There is a poll today Bozeman Daily Chronicle which asks:

Do you agree with the decision by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to at least double the number of wolves that hunters can kill next year?

There is a concerted effort by wolf foes to manipulate this poll so I thought it would be good to jump into the fray as well. I think it is time the pro-wolf folks speak just as loudly as those who are willing to intimidate and lie at the top of their lungs to rid the Northern Rockies of any meaningful benefit of wolves. We should speak just as fervently but we can do it without the intimidation and name calling and we don’t have to make up crap because the facts are on our side.

You can vote here:

About The Author

Ken Cole

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. We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.

59 Responses to Opinion poll in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle to vote on.

  1. Virginia says:

    When I just voted, it shows 80% of voters agree with increasing the number hunted. So many people seem to be throwbacks in these three states (MT, WY, ID.) I am sure you are right, Ken, the poll will probably be manipulated.

  2. Hilljack says:

    I think the pro wolf people are just as full of BS as the anti wolf and I tire more and more of this stupid debate. Wolves are a natural predator that evolved with their prey and have a place in the ecosystem. They should also be controlled through hunting but not by ranchers who should have to absorb the cost of livestock losses as a part of doing business.

  3. JimT says:


    You made some good points, especially about ranchers having to bear losses as part of their operations. I would add they have a responsibility to add in pro active predator protection methods as well.

    But, as far as I can see, realistically, there is no chance in hell that will happen in the foreseeable future because of the stranglehold livestock lobbyists and interests have on the statehouses and the policies implemented at the fish and game agencies.

    Given that reality, there simply is no way to justify a hunting season on wolf populations that are the target of efforts to exterminate them by the state governments.

    Talk about a hunting season IF there exists a political and cultural climate of sharing the landscape with wolves and they are regarded as an essential part of the Western ecosystem. Until then, I think the stance of pro wolf folks is the realistic stance to take.

  4. WM says:


    I see you are right back to your “purist” view of wolf reintroduction – share the landscape, but no hunting season to control shear numbers because states are targeting to exterminate wolves. And this is some sort of reasoned middle ground view? Your intransigence fuels the fire for anti-wolfers. And, have you not stated in the past you NEVER want to see a hunting season on wolves?

    HJ, in my view, has it pretty good grasp of the issue. We differ only on the extent to which ranchers must absorb new unanticipated business risk (in my belief a shared cost with taxpayers for awhile) of wolf reintroduction.

    And, your exchange doesn’t address the impacts on ungulate populations, which is likely to be the real driver of acceptable population and geographic distribution of wolves.

    • WM says:

      …and JimT,

      It is likely the unscientific poll on the Bozeman paper is driven by hunters and the general citizenry more than livestock lobbyists giving a roughly 80% favorable nod to doubling the wolf harvest number in MT.

      Four (maybe 5) issues at play here:
      1) wolf impacts on ungulate populations and hunting opportunity;
      2) desire to harvest a wolf;
      3) fear of losing livestock;
      4) fear of losing a pet or having a negative encounter with wolves, and
      5) fear (likely unfounded) of wolf spread diseases (tapeworm).

    • WM says:

      I really screwed up, as this is a big one:

      6) ignorance of perceived environmental benefits from wolves on the landscape (trophic cascade).

    • JimT says:


      As usual, you manage to take a relatively straight forward statement, and twist into something it is not. If stating that currently the political climate is incapable of imposing reasonable demands on livestock and game hunting powers to share the landscape with wolves, and therefore hunting seasons are premature given that sustainable, genetically varied populations of wolves are “purist”, then hell, yeah, I am a purist.YOU seem to want the hunting seasons, the increased killing totals with no restrictions at all on the ranchers…just the status quo of no enforcement of permits, no proactive protections, no accountability.

      You are stuck in the anti wolf world of cows and elks as semi god-like animals. I pity you.

    • Ryan says:


      The same could be said for you..

      You are stuck in the wolf world of wolves and coyotes as semi god-like animals. I pity you.

