I’m not quite sure your direction. Also I am not familiar with who pulled what animal apart, but that’s certainly not acceptable. The derby uh, uh let’s save that for another time, we are quite aways apart there, that’s what got me on this site in the first place. Did you read my post with regards to Nate Helms?

  126. Wendy Avatar

    Bravo Jim T!

    Beautifully said. And so necessary

    Si’vet: You need not fear that wolves “will go unchecked”. Even a cursory study of wolf biology will show you that, like other predators, their numbers are regulated by natural factors (i.e. the current human “management” of them is done for reasons unrelated to any natural process or natural need). I am constantly surprised at the lack of rudimentary knowledge of predator behavior by so many who are otherwise quite at home in wild areas. Why do you think that is?

  127. Si'vet Avatar

    Wendy I am not sure, maybe you just don’t spend enough time out in the wilds to actually observe predator behavior, and you rely solely on computer modeling or the emotions of others who spend minute amounts of time in the field. Hope that helps, again the elk numbers don’t have to zero for the hunting opportunity’s to be zero

  128. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Nate Helm along with Bob Wharf (?) has commented on this site a number of times.
    What I got from it, especially from Bob Wharf, was a distinct sense of distaste. I have little use for either one and none whatsoever for the organization they represent.

  129. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    It’s true. Bob Wharf can comment at any time and he has. Nate Helm has commented once or twice, although it has been a while.

  130. Si'vet Avatar

    Jeff I notice anyone that you don’t agree with or who doesn’t agree with you, you don’t care for. Either way I don’t care. I find value in people’s opinion I don’t agree with all the time.

  131. Si'vet Avatar

    Ralph, I don’t know if you caught my post, had a good chat with Nate, some topics agreed, some we didn’t, respectable young man. Pretty passionate about his beliefs, which is ok.

  132. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    As this is the first time I have ever said that where would you get that judgement from.
    Essentially I don’t care if one agrees with me or not.
    None of my business. I will however state my opinion, backed up with data when needed.
    Is there a problem with that?

  133. Anne Gilbert Avatar

    I don’t know what to think. I suppose you could say it’s worse in Montana, where they reached their “quota” of wolves. In some Intermountain and Rocky Mountain states, there seems to be a lot of support for this kind of action, so I suppose it’s no wonder that the man was charged, but the charges were dropped. He probably had a lot of supporters.
    Anne G

  134. Si'vet Avatar

    Jeff E, you are right, I went back to the post, I was thinking back on, it was by another poster who starts with J. My mistake, I apologize.

  135. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    No problem.
    I know I come off abrasive at times.

  136. Si'vet Avatar

    Anne, if it’s in regards to the wolf case dropped I agree it is confusing. I have limited info, if it was a hound hunter and depending on what stage of the race they were in, I think I can piece together what may or may not have happened, or at least what may have been told to the DA. either way ???

  137. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I did read you comment. That’s why I mentioned that Helm and his Wyoming counterpart can appear here and discuss things.

    They have in the past.

  138. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I haven’t read this entire thread, but there are a lot of people with similar names.

    So if anyone else is reading my comment, I encourage everyone to use a distinct alias or as much of your name as you feel comfortable — to avoid confusion.

  139. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    To all – this is off topic but important. I owe an apology for a comment a made a few days back regarding the potential change at Interrior. In an off hand way, I suggested that if Brian Schweitzer was appointed that would be a gain for MT – and it would be however, after what I witnessed tonight first hand in Bozeman it is best that he stay here – he does not need to release his kind of politics on the rest of this nation. Be aware, if you ever have dealings with this man be prepared for any level of lying and deceit. The Mayor of Bozeman did call him out and the governor left with a fat red face however, the arrogance on display was astonishing. Sorry Save Bears, I knew Schweitzer was bad I just did not know how bad.

  140. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    JimT –
    You and I seem to be the only particpants in this discussion. More’s the pity, but thank you just the same for caring. Jim, I only ask that you take an extra minute, re-read what I tried to communicate. Your reponse affirms most of my thesis.

    “I submit WE created the mess, and now have to try and manage the mess, and we largely prove pretty bad at putting it all back together again, never mind the original state. It isn’t that Nature benefits from humans, Mark; it is exactly the opposite.”

    Well …… OF COURSE ….. that is the point. Human society depends on our environment, nature, the ecosystem we evolved in. That’s why our efforts for wildlife conservation and, yes, management are only relevant if viewed from the perspective of human benefit. If it weren’t for the cause of human benefit – clean air and water, wildlife diversity, open space, room to lose oneself in our NATURAL environment – why would our conservation efforts be important at all? Nothing I said in my previous post should be interpreted to excuse or justify rapacious, unsustainable, wasteful consumption of our natural resources and natural environment. But neither can we pretend that the unavoidable responsibility to….. “manage” those resources can be based on any objective that is divorced from human societal benefits. AGAIN – those benefits are multi-faceted and include non-consumptive values and benefits, though the VALUES of sustained, reliable clean air and water, like sustained wildlife populations are consumptive and non-consumptive by nature.
    This is important because the naive position that wildlife conservation can/should be promoted on the basis of which species was here first or animal “rights” or empathy for the “quality of life” of individual animals – is doomed to failure by it’s irrelevance to the society that will make those decisions, if not by conscious decision making, then by default. All life on earth is inherently selfish. There is profound truth in the phrase “the selfish gene”. It is the fundamental principle of natural selection and evolution of life on this planet. As conservationists, we had better understand that the very difficult decisions and choices to be made by ours and future generations that will determine the quality of life will be necessarily dictated by human oriented, selfish needs and objectives. Hopefully those selfish objectives will include clean air, clean water, wild areas, wildlife and human populations in balance with our natural resources.

