Note that this replaces the 14th edition. That edition will now move slowly into the depths of the blog.

Western Toad © Ken Cole

Western Toad © Ken Cole

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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.

492 Responses to Have you come across some interesting Wildlife News? Aug. 18, 2010

    • pointswest says:

      I watched a Nat Geo documentary last night called Expedition Wild: Grizzly Encounter that was about a one Casey Anderson who has started a grizzly sanctuary/tourist-trap near Bozeman Pass called Montana Grizzly Encounters.

      One of the things Casey did with his grizzlies in his new enclosure was test bear proof products such as bear proof trash cans. The documentary also showed him testing an electric bear fence, a small one for back packers. He claimed they were effective. He said bears can sense the electric field in the fence with their nose. I would also assume bears are very protective of their nose since their olfactory system is critical to their survival.

      Casey also used an electric fence to partition his enclosure. He partitioned his enclosure when he introduced a new bear into it. He kept the two bears separate by creating a 10 foot wide buffer zone. The fence was of a type I had never seen before. Rather than use wile, it used a pair of nylon straps that looked as if they has copper strands woven into the nylon. It appeared to be very effective.

      The backpacker fence was different too. The fence was of a mesh type (hog-wire) with a ground and two positive wires. The weave was about a six inch mesh so even small animals would steer clear of and be unable to knock it down.

      I did some more reading last night on building more permanent electric fences. I think fences could be built to prevent bears from digging under them or backing into them with the simple addition of horns and strobes. One could easily add a very loud horn that would sound anytime the voltage in the fence changed…that is, anytime something received an electric shock from the fence such as a bear backing into it. Horns can be very loud, like those distress horns that break your ear drums. You could also add a very bright strobe that would give off one or several flashes of light if the voltage changed. Horns and strobes are going to scare off bears.

      To prevent a bear from digging under a fence, I believe you could have a separate system with a cable conducting a hi freq ac current. Any large object that comes near it will change the inductance of the circuit and can be detected by an electronic device. This device could also activate a horn and strobe (the same ones that a fence would activate). These things are not very expensive in this age when you can by a good radio for $5. Electric bear proof fences, with a little engineering and testing, could be very effective.

    • jdubya says:

      I think NOLS uses electric fences for their food with camping groups in the Winds.

    • Linda Hunter says:

      I read several articles on this subject and it sounds like they are going to kill all the bears but I am not so sure that is necessary. In Alaska they stopped feeding Charlie Vandegraw’s bears and the neighbors have not had problems. . bears are smart enough to know which places their food comes from and I don’t think they would transfer that data to another house unless that house was also a feed stop. Bears are very regular about their food stops, almost like people in Seattle with their coffee stops. . they find one they like and they keep it until it goes away and then they start over on a cautious search. I am not so convinced that feeding bears automatically makes them overall dangerous. . it does make them dangerous for the person who feeds and then withholds food if they don’t know how to act around bears as proven many times. There are too many conflicting ideas on this and too many examples that don’t follow the “common knowledge”. The stern warnings on fed bears are aimed at the lowest common denominator and not necessarily the whole truth. Anyone else wonder about this?

  1. Chris Harbin says:

    Maska recommended an economic study of the Gila Region from a group called Headwaters Economics. They have a lot of interesting info on the west – particularly in economics as the name would suggest. They also have an interesting study on Bison “reintroduction”.

  2. WM says:

    Not so much wildlife news related, except for the fact that a fortune was made from copper mines in Montana by a corrupt US Senator in the laissez faire 19th century, and he took this wealth to other states where some rests in the hands of his, still living, 104 year eccentric daughter. This bizarre story of wealth and privilege should shake even Ryan.

    • Elk275 says:

      I have read that story too. It is amazing that her father rode into Bannock, Montana in 1862 with his pistol and a book of poems and today his daughter still lives a 138 years later. Only two generations from the Old, Old West.

      Senator William Clark was the first senator elect that was refused to be seated by the sitting senators.

  3. cc says:

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Reintroduction of Non-migratory Whooping Cranes into Southwest Louisiana

    • ProWolf in WY says:

      Good news. I would think another good place would be the Boundary Waters on the Minnesota-Ontario border. It’s pretty remote and has lots of lakes.

  4. jon says:

    Wharton: What’s all the howling over wolves about? It’s complicated.

    Comparing the elk situation to the wanton destruction of bison by hunters can be contradicted by the Elk Foundation’s own news release issued in April 2009, which celebrated the fact that elk numbers nationally had grown 44 percent to over a million animals between 1984 when the organization was founded and 2009. The group’s own chart estimated that elk populations were up 66 percent in Montana, 35 percent in Montana and 5 percent in Idaho in the past 25 years. That hardly sounds like elk on the verge of extinction.

    • Elk275 says:

      Remember John, elk numbers are up, but where? The elk have increased mostly in Central and Eastern Montana on private land. Elk numbers are steady or declining in Western and Northwest Montana where most elk are on public lands.

    • timz says:

      “And they have multiplied and spread out widely. More than 13,000 now roam parts of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.”
      Did they get this number from Ron Gilette?

    • jon says:

      I am guessing that was an error on the author’s part.

    • JEFF E says:

      that’s gonna go viral,
      the likes of T.J.Fross and toby Bridges is gonna quote that number as the absolute God Honest truth. It was in the newspaper.
      wait and see

    • ProWolf in WY says:

      13,000? These wolves are putting jackrabbits to shame with their breeding.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      “outside the Park numerous hunting outfitters have been run out of business due to elk hunting opportunities being reduced by 90 percent.”

      Is there any list of which outfitters have been run out of business? And hunting opportunities reduced by 90%?

  5. Nancy says:

    I think DOW had an article awhile back about electric fencing keeping a couple of wolves at bay (even though the fencing was not working at the time, it kept the wolves from entering an area where sheep were penned) and, it can be set up to work off solar.

    • pointswest says:

      Where a large predator typically gets shocked on/in his nose, I’ll bet electric fences are a strong deterrent. Since their noses are so highly developed and so important for survival, there are probably many nerve ending there to ensure their brains are conditioned to protect the nose.

    • mikepost says:

      The use of this fencing in areas where elk and bison are present would be limited. They dont seem to stop and sniff when they are on the move. I see lots of lectric fence on the ground…

  6. Paul White says:

    I just wanted to say great photo of the Western Toad 🙂 I <3 herps.

  7. JerryBlack says:

    Montana FWP to meet with hunters, ranchers etc to form coalition

    • jon says:

      This should be interesting.

    • WM says:

      The fact that a Denver TV station is following this issue suggests to me traction is building on the issues facing new areas where wolves will eventually be. I do not predict CO to be a particularly welcoming venue, especially the West Slope.

    • JerryBlack says:

      Wm….assuming this is considered a “public meeting” hosted by a state agency for the benefit of special interest groups with the obvious intent of developing “policy”, would you or the other attorneys that comment here say that this might be stretching the legal parameters of State law regarding public meetings?
      To my knowledge, there was no advanced notice of this meeting.
      MFWP states that all wildlife is managed for the benefit of ALL citizens of the state…(Public Trust Doctrine)

    • WM says:


      I won’t pretend to know anything about the public meeting laws of MT, or how they announced this gathering. Sure looks like the press knows about it.

      It doesn’t appear like it’s a secret – with a time and location identified in a general circulation newspaper. And if they are not playing by the rules somebody should hold their feet to the fire.

    • JimT says:

      WM, I wouldn’t read too much into Denver TV coverage…we are much too occupied with the destructive political campaigns awaiting us for the next 3 months.

      Don’t know about public meeting laws in Montana either. This would have violated Vermont laws for sure. And even if it isn’t a technical violation, it sure signals the intent of the state as to what its intentions are, and who will be at the table to shape policy. And folks want to know why environmentalists litigate…

  8. pointswest says:

    Timothy Treadwell and girlfriend Amie Huguenard death tape realeased on wiki leaks yesterday. Not for the faint at heart.

    • mikepost says:

      Yes, this was terrifying! To think that that vicious bear was vocallizing just like a sick human making a parody out of a tragic event. I have no love or respect for Teadwell but this is not great humor for the families involved…

    • pointswest says:

      I would agree with you about the families but remember that Treadwell had made himself a celebrity by putting himself at risk with these bears on camera. He flaunted his risk-taking to the public and he profited handsomely from his celebrity. Since he sought fame and profit from his death defying video, and since he put his video in the face of the public for profit and fame, different rules apply. Treadwell invited public scrutiny.

    • Linda Hunter says:

      Pointswest I hope you don’t think this is in any way serious. Instead it shows the degree of ignorance that prevails among people who are not around bears ever.

    • Evan says:

      I’ve come across what seems like on the surface, an authentic version of the audio tape. It is disturbing. I’m struggling with posting it here … I’m not sure if it is appropriate and certainly could be viewed as disrespectful.

      It does not shed any real light on what happened, but is consistent with the reporting of the event.

      Webmasters, what do you think?

  9. pointswest says:

    Two More Dead Bears
    Rexburg Standard Journal
    Two bears, one grizzly and one black, were found dead Tuesday in east central Yellowstone National Park.

    The cause of death of the grizzly is unknown, but the black bear appears to have been struck by a vehicle.

    A grizzly was discovered dead about 50 yards off the road and 1/2 mile south of LeHardy Rapids, north of Fishing Bridge.

    The bear was an 576-pound adult male grizzly, and will be taken to Bozeman, Mont., for a necropsy to determine cause of death.

    Another bear was found in a ditch next to the road south of Fishing Bridge, about half way between Lake and West Thumb. It is believed this bear was struck and killed by a vehicle sometime Tuesday afternoon. The sub-adult weighed 79 pounds. No one has reported the accident.


    Park regulations require people to stay 100 yards from black and grizzly bears at all times. The best defense is to stay a safe distance from bears and use your binoculars, telescope or telephoto lens to get a closer look.

  10. Evan says:

    Yellowstone Grizzly with Quads. Can All 4 make it? the video of the “bear jam” sure is concerning?

  11. WM says:

    ….and the sabre rattling continues. Senators Tester and Baucus seek solutions – legislation perhaps?

    How much arm twisting is going on with WY (or vote swapping/horse trading on other stuff) to get them to come around?

    • JimT says:

      They may be able to twist Salazar’s arm, but nothing will happen legislatively. We have been over this before. And if Salazar makes that mistake again, he will lose again on the issues. All these states are doing are ensuring that Malloy will have to conclude that given the hunting programs, the manipulation of 10J, the overt prejudice by the states for hunting and livestock interests, there is no way that you could declare a species “recovered”…

    • WM says:


      If the DPS technical legal hurdles can somehow be reconciled, and there is room for a settlement all the parties can live with, I will suggest Molloy has other tools at his discretion to ensure the states don’t get too far off the mark. You know judges monitor settlements all the time to ensure parties keep to agreed terms.

      I do not know that there is really any desire to talk settlement at this time. Hence the gloating by plaintiffs, and “sabre rattling” by defendants who would seek to change the law, if an appeal does not appear likely to produce a desired result, or they can’t get WY to pull it’s head out of ……uh, ….the sand.

    • JimT says:

      I can tell you that DOW is very interested in talking to ranchers about reasonable accommodations, but I too see little hope of that happening given the hysteria in the reactions to the re-listing by the wolf haters, ranchers and guide industry.

    • JB says:

      WM, Jim:

      I noticed Defenders’ shift as well (

      They’ve also focused a lot of effort on calling for a national recovery plan for wolves. This has got me thinking about species-specific legislation that you two have divergent views about. I think the chance of legislation simply removing wolves from ESA protections ever making it out of committee is pretty low; similarly, a Canid Protection Act (as some have called it) would have little chance of making it through the Senate. However, I wonder about some type of legislative compromise between the two? That is, legislation that provided for continuing federal oversight of wolves and reintroduction/recovery in a larger portion of their former range, but also allowing for states to hunt/manage wolves with federal oversight. Thoughts?

    • Save bears says:


      Unfortunately with the current trends in the US against the Federal Government, I don’t think your going to find many states that would accept a plan like that, and I am not taking sides, but I just don’t see the states accepting more Federal oversight…

  12. jon says:

    Dear Gov. Otter by an extremist anti wolfer

    • ProWolf in WY says:

      Interesting letter. Isn’t Otter up for reelection this year? Or is he not running? I know we have discussed this but I can’t remember.

  13. Nancy says:

    Thanks for the link on Quad Bear Evan! Momma bear looks very healthy but one of the cubs is so much smaller than its siblings, the runt or could she have adopted this cub?
    Anyone know of that happening with Grizzlies?

    • Evan says:

      I remember hearing about an adopted cub during the summer of ’07 in Yellowstone. At one point, I saw some pictures, but I’m unable to locate them now. Anyway, here’s a link to the story:

    • Linda Hunter says:

      Even though the little cub is probably hers and born about the same time as the others, bears have been known to adopt cubs and bears have been known to walk off and leave their cubs, another mother pick em up for a while and then give them back. Orphan cubs have been known to die and to survive. I have photos of an orphan black bear cub walking up to a big dominant male black bear and the two bears rubbing noses and then hanging out together. Strange things happen in the bear world and we don’t know about it all yet. Mother bears who have four cubs have to have been very fat and healthy in the fall because bears have delayed implantation and don’t have cubs if they can’t support them. It speaks well for Yellowstone that a mother can have four cubs there.

  14. jon says:

    Elk population ins great shape

    Yeah, I know some would say different, but #s don’t lie. See for yourself if you don’t believe me.

    · Elk Population: 150,000

    Elk Population: 101,000

    Elk Population 120,000

    • jon says:

      And yes, elk #s may be down in certain areas, but that is perfectly natural and acceptable and should be expected. As a whole, elk populations seem to be doing pretty good. Wolves are not wiping out the elk like some claim unless rmef’s #s are incorrect.

    • WM says:


      You are ever the selective fact provider, stirring and stirring the pot. Let’s just put the rest of the RMEF statement out here along with what you quote for a little balance:

      “Allen added, however, that wolves continue to be a growing concern in regions where the predators share habitat with elk and other big game herds. In some areas, elk calf survival rates are now insufficient to sustain herds for the future. The urgent need to control wolf populations is a localized wildlife management crisis now compounded by a recent court decision to return wolves to full federal protections under the Endangered Species Act. RMEF has asked Congress to intervene and grant management authority to the states.”

    • jon says:

      I go by #s provided by rmef themselves wm. And as I said, elk #s may be down in some areas, that is natural and should be expected. Elk populations as a WHOLE are doing pretty darn good. It’s funny because with all of them people out there claiming the wolves are killing all of the elk, these #s tell a different story. 🙂

    • JimT says:

      I guess “problem” is in the eye of the beholder. On the whole, Jon is correct..the elk is hardly in danger of being threatened, and there are local impacts that are greater than others, but it appears from the state’s own research, on the whole, WM, hunters and habitat are more responsible for declining elk numbers in certain locales.

      Why continue to make this complicated? The states like the money the licenses bring in; the hunters like killing the elk for whatever reasons, and the guides make a living. Livestock folks like being lazy in managing their stock, and having a scapegoat in wolves to keep them from doing what they need to do to protect their animals proactively. Wolves compete for the elk for survival. Money trumps the restoration of a balanced ecoysystem…bottom line.

      And folks here want us to trust the states to “manage” wolves? If the pro wolf crowd said Trust Us, we will manage elk herds for wolves and promise to leave you enough to kill…would you say..Oh yeah, right… we believe you? There is no trust right now at all…and that isn’t the pro wolf’s crowd fault, WM.

    • Ryan says:


      Do you just type shit to read it? Seriously, you reguritate things that have been posted on the blog over and over again with your little spin on them like your special or something. Interesting news section, operative word being news, start your own blog if you want to run your own op-ed pieces.

    • jon says:

      Ryan, don’t hate me because I posted elk #s that CAME STRAIGHT FROM THE RMEF.

      MISSOULA, Mont.—Elk and elk hunting opportunities are abundant in much of North America, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is offering a sneak peek at upcoming seasons in its annual roundup of hunt forecasts for 28 states and provinces, now posted at

      “Generally speaking, elk populations are in great shape and hunters have much to look forward to across the West, as well as in several Midwestern and Eastern states,” said David Allen, president and CEO of the Elk Foundation. “A mild winter, much needed spring and summer moisture and our habitat conservation successes all factor into our optimism for the upcoming hunting season.”

    • jon says:

      the elk is hardly in danger of being threatened, and there are local impacts that are greater than others, but it appears from the state’s own research, on the whole, WM, hunters and habitat are more responsible for declining elk numbers in certain locales.

      You said it jimt. Get ready for Ryan the right winger to get on your case. 🙂

    • Ryan says:

      I’m not attacking your because I’m some crazed right winger or I don’t like the info you posted.. (it came in my Bugle magazine a few months ago) As you can see the info has already been posted on this blog numerous times, as is most of the stuff you post in the interesting news threads.. Its either that or cut and paste from some stupid extremeist site like saveanelk or dow in hopes of kicking a beehive that has already been kicked numerous times.

    • Ryan says:

      So go ahead and put your tin foil hat back on, Ron Gillette will be peaking in your windows tonight and evil conservatives will be tapping your phone lines.. 🙂

      All I’m requesting is that you try post something current, remotely close to news, and remotely close to relavant.

  15. WM says:


    I just don’t want to get into a debate with you because it is like we are in the same neighborhood, but on different planets. I have been down that road before once too often with you. The numbers and the qualifications by those who publish them should stand on their own without your creative edits.

    • jon says:

      Creative edits? All I am doing is posting #s that CAME from the rmef themselves. If people go by the #s, they will know elk are doing pretty good OVERALL even with wolves killing them.

  16. JimT says:

    Montana FG meets with hunters and ranchers to figure out the best way to kill wolves now that they are relisted, but they won’t talk to the pro wolf crowd…How much more evidence does it take before people accept the simple fact that these stakeholder want wolves either completely gone or in defacto zoos…And we are supposed to believe the species is “recovered” with this reality staring it in the face..Not likely.

  17. jon says:

    This was probably posted already, but here it is again.

    Montana FWP, wolf hunt advocates form coalition to bypass protection ruling

    Here is what Mike Leahy of dow had to say,

    Michael Leahy, regional director for Defenders of Wildlife, said the conservation groups behind the lawsuit want an updated scientific analysis to determine how many wolves are needed before they are considered to be recovered. He said a target figure of 450 is not good enough.

    “There is no science behind that number and that is what the issue is real about,” he said. “That is why conservation groups keep pushing for a better deal for wolves.”

    Leahy said his group has not established a number of wolves it believes are needed.

    He predicted the FWP-led coalition would find little success with their strategy.

    “To legislatively exempt wolves from the endangered species act is likely to be futile,” he said. “There is just too much support for wildlife and wolves around the country.”

  18. Layton says:

    “I go by #s provided by rmef themselves wm. And as I said, elk #s may be down in some areas, that is natural and should be expected. Elk populations as a WHOLE are doing pretty darn good. It’s funny because with all of them people out there claiming the wolves are killing all of the elk, these #s tell a different story. ”

    Now that’s downright funny. Jon and JimT think it’s OK that elk numbers are down in some places, but OTOH it’s a darn shame that there might be ANY wolves killed — ANYWHERE.

    Last I heard wolves were doing quite well in Alaska and in Canada – thousands of them, all over the place. Why isn’t that enough??

    Oh yes, now I remember, something about boundaries can’t be changed on political grounds or something like that. It’s a good thing that the boundries that define Alaska and Canada are so physical — right? What a bunch of legal horse crap!!

    Stay tuned for the next technical, legal obstacle that will be hurled in the way of harming a hair on a wolf’s little head!! What could be next?

    • JB says:


      Leopold said: “Relegating grizzlies to Alaska is about like relegating happiness to heaven; one may never get there.” The same could be said of wolves.

      You know, I last I heard are elk are doing pretty well in Alaska and Canada as well. Perhaps we should just let the developers have MT, ID, and WY and to Hell with wildlife altogether? After all, we can always go to Alaska, right?

    • Layton says:

      I think you can see the point JB. Don’t be obtuse.

      It’s such a shame when some folks want to allow an animal that is so obviously (to those that will see) doing the harm that it is to go merrily upon it’s way regardless of the consequences — and use (pervert?) our court system to do it.

      Anybody with half a mind can see that their efforts are, at best, misguided and selfish. And, in other cases just plain vindictive and mean. I guess I’m just to damn stubborn to sit here and quietly let it happen. Sure, it’s going to happen, they have the $$ and nothing but time on their hands. They can (and will, the non-wolf worshiping side has been predicting this since day one of the mess) tie things up in various court venues until the elk herds are irreparably harmed.

      Maybe some day, some well meaning “greenie” will get the idea to put elk on the Endangered Species list.

    • WM says:


      Not to get into your discussion with Layton, but to keep the facts accurate – There are only about 2,000 elk total in all of AK. They are confined to Afognak Island where they were introduced in 1929, and where a subsequent population was established on Etolin Island, south of Wrangell in SE AK, about twenty five – thirty years ago. I think all are Roosevelt species, which are progeny of ancesters from the Olympic Peninsula.

      Elk population of Canada is small as well, equaling only about 86,000 for that huge land area. Not alot of habitat, and a bit of a harsh climate for them up north. Wolves work them over pretty well in BC and Alberta, where populations are largest.

    • JB says:


      To call the efforts of people who want more wolves “selfish” because you want more elk is a bit hypocritical, don’t you think? To call them “mean” and “vindictive” is simply irrational. Plaintiffs represent people who want more wolves in more places–recovery in more than a symbolic sense (i.e. yeah, we put some wolves in YNP now let’s go home). The law favors their cause and they know it; moreover, they have no voice in traditional wildlife management (meaning the courts are their best and sometimes only option).

      What you perceive as obvious “harm” is, to others, an ecological benefit. Populations naturally fluctuate; low elk densities create favorable conditions for other species. Many (an increasing #?) view these natural cycles as signs that ecosystems are healthy. To them, the model of maximized hunting opportunity is the perversion of the natural condition. I thought you would have recognized this by now?

      – – – –

      I don’t know about elk, but many of the same people you continually criticize would like nothing better than to put bison on the ES list.

    • JB says:


      Apologies about Alaska, if I’d of known there were but 2,000 I would not have suggested they were doing so well [I’m trying to avoid sarcasm, but the irony is a tad overwhelming].

      In all seriousness, RMEF’s numbers suggest elk populations are robust across North America, including Canada (, though they certainly are doing better in some places than others. Moreover, unlike wolves there has been a concerted effort on the part of states to bring back elk populations to places where they have been eliminated (note: I genuinely hope this continues). The fundamental difference is the lack of a representative population across a significant portion of the species’ range.

      – – – – –

    • Elk275 says:

      ++I don’t know about elk, but many of the same people you continually criticize would like nothing better than to put bison on the ES list.++

      Buffalo are not endangered. The Yellowstone buffalo herd increased 600 animals from last year to 3900 buffalo. By next year the herd should be close to 5000 animals, they are doing fine. When I was in college there were about 500 buffalo in Yellowstone and that seems to be ok with local folks. The ESA is not about animals, it is about “control” there are groups who do not like what Montana does to buffalo when they leave the park.

      I at one time thought the ESA was great, but as time goes on it needs change. The sage grouse is about the control of the west and sage grouse second. In Montana most sage grouse are found on private land and Montana may have the greatest number of sage grouse as the hunting season is 2 months long with a 2 bird limit. There are people who want control over western private lands or do not believe anyone should own 100,000 acres of deeded land. These are people who do not even live in the west, they can only dream.

    • Layton says:


      “To call the efforts of people who want more wolves “selfish” because you want more elk is a bit hypocritical, don’t you think?”

      No, I don’t. A significant number of the people I am speaking of here simply want wolves so they can “see them” or “hear them howl”. Then of course there is the older than dirt chorus of “biological diversity” what ever that entails. How about we try the “trophic cascade” thing too?

      “To call them “mean” and “vindictive” is simply irrational”

      Please — read some of the comments here about hunters and then try again to claim I’m being irrational.

      “Plaintiffs represent people who want more wolves in more places–recovery in more than a symbolic sense”

      Why don’t they try that argument in court, rather than the plethora of “red herring” technicalities and trying to tell us that wolves can’t roam between places where they are now?? Yes, they want more wolves — why?? To hear them howl, of course.

      “What you perceive as obvious “harm” is, to others, an ecological benefit. Populations naturally fluctuate; low elk densities create favorable conditions for other species. Many (an increasing #?) view these natural cycles as signs that ecosystems are healthy”

      Just what is “healthy” about an ever decreasing calf recruitment number — in MANY places where there are wolves — that leads inevitably to decreasing herds?? Naaaaa, that is just a poor justification of what is happening in more and more areas where the numbers of wolves is going up.

