Biologist Studies Wolves' Possible Return to Colorado

Recent Colorado wolf sightings still not confirmed.

This is an interesting story about the possible return of wolves to Colorado. I’ve heard great skepticism about the earlier reports of evidence of breeding on or near the large ranch in northwest Colorado but it may be possible that there is an individual wolf present there. Results of the evidence is still pending.

Biologist Studies Wolves’ Possible Return to Colorado.







  1. jon Avatar

    Good article Ken. I hope it is true. There are more than 300,000 elk in Colorado. Plenty of elk for wolves.

    1. WM Avatar

      With past confirmed observation of at least one wolf in CO, killed on I-70, it seems possible, and maybe even fairly probable there other disperser wolves.

      I think this is a win – win for the High Lonesome ranch. They get great publicity for the high end pay to play recreation opportunities on the ranch. The owner, a texas lawyer, comes across as an environmentalist, and if there are wolves on the ranch, they get studied, by some researchers who are being paid. Wow!

      Now the skeptical part. I don’t know how long it takes for a DNA analysis on a chunk or two of wolf(?) poop, but it seems like this story about wolves on the High Lonesome has been around for a couple of months. Is it wolf poop or not? This ain’t rocket science or the search for the Holy Grail.

  2. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Jon, 300,000 elk seems like plenty to go around for wolves and people. Although I would love to see wolves restored to Colorado, I think there is a good chance that wolves will make it to Colorado on their own and maybe start a small population. I’m just hoping Colorado will take an approach that seems reasonable, like Washington and Oregon (sort of) have. I hope they don’t go the Utah route.

    WM, I agree that it does seem to be a long time to analyze the excrement. It seems like it would be pretty obvious what it came from.

    1. jon Avatar

      Yeah, you are right. Wolves will make it there on their own and may already have.There is plenty of elk there for wolves to eat. It’s an all you can eat buffet for the wolves.

    2. Save bears Avatar
      Save bears

      With the use of terms like “Wolf Ready” and “all you can eat buffets”, I don’t think many of the people in Colorado are going to be much happier than many of the people in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana have been…

  3. davej Avatar

    The at the end of this KUNC story they mention DNA results should be released “any day”.

    Colorado’s wolf management plan says wolves that wander into the state should be left alone unless they get into trouble, in which case “management” will be on a case-by-case basis. As with other areas, the real problem will be WS.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar


      Of course, Colorado antis will immediately stir things up to make it appear that a lost cow calf or two is equivalent to the Gulf oil disaster.

      Folks who want balanced wildlife management need to be proactive and immediately go on the offensive.

  4. davej Avatar

    Agreed. And it is worth mentioning that when a wolf crosses the state line the “experimental non-essential” status evaporates. Colorado’s plan acknowledges that it doesn’t kick in until delisting. (At the time the Feds wanted everything north of I-70 to be included with the Northern Rockies, but they lost that effort).

  5. WM Avatar


    ++At the time the Feds wanted everything north of I-70 to be included with the Northern Rockies, but they lost that effort.++

    More details?

  6. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Save bears, all you can eat buffet probably is not a good term to use. Especially since probably a large majority of the hunters want that all you can eat buffet to themselves as they have had for 70+ years.

    Ralph, as soon as any dead animal be it cow, sheep, elk, or deer is found then the wolves will be killing everything.

    1. Save bears Avatar
      Save bears


      Its not just the hunting community that is going to be un-happy, its going to be other sectors of life in Colorado.

      As far as hunters, they are only legally entitled to one elk a year if they buy a tag, that is not an all you can eat buffet…

      But to expect that it is going to be more excepted in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, I think it a bit of a stretch…this is a very volatile issue virtually every where…

      And will continue for many generations to I think using terms that inflame either side is not doing either side any favors…

    2. Ralph Maughan Avatar


      There are 300,000 elk in Colorado, more than any other state; but I think we can already predict that once there is even one wolf pack, it will be less than year and some hunting groups will claim that wolves have decimated elk hunting in Colorado.

    3. jon Avatar

      Ralph, that is what is going to happen, no doubt about it. They are doing the same thing in MN and MI and claiming that wolves are killing all of the deer and are responsible for low deer #s. The funny thing is, if you were to look at the #s and I have them, hunters are responsible for killing MORE deer than wolves in both of those states, yet wolves are getting the blame for low deer #s. It is very easy to see, hunters do NOT LIKE COMPETITION plain and simple. It is always the predators getting the blame.