  141. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Talks with Bears,

    I guess this is the story from the Chronicle about Schweitzer.

  142. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Yes sir – the commission acted upon legislation signed into law by Schweitzer which allocated monies to parks and rec projects then the projects are approved by the dept. of commerce all in accordance to what and how it needed to be done. Then as this whole stimulus situation is going from bad to worse Schweitzer sends out a news release throwing Bozeman under the bus. When the mayor pulled out the press release (that previously Schweitzer indicated did not exist) and let Schweitzer have it about not returning phone calls the whole room erupted in applause. Just not something you see everyday. Do not ever trust Schweitzer.

  143. Ken Cole Avatar

    I repeat.

    Mark Gamblin IDFG says:

    “I don’t have access, immediately, to livestock loss data to calculate the % of livestock predation losses due to wolves. Among wolves, cougars, bears and coyotes – wolves have become a significant source of livestock predation loss.”

    Wow, this is simply not the case. Other causes of livestock losses virtually flood depredation by wolves in comparison. Even when compared to coyotes, wolves constitute a very, very small part of the cause of livestock loss. You really need to look up the figures.

    I think the idea that wolves constitute a “a significant source of livestock predation loss” is a figment of many people’s imagination brought about by lack of research into the matter and an exceptional amount of media hype.

  144. JimT Avatar

    Mark G.

    I won’t go on again forever.

    You don’t address the need to change the fundamental mindset that has created this state of affairs in “managing nature” To do that requires thinking outside the selfish box. If you are saying the human species is hardwired to be selfish, then truly, the species is doomed in the long run. Nature rewards cooperation and balance; it doesn’t reward efforts to dominate, and that is exactly what drives not only your agency and state, but the basic mindset of all agencies charged with this task of assessing and then hopefully fixing the current lack of ecosystem balance and health that is the current status quo in most. I see a need for a fundamental shift in the philosophies and practices for “managing” ecosystems to reach a balace where nature’s needs are considered truly equal with humans, and in some cases where the current imbalance requires it and science verfies it, supercedes human interests to restore that balance. I don’t get the sense you do; you think we can get the job done using the same ways of thinking and doing. I think that course of action is self-defeating.

    Why not start with changing the way your own agency does business? Be the “Jerry McGuire” of the fish and game world…~S~

  145. jerryB Avatar

    The paragraph above about the “need to change the fundamental mindset” should be required reading. Thankyou.
    Now……how to we “common people” influence the likes of Mark and the Caroline Simes of wolf management as well as the commissioners and politicians that drive these selfish policies?
    We need a whole army of Jerry McGuires within these agencies and not to be a pessimist, but I don’t see that happening. I do believe there are some individuals who subscribe to what you’re saying, but are afraid to speak out for fear of losing their job or losing their funding for studies they’re involved in.

  146. JimT Avatar


    I think you are correct in your saying that there are good folks at these agencies who would like to do things differently, but fear retribution. I don’t have an easy answer to that one, It comes down to an individual’s unique makeup of practicality, ethics, and notions of what is the “right thing” to do.

    Perhaps whistle blower protection statutes would help protect people who point out illegal or corrupt actions. Perhaps if people like Simes and others knew there were consequences to avoiding or ignoring the laws and regulations and ethics in their jobs, perhaps either they would leave, be booted out, or change. I do know that people must continue to put the pressure on, to shine the light on the objectionable practices of these agencies and industries, and some of that is OUR obligation to let them know we are watching, we will publicize and advocate for change. Not easy to do when you have been fighting battles for years..and they are the same battles….but hell, who else is going to do it, and the end result is worth the frustration. In the meantime, reward your self with frequent forays into the very places we are trying to save to see the wild things who live there. There is that old adage…Speak Truth To Power…and I believe that is an excellent mantra for one’s life. Maybe some day, this kind of travesty ( man killiing wolf with no real consequences despite the blatant violation of the law) will be an exception to the rule.

  147. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    I was reading an earlier thread and was wondering how you repair cedar waxwing nests? Also, it is worthy that you put up with barn swallows.

    Si’vet Says:
    December 10, 2009 at 3:44 PM

  148. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    Ken –
    “I think the idea that wolves constitute a “a significant source of livestock predation loss” is a figment of many people’s imagination brought about by lack of research into the matter and an exceptional amount of media hype.”