      “To them, the model of maximized hunting opportunity is the perversion of the natural condition. I thought you would have recognized this by now?”

      No kidding!! To them ANY model of wildlife management that even INCLUDES hunting is a “perversion”. Recognize it?? Hell yes, and every comment from the more radical anti hunting folks that hang our here simply reinforces that recognition!!

      No JB, I become more and more convinced every day that there IS no middle ground. The avid greenies that so blindly support wolves with NO reservations are simply going to continue until the elk are a fond memory of what used to be and the wolves that are more and more noticeable (and can be heard better) are the big problem. Then I can giggle.

    • WM says:


      ++unlike wolves there has been a concerted effort on the part of states to bring back elk populations to places where they have been eliminated (note: I genuinely hope this continues)++

      I would like wolves in more places too, but at low density.

      That is where it seems to me there is going to be an even greater problem in addressing “signficant portion of their range.” The states, in conjunction with RMEF, have done alot to increase and improve habitat in existing range, and reintroduce elk to several areas where they have been absent or in extremely low numbers. This is one reason why (in conjunction with recent mild winters), elk are doing well with populations increasing. What is a state’s motivation for wanting to accept wolves where they will feed on what few elk there and the deer which many hunters believe they already have entitlement to? And why would groups like RMEF (local chapters) who worked on these projects for elk want to have wolves eat them?

      Wolves in more places at low density. That is the only way this is going to work. But the question is how do you get UT, CO, AZ, NM, OH, IA and other states in the West and Midwest, or the Eastern states like PA, ME, VT, NH and maybe even NY to take “their share?”

      I will submit these states as sovereigns represented by their duly elected officials don’t want them so much, while maybe their residents thinking more in the abstract and responding to “surveys” will say they do. and maybe some of their federal legislators may, as well. The novelty is still there. Wolves in the abstract are a little different than wolves in the back yard or in the old huntin’ area, or calving pasture of OH, for example.

      I think there is a NIMBY factor going here and has been for quite awhile. This may be an impediment to a national wolf plan with wide distribution, even if suitable habitat is available. I am afraid I know little about what is going on with the red wolf and how well they will be received over time.

    • Cobra says:

      It also states in Bugle that Idaho has lost about 20% of our elk herd since 1995. It would be nice to know just how many wolves Idaho has, at least with-in 50 or so. There are several packs in North Idaho that are still not recognized by the IDFG, and I’ll bet state wide there are several more.
      Something interesting I found today on a hike around my property was wolf scat with elk hair and huckleberries, guess wolves even like dessert.

    • Elk275 says:

      There is nothing better than elk loin with huckleberry sauce.

    • JB says:


      The issue with bison is the same as with wolves. The species was once distributed across much of the U.S., now bison (at least wild bison without cattle genes) are extremely limited in their range. It isn’t about the persistence of a single population, but the species’ representation across some suitable portion of its range. This is not as trivial a matter as some folks would make it out to be; without the protection of SPR we would not list any species until they faced worldwide extinction. (Note: I recognize that we could have a long conversation about what constitutes “suitable” bison range in a modern society.)

    • JB says:

      “I will submit these states as sovereigns represented by their duly elected officials don’t want them so much…I think there is a NIMBY factor going here and has been for quite awhile.”

      You’ll get no argument from me on this one. It seems to me that this is one of the most compelling arguments for a federal program to protect species to begin with–else states could simply eliminate (or functionally eliminate) any species they found to be inconvenient. I would also point out that NIMBY isn’t just a federal-state issue; there are many examples of local municipalities wanting more “control” of wildlife populations where states essentially play the role of the feds in this instance (i.e. insisting on a higher level of protection than local govts. want).

    • JimT says:

      Layton, you are talking apples and oranges here. Wolves..deliberately killed, trapped poisoned into extinction in the lower 48. Wolves, endangered species we are trying to recover for its benefit and the benefit of a complete functioning ecosystem. Wolves, whose numbers may reach thousand all told right now.

      Elk, never been extinct in the lower 48. Elk, never threatened or endangered. Elk, who still number over or close to six figures in the affected states. Elk, whose main attraction, it seems, lies not in their inherent nature as an impressive member of ungulate family, but in their value to the states as revenue generators, and to hunters for various purposes, most of which it seems are NOT subsistence based, as most predators are.

    • jon says:


      Elk, never been extinct in the lower 48. Elk, never threatened or endangered. Elk, who still number over or close to six figures in the affected states. Elk, whose main attraction, it seems, lies not in their inherent nature as an impressive member of ungulate family, but in their value to the states as revenue generators, and to hunters for various purposes, most of which it seems are NOT subsistence based, as most predators are.

      In agreement 100%

    • Cobra says:

      JimT and Jon,
      In the early 1900’s elk were indeed threatened and endangered. Most elk herds today in most states today came from re-introduction from Yellowstone herds. Also, most game animals that has a season has actually increased in numbers.

    • Layton says:


      Aren’t you the one that gave me the lecture on law school teaching one to more efficiently gather information?? You said:

    • Layton says:

      Maybe I SHOULD go to law school to learn not to hit the submit button so quickly 8)


      Aren’t you the one that gave me the lecture on law school teaching one to more efficiently gather information?? You said:

      ”Elk, never been extinct in the lower 48. Elk, never threatened or endangered. Elk, who still number over or close to six figures in the affected states”

      In about 22 seconds of searching I found these.

      In addition to these, I’m still looking for an article that outlined how a group of businessmen from (I think) Canyon County in Idaho bought a trainload of elk from Yellowstone and brought them to Idaho (in the 20’s?) to save the local elk population from extinction. I’ll find it.

      Apples and oranges, I think not. The big difference is that you want continue to protect a species that would gladly eat the results of those folks efforts!!

      Then, what kind of BS is this?? An attempt at humor — or just out and out deciet??

      ” Wolves, whose numbers may reach thousand all told right now.”

      Do you mean to say “whose numbers may reach a thousand IN IDAHO ALONE right now”??

      Do you even bother to pay attention to the numbers that your own greenie orgs. currently come out with??

      Now I’ll hit the submit button

    • Layton says:


      It figures that you would back JimT. By the way, have you ever seen an elk??

      Here’s another example of how elk “have never been endangered or threatened in the lower 48”.

      “At the turn of the century, commercial game hunters, hired riflemen and subsistence hunters had left few elk in the west. In 1910, the U.S. Forest Service estimated that fewer than 1,000 elk remained in Colorado. A 1918 survey of Forest Service lands in Idaho showed only 610 elk remained”

    • JB says:

      Good grief, here we go again. Let’s be fair, shall we. Hunters and hunting eliminated (or nearly eliminated) elk and many other species that we hunt today in the first place. Today, sport hunters claim that it was their tireless efforts that saved these species, but this is a half-truth. Government oversight, in the form of state (and later federal) regulations and the elimination of game markets reduced or eliminated overharvest. Later reintroduction efforts by government agencies and tightly regulated harvest led to their restoration. Hunters definitely contributed (some more than others) to this restoration–especially through license fees that are used to fund enforcement and reintroduction–but they were also the original cause of species declines.

      Regulation and the tireless efforts of conservationists (both hunters and otherwise) have put many game species back on the map, and returned them back to the point where they can be hunted again. Why should wolves be treated any differently? (BTW: That’s question for all of y’all).

    • WM says:


      I too was enjoying the brief respite and actually having a delightful conversation about enjoying the bounty of the forest.

      ++Regulation and the tireless efforts of conservationists (both hunters and otherwise) have put many game species back on the map, and returned them back to the point where they can be hunted again. Why should wolves be treated any differently? (BTW: That’s question for all of y’all).++

      Not to sound coy, but I think the answer to your question is to be found partially in the sentence which precedes it. And, yes a balanced ecoystem is a good thing.

      It looks like the bell between rounds rang again as JimT and jon explain their vast knowledge, or lack thereof, of the North American elk. Had they but checked they would know the Meriam subspecies is extinct, and the Tule was thought to be extinct until a small herd was found by a rancher in a remote California valley. The eastern elk, thought to be genetically much the same as the Rocky Mountain is also extinct. The elk from much of the Midwest were simply …..wiped never to return to some states.

      Furthermore, as you say, many herds in their former range elsewhere were reduced to mere handfuls due to market hunting and utilization for human survival in the absence of any wildlife management regulations by states, leaving many areas void of elk until various reintroductions began. By the way this was not “sport” hunting that caused the steep declines – it was food for humans.

      I have spoken before of the Eastern WA elk on the Oak Creek Game Range near the intersection of US Hiways 12 and 410 west of Yakima. Those elk were essentially wiped out shortly after the turn of the century. In the late 1920’s (not certain of the exact date) elk were brought in by rail from Yellowstone to serve as the nucleus of a new population. Similar stories are told throughout the West.

      Now states with the assistance of RMEF and their membership are working to reintroduce elk in several states, and to steward these population. So, this puts one more obstacle up to wolf reintroduction and acceptance – a perception they will start feeding on elk where present.

    • JEFF E says:

      Wait a minuet, hold the phone….you mean to tell me elk have been introduced to a number of states that they have become extinct and the reintroduced elk are in many cases not the same subspecies!!!!!!as the original????? How can this be??? And what of those states that had small existing populations that now no longer exist after being overwhelmed by the transplants???? And these efforts are wholeheartedly supported by REMF and numerous if not all hunting orgs??
      oh, the irony (extreme sarcasm intended)

      Now back to what is quickly becoming the internet version of the gong show 8*(

    • WM says:


      I gather you refer to crics of those imported “Canadian” wolves. While I do not speak for RMEF, my recollection over the years has been that they did not object to the source of reintroduced wolves, or in fact that wolves were reintroduced at all (yes there was some internal dissent, but the majority of the organization took a thoughtful wait and see attitude). Don’t be so quick to lump them in with other hunting groups or individuals that have issues with both.

      The sticking point for RMEF has been the numbers of wolves signifying a recovery to the NRM states as represented in the 1994 EIS on reintroduction, and the approved state plans. I have found that they are pretty common sense folks, generally. The organization was not easy to anger, but the enevitable ruling from Judge Molloy sure kicked the hornet nest. And, Jeff, I will add a comment by Suzanne Stone from Defenders in an article you posted yesterday hasn’t helped matters:

      If some RMEF person knows more or I am inaccurate in my statement, please correct me.

    • WM says:

      First paragraph should read, “I gather you refer to CRITICS of ….”

    • JEFF E says:

      I understand all that, however what stance a particular group had in the past or now is not my point. My point is the dichotomy represented by these two spiecies in regard being reintroduced. Like I said , the irony.

    • JB says:


      I am keenly aware of the difference between sport, subsistence, and market hunting and their respective effects on species. I’m sure we could have a very long conversation about these matters, but I’ll save that for another time. My point was that many hunters are all too willing to attribute the success of the NA model to their efforts, without any recognition that hunters, along with pretty drastic changes in habitat, caused these declines to begin with. To say that these problems were not caused by sport hunters is misleading, as there were very few “sport” hunters (at least as we think of them today) at the time. Sport hunting really emerged, in part, as a result of these regulations.

      I’m also annoyed by how the NA model gets “spun” as hunter-funded conservation of resources with little acknowledgment that what this funding pays for is primarily regulation and enforcement. And yes, I am aware that hunters also fund conservation via groups like RMEF have purchased habitat and helped fund reintroductions of game species (and yes they deserve our praise for these efforts). But it seems that many of people who would slap themselves on the back for helping restore elk or other game species are unwilling to recognize that non-hunting conservationists increasingly contribute to these efforts through other organizations that purchase land, restore habitat, and fund conservation through other means (e.g. the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, etc.).

      The boxing analogy is apt and serves to highlight what I believe to be the fundamental problem: hunters and non-hunting conservationists viewing each other as opponents. In reality, both “sides” legitimately contribute to conservation efforts and both should have a voice in species management. After all, these resources belong to everyone.

    • JimT says:

      Layton, you really should try yoga…take a deep breath every once in awhile, let it out slowly. Repeat. Feel better.? ;*)

      Perhaps the sentence should have read elk have never been TOTALLY extinct in the lower 48. Perhaps we have a different meaning of the word extinct, which means to me the species have disappeared completely..and the sentence does qualify the geographic location in the case of wolves.

      Now, if you are feeling better, you can reply, go take the LSATS, or try meditating…it might help your blood pressure…~S~

    • WM says:

      ++I’m also annoyed by how the NA model gets “spun” as hunter-funded conservation of resources with little acknowledgment that what this funding pays for is primarily regulation and enforcement.++

      JB, I am not looking for an argument, but it is my understanding, Pittman-Roberston funds, the exise tax on sporting goods, cannot be used for regulation and enforcement (and even some funds prohibit use for public relations). They are primarily dedicated to habitat improvement and acquisition. I presume the summary of the statute at the website below is correct, at least as I remember it:

      On the other hand, license revenues, and general fund appropriations in some states (because enforcement officers have full authority of a state patrolman), are the funding for enforcement, regulation and public relations.

      Can you be specific regarding federal or other funds which are used for regulation and enforcement? I have never looked into the matter, but I am aware of none.

      I am not aware that Defenders has ever done much in the way of direct action for habitat improvement, land acquisitions or easements (Sierra Club has avoided getting in that business too). Both of these organizations, to my knowledge seek to lobby or litigate to put pressure on public expenditures for these purposes, and this has been a contentious area of disappointment I think we have discussed here before, since they have so damn much money (I’m sure I will get some blowback on that comment).

      The Nature Conservancy sometimes puts restrictions on use on its trust lands, including hunting and fishing, maybe even human access at all (not absolutely sure on that one).

      RMEF, to my knowledge, actually donates most land it acquires to the federal or state natural resource systems, or does land exchanges and secures easements. They also do projects for the betterment of habitat on all land regardless of who owns it. Access rights RMEF secures through all these activities is for ALL recreationists, not just hunters, including access to privately owned working ranches!

    • Layton says:


      Is it possible to go to just PART of law school??

      Specifically the parts that stress “spin”and “wiggle”, and then the “just tell the part of the story you want” portion??

    • WM says:


      Further to my earlier post regarding where funds come from and where they go here is a sample budget of revenues and expenditures for the state of MT FWP 2007 (Annual Report).

      Please look at pages 14-15 for pie charts. I presume most Western states have similar profiles. Enforcement is about 13 percent. Not sure where regulation falls, but is surely part of administration which would include rule-making, AND litigation support for law suits. The attorney time comes under the Attorney General’s budget, but is still an expenditure the state incurs.

    • JB says:


      I should have been more specific. I was referring, generally, to license sales (which, of course, are tied directly to states). PR and DJ funds complicate the matter (because they are apportioned according to a complex formula) but generally speaking, you are right. Funds from the PR Act can be used for wildlife restoration, habitat restoration, resource management plans, research, etc. (here’s a decent synopsis of the Act: To be honest, I’m not sure about land acquisition?

      The Nature Conservancy does put resource use restrictions on some lands, but so does the federal government and so do state governments. Even when hunting and/or fishing are prohibited, the lands they acquire expand habitat for many species and provide a buffer against development (arguably providing for more hunting opportunities).

      Both Defenders and The Sierra Club avoid direct land acquisition and instead use their money to lobby for public acquisition of lands that have an important conservation use. You can see examples of this at both of their websites (see, for example: and The Sierra Club also does habitat restoration projects (at least local chapters). I can attest to this firsthand.

      I have heard many hunters criticize these organizations because they don’t purchase lands directly as do groups like RMEF, but I would be curious to know how many acres they protect indirectly? Who knows, they may end up making better use of their members’ dollars via lobbying than they would by simply purchasing lands outright?

    • JB says:

      Gave this some more thought…

      Regulation–controlling human behavior through rule/policy-making, law enforcement, etc.–is the very purpose of F&G agencies. Thus, it could construed to include nearly all administrative activities, species management and even things like hunter education and research as well. However, I would not include capital improvements (e.g. land acquisition) in this portion of the pie.

      When I made the comment I was thinking of administrative/management activities and law enforcement, NOT capital improvements and research. The implication being that when hunters claim that they pay for “conservation” of wildlife, much (most?) of the funds go to regulate the behavior of said hunters, NOT acquire and improve the habitat of species.

      FYI: Here’s how Ohio’s PR and DJ pies gets distributed:

    • WM says:


      ++Gave this some more thought… Regulation–controlling human behavior through rule/policy-making, law enforcement, etc.–is the very purpose of F&G agencies++

      Oh, come on JB. Nice try. Nearly every federal, state and local government agency is engaged in “regulating” under that increddddddibbbbllllyyyy broad definition and it would consume most of their budget regardless of function. That is why government exists – to regulate human behavior.

      From traffic cops telling you how you cannot drive, to the building inspector who tells you what you cannot do to build a house, to ordinances on what is acceptable public speech and art in public places. Somebody has to think up the rules, put them into writing and publish them (with appropriate public review in most instances, of course) and then print the books or load them to the internet where they are read. And then note veryone agrees on the rules and that means litigation.

      We need a political science professor in this discussion – this goes back the theories of law and whether man is basically “good” or “bad” and why we come together as bands of humans from our family units to a national government.

    • JB says:

      From Wikipedia:

      “Regulation is “controlling human or societal behavior by rules or restrictions.”[1] Regulation can take many forms: legal restrictions promulgated by a government authority, self-regulation by an industry such as through a trade association, social regulation (e.g. norms), co-regulation and market regulation. One can consider regulation as actions of conduct imposing sanctions (such as a fine). This action of administrative law, or implementing regulatory law, may be contrasted with statutory or case law.”

      — Not trying to argue here, just be thoughtful about what the term means relative to others (e.g. management). Seems to me that F&G agencies were put in place to conserve wildlife populations by regulating hunting, fishing, and trapping (human behaviors). They certainly engage in lots of activities, but its seems to me that the lion’s share of their efforts still are devoted to these essential tasks.

    • JB says:

      More from Wiki:

      “A regulatory agency (also regulatory authority, regulatory body or regulator) is a public authority or government agency responsible for exercising autonomous authority over some area of human activity in a regulatory or supervisory capacity.”

      — If the shoe fits…

    • WM says:


      I expect not too many people other than you and I are getting much out of this “regulatory” dialog, but I want to continue because it is interesting and is relevant to much of the news we see on this thread.

      If a wildlife agency is charged by statute, or its own duly adopted regulation, to prepare a management plan for a particular species, and to revise it periodically, based upon findings in the field (say weather, habitat, harvest, prey, predator influence), through science or informed input of its research staff (including field studies) or incorporating the work others, does this fall under your definition of regulatory function or management? And, how would you classify the funds expended for this/these function (s)?

      And, does the time and cost expended by others (say ongoing research findings) count toward in the end funding compuation resulting in preparing the plan and implementing/revising it, even though the agency did not spend funds on the work itself (Example: ID uses the results of independent university studies, another state’s work or federal agency research, ie. do they get credit for being resource efficient?)?

    • Save bears says:

      Man this is a long drawn out thread!!!

      But I have to say, when people start with the Wiki links, my mind pretty much shuts off..

    • JB says:

      To be honest, I’m not sure how I would classify this activities, or if any distinction we might draw is all that meaningful? I suppose one analog would be the Clean Water Act’s requirements regarding TMDLs. States are required to list impaired waters and establish TMDLs for these bodies. Once established, states then must regulate the pollutant that is impairing the water body AND monitor that water body. In this analogy, the monitoring of wildlife populations is akin to the monitoring of water. I suppose what I’m saying is that regulations may be put into place with the intent of altering human behaviors, but they are meaningless without both monitoring and enforcement. Are the later part of the regulator process, or are they something different? Does it matter?

    • WM says:


      When you raised the assertion that wildlife agencies spend most of their funds in “regulation and enforcement,” I understood you to mean they spent little for things like planning, research, implementation and review of what they regulate, or on projects to improve or acquire new habitat. Then when you broadened the definition it confused me even more. I then countered by asking you to think about how certain activities were catagorized for budget purposes, so that I could better understand what you were saying.

      The costs incurred to “regulate” entail many expenses that are not enforcement related or within the narrow definition of “regulation – like writing rules that appear line after line in an administrative code. They support agency mandates, and fall into the management catogory, like all the planning, research, review and application of the research of others, then putting it all down in a management framework for individual species and integrating with other management plans – and maybe to meet the obligation set forth in a law or administrative rule.

      The Clean Water Act, which you cite by analogy, is kind of like that. TMDL’s calcuations are the manner of meeting a set of water quality standards, which requires point and non point source pollutant loads to be backed into NPDES permits, best management practices for non-point and hydologic conditions over time (existing loads and projections into the future). Most of the expenditures are not on the enforcement end (it is nominal), but rather in costs of establishing the water quality criteria (research) and meeting the standards (capital and operational costs for point sources like industrial or municipal treatment facilities, or non-point sources such as ag runoff, storm runoff, etc.) now and in the future (planning in the form of Section 201 facilities plans, 208 regional plans, 303e basin plans). I know quite a bit about the CWA.

    • JB says:


      When I raised the point I was thinking most administrative and management activities (e.g. planning) constituted regulation, as opposed to actions taken directly to benefit a resource (e.g. reintroduction, habitat restoration, land purchasing, etc.). I certainly wasn’t including research activities as part of regulation at that time. However, upon reflection, I really don’t know how you can separate any of it? How can you regulate human behavior without both research/monitoring and enforcement?

      Let me give you an example. I just finished a survey of waterfowl hunters which inquired about changes to the state’s duck and goose hunting zones and the timing of seasons in these zones. The results were used to change the zone boundaries and timing, both of which are put into place to regulate take (i.e. human behavior). The agency will also conduct surveys in order to estimate populations of various species. Are these research efforts, which are used to set policy designed to regulate human behavior part of the regulatory process, or not? Again, I am not sure where the line should be drawn.

    • Elk275 says:


      ++Let me give you an example. I just finished a survey of waterfowl hunters which inquired about changes to the state’s duck and goose hunting zones and the timing of seasons in these zones. ++

      I thought that you were a lawyer, exactly what do you do?

    • JB says:

      LOL! Now that’s a good one.

      I am an assistant professor in wildlife management, so most of what I do involves sitting behind a desk writing grants and papers, but they also let me teach a wildlife policy class. 🙂 I have a background in natural resources management and psychology, so most of my research focuses on how humans (usually hunters and anglers) interact with wildlife. I haven’t made much of this known because it stifles debate (I’d rather have my ideas evaluated based upon their merit than my title). Anyway, I suspect few folks will encounter this info buried in this exceedingly long thread!

      P.S. My involvement in the legal/policy side requires more explanation than I am comfortable providing on a public blog. Let’s just say it was serendipity.

    • Layton says:

      Gee whiz, it seems that Elk, Ryan and WM get the point.

      How come it’s so hard for jimt (who thinks that since he’s a lawyer he understands everything better) to understand and JB thinks it’s some kind of a “straw man” ploy??

      Is it that there are really basic communication problems here?? Or is it that maybe some folks don’t WANT to understand.

      If the elk population is limited HUNTING WILL BE (and already has been) LIMITED. We can do that with humans — we can’t do the same thing with an uncontrolled (for all practical purposes) wolf population!!

    • Layton says:

      Boy, that ended up in the wrong place.

      I’ll try it again.

  19. Rita K. Sharpe says:

    I rather agree with JB,both sides can be selfish.

    • Layton says:


      Both sides ARE selfish, I’m selfish because I see view points here that would completely do away with many traditions that my family has held pretty sacred for many generations — while they refuse to accept even a moderate set of controls over their favorite (for now) furry idol.

    • JimT says:

      Really? You think the wolves being a part of the ecosystem of the West again would prevent your family from the “sacred” tradition of hunting completely? Really,, you believe that? Seems odd to me that when there were a lot more wolves, fewer humans intruding on the habitat, elk managed to do just fine through the years.

      I challenge you to find a single statement by any environmentalist or pro wolf person on this blog who has said they don’t care if elk vanish completely, if they have said they want hunting to stop you seem to be alleging here.

      Moderate? I hardly call the three state so called management plans moderate. I hardly call the inflammatory rhetoric by the anti-wolf crowd moderate. I hardly call the positions being taken by the states, game folks, guide folks, and livestock folks in the articles listed here recently as moderate. Seems to me, based on plain language, the extremist position are not on the pro-wolf re-establishment side of things. I say re-establishment because the intent here is not to just re-introduce them for a few years, and watch traditional anti-wolf interests put programs into existence that will either make them marginal at best, or result in populations dying off. If, for some reason, you were re-introducing a game animal in an area, I doubt very much you would accept the current state and vested interests that are being shown on wolves being directed towards your game animal. You would want a re-establishment of that animal and its populations, capable of self sustaining, healthy numbers year upon year.