  7. jon Avatar

    Does anyone have any idea how many elk hunters there are in Colorado?

    1. Jeff Avatar

      Unlike other western states Colorado splits its elk season into three 7-10 day hunts. Hunters can only hunt one of the sesasons, but tags are available over-the-counter to out of state hunters in an unlimited supply, which isn’t the case in any other state. Colorado certainly maximizes revenue via elk tags this way.

  8. Elk275 Avatar

    Save Bears

    I believe that a hunter can buy 1 bull tag and 2 cow tags in Colorado.


    There is several hundred thousand elk hunters in Colorado and Colorado is the only state that a non resident hunter can buy an elk tag over the counter. Elk hunting is a huge business in Colorado.

    I doubt that a hunter is able to knock on a rancher/farmers door and get permission to hunt, in Montana one is still able to do that. Everything is leased up in Colorado and ranchers are selling there “ranching for wildlife” tags for thousands each, depending upon the bull quality. Wolves are not going to go over very well except in the Boulder Community.

    Save Bears in pragmatic in his opinion of what is happening, but if the wolf number continue to increase and spread into neighboring states there is going to be federal legislation introduce to by pass the ESA.

    1. ProWolf in WY Avatar
      ProWolf in WY

      I don’t know if any of you have read Wilderness Predators of the Rockies by Mike Lapinksi, but in the section on wolves and grizzlies in the Southern Rockies, he writes that the Colorado Division of Wildlife is an elk factory. I think that is a pretty good description.

    2. Elk275 Avatar

      Pro Wolf

      Mike has written 10 books, five of them on elk hunting. I have seen hime at various hunting expo’s signing his books.

      That is what the Colorado wildlife division does, creates the largest population of elk each fall so that there can be a maxium number of tags and hunter opportunity.

      Wolves do not spend the type of money that hunters do each fall in Colorado, nor will the wildlife watchers ever spend that type of money. It may be sad but it is about opportunity and money.

    3. ProWolf in WY Avatar
      ProWolf in WY

      It is a sad fact. Has he spoken much about predators at hunting expos?

    4. Save bears Avatar
      Save bears


      Yes, I have read all of Mike’s books and the last time I saw him we had dinner in Whitefish on the premier night of the Tim Treadwell Movie, I am pretty familiar with Mike and his books and him and I disagree on many points…

    5. JimT Avatar

      On what basis?

    6. Save bears Avatar
      Save bears


      Who are you addressing your question to?

    7. JB Avatar


      Rocky Mountain National Park alone has ~3 million visitors per year, many of which come specifically to see wildlife. They pay $10-20 in order to do so, during all months of the year.

      Don’t get me wrong, hunters spend a lot of money and have spent a lot of money over the years protecting habitat; but if you think they overspend wildlife watchers then you are mistaken. In 2006 the USFWS estimated that wildlife watchers spent twice as much as hunters (46 and 23 billion, respectively). This discrepancy is likely to grow larger as fewer people are hunting while the number watching wildlife is generally growing.

    8. SEAK Mossback Avatar
      SEAK Mossback

      Quote from a B&B owner in Gardiner: “The wolf watchers don’t spend money the way the elk hunters did”.

    9. JB Avatar

      And again the power of the anecdote. Since one Gardiner-area business owner says it is so, then to hell with the science that says otherwise.

      Believe what you will.

    10. JB Avatar

      By the way, Montana’s deer and elk season last ~2.5 months. In contrast, the wildlife watchers show up year round.

    11. ProWolf in WY Avatar
      ProWolf in WY

      Anecdotes need to be taken with a grain of salt. If you ask a lot of people they will say the wolves have eaten all of the elk and that maybe just because they didn’t see any on their drive when they normally do. These may be the same people who have claimed to see wolves on a killing spree and claim wolves have attacked people.

    12. jon Avatar

      And they claim wolves were stalking them and their children. The wolf haters try to paint wolves much more dangerous than they really are.

    13. Elk275 Avatar


      I am out in the woods year around and I see very few wildlife watchers in a year. Last year I was in the Red Rocks Refuge 4 times, 3 times in the summer and 1 time during hunting season. I never saw a wildlife watcher, fisherman yes, Gopher hunters yes. The campground had only 1 or 2 campers each time. Now hunting season the orange army was everywhere.

      The access to that area is only open 6 months of the year for cars and trucks. I do not think that many snowmachine operators are primary wildlife watchers.