    • WM says:


      ++there simply is no way to justify a hunting season on wolf populations ++

      How did I twist your statement? Seems pretty clear what your view is. States are just trying, for now, to hold the line on population increase. The stats seem to support this. They think they have enough, and the ESA (maybe even a forthcoming opinion from Judge Molloy) will no doubt keep them from trimming the numbers too low.

      I DID NOT say anything about ” no restrictions at all on the ranchers.” I said the cost of livestock business, in the face of a new business risk, should be temporarily borne in part by taxpayers. I said nothing of not enforcing [the terms of grazing I presume] permits. To the contrary, I am a strong supporter of reducing grazing permits over time, AND, immediately enforcing their current terms. Furtheromore, I strongly support the efforts of WWP and other groups in that regard. Let me be clear, I am no friend of cows on federal lands. We need a clear strategy to wean livestock ranchers off public land over time.

      As for the elk, I see significant changes -fewer elk with changed herd age structures and distributions- coming in the face of more and more wolves, with some time lag between cause and effect. My concerns are apparently consistent with what the state wildlife agencies are confronting, and hence their quest for increased harvest quotas (their term for “killing,” just for you Jim), and providing opportunities for so inclined hunters to take a wolf (I have no interest in that).

    • JB says:

      Wolf hunting is not a problem, so long as it is sustainable. Montana’s wolf population grew very slightly from 2008 to 2009 (497 to 524). Due to their fecundity, wolf populations can easily sustain 30 to 35% mortality rate. In 2008, for example, 31% of the known wolf population was killed, mostly (110) via control actions, and the population still grew. However, in 2009 48% (254/524) of the wolf population was been killed, and the number of control actions (145) still rose (despite hunting). Doubling “harvest” from 75 to 150 will not hurt wolf populations, so long as control actions decrease. However, if harvest and control both rise, then you will see a significant decrease in wolf populations.

      – – – –
      I worry that this is shaping up to be a federal v. local control issue.

    • WM says:


      ++I worry that this is shaping up to be a federal v. local control issue.++

      It seems it has been for quite awhile, but the issue is more recently beginning to focus and escalate. And, within the federal ranks it is an executive branch (Interior/FWS) v. judicial (judges trying to interpret laws written forty to fifty years ago, with non-existent legislative history on new key issues, and advocacy based in science that judges do not understand), while the legislative branch (current Congress afraid to open debate for new laws for fear it might produce new state – federal tensions).

  5. Sonia Adams says:

    I was a docent at Woodland Park zoo for two decades and had the privilege to hear about wolves from the zoo vet who was Jim Foster. People are mostly totally ignorant about the nature of wolves. First of all, we have only ONE PERCENT of the wolves left in this country. They are very misunderstood. They do not attack people. The acquiece to dogs. They are needed for population control of herbivores. They are wonderful animals in every sense. How sad that we should treat these animals as objects for target practice. Shame on humans!

    • WM says:


      With all due respect, the Seattle zoo vet’s (and subsequently your) understanding of wolf behavior regarding dogs reflects lack of knowledge about wolf behavior in the wild. Wolves do not acquiece to dogs.

      They view dogs as competition and will often kill them on sight, and will even seek out barking dogs. They also kill very large trained dogs that are guarding sheep, and in Turkey and other Euro-Asian countries guard dogs wear spiked neck collars to aid in defense of attacking wolves which out number them as many as 6 or more wolves in an attack.

      If you go to the FWS website on reintroduction (link: ) and look at the individual state annual reports they give annual mortality statistics on how many REPORTED and investigated dog deaths are caused by wolves – a fair number, actually, which is increasing with wolf population and geographic distribution. Same is true for the Great Lakes wolves and their state annual reports.