    That was my characterization without providing any data for reference. The term “significant” doen’t contribute much to this topic without metric reference points. If we queried a group including a hunter, a wolf advocate, a livestock owner and a judge – we would likely get four different definitions of significance. So, without data – numbers – for reference, I shouldn’t have made that point. If you have data or if I get the data before this string expires, I’ll try again.

  149. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    JimT –
    All species are hardwired to be selfish. That is THE evolutionary imperative – for each individual, regardless of species, to pass on it’s genetic identity and heritage. That is simply a starting point for us to understand how nature works and where our role in nature begins. That reality shouldn’t be the focus of this discussion because we do have an extraordinary amount of control over our actions and the environment we affect. That is the central point I’m trying to make. We can’t avoid making decisions that profoundly affect our environment and the creatures that share the environment with us. The desire to minimize our impact to the environment, including wildlife, is an expression of that selfishness and and example of why all conservation laws and societal strictures only make sense in the context of their value to human society.
    This discussion is probably boring to most readers of this string – because it sounds obtuse or irrelevant. But is isn’t. This is profoundly fundatmental to the foundation of natural resource conservation and doesn’t argue against any of the desires you, JerryB, Si’Vet or others have for wolf or more broadly wildlife management. Any conservation endeavor is for the benefit of human society and therefore must have the support of society. If it doesn’t it is doomed to failure.

    “Nature rewards cooperation and balance”

    Really?? It does not. The concept of “balance” in nature is a popular myth. Nature, ecosystem “regulation” to more precise – is a chaotic, violent and very messy, dynamic process. The popular misconception that there is some harmonious balance that nature will trend towards or even attain if humans would just get out of the way, stop interfering – is an understandable, but naive misunderstanding of nature.
    Informed, effective and utimately successful natural resource management (wildlife management especially) will depend on a rationale understanding of the realities of how nature functions. If for no other reason than to help society understand the real possibilities and therefor the choices and decisions that will be made intentionally or by default.

  150. Si'vet Avatar

    Johnd the only nation that allows nonnative sport hunting of Polar bears is OCanada.
    Barb. not only put up with them in our FRONT entry, but I agreed to 2 nests which is now 4. the original pair if it really is, showed up April 21, 3yrs in a row. This year 2009 by April 30 nothing, there is actually a web site you can track the migration north, on the site it looked like most birds were late so that cut back on a few tears. May 4th thank god.
    Cedar wax wings. We didn’t realize we had a nest in one of our trees they are pretty elusive here, my wife was trimming around the tree and 4 fledge wax wing chicks busted out and hit the ground… Well, my wife has 2 yes2 Jack Russell Terrorists, and they grabbed 2 chicks and!!! I could hear the screaming and crying above the lawn mower in the back yard. I got the other chicks and proceeded to put them in the nest, slipped, grab the branch it whipped smashed the nest and broke it loose, saved the chicks barked my shins. Took and pulled apart some twine into thin threads, weaved and molded nest back together, then used some of the twine threads to tie the nest securely back onto the branch. Replaced chicks, next day they were gone and we’ve not seen them or there parents since. It’s could turn out to be a long spring. Someday I’ll have to tell you about gathering up 9 dumped off puppies on an Indian reservation during a sleet storm.

  151. jon Avatar

    Mark Gamblin, Idaho fish and game supposedly has ties to the sportsmen for fish and wildlife, an organization that hosts a predator derby where hunters compete for prizes to see who can kill the most predators as possible. What are your thoughts on this?

  152. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    jon –
    SFW is one of numerous hunting and fishing oriented wildlife conservation organizations that devote their resources to habitat enhancement and – advocacy for wildlife within their area of interest. SFW has a controversial history with other members of the wildlife conservation community. Their sponsorship of predator hunting contests is one of those positions. The IDFG works with all legitimate wildlife conservation groups to achieve common goals. SFW does not agree with all policies, programs or positions of the IDFG or Idaho Fish and Game Commission. That is true of virtually all organized NGO’s. It would be remarkable if any organization agreed with all positions or policies of any one government agency. The predator derbies, if conducted appropriately, are legal contests that do not present a threat to predator populations. If a predator derby is legally conducted, the IDFG as no speific position pro or con regarding those activities.

  153. wendy Avatar

    Not sure why you think I don’t spend time in the wilds observing predator behavior, because I actually do quite a bit of that compared to the average person. Can’t say I even know of any computer modelling (of predator behavior?), so no, I am not relying on that. And I do not rely on “the emotions of others” either. I am a fan of science and try to keep my emotions out of such issues (can’t claim 100% success on that, though). Case in point, I could be very offended by your response but I’m not.

    Sorry, but your response did not help at all. Could we try again? It seems that the extent of your predator knowledge is that they eat elk. And while that is true, why do you seem to think they will eat so many as to mess with your hunting opportunities? I don’t doubt you have evidence but I’d like to hear what it is.