      Montana is 65% private land and that does not lend to wildlife watching except from the public right aways. When I am traveling the Madison Valley Road in the winter I always stop and look at the elk on the Sun River Ranch for 5 minutes each way unless there are some huge bulls. So I guess I am a wildlife watcher.

    14. jon Avatar

      Just because you don’t personally see them elk does not mean they aren’t there. Check this link out.

      The state of Montana had 755,000 wildlife watchers, 16 years old and older, in 2006. With 755,000 participants in this hobby, Montana ranked 35th in the nation. These 755,000 individuals spent $377 million in retail sales, $50 million in state and local taxes and $49.1 million in federal taxes as well as a total multiplier effect of $629 million.

    15. ProWolf in WY Avatar
      ProWolf in WY

      I think the point is that wildlife watchers are just as valuable as hunters. I also think they should be listened to in debates much more than they are. Western states could develop a major industry like other countries such as Costa Rica have.

    16. jon Avatar

      According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, hunters now represent 5.5 percent of Americans 16 years and older, while wildlife watchers outnumber them by almost six-to-one, making up 31 percent. Even in a rural state like Iowa, hunters are only 9.1 percent of adult residents, while wildlife watchers are 47.5 percent. Wildlife watchers also contribute more money than hunters to the economy.

    17. jon Avatar

      The argument to kill wolves to support hunting is that hunters spend more money. But of $1.3 billion spent in Alaska on enjoying the outdoors, only $125 million was spent on hunting and fishing. That compares to $51 million spent on fishing and $581 million spent to watching wildlife. Tourism is a big business in Alaska and bear viewing tours are now part of that.

      Wildlife biologist Stephen Stringham, who wrote Bear Viewing in Alaska also runs bear viewing tours, says that the program has also killed off a bunch of bears that people used to like to watch. “While this has been underway, numbers of bears in prime viewing areas has crashed,” he says, threatening lots of jobs. “Whether she really cares is questionable.”

      Nationwide wildlife watchers outnumbered hunters (71 million to 12.5 million) and outspent them, too ($45.7 billion to $22.9 billion).

    18. JB Avatar

      Population monitoring by scientists says elk populations, in general, are doing well, but hunters say wolves are killing them all. Recreation research says birding is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreation activities, while hunting and fishing are in gradual decline; and scientists say wildlife watchers are far more numerous than hunters, but hunters say they never see them. Economists say wolf watchers spend millions in the GYE to come see wolves, but local business owners disagree.

      I’m beginning to think hunters in the West may be suffering from “cultural blindness”. FYI: I often where camo when hiking and photographing wildlife and have been known to wear hunters orange while in the woods during hunting season; I suspect you will agree that neither make me a hunter.

    19. Elk275 Avatar


      I do not disagree with your reference to the economic impact of watching wildlife.

      ++The answer to this question will seem easy after a little explaining. Wildlife watchers include those people who enjoy just watching wildlife in a natural setting and often these people will even entice the wildlife to a certain area by planting or placing food that the wildlife are attracted to in that area. These wildlife watchers can be any of the people who watch and/or attempt to identify wildlife, such as bird watchers. They are also those people who photograph wildlife as well as anyone who feeds wildlife on a regular basis, even just with a bird feeder in their yard. Also, a person who maintains a minimum of a quarter of an acre of land in its natural state for the benefit of wildlife as its primary purpose is considered a wildlife watcher and anyone who plants vegetation with benefiting wildlife in mind, such as agricultural crops or shrubs, is considered to be a wildlife watcher. Anyone who visits a local park, one that is within a mile of their home, specifically to observe, feed or take pictures of wildlife would also be considered a wildlife watcher.++

      I was in a $3,000,000 plus home on Tuesday. The home is on the out skirts of the town at the foot of the Mountains. After being let in the home the lady of the house spotted a bear by the pond we spend the next 15 minutes watching him. She had two pairs of similar binoculars and she handed me one pair. A $3,000,000 home and a pair of Walmart $79.99 binoculars; I wanted to get my Lecias from the glove box but thought that might not be the best idea. She told me all of the animals that they have seen on there property and how they love to watch them.

      Then we discuss business, they had spent north of $100,000 on their pond. The above quoted article references this type of wildlife watching and the expenses associated with it. If one wants to include this type of expense for wildlife watching, then I do not disagree about the $35,000,000 spent watching wildlife. What if a person builds a series of ponds and enjoys watching wildlife, but in the fall the husband enjoys shooting ducks and in the spring and summer enjoys fishing. Do we allocate all of the expense of the pond building to wildlife watching or do we separate cost on the number of hours for each activity.