      How is that so different from what we want for wolves?

    • Layton says:


      “Seems odd to me that when there were a lot more wolves, fewer humans intruding on the habitat, elk managed to do just fine through the years.”

      OK, if I use the same logic here that you folks used with the Idaho F&G report about elk populations being up in some places, then I’ll make the jump to say “humans are the problem” much the same way you said “habitat is the problem”.

      Now that we “know” humans are the problem, can we just sweep them under the rug?? Maybe move them out of areas where we want more wolves??

      Then. of course there is the problem of did the elk really do better, or did a few survivors manage to keep the species alive — hmmmm, they must have managed to do a bit of “genetic exchanging” — ever heard that term??

      “How is that so different from what we want for wolves?”

      Basically because a viable (or even completely over populated) population of elk won’t EAT even a small population of wolves. Then one could bring up the fact that elk populations are monitored, and controlled — for both extremes, to many or to few — oh EXCEPT for the numbers that get killed by those UNCONTROLLED canis type critters out there.

      “Seems to me, based on plain language, the extremist position are not on the pro-wolf re-establishment side of things.”

      Golly Jim, you do manage to sneak in a joke now and then don’t you! 8)

    • jimt says:


      I don’t see published comments by green groups, wolf supporters, etc. threatening violence against ranchers, livestock, judges, advocates for wolves as you do in the papers and blogs. No joke, really when one is afraid to attend a public meeting for fear of someone on the extreme side of things taking things just a bit too far. Catron Country folks have experienced this too often, and I don’t see any reason at this point, given the increasingly inflammatory rhetoric by such folks at lobowatch to think it couldn’t happen in this scenario.

      You always imply meanings that have no basis in the post to which you are responding. No one is advocating for humans to move here; I am advocating for tolerance and a restoration of balance instead of managing for game animals and livestock almost exclusively.

      Wolf numbers would have to rise exponentially for elk to be truly in danger of disappearing from the landscape. And you have that pesky predator prey relationship to deal with that would limit wolf numbers. Yet, you seem to be under the impression that the wolves will eat all the elk, and you will have to find something else to hunt. Hardly a realistic scenario, but then, that has never stopped you before from taking a point of view.

      Bottom line? YOU don’t want wolves messing with your chance of success in killing elk. Period. Reasonable, I guess, from your individual perspective, but from an ecological perspective, somewhat limited.

    • WM says:

      From JimT,

      ++….Yet, you seem to be under the impression that the wolves will EAT ALL THE ELK….++

      I guess JimT missed the weekend discussion about using absolute terms like this to derail a dialog and polarize views.

    • JB says:


      I believe he was responding to this: “I see view points here that would completely do away with many traditions that my family has held pretty sacred for many generations.”

      Per usual, straw men are erected and easily defeated on both sides.

    • WM says:

      Yep, the operative absolute term here being “completely.”

    • Elk275 says:

      Wolves are not going to cause elk to go extinct or disappear. Wolves are going to cause a reduction in tag allocations, generous seasons, season length, either sex tags and multiple tags. This has already begun to happen in some areas and other area elk numbers are increasing. When the ungulate population decreases the predator population will decrease and soon the prey will increase again, this will happen over time. I have no argument there. But there is only so much time and hunting seasons in a person’s life. When the prey population decreases then hunting opportunities are going to have to be decreased.

      Fourth of July weekend I was camping around Superior, Montana and stopped at an outfitters lodge. We talked about the area, hunting, fishing and wolves and mountain lions. He had been guiding in that area for the last 15 years and he said the population of deer and elk were decreasing every year and the wolves and mountains lions were increasing. When you are out hunting and there is a pack of 13 wolves where 15 years ago there was none that is going to have an effect on hunting period. There were so many mountains lions in the area that I was offered a lion hunt for expenses and wages, that is contingent upon drawing a mountain lion license.

      Northwest Montana has already seen a reduction in whitetail doe tags and curtailment of either sex elk hunting. One of the results of this is that hunters will move, if they have the economic means some going hundreds of miles away. I have seen this happening more and more every year with Kalispell and Missoula hunters driving to Southwest Montana because they feel that the numbers of elk are down in region one, which is Northwest Montana. This increases hunter numbers which subtracts from the experience. If one does not have the time or money then it is going to be a poor hunting season.

      Montana is soon to purchase the Spotted Dog Ranch with monies that were given to the state by Arco Oil Company to compensate for Anaconda Mining Company environmental destruction of the Clark’s Fork Valley. The ranch is 28,000 acres and 10,000 acres of state land that will become accessible or approximately 38,000 acres plus access to thousands of national forest lands that were inaccessible before. The ranch winter’s approximately 1,000 elk. That amount of land should support a wolf pack of 10 animals. If a wolf eats 15 elk a year and then the pack should consume approximately 150 elk. Wouldn’t it be better if there were no wolves and the fish and wildlife could issue and additional 150 late season elk tags. The majority of Montana residents want elk not wolves. Of course “wouldn’t it be better” is a matter of personal philosophy.

      There are those who want to try to reestablish a ecological balance but with a increasing human population and there wants that will never happen. There is room for wolves but 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs is enough. We each have to fight our beliefs.

    • Ryan says:

      “I believe he was responding to this: “I see view points here that would completely do away with many traditions that my family has held pretty sacred for many generations.”

      Per usual, straw men are erected and easily defeated on both sides.”


      I believe he was refering to the anti hunting/ranching sentiments, not th fact that all the elk are

    • WM says:


      ++If a wolf eats 15 elk a year and then the pack should consume approximately 150 elk. Wouldn’t it be better if there were no wolves and the fish and wildlife could issue and additional 150 late season elk tags.++

      I don’t know what the hunter success rate is for this area of MT, but assuming it is betwen 20-35%, the number of tags to take those 150 elk, that could be issued would be more like 750 tags, for 20% (or as low as 428 at 35%).

      And, then there is that pesky issue of how many of those 150 elk would be additive or compensatory mortality as a result of wolf presence. So, lets just say half goes to each to be fair.

    • Ryan says:

      the elk are going to dissappear. (sorry thought I backed out of it not submitted it.)

    • Layton says:

      How about this reply going here —-

      Gee whiz, it seems that Elk, Ryan and WM get the point.

      How come it’s so hard for jimt (who thinks that since he’s a lawyer he understands everything better) to understand and JB thinks it’s some kind of a “straw man” ploy??

      Is it that there are really basic communication problems here?? Or is it that maybe some folks don’t WANT to understand.

      If the elk population is limited HUNTING WILL BE (and already has been) LIMITED. We can do that with humans — we can’t do the same thing with an uncontrolled (for all practical purposes) wolf population!!

    • JB says:


      The elk population is and will continue to be limited, by numerous factors, wolves being but one of them. What I object to is blaming wolves for declines that are the result of numerous factors (because wolves are new) and then managing them differently from other predators (i.e. accepting different standards of risk). For example, wolves and cougars have approximately the same caloric requirements and make kills at roughly the same rates. Yet, nearly all of the rhetoric we hear concerns the effects of wolves, when we KNOW, without a doubt, that 2,000 cougars eat more than 1,000 wolves. So it begs the question: why would a F&G agency chose to reduce wolf populations to ~500 and leave cougar populations at ~2,000? For that matter, why reduce the population of a wolves everywhere when their densities (and impacts on others species) vary considerably? The answer, of course, is “politics”. It is politically convenient…hell, it is downright advantageous to come out and blame wolves and call for their elimination.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think it is perfectly legitimate to ask why hunting opportunities should have to be limited so there can be more wolves. However, the question is no more legitimate than asking why wolf populations should have to be limited in order to maximize hunting opportunities. The truth is both sides are going to have to give. Wolf advocates are not going to get 2,000 wolves in Idaho, but nor should elk hunters get wolves knocked back to 150. Fortunately, we’re nowhere near either extreme.

  20. JB says:


    So let me get this straight: You’re saying that they are selfish because they only want more wolves to “see” or “hear” or improve biodiversity, as opposed to….what?…kill? How is one any less selfish then the other?

    Look, I have continually opposed comments that attempt to place hunters in a “box” (i.e. stereotype them); but some people (about 25% of the U.S., in fact) will oppose hunting no matter what you say–and yes, I suspect a few of them also belong to environmental groups. Yet, while you argue against the stereotyping of hunters you fall into the same trap–lumping all of the people who want to protect wolves into single categories (e.g. “greenies). The middle road starts with the recognition that people want our federal public lands to do different things and we possess very divergent motivations. The fastest way to a fight is the “us vs. them” approach.

    “Just what is “healthy” about an ever decreasing calf recruitment number — in MANY places where there are wolves — that leads inevitably to decreasing herds?? Naaaaa, that is just a poor justification of what is happening in more and more areas where the numbers of wolves is going up.”

    “Inevitably”? Really? Are we looking at the same numbers?

    The notion that an ecosystem can be “healthy” or “unhealthy” is controversial, but those who subscribe to this view would point out that year to year local population variation is natural, and what temporarily hurts one population temporarily benefits others.

    “The avid greenies that so blindly support wolves with NO reservations are simply going to continue until the elk are a fond memory of what used to be and the wolves that are more and more noticeable (and can be heard better) are the big problem.”

    If wolves are dependent upon elk (I think we can at least agree on that point), then you needn’t worry about such a scenario. Local wolf population reductions will naturally follow local elk population reductions. This will take pressure off of habitat (assuming it isn’t overgrazed by domestic animals) and allow elk to come back en force.

    Ralph has pointed out many times that MOST of us are on the same side here. If you want more wolves then you need the ungulate biomass to support them (i.e. plentiful elk and deer populations). Or put the other way: lower elk and deer populations necessitate lower wolf populations.

    • Layton says:


      “Yet, while you argue against the stereotyping of hunters you fall into the same trap–lumping all of the people who want to protect wolves into single categories (e.g. “greenies).”

      I guess I failed to make myself clear here.

      In a perfect world there would be wolves. I think WM probably said it best “Wolves in more places at low density”. The “greenies” that I refer to don’t want it that way. They have a “damn the torpedoes” approach that says that no wolf should be harmed — ever!!

      That said, I still don’t believe that a middle ground approach will ever happen. Their ideal picture doesn’t have hunters or their “ilk” anywhere in it.

    • Daniel Berg says:


      I still think cooperation is possible. I know some of the stuff that gets put out there is pretty discouraging to anyone who wants to believe that though.

      Obviously it’s hard for a hunter who wants stronger wolf control to have discourse with people who not only want zero wolves to be killed through harvest or control actions, but also probably have a strong bias against hunting in general.

      On the other side, as an advocate for a stronger wolf population, I can imagine the futility in trying to deal with the extreme anti-wolfers. I perfect example being Mr. Rockholm who was the focal point of Jon’s post higher in the thread on “Letter to Butch Otter”. His opinion, and the comments by his supporters are discouraging because they are truly not open to ANY dissenting opinions other than their own.

      I hope you don’t lose your faith that common ground can be found at SOME point, especially between hunters and wolf advocates.

    • Linda Hunter says:

      JB thanks for a sensible post.

  21. Elk275 says:

    ++If wolves are dependent upon elk (I think we can at least agree on that point), then you needn’t worry about such a scenario. Local wolf population reductions will naturally follow local elk population reductions. This will take pressure off of habitat (assuming it isn’t overgrazed by domestic animals) and allow elk to come back en force. ++

    When a elk population has been reduced by wolves then the number of hunting tags will have to be reduce until the elk come back en force. Hunting can and does take pressure off of the habitat and allows the greatest number of hunting licenses possible each fall. It could be many years after wolves have reduced the elk population before the elk come back en force and many more years before there are a large number of six bulls. With hunting there is a control. There are only so many hunting seasons in a persons life; I want to have the greatest hunting opportunities each and every season not have to share bag limits with wolves.

    Bob Jackson has is right when he says that Fish and Game department are “pig farmers”, but I have never found elk hunting easy with or without wolves. There has been a reduction of 1000 cow permits in the Snowcrest and Gravelly Mountains partially because of wolves.

    I do understand the predator/prey relationship and that predators selection of prey is better than a hunter’s selection, but I am a hunter and love wild animals.

    • Daniel Berg says:

      A little off topic, but what’s your recipe for the elk and huckleberries? It’s the start of huckleberry season around the Cascades and pairing it will elk steaks sounds interesting………..

  22. Elk275 says:

    Well Daniel Berg, I made that up last night. I have had several berry sauces on meat in years gone by. I thought that a huckleberry sauce might be interesting.

    I goggled huckleberry sauce and meat, here what I came up with:

    2 cups frozen huckleberries
    1/3 cup sugar
    2 TBSP champagne or raspberry vinegar
    1/4 cup port wine

    Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan.

    Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the sauce reaches your desired consistency; for me that’s about 7 – 10 minutes.

    This sauce goes especially well with strongly flavored meats. If someone tells you they don’t like duck or venison or even lamb, make this sauce and watch them dig in.

    One should be careful about what they post.

    • Daniel Berg says:


      Thanks for the recipe and the warning. I’m assuming it had to do with my off topic comment.

    • WM says:

      Actually, Elk that is not far off the recipe we use – either huckleberries in season, or blueberries. I have not tried to add raspberry vinegar, but should be interesting.

      We also sometimes add just a touch of ground cloves (less than 1/8 tsp), and 1/4 tsp of ground corriander for the recipe portion you give above.

      This goes very well with elk and venison, as well as less flavorful meats such as pork loin or chicken breast.

      Corriander seems to enhance the berry flavor, and the cloves an unexpected and exotic twist (not for everyone).

    • Elk275 says:


      ++I’m assuming it had to do with my off topic comment.++

      It was all about me making something up — huckleberry sauce with elk — never had it, but it sounded good.

    • Save bears says:

      Huck Sauce with Elk, sided with Chantrell’s, Or Morels, now you are talking a meal fit for a Queen or King, Good stuff Mon’

      Prepare the berry sauce, then saute’ the mushroom in a garlic butter braze and you are living high on the hog!

    • Daniel Berg says:


      ++It was all about me making something up — huckleberry sauce with elk — never had it, but it sounded good.++

      I’m going to try it. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’ve just nabbed my first batch of huckleberries this season and pairing them with elk is something I haven’t done. I’m feeling some serious culinary inspiration.

    • WM says:


      If you want to get a bit adventurous with your chants, here is a variation:

      Chanterelles in Ginger Sauce over Rice

      3 c. Chanterelle mushrooms, sliced
      2 tbsp. butter
      2 cloves garlic – minced
      1 tbsp. all purpose flour or cornstarch mixed with equal amount of water
      1 tsp ground ginger or 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
      1 (8 oz.) can chicken broth (you probably won’t use it all)
      1 tsp soy sauce
      ¼ tsp salt to taste
      ½ tsp sugar (optional, but it does enhance the flavor)

      Hot cooked rice

      Method: Melt butter over medium heat and add garlic. Saute mushrooms in butter/garlic for three to five minutes until mushrooms release their moisture and become tender. Stir in ginger. Then add about a third of the chicken broth, and stir in flour or cornstarch, being sure the mixture is smooth. Cook and stir until mixture is thick and bubbling. Gradually add more chicken broth as needed for desired consistency. Add salt (and sugar) to taste. Cook and stir one minute more. Serve over rice.

      We like it over long grain and wild rice. White rice works great, too because the flavors don’t compete. Serves 4.

    • JB says:


      I for one am happy for the distraction. My wife made a cherry sauce (with venison) last year that was to die for. The recipe was quite similar to the one posted by Elk275, above. It even made the poorer cuts taste awesome!

    • JimT says:

      Good recipe, can be adapted. I might think this would be good as well with grilled chicken, squab…

      As a side note, my parents absolutely refuse to eat lamb. My mother claims it goes cold on the plate in an instant, unlike other red meats, and logic will not move her.

      My dad is a bit more rational in his dislike. When they were kids growing up, no money, hard times, etc. as most lower class working families in the Northeast factory towns experienced. So, mutton was cheap and plentiful and they ate that until it came out their ears. Strong tasting, I would imagine, and no reduction sauces to mitigate it.

      ELK275, have you ever tried grilling chicken, butterflied, with small weights on it? It is called “bricque poulet” in the french cooking circles. I have found it is THE best way to cook chicken, and get crisp skin, and properly cooked chicken moist throughout…

  23. Rita K. Sharpe says:

    Thank you,Elk 275,for the recipe. I never know what to expect when reading the comments on this blog.Sincerely,Thank you.

  24. JimT says:

    More on the efforts to delist, and exclude the enviros from the table in Montana.

  25. David says:

    Here’s an article about possible deer declines in California. It’s the usual, high on blame and conjecture, low on facts article.

  26. Peter Kiermeir says:

    National Parks: Report warns of man-made threats to Grand Canyon NP

  27. jon says:

    Welfare Ranchers, Wolves, and the Externalization of Costs

    In the end, the best way to reduce human conflicts with predators as well as realize the ecological benefits associated with having top predators widely distributed across the landscape is to require better animal husbandry practices from livestock producers, and to eliminate the predator control and/or sport hunting that disrupts predator social ecology. It’s time that livestock producers are forced to internalize one of their real production costs which in turn would mean slightly higher costs for consumers who ultimately should bear any additional costs of producing livestock without placing the burden upon predators and/or a landscape denied the positive influences of large predators.

    • JB says:

      It is too bad George included that last statement–the one Jon cites (above). Sport hunting of wolves may indeed disrupt (or is change a better term?) the social ecology of predators, but that does not mean it should be eliminated.

      I found the preceding paragraph much more provocative:

      “Ironically while hunters and state wildlife agencies lobby to kill more wolves, they totally ignore that fact that domestic livestock grazing in effect “gets” more elk and deer by displacing them from favorable terrain and/or eating forage that would otherwise support far larger ungulate populations than are ever killed by predators.”

    • Ryan says:

      “Ironically while hunters and state wildlife agencies lobby to kill more wolves, they totally ignore that fact that domestic livestock grazing in effect “gets” more elk and deer by displacing them from favorable terrain and/or eating forage that would otherwise support far larger ungulate populations than are ever killed by predators.”


      I don’t buy it. They have significantly cut grazing in several areas I hunt in the desert, yet the mule deer populations continue to decline. I used to think it was all about habitat, but honestly think predation plays a much higher role than habitat.

    • JB says:

      Ryan, there has been a “top-down” (predation) vs. “bottom-up” (habitat) debate going on for a while now in the ecology literature. As with most “either-or” debates, I think the answer is somewhere in the middle; however, one thing is for sure: species populations are absolutely limited by available food (meaning they can’t exceed the capacity of their habitat to provide food, at least not for long). The relationship with predators appears to be far more complex.

      There is no question in my mind that domestic livestock compete with wild ungulates for resources.

  28. Elk275 says:

    “Ironically while hunters and state wildlife agencies lobby to kill more wolves, they totally ignore that fact that domestic livestock grazing in effect “gets” more elk and deer by displacing them from favorable terrain and/or eating forage that would otherwise support far larger ungulate populations than are ever killed by predators.”

    So true, So true

    But how are you going to stop a rancher from grazing his/her livestock on their private property. After a lifetime of hunting in Montana, I believe that he best wildlife lands were homesteaded and developed as farms and ranches. Wildlife always seems more plentiful on private property where trespass is restricted than public lands. It was only natural for a homesteader to patent the most productive lands and graze the public lands in the summer months. Just an observation from 50 years of being there.

  29. Nancy says:

    As usual Jon, George has good insight into the problem, but its gonna take “an act of Congress” so to speak, to break old habits and a way of life that ranchers have been accustomed to for a few generations.

    I’ve got 4 big ranches on my country road, who move a few thousand head of cattle up to & back down from public lands each season and I’ve yet to train any of them to open my gate when they come back down after each drive. I mean, if you can get out of the pickup and close it on the way up, you sure as hell can get out and open it again on the way down.

    And I certainly understand the thought process behind closing the gates – so they don’t have to waste time, picking cattle out of neighboring fields and yards, on their way up to public lands – but, I’ve got two, big metal gates to deal with and more often than not, the idiot who closed them, has wrapped the chain too tight and I waste my time, trying to get it loose, just so I can get out of my fricken driveway!

    Okay, that was an attempt at humor (even though the gate thing really does piss me off) mentioned it because I’m sure there are a few here that can relate to the open range/sense of entitlement thats been in place here in the old west for about a century when it comes to ranching………..

    • Elk275 says:


      The law of the “West” is to leave the gate the way you found it — if it is closed, close it, if it is open, leave it open. Nothing “P’s” me off more than gates that take the world’s strongest man to open. A secert: buy a small chain binder with a 4 foot length of chain, that will open gates that are too tightly strung.

    • jon says:

      Hi Nancy, george writes some amazing articles.

  30. Elk275 says:

    ++HELENA — Three former U.S. Forest Service chiefs are asking Montana’s congressional delegation to introduce a bill to protect the Rocky Mountain Front.

    Signing the letter are Dale Bosworth, Forest Service chief from 2001-2007; Michael Dombeck, the agency’s chief from 1997-2001; and Jack Ward Thomas, who headed the Forest Service from 1993-1996.

    In the letter, they ask the delegation to “take a leadership role in the passage of the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act.”

    The proposed legislation was written by wilderness advocates, loggers, ranchers and others living where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains. Their proposal aims to preserve existing uses like grazing or outfitting while protecting species in the area.++

    Nancy, you indicated that it would take an act of congress to change the way land is managed. The above indicates that congress is going to protect traditonal uses in this new bill.

  31. Nancy says:

    ++The proposed legislation was written by wilderness advocates, loggers, ranchers and others living where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains.

    ****Their proposal aims to preserve existing uses like grazing or outfitting while protecting species in the area.***

    But Elk, is that not what’s being brought into question here over and over when it comes to public lands use and outfitting?

    Keeping up with the huge amount of information posted here is trying at best but what pops up often seems to be the abuse of public lands by ranchers and the ” freeway” mentality when it comes to the latest batch of outfitters (many from out of state) who buy areas hoping to live out a dream and make a profit at the same time?

  32. Nancy says:

    Elk275 Says:
    August 24, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    The law of the “West” is to leave the gate the way you found it — if it is closed, close it, if it is open, leave it open. Nothing “P’s” me off more than gates that take the world’s strongest man to open. A secert: buy a small chain binder with a 4 foot length of chain, that will open gates that are too tightly strung.

    Elk, are we talking about the same kind of gates here? Metal, about 5 bars across, with short chains hanging from the middle, that are suppose to be looped over another gate’s existing, pain in the ass connection, about waist high?

    • Elk275 says:

      Nancy, no we are not talking about the same gates. The gates you are talking about are generally green and are called “Power River Gates”. Are they double gates, two panels that meet in the middle and are hinged on a wooden post, such as a rail road tie, or is it a single panel that is hinged on a wooden post and closed next to a wooden post on the fence line?

      Those kind of gates are are blessing to open. If the gate is difficult to open reach down and lift up a panel and unlacht the chain. Every gate is going to be different. Once the cattle are move up and out then you should be able to kept the gate open. The are some funny laws and customs on fences, gates and water; it is part of living in the west, get use to it. Gates and fences can be a “pain in the ass”.

  33. jon says:

    Casey AndersonWildlife naturalist, Nat Geo WILD
    Posted: August 11, 2010 06:03 PM
    Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Attack: Reflecting on the Root of the Problem

    In the worse-case scenario, the bear who was involved in the incident could have been looking for a human to eat. This is a very rare circumstance, and only happens when a bear is in a desperate state. Again, the problem needs to be addressed at the cause. We must allow the grizzly bear to be healthy. We must give them room and resources to thrive. We must keep their habitat intact and cease the destruction of their food sources. If we as humans continue to cut off their necessities, we will create desperate animals. A grizzly bear will do whatever it can to survive, and killing a human is always the last resort.

    • pointswest says:

      Grizzlies in Yellowstone probably smell humans all the time. I doubt the smell of humans brought her into Cooke City. It was the smell of food…meats and most probably sugars. Once she was in Cooke City and around the people, she was probably very frustrated that she could not find any of the food she could easily smell. Then she became agitated, more agressive, and more brazen.

      Grizzlies will fight over a food source. They will attack humans who they believe might take carion they have laid claim to. This sow had not eaten humans before or she would not have been so easily frightened off. She was hungry and frustrated and was willing to try something new.

  34. Nancy says:

    Coming to a PBS station near you. Haven’t had the opportunity to see this video yet but heard its well worth the time to watch it if you among the stations listed so far that are going to air it.