    As for the subject of this article, my opinion is that it was OK to let the guy off for the first wolf he shot on his property because it was close to his home and perhaps took him by surprise and therefore understandable under these specific circumstances. But chasing the second wolf on a snowmo is the kind of human response that ought to be strongly discouraged and prosecuted, if only to make an example of. An appropriate punishment would be some kind of community service that would in some way teach him something of what he doesn’t know about wolves.

    That’s my opinion, anyway.

  154. JimT Avatar

    Mark G.

    You are arguing that because nature is random and chaotic there is a “myth of balance”, but I say you are focusing on the process, not the results, a most important distinction.Balance can be dynamic, or haven’t you kept up with Steven Hawking and quarks…~S~

    If humans did as both plant and animal species do virtually all of the time…act in ways in ensure survival, not domination, or empire building or to fulfill some grand need to “leave a mark”…the ecosystems would be a hell of a lot better off for such limits. We are finding that some species of ants wage war on others, and some of the chimps and other monkeys can act like humans in their interactions…jealousy, violent behaviors..but given the millions of species in the world, I would say they are the exception, and we, the humans species, are the ones most apt to create chaos in our own environment for our own gain, not survival. BIG difference, Mark. When things get “out of balance” in nature, it is usually because man has a hand in it somewhere..extirpation, habitat destruction by too many means to count. I am advocating that this species-centered selfishness, uniquely coupled with our unequaled abilities to alter our living environment at the expense of numerous other species, must change, or we won’t be having discussions like this. We will be wondering why in the hell didn’t we do something?

    And for you to imply that it is “naive” to want the basic ways we think of our interactions with nature, the methodologies and rationalizations to change because what your agency and others like them are doing isn’t working, and I would like find a way that does……I find it condescending and insulting. It seems to be a favorite word of yours. I have found that labeling someone or some philosophy as naive is a way of asserting your way is the right way and only way. Being hopeful, being idealistic…since when are these things to be dismissed as goals and objectives? One can seek to act on principles and be practical at the same time. I give you Ghandi, Dali Lama, etc. as examples in history. I am hoping in the West, collectively, those of us who see we are on the edge here of losing the wildness and its special inhabitants, we are as successful.

  155. Si'vet Avatar

    Wendy, I guess it’s because of your comment, it is addressed to me and your last statement, why do you think that this, may imply that you are directing your comments, “too me”. That is your right, I have the right to respond. Wendy I am not a predator biologist, but rest assured I stay informed on this situation, and I spend a lot of time in and around predators, on their own turf. I don’t fear wolves and I am just now starting to really get a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t mind if there is a managed number of wolves around, but unmanaged, I have a big issue. I know how predators basically work with regards to there food source, and yes once food is reduced to a level in which they are starting to stress, reproduction rates will be reduced. Guess what? When they reach that stressed level my opportunity’s as a hunter will already have been reduced, or over. In fact in several areas, I spend time in, those opportunity’s are already being reduced by F&G as they should be, the numbers are down. Some will tell you it was from winter, habitat change, grazing etc. Well, not much change in the last several winters, I have that recorded, in Central Idaho to Southern Idaho because of the lack of moisture, the habitat doesn’t change over night, and where I am talking about there isn’t a single, cow, sheep, pig, chicken forever. There has been 1 significant change, guess what that is. Where I hunt, Wolves kill a lot more elk than humans !!!!!!! So now I am going to try to find somewhere else, because opportunity’s have been reduced. Not ALL, and may I emphasize, not ALL the elk are gone, but enough so whatever I do there will also negatively impact it. I don’t care if wolves were here before or after me, I thoroughly enjoy hunting and have dedicated alot of time and energy into it. It’s, to quote another blogger “my happy time” and I take it damn serious. I don’t mind sharing some of my hard work and $$$ spent on improving big game numbers with some wolves. For me it’s not about the harvest as much as the experience, as elk numbers go down in one area, other areas get more pressure and numbers start to drop and so on and so on. Again the elk or what ever count doesn’t have to get to zero to end hunting. Once those numbers are reduced the same people on this site will go after hunting so there will sufficient food source to sustain wolves. See hunting isn’t completely (too much) wrapped up in politics as is grazing ect. if there isn’t sufficient big game numbers to sustain a hunting season, you can politic till hell freezes over, no hunt. And if human population and sprawl was static, or on the down turn, AND public grazing was eliminated today, I could share with even more wolves, but that just ain’t going to happen in my life time. So I am stuck in the middle, maybe start looking into the Independent party. There’s my take in SHORT..

  156. Si'vet Avatar

    Wendy got to carrying on, I know way to much about the wolf killed in Ashton Idaho, just a bad deal.. I’ll leave it at that.

  157. Elk275 Avatar


    Very well reasoned and written, one of the best in the last 3 months.

  158. Cobra Avatar

    Good response and I agree 100 %.

