Note that this replaces the 17th edition. That edition will now move slowly into the depths of the blog.

Bitterroot © Ken Cole

Bitterroot © 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.

425 Responses to Have you come across any interesting Wildlife News? November 5, 2010

  1. cc says:

    USFWS summaries on wildlife and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Consilidated numbers of collected wildlife:

    Bird impact by species:

  2. cc says:

    Updated info on wildlife and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill from the USFWS:

    Consolidated numbers of wildlife collected:

    Birds by species:

  3. JimT says:

    Didn’t take Wyoming long to hang out the OPEN FOR BUSINESS, now did it…

    • Elk275 says:

      Oilmen are wolves and grizzlies. If a hunter leaves a dead elk on the ground overnight there will find it and feed on it.

      If there is oil in the ground the oilmen will find it and feed on it.

      Lets see. Those wells are coming in at 1000 to 500 barrels a day and producing over time 300 barrels a day. If oil is selling for $85 a barrel that is $25,000 a day or $9,307.500 a year in production revenue. The well cost around 3.5 million to drill and pay out is in less than 5 months; it is easy street for many people after payout, then there is additional wells to drill and produce.

      We are all whores to money, without it ??????????????

      • Salle says:

        We are all whores to money, without it ??????????????

        If you have had to live with the bare minimum amounts of $$ that most say they have to have ~ or are told they need to have for whatever ~ money doesn’t really matter all that much. Many of us have learned to thrive through barter and recycling of things other than aluminum and plastic bags.

        A memorable quote from a friend who doesn’t spend much time living up to the moniker of consumer and avoids capitalism almost completely:

        “I refuse to allow money to either define me or dictate my quality of life.”

        Wish I could be on that playing field more often than I am… when I can regularly drink my morning coffee sans cream, I think I’ll be close to being there. (At least I drink fair trade coffee. When that’s no longer available, I’ll drink some herbal tea made from indigenous plants – there are quite a few to choose from…)

  4. WM says:

    As predicted, now begins the dissection of the truth or falsity of the story (some have already said “tale”) of killing of the wolf by the elk hunters retrieving their bull.

    The verbatim statements of Appleby and Pittman, were apparently completed only two days after the incident (Saturday, 10-30), are listed as PDF files in the left margin of this NBC Montana link:

  5. PointsWest says:

    Joule Awarded Patent on Renewable Diesel Production from Sunlight and CO2.

    I assume this means they could use captured CO2 from a coal or gas fired plant to create this synthetic diesel. The process might have a big future. It would be better and cheaper than CO2 sequestering. There is a fairly lage buzz in the media about it.

    • Cody Coyote says:

      The Joule process for converting CO2 straight to hydrocarbon molecules uses grey water, sunlight , and a bioengineered organism. I sincerely hope this process is closed loop, contained, anerobic.

      I do wonder about that proprietary organism . What happens if it gets loose in the real world and starts making an oily sludge everywhere, consuming the CO2 from the sky , killing all the plant life on Earth, replacing it with carbon slime . Great sci-fi apocalypse story line.

      I’m assuming that an abundance of free oxygen will monkeywrench the biochemistry and neutralize the little wayward organisms. But still….

  6. The Canyon Pack pups (2 grays and a black) crossed to the west side of the Yellowstone river in the Hayden Valley today. As far as I know, it was the first time they had been seen on the west side of the Yellowstone since they were born. When the three adults crossed the highway to go hunting, the pups swam back across the river and returned to the rendezvous site.
    It was a pleasure to watch them without Rick McIntyre and his wolf-watcher mob there to crowd out everyone else in the pullouts.
    The area across from the Grizzly Pullout in the Hayden Valley has been closed for two months because of the damage done to the vegetation by the wolf watcher crowd this summer.

    • michelle says:

      That damage to the side of ther hill has been there for years and years, It is actually a bison trail from what I was told, We have sat in that pull-out at least 5 times a year for the last 15 and the trail has always been there. However if you walk to the other side of the closed area it is disgusting, there has been garbage and toilet paper left all over and I believe that is why the closed it!!

  7. SEAK Mossback says:

    Interesting. I’ve noticed bird watchers can be pretty high impact too. In July 2001, my son and I were coming down the Taku River after salmon fishing when a Steller’s Sea Eagle (normally found only in Asia) flew 30 feet over our open boat and landed in a nearby tree among some bald eagles. It was quite an impressive bird. I mentioned it to a birder friend and word spread quickly, precipitating a stampede to the local heliport. Either the birders didn’t have the patience to go by boat or didn’t want to chance being unable to track down the bird. Pretty soon it was posted on the world-wide birder’s hotline and they jetted in from all over the country, even internationally, creating a boom for the helicopter company. It all ended very abruptly on 9/11.

  8. Save bears says:

    I don’t know what round it is, but bill to be re-introduced in Montana:

    • Salle says:

      Well, as a MT resident, I would be in line to challenge it immediately as it usurps my ~ and that of many other citizens ~ Constitutional Rights on a number of levels… and I could probably get a lot of backing when I filed. The insanity has to stop somewhere.

    • JB says:

      “In a nutshell, the bill claims Montana’s right to manage wolves trumps the federal government’s authority under the Endangered Species Act.”

      They might pass this bill, but they are wrong. The Federal government’s authority with respect to wildlife is unquestioned. This is another example of western states’ rights rhetoric.

      • Salle says:

        It sure is.

        Hopefully it’s all sabre-rattling but it sure is a stupid way to deal with abiding by laws that have been around for quite some time. I wonder what is is that makes these folks feel/think that they have some special entitlement to defy the federal laws while taking their ranching/mining/timber subsidized $$s from the rest of the taxpaying public. I’m sure it isn’t genetic.. it must be a direct result of education budget cutting over the past several decades.

        Idaho, for one, is a state that is openly and loudly proud of the ignorance of the public at large within the state. If you can keep people from learning and distract them with enough BS, you could have it your way all the time and never be found out. Almost as effectively as religious zealotry, which works there.

        I had hoped and felt for some time that the citizens and government of Montana had more sense than this… guess things have either changed considerably, I was mistaken about it or both.

      • jon says:

        The bill also includes consequences for wolves. It states if a person is injured or killed by a wolf, “the wolf or wolves involved in the attack are considered likely to be infected with rabies (and) any person may kill any wolf by any means within 100 miles of the alleged attack.”

  9. Salle says:

    True words of wisdom:

    Time to End the War Against the Earth… part of a speech given last night at the Sydney Opera House by Vandana Shiva

  10. PointsWest says:

    Climate scientists plan campaign against global warming skeptics — from the Chicago Tribune,0,3784003.story

    • It’s about time. There have been a lot of groups and institutions who have assumed the values of education, rational thinking, and science would generally be supported the government and the public. They thought the discredited ways of the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries were long dead.

      It’s not true. We see movements emerging that are a threat to modern civilization itself, e.g., let’s replace the Constitution with Old Testament Biblical Law.

  11. vickif says:

    I am stunned by the way we sweep the obvious things under the rug. By obvious, I meen, animals are obviously being profoundly effected by global warming and/or man.

    I have been traveling to Yellowstone since I was a small child, over 30 years ago. Our favorite way to pass the time was to count antelope once we hit the Wyoming state line. That is a tradition I passed to my own children.

    Where we once used to lose track of the numbers of antelope, we now struggle to break over one hundred. However, I recently made a trip up hwy 85 into South Dakota. I have made this trip many times before, but had skipped a few years since the last trip. There had always been antelope along the way, but never to the levels we once saw while traveling through the Muddy Gap and Laramie areas.

    This trip to South Dakota, the number of antelope was obviously far higher.

    I have posted in the past few years about how much later the rut seems to go on in Colorado’s Rockies, particullarly near Estes Park. I have also seen deer that have fawned well into November, elk in velvet later, moose calves born well into October.

    It also seems that we have colder weather later into the spring and summer months, and each year winter seems to set in later.

    How can anyone who we would vote into office have such a blind eye to such things? Who wouldn’t wonder what is happening, and why it is happening so fast?

    I can’t help but think “what idiots!” I ask myself if denial is just easier, but for me, it is not even an option. I see it, and cannot deny it. I wish I had answers as to why people choose not to acknowledge the ever growing problems we are creating. Most of the explainations I have are not very settling, greed, entitlement, laziness, etc. Dare to dream of a day when the powers that be actually do the right thing, and swing this country, if not the world, into reality. Climate change and human behaviors need to be dealt with.

    • PointsWest says:

      The global warming deniers are gloating now after having won the elections with millions of dollars of backing from billionaires and corporations but rest assured that the elation that comes with victory will fade, reality will eventually bite, and history will not be kind to the global warming deniers.

  12. Robert Hoskins says:

    Al Jazeera video on Pine Ridge. Well worth watching:

    As go North America’s indigenous people, so goes the land.


    • Nancy says:

      Thank you for sharing that video Robert.

      Are you familiar with this enterprise on the Pine Ridge reservation? I’ve tried the bars and they are fabulous!!

      • Robert Hoskins says:


        I’ve heard of Tanka Bar but it hadn’t been started last time I was on the Reservation. Will certainly check it out my next visit. I’d like to visit the new tribal national park.


    • WM says:


      Sad stories of native people across America. But, do you suppose Aljazeera will run a segment on the AK tribes who have benefitted from ANILCA and flourishing tribal corporations which compete with non-native contractors for federal contracts (and are given preference in some cases), or the highly successfula financial gaming enterprises like the Tulalip, Nez Perce, or other the enterprises on the Navajo res?

      Aljazeera runs these pieces for one reason only and you know exactly what it is.

      On a more local note, the Yakama tribe (Eastern WA) has attempted tribal enterprises with somewhat limited success. They bought a local sports team and a dome venue in Yakima (Sundome and Sun Kings against the advice of outside financial advisors – the advisors were right and this business has sucked them dry). They started an apple juice processing facility (Yakama Juice – that produced juice every bit as good as Tree Top, but couldn’t figure out distribution networks for profitability, again an advisor issue combined with fraud and bad contracts) and they run a sawmill which has recently come under investigation and penalties from regulators for safety violations, one of which resulted in death of a worker recently.

      Very difficult to keep one foot in romance of the past, and one foot moving forward for the future (ugly as it is for some). Not sure what the solution is.

      • Robert Hoskins says:


        Quite frankly, having spent much of my military career in the Middle East, I’ve found Al Jazeera far more truthful and complete than most of the American press.

        As far as the success of ANILCA, there are far more losers among Alaskan tribes than winners.


      • PointsWest says:

        The Late Massacre near Fort Hall

      • Daniel Berg says:


        I had an interesting conversation last weekend with a guy who was involved in the process that led to the building of the Snoqualmie Casino & Lounge off of I-90

        The Snoqualmie Indians had no reservation. The “tribe” is made up of 600 and some odd members with no pure bloodlines left. You can qualify as a Snoqualmie Indian with as little as 1/8 of of Snoqualmie blood. The members are widely distributed across the state.

        40 Acres of land was purchased and subsequently a lobbying effort was ultimately successful over a period of about five years to get this 40 acres classified as a reservation. The biggest opponents they had were the Muckleshoot and Tulalip Indians who poured a substantial amount of money into lobbying against approval. They claimed that the Snoqualmie’s weren’t a real tribe and or their business would be harmful to other casino’s.

        The Snoqualmie Casion is now profitable and the members of the tribe will most likely have access to large distributions over time after the loan for the casino is paid off.

        I grew up near the Muckleshoot Reservation and it is amazing how quickly a tribe can go from rags to riches when they figure out how to take advantage of business opportunities that are sometimes unique to their position. The Muckleshoot reservation in the early 90’s was very much poverty stricken with just a bingo hall and a small smoke shop. Today it is a completely different place that is a symbol of financial success.

        I’m sure AlJazeera would be very eager to run a piece highligting the success of some of the tribes who reside within the United States.

      • WM says:


        Yours is the first comment I have heard regarding profitability of the Snoqualmie. They were having creditor problems even before the economic meltdown. I hope your friend is correct, because if you are a creditor in Indian Country (sovereign nations) the rules of perfecting a security position and collecting on delinquent debts is a whole different legal game. Maybe some of the obstacles to doing business on the Snoqualmie reservation were addressed before lenders offered money, and the trades businesses who built the casino performed services.

        Although a bit dated, January 2010, here is an article on the shakeout that is occuring in the tribal casino businesses (The Snoqualmie, according to your friend, must be turning things around). I think I have seen more recent articles in Indian Country on line, but was to lazy to look.

        Some obviously have better business models than others. The Jamestown S’kallam, are doing extremely well. One that is not discussed, but in my opinion will fail in short order is the Lower Elwha tribe at the mouth of that river NW of Port Angeles. They have a new, but really crappy facility, are way off the beaten path for would be casino goers and no real gambler or destination resort guest base to draw from. I would hate to be a creditor holding paper on that facility; they won’t be repaid a dime, in the near term anyway. Maybe when the dams finally come out, and the hatchery contract money filters down to the tribal members, it might make a difference.

      • WM says:

        Long as we are talking about tribal casino gaming, I found a trailer for “Casino Jack…” the Jack Abramhoff story.

        As PW mentioned in a post a few days back there is also a Keven Spacey moving coming out on the same topic. You can find this on Youtube too.

      • Daniel Berg says:

        I had heard that the Snoqualmie was having some cash flow problems, but had not read the article you linked. He didn’t go into how close they actually came to a liquidity crisis, but he admitted that there had been some “concerns”.

        It was surprising to hear that they were turning a profit. However, they do have a couple of very able individuals working on their behalf, IMO.

        I did see the post about “Casino Jack” in the other thread. I plan on watching it.

  13. PointsWest says:

    …and you thought your community had troubles!

    Oct. 19

    — A disturbance was reported. Banging was coming from an apartment located below the reporting party’s residence.

    — Two grizzly bears were outside of a house.

    — A woman who has a no-contact order on her ex-boyfriend said called her and she is concerned about how he got her phone number.

    — A speed limit sign and another sign have been broken off at the ground.

    — A diamond bracelet was lost in Madison County over a year ago. The reporting party is hoping someone might have turned it in.

    Oct. 20

    — Someone reported that their boyfriend had been missing for 12 hours. He was traveling from West Yellowstone to Big Sky.

    — Six horses were reported on Highway 20 by Denny Creek Road and near a fuel tank.

    — A welfare check was requested to check on the reporting party’s son, who had been sick since Saturday.

    — Dispatchers received a truancy call about a student who did not show up for school.

    — A false security alarm was triggered by a garage door.

    — A set of Subaru keys and a post office key attached to a key ring, with a black flashlight, were reported lost.

    — Someone has been dumping cardboard without a contract.

    Oct. 21

    — A mountain bike was reported damaged and that it was thrown to the ground.

    — A bicycle was found in the middle of Madison Avenue near the Dairy Queen.

    — Someone received a fraudulent facsimile.

    — An older gray Buick was reportedly parked in front of a business for two-and-a-half days. The caller was advised that it is legal to park up to five days.

    — A black and white paint mule was reported missing.

    — A dark blue semi truck, with a step deck containing white bundles, passed the reporting party on the right shoulder of the road. The reporting party was driving 60 mph.

    — A mother and her boyfriend were yelling at the reporting party.

    Oct. 22

    — Two males walked into the police department to file a vandalism report.

    — A man reported that a two-year-old grizzly has been hanging around his place for the last two nights. Fish, Wildlife & Parks was advised.

    — A hole from a bullet or BB was discovered in a window. The incident happened sometime on Oct. 21 or the morning of Oct. 22.

    — A white rabbit with gray spots on its ears and back was found.

    — An orange vehicle was reported disabled in Yellowstone Park. The two men were trying to hitchhike to West Yellowstone.

    Oct. 23

    — A woman called in from a local hotel to report that an employee saw a bear walking down the street.

    — A white semi truck with blue lettering, tried to pass a vehicle four or five times in a no passing zone. It tailgated the vehicle through the canyon. The truck had “Mathison Trucking Co.” written on it with California license plates. The reporting party is a truck driver instructor and believes the guy driving is an idiot and a danger.

    — A shorthaired, declawed gray cat with green eyes was found. The cat is very friendly.

    Oct. 24

    — A man was arrested on DUI charges after being pulled over for a traffic violation.

    — A tree was down and blocking North Flat Road at the intersection with Highway 20. The reporting party did not have a chainsaw, but was able to clear the rubble enough so that only the eastbound part of the road was closed.

    — An anonymous caller reported that a small shorthaired dog has been tied to a tree behind a house. The caller believes the dog has not been off a leash in weeks and is barking and shivering.

    Oct. 25

    — An officer called in to report two bears wandering around one of the hotels in town. He is guiding them into the park.

    — A woman called to complain about a barking dog.

    — A ranger asked for assistance in locating some loose horses.

    — An officer advised that the bears are back again on Boundary Road, near Madison and Parkway B.

    — An alarm went off at the lift station.

    — A 10-month-old husky with an orange collar was loose in the Madison Addition.

    — A non-injury wreck with blockage took place along Highway 267 near Earthquake Lake.

    — A report from a concerned citizen was given to the school principal. A pair of shoes was hung over a lamppost one block from school.

    — A business left cardboard at Two Seasons Recycling. They only collect residential cardboard.

    — Someone reported negligence of an older tan dog chained outside. It seems to be fed only twice per week.

    — There was a black Toyota following a caller that was going all over the road. The vehicle could not stay between the lines.

    — A mutual aid call came in to go to the West District Ranger Station.

    — A dog was reportedly left in a kennel since Wednesday and is barking all the time.

    Oct. 26

    — A vehicle was reportedly left in the Chamber of Commerce parking lot for about a week.

    — A person was bit by a dog while walking home. He wants an officer to call his cell phone.

    • PointsWest says:

      Whoops…I forgot the Title. It is the West Yellowstone Police Report Summary to Oct. 26

  14. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Grizzly Bear “conservation”?: Yellowstone grizzly hunts to replace conservation efforts

    • Salle says:

      So, 596 grizzlies and 48 bear deaths necessitates a mortality reduction plan, but 603 grizzlies and 48 deaths triggers a call for grizzly bear hunts.

      Sounds like another affront to the ESA given the fact that grizzlies are currently classified as threatened

      I never did like Chris Servheen’s (and his brother’s) management of bears, maybe someone else needs to take on that job ~ for the bears’ sake.

    • Evan says:

      ++ “Right now there’s no value on bears. If people are allowed to compete for a limited number of hunting licenses, people will start to ascribe more value to bears.” ++

      So these animals only have value if they can be hunted?

      • jon says:

        I was thinking the same thing. I am sure there are many people who value grizzlies without wanting them hunted. To suggest that wildlife has no value because it’s not hunted is stupid and absurd.

      • william huard says:

        After hearing this stupid comment I called this Daniel B in wyoming to question what he meant. He told me all he meant was that management hunts are one of the most effective tools they have in their “tool box”. He also admitted that he would much rather have wolves listed as a game animal but due to the political nature of the environment in Wyoming he didn’t think it was possible. Even he realizes that when either hunters or politicians try to tell the rest of us which species have value and which ones don’t create alot of pushback. The value argument is typical trophy hunting rhetoric. That’s one gorgeous animal after taking a lung shot with an arrow and choking on his own blood.

    • Salle says:

      Oops, sorry Nancy, I posted a link to the same headline but it is a longer article at Huffington Post.

      • Nancy says:

        Salle, the Huffington article also had a photo which helps to get an idea of whats going on.

  15. Nancy says:

    ++The abnormality sometimes is accompanied by elongated claws, abnormal skin or variations in feather color++

    I had a magpie come to the yard often this spring and summer who looked like it had a buzz cut. The top of the head was light gray, no feathers.

  16. JB says:

    Some interesting analysis of election polling at

    • william huard says:

      Call me a wolfie, but I don’t think there has been any concrete proof that wolves are responsible for the killing of the Alaskan teacher last year.

      • jon says:

        That article had some great comments. Here is a good one.

        It never ceases to amaze me how people choose to live in outlying areas; then scream and shout when the wildlife of the areas they chose to live in dare to do what comes naturally.

        First we need to slaughter every wolf in AK so people can leave their pets outside unattended and completely unprotected. Oh wait; then we have to slaughter every bear in AK too because they will still act likes bears when people are too lazy and cheap to properly supervise and contain their pets.

        That’s not nearly enough! We need to kill every eagle and hawk in AK too because they can carry off small dogs and cats. Deer and moose can kill small pets left out as wildelife bait so let’s slaughter them all too.

        At what point do people have to take responsibility for themselves and their pets? Poeple who bait wildlife by leaving garbage are heavily fined. Why aren’t people who bait wildlife with their pets also fined? These people attract wildlife into the neighborhood; then expect someone else to pay to have the wildlife destroyed.

        We see this week in and week out but there is a never ending supply of lazy, irresponsible pet owners who are happy to throw their pet’s lives away on a bet they will eventually lose.

      • jon says:

        This is nothing more than fear William. Those people decided to live in Alaska. Let’s kill everything that poses a danger to us. let’s kill every bear, every wolf, every mt. lion so our children and pets can play outside with no danger around them what so ever.

      • Elk275 says:


        Have you ever been to Alaska, Jon? There are a bunch of people, like you, who write about things they never have had first hand experience with.

        The biggest danger in Anchorage is moose. Whether you like it or not Anchorage is a city and the city has a balancing act between the protection of it population and wildlife. People are going to win over wildlife in the city.

        William Huard

        I think that there was concrete proof that wolves killed her. A DNA analysis was done.

      • Nancy says:

        William, I don’t think there’s gonna be alot of proof that Appleby & Pitman were confronted by a wolf pack. I found it interesting that officials didn’t checked out the scene until Monday, leaving lots of time to compromise the area. Their actual accounts also differed – Appleby said he and Benedict dragged the meat to the road and then walked back to the truck. Pitman’s description: We rode up as far as we could to a gully that we had to make it through with the horses, and had about a half hour [hike] at that point to the elk.