  6. Si'vet says:

    Sonia acquiece to dogs, has Jim Foster ever worked with wolves outside of a zoo. Obviously not. The real shame here Sonia is a vet, would make those types of outlandish remarks. Shame on Jim. If you feel my remarks are coarse, contact Ralph, I would be happy to let you and Jim converse with a couple X dog owners. If Jim is still practicing, I know of a 2 million acre Zoo just a short drive north of me that maybe hiring.. Probably a several thousand mile commute for DMV Jim.

  7. jon says:

    Ryan, I don’t know many that consider coyotes as semi god animals. Hunters see coyotes as vermin and well, normal people see coyotes as an animal just trying to survive. I don’t believe people see the wolves as a semi god. They just care about them. Is there something wrong with that Ryan? Caring for animals and not wanting to see them lose their lives by sport hunters? I don’t believe people see the wolves as a semi god Not anymore than you hunters see the elk as a semi god. People just do not like seeing wolves killed by sport hunters. I hope you can understand why that pisses a lot of people off. You cannot fault wolves for killing elk, but it seems that many of you do.

    • Ryan says:


      You don’t have to look very far on this board to see where many have elevated the wolf to the level of semi god and superior to all other creatures level. A critter that represents the whole west etc.

      As for song dogs, I must not know many normal people who

      “see coyotes as an animal just trying to survive”

      maybe I should hang out in more Urban coffee shops and art galleries discussing things with people who have no clue what they are talking about.

    • Moose says:


      You and I must be reading different blogs. To say that “many have elevated the wolf to the level of semi god and superior to all other creatures level” is just as much hyperbole as anything the most ardent ‘wolfies’ have posited here. I would hazard to guess that most people who “hang out in more Urban coffee shops and art galleries ” haven’t given any thought to wolves, coyotes, or any wildlife issues for that matter.

      I would also guess that most “normal” people do in fact see coyotes as just another animal trying to survive. That doesn’t mean they don’t cause any problems, but they also aren’t vermin.

      Though there are many things I don’t agree with Jon on, I think his comments above were actually a reasonable summation of many people’s views.
      I support WM (or was it Save Bears) appeal for reasoned debate on the issues. These “hunters are bloodthirsty”, city folk don’t know anything about rural issues” stereotypes are counterproductive.

  8. Cobra says:

    Are you saying that hunters aren’t normal people? Normal to you will be different than normal to someone else depending on how and where they were raised. Belieive me you would not be normal up here. Most of us do not want all the wolves killed or even predators for that matter, we need some on the landscape but their numbers have increased substantially. I started with 7 cows and 7 calves on my trail cam about 2 weeks ago. Today their are 3 calves and 7 cows. No bear tracks in the area this spring, just wolves. Yea, it pisses me off to lose those calves, no matter what happened. I used to get a real kick out of the cougars on my place in the winter. Haven’t seen any cat sign up there for 3 or 4 years, basically since I started seeing wolf sign.

  9. Kris says:

    Humans who kill humans for “fun” are called “sociopaths”. Humans who kill other animals for “fun” are called “sportsmen”. Perhaps one day humans will be evolved enough to recognize that killing for sport is a sign of mental illness. Healthy people do not want to take the lives of other living beings for entertainment. And that mental illness is often passed through generations. It does not make it “right” or acceptable. Ranchers have cattle to kill for profit, but they want to kill anything that might kill for food. We are a country full of heart disease and cancer, and eating meat is a major cause. Becoming vegetarians would help the environment and people’s health. When will the killing stop? We can survive on grains. It takes 9 lbs of grain to produce 1 lb of beef. It is an incredibly wasteful, harmful practice. Ranchers can learn to make a living another way. Humans with their desire to kill for fun or convenience or gluttonly are truly one of the lower life forms.

    • Layton says:

      Ah yes, spoken like a true vegan.

      Do you use any leather at all Kris??

    • Ryan says:


      I’m proud to be a lower life form.