      There are people spending millions to buy ranches just to hunt and fish. There is a 30,000 acre property out of Red Lodge, Montana that was purchased by Swiss hunters for the pheasant, Huns and sharptail hunting.
      All of us have are interest and we do the best to enjoy them with what we have.

    20. WM Avatar

      I spend a total of 4 days scouting (wildlife watching) before I go on a 10 day elk hunting trip. When elk hunting, I am wildlife watching the entire time, and seeing much more wildlife than just the species which I am hunting.

      Then the balance of the year my wife and I go to national parks, national forests. state forests and parks, maybe even a large city park, and even some private land hiking, photographing landscapes and wildlife. Does that make me a hunter, exclusive from being a watcher of wildlife?

      My wife and I probably spend 20 to 30 days a year in national parks (although probably will not do as much this year), so we trip traffic counter or use our NP pass, and contribute to the kinds of statistics JB was talking about. When we are not camping, we stay in motels and eat at the local restaurants.

      How many other “hunters” are also wildlife watchers for the majority of the time, who contribute to those wildlife stats that JB was throwing out? They are not mutually exclusive.

      I also wonder, in some places where will wolves will go, how much deer, elk, moose and beaver watching will be displaced. If wolf presence changes animal behavior making it tougher to hunt ungulates because they avoid open areas, are on steeper ground at higher elevations, won’t it also make it tougher for all wildlife watchers to see them at other times?

    21. JB Avatar

      Nope, they are not mutually-exclusive, so what do you make of statements like, “…nor will the wildlife watchers ever spend that type of money” and “The wolf watchers don’t spend money the way the elk hunters did”. Are you and your wife just cheaper when your watching wildlife then when you are out hunting?

      FYI: You all should take a look at the “quick facts” associated with the most recent survey:

    22. JB Avatar


      If you want to compare apples to apples….

      Expenditure: Hunters – Wild. Watchers
      Trip-related: 6.7 billion – 12.9 billion
      Equipment: 10.7 billion – 23.2 billion
      Other: 5.5 billion – 9.6 billion

      Wildlife watching (total): 71.1 million
      Around the home: 67.8 million
      Away from home: 23 million
      Away from home photography: 11.7 million

      Hunters (total): 12.5 million
      Big game: 10.7 million
      Elk: .8 million
      Small game: 4.8 million
      Migratory birds: 2.3 million

      So 11.7 million people photographed wildlife away from the home while .8 million hunted elk (that’s about a 14 to 1 ration) yet wildlife watchers will never generate the kind of expenditures that elk hunters do? Really? They must be cheaper than that B&B owner in Gardiner thinks!

      – – – –

      Muse: More than 50% of the 71 million people that participated in wildlife watching are women (54% around the home, 49% away from the home). Nine percent (9%) of the 12.5 million hunters are women. So if my calculator can be trusted, that means ~35.5 million women wildlife watchers, and ~1.3 million women hunters. See where I’m headed? 35.5 – 1.3 = 34.2 million women wildlife watchers who do not hunt (or more women wildlife watchers than hunters in the U.S.). So yes, while hunters overlap substantially with wildlife watchers among men, there is very little overlap among women.

    23. jon Avatar

      It is a common misconception that sometimes comes from those who hunt that wildlife watchers don’t contribute as much money as hunters.

      Michigan hunters spend $915 million annually to hunt in Michigan, according to the 2006 Wildlife Recreation survey last done by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. If it was only $91,000, we might view it differently.

      Although the number is dated, the report came out before the recent economic slump, so it provides some perspective about the magnitude of the contribution and where the money goes.

      The same report also showed Michigan anglers spend $1.6 billion annually. Wildlife watchers also spend $1.6 billion in Michigan, including their backyard bird watching activities.

    24. WM Avatar

      It gets complicated when one gets to the bottom of the “apples to apple” comparison statistics you cite. I am not going to defend the comments of others regarding how much each spends, that is definitely a slippery slope argument, and in the end would agree wildlife watchers spend quite bit of money. I haven’t seen the survey questions either.