        Appleby claims: There were no tracks of anything except a coyote track. Pitman claims: There were some old tracks around … singles, nothing fresh.
        Curious why Benedict didn’t give an account of the events of the first day.

      • WM says:


        I believe an AK Medical Examiner confirmed the small statured young famale school teacher was killed by wolves, and it had been determined, before the ME report, by AK State Patrol investigators that they were about as close to “100 percent certain” that she was killed by wolves, absent DNA confirmation.

        I understand there have been incidents of wolves attacking dogs on leash in and around Anchorage. Eagle River is a large suburb of Anchorage.

        You should view this Youtube video regarding dog and wolf interaction, even in the presence of humans. I think you will be surprised. It is not staged, and there is an interview with an AK wildlife official.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        To my knowledge there has been no DNA verification that wolves killed Candice Berner in March 2010. Two wolves were shot and tests were to be done. It seems it would have been big news had this occurred and results were conclusive.

    • I saw this yesterday story and didn’t put it up after I saw much of the so-called evidence of “bold wolves” was the loss of a couple dogs.

      Wolves that have never seen a person or a dog will attack and kill a dog.

      Coyotes attack and kill dogs in suburbia and the open range too.

      • timz says:

        My brother lives in a Dallas suburb and a coyote came into his back yard the other day and took off with his cat. He chased him down long enough for it to drop the cat but really showed no fear of humans.

      • Timz,

        Time to contact the Texas media for a scare story!

      • timz says:

        Ain’t no little coyotee going to scare a Texan

  17. william huard says:

    I don’t let my dog out of my sight when I take him out. If I had a 15 year old beagle and I knew that wolves were IN my surroundings and I let that animal out of my sight even for a few moments whose fault is it? The Wolves? People are idiots

  18. william huard says:

    I’m not sure about that Elk 275. I thought the DNA testing came back inconclusive as to the cause of death. Does anyone have the report?

    • Elk275 says:

      Will, what did kill her? There were bite marks on the body that matched a wolfs mouth. I suppose that she could have had a heart attach and then the wolves munched on the remains. So what, there are plenty of wolves in Alaska and the village that she was teaching at, the natives are and were trapping wolves.

      • william huard says:

        The wolfhaters and Don Peay types would love nothing more than to have a human killed by wolves. Go on Peay’s website and look at the photos of the “demonic wolves” ripping the flesh off their victims. These “Sportsmen for Sportsmen” have this feeling of entitlement to game herds and it is pathetic. Utah’s hatred of wolves is very evident by the actions of their legislature. There is NO PROOF wolves killed this woman.

      • jon says:

        I don’t know if wolves killed this woman or not. Could have been she died of a heart attack or something else and the wolves saw her dead body and started eating her, who knows for sure.Anything is possible. wolf haters want wolves killing people because than they feel there is a reason to kill the wolves off. They pose a danger to human life so let’s kill them all off. Don Peay recommended buying dogs from shelters and using them as wolf bait.

      • SEAK Mossback says:

        “NO PROOF” is a pretty extreme statement — no doubt driven by passion to protect, the same long-demonstrated passion that led Dr. Paul Paquet to point to a black bear in the Kenton Carnegie winter death in Saskatchewan. It’s important that incidents of this nature be fully investigated by qualified and objective people but that does not guarantee that the conclusions will ever be accepted by everyone. That said, wolf attacks on humans are so rare that it should not make a significant difference in our view of them whether these two incidents were 100% proven or not.

      • jon says:

        Paul Paquet is the guy that said that a bear killed Kenton Carnegie. Thanks for bringing his name up seak.

      • jon says:

        The investigation on Carnegie’s death lasted two years, and provoked intense debate on wildlife management and the role of garbage disposal in the habituation of wild animals. The popular notion that healthy wild wolves in North America are relatively harmless to humans was put into question. In turn, this generated ongoing discussion about the relative dangers of other large North American mammals, including bison, moose, elk, deer, and human hunters. For example, since 1950, North American hunters have killed an estimated 5-10,000 people and injured many thousands more. About 100 people are killed annually by hunters.[7]

    • WM says:


      I never cease to be amazed by the never ending wall of bullshit people like you throw out to avoid acknowledgement that wolves are capable of certain kinds of behavior.

      The body of knowledge will increase as more wolves are on the landscape, and I guess we will have a better understanding of what is happening over time, but in the meantime do keep an open mind.

      And, if wolves didn’t kill this young teacher in AK, what did and where is the conclusive proof by ANY INVESTIGATOR that it was something else?

      • jon says:

        WM, are you familiar with the kenton Carnegie case? Some experts said that wolves kill him and another expert said that a bear killed him. What are your thoughts on this particular case?

      • william huard says:

        My statement is in part based on my passion to protect. I have followed this case pretty close and I have yet to see a Medical Examiner’s report that says with 100 % certainty that wolves killed this woman. I am not a wolf biologist but I have spent significant time studying wolves in the wild and have never seen wolf aggression toward humans

      • WM says:


        I am familiar with the Carnagie case. The overwhelming conclusion from the on-site investigators was that his death was caused by wolves. Carnegie went out seeking wolves after learning of a confrontation between some airplane mechanics and one or more wolves earlier that very day. There was a Coroner’s Inquest and determination by a jury. Cause of death: wolves.

        This was contrary to a report by wolf advocate/scientist Paul Pacquet, who concluded it was bears, notwithstanding no evidence whatsoever to support his conclusion, except that which he conveniently manufactured

        Dr. Geist and AK wolf expert Mark McNay were also called in on the case. Geist wrote a scathing essay in opposition to Pacquet’s conclusion, which he refers to as a “sideshow.”

        Here is the link to a lengthy and scholarly piece by Dr. Geist, which gives a thorough account of the event, the findings of the coroner and the controversey surrounding the incident. Importantly, the article also gives links to other resources for the curious reader. Also important to understanding the depth of his commentary are the extensive footnotes and academic references.

      • william huard says:

        The two wolves that were thought to have killed Carnegie had forensic tests which showed no stomach contents that linked them to the killing. How do you account for that? Wouldn’t there be hair, something in those stomachs?

      • JB says:

        “This was contrary to a report by wolf advocate/scientist Paul Pacquet, who concluded it was bears, notwithstanding no evidence whatsoever to support his conclusion, except that which he conveniently manufactured”

        Not to jump in on yet another controversy, but, at the 2008 NA Wolf Conference Paul Paquet argued convincingly that there was no way to determine whether wolves or bears killed Carnagie; the evidence was circumstantial. Both wolf and bear tracks appeared at the scene, which was very much polluted by the presence of people and other animals BEFORE investigators were called to the scene. Paquet’s disagreement with the conclusion was based upon the kill site and condition of the body, which he described as consistent with a black bear kill, and inconsistent with a wolf kill. He presented for ~1.5 hours and gave an extremely detailed account; he also noted that while his best guess was that it was a black bear that killed Carnagie, there really was no way to tell whether it was bears or wolves.

        Please feel free to return to soiling scientists reputations based upon your respective ideologies.

      • WM says:


        I don’t know that it was conclusively proven that the two wolves killed were the ones that got Carnagie. That was not the charge of the Coroner’s inquest. Cause of death was.

      • WM says:


        Reasonable minds can differ. It was the Coroner’s jury who disagreed with Paquet’s conclusion, choosing to weigh more heavily the evidence presented by others.

        I just wonder, was there a rebuttal or alternative view presented at the conference and given equal time? Amazing the impressions left, when only one side of a story is told.

      • JB says:


        I don’t have any problem with differences of opinion, but Geist has labeled Paquet an advocate for his efforts. The presentation I saw was not the one-sided “persuasive” argument of an advocate; it was a thoughtful analysis of the evidence that suggested the actual cause of death was in question.

        Regardless, while I really don’t disagree with Geist regarding the potential danger posed by wolves (wolves can, in fact, be dangerous to people), I think his recent comments (consistently pointing out the danger of wolves) paint a false picture. He suggests: “The Kenton Carnegie case is significant as it points to deficits in scholarship pertaining to wolf/human interactions, and consequently to flawed assumptions underlying wolf conservation legislation her and in Europe.”

        I disagree. There have been extensive efforts to document human-wolf conflicts. John Linnell, Mark McNay and others have published papers on the topic. The conclusion is quite consistent, wolves are potentially dangereous when they are (a) rabid, and (b) habituated to human presence. In all of my interactions with biologists over the years, I have never heard anyone (NEVER) suggest that wolves were not a potential danger to humans. In fact, Robert Schmidt (of Utah State) used to encourage wolf advocates not to tout the fact that there were no documented cases of wolves killing a human being in North America–we all knew that it was only a matter of time. Other large carnivores kill people, and domestic dogs (a subspecies of wolves) routinely kill people. Geist apparently sees some plot to cover up these facts, but I am telling you that I have never seen it.

      • SEAK Mossback says:

        Paquet and Geist both have long distinguished careers but I get the feeling that both come at this from a bit of an angle. Paquet is very closely involved with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation which I cannot imagine anyone thinking is not an advocacy group. Their work is presented in beautiful picturesque publications that tend to distract from hand-waving, over-wrought conclusions. Meanwhile, “game-changing findings” are trumpeted in timely press releases. They have great public relations skills and are no doubt adored by their loyal financial contributors. They do publish in peer-reviewed journals, but generally Conservation Biology, Conservation Letters, etc., not so much the mainline journals for wildlife, fisheries or ecology. For example, this paper published in the past month with 10 authors (including Paquet) was trumpeted by the organization as a game-changer, but really presents nothing new that wouldn’t likely come to mind reading any review of the effect of salmon nutrients on ecosystems — just a call to reduce fishing to let more fish reach protected land areas with some vague talk about “benefits to regional ecosystems and economies.” They could about as well skip the paper and just put out the press release stating the position, but of course a peer-reviewed paper lends needed credibility. When I will really drop out of my chair and change my opinion is when they publish a paper with findings contrary to their entire stance as an organization, for example something like “Most current salmon escapement goals based on fishery yield models also appear to provide sufficient nutrients for full ecosystem functioning”. They just seem very predictable.

        Geist, on the other hand, does seem to over-play the hazards of living near wolves and since retirement has become an “expert” for different interest groups, primarily hunting.

      • JB says:

        “If the wolf is to survive, the wolf haters must be outnumbered. They must be out-shouted, out-financed and out-voted…Finally, their hate must be outdone by a love for the whole of nature, for the unspoiled wilderness and for the wolf as a beautiful, interesting and integral part of both.”

        Anyone care to guess which wolf biologist I am quoting [hint: it ain’t Paul Paquet or Valerius Geist].

      • Ken Cole says:

        Dave Mech. That’s an easy one.

      • WM says:


        Sure. Dr. Mech, many years ago. Many people also do not know that he started the International Wolf Center, located in Ely, MN back in the early 1980’s. Great organization and resource for information.

        Recall that it was Dr. Mech who stated in his Declaration Under Oath in the first MT wolf delisting suit that the wolves of the NRM were very conservatively estimated, genetic connectivity had been accomplished and state management, including reduction in numbers, would not be a biological problem.

        He also points out here the problems with the vonHoldt Yellowstone study on metapopulation connectivity, and assertions of her advisor, Robert Wayne. Since that time, in fact, subsequent studies done by these same authors reached the conclusion Mech already knew.

        For those who would like to know more about him as a wolf scientist, and and specifically his views on the NRM wolf population (well over two years ago) I urge you to read his Declaration in full, which can be found here:

      • JB says:

        WM: My point is that this quote expresses a degree of advocacy that far surpasses that of many of the scientists whom you now summarily dismiss as advocates. The only thing that has changed is Mech’s opinion–and now that it is consistent with your beliefs, he is to be praised, while others who express dissenting opinions are chastised?

        I don’t have ANY problem with people disagreeing with scientists, as they clearly disagree with one another about many of these important matters. I DO have a problem with people dismissing the views of scientists simply because their expressed opinions are not in alignment with that individual’s beliefs. I don’t care if we’re talking about Geist, Paquet, Mech, or anyone else.

        The bottom line: Attack the opinion, not the person. Please.

      • JB says:

        Forgot to add that Ken wins. 😉

      • WM says:


        Dr. Mech has the ability (and ethics) to successfully separate out the different roles of scientist, teacher, author, advocate and continuing leader of an international wolf organization (whose stated mission statement focuses heavily on gathering good facts and letting people/decision-makers make up their own minds ).

        Doug Smith, is another among the few, who carry these multiple burdens very well.

        That is the key distinction, in my mind, which is not consistently exhibited by some of the other folks, whose advocacy is sometimes veiled. I want to know about that, as we all should.

        And to be sure, I don’t think Dr. Geist walks on water, and as SEAK said above, he found his audience. I have been critical of some of his views, sharing them on this forum.

        Seeking ground that allows for taking issue with the opinion without attacking the person, is sometimes difficult.


        I’m glad Ken won. He is in need of kudos these past few days, with all the brow beating Bob Jackson has been doing. LOL.

      • SEAK Mossback says:

        I have read a fair amount of Mech’s work and have always found his approach to presenting data and results to be entirely above reproach. His statement above changes that not in the least. Few scientists dislike or are completely dispassionate about the species they work with. However, their passion does not discredit them at all unless it affects what they present to the world about that species. People reading their work should feel consistently comfortable that it is not the case. I tend to agree with Mech’s statement given common, very negative attitudes toward wolves and don’t find it at odds with other opinions about delisting, etc. that he has written. The apparent spreading extreme negative sentiment in the NRM is disheartening and has to give anyone pause about what is the best approach for dealing with it.

        However, while I can’t seem to find it right now, I remember coming across a paper by Mech warning of advocacy in wolf research. If an abundant, reliable funding source is available to a scientist, it’s very tempting to form a cooperative, interdependent relationship with the source — whether it be an animal rights group funding wolf research in Alaska or a tobacco company funding health research. He wasn’t so much saying all advocacy science should be or could be stopped as saying people need to be able to recognize it. It’s more of a problem with charismatic mega fauna than with species that evoke less emotion. I may have jumped a bit quickly on Paquet based on other descriptions and interpretations of the incident I’ve read, presuming from his association with advocacy-based funding that he simply punted at the specter of being first scientist to confirm the killing of a human by a healthy wild wolf in North America.

  19. Nancy says:

    WM – the area was posted and its common knowledge I would think in that area, that wolves will attack dogs (territory is usually the reason) I would of found another area to hike if I had read that sign.

    • jon says:

      Wolves kill pets often. Why does that make them bold or aggressive? It isn’t abnormal for wolves to kill people’s pets. Pets are an easy meal. To combat this problem, pet owners just need to carefully watch over their pet while its outside doing its business. I don’t see what’s so hard about this. it’s an inconvenience issue and people want to live around places with no dangers at all. Kill a wild animal for being wild and unpredictable is how it goes nowadays.

    • WM says:

      ++I would of found another area to hike++

      On that point, you and I are pretty much in agreement. But Eagle River is a large subdivision is in the city (I have been there), and Military Road is convenient to homes where people then go for winter runs/hikes, etc. I expect people expect a certain level of risk. Others are just stupid. It is the behavior -interaction with dogs- that I was specifically calling attention to. That was where William was headed with this comment, to which I replied.


      Your lack of knowledge is showing once again. Wolves, it is my understanding, will often kill dogs because they often view them as competition, so often WILL NOT EAT THEM.

      Ironcially, at other times they just play with them. So, go figure. There is some inconsistency in behavior, but probably a good expanation for it.

      • Nancy says:

        +According to state conservation agencies, there are 3,900 wolves in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, with 3,020 in Minnesota+

        With a population that size (twice what is in Idaho, Montana & Wyoming put together) its interesting that livestock depredations are low, and there are no accounts of human/wolf encounters, although one hunter wanted to be compensated for the loss of a couple of his dogs to wolves – while hunting bear.

      • WM says:


        You might want to rethink your assertion about no human- wolf encounters. See last paragraph from this very recent article on Upper Penninsula of MI regarding growing concerns about wolves attacking livestock as population increases – numbers small but growing dramatically:

        There are also predictions about what will happen as MI wolves move to the northern Lower Peninsula – where they more will get into trouble because of greater opportunity. Gotta remember MI and WI have not had many wolves for very long. All three states want them delisted, and have been trying very hard to make that happen.

        We have talked here before about the differences between the NRM and the GL: smaller and maybe more timid wolves, habitats (including productivity of the land), prey density and type, as well as the people and their tolerance levels.

    • jon says:

      wm, there have been cases of wolves eating small dogs.

  20. william huard says:

    Peay is always spouting how “hunters are the true conservationists” as his home state of Utah shoots every wolf that enters the state. Don’t you know the world is just one big game park.

  21. Nancy says:

    WM Says:
    November 9, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    I never cease to be amazed by the never ending wall of bullshit people like you throw out to avoid acknowledgement that wolves are capable of certain kinds of behavior.

    The body of knowledge will increase as more wolves are on the landscape, and I guess we will have a better understanding of what is happening over time, but in the meantime do keep an open mind.

    Not trying to chime in on your comments to William (and I am trying hard to keep an open mind) but don’t you think the problem is, we (humans) are really failing in our efforts and attempts, when it comes to relating to what’s left of “landscape” that’s still available out there for wildlife?

  22. PointsWest says:

    Cool It (2010) documentary

    Opens Nov 12

    I saw this movie advertised on Fixed News so I am skeptical that it is only propaganda designed to save some corporations millions of dollars by relaxing polution laws. (Koch Industries maybe.) I watached the trailer but it only confused me as to what this documentary is about.

    The trailer claims Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth was a pack of lies intended to terrorize people but then the trailer claims our calm and couragous hero, Bjørn Lomborg, brings from a distant land a secret plan to save the planet that certain angry and hostile people in this land do not want you to hear. I guess you have to watch the movie to hear Bjørn’s secret plan being withheld from you becaue they give no clue as to what that secret plan is other than some images of chemistry formulas on a chalkboard.

    You be the judge. The trailer is on the IMdB page below…

  23. timz says:

    It seems the human race won’t be happy until it’s all gone.

    • william huard says:

      Asia Pulp and Paper is the single biggest reason that the Sumatran Tiger is in danger. This company could care less about the ecosystems that it destroys. They have been running ads in the NYT saying how they value biodiversity and are doing everything possible to save tigers, just as the footage shows the tiger’s habitat being bulldozed. It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

  24. Save bears says:

    Well something seems to be happening with the mega loads that are supposed to transverse Hwy 12.

    • Daniel Berg says:

      Wow…….It’s one thing to read about the dimensions of an object, but completely different to actually see it.

      • Save bears says:

        I was in Vancouver, WA when these things first came into the Vancouver port, they are unbelievable how big they are, I just can’t imagine how they think they are going to take them over 12!

  25. JerryBlack says:


    • JB says:

      I’m not sure what to think of this? The agency clearly has regulatory authority…was the F&G Chief misquoted?

      “Yesterday, Game and Fish put out a press release that stated: “The trapping ban was in effect November 1, and applies to steel traps, foothold traps, snares and conibear body-gripping traps. Trapping for coyotes is allowed. Trapping for regulated furbearer is allowed when necessary to protect public safety and private property.””

      Not sure what to make of this either? It pretty clearly states that they’ve banned everything but box traps, but that trapping for coyotes is still allowed. Of course, coyotes won’t walk into a box trap so its a moot point.

  26. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Can endangered Mexican wolves be conditioned to dislike the taste of sheep?

    • Maska says:

      Actually, the way Conditioned Taste Aversion works, it could be applied to ANY domestic livestock. While they may be testing it on sheep, the real issue with Mexican wolves is cattle. There is only one relatively large sheep operation in the BRWRA, but cattle are everywhere.

      • william huard says:

        I know you have been following the Mexican Wolf Program closely. I have developed a friendly contact in the Conservation Services Division, the no 2 guy in that department. We talked at length this morning about the program. I don’t understand the logic behind selecting an area like the Blue Range as a viable location for wolves. As you said the place is crawling with cattle. How are wolves to know that it is unacceptable to feed on an animal that has died for whatever reason? This man told me despite the poaching issue there are many people both on a federal level and state level that want to see this program work. I have talked to the lead guy in the law enforcement division last name CH%^$. My contact told me this division is not known for it’s investigative prowess- perhaps a little too cozy with the locals? I guess one of the biggest issues is the rules allowing for direct placement and relocation of wolves in NM are hindering efforts for release of wolves. Here we go with more bureaucratic red tape and political wrangling

  27. jon says:

    Hunters kill wolf out of fear for their lives

    “The incident reinforces the message that hunters need to know that there are predators out there,” Satterfield said Tuesday. “You’re not hunting in a zoo.

    “There are a lot of predators out there and you are about fourth or fifth on the food chain. Probably the most dangerous critter is the one nobody talks about — and that is the lion. There are black bears, grizzly bears and wolves,” he said.

    “The take-home message here is the hunter needs to be thinking ahead about how you are going to get your game out of there,” Satterfield said.

    He said anybody hunting in Montana west of Interstate 15 needs to be aware enough to anticipate running into one of the state’s big predators

    • howlcolorado says:

      There are some odd things about this story. First, I don’t like the nature of the headline – which Jon pasted in at the start of his post. The rest of the article doesn’t do a bad job of staying pretty balanced, but the headline is terrible.

      Let me ask a question to all you hunters. Don’t worry, this isn’t intended to be a polarizing, argument-causing question, it’s an actual inquiry seeking explanation:

      The incident described states that the hunters were returning to a drainage ditch where an elk they had shot the DAY BEFORE had been left.

      Now, first off – am I crazy, or is it actually not legal to leave a carcass lying around after you kill the animal? Aren’t you supposed to pick it up, field dress as necessary and then haul it off home?

