Have you come across any interesting Wildlife News? March 28, 2011

Note that this replaces the 26th edition. That edition will now move slowly into the depths of the blog. 

Cottonwood in Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park. © Ken Cole
Cottonwood in Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park. © Ken Cole

Please don’t post entire articles here, just the link, title and your comments about the article. Most of these violate copyright law. They also take up too much space.






  1. Woody Avatar

    This is in regards to the decrease in elk numbers in the West Fork of the Bitterroot River in Montana.

    The objective for the number of Elk in the management plan for HD 250 has been increasing (year-objective):
    1992 980-1062
    2005 1120-1680
    2007 1600-2400
    According to the graphs shown in the DEA the elk population never exceeded 1500 elk until 2001. In
    in 1980-1984 and 1989 it was lower than it is currently.

    Talk about raising the bar.


    1. WM Avatar


      I do not know the answer to this question, but is it possible that recent fires (DEA, p. 24) in portions of Unit 250 resulted habitat improvement for elk a couple years later, boosting population (and hunter harvest to meet new management objectives), then as wolves increased in number the elk correspondingly decreased in population from both sources, plus cougar and bear?

      Habitat would likely not remain favorable unless there were additional fires, timber harvest or other vegetative management. Don’t know what the weather was like over that period but that would have to be factored in as well.

      So, from a management perspective, “changing the bar” can have lots of reasons.

  2. Savebears Avatar

    Seems as it the 104 pound “coyote” that was shot in Missouri a few months ago, has turned out to not quite be what they thought it was..


    1. Woody Avatar

      Thanks, it is always nice to have a followup on interesting stories from previous posts.

  3. Nancy Avatar

    +Having mountain lions around again seems scarier than it really is because it’s new,” said Beringer. “But it would be a terrible pity if people let that keep them from enjoying the outdoors. We don’t let fear of traffic accidents or lightning keep us indoors. We shouldn’t let fear of predators scare us unnecessarily either.+

    What a profound statement especially when it comes to mankind’s relationship in recent years with wildlife.

  4. vickif Avatar

    Different note: I am traveling through Idaho over to the Hoh this June. Any input on where to camp and fish while passing through?

    1. timz Avatar

      what route will you be taking vicki

      1. vickif Avatar

        I can go any route. I will probably go to Seattle on the lower (84 I believe) and come back across the upper part of Idaho into MT (Glacier/Kalispell). The main road goes through Twin Falls, but if memory serves, the NOrthern portion is more scenic(Bitter Root Range).
        My husband has been tying flies like a mad man. I think we have about 30 of every fly imaginable. LOL I told him about a Dolly I caught there years and years ago. He is itching to show me up.

      2. Ken Cole Avatar

        If you are going through southern Idaho you might want to check out Silver Creek just south of Bellevue off Highway 20. It’s a nice place and the fishing is blue ribbon for browns and rainbows.

        I like driving to Yellowstone from Boise via highway 20. It’s much more scenic than I-84

      3. Woody Avatar

        Cape Flattery, at the NW tip of the Olympic Peninsula, is well worth a visit. A beautiful spot. I am also partial to the Steens Mountains in Oregon, but it is a bit off track. http://www.experiencewa.com/scenic-byways/cape-flattery.aspx

      4. vickif Avatar

        Thanks Gents,
        I always enjoy input from others. Rand McNally cannot give me quite the insight that people who have traveled can.
        I will do the Cape for sure. I have been wanting to do some photos there.
        I think I will do the 20 route on the way back.
        I go to YNP atleast 2 times a year, and haven’t explored Idaho nearly as much as I would like.
        I truly appreciate the tips!

    2. WM Avatar


      Not to plan your itinerary, but here are some thoughts. You can take the lazy and slow Route 12 from Lewiston all the way to Yakima (aka I-82 for a portion of the way, or you can intersect it from the more southerly I-84 route), then west, to four miles beyond Naches to the junction of Hiway 410 (take 410 through Mt. Rainier if you are not towing anything as there are some narrow and steep S curves on the west side). There are a number of campgrounds along the way. Most FS campgrounds are identified on a WA Gazetteer by Delorme, which is a good map to have for travel.