      The reason there are only .8 million elk hunters (if that number is correct) is that there are what maybe 10 states with the habitat and present numbers of the species for that to occur, and of course up to 20% of those hunters in several states are non-residents. Same is true of so many different species – hunting or fishing – it is location specific. Not too much salmon fishing or elk hunting in AR or KS, but I bet you will find wildlife watchers there contributing to the statistics you cite. Again, each hunter, by law, is only actually hunting for a couple of weeks a year for whatever species. Wildlife watchers (including those hunters during or outside hunting season), well, that could be any day of the year, and in any outdoor location anywhere, away from home or not.

      As for the gender participation, that is true.


      About your comment regarding RMNP. I have found it to be a bit sterile as compared to the wildlife we often see in YNP, Teton, ONP and a bunch of others. National Parks often have different focuses, and the ones I think stand out for those 3 million visitors a year are the stunning physical landscapes far above timberline, snowfields most of the year, and the drive over the tundra on Trail Ridge road (at 11,500 feet, very cold and windy there nearly all year, and that is what the tourists constantly comment on). So, for me, having been to RMNP many times, and seeing elk and deer, but not on the scale of YNP, I am going to say its the mountains and elevations over 10,000 feet that are the draw. Estes Park (elev. 7,700 ft), where you will be for the Warner School Conference on human-wildlife interactions is, as you know, at the east entrance of the park. When you drive up the narrow canyon of the Big Thompson and emerge at EP it is almost a Eureka! moment – far greater than any the impact of seeing wildlife for many (even more stunning in early summer with all the snow in the background, than fall). And, I bet you a beer, when people mark the blank on a survey form saying they are a wildlife watcher, if they had a conscious thought or an option would say they are landscape watchers too (don’t know if that is an option for the response, but should be).

    25. JB Avatar


      I can’t disagree with anything you’ve said. I only got involved in this conversation because some individuals were making what I would characterize as absurd statements regarding what hunters and wildlife watchers contribute to the economy.

      Your comment regarding demand for hunting is important. It is likely that many more people would hunt (or would hunt more often) if they had the opportunity. The fact is, with an increasing human population (and relatively fixed amounts of habitat) opportunities to hunt are likely to decrease. However, while an animal can only be killed once, it can be viewed and photographed many times over. Thus, there is a much greater potential to increase support for wildlife via wildlife watching than through hunting. I don’t say this to diminish the importance of hunting; I say it because people need to understand that we are in this together.

      More to the point: I have many times heard people on this blog disparage the contributions of non-consumptive wildlife watchers. These comments are not only factually incorrect, they serve to alienate one of the few allies hunters have in their efforts to protect habitat and conserve wildlife.

  9. WM Avatar

    Colorado has three times the number of elk (probably also the same ratio for deer, though I have not checked) as does WY. I expect that means three to five times as many game hunting guides, who are in all likelihood watching what is going on in the NRM delisting. These folks all go to the same hunting trade shows, and talk amongst themselves, probably sharing even more information instantaneously with availability of the internet. Ranchers with good elk hunting properties are selling access for hunts. This is big business in CO. They are not oblivious to what is being played out in the federal courts in Missoula and Cheyenne, and no doubt some had predicted the course it is taking.

    I have no idea what the livestock community is thinking, but it cannot be too far off the mark of the NRM states, so one can expect there is already lobbying going on there.

    Reluctantly, I predict two things. First, I expect that much of the groundwork is already being laid with CO Division of Wildlife to be prepared to act if and when wolves show up in any numbers – monitoring and studies, as well. The Wolf Management Plan – Recommendations of a Wolf Working Committee in 2004 and adopted by the Commission in 2005, was a very general, but flexible, document that seems to say if we need to deal with predators to maintain ungulate objectives, we will (how that plays with a listed ESA species is problematic).

    Second, there will be alot more very quiet, but efficient, 3S as wolves gradually show up and are documented.

    Wolves here will have the benefit of ESA protection, for whatever that is worth under these circumstances. Even with the enlightened non-consumptive wildlife enthusiasts along the Front-Range and in the ski communities that dot the high country, I fail to see how they can influence the hunting community, the livestock business, or the Commission to any degree. These folks on the West Slope are still pissed at the Front Range communities for stealing their water and putting it in tunnels through the Continental Divide to feed agriculture and golf courses for a growing population. No BOHICA for them.

    That is the difference between having a fanfare reintroduction as in the NRM DPS (including the focal point of YNP and the GYA ecosystem), as opposed to dealing with the gradual effects of re-population.

    1. mikarooni Avatar

      Yep, consistently discouraging, demoralizing, depressing, and dispiriting any momentum in the pro-wolf advocacy camp aren’t ya? This is pretty basic and classic propaganda stuff ya got going there WM.