      Second, am I even MORE crazy in thinking that leaving an Elk body in the middle of nowhere full of bears and apparantly wolves just a recipe for disaster? Aren’t you just asking for a scavenger or predator to show up and chow down? Wouldn’t the only people who would intentionally do this either “stupid” or baiting/poisoning the carcass (which you assume they wouldn’t go back and check on unless they were looking for dead bodies to see if it worked)

      I am not a hunter. So perhaps there is some reasonable explanation for all this which is pretty typical amongst hunters, but if your goal is to kill and eat an elk, it seems like killing the elk is only part one of the process. Letting other animals eat your elk certainly doesn’t seem like a particularly logical second step.

      • howlcolorado says:

        I guess the only reason *I* can think of not to take your prey home with you is if you make the kill very late and you don’t want to walk through nature carrying an elk carcass but wouldn’t you tie it up at least if that’s the case?

      • Save bears says:


        It can be dangerous to try and pack an animal out that is over 400 pounds in the dark, not only do you deal with some rough walking, you deal with bears and other predators.

        I am a bowhunter and I normally hunt alone, when I take an animal the size of an elk, the head and horns come out first, then I normally secure help to get the rest of the animal out.

        From my hunting experience over the last 35 years, these guys didn’t do anything unusual, they followed the same protocol that we have all followed since our days of being taught in hunter’s safety education.

      • WM says:


        One always has to field dress (remove entrails) of an elk, deer, etc., immediately after it is harvested, and attempt to cool it by raising it off the ground and maybe removing the hide, especially in warm weather. Otherwise the meat will spoil. About half of animals are taken later in the day near dusk, which precludes getting it out the same day. An elk, even when minus hide and entrails, and quartered up is a very large animal (350-400 pounds of meat, head, liver, heart and maybe tongue).

        I know of nowhere that it is illegal to leave a carcass over night, and in most places it has not historically been a problem, except near griz, and now wolves. Up in a tree is good, if one is near and you can lift a hundred pounds to a height of ten feet or more. Not an easy task.

        There is a very thorough discussion of the question you pose about leaving a carcass on the ground overnight (and why it sometimes happens), on the following thread beginning Nov. 5, about 9:15 AM. (It is about 2/3 of the way down on that very long thread, and in response to the particular incident which which you speak of).


        Also you might be a little more honest on your post on the article jon linked to, where it appears you posted under your name. No credible investigator has come forward saying the AK school teacher, Candace Berner, was not killed by wolves, and the ME and AK state patrol have made some pretty clear indications it was wolves, “as near to 100 percent as you can be” without confirming DNA evidence from the wolf stomachs . Don’t start playing games. You will lose credibility. Probably not good for an organization such as yours.

      • Elk275 says:

        Howl Colorado

        After one kills an elk or any big game animal the first thing done is to punch your tag and attach it to the carcass. If the animal has been legally harvested, it is now your personal property.

        The next thing is to field dress the animal, there are several ways, the gutless method which is to skin it out and move all meat from the bone or gut it. Gutting it means to open up the chest cavity and remove the internal organs, stomach and intestines. What option one chose’s depends upon the species, size of animal, distance from the road, weather and means of transportation. There are no laws about leaving the animal in the mountains over night.

        In Alaska, a bull moose must be skinned immediately, quartered, put into game bags and cooled and hung up. Moose will spoil very quickly unless skinned and cooled. Immediately after skinning one should spray one tablespoon of critic acid per liter on the meat using filtered water to prevent contamination from Guardia cysts. The critic acid lowers the meats surface’s PH from 7 to 5.5 which retards bacteria growth. The meat is then put in cloth game bags and hung up under cover. Depending upon how long before one can remove it from the field there can be problems with bears and wolves.

        A mountain goat or sheep will be caped (the removal of the head skin and the horns removed from the skull), the meat boned out and loaded onto pack boards and taken off of the mountain. In Alaska, I have carried both out of the mountains alone. I have packed caribou out in three trips on my back but one must glass the kill area very careful from a distance on each approach, all of the bears at that time were on the rivers after salmon.

        It has only been in the last several years that I have had any concern about leaving an elk over night on the ground. The biggest concerns were birds, they would pick at the exposed quarters and poo on it while eating. I hunt alone and have always been able to remove my elk fairly quickly either by horses dragging it out or dragging it out my self. I have dragged an whole elk out my self. The trick is to hunt up hill and after the kill be very careful not to drag it where one has to go up hill. It has worked for me. I am going to purchase a plastic utility sled at a farm supply store this week so dragging is easier with a larger load.

        Yesterday, I was at the bank talking with manager and a friend of his had killed a five point bull elk in the Upper Gallatin several days earlier. The hunters during the hunt had seen no bear or wolf tracks. By the time he had gutted the elk a grizzly was approaching and it was shoot the bear or let him have it. He had pictures of the hunter with the elk and later the hunter took a picture with the bear on his elk, this happen several days ago. My biggest fear in a situation like this would to have a bear come in with only one quarter loaded on the horse or be dragging the elk with a horse and have a bear decide that he is going to take it away. A dangerous wreck waiting to happen, endangering hunter, bear and horses or mules.

        There is a steel sculptor in Ennis, Montana of a packer adjusted the hitches on a pack horse with a elk quarters and a mamma grizzly and her cubs. His riding horse has sensed the bear and its ears are down. The title is a wreck waiting to happen. Charlie Russell must have painted a half of dozen pictures with packers and mountain men and grizzlies. In 1980, I packed out a caribou in the Rainy Pass area and had a grizzly follow me for many miles, the grizzly did not brother me as much as crossing the South Fork of the Kuskokwim River. It was a good horse that could swim.

        Today in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle there was a letter to the editor about hunter who had gone elk hunting on horses and had wolves following them all day and then circling camp and howling all night. There hunt was ruined and they left the following day. There will be an injury or a death with grizzlies or wolves before long; the injury will be a horse injury.

      • howlcolorado says:

        First off, thank you for the responses. They were quite revealing and explained a lot.

        WM –

        Candice Berner’s case.

        I, and no one else, can say it was conclussively wolves. They just can’t. They could be 99% sure, but without specific and confirmed evidence, it’s as the ME said – multiple injuries due to animal mauling. The animal MOST likely for the attack is a wolf. That was the official cause of death. I am sorry that I won’t say definitively that it was wolves – and that you feel that was me not being honest. I think I was being completely honest.

        Do *I* think it was wolves? Not that my opinion matters, and not that I got to review the scene, but as I posted on the tribune site and as I will say here, I think it was very likely wolves. The evidence implies it. Not just injuries, but the situation as a whole. My experience with wolves has taught me that they are very interested in trophies. Gloves, cell phones, shoelaces. There was apparantly a glove somewhere behind her on the path. Wolves chase and nip. Getting the glove from Ms. Berner would have been easy and would likely have served as a distraction for some time while the teacher moved up the path. Ms. Berner was also very small. While I have held my footing while a wolf is trying to remove my clothing, such a situation for ms. Berner could easily have pulled her to the ground.

        Once on the ground, you can’t predict what will happen, even with wolves that are relatively comfortable with people. Even if the wolves had no specific and determined predatory intent, a prone target could easily have triggered instinctual reaction. Therefore, I believe I could take a relatively good guess at the entire sequence of events and it does, indeed, fit with wolves.

        But once again, however much you, I or anyone else thinks it was wolves, all we can say for certain is that it was an animal mauling, which experts believe was most likely wolves.


      • howlcolorado says:


        Thank you for long and detailed response.

        I only agree that horse injuries are likely, but not due to predatory actions by wolves. Instead because horses freak and in the wilderness, there are plenty of ways for fairly fragile animals like domesticated horse to damage their legs.

        Wolves mug bears. Wolves much humans. I don’t know that they see much difference and its the elk meat they want. I am not sure they aren’t getting familiar with the idea that hunters are the source of an easy dinner. At least in terms of the various internal bits being available.

      • WM says:


        ++I only agree that horse injuries are likely, but not due to predatory actions by wolves.++

        Obviously you missed articles, this year I think, where wolves chased (predatory behavior) a couple of government pack horses (USFS?) in a fenced area, and the horses tried to escape over a cattle guard, resulting in injury, broken leg and the like, and at least one had to be put down. I don’t remember the details as to where this was, but it got a fair amount of press. So, some facts seem to be against you on that point. Tied horses sometimes fare no better around predators, getting wound up in rope, maybe hobbles and whatever trees and brush contribute to the situation.

        And as for your “there’s no 100 percent certain proof that wolves killed Berner,” argument, I would say your opinion does make a difference because you claim to speak for an organization (which, in reality, and as far as I can tell is just you, your computer and a fat checkbook). You lose credibility when you make what appear to be ridiculous defensive statements on a public forum that frenzies up the wackos on the other fringe, who then use it against wolf advocacy generally (you and others with this view, unnecessarily, give them the reasons to dislike your view). You might find it useful to just accept a small percentage of uncertainty, acknowledge the reality that a very, very, few people are killed by wolves and move on. Just a thought.

      • JEFF E says:

        re Candice Bergman, “eliminate the impossible and what ever is left, no matter how improbable will be the solution” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.(?)
        Wolves killed this woman. period

      • WM says:


        ++While I have held my footing while a wolf is trying to remove my clothing, such a situation for ms. Berner could easily have pulled her to the ground……..Once on the ground, you can’t predict what will happen, even with wolves that are relatively comfortable with people++

        Do tell more. Not to make too many assumptions, but are you comparing habituated captive (likely well fed) wolf behavior with wild wolf behavior, where wolves were reportedly, according to official investigative reports, undernourished?

      • howlcolorado says:


        I am glad you took the time to visit the HOWLColorado web site. I am also impressed that you think there is “a fat checkbook.”

        That aside.

        You can NOT ignore the facts. One of the reporters who wrote the initial story emailed me the ME report as soon as she got it.

        The cause of death WAS: multiple injuries due to animal mauling

        I am sorry you won’t accept this and feel that FACTS are in some way a poor reflection on HOWLColorado.

        I won’t even argue that it wasn’t wolves, I happen to think it was, but the official cause of death is what it is. You can’t change it and turn it around to say what you want it to.

        Jeff E. As a Conan Doyle fan from the age of 6, I am always a little irritated when people misuse that particular quote. It was used, in context, as an expression of perfection, which allowed for Sherlock Holmes to draw some insane conclussions with reason.

        There isn’t even a reasonable expectation of determining what all the reasonable possibilities are, let alone all the impossible ones.

      • howlcolorado says:

        WM –

        The behavior I am describing is relatively well documented. Dr. David Mech has experienced very similar behavior when encountering wild Arctic wolves. It’s a wolf thing. I couldn’t tell you why a wild wolf would be so interested in clothing, or shoe laces, but they are.

        Undernourished, or not, wolf behavior is wolf behavior. Based on what I have observed myself, and what I have read in the studies of people far more qualified than I am, the following scenario seems the most likely in terms of what happened to Ms. Berner.

        Ms Berner was, reportedly, running alone, and was wearing an ipod, which would have made her unaware of certain parts of her surroundings. Ms. Berner was also only 4′ 9”. While a wolf wouldn’t necessarily respond to her diminuitive size, her physical stature would certainly have limited her options once faced with a dangerous wildlife encounter.

        Many wolf/human encounters include wolves running up to a person, bouncing on their front legs and making various sounds (which some would equate to barking, though the sound is not quite the same). They will also nip (at ankles or butt) and of course react to any smells they find – i.e. food in pockets (if you ever do encounter a wolf and you have food in your pocket, it’s a highly recommended idea that you toss that food on the ground – the wolves may well try and get it anyway and that’s not going to be a fun experience). If they figure out that the clothing is loose fitting, for some reason, it fascinates wolves to no end to take a good hold and start tugging on the clothing. Shoelaces are always loose and so are instantly attractive.

        In Ms. Berners case, if the reports of the scene which I got were completely accurate, there was a glove found some way down the path from where she was killed. An extremity, such as an arm, hangs loosely by the side of the body and is easily grabbed. The removal of a glove is something only a wolf would likely achieve. I don’t know that she would have removed it herself and thrown it in an attempt to distract a predator.

        What I suspect happened next changed the situation from “hairy” to “deadly” and this is where her size plays a part.

        Once Ms. Berner lost her footing and fell to the ground, her prone position would be in this case deadly.

        Habituated captive predators or wild predators alike respond the same here. This is how zookeepers get attacked by big cats. They enter a prone position and for some reason the predator snaps.

        Ms. Berner suffered a horrible fate due to some very bad luck in terms of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and creating a somewhat perfect storm of events.

        However, the fact remains. While *I* think it was probably wolves, and the ME thinks it was probably wolves after consulting with experts, the official cause of death is what it is. To say otherwise is just misleading and untrue. Establish the truth, and then apply your opinions. The truth is Candice Berner was killed by an animal attack. Your, at this point, reasonable and viable opinion as to which animal that was can then be applied. What you can’t say is “Candice Berner was killed by wolves” you can say “Candice Berner was killed by animals and it’s a very strong possibility they were wolves”

        You can argue that I am splitting hairs, but a journalistic background will do that.

      • JB says:

        “Habituated captive predators or wild predators alike respond the same here. This is how zookeepers get attacked by big cats. They enter a prone position and for some reason the predator snaps.”

        Interesting observation. I have found this technique (i.e., laying prone) is great for retrieving dogs that are trying to avoid getting caught. A few years ago my wife accidentally let a friends boxer out of his house; the friend and I chased him for a few blocks, which he thought was great fun! Every time my friend would get close, the dog would dart away at the last second. Finally, I asked him to hold back. When we got near enough for him to be paying attention I simply laid down. The boxer immediately trotted over to me to investigate and I grabbed his collar and sat up.

      • howlcolorado says:


        LOL, that’s cool.

        When I have played dead around my dogs, it’s simply led to triggering playtime. I don’t know that you can take too much from how dogs react. Also, playing dead and falling prone will trigger different reactions.

        It’s about showing weakness. If you are “dead” weakness isn’t somewhat irrelevent. You certainly aren’t a threat and you aren’t a particularly high priority – where are you gonna go?

        Stumbling or falling is just far too appealing an opportunity and many predators can’t help but go for the kill.

      • WM says:


        Sometimes the simplest expanations are the most plausible. A small human body running through the woods, hearing sensory depravation in the form of Ipod earphones. Hungry wolves see this fast moving creature, and predator response kicks in, and there is an attack. This creature doesn’t bite back. There is a struggle over a distance of 150 feet with the wolf going for the throat (ME confirms this). Glove on the ground (which you seem to think is important for tugging at clothing, for what that is worth) was likely no more than a defensive response by Ms. Berner as that is the only means to fight off the attackers, and the wolf bites what covers the hand as she fends it off.

        No other tracks or sign of animals but wolves are recorded, apparently. State troopers and other investigators at the scene conclude death by wolves (at least two but maybe three wolves based on tracks present).

        The question that should have been asked of the ME was, “In your professional opinion, based on all evidence before you, including tracks, your examination of the body and other forensic evidence, as well as any other professional advice or other information, could the death of Ms. Berner have been by ANY OTHER CAUSE than wolves?”

        Maybe a smart and inquiring reporter will one day ask that question and put this matter to rest.

        Now, howl, if you really wanted to know the answer, maybe you could be the inquiring mind.

      • JEFF E says:

        Don’t like that one, try this one
        ““There is nothing as deceptive as an obvious fact”

      • howlcolorado says:

        Do you REALLY think that a small woman would be able to move 150 feet if the situation went as you describe?

        I still don’t know what you are arguing about. The journalist who asked the questions did a fine job being the “inquiring mind.” The ME consulted with experts and that is where the decision “most likely wolves” came from.

        I don’t know how to say this without coming off as being rude – so I just won’t. Instead I will just say that the current issue with politics, religion, and the wolf debate is that there is a problem with acknowledging and accepting what is a fact and what is conjecture. One such example is the continuously cited “we were told it would be only 100 wolves per state.” This was not true, it’s still not true, and people keep stating it as a fact when it’s an interpretation/misrepresentation.

        I will happily discuss theorheticals. I will happily talk to you about what may have happened. Why it happened. What I won’t do is state something as a fact when it’s NOT a fact. That’s a personal opinion and that’s far more damaging to the credibility of anything than stating a verifiable fact which doesn’t quite say what someone might want it to.

      • howlcolorado says:

        Jeff E,

        I think that quote favors my perspective more than it does yours. 🙂

        Either way, you aren’t the only one that knows Holmes quotes

        “Circumstantial evidence is a very tricky thing, it may seem to point very straight to one thing, but if you shift your own point of view a little, you may find it pointing in an equally uncompromising manner to something entirely different.”

      • WM says:


        I don’t know where your experience (or lack of it) comes from, but 150 feet is a very short distance, which apparently includes the distance the body was dragged, by whatever grabbed her by the throat. I am not going to debate you over facts about which I know nothing other than what I have read, including the statements of Ms. Berner’s father to the press – “they were just doing what wolves do.”

        So I guess Ms. Berner’s father seems to be rather certain of cause of his daughter’s death. You wanna tell him something different, there howl?


        As for the “100 wolves” statement you brought up, have you actually read the 1994 EIS on reintroduction of the FWS selected alternative to reintroduce a non-essential experimental population of gray wolves to the NRM?

        I commend it to you for very, very close reading. Here is the link:

        This number comes up a lot, and quite frankly I don’t know what to think of it. It would not be unreasonable for the states to conclude that was the recovery number, in the context of other representations in the EIS regarding flexibility of management for livestock losses and impacts to ungulate populations. That is their argument, not mine.

        For example, this is from a summary of the Alternatives Section:

        “This section briefly describes the five alternatives that were considered in detail and compares them in terms of how well each one meets the FWS’s recovery goal and public concerns. Tables 2-5 through 2-8 summarize the general impact of a recovered wolf population *(100 wolves), under each alternative on big game, hunter harvest, domestic animals, land-use restrictions, visitor use, and economics. [pdf page 89/414]


        *the term “100 wolves” refers to the number in each state, and which also appears on the headings for each of the tables for the individual states

        Howl, do tell us if you can find any other numbers of wolves related to “recovery population,” ok? And, let me give you a clue, there is some discussion buried in Appendix 9 that is a memo from Ed Bangs that speaks of “300” and 30 pairs in the three states. [pdf pages 386 -391 /414].

      • howlcolorado says:


        You look for reasons to argue don’t you. There is a term for people who do that on the internet. I have never said wolves weren’t responsible for the attack, I simply won’t put words in the mouth of the ME who determined the cause of death. I don’t really care what you or anyone else thinks about that. This adherence to pure facts is essential especially in a world where misinformation and the so-called need for media balance is so prevelent (or, give the opposing side a chance to lie with equal coverage – as I call it).

        Instead of simply sticking to the facts: “Teacher killed by animal attack, most likely wolves,” it is turned into “Teacher killed by wolves.” … the latter is not fact, it’s likely true, but it’s not fact. and to say it is would be both journalistically unethical and takes a step down the path of “if we say it, it’s true.” And that’s a dangerous road that leads to people voting against their own self-interests in national elections, for example.

        Now, since this is the last time I will actually respond to this thread or any post which seems frivolously argumentative, lets address the last comment you made which I intentionally baited you to make knowing you couldn’t ignore the “100 wolf” comment. But I will not provide the response, instead I will copy and paste something which Ed Bangs himself wrote about the subject:

        “Per the recovery goal. The NRM wolf recovery goal was never 100 wolves per state- please do not repeat clever distortions made by attorneys/fund-raisers for sound bite politics/media- as scientific facts… 🙂 The NRM recovery goal is actually a metapopulation [genetic exchange could occur by either natural or human-assisted connectivity] that never goes below 30 breeding pairs (BP) [ie. a pack that contains at least 1 adult male and 1 adult female and at least 2 pups in Dec 31] and at least 300 wolves for at least 3 successive years. BP is a fairly sophisticated concept that incorporates all the important biological criteria for a successfully reproducing & viable wolf population- it requires a pack to have an establish territory in habitat/conditions that allowed successful breeders & 2 or more pups to survive until Dec 31 (when most of natural and human-caused mortality has already occurred) so they can go into the February breeding season and probably successfully raise more pups and probably have yearlings that can soon then disperse]. We determined that goal would be achieved by having each state always maintain at least 10 BP and 100 wolves by managing for at least 15 BP and 150 wolves. So even if each state managed to be at the lowest possible level at the exact same time [which is virtually impossible, especially given parks, wilderness, remote public lands, private lands restricted to general public access] the NRM wolves population would still be over 450 wolves and over 45 BP. Even at those types of theoretical bare minimums human-assisted migration might be needed but I doubt it. In addition the NRM wolf population is simply a 400 mile southern extension of a well connected and vast wolf population that in Alberta and BC alone contains over 12,00 wolves.”

        You can argue whatever you want to argue, but where Mr. Bangs and I don’t always agree (I try and touch base with Ed fairly regularly in order to apply correct context to things I report on), we do agree on one thing.

        You HAVE to be 100% dedicated to the facts, and not to any interpretation of them. The facts are as he lists them in the response you can read above. YOUR interpretation of what they mean is not my concern, or his concern, as long as you don’t repeat those opinions as fact. People repeat their opinions as fact continuously.

        State the facts, and THEN apply your opinion, making it clear that you are, indeed, expressing your opinion based on those facts.

        I do feel a little bad about putting the “100 wolf” thing out there intentionally to be able to use the inevitable response to set up this post, but I think it’s a very important example of how people misinterpret things for their benefit and how they will get others to parrot what they say.

        It is a political strategy to craft a message (true or not) and then repeat it until enough people believe it to derail legitimate legislation, or crash a candidate’s viability, etc.

  28. jon says:

    Mattson treed by pack of wolves

    One interesting comment to that article was this one about Jim Beers and his claims that the feds illegally stole hunter money to fund the so called ILLEGAL WOLF REINTRODUCTION.

