Some hunters like predators, dislike ATVs

How many hunters are like this?

Given the quality of the rabid anti-wolf folks, it might be easy to forget that many hunters (more than 50%?) take a balanced view of animals and hunting access.

I think there is too much demonization of hunters per se on this blog.  Folks should be careful to separate hunters into their various categories. Hunters are like everyone else in that their ethics, skill, and hunting interests come from how they were raised, where they were raised, how they learned to hunt, their age, their occupation and more.

Some hunters like predators, dislike ATVs. By Tom Wharton. The Salt Lake Tribune

Ralph Maughan





  1. cc Avatar

    Thanks for posting this. The notion that anyone who doesn’t agree completely with our world view is somehow a lesser person and an enemy is ridiculous. Maybe it makes people feel nobler if they demonize other people, but it’s completely at odds with actually solving the very problems we are upset about. It has been said here many times that the biggest threat to wolves is not legal hunting, but the actions of Wildlife Services. But people keep forgeting that. I hope the lack of comments doesn’t reflect a lack of attention to your posting.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Thanks. It has been hard to maintain web page that doesn’t just slip into a predetermined slot that so many forces are trying to create.

    1. Hilljack Avatar

      For the record I think many hunters understand that hunting should be done on foot so you can really enjoy being in the wild. I am a wildlife biologist and hunter and spend much of the gun season here in Idaho making contacts with hunters and when needed giving citations. I spent opening day this year in the brush hunting for the a doe and although endless atv’s and trucks drove past up on the road I did not see one person in the brush. Part of the problem is the laws are to relaxed in Idaho. Just getting of the maintained portion of a road only takes one step in some cases. I don’t care what type of road or trail it is if you are driving a motorized vehicle on it you should have to get at a minimum 25 feet from the shoulder. I watched 3 deer get shot this weekend I pushed out of the brush by people on the road. Because from my position in the river bottom I could not see their feet fish and game could not issue citations. Normally I don’t hunt anywhere near a road but this was a special antlerless tag and the only place to hunt public land was between the road and river. Most people need to remember hunters are conservationist too.

    2. Angela Avatar

      I think this web page is one of the best I’ve ever seen for allowing people of vastly different perspectives to communicate. It’s inevitable that there will be some friction and brush fires, but I think it is a good place for both hunters and non-hunters to practice tolerance and hear other people’s views. I know it is for me. We have to remember that we all want to preserve wild places, so we have that in common.

  3. Ryan Avatar

    I hunt the wilderness and love being on foot, I also run an ATV and hunt areas that are more conducive to that (desert areas). I don’t hunt off the ATV, but it works great for getting around on those crappy roads.

  4. mikepost Avatar

    I think that the fact that there are so many hunters that read and contribute to this blog is a sign that there is a body of us out there who are rational, reflective and concerned about the true wildlife and habitat issues being raised.

    Thanks for this posting Ralph. Successful activism comes with inclusion, not exclusion….

  5. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    Good, ethical hunters are naturalists by inclination and training, whether self-taught or through formal education. No naturalist could rationally assert that predators damage their prey at any scale of the landscape. One has to conclude that the hunters that do so claim aren’t really hunters because they aren’t naturalists. All they want to do is shoot. Well, you can do that at the range.

    I have long since concluded that we hunters, not to mention wildlife agencies, do a lousy job of developing and training naturalists and good, ethical hunters. That’s where I’ve decided my time can best be spent–developing naturalists.


  6. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I think what a person is like in general strongly affects the kind of hunter they are.

    A person who cuts corners with the law is likely to do the same when they hunt. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like that Idaho legislator who steals timber and doesn’t pay his taxes because he “loves the Constitution so” 😉 might also deserve close scrutiny on the hunt.

    A person who tries to be excellent in their occupation will strive for the same hunting.

    A person who just wants to be like his friends will hunt they way they do.

  7. Wyo Native Avatar
    Wyo Native

    Other than those who physically require the use of an ATV, I would like to see all trails other than main roads closed to them during hunting seasons.

    I have over 200 miles on my feet this hunting season in the Wyoming Range. In most of that area that I hunt ATV’s are not a problem because there are not any trails for them.

    There was a gentlemen that did take his ATV past a road closed sign and gate last week during the Rifle Deer hunt and he was caught by the Wyo G&F. Not only was he fined, but he was forced to take the ATV out piece by piece. It was pretty funny watching him disassemble the ATV through the spotting scope!

    1. Robert Hoskins Avatar
      Robert Hoskins

      Wyo Native

      Too bad you don’t have photos/video of how to remove an ATV from an area piecemeal. Such photos would be be edifying.


    2. Ryan Avatar


      I have some from the Cascades this year where I turned in a guy for it. He was three miles in some pretty nasty wilderness country.

  8. DB Avatar

    I recently spent three days in the Owyhees, about 100 miles from home, hunting chukars and quail. Trouble is I forgot shot shells so spent most of that time following my dogs with a camera. We put up several bunches of sage grouse in an area that I had found none during the season earlier in the year. I was thrilled. I’ve been hunting birds for over fifty years and it was one of my most fun hunts.

  9. Andy Avatar

    Thanks for posting this Ralph. I truly believe that I’m part of the “silent” majority of sportsmen out there that would echo what this article stands for.

    Unfortunately our voices are drowned out by the fringes of both sides of the issue.


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

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Ralph Maughan