    2. WM Avatar


      I am sorry you continue to attack me personally. Against the bookends of WY, where state leaders, and apparently residents, want wolves as “shoot on site predators” in 90% of the state AND the Mexican Wolf DPS population of 100 very rare, nearly genetically identical, wolves have been trimmed to 43 individuals in the wild in the NM-AZ area, I would say the prospects in CO are fairly promising.

      Having lived in CO for a number of years in my past, and knowing the Front Range and Western Slope as I do, as well as the mindset of the Div. of Wildlife, I wanted to set out some very likely obstacles of re-population. That you do not like the realism of this controversial ESA program as it unfolds in every state where wolves are or eventually want to be is, well……tough. And, it is not propaganda – WY, NM-AZ are facts. CO is a fairly well thought out prediction, which is my opinion, backed by what I believe to be valid social, economic and political constraints. Others may disagree.

      And, if you have ideas different from mine or anyone else on the substance of the issue express them, but leave out the personal crap.

    3. jon Avatar

      Layton, lack of knowledge?

      Layton, you obviously got angered because I made a comment stating the truth huh?

      I said that wolf haters paint wolves as being much more dangerous animals than they actually are/ What is the matter, did this comment offend you? Do you think deep down, you are a secret wolf hater though you try to pretend you like them? Is that it? I never once said I was an expert. I have my opinions, you clearly don’t like them.
      All I said was the truth, don’t hate me for that. Only a wolf hater would get offended by comment I made which was only stating what goes on in the real world Layton. It is a fact that wolf haters paint wolves as being much more dangerous than they really are. That is not lack of knowledge, that is truth you don’t like hearing. Layton, once you start question what someone like Bob Wayne has to say, you lose the credibility you think you have. Seeing a wolf every now does not turn you into a wolf expert. As for me, I never ever said I was one. You just assumed that. I could go back and forth with you because this arguing if you want to call it that might piss Ralph off and I don’t think he needs nonsense like this on his blog. I will end it here. You get the last word. What kind of question is that? Do you know what a wolf looks like? LOL You are a funny one Layton.

    4. Layton Avatar


      I’m not a “wolf hater” as you like to call anyone that disagrees with you — I am a realist, I am also a pragmatist when it comes to wolves. I know that something has to be done before the problem becomes worse and the reactions become MUCH worse.

      I KNOW what they do to the elk herds here, I have seen it. Please, don’t try to tell me that I now longer know how to hunt elk or that somehow they have mysteriously developed some sort of an invisibility cloak. I have seen wolves, I have watched wolves. I have done the same with elk, and I continue to do so. I have experienced the woods here in Idaho before AND after wolves — and, do I need to point it out — you have not!!

      You have evidently gotten your experience and knowledge from the Internet and not much else. I don’t hate you for your opinions, if anything, I PITY you.

      You have sucked up every line that the greenie side puts out. You don’t have any reason not to I guess. For that I feel sorry for you.

      You refuse to answer any sort of a question that has to do with where you get your information — other than the Internet — I have no reason to hate you for that, I merely want to point out to other people where you get your ideas.

      You”re probably right – this is a good place to stop. You refuse to answer any kind of a question that might lend some credibility to your arguments and it doesn’t appear that will change. I just had hopes.

  10. Layton Avatar

    “The wolf haters try to paint wolves much more dangerous than they really are.”

    Do you really know anything about this Jon, or is this your normal “speak and they will believe” stuff??

    Would you care to share some of your vast experience with wolves with us??

    I don’t think you have any.

    1. jon Avatar

      Layton, I do not care what you think. I speak the truth. Wolf haters do infact paint wolves as being much more dangerous than they actually are.

    2. Layton Avatar

      Your idea of the truth is basically uninformed and ignorant.

      You have NO experience with wolves — inside a zoo or in the woods.

      You have NO experience with hunters — you have said so yourself (actually that’s about the only thing you have said that I believe.

      AND you have demonstrated many times that you are not willing to inform those that ask just what your level of experience (or lack of it) is.

    3. jon Avatar

      Layton, the facts are the facts regardless if you want to believe them or not. Wolf haters portray wolves as being much more dangerous than they actually are. If you don’t believe this, I feel sorry for you. Now lemme ask you, how many people have wolves actually attacked and killed in Idaho? That’s what I thought. Move along.