  35. Marcel Verwoerd says:

    Russia, U.S. launch trans-border Beringia National Park

  36. WM says:

    Looks like some of local sportsman & rod/gun clubs are waking up to what is going on with MT (and by association ID) wolf delisting. Some are calling for revisions to the state elk species management plan as a result of an increasing (and in the short term possibly uncontrollable) population of wolves. This is where the rubber meets the road for these folks.

    I expect there will be alot more of this with reverberations felt as far away as UT, CO, WA and OR as this unfolds over the coming months.

    Don’t be surprised if the NRA, fresh off a streak of recent successes, starts working the wolf issue, at least behind the scenes. That can’t be good for anyone in the long term.

    • Save bears says:


      I agree, things are going to get very nasty, before they ever get better, the line has been drawn, and I expect to see many challenges coming up in the near future, and with the upcoming mid-terms….yikes!

    • Elk275 says:

      ++the line has been drawn++

      One week from today, September 1st, archery and upland bird hunting starts in Montana. Wyoming and Idaho have similar seasons and starting dates. Is that line going to be crossed?

      Both bow hunters and mountain grouse hunters will be in the hills. Will they cross the line? My feeling is that in the Northwest Montana and Northern Idaho with timber, under brush and the anti-government feelings, grouse hunters are going to shot wolves. No snow, no blood, no dead wolf, just a wounded wolf with number 6 bird shot festering and festering. It will depend upon how far the wolf was when shot, how much damage was done. I love to hunt blue grouse in September and early October, rarely do I ever see another hunter. I will not cross that line.

      Who is going to investigate a reported illegal wolf shooting. Forest Service law enforcement is thin and there are only three Federal Fish and Wildlife agents in the state. I was talking with a game warden friend of mind and wolves were not his interest.

    • JB says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised by the NRA getting involved. After all, they are essentially in bed with the Republican party. However, while I expect Republicans to win some seats they have already admitted there is no way they can take the Senate. Of course this won’t matter because the Democrats will not have a super-majority–so expect the legislature to get very little done in the next few years.

    • Save bears says:


      In all honesty, I don’t think a hell of a lot has got done in the last 20 years, no matter who holds the power, they are simply not doing their jobs!

    • JB says:


      Have you ever heard the phrase, “bleeding the beast”? It is used in reference to polygamists who hate the government, and believing it is bad, have no shame in attempting to drain it of its resources. I submit that a fare portion of the right has been doing that since Reagan. They preach about how bad and ineffective government is all the while doing everything they can to ensure they are right, including bringing home the “bacon” (i.e. pork projects) to their states.

    • Save bears says:


      I have heard the term, although I don’t think that is what is going on here, remember I have many years of Government service in two entirely different sectors, and have seen some amazing things over the last 30 years!

    • JB says:

      “Sen. Stevens has helped bring home a total of 1,452 projects worth $3.4 billion between 1995 and 2008.”

      “On Tuesday, Republican Party chairman Michael Steele lauded Stevens “for his unparalleled effectiveness at fighting for his home state interests.” Translation: Stevens – though a member of the party that supposedly touts the virtues of small government – was peerlessly practiced at the art of big government, of pumping federal bucks into his state for every conceivable and dubious purpose.

      I know it is considered poor taste to speak ill of the deceased, but Ted Stevens was among the biggest hypocrites our government has ever known…and that is saying something.

  37. Nancy says:

    Amen to that SB!

  38. Nate hobbs says:

    Bonnville county wind energy project denied on a 4-2 vote.

  39. Nancy says:

    Solar may be the better way to go:

  40. jon says:

    Bear cub likely dead after Yellowstone Club security guard kills sow

    • WM says:

      ++A Yellowstone Club security guard has been cited with killing the mother bear Aug. 11 after firing what he thought was a rubber bullet – but was in fact a live round – to haze the bruin away from a paintball course. He is scheduled to appear before a Madison County judge next week.++

      One would hope these super rich folks that own homes in this ultra high end community would hire security guards who are smart enough to check the ammunition they would use to haze a bear. Assuming the reported fact are true, how dumb are these guys.? Worse yet is the fact they had a vegetable oil paintball strewn landscape- an attractive nuisance- that caused the bears to be there in the first place.

      Hopefully authorities will ask for compensation on the dead bear(s), and this guard gets his/her sorry a$$ fired! N0 EXCUSE for this one, at all for two reasons.

    • pointswest says:

      How do you confuse a “live round” with a rubber bullet?

      For one thing, rubber bullets are fired from a shotgun. They do not make rubber bullets for handguns. You can make them yourself by reloading a shell with a rubber bullet and a primer without gunpowder…but I do not believe you can factory loaded rubber bullets for a handgun.

      So did the security guard use a shotgun? The bear was killed with a slug? We are to believe the security guard grabed a shotgun and mistakenly loaded it with slugs rather than rubber bullets. There would be a large weight difference between slugs and rubber bullets. Also, why would they have slugs at the Yellowstone Club.

      It may have been that the security guard was some trigger happy cowboy shoot’in up the compound but it is more likely that the security guard was following directives from the Yellowstone Club management. The whole story sounds fishy and made up by someone who does not understand how gun-wise many locals are.

      Black bears are all over that area. I can remember seeing dumpster diving black bears in nearby West Yellowstone all the time when I used to live nearby. No one really cared if black bears were around.

    • Save bears says:

      There are several companies that make factory loaded rubber bullets, there are the police lines as well as the quick draw lines and there are couple of companies that do ammo with rubber bullets for shooting competitions that are held within city limits… As for home loaded stuff, I have about 1000 rounds of wax loads for my .40 S&W hat I use to bust horses in the ass, when they invade..there is actually quite a few factory options for non-lethal rounds if you look and ask around. One of the local sporting goods stores carry rubber rounds for Shotguns, Rifles and Handguns, they are quite prevalent if you go to a SHOT show in January…

  41. jon says:

    EPA Considering Ban on Traditional Ammunition — Take Action Now

    • jon says:

      Hunting Groups Defend Toxic Lead Ammo

      Lead is a key component in hunting and fishing; most hunting rounds use it, as do fishing weights. The problem with lead is that it’s highly toxic, both to human beings and animals. According to the CBD, lead poisoning accounts for 10 million to 20 million animal deaths per year. In most cases, it’s a result of scavenging animals ingesting lead pellets, or non-scavengers mistaking spent ammunition or fishing lures for food. And us two-legged types don’t get a free pass either. The CBD cites a study alleging that 87 percent of game taken down by a lead round could have unsafe lead levels.

    • jon says:

      To the hunters on here, I would like to get your personal thoughts and opinions on this if you don’t mind. thanks

    • Layton says:

      Weeeeeellll, (you knew I’d come back — didn’t you)

      I’m a pretty avid waterfowl hunter and my personal opinion is that the steel shot that we are required to use now is more responsible than most anything else for the decline in the duck population.

      Lead shot kills better — period!! When steel first became required in the duck blind I made a quick $100 (should have bet more, he was willing) by betting that I could come up with a limit of duck without firing a shot in less than 4 hours. It took me less than an hour.

      Steel shot is faster, but it has less shocking power. It goes right through a duck that dies later. Many ducks that are mortally wounded just hit the water a long ways away and are feed for the raccoons, skunks, hawks, etc. As far as human consumption goes they are wasted.

      Maybe some (a few) ducks are the exception and ingest some lead pellets with the gravel that they fill their craws with but it seems to me that most of the lead would be in the deeper part of the river that they don’t use for that purpose.

      The other part to consider is that the same duck that was mortally wounded didn’t count in the bag limit so the hunter goes on hunting, more ducks die.

      As for concerns with big game and the lead in the meat — hogwash!! Many people have been eating wild meat for many years that was killed with lead bullets!! I hear of lead poisoning of babies from lead paint or Chinese trinkets, but NOT from lead killed meat. In case you don’t know, the bullet is the hard part that you usually spit out when you are eating a steak.

      If lead were as poisonous and these folks would like to scare you into believing, most any fisherman that holds sinkers in his mouth or anybody that chewed on a lead pencil (do they have those anymore?) would be some kind of a drooling idiot — you know, like jonT and Salle think all the folks from Idaho are anyway.

      My personal opinion is that if a bear or other critter scavenged a carcass he would spit it out too, or maybe poop it out sometime later. It isn’t like lead is going to be dissolved in their system overnight. Lead is a lot tougher than that.

      No jon, it’s a pretty transparent effort to be a PITA to anyone that hunts and just another ploy to get rid of hunting and guns (kind of like wolves?? 8) )

      Oh, the bet?? It was late in the season, about the 1st of December and all I did was take my lab out and pick up cripples on a popular river that the coyotes or what ever didn’t have yet. It didn’t take very long.

    • jon says:

      Layton, who said they want to get rid of hunting and guns? Give me some names of people who have said that publicly.

    • jon says:

      My personal opinion is that if a bear or other critter scavenged a carcass he would spit it out too, or maybe poop it out sometime later. It isn’t like lead is going to be dissolved in their system overnight. Lead is a lot tougher than that.

      Can you be certain that every animal would spit it out?

      Consumption of lead shot, bullets or bullet fragments has been a major mortality cause for rare and endangered birds of prey and scavengers. For example, through 1996 there were five states where at least 20 bald eagles died from ingesting lead from carcasses, Elmore said.

    • Please note my comment on the form which lead is poisonous

    • Elk275 says:


      Only 20 Bald Eagles died from lead poisoning. I wonder how many died from monofilament fishing line left carelessly on the bank.

      There are powers to be that want to band lead sinkers and lead bullets. What is the greatest source lead in the rivers around the greater Yellowstone area? You would never guess in a million years. It is not fishing sinkers or lead shot. It is lead from drift boat anchors. A 30 pound anchor used by a guide will weight 20 pounds after 2 years of use, that’s if they do not lose it in the river. I have anchor in the Yellowstone and one in the Madison.

      Something to think about.

    • jon says:

      Has anyone thought about using copper ammunition? Some hunters in MN have given up using lead bullets and instead are using copper. Eagles have infact died from lead poisoning. Some states are thinking about banning lead bullets.

    • Save bears says:

      One of the biggest factors here is of course cost, copper costs more than lead, but with many I know including the many different types of bullets I shot when in the service, copper preforms close, but not as good as lead., I think sometime in the future, there will be a material that performs as well as is as cost effective as lead, and the industry is improving, but I don’t think we are quite there as of yet.

      In target performance, I think copper and other materials, are pretty close, but I don’t think they are up to snuff as of yet, in ensuring a quick clean kill, which is of course the goal of the hunters I know and associate with. To be honest with you, in over 40 years, I have never bit into a bullet fragment and I have consumed a heck of a lot of wild meat taken with a bullet.

      Myself personally, the majority of my hunting is done with a razor sharp steel hand honed broadhead!

    • Elk275 says:

      The Barnes Bullet Company in Utah is the leader in monolithic copper bullets, they are called Barnes Triple Shocks. It is an extremely accurate bullet and hunters have been able to go down a weight due to nearly 100% weight retention. In calipers under 35 there has been instants of the bullet penciling ( that is not opening up) in calipers 35 and over they performance is excellent. They have replaced solids for cape buffalo.

      The problem with copper bullets is the specific gravity of copper; it is lighter than lead and order to retain the mass the bullet has to be longer. A longer bullet reduces the power capacity of the case, less power less velocity. Barnes recommends that for optimal accuracy the bullet be seated .005 inches from the lans, this now require an experienced hand loader who is capable of measuring the chamber for over all case length and setting the setting die properly. Each rifle typically will shoot one bullet better than another bullet. I want my rifle to shoot what ever is the best bullet regardless if it is lead core or copper.

      Major bullet makers Honaday, Nosler and Barnes are now developing copper bullets and are selling loaded ammunition instead of bullets only. The price for a box of 30-06 is approximately fifty to sixty dollars a box of twenty. Thirty — six ammunition typically sells for about $15 to $25 a box before hunting season. Time one sights in a rifle and does some shooting it could cost upwards of $100 for factory ammo.

      Just be patience and eventually copper bullets will become wide spread.

    • jon says:

      Elk, are copper bullets popular among hunters? In the years ahead, do you think more hunters will resort to using copper bullets? besides the price, what exactly are the differences between copper and lead bullets? Do you believe there is any truth about lead bullets being harmful to wildlife? Supposedly, eagles have died from lead poisoning. Have you ever used copper before? How much more expensive are copper bullets compared to lead?

    • Elk275 says:


      I would like to comment but several clients are breathing very fetid breath on me at the moment.

    • JB says:

      “…it’s a pretty transparent effort to be a PITA to anyone that hunts and just another ploy to get rid of hunting and guns…”

      Wow, there is some serious spin going on here. Just did some brief searchers on the peer-reviewed literature, and here are a few things I came up with:

      “Lead shot ingestion is the primary source of elevated lead exposure and poisoning in waterfowl and most other bird species. For some species (e.g. Common Loons, Gavia immer), lead sinker ingestion is a more frequent cause of lead poisoning. In freshwater environments where recreational angling activity and loon populations co-occur, lead poisoning from ingestion of small (<50 gram) lead sinkers or jigs accounts for 10 50% of recorded adult loon mortality, depending on the locations studied. Lead shot ingestion occurs in waterfowl, and in a wide variety of non-waterfowl species, including upland game birds, shorebirds, raptors, and scavengers. Where it has been explicitly studied in Canada and the US, lead poisoning mortality of bald (Haliacetus leucocepkalus) and golden eagles (Aquila ckrysactos) from eating prey animals with lead shot embedded in their tissues accounts for an estimated 10-15% of the recorded post-fledging mortality in these raptorial species."

      Scheuhammer & Norris. (1996). The ecotoxicology of lead shot and lead fishing weights. Ecotxicology, 5:279-295.


      "…We examined artifact ingestion (lead and non-toxic) in Mute Swans Cygnus olor and Tundra Swans Cygnus columbianus collected on the LGL in Ontario (1999–2003) following the 1999 ban on use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting in Canada. A larger proportion of Mute Swans (19.8% of 243 birds) contained artifacts than did Tundra Swans (6.5% of 77 birds), possibly due to the fact that Mute Swans feed exclusively in aquatic habitats. Overall, 14% of Mute Swans contained nontoxic shot, 6% contained lead shot and 1.6% contained fishing tackle; 4% of Tundra Swans contained non-toxic shot and 2.6% contained lead shot."

      Bowen & Petrie (2007). Incidence of artifact ingestion in Mute Swans and Tundra Swans on the lower Great Lakes, Canada. Ardea, 95(1): 135–142.


      "Methodology/Principal Findings: Wild-shot gamebirds (6 species) obtained in the UK were X-rayed to determine the
      number of shot and shot fragments present, and cooked using typical methods. Shot were then removed to simulate
      realistic practice before consumption, and lead concentrations determined. Data from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate Statutory Surveillance Programme documenting lead levels in raw tissues of wild gamebirds and deer, without shot being removed, are also presented. Gamebirds containing $5 shot had high tissue lead concentrations, but some with fewer or no shot also had high lead concentrations, confirming X-ray results indicating that small lead fragments remain in the flesh of birds even when the shot exits the body. A high proportion of samples from both surveys had lead concentrations exceeding the European Union Maximum Level of 100 ppb w.w. (0.1 mg kg21 w.w.) for meat from bovine animals, sheep, pigs and poultry (no level is set for game meat), some by several orders of magnitude. High, but feasible, levels of consumption of some species could result in the current FAO/WHO Provisional Weekly Tolerable Intake of lead being exceeded.

      Conclusions/Significance: The potential health hazard from lead ingested in the meat of game animals may be larger than previous risk assessments indicated, especially for vulnerable groups, such as children, and those consuming large amounts of game."

      Pain et al. (2010). Potential Hazard to Human Health from Exposure to Fragments of Lead Bullets and Shot in the Tissues of Game Animals. PLoS ONE, 5(4): online at:

      Layton: Not sure if extreme paranoia is a symptom of lead poisoning, but you might want to get your blood levels tested just to be sure. 😉

    • WM says:

      People should actually read the petition. The request is basically for elimination of the use of lead in ANY fishing, hunting or shooting activity.

      Lead is, in fact, nasty stuff, and we keep adding it to the environment in large amounts where it can affect wildlife. For that reason alone it should get a very close look at activities in which it should be regulated. If I remember correctly EPA already has regulation eliminating the use of lead for tire counterweights on car wheels, which go into effect in the next year or two.

      Not sure what the solution is, but if the scientific evidence is there – and it appears it is- measured steps to reduce the lead available to animals are probably in order.

      The problem I have is with CBD itself, and the way they approach regulatory problems. They tend to shout alot, and in doing so piss off alot of people. I still don’t really know who they are, where they get their funding (it sure as hell is not their 255,000 activist bloggers and members) and how credible they are as an organization. Even when you visit their website it doesn’t tell much.

    • JB says:

      The Wildlife Society, of which I am a member, produced a pretty good summary of the issues along with the following recommendations:

      Position statement:

      The policy of The Wildlife Society in regard to lead in ammunition and fishing tackle is to:

      1. Recognize that lead has been known for centuries to be a broad-spectrum toxicant to humans and wildlife.

      2. Advocate the replacement of lead-based ammunition and fishing tackle with nontoxic products, while recognizing that complete replacement may not be possible in specific circumstances.

      3. Recognize that the removal of lead for hunting, fishing, and shooting will require collaboration among affected stakeholders (including wildlife professionals, ammunition and tackle manufacturers, sportsmen, policymakers, and the public). It may require a phased-in approach, and will require explicit and targeted educational strategies at both the national and international levels, thereby acknowledging and supporting the crucial role that hunters and anglers play in wildlife management and conservation.

      4. Encourage studies on reducing barriers to the development of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle, additional research that generates toxicological and environmental chemistry data, monitoring and modeling of exposure effects, and studies predicting consequences of exposure and long-term population-level effects. The need for additional information, however, should not delay the educational efforts and the phasing-in of nontoxic ammunition and tackle where practicable.

      5. Support educational efforts to promote greater public awareness and understanding of the consequences of lead exposure to wildlife populations, and emphasize the potential gains for wildlife and environmental quality from use of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle.

    • Elk275 says:

      ++Recognize that the removal of lead for hunting, fishing, and shooting will require collaboration among affected stakeholders (including wildlife professionals, ammunition and tackle manufacturers, sportsmen, policymakers, and the public).++

      How are they going to get the price of non lead shot down to the price of lead shot. Currently one can buy 100 rounds of 20 or 12 gauge shotgun shells at local Walmart for $20.47 or .20 cent a piece. Hevi-Shot which is a tungsten-iron based alternative to lead is $25 to $30 for a box of 10.

      I like to shoot a round of sporting clays when I have some extra change. Currently, I pay $20 for 100 shotgun shells and $30 for a 100 clay targets. If we were not able to us lead shot and had to use Hevi-shot it would cost between $250 to $330 for a round of shooting clays. No one can afford that type of money. Sheet shot is an alternative to Hevi-shot and slightly cheaper, but I only shoot vintage side by sides and sheet shot will destroy the barrels of side by sides very quickly. What is the alternative at this time? No I will not buy some modern semi-auto or pump gun period.

    • Elk275 says:

      Ralph, we need an editing function.

    • WM says:

      Looks like the NRA is taking on CBD head on in their quest to regulate lead in ammunition. Short, but effective. The Toxic Substances Control Act specifically excluded ammunition from its purview. Therefore EPA can’t regulate it when in ammunition, period. Purely a legal argument which does not address the problem lead may cause.

      This, of course, leaves open the fishing uses of lead, and possible EPA regulation there. Query whether much lead at depths of greater than a few feet of water is biologically available to waterfowl, or the creatures they feed on. I don’t know.

    • JB says:


      The cost of effective lead replacements will come down if (a) it is mass produced and (b) if the materials they make ammunition from are of a comparable price.


      I noticed the NRA’s position as well. It is funny to watch the NRA essentially accuse other organizations of fear-mongering (can you say “hypocritical”). This doesn’t directly address your question about the bioavailibilty of lead, but it is relevant nonetheless:

      “…under certain environmental conditions (e.g., acidic or basic water or soil) lead from shot or tackle can be readily released and taken up by plants or animals, causing a range of biochemical, physiological, and behavioral effects in some species of invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Lead that is adsorbed or incorporated into food items through the soil, as well as lead fragments in carcasses or deposited at shooting sites, is known to be consumed by some birds and small mammals, resulting in elevated lead concentrations. Ingestion by reptiles, birds, and mammals of spent ammunition and lost fishing tackle has also been documented and can cause a range of negative effects in individuals, potentially leading to population-level consequences in some species (e.g., waterfowl, eagles, condors, mourning doves, and loons).”

    • Elk275 says:

      Today the EPA denied the petition to ban lead bullets:

    • JB says:


      They denied the request because they determined that they are explicitly excluded from regulating lead bullets. Interestingly, they are still reviewing the request to ban lead fishing sinkers:

      “After careful review, EPA has determined that TSCA does not provide the Agency with authority to address lead shot and bullets as requested in your petition, due to the exclusion found in TSCA @ 3(2)(B)(v). Consequently, we are denying that portion of your petition.

      We are reviewing the request in the petition regarding fishing sinkers and will respond to you when we have made a determination on that matter.”

  42. Layton,

    Lead metal is not very poisonous. Lead metal that has been oxidized into a compound soluble in water or fat is where the danger to people and animals lies.

  43. jon says:

    Grizzly Managers Spin Whitebark Pine Woes

    Just how important is the whitebark pine to Yellowstone grizzly bears?

    • jon,

      It is a major food source for them in the fall and it is one that won’t be coming back. Its demise will reduce the grizzly carrying capacity of the Park, requiring that the bears occupy more territory to maintain their numbers (or a reduction in their numbers).

    • Linda Hunter says:

      At what point do we recognize that keeping humans safe around bears where their habitat has been so depleted means that we consider supplemental feeding. Several cases have now shown that bears who have been fed this way are NOT more dangerous to people but less dangerous. When they made Charlie Vandengraw stop feeding his bears in Alaska everyone predicted that they would have to shoot a lot of bears. This has not happened and the neighbors have not had problems. There are enough anecdotal cases to make me wonder if the whole idea of feeding bears needs to be revisited. It may not be if they get food from humans but HOW they get that food. It also may be that bears who become aggressive after being fed are also given permission to do so by the people in their body language. I have watched a bear assess people and figure out who is a pushover and who is not in a matter of seconds. The Western states and their bears will be a conflict as long as bears are allowed to go hungry when they should be getting fat. Hunters are at a real risk, along with the bears. . more so every year. Bears who are not hungry would be a lot easier to hunt around.

    • Save bears says:

      I am sorry, after working in the field many years, there is no way, I can condone purposely feeding bears. The biggest problem with a plan like that is 99% would not be respectful or responsible, just as many are not with their allow feeding of bears would be a big mistake in my opinion. And I am glad they stopped Charlie…I would hope they will crack down on a couple of others around this county..

  44. jon says:

    Linda, do you know what Charlie has been up to? I believe Alaska was trying to build a case against him for feeding bears. What has become of this? I enjoyed his show very much. Does he still have those electric fences up at his cabin in Alaska? Does he still interact with bears? He seemed to love and care about bears very much. He probably knows more about bears than most of the supposed bear biologists in Alaska.

    • Linda Hunter says:

      There hasn’t been any news since his trial in April. There haven’t been any news articles about his bears either. He was fined and then seems to have disappeared from the public eye. Something not that hard to do in Alaska.

  45. jon says:

    Linda and sb, you both have most likely seen this article before, but what are your thoughts on it and what this biologist is saying?

    Many scientists say this close proximity of bears and people sets up a situation where bad things could happen, in part because the animals come to see people as food sources. But black bear biologist Lynn Rogers thinks otherwise. Instead, hunger is largely to
 blame for so-called nuisance behaviors, he said.

    Placing food such as nuts, sunflower seeds, or even beef fat away from potential problem areas in situations where bears might be desperate—such as during droughts—can reduce break-ins and other potentially dangerous 
human-bear interactions, he said.

    • Virginia says:

      That is a very interesting article about an issue I am sure not many have considered. I am only a lover of wildlife and have no biological training, but I would rather see them feed bears in a controlled situation than have our bears starving because of lack of food resources in their environment. They are only trying to survive in whatever way they can – why do we have to force them to starve based on what people in USFWS offices decide?