    Toby, I was sure you would bring up Jim. The Pittman-Robertson funds conspiracy scandal has been Beer’s cash cow for how many years now? The ignorant people that support your psychotic organization lap up his anti-predator rants and all the while you and he gladly take their money. If his and your claims are facts where is the proof?…Jim has been saying for over ten years he was going to break the case open…where is it? The FACTS are: Beers testified at a congressional hearing with Don Young (Rep. – Alaska and fellow predator hater)in 1999 about the misappropriation of PR funds…and NEVER ONCE mentioned wolves or monetary transgressions with the Rocky Mountain Wolf Prog..why the silence then?I guess he’s since had an epiphany$$$$

  29. william huard says:

    I don’t know if this has been posted before about the Mexican Wolf recovery Program:

  30. timz says:

    What’s a deer got to do to get a drink around here.

    • timz says:

      Had that happened here in Idaho Butch Otter would claim the wolves are driving the deer to drink.

  31. Nancy says:

    SB said: I am a bowhunter and I normally hunt alone, when I take an animal the size of an elk, the head and horns come out first, then I normally secure help to get the rest of the animal out.

    Gotta ask SB, why the head (antlers) first instead of the meat?

    • Save bears says:


      Because, many times someone will steal it, or if you hit the road, and run into a Warden, you need to prove it was a legal animal..and just to add, I only have one little 3 point whitetail rack on my wall and that is because my grandson was with me when I took that animal, I have never secured a taxidermist to mount anything I have shot. But I can say, in most of the places I have hunted, if you show up on the road, with a pack full of meat and can’t prove it was the legal sex, you will get a ticket and then you spend the next 6 months to a year, trying to prove your not guilty..

      • Nancy says:

        Thanks SB, not a hunter so I’m not aware of the complications when it comes to securing a tagged animal.

    • WM says:


      Just to add a little detail to SB’s comment.
      The head is also much lighter than an elk quarter, and easier to carry, along with an unwieldy bow or rifle on the first trip out of the woods from a harvest site. A person may also manage to take out the heart/liver at the same time. It can still be quite a load, upward of forty to sixty pounds. And, for the remaining 4 quarters, not everyone has a horse or other aid, than the help of a hunting partner or friend(s) willing to put in some effort with a backpack carrying a quarter weighing 75-120 pounds.

      Proof of sex by evidence of part of an organ on one or both hind quarters is required in some states.
      A deer is a smaller project of about a third the weight. A moose can be almost twice the project weight of an elk.

      • SEAK Mossback says:

        In Alaska, you are required to bring out meat before or with the antlers/horns. Some communities like Kotzebue that are regional air transport centers get a lot of unguided nonresidents pursuing caribou and moose. Many are more interested in the trophy and put down too much meat too far from camp and discover packing over tussocks is hell. So if they are checked in town with the trophy they better be able to show all the meat. In some areas, the meat has to come out on the bone to make it easier for a protection officer to account for all of it. Also, unlike the Rockies the fall is the wetter season in Alaska which can make meat care difficult, a real problem for those who don’t know what they’re doing. Many give the meat to locals as soon as they get to town rather than air freight it to the lower 48, but unfortunately some comes in practically inedible.

      • Save bears says:


        I knew there were different regulations up in AK, I have a good friend that lives on Kodiak and I know he had some interesting experiences when he moved there after living in WA, where the regulations are quite a bit different..

        The goal of every single hunter I know and have known over the last 35 years is to get IT all out of the brush, and I know for a fact, when you drop a 500-900 pound animal, your mind goes into overdrive, working out the logistics an normally you work until your body says you can’t any longer, and then you get a few hours of sleep and the first thing on your mind is getting back to work..

      • SEAK Mossback says:

        Save Bears –
        I agree with your thoughts that it does often make sense to bring the head out first if you are going for help or transportation but it just got to be such a problem in some areas in Alaska that rules had to change.

        In reading Elk’s comments, I began thinking about the first elk I got when I was 14 on a mountainside in Wyoming. It was a 6-point bull and I was half-ways lost right before dark in October at 9,500 feet, being my first time in the area. It was one of the very peak experiences of my life. I had brought a space blanket and, after gutting it, ended up sleeping right next to it for heat, much to the chagrin of my music teacher who had taken me hunting and was back at his camper considering how to deliver the bad news to my mother. The only thing I had to fend off was an owl, but I sure don’t think I would try that now with the expanded grizzly population. The next day we packed one quarter 1/4 mile and then went and rented a couple of horses which were $35 a day including experienced stock, rigging, livestock truck, and gas in 1971.

      • Save bears says:


        I got my first elk when I was twelve and I also spent the night cuddled up to it, my whole family thought I was gone, until the next day, when I wandered out of the bush, with that darn spike bull head draped over my shoulders, come to find out, I was only about 300 yards from camp, but man it sure seemed like a 1000 miles and honestly, I didn’t know where I was..

        I savored every single bite that passed my lips as did my really made a big difference in our lives…

  32. Nancy says:'s_us_or_them/

    This has to make you wonder just how dumbed down this nation is gonna get………….

    • I think this story goes to show that much of the anti-wolf, anti-bear, anti-wildlife sentiment is being stirred by the religious extremists.

      Remember that this Montana wolf bill is being pushed by a state legislator (State Sen. Joe Balyeat) who is a Christian reconstructionist, folks who would restructure America into a right wing “Christian” theocracy rather than a democratic constitutional republic.

      • Salle says:

        In my past experience with religious zealots I came to understand that you don’t have to actually know anything as long as you believe

      • jon says:

        Gotta love them religious christian wackos.

  33. Taz Alago says:

    Latest Oregon ODFW wolf report – Sept/Oct 2010

  34. Salle says:

    Finally, a reasonable response to the two hunters’ cry wolf story that went viral recently… a little late but better than never.
    “The incident reinforces the message that hunters need to know that there are predators out there. You’re not hunting in a zoo.”

    (Jim Satterfield, regional supervisor for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, about a recent incident where two hunters reported they were surrounded by wolves while trying to pack out an elk.)

    • This blog had a similar story not that long ago — wolves circled two photographers in Yellowstone backcountry. Their response was completely different.

      Goes to show how much of a wild animal/human encounter depends the perceptions of the people as to what is going on.

      • Salle says:

        Ralph, I posted this because it was an article from Wed., 11/10/10 and included the quote I posted above. It doesn’t seem that this all important quote has seen much traction nor has it been included in all the viral hoopla that goes with the “cry wolf” story these two came up with after several days of deliberation before reporting on the incident.

        Thanks for posting the link to that past story about two photographers who were rushed by wolves only to have them pass by the photographers in an attempt to investigate them. Of course, they didn’t have a dead elk in their possession. Given that situation, I think these so called “experienced” hunters didn’t understand that perhaps the wolf pack had found that carcass during their absence and may have “claimed” it during that time and saw the hunters as robbing their food from them and were probably trying to defend their possession of it… like they would if a grizzly had come along to steal their kill. I see it as a “no brainer” but if you hate wolves and then can blame them ~ in the eyes of fellow wolf haters ~ for stealing your game kill and , supposedly, threatening your life… and can convince those who are either ignorant by nature or by choice…

    • WM says:

      Many years ago I took a class in Wildlife Public Relations, taught by Professor Eugene Decker at what is now the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State Univesity.

      He was a wirey little guy, full of energy and with a very expressive face that could communicate much with a smile, or slightly raised eyebrow, without saying a word. I can visualize him in the back of a confrence room listening to Satterfield’s comments to the media, face cringing first, then eyes bulging wide as he hears official wildlife agency words like, ” …Youre not hunting in a zoo.” and hoping someone will trip over the microphone cord.

  35. polebridge says:

    Thought this was interesting, I apologize if it’s a reprint.

  36. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Grim outlook for grizzlies in Yellowstone region

    • Save bears says:

      I wonder, do these reporters ever check their facts before publishing an article?

      The bear that killed the botanist was not a Nuisance Bear, it was simply one of the bears that inhabited the target area for the study..and the three cubs from the other attack were taken to Zoo Montana in Billings not Bozeman!

    • Nancy says:

      ++Continuing farther along the logging road, which was shaped like a horseshoe, Mattson came upon what he believed to be a female wolf and a younger wolf, standing over a freshly killed whitetail doe++

      This statement makes it obvious why the male attempted to move Mattson away from the area. Probably would of done the same thing if Mattson had been a black bear.

    • JB says:

      “While Mattson was in the tree, the wolf, which may have been the alpha male of the pack, continued circling round for a bit before leaving the immediate area and returning to his vehicle.”

      I wonder what sort of vehicle the wolf was driving? 😉

      • Elk275 says:

        There is the Batmobile in Gotham City and now there is a Wolfmobile in the Rockies. I got to get to work.

      • JB says:

        Wolfmobile? Sounds like a German product. If figures that those nasty, Canadian gray wolves don’t even buy American-made products. LOL! 😉

        p.s. The story was from the UP of Michigan.

    • Alan says:

      “While Mattson was in the tree, the wolf, which may have been the alpha male of the pack, continued circling round for a bit before leaving the immediate area and returning to his vehicle.” WOW!!! The wolf had a vehicle!! I would have loved to have seen that!! Wonder if it was a big, bad Hummer? Doesn’t anybody proof read anymore?

    • Alan says:

      What’s so unusual about a predator protecting a food source? Yeah, wolves normally run but if they hadn’t eaten in awhile I can definately see this happening. Fifty, sixty yards is pretty darn close. If this had been a grizzly bear Mr. Mattson would be telling his story from a hospital bed, if he would be telling it at all. As it is the wolf did not attack, it simply asked Mr. Mattson to leave which he did.

  37. Rita K. Sharpe says:

    This isn’t anything to do with wildlife issues but,never the less.I want to thank all the vets that out there,Thank you to the vets that read and post here at this site.I appreciate what you’ve done and the sacrifices you made,in order for me to enjoy my freedom.I thank you,all.

  38. jon says:

    Montana: I want it wild ‘n’ scary

    Hunting in the wilds of Montana is serious business. You must be prepared to deal with just about anything, including moving on to the next spiritual level.

    You can freeze to death, die of hypothermia or hyperthermia or break an ankle and die from exposure. Or, you could get eaten.

    If you do happen to kill something, you better be prepared to get it out of there pronto. Or, you better get it up off the ground, hanging in a tree 10 feet up and six feet out.

    And get used to the idea that when you go back for your prize, something bigger and badder than you might own it now.

    Satterfield tells his 14-year-old son that if they shoot an elk near sundown, there is no going home until they get it out of the woods.

  39. Elk275 says:


    “Mountain lions, grizzly bears, wolves and black bears inhabit just about all of those parts of Montana west of Interstate 15 and south of Interstate 90.”

    Actually if you know anything about grizzly bears in Montana there are very few grizzlis west on Interstate 15 and south of Interstate 90. It is north of Interstate 90 and east of Interstate 15 where the grizzlies live. The Bitteroots, Beaverhead Mountains and Pioneer Mountains have very few grizzlies.

  40. JEFF E says:

    here is a story that may interest you. I just spent 5 days elk hunting the Sawtooth zone. During that time I must have put 200 + miles on back roads in the truck and another 30+ on foot. One thing that was consistent was that in every drainage I was in there was elk sign everywhere of all age classes. I also spoke with one person that had spent three days in the Whitehawk basin which is just east of bear valley and between there and deadwood reservoir. He stated that he saw several groups of cows and calves while he was hunting.Another individual and his son told me that the week before, the 30th and 31st of Oct. that ,on horses riding the kirkham ridge trail, that they had seen “a lot” of fresh sign but it started to snow heavily so he had to leave. The last day of the season Nov. 8th, I went up to a place I know that elk start to herd up for the winter, hoping the big storm of Sunday and clear weather on Monday would get them out on the ridges during the day. It did. I was glassing the ridge lines when I spotted the most uniquely colored elk I have ever saw. A big spike, his head and neck were black and the rest of his body was blond. I do not mean real light brown, I mean blond, Even his rump was several shades darker. He was about 700 yd. away and once you knew he was there you could see him with your naked eye. So after a 1.5 hr. stalk, I was laying on the same ridge above the elk. About seventy yards away I was watching three cows laying down and another couple up grazing. No sign of Blondie but I knew he was at least fifty more yards down the ridge and on the side a bit but was grazing in a direction that would bring him around to where I could see him. However after 1/2 hr. nothing except now dozing elk. So this was 10 am and I decided I needed to get the ball rolling, so I just stood up in full view. The cows instantly zeroed in on me and in addition a spike which I could not see when I was laying down. ….And they just laid there. they did not move. I spent at least 1 minuet deciding if I wanted the spike that was there. Finally I decided I should and as I started to sit down the four elk stood up. So I shot this spike, and I swear the ridge line exploded with elk. There must have been 20-twenty five that I saw. Blondie? Well he came walking around the ridge to see what all the excitment was, and in a completely open spot, just stood there. I looked him over for several minuets while my spike expired. What this all tells me is that these elk had not been hunted by humans at all. They may have never even seen a human before except at a long distance. So, two days later I am home with my elk steaks.

    • WM says:

      Jeff E,

      Congratulations! From your description, maybe those elk had not recently seen wolves either. Go figure. Your hunter success report will be a positive response. So we will have to wait for the final tally for your particular game unit in the Sawtooth Zone, as a whole. Then, see what IDFG says for the need for wolf thinning there, if Governor Butch ever comes out of the corner where he sits sucking his thumb and throwing his tantrum.

      • Cutthroat says:

        Living here in the Sawtooth Zone (Wood River Valley) I can tell you the elk are making their way to the river bottoms. I would say death by vehicle is their paramount concern here. The last two days in a row my morning commute has been stopped dead as myself and a line of traffic about a quarter mile long waited for a herd of about 30-40 to cross from where they bed down the previous night to the river.

        Yesterday was particularly interesting as I watched the trotting elk approach the highway only to stop abruptly upon reaching it when the lead cow halted and spun vigorously in place about 4 times as if to say to the rest, “stop, and look both ways, we’re at the highway now!”. They all stopped and waited until the all clear then she lead them across. About thirty yards from where they crossed lay a dead cow that had been hit by a car the night before (judging by the skiff of snow that covered her body). When they reached the other side they lingered, and hesitated to go on, threatening to cross back over almost as if they didn’t want to leave the dead one. Made me wonder if Bob Jackson’s theories were correct.

        My wife and two young daughters witnessed the car in front of them narrowly miss about half a dozen elk last night about 7 pm driving home in the dark. A few weeks ago a public transit bus hit and killed what may have been a trophy bull (six point) on its morning commute.

        This week in my travels up and down this highway I have spotted three differnt herds of more than three dozen elk each within 30 yards of the highway in three different places within 30 miles in this river valley. Makes me wonder from this anecdoctal evidence if we don’t need more wolves around here before someone gets killed! (please note the sarcasm)

      • Cutthroat and all,

        Before Wildlife Services shot out the wolf packs in the Sawtooth Valley what I lot of people didn’t know was that a large portion of what at least one of the wolf packs ate was road kill.

        If you wanted to see these wolves, you patroled the top of the Salmon River Canyon heading downstream.

  41. Nancy says:

    ++On another note, I am very pissed off. I lost all my hard earned elk meat to a pack of damn wolves. I feel fortunate and blessed by God to have gotten out of there with my life, my friends’ life and horses lives. I’ve been out in the mountains 5 times in a week and have seen wolves on 3 of those times, including this attack.

    Something needs to change!When Perry Brown and I went back, a grizzly had buried all my meat with the carcass (more mis-fortune).

    /s/ Mark E. Appleby November 1, 2010++

    I’m confused:

    ++Appleby: When we got to the spot in the road where we left the quarters, backstrap tenderloin etc. the day before++

    If Appleby cut up the meat and Benedict dragged it up to the “road” did the bear haul it back to the carcass?

    Its going to be interesting to see the official report.

  42. jon says:

    ‘Save the bear’ campaign for Gig Harbor bear

    He acknowledged that so much time has passed since the attack that it would be hard to verify that a bear caught in the trap is the bear that attacked the woman.

    “We catch a bear a week from now, what’s to say it’s the right bear?” Brinson said.

  43. jon says:

    Another GREAT article by George Wuerthner

    Hunting and Predators–does it work?

    These individuals and organizations argue that wolves need to be hunted and managed “like other wildlife.” Proponents of wolf hunting argue that wolf numbers are too high and are a threat to the livestock industry as well as elk and deer populations. They also suggest that without hunting, wolves will “lose their fear of man” and rampage through towns and villages snatching up child and adults. In other words, unhunted predators are a threat to human health and prosperity.

    Underlying all these assertions is the assumption that hunting will reduce human conflicts. One might presume that given the strong support for hunting that there is a lot of scientific evidence to buttress the contentions that hunting reduces livestock losses, increases prey abundance, and reduces predator attacks on humans. Unfortunately there has been little research to date that tests these assumptions, and is a growing body of evidence suggests that indiscriminate predator control, whether due to sport hunting or by predator control agencies like Wildlife Services, has the opposite effect and actually increases conflicts between humans and predators.

  44. Cris Waller says:

    Another great article from George Wuerthner-

    “State agencies reassure citizens that they will maintain predator populations, but ignore predator social ecology. It’s possible to have the same number of predators and yet create social chaos by sport hunting. For example, unhunted wolf packs tend to be more stable and have a higher ratio of adults to pups. A stable wolf pack with older more experienced hunters is more effective at finding prey. Plus a larger pack can more easily defend and hold a larger territory which means that overall predation pressure on prey species is lessened since some portions of that territory are lightly hunted providing a refugia for prey. “

  45. Nancy says:

    A good read. Met Koani years ago when the local Patagonia outlet had her and her human friends (Wild Sentry) on hand for a talk about wolves not long after their reintroduction.

    I recall Koani as being beautiful, big and very alert when they brought her in to the room but her only concern seem to be for the little mutt (dog) she’d been raised with and was he okay, wandering around among all those humans.

  46. Salle says:

    Hunting and Predators–does it work?

    Unfiltered By George Wuerthner, Unfiltered 11-11-10

  47. cc says:

    “Sharks and Wolves: Predator, Prey Interactions Similar on Land and in Oceans”

  48. WM says:

    Good article on the practical challenges facing FWS on finding an entity to monitor and continue gathering data on ID wolves since Butch pulled the plug on IDGF participation.

  49. cc says:

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Releases Annual List of Candidates for Endangered Species Act:

  50. Save bears says:

    Game Warden Shot and killed!

    These stories tear at my heart:

  51. Mike says:

    Likely next House Energy Committee chair says God won’t let global warming happen:


    Wow. How do you work “consensus” and “meeting in the middle” on that one? This people will never believe in science until it comes knocking on their door.

    Shameful, shameful display of ignorance. The problem with conservation policy in our country is that we’ve got way too many crazies.

    • william huard says:

      Our choices for energy chair in the Republican party is a BP apologist, admitted shill for the oil industry, or a crazed right wing religious buffoon who keeps his bible in his pocket at all times. This is what we voted for! Glad to see we are moving forward! The facts will be light and the conservatives will have a set of their own!

      • PointsWest says:

        Kieth Oberman made some crack like,”we should apologize, after all, it was our Gulf that got in the way of their oil.”

  52. jdubya says:

    Time to take access to the rivers and steam of Utah back to the courts.

  53. On a collateral subject:

    Does anyone know which entity is publishing Carter Niemeyer’s forthcoming book “Wolfer (reportedly due out around Thanksgiving). Or if self-published, how does one locate?

    Urgently needed for my research and writing purposes!

  54. jon says:

    From wolf to scapegoat

    Idaho officials keep on crying wolf in order to protect the private interests of the powerful hunting outfitters and cattle industry as if wild game belonged exclusively to them.

    Idaho officials’ petition to kill wolves with the goal of boosting elk population (for hunting) lacks credibility.

    The assertion that elk population would rebound if not for wolves is nothing but crying wolf. Other determining factors like poaching and selective hunting are never emphasized.

  55. jon says:

    Voters reject proposition to make hunting, fishing constitutional rights

    • Kropotkin Man says:

      This was being sold as “keeping wildlife management in the hands of professionals”.

      Similiar bills seem to be flown every couple of years.

      I’m glad it failed.

  56. Salle says:

    Farm Subsidies Highlight The Hypocrisy Of Anti-Spending Politicians [who receive them].

    • PointsWest says:

      The federal subsidy to farmers and rural communities goes far beyond direct agricultural subsidies. In the GYE area, for example, the Feds built Jackson Lake Dam, Palisades Dam, Island Park Dam, Henry’s Lake Dam and others that provide irrigation water as well as flood control and water to local towns and cities. I believe the Feds subsidise some roads and bridges that serve rural communities that counties and states cannot afford to build given their tax base. The Feds manages the National Forests largely to the benefit of locals and do the same for BLM land. Rural electrification, the thousands of miles of powerlines that serve farmers and country dwellers in the GYE, is uneconomical not commercially viable and so is heavily subsidied through the Rural Electrical Association (REA). Fall River Electric Coop is an REA as is Lower Valley Electrical Coop and both are heavily subsidized by your tax dollars because no private electric company could make a profit by serving the rural GYE.

      As soon as any federal money is used for poor urban communities, it is quickly branded as a form of communism and deemed a drain on the economy. Yet I would be willing to wager that if all federal monies were pulled from the GYE that in 20 years more than half the farmland would be abandoned and the population would be cut by two-thirds as the local economy dwindled. People from Rexburg or Idaho Falls would be forced into the city to join the ranks of the urban poor, and God forbid, would be exposed to democratic ideals.

    • PointsWest says:

      Another comment about hypocrisy is that Idaho politicians are patting themselves on the back for luring Areva to Idaho to build the $4 billion nuclear enrichment facility near Idaho Falls. They did so by giving Areva tax breaks and a sweetheart deal in safety/environmental requirements. It will be an economic boon to Idaho, particularly to eastern Idaho. The hypocrisy is that Areva is not the esteemed American free enterprise that the rural right worships as a divine creation of God. Areva is not even an American company. It is not even a private company. Areva is a branch of the French government and personally, I believe they are doing a job the American Government or some American Company should be doing. Areva is going to make money and serve mankind by building this facility. But Areva is actually one of those dirty degenerate socialist European governments working in Idaho’s back yard doing a job that Americans are too holy and politically exceptional to do. Why don’t we hear Idaho’s congressional delegation or Governor Otter railing against the evil socialists at work in Idaho?