    4. Layton Avatar

      Hey there jonny boy,

      Again, you duck the question(s) — why don’t you try — just ONCE to give us uninformed folk a little bit of background on your illustrious self and your (no doubt) numerous qualifications as a wildlife observer??

      Have you ever BEEN in the woods??

      Have you ever even SEEN a wolf (or a bear, or a cat, or anything like that)??

      Orrrrrr, is all this “knowledge” that you possess strictly from the internet??

      C’mon jonny boy — humor me.

    5. jon Avatar

      Oh yeah, Layton, I’ve seen those 200 pound non native canadian wolves who are stalking people’s children at the bus top and are killing all of the elk herds. 🙂 They are vicious beasts aren’t there layton? 🙂

    6. Layton Avatar

      Don’t duck the question(s) jon,

      Try it just once, enlighten us with the basis for your knowledge.

      By the way, did you see these wolves on the internet??

      A N S W E R T H E Q U E S T I O N !!!!!

    7. WM Avatar


      You know it is entirely possible jon’s is the reincarnation of Chance the Gardiner from the Peter Sellers movie “Being There.” This updated version of the story could replace the television (the source of all of Chance’s worldly knowledge), with the internet and the vast array of resources available here.

      But then, haven’t we all benefitted in some way by the huge amount of information that is instantaneously at our fingertips? And now, you can even pull up an enlargeable map of the world, calling forth an exact location you may have visited (within an estimated error of just 9 feet) merely by plugging in the coordinates of that little battery powered GPS device in your pocket, when you visited it. Wow, the world has become a very, very small place in the last fifteen years!



      All that being said, where are you located and what experiences do you have in the wild world as Layton and a couple of others have requested? Tell us a bit.

    8. Save bears Avatar
      Save bears

      WM Said:

      “All that being said, where are you located and what experiences do you have in the wild world as Layton and a couple of others have requested? Tell us a bit.”

      Good luck!


    9. jon Avatar

      Layton, I have never seen a wild wolf in the wild. I guess you seeing one makes you some kind of an expert huh? You must feel real special believing that since you seen a wolf, you must know all about them huh? Please, know it all, help me understand Layton. Since you hunt, does seeing a wolf in the wild make you somehow magically know more than someone who doesn’t? lol

    10. jon Avatar

      I am sorry layton, but I was only stating what goes on in the REAL WORLD and everyone on here KNOWS IT BUDDY. The wolf haters paint wolves to be much more dangerous than they really are. This is the real truth, if you want to deny it, oh well. It doesn’t take outdoor experience to know this.

    11. Layton Avatar


      “I guess you seeing one makes you some kind of an expert huh? You must feel real special believing that since you seen a wolf, you must know all about them huh? Please, know it all, help me understand”

      Nope, seeing one does not make me an “expert”. However, seeing many of them, as I have, does set some reasonable folks’ expectations as to my credibility. Your lack of knowledge is indicated over and over and more and more strongly as you profess to know much and yet don’t even seem to spend any time in the PROXIMITY of wolves.

      Yes, I do feel that I possess quite a bit more knowledge than yourself of what is REALLY happening here in Idaho concerning wolves. I spend a great deal of time in the woods (about 30 hours a week for 5 months every summer for the last seven years) working and more time in the fall hunting. I am privy to the ACTUAL information about wolf depredations and pack locations.

      You, OTOH, won’t even try to claim even a minimum amount of actual experience.

      Help you understand?? I have and still am trying to accomplish that task, along with several other people on this blog, but I fear it is hopeless. There are none so blind as they who will not see!!

      How about the other questions — now that we know that you don’t even know what a wolf looks like up close and personal.

  11. Si'vet Avatar

    Layton, you nailed, can’t wait for the LINK reply!!! Because thats all there is.

  12. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    I can honestly say, I have never met a hunter, who is NOT a wildlife watcher…

  13. Si'vet Avatar

    WM, I’m one of the few who understand your point,. The big wildlife viewing dollars are spent in places like, Jackson Hole, Yellowstone national zoo, Yosemite, etc. which are owned by the big old nasty coporations. The little mom and pops in Clark Fork,Noxon, Leadore, Rams head, Kellog, Elk Bend, Albion, Medicine Lodge, aren’t seeing a dime. There the ones going out of business, maybe I’m confused, the liberal party is really back door support for big business. If not why would they be touting the big dollar wildlife viewing support for “the man”. Jon could you provide us with a link on how many of the super cooporations own holding’s in all the major wildlife viewing area’s, parks and how much of that money blows out of that state in which it was collected, through tax loopholes…

    1. Save bears Avatar
      Save bears

      My biggest problem with the claims of so much money being spent, is why are we not seeing the growth that is associated with so much money, heck in Gardiner, I can’t remember the last new business that started up and building growth is virtually nil, I am just not seeing the growth that is associated with so much money…

    2. JB Avatar

      “…the liberal party is really back door support for big business. If not why would they be touting the big dollar wildlife viewing support for “the man”.”