    • Linda Hunter says:

      First Save Bears I fully agree with you that feeding bears in the hands of people in general is a bad bad idea. What I was referring to has nothing to do with that. I meant things like purposely planting food crops for bears in areas where bears are hungry and temporarily adding to safe food acquisition for them when they need it. In my backyard bears visit several times a year because our neighborhood is filled with wild blackberries and fruit trees which are buried in brush. They eat all night and leave before the paper man comes. My compost and trash has been out for them all these years and even though I see bear tracks right under my porch I never see the bears. They are full, happy and quite polite. They do not associate the food with my house or property because none of it is on my property. I agree that feeding bears on a regular basis of foods that would give them more nutrition than they would obtain in a naturally rich habitat is also a bad ides. Mother bears have cubs based on the nutrition they gain over a summer and unnatural constant feeding of bears would give the population an unnatural boost. However, if I were a hunter in the Yellowstone area I would welcome a wild feed supplement program to be carried out in the fall where bears are having to go to bed hungry. There are many instances where people being close to bears is not more dangerous. . one of them is McNeil River where the people are controlled. It is not bears that are the problem in people bear confrontations but we as people have a long long way to go in understanding bears. Sleeping in a tent on the ground, for instance, could be equated to a bear finding a dead elk and burying under a brush pile. Another bear comes along and their is food under there, inert and ready to explore so they put their noses in there and drag out whatever they find. If tenting people understood this a little better they might site their tents in different spots. I was always interested in the fact that Doug Peacock put his tent in thick brush, making it a little noisy and difficult for a bear to access him.
      In a campground watching people feed animals it is absolutely comic how they feed an animal and then withdraw in fear if the animal comes too close. Animals do not understand us because we speak very tangled body language. It would be impossible to teach everyone what postures and expressions tell a bear to back off and everything the media does makes it worse. No, the supplemental feeding I was suggesting is a controlled, remote, provision of food and not necessarily instant food but plantings and planning for bears to have what they need.

    • Evan says:

      Well-known biologist advocated for supplemental feeding of bears in GYE back in the 1980s.

  46. BigSky says:

    Have you heard about domestic sheep spreading blue tongue to antelope and deer in central and eastern MT?

  47. WM says:

    We have talked before about America’s high level of consumerism and its impacts. This is an interesting story about the 9 lbs of trash Hawaiian residents generate per day as compared to the 4.5 lbs generated by the average American (don’t know how they calculate it, but it is the comparison of the two numbers that is important).

    The garbage, which Hawaiian’s don’t want because it conflicts with their state laws and they have no easy way to dispose of it, is headed to WA, and adjacent to the Yakama Indian Reservation, and ancient hunting grounds and where some of us pick huckleberries and choke cherries. Talk about externalizing impacts – geez.

    Read what finally happened- and good old APHIS (parent of the agency some love to hate WS) was in the middle of it.

    • pointswest says:

      I think the author’s numbers are a little off. There are more like 125,000 tourists on Oahu at any given time. Also most of the the tourists visiting the other islands come through the Honlulu airport as do many of the goods that support the other islands. Tourists, having time and money, generate lots of garbage.

      Most tourists in Hawaii are non-American. 40% are Japanese. Yet Hawaii buys most of its goods from the American mainland. Hawaiin tourism is good for the American economy and creates jobs here on the American mainland. My old company, Swinerton Builders, does a lot of business in Hawaii. I was sent there several times. Two thirds of the building we built there were in the hospitality sector.

      I think it is fair that Hawaii ships garbage back to the mainland. We have vast areas here where a landfill would do little harm. I do not blame the Yakima Indians for not wanting it but someone will. It will create a few jobs with tourism dollars from abroad, after all.

      I predict that tourism in Hawaii will level off. As the world begins running out of oil, the cost of jet fuel will keep long-range air travel high. I’m glad I got to visit Hawaii many times while the cost was low. There are a couple of islands I have not seen yet, however.

    • Linda Hunter says:

      Actually Hawaiians do not recycle or compost. The hauling through the Gorge has been temporarily stopped mostly by Friends of the Columbia Gorge. The garbage upon investigation shows it has invasive species and is not well packed. Maybe there are a lot of open spaces for it, but even an open space does not need a new breed of bugs, microbs or invasive plants.

    • Save Bears says:

      For once I really agree with the Friends of the Gorge, and this is going a ways, because Often I don’t, but I have lived in Hawaii and know exactly how trash gets treated before it gets shipped to far off places, I don’t think it is a good idea to ship in trash to these areas, one of my favorite areas of the country! I am not sorry to say, Hawaii, needs to come into the 21st century and start think out of the box on how to handle their waste..Perhaps they could send it to Japan!

    • pointswest says:

      It is hard to come into the 21st century when you are the most remote place on earth. Building anything in Hawaii is an ordeal at best. You need a 408/220V transfomer in California? …you can have it on your site the following day. In Hawaii…you’d be lucky to get it in 60 days.

  48. WM says:

    There is a theory the Roman Empire fell as a result of the high amounts of lead in the water system, wine vessels and glazed cooking pots. Here is a paper an EPA scientist did on the history of lead in 1985. The scientific conclusions are still good.

    • jon says:

      Caligula was known to have suffered from lead poisoning and they were some who claimed it had made him insane. Who really knows for sure.

    • pointswest says:

      That is an old theory that very few historians believe anymore. There were many Fall of Rome theories and all have gone by the wayside. I think there is a pretty strong consensus developing now that the decline and fall was the result epidemiology and depopulation. Briefly, Greco-Roman culture was conducive to the spread of disease. Population in the Mediterranean peaked in the second century CE but then began to decline. The Roman Empire itself was a result of a population boom in the Mediterranean and as this surging population became more and more dependent on maritime commerce across the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean world united themselves under the Romans to prevent piracy and interstate warfare disrupting the all-important maritime commerce around the Mediterranean. The Empire flourished. The standard of living in the second century was higher than it was in 13th century and there were more people in the Mediterranean in the second century than in the 13th…or the 15th for that matter.

      Wars with the Persian Empire, however, began to introduce Asian diseases into the Mediterranean. Greco-Roman culture, with its public baths, the public fountains, the brothels, the crowding of slaves in slave quarter, and the crowding in the cities (at least of dozen cities over 200,000 in the second century) created ideal conditions for the spread of disease. The first large epidemic was the Aurelian plague in the late third century when as much as a quarter of the urban population died. This large plague also gave a leg up to the new religion of Christianity since Jesus was a healer and believed in an afterlife. Christians gained many converts during the Aurelian plague since they tended to the sick and seemed unafraid to die.

      A proximate cause to the collapse were developments along the Rhine and Danube Frontiers. Large navigatable rivers, such as the Rhine and Danube, did not make good borders to an ancient Empire in the long term. The Romans used them since, in the short term, it was almost impossible for barbarian Germans to mount a large raids or military offensives across these rivers. However, since Romans built military fort-towns along these navigable rivers, these river valleys were some of the first areas in northern Europe to develop economically. Development was on both the Roman and the German banks of these rivers. A Romano Germanic culture developed in these two large navigable river valleys and they are today some of the most densely populated areas of Europe. The Romano Germans retained some important aspects to there culture which protected them from disease. They remained in small scattered villages with each family in a detached house (as most Germanic people, including those in England and America, do today). They drank ale made by boiling water. They did not keep many slaves. They did not use public baths or build brothels. The birth rate was significantly higher among the Romano Germans and the death rate, especially from disease, was significantly lower.

      Over the third and fourth century, these comparatively high differences in death-rates and birth-rates between Germans and Romans began to tip the balance of power. The Romans were spending more time and money defending against German raids and the Germans were evermore disrupting the Roman economy and the tax base which supported a professional army. As Rome declined both demographically and economically, it began recruiting friendly Germans tribes and confederations into the Roman army to fight the hostile German tribes and confederations. The Imperial (military) government under Constantine, converted to Christianity and converted the friendly German barbarians to Christianity in an effort unite against the ever-growing menace from the German bank of the Rhine and Danube. It was a lost cause. The real problem was disease and birth and death rates and was not understood by the Romans. The Franks, Vandals, Goths and others all flooded it and displaced the Imperial government in the West in the 5th century. Rome had moved its capital to Constantinople and allowed the Germans to rule what is now western Europe and North Africa.

      The population grew in the 6th century and Christian Rome (now referred to by historians as Byzantium) expanded back into Italy and North Africa. However, what may have been the largest plague of all time hit the Mediterranean in 540 CE. Contemporaries estimated the Justinian Plague killed 100 million people. It was especially hard on urban populations and many cities in the east and south were nearly deserted and maritime commerce nearly ended. New barbarians from the Arabian peninsula swept into the eastern and southern portions of the Mediterranean with their new religion of Islam. By the seventh or eighth century, Rome was a ghost of its former self. Cities were in ruins, people lived in comparative poverty, and literacy rates were a few percent of what they’d been in the second century. The population of the Mediterranean was perhaps 15% of what it had been in the second century. Some say the Roman Empire did not fall; it only transformed. No…it fell, in stages, but it fell completely and it main cause was epidemiology and depopulation.

    • WM says:

      I expect the “fall” or whatever one would call the decline of the Roman empire has several causes. I guess the historians can debate that for a long time.

      I do have some experience with lead poisioning. A young couple became seriously ill, and the cause was unknown. Blood work was done and extremely high concentrations of lead were found. Nobody could figure out the source. Forensic investigators from the County Health Department (and later Dept. of Labor and Industries) were brought into the home, and extensive testing was done on food (including canned goods), bedding, paint on walls, vent work for heating and cooling of the home, water system, ambient air, and a bunch of things I can’t remember anymore. So, lots of samples and tested.

      The first high concentrations of lead were found in his car. It turned out the husband used a lead hammer in his work, because it was heavier than a rubber hammer and served well to knock harder metal parts into place (without marring them), for assembly at his job. Such hammers had been removed from the workplace because they were thought to be a health and safety danger many years before, as we will learn as the story continues. He really liked his hammer, even going so far as to not letting other use it, and nobody could take it away from him.

      The hammer would get dings and he would polish them off on a grinder. The fine powdered shavings would get in his lungs, and on to his clothing. He would get in his car to drive home and leave residue on the upholstery, and everywhere he sat or roamed in the home, including the wall to wall carpeting and the living room fabric sofa and recliner. His wife would vaccum once a week, and up would come the fine dust (no hepa filters then) into the air. She would also inhale some of the dust as she sorted and washed clothes, or get it on her hands and elsewhere.

      So both were very sick, including loss of mental acuity, for months. Finally they went to the doctor. The kicker was she got pregnant and they lost the baby. It took many months for their individual recoveries, with possibly some residual brain damage.

    • pointswest says:

      I do not doubt the heath problems associated with lead. In the case of the guy with the lead hammer, he was exposed to high amounts of a fine lead dust and this only made him sick. Most pipes in the Roman Empire were vitrified clay pipe. Very few people would have had exposure to the degree of the example you provided. Further, lead pipes were still in use during the High Middle Ages when the population in Europe began expanding again in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries.

      In fact, there is another link in the High Middle Ages between city life and epidemiology. After the population began to rebound and huddle the cities again, Europe experienced new rounds of plague. The Black Death struck Europe in 1348 and reduced the population in some regions by half. The cities were the hardest hit. The city of Rome in the second century, by some estimates, was 1.6 million people. Some tenement buildings were as high as 10 stories. Another city in Europe did not reach a million people again until London, England did in the 19th century after science began understanding disease.

    • pointswest says:

      One final comment…most historians today believe in the epidemiology/depopulation theory. If you took a poll of Professors of Ancient History or Classical Archaeology, the majority would probably say the epidemiology/depopulation theory is the most likely cause of the collapse of the Roman Empire. It is pertinent to wildlife since it illustrates that seemingly minor differences in birth and death rates, over time, can drastically change demographics (or wildlife populations).

  49. Barb Rupers says:

    Tony Mayer tries a revival for emergency wolf resolution:

  50. jon says:

    Outdoors: More about the Yellowstone wolve debate

    The plan proposed by the governor of Idaho calls for the killing of 550 wolves, approximately eighty percent of the current population, and a reduction in the number of breeding pairs from 72 to just 10. This plan is strongly supported by many state residents. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s guidelines the Idaho wolf population needs to stay above 100 individuals for the species to stay off the endangered species list and remain a viable, sustaining population.

    • ProWolf in WY says:

      Who is this guy? This exaggeration of wolves killing the last Yellowstone elk and decimating the elk in Colorado is ridiculous. Also, most wildlife watchers love to see a variety of animals and would not complain if they saw a wolf.

      I guess by his logic I was in for a treat this weekend. I saw about 40 elk in Grand Teton National Park as well as two of the biggest bull moose I have ever seen and an enormous muley buck. I must have seen the last of those populations in Grand Teton. They must also not be eating buffalo at all because I saw a lot of them in the park as well.

    • This is a good example of the desperate condition many newspapers are in, having to hire such unqualified outdoors writers.

      Almost anyone who comments on this blog could do a better job in terms of presenting facts.

  51. Cobra says:

    I think it might be more like 50% or less of our total population, lots of wolves that are not counted on the IDFG web site. I also wonder if maybe it would not of been better for Molloy to keep wolves de-listed and stay with a hunting season like last year. Might of kept a lot of people from going nuts on the issue.

  52. jon says:

    Wolf weights

    There has been much discussion of late about wolf weights
    in the Rocky Mountains. While weights of existing pack members in the wild would be hard to determine, here are the weights of the original wolves released in Yellowstone National Park in 1995 and 1996. These are the January weights of the wolves that were captured in Canada.

    The 180-200 monster “canadian” wolves on steroids still elude us.

    • ProWolf in WY says:

      You would think Canadian wolves that fat would have been the easiest to catch for the reintroduction.

    • jon says:

      I think they should do a monsterquest show on these 200 pound monster canadian wolves on steroids pro. You ever seen that show on the history channel I believe it is? Anyways, the weights of the wolves that were killed last wolf hunting seasons in ID and MT.

      MT Hunt
      Juveniles- Avg. 62 pounds
      Yearlings- Avg. 80 pounds
      Adults- Avg. 97 pounds
      Largest weighed – 117 pounds

      ID Hunt
      Female- Avg. 86 pounds
      Male- Avg. 101 pounds
      Largest weighed- 130 pounds

      The largest wolf ever weighed in Montana was 122 pounds.

      What is mind boggling if you have this info out there and the anti wolfers still claim they are 200 pounds on average. I would be more than willing to accept that there are 200 pounds wolves in idaho if only the anti wolfers offered some kind of proof or evidence. There is none.

    • ProWolf in WY says:

      You’ve never seen the “creative” pictures?

    • I had a version of this table on my old web site for many years, and I referred to it many times. This is the first time I have seen anyone other than friends refer to it.

      About time!!

  53. jon says:

    Eastern Oregon wolf hazing experiment tries to keep the predators away from cattle

    It is good to know that there are people out there who are actually trying to use non lethal methods so that both wildlife and ranchers can co-exist. This doesn’t seem to be the norm.

  54. JEFF E says:

    I do not know who Mr. Meril is but I am sure I would get along with him; from a recent post in Newwest:
    By rick meril, 8-28-10

    Todd…………..further references for you to take into account the long and full view of wolves and bison in GYS

    Though the written historical record does establish the widespread distribution of bison throughout the GYE, that record was made too late to provide us with a full portrait of the relationships between native people and bison before those relationships were influenced by Euro-Americans. That written record was also made too late to portray anything necessarily resembling a so-called “pristine” state of ecological affairs in regional bison populations.
    What the historical record does tell us is that bison were here, they were all over the place, they were abundant, and, if we may add a new and sadder meaning to Warren Ferris’s words, “nothing remains visible of the long black lines but dark clouds slowly sweeping over the distant plains.”
    Benedict, J. B. 1999. Effects of changing climate on game-animal and human use of the Colorado high country (U.S.A.) since 1,000 B.C. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 31(1):1–15.
    Cannon, K. P. 2001. What the past can provide: contribution of prehistoric bison studies to modern management. Great Plains Research 11(1):145–174.
    Daubenmire, R. 1985. The western limits of the range of the American bison. Ecology 66(2):622–624.
    Ferris, W. A. 1940. Life in the Rocky Mountains 1830–1835. Salt Lake City: Rocky Mountain Bookshop.
    Flores, D. 1991. Bison ecology and bison diplomacy: the southern plains from 1800 to 1850. Journal of American History 78(2):465–485.
    Fowler, L. 1996. The Great Plains from the arrival of the horse to 1885. Pages 1–55 in B. G. Trigger and W. E. Washburn, eds., The Cambridge history of the native peoples of North America, vol. 1, North America, part 2. New York: Cambridge University Press.
    Franke, M. A. 2005. To save the wild bison: life on the edge in Yellowstone. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
    Haines, A. L. 1964. The Bannock Indian Trail. Yellowstone National Park: The Yellowstone Library and Museum Association.
    Hoxie, F. 1989. The Crow. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.
    Isenberg, A. 2000. The destruction of the bison. New York: Cambridge University Press.
    Janetski, J. 1987. The Indians of Yellowstone Park. Salt Lake City: Bonneville Books, University of Utah Press.
    Johnson, A. 1997. How long have bison been in the park? The Buffalo Chip, January–February–March, 5.
    Krech, S., III. 2000. The ecological Indian. New York:
    W. W. Norton & Company.
    Lewis, M., and W. Clark. 1905. In R. G. Thwaites, ed., Original journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company.
    Lupo, K. 1996. The historical occurrence and demise of bison in northeastern Utah. Utah Historical Quarterly 64(2):168–180.
    Martin, P. S., and C. R. Szuter. 1999. War zones and game sinks in Lewis and Clark’s West. Conservation Biology 13(1):36–45.
    Schullery, P., and L. H. Whittlesey. 1992. The documentary record of wolves and related wildlife species in the Yellowstone National Park area prior to 1882. Pages 1.3–1.173 in John D. Varley and Wayne G. Brewster, eds., Wolves for Yellowstone? A report to the United States Congress, volume 4, research and analysis. Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.: National Park Service.
    ______. 1995. A summary of the documentary record of wolves and other wildlife species in the Yellowstone National Park area prior to 1882. Pages 63–76 in L. N. Carbyn, S. H. Fritts, and D. R. Seip, eds. Ecology and conservation of wolves in a changing world. Canadian Circumpolar Institute, occasional publication No. 35.
    ______. 1999a. Early wildlife history of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: an interim research report presented to National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, committee on “Ungulate Management in Yellowstone National Park” (July). Copies available from the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., or from the Yellowstone Research Library or Yellowstone Center for Resources, Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.
    ______. 1999b. Greater Yellowstone carnivores: a history of changing attitudes. Pages 10–49 in T. P. Clark, P. C. Griffin, S. Minta, and P. Kareiva, eds., Carnivores in ecosystems: the Yellowstone experience. New Haven: Yale University Press.
    Shaw, J. H. 1995. How many bison originally populated western rangelands? Rangelands 17(5):148–150.
    Greater Yellowstone Bison Distribution and Abundance in the Early Historical Period
    140 Greater Yellowstone Public Lands Thwaites, R. G., ed. 1905. Original journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition, volume 5. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company.
    Urness, P. J. 1989. Why did bison fail west of the Rockies? Utah Science 50(3):175–179.
    Van Vuren, D. 1987. Bison west of the Rocky Mountains: an alternative explanation. Northwest Science 61(2):62–69.
    Whittlesey, L. H. 1994. A pre-1905 history of large mammals in Pierre’s Hole, Idaho; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; and the Bechler region of southwestern Yellowstone. In-house draft report, August 2, 1994. Yellowstone National

    • Layton says:

      Holy scientific reference JeffE,

      Could you maybe get just a FEW more?? That is if you don’t have4 anything else to do for the next 30 days or so.


    • Linda Hunter says:

      Well . . it shows that people still have a dismal lack of understanding about bears. The article could have mentioned that taking a picture of a bear is the same body language a bear gives another bear when it is going to attack. The camera “eye” is directed right at the bear, usually along with frontal body language of the photographer. A sure sign to a beat that they better charge and scare the person before the person eats them. Professional wildlife photographers know that when photographing bears they better have a guide with them that can diffuse the confrontational aspect to a bear of the photographer. These are things that are NOT explained to hikers in the west. Instead, brochures on bear encounters continue to advise people to wave their arms and yell hey bear when, in fact, bears often pretend they don’t see people so they won’t have to deal with them. This action demands the bear acknowledge you. . probably a very rude thing to do in bear body language and yet that is what the experts say to do. With all the advice on bear encounters which contradicts itself you can’t blame the poor hikers . . then if you read the comments below the article you can get an idea of the depth of the problem with Americans. . they simply are completely out of touch with nature.

  55. jon says:

    Idaho Fish And Game’s “Terrorist Threat Against Hunters”

    • jon says:

      Hunters want criminal investigation brought against Idaho fish & game commissioner Tony Mcdermott for making “terrorist” threats against hunters at commissioner meetings.

    • ProWolf in WY says:

      Maine Hunting Today is as credible as saveelk or lobo watch. They are extremely uninformed and paranoid people. This kind of paranoia is really pretty dangerous. Here is another site from the article that is on the same level: I like how sites have names like saveelk and save western wildlife. Save them so people can kill them.

    • jon says:

      That is funny because the person who owns that website ( is the one who made the video I posted. He recorded it and put it up online. He is the one that wants all of the commissioners at Idaho fish and game to be fired and to be replaced with wolf haters. The funny thing is that most of the commissioners who are arguing with the likes of rockholm are fellow wolf haters themselves. It isn’t unknown that people like Budge and Mcdermott don’t like wolves very much. The guy who posted and videotaped that meeting is scott rockholm and people on here are familiar with him. Robert Hoskins asked rockholm and his other half Todd Fross (the other owner of to come down to Wy to film him about wolves. Rock didn’t want to because he knew that RH is not your typical wolf lover. He knows more about wolves than most hunters do and RH is a hunter himself.

    • Well, the thing about these sites that want to “save elk”, etc. is that they only focus on predators and are unaware, maybe deliberately unaware of other things that depress the number of animals they want to hunt, or “kill,” as some say.

      For example, they seem to be very pissed off at Idaho Fish and Game Commission now because some members don’t think wolves are about to totally wipe out all the elk. On the other hand, they never confront habitat issues, and would they ever protest an elk “depredation” hunt because some livestock owner doesn’t want the competition of elk with his or her cows for feed? The point of depredation hunts is to permanently reduce the number of elk, deer, or whatever in that area.

      If so, I haven’t heard of it. Nevertheless, there are some areas in SE Idaho where elk populations are depressed because of depredations hunts for elk.

    • jon says:

      I guess some “sportsmen” sent letters to Butch Otter demanding that he fire Randy Budge,Idaho fish and game commissioner, he wrote back and said he isn’t firing Budge. The “sportsmen” and fish and game agencies going at it. Tony Mcdermott made a joke about putting wolf scat on comment cards and the extreme anti wolfers take him seriously when everyone else knew it was just a joke and now the anti wolfers want Mcdermott thrown in jail and fired over a joke and for making terrorist threats. The anti wolfers keep on bringing up e. granolusis when Idaho fish and game commissioner Tony Mcdermott said that some trapper I believe in Alaska has killed 100 wolves and he isn’t worried about the diseases that wolves carry. The anti wolfers blow these small things out of proportion.

    • jon,

      I guess that is one way to detecting a real extremist — they don’t know when a comment about their “favorite subject” is joke and when it is serious.

    • jon says:

      Butch Otter responds to anti-wolfer’s letter to him asking Otter to ask Budge to resign as Idaho fish & game commissioner.

      C. L. “BUTCH” OTTER
      August 24,2010
      Milt Turley
      POBOX 87
      Avery, ID 83802-0087
      Dear Milt,
      Thank you for contacting me about Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Randy Budge. I
      appreciate the opportunity to respond.
      Transparenc ,efficiency, and accountability are my top priorities for all of Idaho’s State
      agen ies. Thank you for bringing your comments and recommendations to my attention.
      After speaking with Commissioner Budge, I have decided not to ask for his resignation. I
      sincerely appreciate you expressing your concerns on this matter and for providing some
      Milt, thank you again for contacting me. Please continue to keep me informed of your
      opinion on State government issues.
      ~I “Butc “Otter Governor of Idaho
      STATE CAPITOL • BOISE, IDAHO 83720 • (208) 334-2100

  56. jon says:

    Ralph or others, maybe you can verify if there is any truth to some of these claims being made by dow.

    Idaho officials continue to push their plan to kill up to 80 percent of the wolves in the central part of the state.2 Wyoming continues to pursue its shoot-on-sight wolf plan.3
    The Department of Agriculture`s Wildlife Services program And anti-wolf extremists are even prepared to take matters into their own hands by offering instructions on how to illegally poison wants to help Idaho officials kill off entire packs from helicopters. They are proposing to use poisonous gas to kill newborn pups and their mothers in dens. And they want to surgically sterilize alpha wolf pairs1 — a practice never before used for other endangered wildlife.