  159. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    JimT –
    You are right. Hence forth, I’ll do my best to not use “naive” in making a point. It does come across as arrogant – not what I want to convey. I also didn’t succeed with the point I wanted to make. I would not argue that “to want the basic ways we think of our interactions with nature, the methodologies and rationalizations to change because what your agency and others like them are doing isn’t working, and I would like find a way that does……” is naive. Not at all. I would disagree that contemporary wildlife management does not work, but I have no criticism of your world view for holding those opinions. To be clear, I was referring to the popular view that nature is being prevented from achieving a harmonious balance by human presence or selfish intrusion or other descriptions of wrong or unethical behavior. I agree that humans frequently take actions that are contrary to the best interests of society – indluding environmental mistakes.

  160. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Si’vet – nice job. Even a lawyer should be able to understand.

  161. Anne Gilbert Avatar


    I don’t exactly see what “manifest destiny” has to do with this. We are living in an entirely different age; one that supposedly embraces ecological concepts, which include the presence of predators. It’s not a matter, solely of being a “pro-wolfie”, as you put it, but rather a wider perspective on what’s important.
    Anne G

  162. Si'vet Avatar

    Ralph, if you can, could you check to see if Barb got my post on cedar wax wings, and I think I may have been a little to short with Wendy but please don’t let that defuel her passion, for lack of a better term.. I’m a killer /hunter but live in an interesting household.. See you and MG tomorrow night. PS, AF res photo Southeast to Northwest??? that’s a big $$$ shot, married above myself, to a photo junkie, Vday coming up soon, we need to talk cameras. Peace out..

  163. Ken Cole Avatar

    MG said:
    “The IDFG works with all legitimate wildlife conservation groups to achieve common goals.”

    That’s a good one.

  164. JimT Avatar

    Mark G.,

    Agree to disagree. Future years will show if current policies and practices are enough, or if the baseline needs an overhaul. What bothers me is that we dither and debate and delay, nature marches on in its own direction and the losses continue.

    TWB, lawyers pretty much understand any kind of writing…VBG…it is the JQP folks who don’t understand us…;*)

  165. Si'vet Avatar

    JB, before this thread goes away, on my drive into work our conversation really hit me, it is really a matter of definition . I always get negative comments here when I say I’m a trophy hunter, so let me share my 2 definitions with anyone who is interested:
    TROPHY KILLER: someone who pays a ton of money to other people to do all the scouting, all the work, so they can show up drink booze and kill a huge animal usually on a large private piece of property, get some pictures taken, go home. And look like they just stepped out of a Cabela’s Magazine.
    TROPHY HUNTER: A person who does all the scouting, all the packing, all the work, looks like they got dressed at a garage sale, hopes to harvest a truly exceptional animal, goes home empty handed 90% of the time, goes back to work to rest and regain that 10 lbs. back. throws the unused tags away and can’t wait to do it again. And probably needs a mental evaluation.
    JimT, I’m lost on most of your abbreviations.

  166. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    Yes I read your repsonse to the cedar waxwing. Good effort. At school kids frequently brought in critters. One brought in a hummingbird nest with an unfeathered youngster. I kept it alive on small insects, caught with a net, mixed into sugar water. It feathered out and was starting to test its wings by hanging on the the nest rim. A rainy period occurred, I caught no small insects, it died. There were others.

  167. JimT Avatar

    JQP..John Q.Public
    VBG..Very Big Grin
    LOL…Laughing Out Loud
    ~S~..Gentle Smile

    Any others?

  168. Si'vet Avatar

    Thanks that helps. I was 1 for 4 guessing.. The one I know is BYOB.

  169. gline Avatar

    Anne Gilbert, stick around, read some more of this blog daily…. no time or interest to really answer you at this point.

  170. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    At this time of year in Northern Montana and Idaho, BYOB stands for bring your own bulldozer!


  171. gline Avatar

    Sivet said: ‘Never Cry Wolf was just a “movie”.’

    yes, and a very good one at that. Good messages. Survivial of the fittest? What a crock. Human need to take control and be stewards, not hunt fur for new teeth. (Toward the of the end of the movie, if you remember, the Eskimo who had no teeth, couldn’t get a girl at the bar, etc., showed up with teeth after killing the wolf pack. He said it was a matter of survival of the fittest. I call BS).

    You might want to watch it again Si’vet.

  172. gline Avatar

    SB, you mean when you have to bury a horse? I’m not being funny, we had several horses die in the winter. time to call a bulldozer to dig a hole…

  173. gline Avatar

    *Survival, my bad spelling error

  174. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Well gline, we have had to use the bulldozers to bury more horse than I want to remember over the last 15 years, but in the context I was talking about, we normally have to use the bulldozers to get the roads plow, it seems like no matter where I move, the county does not plow the road, so we have to take care of it!

  175. Si'vet Avatar

    Him say ” good idea”… Movie cracks me up, own it.
    Far be it from me to correct anyones spelling lately. Looks like I’m probably going to go home take out Shaw Shank Redemption, and watch again.

  176. Rita K.Sharpe Avatar
    Rita K.Sharpe

    “Never Cry Wolf” ,Farley Mowot’s autobiography published in 1983. It was a book,before it was made into a movie.