      I’ll bet Governor Otter has even learned a few words of French in the past couple of years while courting Areva.

  57. Ann Sydow says:

    On Butch Otter’s recent GOP Tour of Idaho, Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance Member and Wolf People Education Facility’s wolf handler, Mike Marzio, managed to get the Governor’s attention in order to voice our concerns about Idaho’s wolves. Go to NIWA’s website to watch the video. Or go directly to You Tube

  58. Virginia says:

    Just wondering if everyone watched PBS’ Nature last night – “Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom.”? As usual, PBS presented a wonderful account of the life of wolverines. Doug Chadwick was part of the show – he has been tracking wolverines in Glacier National Park. If it is shown again – don’t miss it!!!

    • jon says:

      I did Virginia and it was amazing! They are going to have a show on leopards next week, so watch that. It must be very rare to see a wolverine in glacier national park.

    • WM says:

      Fantastic program! Too bad it wasn’t longer. They are such a fascinating animal, and definitely in need of help to increase their numbers and expand their current range in a climate warming world.

      • Nancy says:

        Got thru about half of the documentary on the internet (had to keep waiting for my cheap DSL connection to download) and then, I got a screen up saying it was no long available!

        So I guess I’ll have to hope it comes to the nature section at the local video store (since I can’t afford satellite or cable)

        In 20 years, I’ve only heard of a couple of sightings of wovlerines in sourthwest Montana. But, trapping is allowed on public lands and their pelts are still far game and fetch a tidy sum of money, from what I’ve read.

  59. Kristin, Nothern CA says:

    Salmon make a comeback in Central Valley rivers

    Or, an improvement on utter crappiness.

  60. dcooke says:

    Study shows surprising rate of mule deer poaching

    LA GRANDE — The 62-year-old retired eastern Oregon businessman admits to poaching dozens of Oregon mule deer over the past 35 years with everything from .22-caliber rifles to scope-sighted hunting rifles.

    That’s the way he grew up in the Midwest: Poaching was a rite of passage in a culture of blue-collar rural men who held down their grocery bills by illegally killing a deer now and then.

    • JB says:

      I thought it very interesting that illegal take was estimated to be nearly as high as legal take.

      I also hadn’t realized how many cougars are in Oregon: “5,700 cougars roam Oregon’s forests and high deserts…” One reason I find this interesting is that cougars are of a similar size and have similar caloric needs as wolves; however, because they are solitary animals they are not as efficient at consuming a carcass (more goes to scavengers). There is a logical inconsistency here that very much frustrates wolf advocates: i.e., Oregon is capable of sustaining 5,700 cougars, yet the entire NRM DPS (which encompasses parts of 6 western states) is full with ~1,800 wolves? These type of inconsistencies feed the notion that wolves are not being treated “like any other game animal” as state agencies contend.

      • WM says:


        Is it logically inconsistent, or is it a different frame of reference from which the states make their (logical) argument?

        Wolves are an additive risk not present in 100 years. So, the base line is whether the states want or choose to tolerate the additive risk and the consequences of that risk, which may include additional impacts to ungulate populations.

        Of course, the other current issue is that cougar numbers can be and are actively managed under state authority, without federal oversight – not the case with wolves.

        So, to use the caloric intake comparison, would a state (OR in this instance) feel more comfortable by reducing its cougar population by 500 to accomodate that many wolves without signficant impact? George Wuerthner would say managing for fewer cougar would not be good either. So, it is manage for more wolves.

        Suppose IDFG will go for that in the Lolo?

      • JB says:

        “Is it logically inconsistent, or is it a different frame of reference from which the states make their (logical) argument?”

        The “we have too many wolves” argument is inconsistent with states’ treatment of cougars. They risk-based frame they have chosen to communicate this argument is not illogical, but one could certainly argue that it is disingenuous.

        – – – –

        See my recent comments on Wuerthner’s arguments. There are a number of caveats that he misses (or purposefully chose not to include).

  61. anna says:

    Reward: Information on Grizzly Killing
    by Connie on Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:56 pm

    KALISPELL — State and federal wildlife officials are investigating the shooting death of an adult grizzly bear near Troy.

    The bear was found several miles up a trail located along Pine Creek Road.

    State Fish, Wildlife and Parks law enforcement and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believe the bear was shot between Nov. 6 and Nov. 10.

    Anyone with information can contact state game warden Phil Kilbreath at 406-291-6539 or 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668). Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.

    • WM says:

      From the editorial:

      ++In 30 years of living in Minnesota I never once heard a farmer or a hunter complain about wolves++

      The author of this editorial piece must be hard of hearing. Somebody is making complaints about wolves in MN. WS/APHIS and the MN DNR have been killing wolves in MN since 1976, with an average of 117.4 wolves per year, with a depredation damage payout of $67,111 per year, in the last 5 years through 2005. I bet some industrious soul could find the data for the last four years, if they wanted to scour the WS website.

      And then, there are all the recent news articles about hunters and livestock owners (a couple of the agr business trade organizations) and the state itself anxious to get the Great Lakes wolves delisted. A petition before FWS is pending to delist ONLY MN wolves even as we write these exchanges.

      Jerry, since you are prone to using the public forum perhaps you will bring this fact to the attention of Mr. Essen. Correct facts are important in this debate.

    • JB says:

      WM: Are you being facetious? There is a substantial difference between calling Wildlife Services to report a depredation (how would he hear someone file this type of compliant?) and vocalizing a complaint about wolves in a public forum? It is pretty clear that the author is talking about the latter. The difference is important because it speaks to the norm of that society–complaining about wolves is an accepted topic of conversation in the West; it is not in Minnesota.

      I will tell you that in 3+ years of living in Minnesota I never heard anyone complain about wolves. In fact, the only person who specifically mentioned wolves to me during this time was a deer hunter who said he wished there were more of them! The first time I heard [in person] a Minnesotan complain about wolves was at a conference last month. Ironically, this individual was at the conference by way of their work with Defenders of Wildlife.

      • WM says:


        First, I guess our respective experiences are different. With my first readings about wolves in MN in grad school the issue of the fear of livestock depredation was front and center. We even looked at the raw data back then, what little there was. That was nearly thirty years ago. I cannot imagine you would have escaped the same exposure to such readings, even though the information was second hand from an academic essay.

        Second, Mr. Essen sets himself up in this editorial as being knowledgeable on what was going on in the agricultural community and hunting community for 30 years in MN -family ties and all. Then he also sets himself up as knowledgeable in wildlife, maybe even an expert. So, he exudes this aura of credibility.

        How the impacts of wolves, novelty and all, would escape such a personality seems unlikely. But then there is that doctrine of plausible deniability, or selective hearing (or memory for that matter), and maybe the bigger one that gives shelter – I didn’t hear it (directly?) from a family member, which would be kind of consistent with his statement.

        I think a sharp lawyer would have alot of fun on cross-eximination under oath with this guy.

        Of course, on the other end of the time continium, today we have alot more exposure to news, instantaneously! Along with that the gripes that are either in a news article or the comment section that sometimes follows. This is big news in the Western states (Maybe Mr. Essen’s contempraries were focused more on the sports scores of the Vikings 30 years ago).

        Heck, I would not have had access to the opinion piece, ever, without the internet and this forum, and a specific link to it. So, there is that information availablity aspect that is present now that was not over thirty years or even ten years ago. And, of course the media in MT and other Western states are captivated by wolves in a way they were not even just a few years ago.

        Facetious? Perhaps a bit. And do allow me the courtesy of pointing out that wolves are now higher on the interest list in the Great Lakes today than just a few years ago for some of the same reasons. My neighbor, he was a retired academic from Madison, WI, knows all about wolves from home and the media. In fact, this neighbor gave me a copy of the Sports Illustrated article ( ) which carried the picture (this link does not) of one of the wolves which allegedly killed Kenton Carnegie (wolf + human with stick facing off at close distance = same picture on Wikipedia wolf). He, at that time, revealed to me his wife’s family were Norwegians from northern MN and who farmed and hunted complained about wolves for years. My uncle (by marriage to my mother’s sister) was from Bemidgi, and his family hunted, but didn’t have alot to say about wolves good or bad, but the subject did come up over the years at Thanksgiving dinner. I wish I could ask more questions, but he passed away three years ago.

      • JB says:

        I understand your point about data. In fact, I was familiar with Minnesota’s data on wolf depredations long before I moved to the state. But the issue isn’t about the number of depredations or complaints, its about topics are acceptable as part of the culture. In my experience wolves simply were not on the radar in Minnesota. In fact, I used to joke that I moved from a state with zero wolves and a wolf “problem” (i.e. Utah) to one with 3,000 and no apparent issue (i.e. MN). The joke was not to diminish the losses of people in MN that had been affected by wolves; rather, it was a simple acknowledgment that the one wolf that made it to Utah in 2002 was front page news, while the 3,000 in Minnesota were rarely discussed.

        As you have pointed out before, you can bring up the topic of wolves with anyone in the West and get an instant opinion–the topic is salient, and opinion is polarized. Try the same line in Minnesota and you are far more likely to get a quizzical look in response. Wolves are out of sight, and out of mind. That is my point.

  62. Jerry Black says:

    “he difference is important because it speaks to the norm of that society–complaining about wolves is an accepted topic of conversation in the West; it is not in Minnesota.”

    JB……I worked out of and lived in Minnesota for 20 plus years.
    Covered pretty much the entire state. Minnesotans aren’t preoccupied with a few depredations, in fact it rarely makes the news and is never a front page story. They focus more on economic and social justice issues and they are at, or near the top, when it comes to community involvement.
    Their priorities are education for their kids, mental health, feeding the poor, treating alcohol addiction, community parks and activities etc.

  63. timz says:

    I grew up in MN and saw my first wolves in the wild there when I was about 10 years old. Worked in northern MN thru most of my teen years. Studied at the International Wolf Center in Ely. I can recall hearing one person in my 36 years of living there actually say he hated wolves. To this day while I’m back visiting you hear, read or see little or nothing on the subject. Even in the little taverns “up north”. Most there are indifferent or think of them the same way as any other wildlife.

    • JB says:

      Thanks Tim, Jerry. I think I’m relatively safe in suggesting that Minnesotans are…different? 😉 In my experience, people there were not quick to give compliments nor complaints. In contrast, there is a culture of victimization in the West that seems to fit more with what I might expect to see on Telemundo than our rough and tumble stereotype of the Marlborough Man.

  64. PointsWest says:

    The Chainsaw Song….

    • Salle says:

      Wow! That’s amazing. Too bad not so many humans can appreciate nature and creatures like this. Seems the only time we (meaning the majority of modern humans) only see value in things we can eat or make money from exploiting.

    • JB says:

      Northwest Montana has the highest levels of illegal wolf kills anywhere in the lower 48. I think we can safely put the theory that resistance to wolves in the West is related to their reintroduction to bed.

      • SAP says:

        JB – perhaps. However, I am astonished at the delusionalism rampant in the West and America at large right now. There may well be people who have forgotten — if they ever knew it in the first place — that NW MT wolves recolonized naturally. It has not happened yet, but I keep expecting to hear from someone that Obama reintroduced the wolves, or that Obama is responsible for keeping them under federal protection.

        Range (aka “deRanged”) magazine did an article in the 90s on a family beset by wolves west of Kalispell; the article strongly implied that the wolves didn’t get there on their own, but were part of a concerted effort to drive these people off the land (typical of deRanged, the family were really just managing the ranch for an out-of-state owner who decided to get out of the livestock business).

        Apart from delusionalism, the anti-govt streak has always been pretty pronounced up that way. Talk to long-time game wardens who’ve been around the state — they have a lot of stories about that part of Montana.

        One warden told me that some folks up that way — Lincoln & Sanders counties in particular — settled there after being displaced by Tennessee Valley Authority dam-building in the south. I have no details about this — did they get there on their own, or was moving people to MT part of a TVA program — but my warden friend told me that being moved off their land by TVA made them pretty suspicious of the government; then the building of Libby Dam-Koocanusa in the early 1970s further reinforced their suspicions.

      • Save bears says:

        Living in NW Montana, I can’s say how many times I have been told they were reintroduced around here, which of course is not true….but I can say, there is a very strong hate for wolves in NW Montana…

  65. Nancy says:

    This is sad but expected, given the atmosphere right now especially in that area.

  66. cc says:

    There are currently 2 openings for field tech/volunteer positions w/the Mexican Wolf project. This back-busting, heart-breaking working would be a great experience for college aged folk looking to make a difference for imperiled wildlife and improve their resume.

  67. jon says:

    Local meeting spotlights wolves

    Most of the crowd seemed extremely upset with the “endangered” designation, and some people brought up ways to poison wolves or encouraged others to abide by the three S’s: shoot, shovel and shut up. While some of the discussion seemed in jest, Jack Stivers, secretary of the Western Montana Stockmen’s Association, the organization which hosted the meeting, said after the event that they do not encourage any illegal activity.
    “We respect the law and opinions about breaking the law were not representative of our organization,” Stivers said.
    Ultimately, many gathered at the event agreed the only way to make a change in the rule is to band together.

  68. Nancy says:

    Ken, anyway to leave the pic of the Bitterroot up for the winter? Love that beautiful burst of color when the site comes up.

  69. WM says:

    Clearly not wildlife news, but important to wildlife and environmental problems, nonetheless, that eventually make it to the Supreme Court. A New York Times article very critical of Chief Justice Roberts (Bush appointee), Scalia and the conservative wing of the Court that writes lengthy opinions without giving much guidance (and rarely with unanimous agreements):

  70. Peter Kiermeir says:

    FWP Commission to consider request to halve Bitterroot wolf population

    • timz says:

      Interesting they only quote the biologist from Alaska where they still gun down wolves from airplanes.

  71. WM says:

    New central ID fault discovered; Stanley now becoming known for more than wolves and the Sawtooths. Earthquake potential of 7.5 magnitude, and possible in next few decades.

    • jon says:

      So what’s going to happen elk? Are they going to shoot wolves on sight once they come off the endangered species list?

  72. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Second tiger killed by poachers days before global summit

  73. Nancy says:

    Whole lot of wildlfe out there under the gun, so to speak, when it comes to man’s selfish demands on the planet.

    • Rita K. Sharpe says:

      Nancy,Thank you for the post.

      • Nancy says:

        ++Indeed, dear children, the beavers could have been relocated to live out their lives away from humans. But you see, you will witness events like this over and over again, for you inhabit a world where nature is at the mercy of the most destructive and self serving species on earth: mankind, whose proper name should be mancruel++

        How profound………

  74. jon says:

    Poachers kill mule deer. Is it me or does it seem to be a lot more poaching going on?

    “These deer appeared to have been killed at a different location and dumped where they were found,” Baker said in a media release Friday.
    “Nothing was taken from either deer,” he said.
    Wold said both recently discovered deer were shot in the neck.
    She said wardens are being “tight-lipped” about the evidence collected and are eager to catch the poachers.
    Game and Fish officials noted the high number of poaching incidents in southwest Wyoming this fall hunting season, but aren’t sure of the cause.
    “The amount of poaching activity this fall has been unusually high for this area,” Baker said. “It needs to come to an end.”

    • jon says:

      In early October, poachers shot and killed two elk on Aspen Mountain south of Rock Springs, killing one elk outright and leaving the second to die slowly.

      To shoot an elk and just leave it dying slowly absolutely disgusts me. I hope they catch these scumbags and throw the book at them if they haven’t caught them already.

  75. jon says:

    I would like to get the hunters input on this story. Others ca obviously give their input as well. Sorry if it was posted already.

    If it is true in what he is saying that he killed the animals to feed his family, should he have lost his hunting privileges for life even if he poached the animals to feed his family? He could also be lying about killing the animals to feed his family, but who knows for sure.

    • Salle says:

      Um, he was baiting them… then shooting them. And just how much does a hunting license cost? And just how big is his family that all these animals were necessary, and how much do they pay for the electricity to keep that freezer running?

      I think it’s a bit of hogwash and maybe 10 cents’ worth of truth, if any. But that’s just my opinion.

      How many times does this excuse get used? If this guy goes unchallenged, why not anyone else? Fair is fair.

  76. jon says:

    Wolf ruling points to need for negotiation

    While Johnson found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was wrong to have rejected the state’s dual-classification plan for wolves, he stopped short of ordering the federal agency to accept the Wyoming plan. And with a federal judge in Montana already having reached some conflicting conclusions, Johnson’s decision is just one chapter in what will likely be many more years of litigation over wolves.
    Instead of using the ruling to further harden their position, Wyoming officials should see Johnson’s decision for what it really is: a call to resolve the wolf dispute through negotiation. If that doesn’t happen, the wolf saga will continue heading down the same road as the dispute over snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park, with conflicting court rulings, endless studies, wasted spending and a ridiculous lack of resolution.

  77. jon says:

    Everyone should check out this story. Supposedly, a hunter saw a black wolf which was actually someone’s dog and shot at the wolf that was actually someone’s domestic dog.

    A friend and I were walking our dogs on my land when suddenly a deafening rifle shot fired in our direction reverberated through both of us. The double percussion (the muzzle blast and the bullet hitting a tree just 20 feet from us, close to where our dogs were trotting) scalded us with fear – another shot might follow. As we scrambled for cover, we saw a green SUV with a trailer hauling an ATV on the access road above us. The driver was wearing hunter orange. What was most disturbing about the incident is that the shooter just drove off after spotting us without even checking to see if anyone was hit. Thank goodness none in our party was injured or killed.
    We searched the scene where the shot was fired. It was clear that the shooter did not even get out of the vehicle. We deduced that the intended target was likely our medium-size, wolf-like black dog who had been ahead of us. Mistaking our dog for a wolf, the shooter took aim and fired, fortunately missing the target. It is illegal to shoot from a vehicle, illegal to shoot protected wolves, and illegal to shoot on private property without permission. My haven is no longer safe.

    • jon says:

      Excuse me, I meant poacher.

    • william huard says:

      Just another isolated incident!

    • WM says:

      And we know this is a true story, …… exactly how?

      No independent verified evidence. No dead dog, and no bullet connected to a gun that was allegedly fired by this person wearing orange.

      Come on, jon, William, Salle use you critical thinking skills here, too.

      This guy might have even said something to the effect that God saved his dogs that day (well at least we were spared that ideological reference, and sure glad it didn’t show up in the article). Wait. This was an opinion letter written by the person whose dog was allegedly shot at.

      Not that I don’t believe that something like this couldn’t happen (I certainly do during these difficult wolf management times), but where is the indignation about lack of independently verifiable facts corroborating this story? Did anyone investigate? Oh, that’s right there is nothing to investigate. Just someone telling a story about something that did or did not happen. We will probably never know the truth. Maybe someone should investigate to see whether he is a member of DOW or any wolf advocacy groups, so we could see if he is objective in his stance.

      Then, there is that part about …well, maybe the dogs should have been on a leash – yeah that is it. Dogs on leash in rural Montana.

      Sorry. I drank too much caffeinated coffee this morning.

      • Save bears says:

        People shooting at dogs is not a new phenomena, it happened before wolves were in the area, I know during hunting season when the dogs were outside, they always wore blaze orange dog coats, of course both were the similar color to deer, so it was and extra preventive measure. I also have a neighbor down the road, who did have someone shoot at their dog which does look like a wolf and howls at the local wolves all the time…so it does happen, but it is not something that I have found to be widespread..

      • Salle says:

        Ha! I didn’t have enough…

        I don’t know that this story is true but I can almost bet money that the shooter would try to make it out to be an attempt at self defense, keep a watch on the anti-wolf web sites for the upcoming details of how the shooter had to defend itself from that dangerous dog, on private property no less. I surely would have dug the bullet out of the tree or whatever for ballistic analysis… You never know what that might turn up.

        Or just another SSS attempt that failed. Too bad they didn’t get the license # off that vehicle and POST it within the LTE. That would shake some folks up.

        Anyway, WM, can’t prove this one either way but it smells of reality given the talk and nontalk around the region….

        Good thing the hunting season is almost over so I can go back out in the woods.

      • jon says:

        I am sure someone can get this guy’s phone number. Someone call him up and ask him if the story is true or not and what exactly happened.

      • Save bears says:

        Why would he be more inclined to tell the truth or lie on the phone, than he would be in his editorial?

      • Salle says:

        Perhaps some deconstruction of the narrative is in order here…

        It is telling that there was absolutely no mention of god saving them or their dogs, there was no mention of a political agenda or rhetoric, there was no call to arms – so to speak – for those who might be on the author’s side.

        That being said, the stories that I have read, too many to count off hand, that relate a tale of wolves threatening humans and their dogs/hunt-harvested carcass and that god and guns saved them… seem far more contrived with a purpose (recall how that last version went viral immediately after its first publication), should I continue or does that suffice for what looks much more credible as a story of honest experience than a sensationalized tale of how bad wildlife is and how humans can do without most species and if it weren’t for god and guns etc…?

        I would be more inclined to believe this guy’s account than those accounts that are over-amped with rhetoric – like those “hunters” who were pissed off that other wildlife claimed their harvest and came forth, after a long delay, with a Sarah Palin-ized version of events. This story, of the dogs being shot at while in the company of the owners while on the owner’s private land, is more likely to be true. How many times do you hear the tales of god and guns saving the wildlife encounter-challenged compared to one of this nature? How much would you bet that this story doesn’t go “viral”? Mostly because it makes the hunt crowd look less appealing?

        I will stand as being more inclined to buy this story than the “god and guns saved us from those awful wild animals” story line.

    • SAP says:

      My black dog wears a blaze orange bandanna this time of year in the woods. He stays close, but one never knows. Since he’s a stockdog, he does carry himself a little wolfishly at times.