  57. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Tiger conservation: Russia and China sign an agreement for a trans-border wildlife reserve.
    Hopefully china does not only contribute it´s remaining 20 or so tigers but also contributes to the quite good Russian anti-poaching force !

  58. jon says:

    Take Action to Protect Idaho’s Wolves

    Ultimately, Wildlife Services is proposing to help the State of Idaho reduce its wolf population by roughly 40% — from around 843 wolves to about 500. This high level of killing is predicated upon, among other things, an alleged need to protect livestock, increase elk and deer numbers, protect human safety, and prevent the transmission of disease.

  59. Nathan Hobbs says:

    Idaho Fish and Game Helicopter Crash
    Pilot and two fisheries biologists dead.
    IDFG Press release

    The Helicopter crashed in downtown Boise.

  60. Cody Coyote says:

    Under the headline of: “Sportsmen’s groups want wolves killed to protect Bitterroot elk ” , the Missoulian, August 31

    10(j) Rule gone amok ?

    • Save bears says:

      Run Amok?

      The way the current rule is wrote, this is not run amok, but a forgone conclusion, these people are not as dumb as some would like to believe, they are simply using the rule as wrote, which includes a provision to allow the killing of wolves when they are showing a detriment to game populations..

    • Elk275 says:

      Cody Coyote

      Why is the 10(j) Rule gone amok? These ten sportsmen’s groups have their interest to protect. Wolves are reducing the total amount of elk in the Bitterroots, wolves are not killing all of the elk, nor are they responsible for all of the decline, but they are killing a large enough number that the hunting seasons are going to be restricted in the future and they have reduce this years either sex tags. Without wolves there would be a larger population of elk, maybe not the historical high but greater than the present number.

      I would wager that the summation of these sportsmen in the ten groups have similar years of education as the pro wolf people, typically higher incomes and greater net worth’s. There are not dummies, red necks or bad people, they are good people who have enjoyed years of productive elk hunting that now is threaten partially by an increasing wolf population.

      Cody Coyote you can not tell me that wolves are not having an negative effect on the total Bitterroot elk population. The Bitterroot’s did very well before wolves and could do with out them. Wolves belong but they need to be traditionally managed by state wildlife agencies. Today there are more and more people moving west to experience good hunting and with a larger population a larger population of elk is going to be needed if we are going to continue are traditional 5 week hunting season and a hunter gets to go every year. There is and always has be plenty of wildlife for wildlife watchers.

      As Save Bears says things are going to get ugly fast.

    • JB says:

      I think folks might want to take some time to revisit the actual alterations to the 10(j) rule. The Service explicitly noted that they do not anticipate removal of more than 10% of the wolf population in any given years by states attempting to mitigate ungulate impacts. The service also notes that the states need to scientifically show that there has been an unacceptable impact to ungulate herds in order to carry out localized hunts. Note: for Idaho, this would equate to the removal of less than 100 wolves, about 1/3 of the number removed by WS last year.

    • JB says:

      “…Provides a process for the States or Tribes to lethally remove wolves in response to wild ungulate impacts, similar to the proposed rule but in a more structured, transparent, and science-based process. The State or Tribe would develop a science-based plan and make it available for peer and public review. Based on that peer review and public comment, the State or Tribe would finalize the plan and then submit it to the Service for written concurrence. The Service would approve the plan if we determine the proposal is scientifically-based and would not reduce the wolf population below recovery levels. The final rule is similar to the proposed rule and less protective of wolves than the 1994 10(j) rules, which only allowed relocation of wolves in response to wild ungulate impacts.”


      “Before wolves were reintroduced in 1995, we predicted that agency wolf control (including legal regulated take in defense of private property) would remove an average 10 percent of the population annually. We do not foresee this final rule increasing wolf mortality, including regulated take by the public in defense of their private property or by States or Tribes in response to unacceptable impacts to ungulate populations, to levels that average more than 10 percent annually, or to a level that threatens wolf recovery.”

    • Save bears says:


      As with most things concerning wolves, it comes down to interpretation and then legal arguments and I suspect, the USFWS will approve this, then a group will file a lawsuit, then who knows! But, there are areas in the Bitterroot that are up 60% below quotas, so I do see some valid points on this..

  61. jon says:

    Fish and Game says Otter will ask the feds to allow a wolf hunt

    Are Wolves Saving Yellowstone’s Aspen Trees from Elk?

  62. Ryan says:

    Two IDFG salmon biologists were killed in a helicopter crash doing salmon counts on the selway.

    • SEAK Mossback says:

      Amazing they were still using a Hiller 12E which were built in the 1950s. My first helicopter escapement survey in October 1981 was flown in one. We strapped extra cans of gasoline on the floats and there was just enough cargo room in the tail boom to fit a couple of .338s and day packs. They were basically a little flying bubble with the pilot sitting in the middle and a passenger on each side – maximum speed about 70 mph, but great visibility. I think the company we flew with sold both of theirs off the following year for $25 thousand each. They definitely had limited power — guy who flew interior systems for chinook had a close call or two with drafts at high density altitude in a particularly gnarly canyon up the Stikine.

  63. jdubya says:

    Aspen and wolves in Jellystone…

    • Linda Hunter says:

      I have read these articles carefully several times and I think this guy is talking around in circles. Someone wants badly to refute trophic cascade but so far in all his quotes he only says there needs to be less elk. He is refuting only a small part of the original ideas and the press is making it sound like all the previous study is bunk. I wonder who paid for this? The upshot seems to be that they think that the browsing habits of elk are not as important as the numbers of elk. So, that means that we not only need wolves, we need more hunters. This report seems to be like a dog chasing it’s tail, but giving the press the opportunity to have people say that trophic cascasde has been proven wrong by just reading the headlines.

  64. jon says:

    Coyotes lead the pack for predator-related livestock losses

    I can only imagine how many times wolves were blamed for livestock depredations caused by coyotes.

    While wolves garner a lot of attention and claim their share of livestock every year, records provided by the USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Montana Field Office, show the master predator is the coyote, despite being much smaller.

    Coyotes may only weigh 35 to 50 pounds but their jaws can exert more than 300 pounds of bite pressure. In 2009, coyotes used those jaws to kill 2,500 sheep in the state of Montana and 12,100 lambs. Last year’s total coyote-related kills cost Montana sheep ranchers over $1 million dollars in lost animals alone.

    However, the damage and stress to livestock caused by coyotes cost Montana ranchers even more. Veterinarian bills, lower rebreeding rates, and loss of weight gain are all part of the indirect costs suffered by herds that have been hunted by predators.

    Coyotes have also killed full-sized cattle, calves and other domestic animals.

    The most recent record for predator-related cattle losses came in 2005. In that year, nationwide statistics showed coyotes responsible for 51.1 percent of all cattle losses due to predators, excluding Alaska. In Montana, alone, coyotes killed 1,300 calves in 2005.

  65. WM says:

    Midwest hunting groups latest plea to Interior to delist Great Lakes wolves. MN and WI already have petitions to delist which FWS must soon act on.

    • JB says:

      WM: I’ve spoken with three people, one from each of the three Midwestern states as it happens, about this issue. To a person they have told me that it is election year politics. I just don’t see this issue growing “legs” in the Midwest.

  66. WM says:


    Were these individuals in the DNR agencies of the respective states?

    What is your opinion regarding delisting in MN alone or with the other two states in the DPS? Seems MN has a pretty good argument under the law (because their wolves are treated as the MN timberwolf or words to that effect as a separate species for purposes of the statute, and it would be very hard to argue they are not “recovered” and, there is really no place for them to go to expand territory, except westward to the Dakotas…..maybe.

    • JB says:

      All academics, I’m afraid.

      MN, WI, and MI are ready to manage wolves, I have no doubt about that. I certainly agree that MN is in a good position (the best, really), but I really don’t know what the next legal argument will be?

      In my opinion, wolves in the Midwest are really not a problem because they haven’t taken on the symbolic value that they have in the West (though there are always exceptions). They are recovered and should be removed from ESA protections. Though I would like to see them be a bit more realistic about the DPS boundaries; including the entire lower peninsula of MI the last time around with the full knowledge that there were no wolves there was a bit ridiculous, IMO.

    • ProWolf in WY says:

      JB, I think the Midwest seems ready to manage their wolves. The populations are huge and they don’t seem to have the extremist attitudes that the western states have. Other than the Lower Peninsula of Michigan I don’t see that there would be much suitable habitat in the Midwest. Southern Wisconsin and Southern Minnesota would not be good, nor would Iowa. The Dakotas would be the only place they could really expand and even there the only prey would be deer and antelope and there is not much cover until you get to the Black Hills.

  67. Mtn Mama says:

    7 Bears have been killed in Boulder County, CO since June and now an orphaned cub is on the loose and will likely be another victim

  68. Pointwest says:

    Will this be the year the North Pole melts off leaving Santa Clause homeless. The Arctic pack ice, already thin from the previous four summer melts, looks like it will set a new record this summer and may leave the pole in open water.

    In this graphic ( Click Here ) yellow and orange areas are likely to melt by mid-Sept.

    An article written yesterday about Russia exploiting the new Artic sea lanes. ( Click Here )

  69. Pointwest says:

    Could this be the year the ice cap melts and leaves the North Pole in open water…leaving Santa Clause homeless? In the attached graphic (
    Click Here ) the yellow and orange areas are likely to melt my mid-September.

    A recent story ( Click Here ) about Russia exploiting the newly opened sea lanes in the Arctic.

  70. Taz Alago says:

    This article describes findings that suggest elk populations need further reduction to enable aspen recruitment.

  71. jon says:

    Found this amazing letter to the missoulian.

    This picture needs to change. We can’t change the fact that bears are always looking for food. But instead of killing bears, shouldn’t we focus on changing people’s behavior? Maybe the only way to do that is by fining the people who are causing the problems.
    I think living among bears is a privilege and do not want FWP or hunters eliminating them in the Rattlesnake. You may not care, or may think bears were put on earth for your enjoyment to hunt and kill. I can only hope bear hunters heading into the woods will make sure there isn’t a cub trailing behind before firing that fatal shot. The cubs I’ve seen lately are far too young to make it on their own.

    • Elk275 says:

      I was at my 40th high school reunion in August and a class member is now a captain in the Missoula Fire Department. We got to talking about the bears in the Rattlesnake and he mention that one of the major problems was urban chicken farmers. Chicken feed and chickens were a bear attractant. With fall coming fruit and berries in ones yard are going to attract many bears. Just a thought.

  72. JB says:

    Since we’ve recently had some “outbursts” about the Obama administration, I thought folks might be interested in a website that numerous people have recommended to me:

    Here is a recent excerpt:

    ” * The Tea Party. With Joe Miller’s win in Alaska (see below), the tea party now has candidates for the Senate in Kentucky, Nevada, Colorado, and Alaska so far, with primaries still to be held in Delaware and New Hampshire. The Democrats could adopt as their slogan: “The once-great party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower has been taken over by the crazies.” By harping on some of the more extreme positions some of these candidates have taken, the net result could be to convince a lot of voters that bad as the Democrats are, the Republicans are worse. In particular, fear works well in midterm elections and the Democrats could say the Republicans want to eliminate Social Security, something various tea party candidates have said over and over so there is plenty of footage to use.

    * Mobilizing the Democratic Base. There is currently an enormous enthusiasm gap. Republicans are all fired up about the election and will vote in great numbers. In contrast, the Democratic base is moping and sulking because Obama gave away so much to the Republicans on the stimulus, health insurance, banking reform, and more and got nothing in return. Once Al Franken (D-MN) was seated and Arlen Specter (D-PA) jumped ship, they expected Obama to carry out his campaign promises and ignore the Republicans. He didn’t, which made many of them quite unhappy with him. There are still things he can do to fire them up, but he has to act quickly. One is to nominate Elizabeth Warren to run the new consumer protection agency. The base wants her because they know she will regulate the banks. The banks are violently opposed to her because they know she will regulate the banks. Another is to let the Bush tax cuts expire and support a new bill that keeps the tax cut only for those making under $250K. If the Republicans filibuster this middle-class tax cut, the Democrats could run on a platform of “we tried to cut your taxes but the Republicans care only about the rich.”

    For a political team that ran a brilliant campaign in 2008, the Obama team seems incredible blind and deaf to the mood of the country now. While it is true that the President is the head of the executive branch, he is also the leader of his party and is expected to be out there cheerleading for his team. So far, he hasn’t done that at all, but there is still time for him to act–if he wants to–which is by no means sure. His problem is that midterm elections are about motivating your own base, not trying to win over independents. Doing so requires playing hardball, and that is not a sport that comes naturally to him, with possibly catastropic results. If the Republicans capture the House–which is certainly within the realm of possibility–the new Republican committee chairmen, armed with subpoena power, will begin investigating everything from his birth certificate to his vegetable garden. But a lot can still happen between now and November that will determine the size of the Republicans’ almost certain big gains.”

    • Thanks JB,

      I had read that elsewhere, or something close. Obama seems as out of touch with the mood of the country as George W. did. I don’t think he understands what hell the Republican’s will put him through. They flat out hate him. They will try to impeach him, just like they tried to remove Bill Clinton; only this time it will be much nastier. Some probably wish they could lynch what they see as a very “uppity n- – “. Unfortunately for his understanding of the country, he was raised without enduring much racial prejudice. He is part Black, but he has not gone through the Black experience in the U.S.

      Others hate him because they have adopted Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh’s worldview. Many of the business and especially the financial elite want to get rid of him by any means because he stands in the way of them continuing to make hundreds of billions of dollars selling derivatives and other non-productive, destabilizing financial products.

      • Daniel Berg says:

        I think Obama miscalculated the mood of the public on multiple fronts and it has cost him in polls and it will cost his party in November.

        For example, with banking reform, he had an opportunity to pragmatically change Wall Street for the better. He should have straight-shot right into a rejuvenated Glass-Steagall type act (seperation of commercial & investment banking, etc..), and included derivative reform as part of it. Next, he should have been quicker about reforming and winding down Freddie and Fannie. By referencing Glass-Steagall and its strong points over and over, he could have blunted this “fundamental changing of America” crap at least on the banking reform front because it was an act that we had previously. I think he could have really pushed that through and caused further damage to republicans had they opposed it.

        Instead, he decided to go the “banking is evil” route, and tried to demonize the banking sector as an evil profit seeking machine bent on subjugation of the human race. He did that I think to anger the public even more and solidify support before tackling reform. It seems like he created a certain level of suspicion in going that route which helped republicans and talking heads sidestep the real issues and blunt reform by exploiting that suspicion (anti-capitalism, socialist leaning, radical, big government, blah, blah).

        I agree with you that he didn’t realize what the oppositon would put him through. It has probably been a tough lesson for a guy with a reputation for having think skin.

    • WM says:

      Notwithstanding Obama’s lack of commitment or experience in environmental matters which some here find annoying, I hope he gets a chance to work through some of the mess that the last two administrations have gotten us into over the 16 years. I wish critics from both parties would be a little more patient, and not do too many things to upset the balance in Congress, as we will surely be in for more of the same chaos that has plagued this country for the last three years, or more. I fear the recession will take much longer for recovery, and regulating the activities of some of the assholes that got us in this mess needs continuity for completion. Changing horses mid-stream at flood stage, in hopes of a better ride across is not real smart.

      And, in all candor, environmental concerns are the least of his worries in the short term (oil spill excepted).

      • WM,

        I agree.

        Personally*, I am concerned that this time Republicans and some Democrats really are trying to take Social Security down. I am on Social Security, though I have other resources, but they are not as safe as Social Security. In fact, hardly anyone today has truly safe wealth.
        – – – –
        *By personally, I mean my own self-interest. Ralph Maughan’s self-interest, of course, is of no consequence to the world as a whole.

  73. ProWolf in WY says:

    I’ve said this before, if Idaho spent even a fraction of the time they do complaining about wolves on their schools and their economy they would be the envy of the nation for places to live.

    • ProWolf in WY,

      Yes, and as I have said that the politicians spend their time complaining about wolves precisely so they don’t have to answer questions about their poor schools or help people get jobs.

  74. WM says:

    Brian dump by Toby Bridges – It is a treatise on all he ever learned about wolves from undocumented sources, and paraphrased comments from everybody he ever knew who had bad things to say about wolves – true or not.

    Since we all know what part of his body his brain is in, he ought to weigh about fifty pounds after that purge.

    • WM says:

      Guess I won’t get an “A” in spelling checking or grammar this week:

      “BRAIN dump by Toby Bridges”

    • Linda Hunter says:

      The rule in marketing is say it three times in print and it is true.. . no matter how stupid the reasoning.

    • ProWolf in WY says:

      His sources straight from the bars and the doom and gloom web sites. Nice.

      • Cody Coyote says:

        A Toby Bridges Brain Dump is a stupendous thing to observe.

        Can somebody loan me a microscope for the weekend ?

  75. Robert Hoskins says:

    “Closed Wyoming BLM Meetings Stirs Debate” by Ruffin Prevost.

    Secret meetings are being held between the BLM and “cooperators” (local and Wyoming governments) and their paid consultants concerning the revision of the Resource Management Plan for the Big Horn Basin. The public is being deliberately excluded. It’s a little late for conservationists to be whining about this.

    This is in many ways a consequence of the political cowardice of conservation groups and their “let’s collaborate and get along with our opponents” policy. Certainly, the other side never fell into this “nice guys finish last” trap.

    It’s the same situation that we’re seeing at the national level with conservative vs. progressive politics. Conservatives have been and are playing hardball, while progressives have been and are still holding black tie and white glove parties.

    No one should be surprised.


    • timz says:

      “This is in many ways a consequence of the political cowardice of conservation groups and their “let’s collaborate and get along with our opponents” policy. Certainly, the other side never fell into this “nice guys finish last” trap. ”
      To read somebody of Roberts stature make this comment made getting up today well worth it.

  76. jon says:

    Endangered or not, wolf killings set to expand–UJR6MNO1otAaq72gZ_PwD9I1SPE00

    Why is the first solution always kill kill kill? I thought ranchers wanted to co-exist with predators? We all knew this was a lie. If they had their way, all predators would most likely be wiped out because they know predators pose a risk to their non native livestock.

    One of the more extreme proposals — burying wolf pups in their dens and then poisoning them with carbon monoxide gas — would be used only infrequently, in cases where the rest of the pack had been killed for preying on livestock, officials said.
    More established practices, including shooting wolves from the air and ground, would be expanded.

  77. WM says:


    ++I thought ranchers wanted to co-exist with predators? We all knew this was a lie. ++

    I see you are up to “absolute” tricks again. Where did you ever get the idea that the implied “all” ranchers wanted to co-exist with predators? Then, after you set up the untrue statement, conclude “all” ranchers are liars.

    Let’s be candid, here. A predator based risk that increases the probability a rancher might lose stock, or cause stock to not gain weight because they are wary and looking out for predators, or cause the rancher to incur additional capital or operations costs will likely not be regarded favorably by MOST. It is a matter of business economics.

    A more accurate statement is that MOST ranchers do not “want” the predators but are resigned to the reality they will get more, and are trying to co-exist with that reality. OTHERS, as we know and hear from continually, do not want predators, particularly wolves, period. And, maybe, SOME/FEW feel compelled to tolerate, accept, or even want them, if the numbers and problem animals are timely controlled to minimize risk. Maybe even a very FEW might “want” wolves and other predators, and are willing to alter their management practices, and incur the financial costs to have them around.

    Jon, do be intellectually honest, instead of stirring the pot with your half-thought out, and often asinine, statements.

  78. jon says:

    Let’s not really kid ourselves of how ranchers feel about predators wm.

    • Save bears says:

      Jon, it is virtually impossible to know how all ranchers assume so, would be non-productive..

  79. Izabela Hadd says:

    Now, this article is on MSNBC..tons of comments ..some out of line. same article on (utah)…

  80. ProWolf in WY says:

    I was just going to post the link for this on the web site. Good to have this going national.

    • Save bears says:

      Watch out for what you wish for Pro, you might not find the support you think is out there! We are, on this blog and a few others very well tuned into this issue, as most of the country is not, you might be surprised how little support for wolves there really is..

      • william huard says:

        “you might be surprised how little support for wolves there really is” quite the general statement there save bears! and how did you arrive at that statement? Based on what facts?

      • Save bears says:


        By simply talking to people, I don’t depend on news reports, and I am sorry if you don’t like that..I just returned from a trip that encompassed, Colorado, Utah, Kansas, Missouri and Oregon, I didn’t find many that we positive..

      • Save bears says:

        But William,

        I will agree, me simply talking to people, probably is not the facts you are looking for..

      • jon says:

        sb, how many people did you talk to and were they hunters? Do you just go up to people and start talking about wolves? How does the subject of wolves come up? Are these just random people you are talking to or hunters? I think it’s fair to say that a good majority (NOT ALL) of hunters will most likely not have much positive to say about wolves especially those who have wolves in their state. You should try asking those who do not hunt.

      • jon says:

        or ranch.

      • Save bears says:


        All I have to do is simply mention where I am from and what I do, they start the conversation and most times it migrates to the subject of wolves..

        I am simply not finding the level of support that many wish there was. And I don’t know if they are hunters, ranchers or anything else other than fellow people

      • jon says:

        Fair enough. There is support sb. you are just asking the wrong people. I can’t say how much support there is, but I believe there are many who are pro wolf.

      • Save bears says:


        How can you say I am asking the wrong or the right people? I am a pretty outgoing person, I talk to people in the store, I talk to people in restaurants, heck I even talk to people in elevators and the urinal next to me when I am using the restroom, so how do I gauge if they are the wrong or the right people?

      • jon says:

        sb, just one question, do you know if these people you are talking about wolves with either hunt or ranch?

      • Save bears says:


        I have no idea if they are ranchers or hunters and really don’t care. They are simply people I talk to, there is no prerequisite for my to have a conversation with another person, I talk to lots of people, many I don’t agree with and many I do agree with…

      • ProWolf in WY says:

        I think by going national you will still see more support for wolves than just by staying in the three states. I know that there are people from out of state who are against wolves. My uncle who lives in Iowa thinks they are horrible and he has hunted in Montana precisely one time and Wyoming precisely one time. I also have relatives who are convinced wolves will eventually descend on towns and start attacking people.

    • jon says:

      It is truly tragic and sad in this day in age when the life of a cow is more important than that of native wildlife.

    • jon says:

      I saw this comment on

      At least three million humans now roam Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. There are just under 21 million in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

      Wolves: 1 animal per 100 square miles
      humans: 4,200 animals per 100 square miles.

      Bonus question: which species uses a greater amount of natural resources per individual? a. wolf b. human

      What species are we having a population issue with again…?

      Theres only one other group of mammals that rival human numbers in these areas – rodents.

      • william huard says:

        The two groups of people that hate wolves the most are ranchers and hunters. Ranchers are known liars and hunters are known whiners. But they are “decimatin” our elk herds- note the mis- spelling.

      • WM says:


        In response to SB and your comment above, I talked to quite a few people myself, about three weeks ago in Central ID. I just asked questions during a road trip, (the original purpose of which was backpacking) from Lowman to Stanley to Ketchum/Hailey to Mountain Home. Any time I got the chance I asked questions- places we stayed, backpacking trails, gas stations and even the grocery stores. I got quite a few opinions, not revealing my own unless asked and always after getting their opinion first. Not scientific by any means, and answers varied considerably, but the general tenor was not positive. This is not what I expected, because I believed people were in the process of still making up their minds (much as RMEF members have been over the last ten years or so). People running businesses in these rural areas, that will serve hunters during the upcoming deer and elk seasons do not believe “wolf tourism” will be much of a replacement for them. In fact, one commenter, a young woman probably in her late 20’s, at a small rural restaurant said to me as she poured my second cup of coffee, “that’s bullshit and most of the wolfies know it.” Maybe wolf tourism is good for Yellowstone, but don’t count on that being the case for other areas outside NP’s.

        You also need to think a little broader about who the “whiners” are, as some here choose not to do. Ranchers buy in their local communities, everything from trucks and tractors, to fencing, feed and veternary services and supplies. Businesses that serve hunters, from gas stations to motels to meat processors, stand to lose if hunting is adversely affected by too many wolves. Are they whiners if their livelihoods are affected?

        I sense some folks don’t care – especially if you live in the big city, have a government job, or work for an environmental nonprofit- about many of the people who try to make a living in rural areas. One cannot expect them to stand by and do nothing.

        And, William, if wolves kill 40% of a new calf crop of elk in a given area, say a game management unit in ID, that indeed is “decimatin_” no matter how you spell it. The dictionary definition of decimating is “killing one in ten.” While I don’t like the term myself, it certainly can be applied in specific scenarios and be correct, although divisive.