  177. Si'vet Avatar

    Save Bears, the snow will melt this spring, crack a beer and watch Never Cry Wolf…. All I did as a kid, shovel snow, and try to get the damn Ford 8n started, then unstuck, spring always came.

  178. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Si’vet, yes it does, every single year,

    I was just being a little silly, dreading my drive to Billings in the Morning!

    Shawshank? That’s a good movie, maybe I grab a brandy and sit back and watch that this evening..

  179. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    Si’vet a bit more on the charges dropped

  180. Si'vet Avatar

    Thanks, Barb, that’s the first time I have been able to read about this particular case. I thought maybe it had happened during a hunting situation. I don’t think it was a good deal. I think that in time as the “new” wears off, attitudes will change for most, not all. Where I am from there has always been bears around so a bear wandering through the yard, or digging around an out building or picking berrys on the other side of the patch was no big deal. It’s going to take some time though. Barb your a teacher? I took a bat to school in a shoe box, told the teacher we could catch insects, maybe train it. She sent me home..

  181. Elk275 Avatar

    Save Bears

    ++I was just being a little silly, dreading my drive to Billings in the Morning!++

    I was born and grew up in Billings and I dread even going back once every 2 years and it is only 140 miles from Bozeman.

  182. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    It is a long drive in the winter, when you are living in Sandpoint, ID, but I guess in a way I am looking forward to it, have not been in that part of Montana for several years now!

  183. JimT Avatar

    byob…I haven’t thought about that one since college…or the garbage can parties..fruit, mixers, and no wine that cost more than 3 bucks a bottle. It is a wonder we all survive our youth…

    Save Bears,

    You living in Sandpoint? Nice area. My wife lived in Spokane when she was a kid and did a lot of family camping in that area. I also think our next Lab is coming from a great breeder near there…

  184. jon Avatar

    It seems Idaho fish and game are only catering to hunters and not wildlife watchers. How are wildlife watchers supposed to see wolves if they are constantly being killed by wildlife services and hunters? if ws keep gunning down whole packs, it is gonna be a lot harder for wildlife watchers to see wolves.

  185. Si'vet Avatar

    Jon, the entire west isn’t, Yellowstone. Even if there hadn’t been a wolf killed this year and there was still #’s your chance of seeing one are slim to none outside the park, unless you have contacts with someone who have them on their property, or a receiver. Yup, there are folks that talk a big game about seeing wolves who just jump in their truck, or 4 wheeler, flip on a switch, and they are a true mountain man or women.

  186. Cobra Avatar

    I agree, I know several guys including my son that have been hunting for wolves every chance they get. All of them are seeing tons of sign, wolf kills and the occasional sighting but hardly any have had even a shot. North Idaho may be different hunting than other areas because of the thick vegatation and rough terrain, but just because their there doesn’t mean you’ll see them. Most of these guys are actually hunting pretty hard not from a rig but actually getting out on the snowshoes and putting in some miles. Are you still going down after them in central Idaho?

  187. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson

    MSG says,” Informed, effective and utimately successful natural resource management (wildlife management especially) will depend on a rationale understanding of the realities of how nature functions.”.

    The key here is “rationale”. MSG and in probably, all his state and federal peers…all the herd grazer biologists …. don’t have a clue how herd animals live…..and it is all because they have an air of superiority of other species.

    Thus, because of this prejudice they have no rationale outlook…. and no chance at “success”. Therefore MSG gets a F in my book. So be it, let the composite him flunk out, but the problem is they extend this superiority to all of their “public”…and in the end all their “subjects” and other species suffer.

    None of them even have an inkling of why there were lots of predators and big game functioning very well together at the same time prior to European arrival.

    All they can do is say with wolf reintroduction elk numbers have gone way down in wolf occupied areas. Now if it was humans causing disruption…lets say we put the same kind of pressure by humans on these elk ….not even shoot at them but disturb enough to say a drainage now has few elk….then it would be easy to show cause and affect. All would say the elk moved away from pressure then all those hunters, in the areas elk moved, to had easy pickings.

    This is what I saw in the migratory (hunted) elk herd in the Thorofare. The wolves bunched the dysfunctional elk herds up, moved elk out of their santuaries, and then outfitters had a lot higher kill percentage. Think of the “88 yellowstone fires and the kill percent going from 30% to 90% for the three to four years after and you get the same scenario.

    Thus numbers of elk do go down, but do you think anyone in Idaho F&G wants to think any further than direct symptom cause and effect?

    I suggest they survey the areas around the supposed wolf killing zones to find the answer one step removed. See where the elk killing went up and then chart in the dots in relation to wolf occupied lands.

    Then after that maybe they can get rid of that prejudiced brain long enough to explore why herd animals pre whiteman were able to live in population “harmony” with predators. I suggest the answer starts with looking at species commonalities…such as the structure of hunter-gatherer societies…and then transfer this same infrastructure and roles of individuals to animals like elk and bison. Or even look at elephants and see the roles each plays in herd protection. Those biologists in Africa may not understand the roles of scouts and indirect deflection by males in protecting the matriarchal components (since elephants are big enough to directly defend and confront predators) but they know the basics of group herd protection.