      Not even sure the orange (plus a bell on his collar) are that much protection — the woods are full of armed idiots.

      People are already recklessly stupid with their firearms; add the self-righteous “control wolves by any means necessary” bs into the mix: I don’t think it’s a stretch at all that some moron is going to shoot someone’s black dog or sled dog right in front of them.

      • jon says:

        I agree with you 100%. You are more likely to be shot by a hunter mistaken you for a bear or deer than you are being mauled by a wolf. A few months ago, a hunter shot his little kid thinking he was a deer. When you have people like this roaming the woods, you better believe you should be more cautious and aware.

    • jon says:

      It has come to my attention that Dave Taylor is a local wildlife advocate in Montana and is involved with footloose Montana. He has no reason to lie. I believe what he is saying.

      • Save bears says:

        I have seen the pro as well as the anti side tell lies and stretch truths, it happens on both sides and it happens all to often…at this point in time, I have very little faith in either side…

      • WM says:


        ++………He has no reason to lie.++

        Your comment is a non-sequitur. In formal logic that is when a conclusion does not follow from a stated premise.

        Let’s see here. If he is a local wildlife advocate (and the issue about which he wrote- possible mistaken identify of a dog for a wolf, which could have resulted in death to either dog or wolf; AND if this is the same guy, who is involved in Footloose Montana which is trying to stop trapping)*, he has no reason to lie. Therefore I believe him.

        Uh, right. Jon, you ever give any thought to taking a class in logic and scientific method? It will do wonders for your critical thinking skills.

        * footnote: I tend to agree with the idea of stopping trapping.

      • SAP says:

        Good logic lesson, WM. Red herrings (such as guilt by association) and “argument from authority” fallacies abound in the wolf issue. I am sure there are others who draw the exact opposite conclusion: this guy is against trapping, so I he is trying to discredit hunters, so I reject what he says.

        Seems like if the guy was going to make up a tall tale about bullets flying, he would have sexed it up quite a bit more than what he presents in his letter. I mean, why bother going to the trouble of fabricating a story in which you just got scared by some close proximity shooting and felt they may have been shooting at your dog? I’d think if he was going to fabricate, he would have thrown in a verbal confrontation and a high speed chase, don’t you?

        I’d have been out on the roads around Helmville looking for that slob, myself (no vigilantism, but I would’ve found him and turned him in).

      • Salle says:

        Let me see…

        Key points in this story are obvious and telling, regardless of who this guy is affiliated with, I would guess that he doesn’t have areason to lie about it when he could easily be “called out” for doing so. Why is it that the wolf-hating crowd are rarely questioned when making their claims?What was biased in this story? What I see, by the quotes from the story listed below, is someone making public their disdain at their private property rights being violated in the form of a life-threatening incident where it is hard to identify the violator(s):

        A friend and I were walking our dogs on my land when…

        What was most disturbing about the incident is that the shooter just drove off after spotting us without even checking to see if anyone was hit.

        It is illegal to shoot from a vehicle, illegal to shoot protected wolves, and illegal to shoot on private property without permission.

        Where is this story biased or indicative of offering unsubstantiated blame?

        And there certainly is no “call to arms” here. A simple statement of an incident that doesn’t smack of the sensationalized crap that you get from the wolf-hater crowd.

      • WM says:

        Salle, SAP,

        My points are related to verifiability of a story, and the thought processes which lead one to believe or disbelieve the teller. They go to things like credibility of the storyteller, including their motives; believability of the shear facts as told (sex it up too much means likely fewer will believe – doesn’t mean it isn’t true, but more questions are raised).

        See, my friend jon here, is among those who summarily dismiss the observations, stories, reports and predictions of Dr. Valarius Geist (one of North America’s most renound ungulate scientists, who has seen wolves interact with their prey (and humans) for 50 years, because they go against what he wants to believe, based on his own value system.

        To some extent most of us do that. Some more than others.

        Anybody read in Taylor’s letter that his private land was posted, or otherwised noted as private? I didn’t.

        Dangerous behavior by this guy who shot for all the reasons stated, in my opinion, whether it was private or public land. I’d be pissed too. We all have to reach our own conclusions on whether the story is true; just as we are all reaching our conclusions about the hunters, being chased off their elk by wolves.

      • JB says:

        Wow, I could use this post to teach students about motivated cognition. Take a look-see:

      • SAP says:

        JB – that’s good stuff! I started reading about biases in judgment after seeing a public tv program on it in about 1993. It led me to work by people like Thomas Gilovich (“How We Know What Isn’t So” is an accessible intro to his work) and Daniel Kahneman.

        I would be curious to hear from these guys on their views today. Their work has pointed out a lot of built-in limitations in people’s cognitive abilities; I wonder whether they think things have gotten worse.

      • JB says:


        You might also be interested in a different line of research on attitude strength (social vs. cognitive psych) that, in part, deals with how people formulate “strong” attitudes and their subsequent effects on information processing.

        You might also enjoy the following:

        Teel, T. L., A. D. Bright, M. J. Manfredo, and J. J. Brooks. 2006. Evidence of Biased Processing of Natural Resource-Related Information: A Study of Attitudes Toward Drilling for Oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Society & Natural Resources 19:447-463.


      • SAP says:

        Thanks so much, JB! I will check that out.

        Along those lines: have you come across any social research (anthropological, folkloric, social psychology) on attitudes and folklore toward wildlife agencies?

        I ask because of all the contempt being heaped on FWP here over wolf management. People accuse them of unresponsiveness, incompetence, deceit . . . a person here who had wolves near her house claimed FWP tried intimidate her and is trying to cover up the existence of an unknown wolf pack.

        At first, I thought this might be a new trend; then, I realized that this kind of attitude may be a stable fixture of rural life throughout the country. In Missouri, people claim that the Conservation Department clandestinely introduced cougars AND wolves; or, that the carnivores came back on their own and that CD is too incompetent to find these creatures. People have also claimed that the agency was dropping rattlesnakes from helicopters to reduce wild turkey populations to reduce hunting opportunities. It seems that “them college boys with their book-larnin don’t know sh*%-all bout wildlife” or “they’re trying to drive us off the land and confiscate firearms” are pretty common outlooks on both state & federal agencies.

      • JB says:

        “…have you come across any social research (anthropological, folkloric, social psychology) on attitudes and folklore toward wildlife agencies?”

        I wish! I would love to conduct a study of wildlife managers aimed at determining the prevalence of such myths nationwide. I heard similar stories about predator introductions in Michigan (as well as incompetence claims) and a variation of your rattlesnake story is also told here in Ohio–so apparently these myths have “legs”!

  78. Salle says:

    Too bad you weren’t able to shoot back. I had a friend who was hunting on horseback once upon a time ago and some idiot shot his horse out from under him. He was armed and emptied his firearm into the direction of the fire and was able to follow a blood trail out of the forest and alert authorities who were able to find the culprit by putting out an alert to physicians and hospitals in a two hundred mile radius. The jerk was caught, fined, lost all hunting rights and I think, jailed for a spell.

    I am glad none of you were hit, and that your private property was violated in that way. I don’t think this is the America our forefathers had in mind when they spoke of freedom… which is now-a-days interpreted to mean that anyone can do whatever the hell they want, regardless of harm to others, and that they have the god-given right to do so without impunity.

    • Salle says:

      Oops, I mean I’m saddened that your private property was violated like that!!!

      • Salle says:

        and that they have the god-given right to do so without impunity.” Hmm, that doesn’t sound right either, how about without recourse… man, it’s early.

  79. william huard says:

    I have been trying to post the web address for a story about “Wildlife Penning” that I saw on the Project Coyote website entitled “A Wildlife Reversal”. “THEIR BACK” If someone can post the link I would appreciate it. It was the Indiana DNR’s own report that stated that wildlife enclosures don’t always provide for fair chase, that they carry the risk of increased disease transmission, and could promote the commercialization and sale of wild animals. These people never quit! The NTA is based in Indiana, and all they need is one stooge in the state legislature to ask for this. I have followed this issue closely for years, and while the trapping community says this is about training dogs that couldn’t be farther from the truth. This is about money and creating a wildlife market for coyotes and foxes. This one idiot in the Indiana legislature went on record saying that coyotes in these enclosures live a better quality of life in these pens, I guess that is before they are ripped apart by the dogs. I hope people will chime in on this issue once public comments are allowed. I wish I could retrieve the emails that I lost on my computer 2 years ago that showed hundreds of emails between hunters down south and the trappers that sent these poor animals to their death. The joy and pleasure that they voiced as coyotes and foxes were ripped apart was truly shocking and showed me the true nature of these “people”.

  80. Nancy says:

    ++On February 17th, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will consider whether to ban or restrict the controversial practice of coyote and fox “penning” in the state++

    Will consider??? I would think this is a NO BRAINER……..

    I’ve often wondered how many of the people that engage in these disgusting types of entertainment, came from abusive homes?

  81. william huard says:

    It has been banned in Florida. Now Indiana is trying to pursue “regulated penning”, as if we are to trust the goodwill of the trapping community! They are the “true conservationists” you know!!!!

  82. Salle says:

    Money and politics, like love and marriage?

  83. Nancy says:

    I don’t know why ;<) but I'm far more inclined to believe Dave Taylor's account of what happened (ON HIS OWN PROPERTY) than the recent, that took days to gather actual accounts, visit the scene, line up a press conference ( with just the right political atmosphere!) of Appleby & Pitman's "wolf attack"

    ++Last year, an animal warden with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office shot an elk in the Darby area and had to hike around a ravine to reach his kill. By the time he got there, wolves were already on the elk, and he feared approaching them++

    So I've got to say Thank ya Lord for the fact that these men (with years of hunting experience) were able to get back to civilization at all and share with us, their near death encounters with all those big, bad other predators out there (other than themselves) in the wilderness.

    Sorry WM, can't blame my reaction on caffeine – maybe White Zin?

  84. Daniel Berg says:

    Interesting article about melting permafrost and the subsequent release of methane.

  85. Nancy says:

    Along the same vein, a couple of years ago I was down at the end of MY yard, in MY flower garden, ON MY OWN PROPERTY , when a truck pulled off the road. Didn’t think much about it til I heard a couple of shots and when I stood up I heard someone say, loud and clear ” oh S–t, there’s someone in the yard!!” (or as Gomer Pyle might of said ” surprise, surprise”) as they peeled off down the road.

    There are unfortunately, alot of f–king a–holes out there that think every animal out there (not covered under the “regular hunting season” game rules) are somehow fair game.

    Again, I wonder about how they were brought up, with so little regard for life other than themselves.

    • Salle says:

      And I’m willing to wager that they are the same folks who will be the first to start crying about their rights and how they have more important family values that should trump yours. It’s certainly a WTF? situation. I have had bullets whiz past me while walking out in public land outside of hunting season… Not a pleasant event.

      I wonder if they were on the receiving end of such an act might change their perception. I still think it might have been appropriate for the dog owners to have fired back if they had been carrying firearms, though when out walking the dogs on your own property to enjoy the peace and quiet why would they? Firearms are not peaceful regardless of what anyone thinks of them. (I, too, would have been inclined to seek out their identity and made damned sure that they got what they deserved through proper authority.)

      WM, maybe the “hunters” should know where the hell they are before they shoot…

      And it isn’t relevant as to whether you don’t buy into V. Geist’s opinions that gives credibility to an LTE in the Missoula paper just because you decide to comment on it. (I don’t think Geist’s claims are particularly valid regardless of what he’s published, he’s been disputed a number of times only to have the Karl Rove treatment rapidly applied to those who disagree. He may have a dedicated following but the more I hear from him, the less inclined I am to automatically choose to give him validity based on his fame… That’s like saying Sarah Palin is an honest, caring genius because the FauxNews/NewsCorp. relentlessly promotes her, you betcha. Personally, I see her as a self-serving media whore who values fame and power over all else, but I digress…)

      I don’t see where your argument against Jon is of merit but that’s probably insignificant to the conversation here because it’s your opinion – which does not make it right or wrong, it’s just an opinion. If you are trying to discredit him by your challenges, perhaps you need to reassess your participation here. I didn’t see where you had an argument on this, though I don’t automatically dismiss all of your comments just because I don’t like one that you made that is in opposition to what I perceive to be the reality of a threaded topic.

      The prospect of “a gun in every hand” does not make me feel secure at all… I wish there was some magic ray from outerspace that would render all weapons useless, but it’s just how I feel about all the idiots who have them and claim that gun possession/use makes them feel free. There’s something inherently wrong with that logic…

      Informative discussion is one thing, trying to discredit someone publicly because they disagree with your opinion is petty and lacking constructive intent and happens all too readily in public discourse of late.

      • WM says:


        I brought up Geist (you can include other scientists like Mech, who get selectively quoted here) as an example of how bias tends to get in the way exchange of good information. Some here simply refuse (without first hand experience or credentials in the field) to acknowledge that wolves are capable of certain kinds of behavior, even when presented by scientists who are at the top of their field. I think, from an academic perspective, this would be called emotional bias (JB, would you agree to the term?).

        Jon serves up his own platters of material for discredit with regularity, so it seems to me to be fair game for exchange of opinion. I am not the only one who has taken issue with his views. So, you fault me for pointing them out. Gotta love your effort then to roll discussions involving a recognized scientist into the same couple of sentences with a bunch of wacko conservative politicians most of us can’t stand. You love to throw in Bush, Cheney, Rove even when it has nothing to do with the dialog.

        So, Salle when you were a child did you bring your lunch or walk to school? The point of this statement is they are entirely different topics even though they have to do with school.

        I have in the past recommended people here look at the International Wolf Foundation (, which Dr. Mech created and on which Rolf Peterson of Isle Royale/Mich. Inst. Tech. serves on the board of directors, and Luigi Boitani serves on the advisory board. They strive to get accurate information out there, that some people just don’t want to hear anti and pro wolfers alike.

        Coincidentally, it is interesting that Mary Ortiz, the executive director of the Wolf Center, just last week made a statement in a news article that fladry and some other non-lethal methods are not all they are cracked up to be (in reference to Great Lakes wolves). And, then there is the announcement that 6 WI wolves were killed last week for becoming to bold around humans, including killing 3 dogs and injuring 3 more ( ).

        So, that is kind of the tie in to the story about Taylor, the dog and the hunter. Emotional bias, selective facts and challenges in critical thinking. I am equally critical of the wacko antis, but for the most part they are uneducable -and that is an even larger problem.

        As for the shooting in the direction people with dogs, I stand with you and Nancy in criticism of them, and have an equally strong desire for idiots that do stupid things to get their just reward.

      • JB says:


        I think what you are describing could be generally labeled the “confirmation bias”. People have a tendency to selectively seek, process, retain, and recall information that is consistent with existing beliefs–especially when those beliefs are strong. As a result, information that conflicts with beliefs is given more attention and results in more counter-arguing than attitudinally-congruent information. Along these same lines, people who provide information that runs counter to existing beliefs are more likely to be perceived as biased, and dismissed or discredited (for example, in one classic study, it was found that Palestinians and Israelis who read the same media coverage each felt the coverage was biased in favor of the other group).

    • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      All –
      Speaking as one with law enforcement responsibilities and having had the painful experience of dealing with the aftermath of firearms accidents, I offer a strong caution against suggestions that returning fire against individuals who are perceived to have shot at you or in your direction is justified – without the clear knowledge that shooting in the direction of another human is necessary to protect yourself or others. Shooting back in such a circumstance would be irresponsible, very dangerous and could result in your own arrest and prosecution. When emotions run high, as in these situations, the very best course of action is to seek protective cover, make sure that others know your position and de-escalate the situation. Because the situation described has a very high likelihood of being a mistake (albeit very poor judgement – stupidity is a gross understatement) – no response that could result in further risk of serious injury – to anyone – is justified.

      • Save bears says:


        I certainly agree with you 100%

      • WM says:

        Just to be clear. My comment about “just rewards” for idiots who are not careful with firearms does not include returning fire. That is even more stupid than the original act for the reasons Mark states.

  86. william huard says:

    Interesting comments concerning the less glamourous predators like African Hunting Dogs, Wolves, and coyotes.

    • jon says:

      That is very interesting William. In Oregon, there are 5700 cougars and there are about 30 wolves and all you ever hear about from hunters and ranchers are the wolves. samething with other states, many more mt. lions than wolves and wolves are the ones that are talked about. You rarely ever hear hunters/ranchers talking about exterminating and poisoning mt. lions. It’s only wolves they want gone. The wolf is the most hated predator in North America.

      • william huard says:

        I don’t see how tigers will ever be protected until the demand for them diminishes in Asia. Chinese Gov wants it both ways- allowing tiger farming in China and saying on the other hand they want to help protect them in the wild! huh! Ever see the African Hunting dog in action? They are probably the most efficient hunter on the planet bar none.

      • jon says:

        William, the punishment for poachers needs to be more severe. You need to tell poachers if they kill tigers, they are going to pay for it dearly. in China, they give the death penalty to anyone that kills a panda. The same thing should be done to anyone killing an endangered tiger.

      • jon says:

        Poachers were recently arrested for killing an endangered siberian tiger. They face a max. 2 year jail sentence. 2 years is nothing. They need to change the law. Throw the book at poachers and give them 20 years to life. These scum are getting away with killing treasured wildlife and nothing is happening to them. You think 2 years and a fine is going to stop these poachers?

  87. jon says:

    Killing coyotes for sport shouldn’t be used as a school fundraiser.

    Disturbing and disgusting at the same time.

    • william huard says:

      If people in the school system have these beliefs how will the children turn out. They will learn that it is OK to disrespect wildlife, and it reinforces the belief system that humans have the right to label certain species as vermin. It’s an uneducated culture that spans several generations

      • Nancy says:

        William, I just heard recently from an out of state property owner in my area (who rubs elbows occasionally with a local “school official”) that the Daily Reader is Not allowed in the one room school house not far from me.
        And, if the teacher should decide to subscribe to it? “well, she’d be fired!”

        I’m still trying to digest and understand what I should be doing with that bit of information.

      • jon says:

        This is something that shouldn’t really be a surprise to most. A lot of people treat wildlife as vermin/varmints.There are coyote killing contests for money and prizes, so something like this does not surprise me. It is also not surprising that some ranchers do not want to co-exist with wildlife either.

      • jon says:

        One of the comments in that article.

        from budpg wrote 59 min 20 sec ago
        What’s wrong with you people? We should not be telling children that it is acceptable to treat certain wildlife as vermin, all wildlife has a role in ecosystems. This uneducated “redneck” mentality is the reason hunter numbers continue to plummet. People are sick of uneducated hillbillies telling us that animals should be killed for sport. Stanley Young is dead.

      • Mike says:

        This is the problem right here.

        These people are sick in the head, and they’re passing it down to their kids.

        Animals aren’t a shooting gallery. I’ll say it again – when it costs $200 to fill up the truck, the coyotes will be better off because these lazy fat asses won’t be able to haul all their shit to these “varmint” tournaments.

  88. william huard says:

    I’ll give you three guesses who that brilliant poster is

    • jon says:

      I find it very hard to believe that these people who support this kind of activity have any respect for wildlife what so ever. This is no different than the coyote killing contests for money and prizes. This is how wildlife is treated nowadays in some places. Coyote killing contests need to be banned in every state. It is not done for conservation and the people who participate in this “sport” killing contest DOES NOT respect or care about wildlife!

      • william huard says:

        It will take several more generations before people will shake these cultural belief systems concerning coyotes, prairie dogs, beavers etc. Viewed as problem animals and vermin by people with a very narrow mindset. Coyotes seek out their persecuters and piss on their graves. They will be here in the ecosystem long after their human adversaries are gone. Trust that

      • jon says:

        I don’t like some who call coyote hunting a sport. It would only be a sport if the coyote had a gun, but we know that isn’t possible. These killing contests of coyotes do not teach our younger generation to respect native wildlife. Gotta love the rancher and rural american attitude, kill all of the animals that are an inconvenience or supposed threat to us.

  89. jon says:

    Winter weather aids hunters in west-central Montana

  90. Elk275 says:


    You live in Maine. Why do you have such an interest in the smallest Montana hunting news. I really do not care what goes on at the check stations, most hunters never encounter them and its not until the phone survey in December that the FW&P can acquire enough information to develop statistical trends. Frankly, I could care less about what goes on in Maine.

    • timz says:

      Ya Jon you should know better, why would some neck from MT care about what goes on in the rest of the USA, how could it possibly affect them.

    • jon says:

      Am I not allowed to post links about the Montana hunting season elk just because I don’t live there? I posted it because I thought others might be interested in seeing it and because this is a wildlife blog.

      • timz says:

        Don’t worry Jon, this is from a guy who thinks you have to be from Montana and a hunter to study elk. How smart could he be?

    • mikarooni says:

      Perhaps Elk275 is, like several others who sometimes post here, confused about the nature of this site. This site may not be suited to Elk275’s tastes. There are many other sites on the web and I’m sure that one or maybe more of those other sites will be exactly what Elk275 is looking for. Elk275 should search out and explore those sites.

      • william huard says:

        Don Peay could probably use some new viewers to his website. I’m sure he enjoys killing varmints like Prairie Dogs too. He might even be willing to give a donation to the school in New Mexico that is teaching schoolkids that it is OK to kill coyotes for fun because they are no good!

  91. Nancy says:

    Predator control group to meet

    The Western Predator Control Association meets at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, at the Grasshopper Inn in Polaris.

    Topics will include wolf issues and the impact on livestock producers, outfitter-guides and trappers. A no-host buffet will be served. Reservations are due by Sunday, Nov. 28. Call 689-3125

    I’d like to be there but can’t afford to cancel job commitments.