      • JEFF E says:

        as far as comments and such it is my impression that the antis are resorting more and more to the bush method (for lack of a better term)of swaying public opinion. that being to repeat the same distortions, half-truths, prevarications, etc. constantly. Even when proven otherwise the tactic is to just go to another outlet, be it web page, thread, or media outlet and start all over again. Mass disinformation.
        We can win all the lawsuits there are to win and unfortunately the tide of public opinion expressed by equally uninformed politicians is going to start the pendulum swinging the other way.

      • JB says:

        William: There are certainly a number of whiny hunters out there, but don’t let the loud mouths speak for all hunters; many who hunt still want wolves.

        – – – –

        WM: Applying only the denotative meaning of the word decimation without acknowledgment of the word’s connotation is disingenuous. I suspect that is why you said you don’t like the term? Regardless, you could say the same thing about the effect of humans on wolves in the northern Rockies: Humans killed 31% of the wolf population in 2009. Both hunters and Wildlife Services took more than 10%, so I guess you could also say that either group is “decimating” wolves.

        Whether you’re talking about wolves or elk, the only purpose of using that word is to provoke an emotional response and polarize the debate. Personally, I have no use for it.

  81. SEAK Mossback says:

    A lawsuit has been filed by a consortium including the Gila National Forest Livestock Permittees’ Association and boards of commissioners from a couple of counties against the USFWS regarding the Mexican wolf recovery program. They are arguing that USFWS is not dealing effectively with livestock depredation and not adequately monitoring the wolf population including radio-collaring — and quote from the final rule that wolves in the wild are “non-essential” to avoid extinction with adequate held in reserve in captivity and suggesting the service is hiding information on hybridizing with coyotes. Seems like another move toward a coup de grace on this troubled program. With several recent killings of radio collared wolves, it would seem that “off the books” wolves are the only ones that have much chance, and they probably want to make sure taxpayers cough up enough to insure there are few or none of those . . . . .

    • william huard says:

      One of those is Catron County. As wolf hatin as one gets. I called them one day and talked to a keith, who went off on the same tired old rant of non-native wolves and fed intrusion. I told him about the Mcbride lineage, but he didn’t want facts to interfere with his blind hatred.

      • ProWolf in WY says:

        William, what is funny about a non-native argument there is the fact that all of the elk there are a non-native subspecies. The Merriam’s elk is extinct and the Rocky Mountain elk is the one that was reintroduced.

    • jon says:

      Pro, so the non native argument only applies to wolves? I never see this being used when different subspecies of elk have been reintroduced to a place. I bet there wouldn’t be any uproar at all if a different species of elk as reintroduced to a place like

      • jon says:

        MT or ID. You only hear it when predators who are eating elk, deer, and moose are talked about. I doubt most care what subspecies of wolf it is. It is just because of the fact that the wolf is back and elk, deer, and moose are on the menu and some cannot stand that.

      • ProWolf in WY says:

        The native argument does only apply to wolves. Wolves aren’t as much fun to shoot and don’t taste as good as elk, deer, and moose. You never hear about hunters arguing about non-native pheasants and partridges being introduced. You never hear complaints about non-native turkeys, moose, or mountain goats being introduced outside of their natural range in the US or Canada. Or what about ibex, gemsbok, and Barbary sheep in New Mexico? All of the animals mentioned are fun to hunt.

      • jon says:

        Cattle are an invasive species. You don’t see hunts going on for them. You don’t see aerial gunners shooting them dead from the air. This world has gone to shit when you know that a non native cow has more of a right to live than native wildlife like wolves who actually belong on our lands. As I said, if there were any non native elk or deer that was introduced, I guarantee you you would hear most likely no one complaining about it. We the taxpayers are the ones paying wildlife services to go around and shoot native wildlife just because it attacked and killed a non native cow. things couldn’t be more backyards in this world. They are treating wolves like the whites did blacks in the 60s and before.

      • jon says:

        non native huntable animals are alright and accepted, but not native predators apparently.

      • Save bears says:


        See that is where you are wrong, I am not happy about any of the non-native animals that have been introduced, they take away from the native species and have caused loss of native species. In reality, I complain about them all of the time..

      • ProWolf in WY says:

        Save bears, you are the first person I have ever heard complain about introduced game. So are you against birds like pheasants and partridges being introduced?

      • ProWolf in WY says:

        Jon, I agree that wolves are being treated as “second class citizens” of sorts, but I don’t know that I would make that connection about civil rights. I think the better connection is that wolves are being treated in 2010 like it is 1910 (or earlier). It is too bad we can’t get the cows off public lands.

      • Save bears says:


        As a biologist, that understands the dynamics of introduced species and the havoc they can have on native species, yes, I am against any non-native introduced species.

        As a hunter, I have enjoyed hunting pheasants and partridge, they are both great eating..But as a biologist, my first concern is ecosystem health, and they are invasive species. Anytime you have an invasive species, they compete with indigenous species for resources..

      • ProWolf in WY says:

        I have to agree that hunting pheasants and partridges is fun and they do taste good,. I guess that’s why it really doesn’t bother me at all to hunt them. I have always wondered what kind of effect those birds have. I have read how the gemsbok in New Mexico are causing problems and the Barbary sheep are competing with desert bighorn sheep. It would have been interesting to see predator/prey dynamics with Mexican wolves and gemsbok if the wolves were reintroduced into the White Sands Missile Range.

      • WM says:

        I don’t know about the partridges (presumably chukar), but most pheasants, at least where I have seen them, don’t get their numbers too far out of whack, and many wildlife agencies have to supplement populations to provide hunting opportunities, just like they do with fish in lakes. They plant them. One would think that the numbers of nearly any non-native prey animal could be controlled fairly easily with a hunt, especially if the landscape is open. The exception would be federal reservations like national parks or in more urban areas where the public relations seem to govern wildlife resource management decisions these days.

        Feral hogs in the south, as Ralph has noted here before, are the exception. Wiley critters, that can survive in heavy woods, procreate like mad, and come out at night and ruin your corn crop or nearly anything else they can eat. Even kill your dog.

      • ProWolf in WY says:

        Feral hogs are a problem everywhere. In Hawaii the fact that they have a season on them and treat them as a game animal is a problem. They won’t just try to get rid of them.

      • Save bears says:

        Pro, when I lived in Hawaii in the late 80’s until January 1991, we could hunt hogs year around, there was no season and there were no penalties for killing them, I spent many a good night around a luau pit and enjoying wild hog for dinner with friends..

      • ProWolf in WY says:

        I read it in some hunting magazine. Wish I could remember which one. They reproduce like rabbits I would think they would want them hunted year round.

      • jon says:

        Wild hogs are a big problem. i believe there are 500,000 wild hogs in Fl and who knows how many in other states. I think it’s almost impossible to keep wild hogs in check.They can be dangerous as well.

      • Save bears says:

        Hogs are very dangerous, they will kill a human and consume them if given the chance, there was a case up in Canada, that serial killer was disposing of bodies in his hog pen..and they only found a few bone pieces when they finally caught the guy..

        I have two invites right now to go to Mississippi to hunt wild hogs and we can take as many as we can shoot, hogs in the south are probably the number one problem there is….and if you start getting into razor backs, watch out, they will use their tusks to hook and kill anything in their path!

      • Pointswest says:

        When I was maybe four years old, I climbed over the fence of my grandmother’s pig pen on her farm near Rexburg Idaho. I wanted to pet her big ol’ boar pig. I can remember him in his shed looking at me with curiousity after I dropped into his pen. I was saynig to him, “c’mon…I won’t hurt you…I won’t hurt you,” when I herd my grandmother bellowing my name and running half out of her mind to grab me out of that pen. She was all shaken up calling on God and Moses and in tears told me to never do that again! I didn’t.

        I learned a several years later that I had an older cousin on the same side of the family that I never knew because he had been killed as toddler when I was just a baby. The story was that he could not be found one day. The entire family searched for him over the entire farm until they finally found one of his shoes in the pig pen and realized that he had done exacty what I had done. He had climbed into the pen to pet the pig except, in his case, the pig had eaten him. After learning this story, I finally understood the high emotion of my grandmother when she pulled me out of her pig pen. She did not want to lose another grandchild to a pig. I thought about the way that pig was looking and sniffing at me. His snout was at about eye level to a four-year-old. I can vividly remember that pigs face and the look in his eyes and I am sure today that he was thinking about eating me. If my grandmother had been even a minute later to the rescue, I might too have been breakfast for pig.

      • bob jackson says:


        hogs are omnivores like humans and bears. Thus what they eat is a learning experience from their ancestors…especially on the Herbivore side of things.

        Domesticated pigs fed exclusively grain do not eat humans. Once they are fed tankage, however it is a different story.

        My dad would always change feeding tactics once those gilts were started on “meat”. We liked this change because it meant we no longer had to feed those pigs. Anytime a farmer was found eaten by the pigs it was always the same response by dad and his farmer friends…”fell and then the pigs jumped him”. Dad wouldn’t let us boys feed pigs with learned meat behavior until we were 17 years old…big enough to stay standing in case we accidently got knocked against and over by pigs trying to get to the buckets of feed we hauled to them.

        If your grandparents never fed table scraps you would have been safe….but like a lot of smaller farms with just a few pigs… they didn’t know what was cause and effect when it came to raising these animals.

      • Carl says:


        I have mixed feelings about the introduction of the ringed -necked phesant. The species can survive in man altered habitat were few other native species can survive so I consider this a plus. On the negative side in areas that still have native species habitat they parasitize the nests of native species such as greater prairie chickens, sharptail grouse and even native ducks. The pheasant eggs hatch quicker and mom goes off with the pheasant chicks. It is strange to watch a duck leading her pheasants into a pond were they dround.
        In several midwest states wildlife agencies are controlling pheasant numbers in reserves in order to try to save their prairie chicken populations that are restricted to the reserves. The states of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin were once the stronghold of the Greater Prairie Chicken with 10’s of millions. Today due to habitat destruction they have 1000-1500 birds in these 4 states. Birds have been brought in from Kansas and Minnesota to supplement the birds in the 4 states and reduce inbreeding.
        Yet I see groups like Pheasant Forever protecting and creating grassland habitat in the midwest that provide habitat for grassland species such as bobolinks, henslow sparrow, and meadowlarks to name a few as well as pheasants. In Minnesota the lands that pheasants forever has saved is benefitting prairie chickens. Without the pheasant this organization wouldn’t exist and the grasslands would probably be corn or bean fields. So I continue to wonder if the pheasant is a good or bad introduction?????????

      • WM says:


        Thanks for pointing out the negative side of pheasant inttoduction and management. I was unaware of the problems you describe. They apparently don’t get much attention, and should. We should all now be on the lookout for more information on the matter.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        Just kidding but, perhaps the duck leads the young pheasant into the water so that on their demise she can return and continue incubating the unhatched duck eggs for a few more days. Greater prairie chicken parasitised by pheasant.

  82. william huard says:

    Fair enough. History has taught us about the west and the role of the rancher. I just finished a book entitled “Slaughter the animals , poison the earth” a book written in 1971 by a very accomplished writer named Olsen. Ranchers started poisoning campaigns in counties where there were NO depredations! Do some research on the poison compound 1080. They were poisoning streams, and killing everything! Hunters are another story. According to the latest research elk numbers were up in 23 out of 29 zones – As Ralph has pointed out several times many people are questioning the data on wolf depredation in the LOLO- very credible people saying that habitat destruction and other factors influenced game animal declines more than wolves- but with the Ron Gillettes and Toby Bridges types around spewing the wolf hatred many of these “rural folk” believe this talk! 40% of the republican party think President Obama was not born in this country, what does that tell you?

    • Layton says:

      “40% of the republican party think President Obama was not born in this country, what does that tell you?”

      I’ll bite — what DOES that tell — me or anybody else?

      Maybe it tells me that he wasn’t. OTOH maybe it tells me that there is a pretty efficient PR firm working — on whichever side, one saying he was and one saying he wasn’t!!

      Maybe it tells me that 60% of the Republican party are gullible enough to believe that he was born in the US.

      With the media teams that almost any group has these days it is damn near impossible to believe ANYTHING without a whole lot of research.

      • JB says:

        It tells me that 40% of the Republican party can’t be trusted to think for themselves. This myth was debunked by McCain’s own campaign during the election:

        “But the flawed conception of the many “birther” lawsuits, coupled with the inexperience and foul-ups of “birther” lawyers, have only fed the frenzy over Obama’s legitimacy to serve as president of the United States. A survey of the lawsuits filed against Obama reveals a reliance on widely debunked rumors, bogus stories sourced back to web sites, affidavits from “experts” who refuse to provide credentials or even their real names, and frequent and blatant misunderstandings of basic constitutional law. The dismissal of “birther” lawsuits has allowed conspiracy theorists to believe that the information in those suits is accurate–a belief that manifests itself in the emails, phone calls, and town hall meeting rants that have pushed the theories into the mainstream media and the halls of Congress.

        While they ruled out any chance of the “birther” lawsuits holding up in court, lawyers for the McCain campaign did check into the rumors about Obama’s birth and the assertions made by Berg and others. “To the extent that we could, we looked into the substantive side of these allegations,” said Potter. “We never saw any evidence that then-Senator Obama had been born outside of the United States. We saw rumors, but nothing that could be sourced to evidence. There were no statements and no documents that suggested he was born somewhere else. On the other side, there was proof that he was born in Hawaii. There was a certificate issued by the state’s Department of Health, and the responsible official in the state saying that he had personally seen the original certificate. There was a birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser, which would be very difficult to invent or plant 47 years in advance.”

      • 40% of the Republicans don’t really think Obama was born in another country. They just know about the polls (who doesn’t after reading about them and taking them their entire lives?).

        They say that to express their dislike and hatred of him. Most people who have followed this blog know of my dislike of George W. Bush. If, at the time, a pollster had asked me if he was the anti-Christ, I would have have “yes.”

        As a note, no, he wasn’t the anti-Christ, just a rich boy with no intellectual curiosity, out of his league, pushed by those who saw him as a convenient idiot for their agenda, IMHO.

  83. Elk275 says:

    I am out in the hills today and the boys and girls are busy on their computers. At least Mike is out in the hills.

  84. Kristin, Northern CA says:

    Rare fox pops up in Stanislaus National Forest

  85. cc says:

    House passes and Senate to soon consider full funding for Land and Water Conservation Fund. Call your senators!

    • JEFF E says:
      please be sure and read the admonishment on plagiarism

      • WM says:


        I don’t think it is so much an issue of “plagurism” that they warn against. Rather, it is a potential problem of copyright violation. Posting entire articles, through cut and paste technique, I think, is what they are trying to discourage. It would only be if someone used the material and claimed it as their own, would plagurism be a problem. On the other hand, posting a link to an article, or using a short quote with proper credit to the author and the publication source is less troubling.

      • JEFF E says:

        In other words, plagiarism.

        Types: Failing to Credit
        •Failing to credit a source is another version of plagiarism. Whether you quote another author or paraphrase an author–explaining their idea in your words–you must credit that author. This can be done in the form of parenthetical citations, end notes, footnotes or by introducing the author and the work in the body of your paper.

        Read more: Types of Plagiarism |

      • JEFF E says:

        The desired result is to not give Ralph any trouble and error on the side of caution.

      • WM says:

        Whatever it is, I hope jon is paying attention. And, yeah, I was a sloppy speller this morning.

    • JEFF E says:

      I just re-read your post. I did not catch it yesterday on the misspelling mainly because I don’t care or look for that. that would be the pot calling the kettle black. My point is that the body of your post is the definition of one type of plagiarism. sorry if it come off different.

      • WM says:


        I was just giving a proactive apology for my sometimes bad spelling oversights. I don’t do as good a job of proofreading as I should for that, and my grammar occasionally gets lost in an idea. I know better.

        As for the plagiarism or copyright infringement, I only wanted to point out there is a difference in the way the law views each, the latter being the more troubling for the casual poster, and one which, as you point out (and Ralph has cautioned) we should take care to avoid posting entire articles, whether attributed to the rightful author(s)/publication or not. Some of these papers, professional journals and online forums have legal staffs that keep an eye out for copyright violations.

        Bottom line: The words of caution are don’t steal photos or documents and use them in ways that get yourself or other folks in trouble.
        jon, are you following this?

      • jon says:

        Ralph, I sometimes post one or two comments from an article below the links I post. Should I just post the link and leave the few comments that I post from the article out? I don’t see any problem with just posting links if it’s going to keep us out of trouble with copyright issues and what not.

      • jon,

        That is OK. They are your comments, not quotes, I assume.

        I do that in my posts — make comments, include one or more links, make more comments sometimes, etc.

      • JEFF E says:

        a few weeks ago I pointed out to a poster that he had essentially posted any entire article without any cites of any kind. I believe I used the phrase,”can you spot the plagiarism” when I did that, and then cited the material in question,
        however in my caution above I am more concerned with the fact that the newsletters concerned are from Wildlife Services and given that, should anyone read them and come across something interesting to make sure and follow proper protocol.
        I don’t believe they would hesitate a second with nuisance legal action in today’s climate.

      • WM says:


        I have not seen anything recently (and I think very rarely before). Mine was just a cautionary note, based on the re-publication warning for materials on website link that was posted. Quite frankly, it seems good advice. I don’t know where one draws the legal liability line on materials on the internet. It is like its own Wild West. However at a minimum, people shouldn’t be posting entire articles (or most of an article), and if one quotes a small piece from an article it is both courteous and probably legally correct to give sufficient credit, and maybe a link so people can check it out, and maybe learn more. Afterall, this is an educational and informational forum, which we as a free society should encourage.

      • JEFF E says:

        In addition to what WM has posted I notice on a great many of the anti web sites there will be a great deal of creative editing of information. The tactic is to attribute the material to a ,often obscure, source but provide no way to cross check the information for veracity. I would like to believe that on this side of the fence we are actually better served by more and completely transparent dissemination.

  86. jon says:

    EDITORIAL: Wyoming must change stance on wolves

    Wyoming’s wolf management plan calls for the animal to be shot on sight in most of the state — around 90 percent.

    Considering that plan too hostile toward the 320 wolves that dwell in Wyoming, federal officials rejected the state’s management plan and maintained protection for gray wolves.

    It’s unrealistic for Wyoming leaders to expect wolves to go directly from the endangered species list to unregulated, open-season hunts in most of the state.

  87. Linda Hunter says:

    I am not sure if this kind of link works but this will be causing some trouble for hunters:

    One of Dr. Lynn Rogers research bears wearing a radio collar and ribbons to denote that she was a research bear was shot, not illegally, but the NABC organization has gone to great lengths to cooperate with local hunters and get them to leave the research bears out of their fall harvest. Unfortunately for the hunter who shot this bear, the center published a web cam last winter of a mother bear and baby in the den and hundreds of thousands of people and school kids watched it and became attached to the bears. Also, several movie companies are following the bears as well so even though this was a legal harvest, publicity on this will not help hunters to keep reasonable bear hunting seasons. It is always the actions of a few who ruin things for others, not that I am in favor of bear hunting mind you, but I sadly see that hunters do need to work on their own if they want their kids to be able to enjoy the traditions. Many, and I know Save Bears is one of them, don’t believe in the research this group is doing because it includes feeding bears, but I have been following the whole thing closely and I do think some valuable insights will come out of this research.

    • jon says:

      3 year old article Linda. Who would shoot a 47 pound rare albino black bear cub?

      Here is a picture of the hunters standing behind the 3 small black bears they shot to death.

      • Linda Hunter says:

        jon Even though I can’t say I enjoy seeing bears killed, black bears are usually quite a bit smaller than people expect them to be. There is a story in my book about getting called out for a bear mauling with my search group. The bear involved was about the size of the smallest one you see in this truck or about the size of a full grown German Shepard. I couldn’t understand how a bear that small could seriously maul a 230 or so lb man. When all was said and done, the man’s main injury was the 45 pistol shot he accidentally gave himself when the bear bite him in the ankle when he stepped on it. Black bears normally are a reclusive animal but they are smart and when they think they can scare a person they will try it. They have a bluster and bluff that makes people have to change pants if they don’t understand the bear. If people would learn more about them instead of believing everything they read or their buddies told them, we would all be a lot safer around bears.

      • jon says:

        Linda, I think you spoke about it before, but what is the name of your book and is there some place where you can get it online? Bear cubs are allowed to be shot by hunters I assume? My question is why would any hunter want to shoot a 47 pound black bear cub let alone a rare albino one?

      • william huard says:

        I’ll tell you who. Hunters from Pa. Pa is the only state that still has pigeon shoots for “fun”. Some of these events are fundraisers for local fire departments! They can’t come up with 21st century ideas to raise money without persecuting some type of animal. Last week on versus they had the love of hunting show filmed in PA. They were trigger happy fools shooting at anything that moved- squirrels, chipmunks, butterflies– look it’s alive- kill it!!!!!

    • Carl says:

      Linda Hunter,

      It is to bad that this radio colared bear was killed but I wonder how much at fault Lynn Rogers is by the way he deals with his bears. I live approximately 40 miles from where Lynn has his radioed collared bears. Earlier this year there were several complaints made to the DNR about a collared bear causing problems up in that area. I have spoken with people who have summer homes on Eagle Nest Lake that said they have radio collared bears around their cabins on a regular basis.
      For $1500 dollars you can go to Lynn’s Bear Camp for a week and walk with the bears. This has become quite popular with Europeans. The group of ten people go out with Lynn or Susan and walk with the bears. Lynn will take the pulse on the bears and let you put a new radio collar on them. Remember these are wild bears that are not drugged. Don’t ask me why collars have to be replaced so often. I have talked with a couple of people who have attended the course. One had a bear walk up to her and grab her arm. Fortunately it did not clamp down. The other had a bear come up and clamp its mouth on to her knee while they were at camp waiting on dinner. She said she was scared to move. The camp cook yelled at the bear and it let go.
      Recently while a friend of mine was in a store in Ely, Mn she overheard two couples talking about how they had just come from the course and how great it was getting to hug, hand feed, and kiss the bears. One of the people said they had taken pictures of it even though they weren’t suppose to. One of the bears they talked about was a big male known as One-eyed Jack. At that point they noticed my friend was listening and they walked off.
      So it isn”t just that Lynn is feeding the bears he is getting them used to people and they are becoming a nuisance in the eyes of some locals. It is very possible someone decided they had enough and did it legally.

      • Linda Hunter says:

        Carl thank you for writing. It is very difficult to gauge something from far away. I have never met Lynn Rogers nor have I been to the area. I would be curious to know if any of his research bears have ever pushed people or tried to take advantage of people who were not part of his group. When people see these radio collared bears are they a nuisance or just being seen? What I do know is that he has thousands of loyal followers now on the internet and they have been able to sway some money into the area by voting a local park into some Coca Cola favorite park money and are working on money for the schools in the area. Your point is a valid one about the hunter but the amount of publicity the project is getting might make it a useless gesture on the hunter’s part that might make it harder for other hunters. Unfortunately if someone has “had enough” and killed one of the bears legally I believe their message might backfire.

      • Carl says:

        Linda Hunter,
        I agree with you that if this was the intent it might backfire.
        I don’t known the specifics on the nuisance call the DNR had received but the people I talked to directly had concerns about their kids being in the yard alone, another told me she quit bird feeding, and another said he had bear prints on his windows on a couple of occasions and that he put up an electric fence to keep them out of his garden.
        It probably doesn’t help that Lynn lets the bears come right into his cabin. I have only been to the cabin on one occasion and was surprised to see the roof tops of other cabins through the trees. I wondered at the time what these people thought of him feeding the bears so close to their places.

  88. Linda Hunter says:

    Jon you can get my book on
    “Lonesome for Bears” Linda Jo Hunter, Lyons Press

  89. pointswest says:

    I watched a very interesting documentary about sheep herding in the Bearthooths. The sheep herders are pretty lame, even for sheep herders. One takes a piss on camera and the all swear and curse on camera.

    They had a few problems with grizzlies. Had them in the herd at night and had one killed in broad daylight. It would be educational for anyone interested in the GYE its problems.

    It is available on Netfix and, if you use Bittorrent, on The Pirate Bay.

  90. Virginia says:

    I purchased and read Linda’s book and it is a great book – I really enjoyed reading about the reactions of the bears and, at the risk of being accused of anthropomorphism, I could sense the bears’ feelings through Linda’s descriptions.

    • Ryan says:

      Really Jon there are holes big enough in that article sources to drive a train through. If its so bad, why have tanzanias overall total animal populations flourished (lots of evil hunters hunting in Tanzania) and Kenya, which has no evil hunters dropped 70%?