    What Idaho F%G needs to do is set elk quota limits in areas AROUND and away from good wolf habitat. Otherwise one gets what happened at Thorofare…an eventual big drop in artifically high elk numbers killed.

    Then they need to change how hunters hunt. Limit individuals hunting solo for individual animals. Instead take out elk families and leave others infrastructurally intact.

    I know it makes the Idaho regional office head kink a bit to the side doesn’t it????…but this is how hunter-gathers “harvested” most of their grazers. Big game management today is at pre school level. All MSG’s “professional” knowledge written in this thread should go on the fairy tale book shelf.

  188. jon Avatar

    Bob, Mark Gamblin said to me that hunters kill more elk than wolves.

  189. JimT Avatar

    The restrictions on the Yellowstone viewings are for the wolves protections (numbers of devotees often make that dubious, but I give the rangers there credit for trying to make people behave), so the only way the average person can see them is to go up and down the Lamar at dawn and dusk and hope. And I don’t think these people suffer from Jermiah Johnson Syndrome, Sivet…I think they are doing the best they can to get out and appreciate nature and wolves and grizz, and shouldn’t be impliedly criticized because they are not hunters. It is clear to me from the tone of various posts that you and Cobra feel superior to non-hunters in general when it comes to interactions in the wild world. That’s too bad; it just perpetuates the underlying suspicions of each other on this list…

    Cobra, I am curious. Just why is it that your compadres are out hunting wolves very hard each day? It isn’t for food.

  190. JimT Avatar

    Bob Jackson,

    I think MSG meant “rational”, not rationale, but he should address that because it changes the meaning of his words.

    Thanks for your post. I am not sure I understand all of what you are saying, but this is one thing I took from it. Let me know if it is at all accurate, or even reasonably close.

    Wolves tend to concentrate herds of elk in certain areas where they become easier to find and kill by human hunters Then, hunting becomes poorer because the ratio of kills went up and then the herds need time to re-populate, making the likelihood of a kill less likely until that happens?

    Is it also possible that the wolves will make the elk herds smarter in their survival behaviors? That, in essence, the lack of the presence of a canid predator has allowed the elks to generally become a dumber, less wary prey. And after several generations, the elk will rediscover these old skills, and not only make it more difficult for a wolf pack, but also for human hunters? Is that the real concern of the outfitters in the states?

    I find your proposals about changing the ways elk hunts are structured interesting as well.

  191. JimT Avatar

    Of course hunters kill more elk than wolves. But, I think there are several issues here. One, the hunters and the hunting industry don’t want any other predator there. Period. It cuts into their revenues..theoretically. Two, by having wolves to put out front and demonize, they can avoid needed, more complex analyses about habitat, disease, etc. that play a role in the ups and downs of any population of animals.

    I guess one way to test the wolf-elk thing is to introduce them into Colorado, which has record numbers at this point. ~~S~~ Then see what happens…

  192. jon Avatar

    I think hunters think that the elk belong to them and only them. The wolves have no choice, but to eat elk. If they don’t they will most likely starve to death. Man doesn’t NEED elk to survive. I am sickened by hunters claiming that wolves are decimating elk herds when they are the ones responsible for taking more elk than wolves. Hunters clearly don’t like competing predators.

  193. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JimT – lawyers can “read” most any kind of writing – it is the “understanding” where there appears to be an issue. Look, I have been attempting to help you – however, I am beginning to get the feeling that you may be afflicted with that dread disease that has infected the political class in this country. I am not attempting to be rude but, I must ask – are you now or have you ever been a member of the political class?

  194. jerryB Avatar

    Bob Landis presented his new wildlife movie, “Clash” last night at our local Natural History Center. He’s done, as many of you know, some extraordinary films on Yellowstone’s wildlife and this film is no exception. This one documents the interaction of bears and wolves.
    It will be showing on PBS this Sunday evening. Worth viewing!

  195. JimT Avatar


    You are making a big and somewhat arrogant leap that I need your help in any way, and I totally missed that you were trying to “help me”. Is that a code phrase for converting me to your views wholesale?

    Let’s not get into lawyer bashing…Go to law school, and then talk to me about the experience and training and its benefits far outweighing the minuses. Until then, please, no more.

    And the whole political class thing is simply silly. I don’t know what you mean, what you refer to. If you mean I vote and take a deep interest in civic affairs because I want to have a say in how my life is managed by the government–local, regional, state, and federal–yes, I vote.

  196. Si'vet Avatar

    Cobra, yes still getting out but again success is limited. You hit the nail on the head with heavey cover, that’s why several areas are way short of there quota, and to hunt more affectively you need bring them to you, “calling” it’s a learning curve, alot won’t have the patience to master.
    It would be nice that if just once, a person who blog’s here and I will leave off his name, would just slide one toe into reality on planet earth. Hunters have been working, spending, politicing, and sacraficing so that there are elk to hunt, photo and listen to for all. The reason wolf recovery has gone so well is the fact hunters haven’t “killed” all the elk. In several areas WOLVES are killing more elk than hunters, not all areas. If hunters had been slaughtering all the elk down to extinction, how would the recovery gone from 20 to 1650 wolves in less than 15 yrs. do the math that’s no where 20% growth rate. Your welcome..