      BTW, How is vegatble/wheat/soy farming better for the enviroment than ranching? I mean displacing all other forms life to create an large homogenious planting plot has to be good for the envoiroment. Definately no issues with run off or pollution there, what about all of the fossil fuel based pestacides/fertilizers that are used to create your envorimentally friendly vegtables. Now compare that to some “lower life form” like myself, who goes out and takes a few animals a year, with minimal ecosystem impact and leaves the land basically as I found it, less a freezer full of meat. How is that possibly worse for the enviroment than tilling up the land, removing all of the native flora and fauna, treating it with pestacides and fertilizers, and then growing 1 single form of life on it?

      BTW, Do a little outside research on the “meat is horrible for the envorment push, you’ll soon find its a strawmans argument at best. If it weren’t we’d a been screwed with global warming along time ago when 70 million buffalo roamed the west.

    • Save bears says:


      I am going to continue kill animals for mine and my families consumption, I have no desire to give up meat and never will, eating meat has been a human staple since the beginning of time, and I intend to follow that time honored tradition..

      You eat soybeans all you want, me, give me a nice steak cooked over a BBQ with a bit of grain in the form of a good cold beer and I will be happy until the day I die!

    • Moose says:

      I also eat meat, though not as much as when I was younger. I think the market should decide how/what we produce for our diets. I agree harvesting wild game is a very efficient source of protein. However, obviously it isn’t a practible way to sustain the needs of the greater society. The one thing I agree with Kris on is raising beef uses much more energy per/cal than growing grains. With that and the health consequences I think future trends will be away from beef production. Just my two cents.

    • Elk275 says:

      Lamb. My favorite is a sixty pound lamb cooked on a open fire in Parque Nacional Los Glacariares, Argentina while looking at the Fitzoy’s. After one finishes the lamb then comes an unlimited amount of beef, chicken and mystery meats on a hot grill. It is always good to nibble on the rabbit food (salad) while eating plate after plate of the finest meats. I miss those days.

    • jon says:

      I never liked “fatty” meat as I call it that much. I much prefer me some nice pork tenderloin with some potatoes on the side.

  10. jon says:

    Don’t forget them vegetables and fruits savebears. They do a body good.

    • Save bears says:

      I eat plenty of them as well Jon, vegetables are my daily snacks, I have not had a candy bar for a long time, just not a big junk food eater, I like my vegetables and fruits…

    • WM says:


      Ever try camas root as one of your veggies? I have not, but bet it would go well with your steak and beer, with its reputed sweet potato flavor.

    • Save bears says:


      yes, I have, I had it the last time I was in the Indian Heaven Wilderness area, some of my Native American Friends recreated one of their festivals and we partook of several natural vegetables and berries, it was quite a feast..

  11. Si'vet says:

    So I can add to my business card, Mr.—– —– LLF.
    That’s much easier than the abbreviation for, half wit, murdering, redneck, Idahoan. HWMRI. And looks more impressive. Thanks Kris.

  12. jon says:

    Vegans and meateaters clearly don’t like each other.

    • Save bears says:


      I have no hate for vegans, I don’t care about vegans, and as long as they let me live my life as I see fit, it is only when they try to impose their will on my lifestyle that I will step out and tell them to mind their own business, but there is no dislike, or hate against them as a group, they have the choice to live their life as they wish..and I respect that with no problem at all..I just wish they would respect my choices…

    • Ryan says:

      +1 SB. I won’t take notice of most people until they stick there nose where it does not belong.

  13. Si'vet says:

    jon, it depends on the vegan, my daughter dosen’t eat meat, loves to go camping, hunting, fishing. Obviously she doesn’t kill anything but she is a great companion in the hills. Since she works emergency room in Portland, she’s a great hand when it comes to field dressing, can pack a good load as well. At Xmas time it’s always a dandy Sportman’s warehouse gift cert. She understands, different strokes for different folks.

    • jon says:

      si’vet, do you guys take a lot of pictures of wildlife when you go camping? Does your daughter hate wolves? Do you guys run into a lot of wolves? Do you have any experience with the bow?