      North to Seattle, remaining on 410 on the north side of Mt. Rainier (or go south on 123 at the Cayuse pass junction on the south side of Rainier through Paradise, but that is a long way) then on I-5 heading north ( avoid I-5 rush hours), then take the Edmonds-Kingston ferry (104) then 101 to Port Angeles (in PA take the Blackball ferry for a day trip to Victoria on Vancouver Island, or drive up to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park). Then drive west a few miles to the Elwha River, and camp at Altaire campground (small but very nice, and along the river). See the waterfalls at Madison Creek (at the park entrance).

      From PA head to Forks on 101, along Lake Crescent (you can take a detour to Sol Duc Hotsprings or stop to see Marymere falls) then head south to the Hoh. The Lower Hoh is not particularly scenic in the summer, because of all the exposed rock bare channel from the really high winter flows. However, if you go to the Lower Hoh, take the Cottonwood Rd. (there is a small DNR campground there but not really maintained with fishing access, and can be a bit buggy if wet). If you drive all the way to the end of the road, there is a small piece of Olympic NP strip, and you can walk out to the mouth to where the Hoh meets the Pacific Ocean (a great place to renew the soul). On the south side is the Hoh Indian Reservation (100 enrolled members –some have called it a meth zone), and you may see nets across the river there Mon-Wed.

      If you go further south on Hiway 101 to the Upper Hoh road, take the road all the way into ONP to the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center and walk the Hall of Mosses. Rain there is measured in feet, 12 -16 feet per year, as you may know.

      Catch Dolly Vardon on the Hoh which are now called “bull trout,” closely genetically related, but which are ESA protected, so ya gott put them back. There are lots of bull trout in the Hoh, from my experience catching them while going for steelhead.

      You could make a loop following Hiway 101 all the way south to Aberdeen, and again hit Route 12 for your return to ID. It is a long drive, but mostly scenic (with more than a few miles of ugly clear cut remnants from years ago) with spots you can go down to the Ocean in ONP. A favorite is Ruby Beach. There are a few campgrounds all along there on the coastal strip. Kalaloch is a good one. Run up the Quinault River on the South Shore Road to Quinault Lodge for a peek at the lake (it can raise something like 10 feet overnight in a winter rainstorm). There is a FS ranger station there across the parking lot, and they might give you some ideas of places to fish. There are a few campgrounds along the way.


      Cape Flattery and Neah Bay are a great trip, but the road is a bit windy and it takes awhile to get there. Stop and see the small but interesting Makah Museum. Really nice folks there, but some tribal members in the small community don’t care much for tourists, so do respect where you are. Nice trail down to Tatoosh Is. Lots of bald eagles around.

      1. vickif Avatar

        Wow, and thanks. I may let you plan th itenerary!
        I was in the Hoh last June, and fell in love with it. It was like a whole other planet. We hikes the Hall of Mosses.
        I took a photo of a moss coveres pay phone and nick named it the Randy Moss phone. My hubby was not amused.
        I did get some photos of an eagle bathing in a tide pool, and it was beautiful, but that was near La Push. I saw only one otter, and it was a river otter, but cool none the less. The museum in the town was closed when we were there. We managed to cram Deception Pass, Whidbey, Forks, ONP and a whale watching tour in by Anacortes is 4 days. It was non-stop, but if everyone were to see the places we went, they would all raise a sword for conservation.
        I got some pictures of the Elwah dam, which I will be thrilled to have before and after shots of.
        I had a fascinating conversation with a hatcheries employee. He literally showed me the process they will be using to fertilize king eggs at the dam in order to attempt to get them to become a larger spawning population.
        The world is a class room, you gotta love all there is to learn.
        Thanks so much!

    3. Jerry Black Avatar
      Jerry Black

      vickif……if you end up in the Ellensburg area (I-90) you’ll be in Yakima River country and some of the best fly fishing in the West. Take hwy 10 out of Ellensburg to Cle Elum. It follows the river most of the way. There’s also the canyon south of Ellensburg, but that gets hit pretty hard.
      Here’s some info on the area….

      In Idaho not far from Arco on 20 and Howe on 33, the “Little Wood” and the” Little Lost” (a sink drain stream) are beautiful high desert streams. Lots of red bands and no people in the Little Lost.

      1. vickif Avatar

        Thanks. I am starting to wish my 18 days off was 18 years. I don’t think I have been this excited to drive places in several years.
        I appreciate the links and info.
        I will have to put some photso up. I may just write this trip up as the wolves.wordpress.com tour.