  197. JimT Avatar

    So, Mark Gamblin is wrong?

    Sivet, as usual, your statements take what was said and misconstrue. No one said the hunters were killing all the elk. The state says their figures show hunters kill more elk than wolves do. Big difference. And I suspect the reason why elk rebounded had to do with restrictions on hunting permits, not self restraint on the part of the hunting community.

    I guess the lines are drawn again. Oh well. Too many differences to allow a mutual decision to agree to disagree. Shame.

    And I notice neither sivet or cobra have answered a simple question..why kill wolves?

  198. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JimT – If anything take me at my word – I have been trying to “help” you by explaining and educating you on the realities surrounding issues which you have a “legal” eye for. That is it. Several threads ago I stated that I would leave the legal work to you. I have absolutely no idea if you are a good lawyer or bad – either way you have more knowledge of the legal system than myself. The political class is the elected not the voting. And many in the political class are afflicted with a condition “too arrogant to learn”.

  199. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    For those talking about a “political class,” yes, every society develops a political class, defined as those who have the most influence over political outcomes. At least that’s what political scientists and sociologists believe. They usually call the political class, the “political elites.” The word “elite,” however, has a negative connotation among the general public.

    The question should not be whether a political class exists (there will always be one). Some questions of interest are: how unified is the political class (is there competition or conflict within it), how open is entry into the class (can people from the bottom or otherwise from its outside move into it), and finally, to what degree is the class purely self-serving?

  200. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    “to what degree is the class purely self-serving” – Ralph, even with this diverse group I bet we can have a least a super majority on this one.

  201. JimT Avatar


    I am only too aware of the “realities” surrounding the legal issues at stake here.What, do you really think you can litigate a case, and NOT know the science of the issues as well as the experts you will be calling to testify, whether they be scientists, economists, or professional civil servants. In any environmental dispute, it is not simply a matter of the law OR what you term as realities. One needs to make an effort to understand and master both sides. And one needs to understand the political atmosphere as well. Having spent time working on political campaigns, being a city management official, and working in DC…Yeah,I can most definitely say I understand the political realities here. Accepting them is a whole other story.

    So, by asking me if I was a member of the political class, you were essentially saying I was too arrogant to learn? Hmmm..I won’t get into personal exchanges here. Suffice it to say you are barking up the wrong tree.

    Nor will I get into a debate about “elite” I am proud of my degrees and education, and I think they have enhanced every aspect of life in major ways. That said, I was raised in a lower class, blue collar family in a New England town that was on the downhill slide thanks to the moving of the factories to the south and then eventually overseas. I understand the working class mentality and culture; it was my culture; and I respect my roots. But I refuse to apologize or somehow feel less than a real person because I went to college and then upwards to graduate and a JD.

    I would argue that the Tea Party is a political class, that the radical religious right is a political class. Hell, I would argue that the corporate entities in this country constitute a political class. All without being elected to a single office.

    My clients over the years have been very happy with my efforts. I don’t litigate anymore..that is a young person’s game. But I do consult and advocate without doing trials. And I am proud of my record. I could be bad from your standpoint since I suspect I would take legal and policy stands contrary to yours…~S~.

  202. Si'vet Avatar

    JimT, in my statement, I was not refering to you, you were talking to TWB. slide up the post aways. And as always you think that having gone to law school makes you the connsomate expert, SHAME. As for misconstrue, yup I am the only guilty one. Some of us are pretty proud of our own accomplishments. Jimt while were on the subject, I don’t recall being asked why I hunt wolves but now since you need to posture yourself with the question here you go. I am a hunter, I hunt because I love the physical and mental challenge, I have qualified for Boston more than a dozen times, why, so I can get to places in Northern Idaho to hunt big mule deer, and central Idaho for bull elk. I am a trophy hunter, I hunt for BIG, big game on my own, sucess rate maybe 10%. With that said I hunt Predators, just as hard, bears, coyotes, and now Wolves, (not lions). WHY, you have to apply some different skill sets, they are smart, I have all the respect in the world for there abilities. So when I have practiced and prepared my self to hunt predators, including wolves, when I pull that trigger or release, and I am successful, I go to my “happy place” it’s almost a euphoric feeling a thrill, probably similiar to base jumping, the endorphine rush is similiar to crossing the line after 26.2. I called in my first wolf to with in 19 yds. took less than a minute. Hope that helps. OBTW, I still have a hand across the line for those interested in constructive conversation, critical or not.

  203. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    JimT – I was late arriving at my correct leap about you. However, all is clear now.

  204. timz Avatar

    Looks like Montana doesn’t feel as though hunters killed enough wolves this year.


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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