      Which “liberal party” is touting “big dollar wildlife viewing”? Which “man” are you talking about? Are business owners in Jackson Hole less worthy of support than those in rural areas? Last time I checked, conservatives liked the free market. Seems to me that business owners in Jackson made a smart business decision when they decided to purchase a business in the neck of the funnel rather than in the middle of nowhere. Don’t conservatives want to reward successful businesses that make smart decisions?

    3. WM Avatar


      Alot of the public simply do not understand how much big business is linked to national parks, and has been for decades. The jobs provided by big business concessionaires are for the most part, low skill – low pay, and the profits go to corporations, typically on the East Coast for distribution to their shareholders, or to pay the executives. Then there are the lease arrangements for the buildings the concessions occupy with those big companies. Not much hope for the small business where national parks are concerned.

    4. Save bears Avatar
      Save bears

      I also would be interested in how much of the money is being spent is actually leaving the area, the people that run the services in Yellowstone are both out of state entities, I think to validate the argument on something that is very difficult to track you would need to know where the actual dollars spent are ending up, because I can tell you it is not really helping the local communities…there is virtually no growth happening in Gardiner, West or even Cody.

      As far as Jackson, yes if you are a business person with the ability to spend the money to locate in Jackson, then it was a smart move, but with the majority of the wolves being located in the Northern half of the park, I don’t think the Jackson community really comes into the equation.. The money is being spent in Montana, and partial in Wyoming to the east, but there is little evidence it is producing anything in the way of growth or business..

    5. WM Avatar


      Not so much to do with wildlife, but national parks that have other amenities. Canyonlands and Arches in UT. Used to go there before the mountain biking craze hit. Beautiful place, with some backcountry areas that were accessible by 4 wheel drive. The main service town was Moab, with a couple of gas stations, motels and watering holes with good Mexican food. Now there are chain motels up and down the main drag – again, low skill – low pay jobs for the locals, and all the $$$ going back to some damn corporation in the East. At Olympic NP, the four main lodges at Quinault, Sol Duc, kalaloch, and Lake Crescent are run (and owned in a couple instances) by Aramark. The local gateway communities that supply the labor get screwed.

      I guess all this was put in play with godfather of the national park system – Stephen Mather, a promoter from a privileged background. Heck he even bought rangers guns from his own pocket in the early days when the fedal budget wouldn’t authorize the appropriation. Yeah, America’s National Parks, America’s Best Idea (of course you will see none of this underhanded crap in the Ken Burns films).

  14. howlcolorado Avatar

    Why do things always become personal attacks in the latter parts of the threads on Ralph’s site, which is a very interesting and valuable resource?

    I understand that you “wolf haters” don’t like the “liberal greenies” or whatever the distinctions are you are drawing to create the animosity you are all so willing to involve yourselves in.

    If you hate wolves, then you hate anything you don’t understand.

    If you hate hunters, then you hate anything you don’t understand.

    See, you have something in common.

    Relax, take a deep breath.

    Jon is right, wolves aren’t nearly as dangerous as “wolf haters” – whatever that means – suggest. I can link you to many research papers, or direct you to several excellent and well-respected wolf biologists who can provide you with evidence.

    Anecdotal evidence is of little value in this discussion. I, personally, I have worked with wolves quite a lot. They haven’t eaten me, shown me any aggression, and have been cautious and kept their distance as a reaction to their fear of me.

    I am happy to provide detailed information regarding the relative low danger to humans posed by wolves, the reasons for them and citing the work and research which I am using. The one thing which should always be noted is that wolves are wild animals, large and quite capable of being dangerous – especially to dogs. They are still comparatively speaking, low risk to humans. Truth be told, compared to thousands of other risks, hundreds of which are present in nature, all predators combined are remarkably low risk to humans. Ask Save Bears, I am sure he knows roughly how many people have been killed by bears. I bet more people have been killed by furniture falling on them or something equally bizarre.


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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Ken Cole