  5. vickif Avatar

    Since we have been talking about how the generations and their mind-sets are changing, I chuckled tonight when my daughter came in to tell me about her college biology test.
    She said”I got a 29 out of 30 on my Biology In The News project about global warming.” I asked what she had written about. She had selected an article written by Al Gore about the Florida gulf spill. She had to critique the article. She told me ” I gave him a lot of credit for the factual content, but he seemed very angry the whole time. I stated that if he had tried to be more educational and teach people, instead of being so hostile, he probably would have been better received by his readers. As he wrote it, I was more aware of his anger than his point.”
    From the mouths of babes. Okay, from the mouth of my 20 year old college student. She doesn’t hunt, and is quite the city dweller, majoring in music. So, she offers insight from the very age group we need to convince to be proactive in conservation.
    When I asked if she believed global warming was a true threat, she responded “You would have to be an idiot not to, but most people just don’t want the inconvenience of dealing with it.” Wow! Summed up our biggest obstacles in one quick conversation.
    She is a 20 year old multi-racial college student, who is being educated on biology at home, and by a a 30 year old bio professor….and she is smarter than most people I know, and more informed too. Maybe there is hope after all?

  6. Immer Treue Avatar
    Immer Treue


    As we were taking about CWD and Lyme’s on the old HYCAIWLN,
    I thought I’d keep it going here.


    Plus, my brother and I were talking the other day about different herbal medicines, and who/how did they find out? Trial and error? Watching animals? Evolutionary history?

    Or who was the first one who started experimenting with mushrooms, and I don’t mean the ones of recent historical fame. Was it trial and error and a lot of people who’s last meal was a toad stool?

    1. vickif Avatar

      Historically, some of the remedies used were tribal. Based on regeons, people would use various plants, and even animal venoms, to treat ailments. I read that in the amazon, amny o fthe tribes shaman kept track of what animals would eat. Animals were of ten the litmus test from my understanding.
      Then that trickled down to humans. (Of course some failures were likely chalked up to evil spirits.) But, yep, trial and error. Sometimes happy accidents, like a plant touching inflamed skin.

      Then, it became a bit more dark. With European royalty having recruited “physicians” to try things on commoners in order to establish safety and effectiveness.

      Like all things scientific, most of it started with a theory.

      You can try this book, it has a lot about the historical uses and as they applied to slaves, they ended up used for practicality here..African American Slave Medicine: Herban]l and Non-Herbal Treatments by Katherine Medina.

      It is a good start and an interesting read.

    2. vickif Avatar

      *many of the tribes shaman*

  7. Savebears Avatar

    Gray wolf caught on camera above Missoula’s South Hills


    1. Woody Avatar

      Would it not be difficult to bury a 2000 pound animal in late January? Why would the meat be no good after just 12 hours? It appears to have been OK for canines.

  8. Salle Avatar

    Ken, nice picture… A photographer friend and I have taken several pictures of that tree, it looks really spectacular when it has all the leaves in mid-summer. My friend calls it “The Cottonwood Strut” as the title for his photos. I call it the “Carmen Miranda Tree” because it reminds me of her with the fruit baskets on her head and those ruffled open skirts with one legs stepping out as she danced, maracas in hands, frozen in motion. It’s a well known tree for certain.

    1. Nancy Avatar

      Kind of reminded me of a Mulie buck with a non-typical rack, in deep snow……….

  9. Peter Kiermeir Avatar
    Peter Kiermeir

    (Oregon) Ranchers seek right to kill wolves
    Maybe I´m wrong, but that guy from the Cattlemen´s Association sounds quite reasonable? Think some of these bills are the real problem, permitting too many shooting opportunities. E.g. that “self-defense” bill (3562 but also 3563). And the 500ft rule contained in 3563.

    1. Woody Avatar

      Thanks for the link. I wrote to my reps. The Bill to reduce the number of wolf pairs to four for the entire state is a joke.

      Am I wrong in that people can already protect themselves and livestock? The 4-j rule regarding the reintroduced wolves “allows landowners, their immediate family members, or their employees to kill a wolf that is biting, wounding, or killing or a wolf that is seen actively chasing, molesting, or harassing livestock, livestock herding or guarding animals, or domestic dogs.”

      If a wolf is within 500 feet of a house and doing no harm why should it be legal to shoot it?

  10. Mooseboy Avatar

    Moose News from Jackson Hole. It looks like the moose in and around Jackson has a chance of coming back.

  11. Cody Coyote Avatar
    Cody Coyote

    We need to get Rockholm and his merry men to watch this amazing video of a pack of really vicious , really large wolves…


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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