  14. Si'vet says:

    Jon, quite a few pictures. I’ve not gotten her opinion on wolves, but I will ask. She has been so focused on her education and she now teaches a course in the fall, she hasn’t been able to join us in hunting camp since 05. Just camping in the summer, a little lately. She has 2 sets of older grandparents that expect/demand that she visits and spends a lot of time with them(only 2 grandaughters to spoil). Jon we spend most of our time in and around elk,deer, moose, we are almost always in the presence of wolves. It’s gone from a rare occasion of hearing them, or seeing sign, to daily. I hunt almost exclusively with a bow, and my sons about 60% of the time.

  15. Linda Hunter says:

    Ya know when you get a new name on the blog .. someone who actually signs their name too, it seems like it would be better to engage them rather than jump all over their beliefs . . this blog can get too uninteresting when there is no input from other people and the whole purpose of a discussion is to weigh ideas and perhaps learn something. I have seen some pretty radical thinkers over the years modify their posts and actually seem to evaluate ideas from others. If it weren’t for that, this blog wouldn’t be half as valuable. Just saying.

    • Save bears says:


      I am confused?

    • Save bears says:

      I am just saying, I can’t and won’t disclose my real name on this blog or any other one, until such time as my law suit is settled with the State Of Montana and the Dept of Defense, so perhaps I am mis-reading what you are trying to say?

    • Save bears says:

      Of course, I may be wrong, perhaps you were just addressing your message to the general population about your feelings…but with the change in format on this blog, it does make it confusing to figure out who is addressing what sometimes..

  16. Linda Hunter says:

    Sorry Save Bears .. I was just making a general statement because earlier in the blog there were some new names and they were pretty much “shouted down” in my observation . . that was all. I like to see people encouraged to join the discussions unless they are rude or get into name calling. Sonia may have had a different opinion on wolves and dogs but she also might have a good deal to add to a discussion and Kris got some pretty standard vegan and meat eater arguments . . I just like to see different opinions encouraged. We went through that name thing once . . I do understand why not everyone can sign their real name and I sure don’t want to exclude people who can’t. Some great comments and information come from some of our less specific sources.
    OFF subject I can hardly wait until the weather gets a little better so I can get off the computer and back in the woods!

    • Save bears says:


      I can certainly agree with you on that, I need to get back out in the field!

    • WM says:


      Since I made a comment directly to one of the individuals to whom you refer, should I have refrained even though the rather authoritative “opinion” was factually incorrect? I tried to be nice and provide authority. What do you see as proper learning and opinion exchange protocol for this forum?

  17. Joe James says:

    Reading the comments on the website for the poll is downright sickening. The level of vitriol and ignorance towards wildlife management in the three states of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho is downright frightening. Minnesota alone has more wolves, people and livestock than all three of these states combined yet has a fraction of the predation incidents, control incidents and controversy.

  18. Si'vet says:

    Jon my daughter say’s she hasn’t really formed an opinion on the wolf situation, she caught a few blurbs in the paper and on the news and it came up a couple of times at school and ER, but she’s never engaged in the conversaton. Was there a reason for it and the other questions.
    Linda, so if I USED the name Karl, I could jump on and start calling people lower life forms, I should get a free pass.
    How about Karl says: that all prowolf people are tree hugging, dope smoking, pedophiles, would you defend me. didn’t think so..

    • jon says:

      I am curious how a vegan feels about the wolf situation going on. I assume most vegans are animal lovers given the fact they have given up eating meat and I was curious as to what her opinion is.

    • Linda Hunter says:

      Si’vet did you read my post? I said unless they were name calling or rude.

  19. Save bears says:


    Are you familiar with Oregon? I can say, that the western part of the state is far removed from the eastern part of the state, and the feelings are a lot different on each side of the Cascades…pretty much the same as Washington..

  20. Si'vet says:

    SB, your exactly right, big diff between east & west side of those 2 states. The five letter word on west side is “seals”. You can get an earful if you bring them up.
    Jon, reason for the other questions.