      • jon says:

        Awww, what’s the matter Ryan, don’t like a truthful article just because it doesn’t agree with your opinion?

      • jon says:

        Tanzania: Sanctioned trophy hunting for lions doing more harm than good, study asserts

        African lions are one step away from becoming an endangered species, and a measure designed to preserve them is to blame. A new study suggests that hunters who pay to shoot the animals are killing too many of the big cats.-Craig Packer

        • jon, Pard, Ryan,

          The article says “suggests.” That means followup study is needed.

          I do have one comment. There are always folks who believe there is some “silver bullet” to solve any kind of problem. We just need to find the bullet and use it — implement some great idea.

          When it comes to anything complicated and social or biological, this is seldom the case. I mean there rarely are silver bullets.

      • jon says:

        They may have flourished before, but not anymore. Trophy hunting is hurting lion #s along with other things. You can continue to deny that all you want.

      • Save bears says:


        I have to say, you are sounding a bit like the pot calling the kettle black on this one…

      • Save bears says:

        Just to add,

        I can say, that perhaps, part of these articles are true, some parts my be false and other parts might be speculation, but as I once asked you, how do you determine if it is right, wrong or truthful Jon?

      • Ryan says:

        Really offer some scientific proof that what I posted is false..

        No population #’s posted. Only that harvest is down. Doesn’t mention that there was recently a new law passed (5 years ago) that could be the reason for overall take going down, although it has averaged around 250 for the last 10 years with the exception of 2002-3 which spiked over 300.

        How does it backfire if the final sentance in the article is:

        “However, eliminating the hunt entirely could be even more dangerous. “If you make hunting too difficult, then people are going to switch back to cattle,” says Child. “And then you’ll have no wildlife.”

        If you don’t have any thing factual to back up your next comment, perhaps I’m rubber and your glue will suffice or liar liar pants onfire… 🙂

      • jon says:

        Ryan, email the biologist who did the study Craig Packer. I am sure he has the population #s if you want them.

        Packer suspects that hunters have been overexploiting the lions. Although he acknowledges that the idea of hunting for conservation may work in theory, “there’s no point in providing the animal with economic value and then over-hunting them.”

        If you don’t agree with the findings of the studies that were done by Craig Packer Ryan, email him and tell him he is wrong. Trophy hunters are OVERHUNTING LIONS.

      • jon says:

        How has your day been sb? How’s the weather over there in MT?

      • jon says:

        You need to read the article closely Ryan.

        The lion population in Tanzania is diminishing.

      • Elk275 says:

        The article says that the number of lions killed have gone downhill in the last 5 years. There never mentioned the total number of hunters, only that the number of lions killed have gone downhill.

        The cost of a lion hunt is over $60,000. The number of lion hunters has deceased because of the cost. Most Africa safaris now are discounted and they still can not fill there slots. I was talking with a good friend of mine from Butte, Mt yesterday who is one of the top booking agents in the country and Africa, American and Canada Outfitters are having a difficult time.

        Currently there is a 2 Cape Bufflo 10 day hunt in Zimbabwe which normally sells for approximately $20,000, today it is discount for $10,000 many lookers few who can afford it. Five years ago I could have gone but not today.

      • Ryan says:

        Where are the numbers and hard evidence? Words like “suspects”, “suggests”, and “thinks” are not exactly scientific terms. Post some peer reviewed science and it will have creedence, not some op/ed piece.

        “You need to read the article closely Ryan.”

        I did read it closely, why don’t you try some critical thought for once instead of finding some article and blindly defending it.. Lord knows your good enough at google with all of the cut and paste you plagerize in this board to find enough information to look at both sides of the issue.

        BTW, you know who proposed the 6 year age rule for lion harvest. Craig Packer.

      • jon says:

        “Tanzania allows trophy hunters to shoot only male lions that are at least 6 years old. Theoretically, this is better for the species as a whole than shooting lionesses, but Packer and Child agree that even killing just the adult males poses a serious threat.

        Ryan, I understand and accept that you will defend hunting no matter what kind of hunting it is no matter how many studies say it is bad for some animal populations or it is one of the reasons why some animal populations are declining, but there is a time when we have to accept that some animal species aren’t doing too good. Lions is one of those species.

    • Save bears says:

      Today has been a great day, cool and crisp this morning, a bit warn and humid this afternoon, working on getting some things done on the trim on the house so when next spring rolls around we can put the place up for sale..

      Had to get quite a bit done that last ten days, I have another study, I am going to be working in a couple of weeks, which will require me to be in Washington State for a while.

      • jon says:

        sb, did you get that job with WA fish and game yet?

      • Save bears says:


        I am going to do a couple of research projects for the, right now there has been some money allocated in my area of study, and then we will look at how it goes to see if I get a permanent position with them.

      • Linda Hunter says:

        Save bears. . my email is coffee? I am here until September 22 or so.

      • jon says:

        Linda, I checked out amazon. Your book got very good reviews. Do you plan on writing any more books on bears? Do any stores carry your books or can you just get them online? Bears are amazing animals. Polar bears are one of my favorite animals.

      • Save bears says:

        Hi Linda,

        If I get there before you are gone, I will be sure and send you a note, dates have not been nailed down as of yet and I am hoping to make a sweep through Yellowstone before I head that way, have not taken Elk in rut pictures for a couple of years, I would like to ascertain for myself how the Elk are in Yellowstone.

  91. william huard says:

    I think the issue is that you don’t have any understanding of hunting lions in Africa. Only hunters have that understanding.

    • Ryan says:


      That never was said, what was trying to be said was pull the blinders off, see both sides of the issue.

      I’m sure you know way more about hunting than I do.

  92. jon says:

    Yellowstone breaks record for summer visitors

    The most people in Yellowstone on any given summer day – 25,000 to 30,000 – far exceeds population estimates for the park’s other large mammals.

    Yellowstone is home to about that many elk during the summer. About 15,000 to 22,000 elk stick around the park during the winter.

    Yellowstone has approximately 3,000 bison, no more than 1,000 moose and close to 100 wolves, according to park figures.

  93. Layton says:

    I thought this was pretty interesting — here’s a link

    • jon says:

      Are you going elk hunting this year Layton?

      • jon says:

        Thanks for that link. The funny thing about this is that Idaho hunters are turning on Idaho fish and game. I have seen some hunters on different hunting forums say they will not be wasting anymore of their money to hunt and they blame the Idaho fish and game for this supposed wolf problem. Jerry Conley according to some hunters was the one responsible for illegally putting these wolves into Idaho or so they say. Hunters turning on their own state fish and game agency. We all know about Rockholm and other hunters asking Otter to fire Randy Budge and now they want Tony Mcdermott gone for making a joke, but they claimed terrorist threats on hunters. Let’s just say some hunters in Idaho don’t have nice things t say about their fish and game agency right now.

      • Layton says:

        Yes jon, I am. Not early because I have some busted ribs from a motorcycle episode, but when the late archery season comes around I’ll be there.

    • Salle says:

      Yes, it is interesting how the author not only claims to be victimized by the federal government and courts who can’t be trusted but then, almost in the same breath (figuratively speaking), insists that Congress and the federal courts will be essential in helping to achieve their pet cause. Interesting also that this self-appointed victim of the federal government and courts wants the laws changed – via the federal government and courts – in such a way that usurps the rights of everyone else – including wildlife that belong to everyone ~ not just hunters and ranchers for the sake of hunters and ranchers.

      Interesting indeed.

      Sounds like “pretzel logic”.

  94. Izabela Hadd says:

    Amid deadly attacks, WY landfill draws grizzlies–click here for the story. (not sure if this link will be OK)

  95. jon says:

    Meeker outfitter indicted on charges of baiting deer and elk

    The indictment alleged that each year between 2002 and 2007, Rodebaugh and Kunz guided their many clients to stands of trees near which they had placed hundreds of pounds of salt to entice deer and elk

    • Taz Alago says:

      I’ve found salt baits in the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Oregon also. The ODFW says they are legal in Oregon. Anything for a buck (or a bull).

    • There has been no effort by those who run this blog to run down outfitters. The negative stories come form those who comment, but I don’t think I’ve read anything positive about hunting outfitters in a long time.

      Too bad, 30 years ago I saw them as kind of outdoors heroes.

      I wonder if this is just part of the general decline of ethical standards such as on Wall Street or a unique local mess?

    • bob jackson says:

      I doubt there are very many outfitters who do not sait…. in this country or others. In Africa I read of outfitters who illegally place sait to bring out the herd animals of the preserves and Parks. I patrolled the SE corner of Yellowstone and those outfitters packed or flew in up to 2000 # of salt PER OUTFITTER!! The outfitters on the North end of the Park also salted but the rangers up there were clueless to recognizing them …or worse yet to understand the environmental and cascade detrimental effects on predators.

      It all is very preventable….if only the G&F departments and FS wilderness administration (it is illegal to salt in wilderness areas, whether Oregon G&F allows it or not…comes under the “unnatural” regs) cared to do anything about it. MSG’s Idaho G&F has hunters reporting illegal salts all over.

      The salts are easy to spot…as compared to natural licks. They are in dry areas (outfitters don’t want the salt to leech out). some outfitters bury block salt so just the top is at ground level. Outfitters who steal block salt from each other put out loose salt. Some outfitters use brown-brown…a mixture of molasses and mineral salt. One can smell the sweetness in the air a quarter mile away sometimes.

      Final evidence comes in analysis. Natures is usually calcium chloride whereas illegal salts are sodium.

      The worst part of salting is what it does to people. Outfitters lose respect for any guide they dupe and the hunter is least respected (abusers always blame the abused). They also lose respect for the game wardens. Then they lose respect for the animal they are hunting. Thus lots of meat is left from these carcasses.

      It is a domino effect. …. and none of it is good.

    • SEAK Mossback says:

      I realize this may be an exception but I had very positive experience over a 3 year period in the vicinity of one outfitter. The operation in the eastern end of the Brooks Range (Kongakut, Coleen and Firth Rivers) is as ethical as they come and very considerate of other users. My first encounter with them was when my son and I, after spending 9 days back in the mountains, found a guide and client camped by an airstrip. The guide brought over dinner and I met the outfitter when he flew in the next day. One of his guides who shared a vast amount of knowledge with me over several occasions, said he did absolutely no aerial scouting for them and I believe it after spending considerable time there over 3 years before and during the sheep season. I saw his cub on several occasions but never perusing the mountains for legal rams (which were fairly challenging to find), always coming and going directly from camp, usually out in the main valley. And it wouldn’t be illegal for him to do some scouting. Its only illegal on the same day as the hunt – – – there are others on the western end that base their operations on it, landing guys with little stamina or time but large wallets just out of sight of rams for an overnight camp and a 1-day “hunt”. Scouting would provide a huge advantage in success/time, but he doesn’t consider it ethical. So his guide and hunter walk out of camp and hunt just like a any resident who charters in to the same strip, with their only advantage being their past experience. Their presence and impact in the drainage is pretty low with a seasonal base camp that is marginally more deluxe than a backpacker camp and a permit limit of only 10 clients a year in the Kongakut, a pretty substantial drainage, with one guide hunting out of the main strip and the other floating the river and hunting side valleys. One of his part-time guides is Heimo Korth, of the book “The Final Frontiersman”, mentioned earlier by Elk – – – and I see also the subject of a recent documentary.

      His clients get a real hunt, but unfortunately many nonresident hunters are looking for the most efficient route to a tangible “return” for their limited time, money and ability to expend physical energy — and that tends to be a driver in the overall outfitting business. But there is still at least one legal and highly ethical outfitter out there . . . .

    • As I have said before, my father-in-law was an outfitter. I thought he was wonderful and not just because of our relationship.

      He knew that a good social experience in the woods was as important to many people than a mean, hurried, one with a “trophy” of some kind.

      One of the nicest outfitters I ever meet was in the Teton Wilderness, back in 1978. We were all camped in Hidden Creek and every evening they invited us for something to eat. We had some whiskey to contribute.

      Of course we were all fishing, not hunting.

      • pointswest says:

        I know some wealthy dry-farmers east of Ashton, ID who guide and outfit in the fall and early winter. They have a loyal and grateful clientele. They guided Jim Kiick and Larry Czonka back in the 70’s when they were winning Super Bowls for example. They didn’t really do it for the money since, being large dry-farmers, they always had plenty of money. I think they did it to be social and to be of service to society. Dry-farming is a leisurely occupation.

        Since land values have soared east of Ashton, they must be worth over a hundred million dollars now and I think they still guide.

      • Taz Alago says:

        One salt I looked over is set in the angle created by some big down trees. It’s actually like a corner of a corral, with the open end backing on to a step hill, ideal for an ambush by hunters. It should be perfectly obvious to hunters that this is an artificial site because the salt is in pellets, the ground is trampled bare and all trails lead to it. I suppose the hunters are the ones encouraging this since they must be naive or indifferent to this canned hunt. By the way, this is in the Imnaha wolf pack territory.

      • bob jackson says:


        All that would be needed to stop this kind of illegal salting activity is for the BLM, FS and G&F to sign (with maps) these salts at the closest trail heads, campgrounds, public corrals and logging roads. Then also sign at the site itself.

        Since salts like these are false ownership in nature, the same as hunters have their “secret” places to hunt then disclosure means this outfitter has no advantage anymore to salt those locations.

        I present this solution because the G&F and feds are always saying illegal salting is impossible to stop. Bullshit it is just an alibi by them in their hypocricy of duties they supposedly care about but really don’t.

      • Taz Alago says:

        Thanks Bob, I’ll see what the district ranger says about this.

      • bob jackson says:


        …….And when the district ranger says it probably is an illegal salt but their hands are tied because they can’t prove it then come back with, ” yes, there is a way…take a soil sample and it will most likely show human placed NaCl instead of natures CaCl.

        Then when he says they are too strapped for time to do so you tell this district ranger you will photo the collection site and then take a sample yourself for them. And while you are at it you will also tell him you will send for them a sample to his regional office in order “to save them time”. Then you will give him his peer’s phone number at the Jackson FS office and Kniffy Hamilton, the one who, upon taking the Bridger Teton ditrict ranger job, told the Jackson Hole news she was going to put a stop to the illegal salting in her district….and then when finding out how politically connected her districts outfitters were …first tried to sugar coat …. and then after things heated up a bit tried to sabatoge her reseachers look into the “problem”. Ya, you tell your District Ranger how it can be done, say there are examples out there in his beloved FS to assist and lead him through all the steps…and when he doesn’t follow through with what he said he was going to do you hold him accountable by getting ahold of not only the local newspaper, but also the bigges like the LA Times.

        And finally you tell this district ranger former back country ranger Bob Jackson would be available to help him. He will know my name because I was often in the federal newspaper back in the early 2000’s…. that all permanent govt. employees read every week either while sitting on the john the first of the day (saved for work instead of home so their crap time was on govt. time) or on their govt. computer (instead of starting work).

      • WM says:

        If these salt licks are legal in OR – unlike most states where they are not- why would a FS District Ranger care? According to Taz, Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife says salting is not illegal, notwithstanding the fact that most of us find it a distasteful practice.

        I also think it is legal in the south.

      • Save bears says:


        If you can think of a way to bait, it is legal in the SE part of the US, heck where do you think they develop all of the special clovers and stuff, think Mossy Oak Biolage, Food Plots Inc., Etc..

        If you can think a way to bait animals in, there is probably someone in the SE part of the country is already selling it!

      • bob jackson says:


        If it is wilderness area, salting is illegal no matter what the state…at least the ones I am familar with. And a lot of govt. agencies require salt to be placed in tubs for livestock because of salts impact on the soil and vegetation. And I doubt this outfittter even has a permit for salting other than in the direct camp area. So yes, as Taz describes this site, salting probably is illegal.

        And then there is that little thing called fair chase. Of what I know, any big game animal taken without it is not elgible for inclusion in the record books. Thus public disclosure of that outfitters dispicable practises can also be countered by public activisim realm.

        Signing the trail head that this outfitter uses with a map of that salting site can effect every paying client that outfitter takes up that trail. So the district ranger says no signs allowed? Then tell this whimpodite careerist all those outfitter notes to employess and hunters at these trail heads… on the hitching rails and trees at this trail head are illegal also.

        If taz wants he can place a van with the map on the side.

        Guess what I am saying, most shaddy practises like salting are illegal in one form or another, whether the state G&F says it is legal. These agencies don’t have the final say…especially on public lands. You just have to know how to apply or “word” these laws, regulations or public to make the practise end.

      • Taz Alago says:

        Well, I’ll let you know the upshot. I already have photos, but I tossed the samples after being told it was legal.

      • bob jackson says:


        I am impressed.

      • WM says:

        Can anyone confirm Bob’s claim that wilderness regulations (in a National Forest, or BLM land or other federal reservation other than a National Park) prohibit the use of artificial salt “baits?”

        Even if there is no specific regulation, one would think the impacts of using it- trampled vegetation, soil compaction and change of chemical composition of soil- could bring it other another less specific regulatory provision.

        Maybe Taz will tell us what the FS says.

      • bob jackson says:


        It isn’t the law of salting but rather the “unnatural”, that makes placement of salt illegal in wilderness areas. Some wilderness’s, such as Bridger-teton, have put in specific language dealing with salts (1991) because it was such a problem in this heavy outfitter use area. This 1991 law originated out of the Ogden Utah regional office.

      • Taz Alago says:

        Hmmm – I talked to the DR and she says she’s “interested” and will look into the legality of it. She’ll call me back…

      • Ryan says:

        Its legal, heck there are cattle operations in the Eagle caps.

        I don’t really get all of the up tightness about salt. I’ve been putting it out for years as it is legal in my state, I use it infront of my cameras to get pictures. Never killed a critter over it and generally don’t see many once season starts using it.

        “I suppose the hunters are the ones encouraging this since they must be naive or indifferent to this canned hunt”


        Its not a canned hunt, not by a damned site.

        Here is why IMHO, There still wild animals, there is no fences, etc.


        It is legal in OR, WA, UT, and NV to my knowledge. Maybe WY as well.


        Sounds like Salt is evil on a level somwhere between rap music and white drugs.

      • Taz Alago says:

        Ryan – there aren’t any cattle operations in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. You’re right that it’s not really a canned hunt where animals are set up on a private game farm, but it’s still not exactly ethical to bait game. This particular salt bait looks like a feedlot it’s so beaten down, the animals are penned up in a corner, elk hang out there like cows, where’s the “sport” in ambushing these animals? No stalk, no tracking, no skill necessary.

        This kind of hunt pisses me off like using a chain saw or an ATV in the Wilderness: it’s illegal, it’s lazy, it’s unethical. If you’re doing research and using it for camera traps, and you don’t use the same location year after year for large ungulates who beat down the ground, and it’s not illegal, I forgive you (ho ho).

      • Ryan says:


        First off there is cattle in the Eagle Caps, they were grandfathered in in parts of it. They were in my camp 12 miles in last year. Sounds pretty crazy, their going to get stuck in those three sided trees.

        BTW did you see any elk or deer when you spotted the salt trapped inside that three sided tree corral?

        “but it’s still not exactly ethical to bait game.”

        I know alot of guys who do it, there success rates are no higher than the guys I hunt with who never hunt salt, corn, or stands.

        I’m one critter away from my Pope and Young trifecta this year without any salt. I shot a 187″ buck this weekend no where near a salt block or a camera that I know of. I shot him coming into a private alfalfa field in the desert. Last year I killed a 173″ buck in the high country 8 miles in. The buck this year was way harder to take and he was limited to only 1 food supply for 10 square miles. I shot my antalope this season over a waterhole blind, they need water a heck of a lot more than they need salt. I guess the point is I don’t see how salt or bait is a huge advantage. Once a critter gets pressure, it won’t be seen on the salt for a long time.

      • Ryan says:

        Edit this line out..

        Sounds pretty crazy, their going to get stuck in those three sided trees.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        Apparently grazing was grandfathered in according to the Eagle Cap Wilderness web site; if so a detrimental, IMO, relic.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        Forgot the source of grazing domestic livestock Eagle Cap Wilderness :

      • Taz Alago says:

        Well damn my eyes you’re right about cows in the Wilderness. Bad idea though. None up McCully where this bait is. There were 5 elk on the bait when I first saw it.

        Ryan, if you’re shooting pronghorn from a blind, I think that’s lazy. No matter though. Point is, in the Wilderness areas, apparently baiting is illegal.

      • Save bears says:



        I have shot three pronghorn in my life, all three were from a blind over a water hole with a longbow, but I can guarantee you, I am not lazy, all three of them were between 3 and 5 miles from any roads, and I didn’t use my ATV to get there, even the Native American’s used blinds to hunt speed goats, so I think your a bit out of line, unless you have hunted pronghorn and actually know what your are talking about!

      • Ryan says:

        “Ryan, if you’re shooting pronghorn from a blind, I think that’s lazy.”


        I think you don’t know what your talking about. I have close to 90 hours in a ground blind waiting (over 2 seasons), 8 days of scouting, countless miles on the boots in the wilderness, and hundreds on the quads riding the “roads”. (the roads aren’t suitable for trucks, I averaged a tire a day driving in the desert) While it may not have been the most physically challenging hunt, mentally there is not a tougher hunt.

        While your waiting though one sees things he or she will never usually see, starting with the bull bats in the AM, The sharp shins, mice, golden eagles, coyotes mousing, or random shore birds coming in off Abert lake through out the day one seems to notice things not usually seen. I had a mouse that would eat out of my hand by the second day this year, unfortunately he crawled in my back pack unbeknownst to me and got crushed by a book.

      • Taz Alago says:

        Ok ok, you’re not lazy.

  96. Elk275 says:

    There is an interesting picture in the Billings Gazette about a bear in downtown Missoula.

  97. jon says:

    anti-wolf article

    Court Favors Wolves, Endangers Elk, Moose and Humans

    Interesting comments from one of the people who commented on this article.

    Long on bluster, short on facts. Where to begin? At the end:
    * Not even the most extreme enviro calls wolves cuddly. They supported restoration of the wolf because of their predatory nature.
    * Check with Idaho Fish & Game about wolf size. The 188 taken by hunters last year averaged 75 pounds.
    * Check with wildlife agencies in the three states about elk numbers in wolf country. Some places they’re down, some they’re stable and others they’re actually increasing. Wolves are moving elk around, that’s for sure; heaven forbid a “hunter” actually have to get out of his truck to put that elk rack above the barn door.
    * The decline in the Lolo elk herd is due partially to wolves but mostly to habitat issues. A century after the 1910 burn, trees have matured and are crowding out elk. Again, check with Idaho Fish & Game.
    * The court ruling has no bearing on livestock predation. None. In fact, the states are being more aggressive about eliminating conflict animals than ever. More than 1,000 have been killed since restoration. Notice that the ranching community has been relatively quiet about the judge’s ruling; it’s the hunters that are up in arms.
    * The Northern Range herd of Yellowstone is finally where it should be: About 6,000 animals. The elk were hammering the flora there, to the detriment of the ecosystem’s health. Unless you’re pining for the area to be a giant elk farm, you can’t possibly be upset with this.
    * Quoting Jim Beers? Hilarious.
    * The enviros weren’t suing because of Idaho and Montana; they sued because of Wyoming. Only one of those you list is opposed to wolf hunting.
    * In pointing to the deadliness of wolves, you cite two — two! — deaths. I presume you’ll be going after dogs, pickup trucks and handguns next? Didn’t think so.

    I get it. You hate wolves. But try showing at least a modicum of journalistic integrity.

  98. jon says:

    Wolves: Solution: Adopt Wyoming’s plan

    Here we are, years later, with the elk, moose and deer herds being tragically reduced along with domestic sheep and cattle. Just as I predicted, Montana is not being allowed to manage these huge wild dogs on steroids.

    • jon says:

      Since when is a 80-110 pound grey wolf considered a huge wild dog on steroids? I wonder what this person would have called dire wolves if they were still around. There are some domestic dogs that get much bigger than this. I wonder what this person would have called dire wolves if they were still around.

    • Here is part of the quote from John D. Greathouse, in the Missoulian.

      “. . . elk, moose and deer herds being tragically reduced along with domestic sheep and cattle.” [emphasis mine]

      Oh yes, drive around Montana and it is just amazing how you can ‘t find cattle or domestic sheep anymore! 😉

      • Salle says:

        “Oh yes, drive around Montana and it is just amazing how you can ‘t find cattle or domestic sheep anymore!”

        May I add… that is unless you try to go out and enjoy your public lands like the Gravelly Mountains for instance, try to find a spot that isn’t crowded with cattle or sheep during the summer, all the way up to 9000+ft elev.

        PS: So, SB, THAT might be o