  92. Bryanto says:

    Apparently Greater Sage Grouse haven’t responded so well to their habitat being turned into a natural gas field in Southwest Wyoming. Predicted extriperation in 19 years if current trends continue. Who could have though that would happen(please note sarcasm)

  93. Elk275 says:

    This is interesting

    I do not think that a water landing in the Snake River would be as successful as one in the Hudson River

  94. jon says:

    Poacher nabbed after posting kills on Facebook

    A 20-year-old Ham Lake man faces nearly $2,000 in fines and restitution for recently poaching two bucks and shooting an over-limit of Canada geese — and then posting his exploits on his Facebook page.

    “They admitted everything,” he said. “It makes it easy when you have all the photos.”

    The bow hunter will lose his bow and both deer. He faces $1,000 restitution for the trophy deer, which scored 130 points, and faces charges for failing to tag the first deer, shooting an over-limit of deer and shooting an over-limit of geese. Fines could total around $800.

    • Save bears says:

      Glad the poachers were caught and glad the trapper released the wolf, interesting article with a lot of information contained in it.

    • william huard says:

      Seems like an awful lot of poaching going on. It makes you wonder how much poaching flies under the radar screen. It’s alot easier to blame predators.

  95. Cody Coyote says:

    Montana FWP culled a lone Bighorn ram not far from Laurel MT, 40 miles from any known herd of wild sheep. They killed it for being near domestic sheep. It was a 3/4 curl, 3 year old ram. It’s anybody’s guess why this ram was so far from his brethren and so near farms, ranches, towns, and I-90.

    • Kropotkin Man says:

      Therefore, wolf predation on livestock is also “partially compensatory”. Anyone have a cite on that data?

    • WM says:


      Here is a link to the full article from the lead author’s website:

      Something to note: The analysis is based on the time period thru 2004, which is only the first nine years of the NRM wolf recovery. Alot has happened from 2005-2009/10, including the 2009 wolf hunting season in two states., and now things are back to protected status, but with the possibility of greater numbers of wolves being taken illegally by humans while the ESA listing/delisting tug-o-war continues.

      How do these 2009 an 2010, and beyond, anomolies affect conclusions reached by the researchers? Stay tuned. There will likely be another study.

      By the way, this study is cited in the just released update of the NRM genetic connectivity issue (in which the authors conclude they are connected to a higher degree than an earlier study that focused only on Yellowstone and used in first delisting suit before Judge Molloy) by Bridget vonHoldt and some of the same authors of the anthropogenic study.

      “A novel assessment of population structure and gene
      flow in grey wolf populations of the Northern Rocky
      Mountains of the United States”

    • JB says:

      At least in recent years nearly all wolf mortality outside of Yellowstone has been human-caused. It follows that some wolves would have died from natural causes were it not for anthropogenic sources of mortality; thus, the conclusion that human-caused mortality is, in part, compensatory seems obvious to me.

  96. WM says:

    NRDC Blog perspective on Grizzly – human conflicts. Good summary of 2010 so far, and it has not been a good year for bears. Where does it go from here?

    • JB says:

      “What we are likely seeing is a redistribution of grizzlies across the landscape as bears search for food to compensate for the loss of whitebark pine seeds – a food, more than any other, known to drive bear birth and death rates. Bears are seeking meat out in particular in response to the devastating effects of an unprecedented and climate-driven outbreak of pine beetles that is killing whitebark pine throughout the Yellowstone ecosystem.”

      I can’t but wonder if the alleged increase in “bears seeking meat” will show up in the ongoing assessments of elk mortality? I also wonder how this year of increased conflicts will be interpreted by the court of appeals. You can imagine those promoting delisting of grizzlies will use it as evidence that suitable habitat is “full” of grizzlies in the recovery area. On the other hand, proponents of continued listing will try and link the increase in conflicts to the loss of whitebark pine (as was done here). Which argument will the judge find compelling?

      • WM says:

        ++I can’t but wonder if the alleged increase in “bears seeking meat” will show up in the ongoing assessments of elk mortality?++

        It has to. Griz are very fond of elk of any kind, winter killed or new born live calves in Spring. They get their share of calves, and because griz are the increase in numbers, it means they get more of them. So, expanded range with more numbers means lower calf recruitment in more areas, and combined with increasing numbers of wolves, this indeed presents challenges for wildlife managers also trying to provide continued human hunting opportunities.

        And then, does this also mean even more grizzly – human conflicts?

  97. Nancy says:

    Everybody have a Hearty & Happy Thanksgiving!

  98. Cody Coyote says:

    The other cowboy boot has fallen. A second herd of beef cattle in Park County WY has been determined to be carrying brucellosis. The diagnosis was confirmed yesterday ( Nov. 24 ) after an initial sero-positive test on Nov. 10.

    There are no state Elk feedgrounds in this part of Wyoming. But there are thousands of migratory elk that summer in central Yellowstone where brucellosis is prevalent ( 8 – 28 percent infection rate). Still, the vector of this outbreak is unknown.

    Story in today’s Casper Star Tribune and Billings Gazette , 11-25

    Not exactly the holiday cheer the ranchers were wanting or needing, since cattle prices are relatively good right now , > $ 100 /cwt. APHIS has yet to make a determination if this outbreak in a second herd throws ALL of Wyoming’s cattle into jeopardy , sale wise. It could, since this is the second herd affected and that triggers sanctions. We’ll see how ” creative” APHIS and the Stockgrowers can be in sticking to their own rules.

  99. Aversion Conditioning for wolves? This scientist says we can teach wolves not to eat livestock by treating the carcasses will nasty chemicals.

    • Nancy says:

      I still think bells might work. Find a rancher willing to try them out on (his cows that is)

    • william huard says:

      With all the recent press about the canned hunters being involved in the poaching all they need to do is finally put an end to South Africa’s shame which is the canned hunting industry. That would be a good start.

  100. howlcolorado says:

    This is absolutely amazing! Something caught on film which is not at all surprising, but very neat to see.

    ‘Actually this wolf was better and faster at catching fish than the bears.’ – as a true wolf advocate, I will simply say “OF COURSE!” 😛

    I spent yesterday morning playing with wolf pups, getting their kisses, and marvelling at the incredible size they can grow to when I remember them being so small. One of the ‘pups’ was at least 80 lbs and his paws imply he has got some serious growing left to do.

    • howlcolorado says:

      I do believe, if my memory is good though, that this might be a republishing of an old story… but the Daily Mail and friends are often late to the party. I think I saw at least a very similar story a couple of years ago. But still, fun to see, and now currently relevant since it’s been at least republished 🙂

    • WM says:


      ++…I spent yesterday morning playing with wolf pups, getting their kisses++

      So you are interacting with wolves in a controlled environment, sort of like they are domesticated dogs? Would this be at a private sanctuary where these wolves will never be sent into the wild?

      Do tell more.

      • howlcolorado says:

        Yesterday, I went up to the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, who happen to be good friends of mine and have been for years. They have an annual tradition of giving their wolves whole turkeys on Thanksgiving.

        Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center is an AZA certified facility which specializes in the care of – and education about – canines. This includes being one of the only non-zoo facilities to be able to care for the critically endangered swift fox and they also have a pair of Mexican Grays.

        As you know – I am sure – all Mexican Grays in captivity belong to the US government and can be used for breeding and reintroduction if that is deemed in the best interest of the species.

        No captive wolf that isn’t a member of a critically endangered species will ever be released back in to the wild. What would be achieved by such a thing??

        These are, for the most part, socialized wolves which live in pairs housed in 1 acre enclosures. However, it would be highly unwise to equate any wolf, captive or not, as being anything like a domesticated dog.

        There are a few types of wolf in captivity.

        The skittish wolf which will never approach you, but instead circle you with their partner waiting for you to leave. They are highly curious, but their nervous dispositions will prevent them from coming near you, instead saving their investigations until after you have vacated the area. At which point they will approach where you were and have a good sniff.

        There is the wolf that considers humans to be part of the pack. New humans are new members of the pack, or not. They will investigate you up close and personal, and depending on just how social they are and how much they believe that all humans are just part of their pack, they will greet you by attempting to lick the inside of your mouth.

        There are others. Those that are a little more wolfish but combine it with curious interaction, only approaching you from behind and nipping at your ankles, hands or whatever. If you turn to face them, they dash out of range and watch.

        In short, for every wolf you encounter in a captive situation, you encounter a different type of wolf. Some maintain their wild edge moreso than others.

        What is significantly different from captive to wild wolves is not so much how they react to people. You can see similar behaviors in both. But instead the distortion of the heirarchy. The reason that the CWWC keep their wolves in groups of two is that in a pack situation, heirarchy is more pronounced and an omega wolf can be quickly killed since they have nowhere to run.

        It is interesting to contrast the wild and captive wolves. They have many similar behaviors, and the captive wolves can certainly educate you about things such as pack dynamics – take Shaun Ellis for example, who certainly bemuses a few in the general wolf science community.

        Dr. David Mech, who has spent much of his recent research working around the arctic wolves, has learned that wolves with no fear of people are certainly willing (much as the socialized wolves) to interact with people.

        I get the feeling from the tone of your questions that you are, in fact, pretty convinced that captivity turns wolves in to big dogs. That’s a risky assumption.

        I would suggest a trip to a wolf sanctuary that is guided by excellent wolf biology and see for yourself the differences.

      • WM says:

        ++I get the feeling from the tone of your questions that you are, in fact, pretty convinced that captivity turns wolves in to big dogs. That’s a risky assumption.

        I would suggest a trip to a wolf sanctuary that is guided by excellent wolf biology and see for yourself the differences.++

        Not exactly. And, been there and done that. Wolf Haven in Tenino, south of Seattle, is a wolf learning center/sanctuary. I am aware that wolves are capable of all kinds of behavior. That which you suggest and witness in this controlled environment is the result of not having to look for a meal, worry about being killed or outcast by other pack members seeking higher rank, or the behavior that is exhibited when breeding time comes around. And then there is that part about not having to fear humans. I would not pretend to think wolves are like domesticated dogs, except that part about your getting “wolf kisses,” which I think is kind of a sanitation/health risk (not so much hydatid, but other stuff, more related to whatever it is those wolves eat in captivity- raw turkey or road kill elk for example).

        I am also aware that wolf – dog mixes can be very unpredictable and even dangerous. Even had an experience with one last summer, when Canadian relatives of our next door neighbor brought their very large German Shepherd-wolf mix (paws the size of salad plates) up to the fence where my golden retriever was. Not a good interaction, and had the fence not been there a very quick and deadly ending for my golden.

        Your statement about going up to CWWC in Divide suggests you are probably somewhere near Colorado Springs or maybe Monument?

      • howlcolorado says:

        My group’s name certainly indicates I am in Colorado 😛

        HOWLColorado is based out of the Denver/Boulder area.

        Wolf-hybrids are, as you have noticed, quite an unpredictable animal. HOWLColorado is in favour of outlawing the practice of cross-breeding wolves with dogs and believe that all existing hybrids should be neutered and spayed (as all pets should be).

        I love huskies and malamutes, and I think with the right facilities, the correct training, and incredibly firm dog handling, they can be fantastic dogs. But stupid movies like Disney’s 8 below made people feel all warm and fuzzy and the risks, and special needs, of such a dog is lost on people getting the cute, angry looking puppy. And then people try to introduce a cat in to a house with a husky or malamute and wonder what went wrong.

        Now, take this and multiply it by 100. That’s a wolf-hybrid. They are bigger, stronger, and more inclined to have behavioral issues. Aggression is not a typical problem when not involving food (you were dealing with a scared dog who didn’t know how to deal with not having his own territory… aggression was all he knew how to do… that’s an owner problem as much as anything else), however destruction of pretty much anything is highly likely. Beds, floors, doors, walls, couches, cats… I have seen it all.

        The reasons for this are many fold, but the primary reason for these issues is because:

        Domesticated animals are, in essense, sexually immature versions of their wild selves. While physically they may attain sexual maturity, they have been bred, and have learned behaviors over millenia, to remain emotionally pre-pubescent if you will.

        The most interesting observations to make around wolves is that they act very puppyish when they are puppies (as you might imagine). They do a LOT of things you associate with your Golden. The playing is similar, if not the same. You can flip them on their backs, and if you are careful (or don’t care) you can do many of the same things with a wolf puppy that you can with a dog. The similarities are striking.

        Once the wolf pup hits sexual maturity, a lot changes. The concept of dominance is part of their behavior towards you for example.

        The wolf-hybrid goes through this change too… and while sometimes either the owner or the dog handle that transition perfectly and you end up with a king or queen of dogs (which is effectively the bloodline quality you are talking about) and that they are the best dog you could ever have, 95%+ of the time, the transition leads to disaster and about a year in, you are looking for a way to get rid of your wolf-hybrid without getting it euthanized (which is a typical shelter policy with wolf-hybrids.)

  101. howlcolorado says:

    U.P. deer hunters aren’t crying wolf so often – Detroit Free Press

    • jon says:

      Thanks for the link howl.

      Roell agreed with McFadden’s observation about the relationship between deer numbers and wolf complaints. He said most of complaints this fall came from hunters who live below the bridge. They don’t spend as much time scouting deer as locals and are more likely to blame lack of success on wolf predation.

      “Most of the complaints are from Gogebic and Baraga counties, but those are areas with a lot of wolves. I’ve had some hunters tell me that the wolves are making the deer nocturnal. When I ask them how they know that, they tell me they saw it on the National Geographic Channel,” Roell said.

  102. SAP says:

    “In the Hunt: (Slob) Hunters play wolf blame game”
    by Nick Gevock

    Basically, Nick went hunting in the upper Madison Valley which, with this wintry weather, is thick with elk right now. Near a popular FS access point, he encountered some flock shooting slobs who wounded a bunch of elk.

    This link may not work, but go to MT Standard site and you can find the article:

    Typical of the paranoid anti-wolf ideology: commenters on the mtstandard site are denouncing the author for being out of state, callling him a greeny, claiming that “well, that’s hunting,” and telling him that hunters are “under too much scrutiny already.”

    Yes, folks, that’s where we are with the wolf “dialogue”: claim you’re seeing elk, you’re a lying pro-wolf maniac. Claim you saw idiots shooting into running groups of elk, and you’re really anti-hunting and trying to make hunters look bad. In their world, the only people telling the truth are the ones who say there are no elk left, but that the elk that do get killed by hunters are all taken ethically and humanely.

    I think I’ll quit hunting, but “cling” to my guns. The wheels are coming off this country.

    • jon says:

      Thanks for posting that SAP. Hunters like that give others a bad name. Blaming wolves and other predators for not getting your animal is a lame excuse.

      • SAP says:

        Thing is, jon, that guy DID get an elk, saw a lot of them evidently. And get this: that spot is within the range of a good-sized wolf pack, and just over the the mountain from the herd that everyone likes to cry about, the upper Gallatin. (Doesn’t take a rocket scientist: we’re over objective in the upper Madison; the herd is plummeting in the upper Gallatin. Seems that some of those elk left the Gallatin for the safer terrain of the Madison).

        It’s impossible to say exactly why the slob hunter brought up wolves: was he angry at wolves because he chose to drive about 350 miles to go hunting? Was he trying to change the subject from their piss-poor marksmanship? Trying to excuse his piss-poor marksmanship by implying that he got too excited when he saw the elk, since there are no elk (right . . .) in NW MT anymore?

        As with Tony Mayer and other self-proclaimed elk saviors, they really don’t give a damn about elk and their welfare, except as four-legged fuzzy playthings for them to put bullets into.

      • jon says:

        Clearly some are spreading misinformation to make the situation seem much worse off than what it really is. People like Tony Mayer do not care about elk as you said, they only care about killing them. As to why the “slob” hunters brought up wolves, easy, they’re an easy scapegoat to lay the blame on.

      • SAP says:

        That’s true:

        Didn’t pay the power bill? Blame wolves!
        Wife thinks you need to go to marriage counseling? Blame wolves!
        Tore up your truck, starved your horses in a blizzard, spent all that money elk hunting that you should’ve saved for your daughter’s orthodontic work? Blame wolves!
        Gut shot a bunch of elk? Not sure what the connection is, but, what the hell, BLAME WOLVES!

      • Salle says:

        I have heard, many times over several years, about the slobhunters of Gallatin County. Sounds like aself-fulfilling prophecy in some ways. If a whole bunch of running elk are injured and ultimately die during the winter, there will fewer than the reported harvest count, which of course is all the fault of wolves… especially when they find and eat many of the wounded but not retrieved by the slob-hunters. And only the slob-hunters and the witnesses actually know the truth. Perhaps there should be a larger number of game wardens out in that set of hunting units during the season. This slob-hunting is nothing new and the MTFW&P know it… Bet I could almost pinpoint what their location was.

      • SAP says:

        Salle – this was in Madison County. FWP knows there’s a problem here, and they have stepped up enforcement, bringing in extra wardens. See this article:

      • Elk275 says:

        I love all the comments from those who were not there. I just returned from the Madison Valley. I did not really anticipate what I was getting into, but a friend of mind who I did some guiding for sent my to Bear Creek yesterday morning.

        I did not see any flock shooting of elk; I did see one wounded elk yesterday and someone shot it and put their tag on it, wounding happens. There was a lot of elk shot on Wednesday and Turkey Day. I talk with the game warden yesterday who I know and he did not write one single ticket.

        The big problem is that there is no place for hunters in the Madison Valley to go. The snow has block everything except the main highway and the Bear Creek Loop which is being kept open by zillions of hunters. Yesterday, I tried going farther south and the wind was blowing and the snow drifting so hard that it took me 20 miles to find a place to turn around and truckers were passing with no visibility. I was scared.

        I left this morning because of the crowd. I saw three 350 plus bulls (big bulls) this morning on private land surrounded by hunters. The elk and hunters were playing a chess game. I could never shoot a large bull in a situation like what was going on, a cow yes. It was coming down to who had permission to hunt where.

        Anyway, I am going back out hunting in a few minutes; I plan on hunting on the BLM between “Turner’s” land and the Madison River.

      • SAP says:

        Elk – I live in the upper Madison; I have been on scene for enough mayhem here that I can vouch for the plausibility of what the reporter says. I think I know right where he was; I bet it was the Papoose Creek area.

        We had some guys in there a few years back that were shooting elk as they filed past, not realizing that they were actually putting good shots on these elk; the elk were going a few dozen yards over a rise, then dying. I think those guys killed five or six elk. That’s a step up from just wounding them.

        “Wounding happens”: yes it does. But just letting a bunch of unethical slobs off the hook with that observation is no good for anyone. Do we want to just say “well, drunk driving happens” and not try to improve the situation? Yes, sometimes people make mistakes. Sometimes things happen that a fellow can’t prevent. And then there’s firing off-hand into a running group of elk, or firing without knowing the distance to target . . .

        As an aside, how many of these gut-shooters from Billings, Kalispell, wherever, voted “yes” on I-161? I have had it up to here with these crybabies — if they’re not blaming wolves, they’re blaming rich out-of-state landowners who won’t let them on to hunt. Guess what? Keep this up with the bad shooting and general stupidity, and even I-161 won’t get you on these places to hunt. People that rich don’t need FWP’s block management payments, and they sure as hell don’t need to tolerate some slob with a rifle shooting horses and buildings.

        Yes, Montanans love private property rights, until it’s elk season and the landowner is from Texas or California. Then, they’re jonesin’ to condemn that land with eminent domain.

        I have passed up many, many shots at elk. Too far, too fast, too many spikes. A lot of these so-called hunters don’t seem to feel the need to pass up shots, it’s like they’re at war with the elk and think that wounding is a good second place to a clean kill. Lot of three-legged elk around here.

        Yes, it was crazy weather yesterday! We were going to move horses to winter pasture and turned back once we got into the whiteout between Wolf Creek and Ennis.

    • Save bears says:

      Amazing SAP, simply amazing….I am at a loose for words…

  103. Salle says:

    Same area, My mistake, the Gallatin ends before you get to where I know this sort of thing has been going on. Sorry, I have been on my feet working since 5am, guess I need to get horizontal and close my eyes. It is good to know that the MTFW&P has stepped up the effort to deal with it, hope they can do something substantial.

    Just to add to the “stories” for the sake of entertainment… I was informed by a self appointed authority (really, thinks he’s well informed) that the moose in Madison and Gallatin counties are also all gone and those that remain have “evolved” over the past fifteen years to such a degree that their antlers are more pointy (sharp and have more points) in order to skewer two wolves at a time in self defense. I really think that one gets the highest score for the non-urban legend.

    Thanks for the correction.

  104. Mtn Mamma says:

    SCARY-I do not expect anything good to come out of this meeting.
    ” Boswell says Salazar asked to meet with the governors”

  105. Moose says:

    Preliminary harvest numbers are up in most areas. Also reporting hunters seeing more deer, and improved antler development.

  106. Daniel Berg says:

    Concerns about the number of game wardens working in certain parts of Washington State.

  107. jon says:

    Some are calling this an attack. I also found out this woman is affiliated with extreme anti wolf group Idaho for wildlife.

    • It’s always the anti-wolf fringe that reports wolf attacks instead of encounters. It’s because to their way of thinking any interaction between people and wolves has to be a negative thing

      • jon says:

        You nailed it Ralph. Anytime any one of these wolf haters see a wolf or a pack of wolves, they will spin a harmless encounter into a wolf attack or a wolf threatening them. A wolf could just look at them and they will claim the wolves were trying to attack them. That is how extreme these people are getting.

    • william huard says:


      Consider the source. Mainehunting today! Any comments that criticize hunters or people that advocate for animal rights are labeled antis or enviro nazis by a group of mindless thugs. Every time I go on their website I am compelled to wash my hands right after! Using plenty of soap of course

    • Nancy says:

      Her friend Scott (Rockholm) informed me that, “I called all law enforcement, and none of them would do a thing. I also called the USFWS and all I could get was a recording.”

      Oh please!!! Rockholm was a neighbor???

      • jon says:

        Thanks Cris.

        If wolves really wanted to kill this woman, they would have. Wolves looked at her and than ran away. I don’t see what the big deal is, but you know wolf haters will turn something like this into a major thing.

        Here is what commenter wrote:

        ImmerTreue on November 28 at 6:35 p.m.

        Wolves snoop around a house with no people present, people show up, and wolves take off. Where was the confrontation?

        Story is also on Black Bear blog. It appears it got there before it got to a news source. The anti wolf Mr. Rockholm also conveniently appears in the story, as does a prepared quote by Valerius Geist.

        I’m not saying this woman did not see wolves, but once you start to put the pieces together, it has all the makings of a thriller. I’d put much more credence in a story of this type if it was not associated with someone who is venomously anti wolf.

        It smacks of the story of the anti-wolf individual supposedly treed by a 150 pound wolf (his estimation) in Michigan. It’s not just anti-wolf people who live in the woods and or venture into remote areas.

      • JEFF E says:

        if people are not already doing this I suggest that whenever such a story crops up to immediately photocopy it. and then, as in this case, watch for the creative editing done as the story “expands” from one “source” to the next.
        Another thing I found interesting is for those who have google earth to go to the seen of the crime and use things like the “ruler” tool and recreate the scenario. pretty interesting and raises a question or two.

    • Cris Waller says:

      The story apparently made it into the print edition today. I emailed all the editors listed on the website and stated that the story needed correction- that even a cursory Google search shows that Calisterio is an anti-wolf activist. This is what I sent:

      I found a very severe problem with the following story-

      No matter what your feelings are on the wolf issue, this story needs correction due to leaving out some very important information. It’s bad enough that it makes a simple wolf sighting sound like a horrendous attack. What is worse is that the reporter left out something that is vitally important to putting this story in perspective. As a quick Google search will show, the subject of the article, Karen Calisterio, is a well-known and very vocal anti-wolf activist and a leader of many political movements that oppose wolves- she helped maintain Rex Rammell’s webpage and is a leader of the Brushfire Alliance. To leave this information out of the story diminishes credibility.

      Some links on Calisterio-

      • SAP says:

        Cris – thanks (I think?) for posting that, especially the Facebook links. This photo from the “Wolf Watch 2” FB page shows how twisted these people are becoming:

        It shows throngs of people giving Hitler the nazi salute, and the caption reads, “Wolf lovers.” Nice. The comments on that photo allude to “master plans” that are being implemented in America.

        From some of the people commenting on the Wolf Watch 2 facebook page, it’s clear that they are frequent readers of this blog, although they must be blocked from actually contributing, thank goodness. They are really angry, unhinged people, utterly convinced that they are the good people of America who are being trampled on by bad people with “master plans.” Ugh.

      • Cris Waller says:

        They are backpedaling a bit now; hope they correct the print story too-

      • WM says:


        Well done. This needed to be told. To the Spokesman Review’s credit, it looks like they are following through.

      • Thank you, Chris! These things can slide by unless good people do something.

        I’m amazed at one comment on the story where the guy says there were never any Canadian gray wolves around here, and he’s like 30 miles from Canada! Talk about thoughtless recitation of someone’s talking points!

      • Cris Waller says:

        I got a note from the editor that they will be running a correction in the print edition tomorrow as well.

      • Following up on this, I learn that has been disabled.

        This was a pretty hot anti-wolf site. Interesting!

      • WM says:


        If I recall correctly that was Toby Bridges’ operation. I can’t say I am disappointed. Anybody know what happened and when?

        Maybe some ambitious investigative reporter will take on the task of finding out.

      • jon says:

        WM, people reported his website for advocating the killing of an endangered species and that is why it was disabled or suspended or whatever you want to call it. He has a new one up at

        I also heard a rumor he plans on filing a lawsuit against the website provider that shut him down. I don’t know how true this is. Could be just a rumor.

      • SAP says:

        Seems that Toby Bridges is quite the hothead, so I’d be surprised if he DIDN’T try to sue the web hosting company. I’m sure they have a pretty broad clause in “terms of use” that would cover his advocacy of putting poison out in the woods, even if it’s a legal substance.

        Does anyone know what his rumored Lacey Act violation was?

      • jon says:

        From that link, it says for poaching.

        Tony Knight is a friend of mine and he has done more than any other single individual to promote muzzleloading. Mr. Bridges was never “management” at Knight Rifles, he was customer relations. Knight Rifles had no choice but to fire him after he was caught poaching (Federal charges, violating the Lacey Act). It was at that time that Knight Rifles discovered that Mr. Bridges had no driver’s license for some time, yet had been driving around in a Knight Rifles vehicle with Knight customers for some time, according to Tony Knight.

        Mr. Bridges (and his son) was renting a house from Tony Knight and thoroughly trashed the place, according to multiple sources. There was a plumbing problem and rather than fix it or call anyone, including Tony Knight, the water just ran and ran causing structural damage leaving behind a sizeable water bill to boot. When Mr. Bridges was forced to flee the area, he managed to apparently make off with several thousands of dollars of furniture and other possessions as well. However, Knight Rifles was able to reclaim one gun cabinet from the Knight household.

      • SAP says:

        Thanks Jon – I am curious what he was poaching, when, and if convicted what was the sentence? Just being lazy, I’m sure there’s a public record out there that I could track down if I was that interested in the Life of Toby.

      • Save bears says:

        Homestead has a pretty specific condition as do most hosting companies about advocating illegal activities…I imagine this is the reason the website was disabled.

        His new domain is currently hosted on tucows, someone might be able to file a complaint with them as well, because in their terms of service they have the same rules, most hosting companies have the same rules about promoting illegal activities.

  108. jon says:

    Wyo Livestock Killed By Wolves Relatively Low

  109. PointsWest says:

    Wyo. official supports Yellowstone grizzly hunts
    The Associated Press

    While I think grizzlies should be hunted someday, I think it is way too early. They should be allowed to expand into the Wind River Range and into Central Idaho and maybe then hunting might be allowed.

    • WM says:

      I find this a very difficult and controversial comment to make, but with as many people as are using the Winds these days griz in significant numbers (anyway) is a recipe for a fair number of human-bear conflicts.

      There are over 600 griz now, and something like 200+ reported human conflicts and over 50 dead griz this year so far, and 2 human deaths plus a few more maulings (somebody please correct me on the stats, if I am off by much). Habitat in decline with global warming and whitebark pine dieoffs.

      Does it strike anyone that such a relatively small number of bears is responsible for so many conflicts, and what does that portend as the number of bears increases in areas co-habitated with people?

      PW we have joshed some about what it means for humans to be in griz country and what precautions are ultimately necessary to avoid or deal with conflicts as they arise. Can high use places like the Winds really take many bears (I actually don’t even know whether there is suitable habitat in much of the Range)? Are the high lakes good habitat, or above elevations where griz might go?

      • PointsWest says:

        I would guess the Winds not to be great habitat but they are a vast range and a large geographical distribution of bears can add to the security of a species as well as shear number of bears living. That is, a fire or disease might threaten the Yellowstone population but there might always be a few surviving bears in the southern end of the Winds.

        It would be good if there was a population in Central Idaho too. That population might rival that in Yellowstone. I have read mountain man stories of Stanley Basin being covered with grizzlies who dug for ground squirles there. Some areas, it was reported, looked as if it had been cultiviated.

        Once grizzlies were established in Central Idaho, I would advocate hunting them around the GYE. In fact, I would be the first to put in for a tag. I’d love a big Yellowstone Grizzly rug. 🙂

        I’m sure I will get flamed for this comment.

  110. Nathan Hobbs says:

    Could not resist posting this….
    Rex Rammell to be Charged with Illegal Elk Killing
    IDFG Press release found here:

    Local News 8

    • jon says:

      Make this a new post Ralph! What a piece of crap Rex Rammell is! I am sure he is one of those people who claims that wolves are wiping out all of the elk. Funny how people like him and Tony Mayer just to name two bitch about wolves killing all of the elk while they poach elk.

      • PointsWest says:

        The article says he intends to hold a press conference at his home and intends to fight the charges.

        I can’t wait to hear this one. What do you think it will be?

        1.) He was framed by dangerous and political opponents who are obviously evil because they are liberals.
        2.) The state imposing use of tags on citizens is unconstitutional.
        3.) He killed the elk in October in the Middle Fork and the F&G Officer is confused.
        4.) The regulations were confusing and he believed his tag was valid at Texas Creek.
        5.) He wounded the elk in October in the Middle Fork but did not catch up to it until yesterday at Texas Creek.
        6.) The elk attacked him and he shot it in self defense.
        7.) The F&G Officer violated his constitutional rights when he checked his tag.
        8.) He believed the elk to be one of his that escaped from his private elk herd in 2006.

      • Jeff E says:

        Karen Calisterio was his campaign manager.
        He, along with Tony Mayer, and Toby Bridges were frequent topics and contributers to the Black Bear Blog.
        Damn Tom. maybe you should rename your blog “Poached Eggs”

      • william huard says:

        What do you expect- he’s a canned hunter. And a douche to boot.

    • PointsWest says:

      I have been told by a reliable source that the Rammell family is famous around Teton Basin for killing elk without tags. Rex has probably killed dozens without tags. His recent notoriety as only brought scrutiny and has apparently gotten him arrested for what is a common practice among the Rammells.

  111. william huard says:

    It seems there are more poachers than hunters in Idaho!

  112. william huard says:

    Remington’s Black Bear Blog is just like Faux News. The misinformation just flies around and the stupid hunters that read his blog are mindless buffoons. In order to subscribe to his site you have to have at least one wildlife related infraction like poaching! How hilarious

  113. jon says:

    Wolf advocates confront Butch Otter about wolves.

  114. PointsWest says:

    Here is another promising battery technology.

    Revolutionary Electric Vehicle Batteries — 500 Miles on a Single Charge. With the help of Recovery Act funding, Arizona-based Fluidic Energy is working with Arizona State University to develop a new generation of “metal-air” batteries that can store many times more energy than standard lithium-ion batteries. Metal-air batteries contain high energy metals and literally breathe oxygen from the air, giving them the ability to store extreme amounts of energy. To date, the development of these batteries has been blocked by the limitations of using unstable water based solutions that break down and evaporate out of the battery as it breathes. Fluidic Energy’s innovative approach involves ionic liquids – extremely stable salts in liquid form — using no water at all. If successful, the effort could yield batteries that weigh less, cost less, and are capable of carrying a four passenger electric car 500 miles without recharging, at a cost competitive with internal combustion engines. Read the fact sheet on the project (pdf – 264 kb), which is part of DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

  115. jon says:

    Action Alert: Wolves Face First-Ever Congressional De-Listing

    Do NOT assume that your senators will defend wolves because they are pro-wildlife or pro-environment. Many such senators will be under tremendous pressure to support this measure if it is attached to a spending bill.

    Tell your senators to protect wolves by opposing the Baucus-Tester bill (S.3864) and any attempt to attach it to a spending bill.

    This bill is a blatant attempt to bypass court orders and good science, which say that wolves should remain on the Endangered Species List, protected from mass killing, until they’re fully recovered.

    Congress has never before removed an animal from the Endangered Species List. The Baucus-Tester bill will not only lead to the killing of wolves, it will set a terrible precedent by replacing scientific judgment with political calculation–undermining the very basis of the Endangered Species Act.

    • Craig says:

      “protected from mass killing, until they’re fully recovered”

      Bwahahahaha like the one that happened with our last LEGAL Hunting season here in Idaho? Oh yeah the population also increased that year! What a slaughter, probably only a few Wolves left now! I believe they are past the original goals of recovery! What about the Bald Eagle, Gray whale,Peregrine Falcon? Who removed them from the list?

      • jon says:

        186 wolves STILL DIED plus all of the wolves killed by wildlife services. I don’t expect someone like you to understand because you clearly don’t, but there are people out there who actually care when wildlife gets killed. Individual wolves are important, maybe not to you, but to some and that is all that matters.

  116. Craig says:

    Woooooow Mr. emotional! A little secret EVERYTHING DIES EVENTUALLY one way or another, get used to it! Wolves kill other animals and you have no problem with that?

    • jon says:

      Wolves kill animals for survival. What we are doing is not the same thing, but I am not going to argue with you about it. I am not going to change how you feel and you are not going to change how I feel.

  117. Craig says:

    You have got that right 100%!!!!!

  118. Craig says:

    And what is what “we” are doing? I bought a Wolf tag but do not Hunt Wolves! I only eat what I kill and predators are not on my menue! I also buy a Bear, Cougar tag every year have since I could hunt, but have never hunted them don’t ever plan to. At least I pay money in to help wildlife! Do you even buy a hunting license to contribute to all game? Or just bitch about it and do nothing?

  119. Mike says:

    This is really what the “wolf problem” is all about:

    Species racism. Nice KKK snowman and noose.

    • jon says:

      I wonder how many of them wolf haters in Idaho are klansmen. I bet many more than you think.

  120. Cris Waller says:

    Nevada wildlife commissioners might make it legal to shoot a ‘lone wolf’ “” though federal fines would remain

  121. jdubya says:

    All the deer have left Utah to move to greener pastures…

  122. Cris Waller says:

    After reading all the anti-wolf articles lately, a bit ol levity. I made this up for fun- an “Anti-Wolf Bingo” card to use when you read an article by anti-wolf activists-

    • Ken Cole says:

      That’s hilarious!

    • william huard says:

      Cris- You forgot to mis-spell decimate!

    • jon says:

      haha this is funny Cris. thanks for the laugh!

      • jon says:

        I found this letter from Carter Niemeyer that addresses this recent wolf encounter in a woman’s driveway in North Idaho.

        Here is a letter from Carter “The Wolf God” Niemeyer. Everyone copy this letter, as he can be held accountable as an expert when one of our wives, or children are killed by wolves. This is his expert advise.
        [Perhaps this incident near Tensed,Idaho, sounds like a dangerous situation, but the story absolutely distorts truth.
        Wolves are not a threat to people. If you do some research on black bears, mountain lions and grizzly bears, you will clearly see that these large predators that have always lived among people in the Northern Rockies and many other parts of the country, and are recorded to annually stalk, maul, attack, and sometimes kill people – but no one seems to worry about this fact or that 2500+ mountain lions and an estimated 20,000 black bears inhabit Idaho. As you know, there are also a few grizzlies in parts of Idaho.
        Wolves do not have a track record of attacking people, although two recent situations, one in Canada and one in Alaska (where an estimated 65,000 wolves have lived in proximity to people without ever having been exterminated, unlike the Western U.S.) have been reported. Neither of these wolf attack cases was clear cut, as I have followed them closely. The one in Alaska most likely was wolves.
        No wolf biologist I know has EVER had a close, threatening experience with a wild wolf, myself included. I have purposely camped (in my tent) as close as I can get to wolf packs. I have crawled in their dens with their pups. I have snuck up on packs of wolves in their rendezvous sites (where pups and adults spend their summers) with radio telemetry and I have used predator calls to entice them as close as I could to try and dart them. My dozens of counterparts have done the same. I have spent all that time (nearly 30 years) on a full-time basis trying to get close to wolves or get them close to me. I have NEVER had a wolf make any attempt (even once) to attack me, or threaten me in any way. Sure, they bark and howl, and sometimes stand around and look at me, but that’s not the same thing. Unlike all of these people who are suddenly professing near-death experiences with wolves, I actually have a very public track record of experience with these animals, and I am telling you flat-out that wolves aren’t just uninterested in people, they routinely turn-tail and run when they know humans are around.
        I can understand that some people may be fearful of wolves and that wolves are capable of hurting someone. But they don’t. Wolves standing around or approaching people is not a behavior that should be encouraged because habituated wolves that are allowed to come close to people or are fed by humans can become troublesome and sometimes dangerous. Wolves standing around or approaching people isn’t unusual and can easily be frightened away. I know hundreds of people who are dying for the chance to have a wolf stand nearby so they can watch or film them. I get phone calls all the time from people asking me where they can go see wolves in Idaho. It is a very cool experience but the usual reaction of wolves is to get nervous and walk or run away eventually.
        With all due respect, people need to learn about wolves, wolf behavior and look at their track record. I get frustrated that the news media waste so much time trying to turn wolves into villains. I guess that people still need more time to get used to these animals. People read more into these close encounters or wolf events than what is really happening.
        So I apologize if I offended you and respect the need of people to be careful around ALL wild animals. Don’t forget, deer and elk can be dangerous too.
        Carter Niemeyer]

        Grizzlies and mountain lions are responsible for attacking more people than wolves in recent times and all that is talked about are wolves. These nuts clearly hate wolves and have a grudge against them. Maybe just because they are back plain and simple? Those darn 200 pound canadian wolves or should I say hounds of hell like that moron rockhead likes to say are killing all of my deer.

      • jon says:

        It is funny how these nuts are so concerned with being killed by wolves when wolves have killed 2 people in recent times, but yet other animals like bears and cougars have killed more? There are much more dangerous threats out there than wolves. these people are paranoid nuts.

  123. Ann Sydow says:

    @Cris LOL 😀 I’m going to make up some more cards, then we can play it at our Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance Christmas Party!!

  124. Ann Sydow says:

    And thanks so much for the laugh! We are all needing it about now!!

  125. wetherman says:

    Here’s an interview with C.L. “Butch” Otter on wolves and state sovereignty. He seems to think that Idaho wildlife belongs only by those residents that by hunting licenses and hate wolves and that IDFG data and analysis is inferior to that of the SSS crowd.

  126. jon says:

    Critics, however, steadfastly say the idea is bad.

    “These animals were not born for you to kill,” said Ann Bryant, director of the Lake Tahoe-based Bear League. She urged commissioners not to follow California, which allows bear hunting.

    “I have been able to proudly inform people Nevada does not hunt bears,” Bryant said.

    Many questioned the notion that hunting could somehow address human-bear conflicts at places like Lake Tahoe, where they said people’s careless storage of garbage is the real problem.

    “Most conflict bears in Nevada are related to the availability of human food,” said Megan Sewell of the Humane Society of the United States. “Shooting bears at random fails to target specific problem bears.”

    • Salle says:

      “Most conflict bears in Nevada are related to the availability of human food,” said Megan Sewell of the Humane Society of the United States. “Shooting bears at random fails to target specific problem bears.”

      Shooting bears at random fails to target specific problem humans.

  127. PointsWest says:

    Watched a great program on National Geographic Channel called ‘Frontier Force’.

    It is about police work in Montana. All of it was in the Yellowstone area. Lots of police calls about bears and bear problems…but also about other police problems in the Bozeman, Big Sky, and West Yellowstone areas. It was produced in 2010 so some of the footage may have been shot this summer.

    It is airing several more times this week on the National Geographic Channel. It gives some good insite on what the folks in SW Montana are like and how they live with wildlife.

  128. Cody Coyote says:

    Best Possible Christmas Gift for northwest Wyoming ! Montana DEQ announced this afternoon that they are dropping plans to haul thousands of heavy truckloads of mine waste from Cooke City Montana thru Wyoming’s superlative Sunlight Basin-Crandall- Upper Clarks Fork River country on the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway . That hauling would’ve begun next summer. Montana DEQ blames the SHoshone National Forest and Wyoming Department of Transportation for possibly putting heavy environmental and safety restrictions on the trucks, mainly Wy-DOT not allowing the heavier longer twin belly dump trucks at all by constraining the highway load limits. Montana DEQ is trying to blame Wyoming and the Forest Service for imposing untenable restrictions, but really it was Mt-DEQ’s own bad judgments that prevailed here.

    I’m celebrating tonight. I’ve spent the last five months fighting this proposal , and perhaps the total eclipse of the Moon on the Winter Equinox provided the final nudge of the lead-based neurons to bring Montana to it’s senses.

    ( What might this mean for the Hwy 12 Megaloads ? )

    Here is the full text of the press release that went out late this afternoon :

    “McLaren Tailings Reclamation Project to Redesign Mine Waste Disposal Facility”

    Helena — The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has withdrawn its proposal to transport mine waste tailings from the McLaren Tailings Reclamation Project near Cooke City for reprocessing at the Golden Sunlight Mine in Whitehall. Difficulties overcoming new requirements by the Wyoming Department of Transportation and the Shoshone National Forest have required DEQ to seek other alternatives for disposing of the mine wastes. The DEQ is redesigning the onsite mine waste disposal facility to hold the tailings.

    “The proposed plan was an innovative, cost effective way to move many of the tailings away from Yellowstone National Park. However, unexpected developments have made the plan less appealing and more costly,” said DEQ Director Richard Opper. “Fortunately, we were able to engineer a workable solution to dispose of the tailings. We can now focus on the work that needs to be done, which is to clean up pollution that flows into the park.”

    The DEQ was proposing to transport 20 percent of the tailings from the McLaren Project offsite for processing. The remaining tailings would be disposed in an engineered mine waste disposal facility constructed at the McLaren Site. The transport was originally proposed to reduce the tailings load in the onsite disposal facility and to allow for greater separation from groundwater underneath the facility.

    Engineers have successfully come up with a revised plan that meets standards in the current location. The revised design will require deepening a portion of the waste disposal facility without sacrificing the seismic buffer designed into the facility. The revised design will continue to meet the criteria for adequate separation from groundwater.

    The proposal to transport tailings was complicated by uncertainty over legal weight limits for Wyoming Highway 296, part of the proposed transport route. DEQ’s initial engineering and road use assessment for the transport was based on weight limits that WYDOT previously provided. More recently, WYDOT was planning to impose further highway weight restrictions for the proposed tailings transport.

    “The new WYDOT requirements impede DEQ’s ability to conduct public sector contracting for the haul, which requires fixed prices for bids,” said DEQ Abandoned Mine Program Manager John Koerth. “We don’t have the flexibility to modify our bid prices based on unpredictable road weight limits.”

    The $24 million McLaren Tailings Reclamation Project began in June and will remove a significant source of heavy metals contamination flowing into Yellowstone National Park. Funding for the project is provided through a grant from the Federal Office of Surface Mining Control, Reclamation and Enforcement.

    For more information, visit



November 2010


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

~ Edward Abbey