    • Save bears says:

      I heard that about the seals, man get around Bonneville dam and you will get an earful! I know it seemed like the main news story I heard, the whole time I stayed in Vancouver, WA with my Dad over the holidays was about the seals!

  21. Si'vet says:

    SB, small world, only time I’ve lived outside of Id. was NE 160th st. Vancouver… I really miss that river.. Just the river..

  22. Save bears says:

    The last place I lived in Vancouver, was on Hazel Dell Ave.. and my dad lives out on NE 10th ave just at the intersection of 205 and I-5

  23. Si'vet says:

    Really small world, take that 149th exit, either go left into HD or right then a quick left up Monte Vista, up to the top, we lived on the right side. My youngest son would coast to the bottom of the hill on his bike fish Salmon creek, I would go down at dark and pick him up. My kids attended Prairie HS. Just grass between us and the college extension, at the time.

    • Save bears says:

      I remember when there was no prairie HS LOL, and I spent many a day, skipping school and fishing Salmon Creek, cut my hunting teeth up on Larch Mountain.., actually grew up in the Lake Shore area and Graduated from Columbia River HS…when I grew up it was a very rural area, now a days, it is a big city…also remember when the Klineline ponds where actually still a gravel pit and then they abandoned it, then we would go swimming and fishing in it, now it is a BIG county park…

  24. Si'vet says:

    With big city issues. And lots of micro breweries, miss those, and Who’s Song and Larry’s. Not the blackberry bushes.

    • Save bears says:

      Boy did I spend far to much time at Who Songs, man it gives me a headache just thinking about it!


  25. Si'vet says:

    Linda, I read, did I misinterpret it? I thought you were condoning a post that called hunters etc. lower life forms, and with regards to my flip reply.

  26. Si'vet says:

    I spent an evening there when there was a sail boat race going on, about every 10 minutes, bridge lift, more cheap margurita’s. Taxi to N. HD, 35.00$ plus tip. Your right, my heads throbbing a bit. good time!

  27. bob jackson says:

    I agree with Kris that killing for sport is a mental illness. I do not feel killing vegetation, however is any different than killing red blooded species. It all is taking of life.

    I feel the evolutionary need for carnivornes, omnivores, herbivores and the plant community to kill is rooted more in the emotions each species has in the need for that species to survive as that species.

    What has been skewed in “modern” civilized times is a distancing from being a part of nature. Thus “we” have this evolutionary feeling of elation with each “kill” ….being emotionally misintrepreted by those who now feel the need to kill for “sport”….. not much different than the “feelings” that comes from hormones driving pre adolescents to adults. In the process a few things get mixed up. Of course this means life dies needlessly.

    I can say I have killed more animals than anyone reading this blog. I kill families of buffalo to this day. It takes a lot of soul searching for me and continual review of why I kill to be at peace with myself. I have no choice but to spend time doing this. Othewrwise I become an abuser.

    As for a “higher” form of life…there is none. This racist (species) belief is no different than Germans pre and present Hitler era believing they were the Aryian Master Race. Until the general public…as fueled by academia…. understands there is no SUPERIORITY ….. prejudices will always come up with supposed rational knowledge and science.

    One more thing…. todays game management will, someday, be noted in museums. That is where it belongs. Not so much for its bad symptom science but for the same reasons we all believe what a deadly false science Hitlers Aryian science proved. (can you believe their doctors killed 91,000 of their own people in a single year to rid it of medically and emotionally “unsound” members in its ranks?…kind of reminds me of the lay and science community Aryan quest for pure bison in Yellowstone).

    I go with Kris as to her opinions of what todays killing does to minds …and how this abusive attitude is passed on from generation to generation… different than how abuse in a family stays for a long time. The only thing I see Kris not resolving in her own mind is her elevating animals over plants. Thus she has the same superiority problems most have. Maybe she will “work it out” some day. Aj


June 2010


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey