This replaces the 35th edition

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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

459 Responses to Have you come across any interesting wildlife news? Dec. 2, 2011

  1. Ralph Maughan says:

    Here is an interpretation of a new and important scientific study how the environment of a new place (Yellowstone) changes the wolves. It’s not only that the wolves change the environment.

    Yellowstone Wolves Show How Animals Change With Nature Jennifer Welsh, LiveScienceStaff Writer

    An abstract to this article was posted to the forum yesterday. I forgot who did it, but thanks. This needs to go up as a full blown story. It is important. It also throws more cold water on that Canadian wolf stuff.

    • jdubya says:

      You’re welcome. Glad to have that interpretation….I was a bit out of my depth in that article.

  2. Salle says:

    Cameras on the prowl for elusive jaguars
    Reactions mixed to project in Ariz. and N.M

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Like, not at all, Salle.

      Jon Tester is such a disappointment to me on a range of issues, but this Rehberg is pure whore. Exactly the kind of person the #occupy groups say have ruined the country. He’s rich (not because of anything productive he has done) and entirely in favor of further enrichment of the tiny minority.

      • Elk275 says:

        “Rehberg is pure whore”

        Totally agree

        • william huard says:

          Will he get elected?

          • Salle says:

            Sadly, I don’t think anyone is running against him… I could be wrong…

          • Elk275 says:

            Salle in the primary no one is running against him. In the general election Jon Tester is running against him. Jon will win by less than 2000 votes.

          • william huard says:

            You really think Tester will win Elk?
            I hope they both stay away from the “I hate wolves more than you do garbage”

          • Elk275 says:

            Since the direct election of US senators, Montana has only elected 2 Republican senators for a total of 4 terms. Montana is a blue state with the exceptions of presidential elections. There are 5 elected offices and 2 senators and 1 congressman. Denny is the lone Republican. This is a hold over from the “Copper King” days and Montana Power. There are a number of people on this forum that comment on Montana poltics with no knowledge of Montana history either it is stupid or sad.

          • Salle says:

            And it’s too bad nobody is running against him in the primary, an all too common event in these parts of the country. I’m not at all fond of Tester, and told him so after that “rider” fiasco. Guess I’ll be holding my nose for yet another election cycle since there really isn’t anyone acceptable running for office in this state.

        • Salle says:

          yet another waste of good air…

          And he receives a lot of $$$ for his non-ranching interests.

          I think that calling him a whore makes whores look bad.

        • IDhiker says:

          I’ll second that!

      • CodyCoyote says:

        Glad you said that about Denny so we don’t have to, Ralph. The perks of having your own blog…you get to use those 5-letter Four Letter Words without recrimination. Rehberg is a remorseless paid political slut. Except the streetwalkers on Montana venue in downtown Billings are offended by your remark as he is beneath them…

    • Daniel Berg says:

      Apparently Rehberg was trying to sue the Billings fire department over a portion of undeveloped owned by him that burned. It was a flare-up that occured a couple of days after the fire had been initially contained.

      I’m surprised he let it go as far as he did with his political aspirations. Greed definitely won out over good sense in this one.

      • Daniel Berg says:

        From the comments section of “Wildfire Today”:

        High Noon for Denny SilverSpoon

        A Montana Congressman named Denny
        Never once had to work for a penny.
        His needs were provided
        By the land he sub-divided
        And his wife filing lawsuits aplenty!

        When Denny isn’t out drunk in his boats
        He’s at the Baucus ranch cashing in goats,
        Or he’s giving Grandma greetings
        At his controlled town hall meetings
        While attempting to grovel for our votes.

        Now this attraction to decadent decay
        Has been passed to his offspring A. J
        He’s an unregistered lobbyist,
        ‘Cause his family’s the snobbiest
        It might be genetic, I’m sorry to say!

        But now Rehberg’s made a critical mistake
        Even greater than the crash in the lake.
        He thinks he’ll make lots of shillings
        From the poor tax payers in Billings
        By filing lawsuits like a litigious snake.

        Denny claims that damage irreparable
        Resulted from a fire not too terrible.
        Firefighters risk their life
        Then get sued by Denny’s wife
        For some scrub ground that’s not even arable!

        After the fire was considered to bel in hand
        The Royal Rehbergs expect firemen to stand
        On guard so they could take
        Boat crashing practice at the lake.
        Since when do public servants watch private land?

        Wife Jan wants firefighters to dance to her tune
        And they had better bring a virtual monsoon
        When they report to a fire
        Or they’ll catch Rehberg’s ire
        Cause natural events can’t hurt Denny SilverSpoon!
        Charles Ulysses Feney

  3. Salle says:

    Gee-whiz, one would think this would be a “no-brainer” for those who have brains, I guess.

    Court rules against snowmobiles in wilderness study area

  4. Paul says:

    A rare sight: More than 100 snowy owls seen across Wisconsin. Finally some good wildlife news for bird lovers in WI anyway.

    Read more:

    I live near the areas where they were seen a few years ago. Where I live is surrounded by marsh land so I hope to get an opportunity to view one of these beautiful birds. I know what I will be doing this weekend. 🙂

    • Rita K. Sharpe says:

      Thank you,Paul.I sure wished I had the opportunity to have observed one when I lived in Wisconsin,I hope you get to.

      • Paul says:


        With my luck I probably will not see one with as crappy as the weather is going to be tomorrow. What an absolutely gorgeous animal. I hope for once that luck changes.


        There always has to be some a$$hole on these types of stories that have to piss on what should be celebrated. Most likely a troll posting from his mother’s basement but there always has to be one of those types on any internet comment section. I am surprised that some idiot hasn’t posted the clichéd tripe of P.E.T.A.= “People Eating Tasty Animals” garbage. These asshats think that they are being witty or original when in reality it is the same tired crap that these morons post on every story about animals.

    • william huard says:

      The second comment-

      “Are you allowed to shoot these or at least use a bow and arrow? This would look good on my mantle”

      Good grief

      • Salle says:

        I like the response to that post but I would add that the character who wrote that is clearly a waste of good air that could be put to better use by endangered species!

        I saw a snowy owl once up by Plainfield, back in the early 1980’s. I was driving a semi, it was about 3am, it came out of a line of trees along the old US51 – long before it was made into an Interstate. It was just a gnarly two-lane back then – and it flew right in front of me. My curiosity was triggered and I thought about it until I got back home a couple days later, I looked it up and realized how rare it was… I saw a lot of “rare” wildlife back then, all over the 48.

        Thanks for the article and reminding me of that event, Paul. I always considered that a special moment. I’m glad they haven’t gone extinct but this also illustrates how the habitat areas, due to prey availability/habitat, are changing.

        • Paul says:


          That area is not too far north of where I live. We like to go up to the Stevens Point area every so often, so of course we always pass Plainfield. Last winter my wife and I saw several bald eagles in the trees along I 39 (old 51) on our way up there. There are quite a bit of marsh land between Portage and Steven Point and I would imagine that is why I see them so often along that route. That is always a thrill. We always joke when driving by Plainfield to “say hi to Ed” because Ed Gein’s grave is in the cemetery visible off of 39. Ed Gein, two porno shops, and a Subway/BP station are about all that Plainfield has to offer, but there are quite a bit of wild lands up there.

          I think that I am going to go to the Goose Pond Sanctuary near Arlington and try my luck there if the weather isn’t too crappy.

    • Immer Treue says:

      When I lived just east of St. Louis, we used to see snowy owls every once in a great while. The Mississippi is indeed a great flyway. When one of those white “ghosts” flew by, it was always a treat.

      • Paul says:

        According to the article it seems to be on a four year cycle that they come south. They have been found as far south a Georgia. As winter is starting to rear it’s ugly head here these birds certainly have the right idea. 🙂

        • Salle says:

          I saw a white owl on Whitebird Pass several years ago, I was on my way to go observe a study in central Idaho. Once again, it was about 3am. I was wondering about which white bird it was named after and then this white owl appeared on the side of the road, right there next to my lane. It startled me but I was interested in the coincidental aspect of it…

          Then, later on after daybreak, I saw a wolverine and forgot about the owl until much later.

          I think wildlife is awesome and events like that stay with me forever.

          Paul, I hope you have a great and memorable experience when you go looking!

  5. Jerry Black says:

    Family’s Border Collie Dies of a Broken Neck and Strangulation in Government Trap

    • william huard says:

      Those guvmint trappers- arrogant ass^^oles

    • william huard says:

      If anyone ever killed one of my dogs in a Conabear trap and then pulled the crap this idiot pulled it would take all my energy not to put a serious dent in his skull

    • Salle says:

      All the more reason to do away with this rogue agency. What if it was a child? Can you imagine? What they do is just sickening and, it appears, gives the truly sadistic members of society a place to hide and receive taxpayer funds for it too!

      • william huard says:

        And a government pension! The arrogance is stunning

        • Paul says:

          What I want to know is how this agency can justify itself in being so secretive about their activities. Their salaries are paid by the American people, yet they are answerable to no one it seems. I think that these yahoos in all levels of government need to be reminded of who they really work for. That I why I literally let out a cheer when Dr. Brinkley nailed that pompous ass Young on Capitol Hill last week by reminding him who he really works for. As a public employee I know who pays my salary, but many of us seem to ignore or forget that fact.

    • Immer Treue says:

      As a dog owner, with lots of county land outside my door, and Superior National Forest all around I believe trapping is my biggest fear. It’s just indiscriminate. I’m sure MN is a horse hair from delisting wolves, I pray trapping is not on the agenda.

      • william huard says:

        The fact that these people don’t even have the decency to at least say they are sorry to the families and children who are grieving over the loss of their dog is beyond me. It was so sad to read about the children hugging their dog that is already gone. All to kill some Nutria?

    • Harley says:

      I want to make it clear, this is a tragedy and it just makes me sick and angry, particularly when children are involved.

      That said…

      William and Jon and others. I have seen your comments that people should keep an eye on their pets. When a pet is killed by a coyote or a wolf or any other wild predator, more often than not, the blame is put on the owners for not keeping their animal leashed, or better watched. This is how I’ve seen some people respond here. I know, you’re going to tell me that a trap and a predator are two different things, and I will agree with you. A trap isn’t something you would think to watch out for in your own neighborhood. But I’m betting a lot, not all, but a lot of the people who have lost their pets to predators never ever would have expected that to happen in the backyards of their suburbs either…

      • Immer Treue says:

        I’ll take my chances with the predator as my pup remains close. A trap, on the other hand is the indiscriminate extension of a soulless individual.

        If a trapping season for wolves occurs, I will have tools.

        • Harley says:

          Again, don’t get me wrong. It is heart breaking to see that story. What a beautiful dog too! And to be honest, I don’t think the family was at all responsible for this! It was the person who set the trap. And the way it was handled afterwards was just despicable.

          But lets put a different spin on this. What if that dog was let out, the gate was open and the owner was unaware, and that beautiful dog was killed by a coyote or a wolf. How many people on this blog would be saying that family was indeed negligent? That someone should have checked the gate. Specially if that family put up a fuss about predators roaming their neighborhood unchecked.
          All I’m saying is, be careful of a double standard.

          Immer, I would think your pup would be well trained, I don’t think you live in a typical suburban area and you have prepared yourself and your pets.

          • Barb says:


            I doubt seriously that anyone commenting here would call Wildlife Services to retaliate for the killing of a pet dog by a predator. I wouldn’t.

            No double standard.

            The trap was illegally set, too large for a killer land trap, and the intended target was a nutria. Do you know how small nutria are and what a minimal threat to neighborhoods? Puny compared to the size of the killer trap.

            You say it was the person who set the trap who is at fault but I say both are – it is the miss named Wildlife Services that is to blame; they employed the killer.

  6. Jerry Black says:

    Montana Poachers Busted….ABOVE THE LAW: It’s hard to tell some cops from the criminals

  7. Paul says:

    I don’t even know how to respond to this letter about wolves that was sent to a local WI newspaper from a child in the eight grade. I really hope that this not not an example of America’s future:

    • william huard says:


      I’m sure you read the comments. This letter was written by the kid’s drooling neanderthal father who as one commenter said probably didn’t get his deer this year. There’s time for him to change his attitude- and if he doesn’t he can move to Idaho or wyoming, where he will fit in very nicely with all the other inbred predator haters.

    • Salle says:

      Surely this is a case of one child left behind…

  8. Brecia Bloom says:

    Other residents of eastern WA have probably seen them dozens of times, but this was a unique experience for me, being a freshly transplanted newcomer to eastern Washington’s high desert/prairie. I spotted three jack rabbits at the Badger Mountain dog park here in Tri-cities this evening. It was too dark to tell if they were black tailed or white tailed, but their ears were clearly visible, and their graceful lope up into the sagebrush on the hillside above the football field was quite distinctive. It was very exciting to see them!

  9. Ron Kearns says:

    ‘Arizona’s Game and Fish Commission affirms wolf conservation support, objects to new wolf releases until appropriate planning occurs’

    “The Arizona Game and Fish Commission (Commission) today voted 3-1 to continue both its financial and infrastructure support of Mexican wolf conservation in the state, but voted not to support the release of any new wolves until the federal government completes certain critical planning measures. Previously, all initial releases of captive Mexican wolves in the U.S. have occurred in Arizona with the concurrence and support of the Game and Fish Department.”

    • william huard says:

      Do you have any idea what critical planning measures the AZFG is waiting for?

      • Ron Kearns says:

        William huard,

        Yes. The AGF commissioners want the “completion of a Mexican wolf recovery plan, environmental impact statement, and the 10(j) nonessential population rule for endangered species.”

        Historically, there have been insurmountable differences within the Recovery Team between USFWS and Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) members. One long-time AGFD lead person, Mr. Johnson, recently retired this year. There were some heated discussions yesterday during the AGF commission meeting regarding wolves. One commissioner, whose constituents include the livestock community, is “scared to death” of the newest recommended increase in the originally proposed wolf numbers from 100 to more than 1000. He is also concerned about deer herd losses if such increases occur. However, the suggested, tentative increase appears in a recent draft plan and is subject to much revision—based, of course, on the political climate and compromises that most often taint scientific recommendations.

        A new wolf reintroduction in Arizona is most likely several years distant given the plan document, the 10(j) rule, and EIS required per the Commissions’ demands.

        • william huard says:


          Thanks for the quick response. I hope this animal can boost it’s numbers over the next few years…..

  10. Ron Kearns says:

    ‘Commission takes a cautious and surgical approach to implementing night hunting legislation’

    “PHOENIX – The Arizona Game and Fish Commission on Dec. 2 approved rules and commission orders to implement new short-term strategic tools that will allow hunters to help reduce predator numbers to aid struggling pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep populations in specific game management units.

    Both votes were passed by a 3-1 margin with one commissioner absent. Arizona now joins 41 other states that allow night hunting of predators.

    The commission approved rulemaking to allow the use of artificial lights at night for taking coyotes and mountain lions, as allowed by new laws enacted by the legislature last session.”

    • Nancy says:

      Again, only have to google proghorn hunts AZ, to understand why predators are being prosecuted, by what ever means possible:,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=a36fdf418f89e6f5&biw=1396&bih=779

      and obviously its exciting to many (by what ever method it takes) to bag that head for a wall:

      If you took an educated guess, a good percentage of female elk, deer and antelope (and a vast number of other species that don’t really count) shot during hunting season, were probably carrying the future generation of their species.

      So, by all means, lets continue to encourage, manage, saving & rescuing species from nature’s predators so the 15 millon homosapiens – mostly male – have something to do with their time (and testosterone levels) before football season kicks in 🙂

      • william huard says:

        Nice camo outfit- do you think he wears them as jammies

        • Nancy says:

          My guess yes William…. but they’d probably only show up under “artificial light”

      • Immer Treue says:

        I’ve got no problem with the hunting part of it, but the need to pose with a lifeless form that one has just extinguished is beyond me.

      • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        Nancy –
        “If you took an educated guess, a good percentage of female elk, deer and antelope (and a vast number of other species that don’t really count) shot during hunting season, were probably carrying the future generation of their species.”

        Your comment might provide a learning opportunity here. You are certainly correct that a portion of the elk cows, pronghorn does, mule deer does, whitetail does – will be pregnant when they are harvested/killed/taken. However, if you meant to suggest that the removal of those females from their respective populations constitutes some population risk or threat that would indicate a mis-understanding of wildlife population biology/ecology. Female harvest/kill/take opporunity is rarely a part of a species management plan unless it will support a specific management objective. Sometimes the primary objective will be to reduce or stabilize the size of the population. In other circumstances, female harvest/kill/take opporutinty is offered for the majority of hunters who are most interested in taking those animals to eat. The harvest/kill/take of females is very rarely a risk or threat to the integrity of a well managed wildlife population.

        • Mark- Let me explain Nancy’s remarks as learning oppotunity for YOU. What she is saying is: that it doesn’t make sense to kill predators to protect deer elk, pronghorns etc. and then let hunters kill pregnant females of the same animals you are protecting. In deer, moose and pronghorns, the hunter is, in all probability, killing three animals when a female is killed in the fall. (One adult and two fetuses, since twins are the general rule in these species.)
          And as far as educating us with your co nstant propaganda, most of the contributers to this blog are quite well educated in the wildlife area.
          Way back in 1968, I took the IDFG exams for both a fisheries biologist and a big game biologist and scored in the top 3 on both exams. I turned down a IDFG fisheries biologist job offer, when I discovered that I was making more teaching biology in 9 months than the IDFG job paid for working 12 months.

          • Nancy says:

            Thank you Larry for putting my thoughts into words, especially when it came to this part of Mark’s response:

            “The harvest/kill/take of females is very rarely a risk or threat to the integrity of a well managed wildlife population”

          • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Larry –
            With due respect, your response suggests that you don’t understand the basic biological point that applies here – i.e. how populations function, and, are managed for public trust benefits. I’ll let Nancy clarify if or not I misunderstand what she meant to say. Regardless, her comment afforded an opportunity to help others, perhaps Nancy and you too, understand that the removal of one or more females does not equate the “loss” of their offspring to the population in the next generation. You would be mistaken if you mean that removing a doe or cow would necessarily mean the “loss” of one to three animals from that population. I’m again referring to the position the population is relative to all sources of mortality, as well as the productive potential of current habitat – concepts of K, compensatory and additive mortality that are central to understanding the status of a population and management choices and consequences. Nothing that we’re talking about should be troubling and these points certainly shouldn’t be interpreted as demeaning.

          • william huard says:


            I find it curious that you refer to game animals differently than wolves. Why is it that wolves are always referred to as a “Robust” with a population of 151? Would deer, elk, or other animals be considered”robust” with populations that low?
            By the way, how are those Idaho Trappers Assoc coasters and ice scrapers working out for you?

          • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            William –
            OK, another opportunity for education or at least repetitive clarification. You repeated, again, a consistent failure in these discussions to understand or acknowledge the Idaho wolf population management objective, which is NOT 150 or 151 or any other fixed numerical management objective that would carry unacceptable risk for Idaho wolf numbers to drop to 150/15BP or lower. I have clarified numerous times on this blog that the Idaho wolf management plan will manage for a wolf population as close to the re-listing criteria of 150 individuals or 15 breeding pairs as we can, without unacceptable risk that stochastic environmental events beyond the control of wildlife managers, could push wolf numbers below the re-listing criteria. That objective will be maintained through our ongoing adaptive management of wolves – regular, annual monitoring of wolf numbers, pack numbers and other vital wolf population metrics. This requires significantly more wolves than the ESA 150/15BP de/re-listing criteria.

            Now, to your question:
            Deer and elk populatons could indeed be considered robust at population numbers substantially below current population management objectives. You seem to confuse robust (as a ecological term) with desired sustainable population objective(s). The Idaho wolf population are being managed for population management objectives below yours and others preference AND will be robust – in the lexicon of population ecology – to mean a sustained, stable population within a variety of dynamic environmental conditions and challenges. So would deer and elk – at a variety of population mangement objectives. So, yes, Idaho deer and elk are considered robust under current managment prescriptions and would remain so at substaintially lower objectives if those objectives would ensure the same sustainability that the Idaho wolf management plan will ensure.

          • Alan says:

            Wow! My head is about to explode! Why is it that when wolves kill elk they are “wiping out the species” or “a serious threat to elk populations”, even though studies clearly show that wolves will normally take the weakest member of the herd; yet when a hunter “harvests” an elk, and they normally look for the strongest, healthiest animal; even if it is a pregnant female; “The harvest/kill/take of females is very rarely a risk or threat to the integrity of a well managed wildlife population”, and it is NOT the loss of as many as three individuals since, as Larry points out, twins are the rule rather than the exception! Phwew!! I am absolutely certain that Mark knows a lot more about wildlife biology than I do, but come on!! I can count! Please don’t try and explain, Mark. My head couldn’t take it!

          • ma'iingan says:

            ”Why is it that when wolves kill elk they are “wiping out the species” or “a serious threat to elk populations”, even though studies clearly show that wolves will normally take the weakest member of the herd;”

            That “weakest member” is often a calf, and the diverse predator guild in some areas of the NRM has resulted in some localized cow-to-calf ratios that indicate serious continued decline in that subpopulation. Where these subpopulations may have been in equilibrium prior to the resurgence of wolves, they are now in decline due to the increase in predation pressure.

            ”… yet when a hunter “harvests” an elk, and they normally look for the strongest, healthiest animal; even if it is a pregnant female; “The harvest/kill/take of females is very rarely a risk or threat to the integrity of a well managed wildlife population”, and it is NOT the loss of as many as three individuals since, as Larry points out, twins are the rule rather than the exception! Phwew!! I am absolutely certain that Mark knows a lot more about wildlife biology than I do, but come on!! I can count!”

            Removal of females results in the removal of ALL their future potential offspring – that they’re pregnant at the time is irrelevant. Antlerless harvest is primary tool in the management of any ungulate subpopulation, and it can be manipulated for growth, stabilization or reduction. As I understand it, antlerless harvest has been curtailed or greatly reduced in NRM areas where wolf predation has impacted cow-to-calf ratios. And I haven’t heard any wildlife management agency in the NRM claim that wolves are “wiping out” elk, or even that they’re a serious threat to elk populations.

          • william huard says:

            If Wildlife Management Agencies realize that wolves aren’t wiping out Elk populations- then why are hunters in the NRM states always whining about decimated game herds…..Don’t you talk to your constitchawints….
            Oh I get it- the constant whining by hunters and the pressure they put on Fish and Game agencies to manage predators at “bare minimum levels” keeps the hunters from having to compete with predators like wolves. After all,wolves don’t buy hunting tags, they are freeloaders

          • Alan says:

            Now you’ve gone and done it!! My wife has to clean all this brain matter off the computer screen!!
            “And I haven’t heard any wildlife management agency in the NRM claim that wolves are “wiping out” elk, or even that they’re a serious threat to elk populations.” So no official wildlife agency has ever claimed that wolves were a threat to elk populations in, say, the Lolo zone?
            A dead female elk is a dead female elk. You are right; it’s not just the calf she is carrying, it’s all the future generations that are gone. Therefore, it is far more than the three animals Larry talks about being removed. Whether a wolf kills a calf that has already been born (far more likely to be killed by a bear, BTW; wolves need enough to feed a whole pack); or a hunter kills one still in the womb makes little difference. It’s kind of like Republicans talking about the “sanctity” of life before a child is born, yet how worthless that same child is after birth (no healthcare, no parental assistance, pizza is good enough as a vegetable, make ’em janitors as soon as they can walk) etc. Either those calves are important or they are not.
            I do get where you are coming from though. I do. It is important for those who would play god (state wildlife agencies) to be able to pick and choose what female elk, and how many, live and die, and in what zones. We all know that the real God keeps screwing things up with those pesky wolves. He just doesn’t have the best interests of hunters in mind. I get it. I don’t know why, but it’s just always kinda gotten under my skin whenever I see someone talk down to someone, like they are a child; “Well, let me take this opportunity to ‘educate’ you!”
            What can I say?

          • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Sorry Alan –
            Don’t want to do “it” again, certainly don’t want responsibility for your messy computer screen. I’ll try to help you, with a simple and non-incindiary explanation.

            My agency has not described wolf predation impacts on Idaho elk populations as “wiping out” elk, though we have thoroughly documented the effect of wolf predation on the Lolo Zone elk herd, that is accurately described as severely limiting the production and recruitment of elk, well below the capacity of existing habitat to support, AND required drastic reductions in elk hunting opportunity years ago.

            Wolf predation is affecting Idaho elk populations differently across the state. Another large geographical area that is experiencing very similar elk production and recruitment limitations are the Sawtooth Zone. The Middle Fork Zone is experiencing a strong decline in elk production and recruitment, though we don’t have the same radio-telemetry data to confirm wolf predation as the primary cause – as we do for the Lolo and Sawtooth Zones.

            Back to population ecology 101: No, it isn’t simple math; No, a pregnant cow killed this year does not mean one, two, three or a hundred less elk for future generations. If the removal of that pregnant cow is compensatory, the net result is much closer to zero – for the strength of next year’s population,as well as subsequent generations. I continue to come back to this mis-understanding of population dynamics/ecology because it is fundamental to understanding how managagement actions affect a population and how populations “work” in general. It would be equally simplistic, and wrong, to say that removal of an elk (pregnant cow or otherwise) is always compensatory for the annual total mortality of a population. Unless management objectives for that population intend a reduction in population size, female (cow) harvest would be designed and regulated to compensatory.

            Each of these management strategies, objectives are designed for the same purpose: the benefit of the public in who’s trust these resources are managed for.

          • Alan says:

            Mark, if you go back and read what I wrote, not what ma’iingan wrote in response, you will note that I never said that “wildlife agencies” were claiming that wolves were “wiping out elk”, only that the claim has been made. However, I could certainly argue that stating that wolf predation is, ” accurately described as severely limiting the production and recruitment of elk”, could be interpreted to mean, “a serious threat to elk populations.”
            Certainly the near state of obsession that IDFG has had regarding the Lolo zone over the past few years, would lead a reasonable person to assume that IDFG felt that elk were being “wiped out” in the area, even if the term was never used. Lewis and Clark snacked on their horses in the area 200 years ago due to the lack of game, indicating that few elk in this area are nothing new. Of course there were wolves in the area then, too.
            “No, a pregnant cow killed this year does not mean one, two, three or a hundred less elk for future generations.” Then a pregnant cow killed by wolves also does not mean one, two, three, etc. fewer elk. It stands to reason. Except that the wolf kill is far more likely to be compensatory, since human hunters tend to seek out the healthiest, while wolves seek out the weakest. Perhaps hunters in Idaho are different; perhaps they seek out weak and dying animals to insure the future health of the herd. The hunters I know here in Montana seem to take pride in the healthiest, strongest and largest.
            I may not have a fancy degree, but I’m smart enough to know that if my momma hadn’t lived I wouldn’t be here, nor would my kids nor my grandkids. Simple math (with a little hanky panky thrown in!).
            Trust me, I understand exactly what this statement means: “The harvest/kill/take of females is very rarely a risk or threat to the integrity of a well managed wildlife population”. The removal of a predetermined number of females (pregnant or not) from predetermined herds (the whole, “well managed” part) is rarely a threat. I understand it, I just don’t agree with it. Because there is that whole “rarely” part. The X factor that, no matter how much a state wildlife agency wants to play god, they can’t control. The weather. Habitat degradation. (If you really want to increase elk dramatically in the Lolo, torch the whole thing and come back in 3-4 years.) And wolves. And that’s what it’s all about; one X factor that can be controlled, by killing them. Doesn’t really matter how many elk wolves are killing; they are killing some. Remove as many unknowns as possible and you can better control the final numbers. Because it really is simple math.

          • ma'iingan says:

            “Whether a wolf kills a calf that has already been born (far more likely to be killed by a bear, BTW; wolves need enough to feed a whole pack);…”

            You’re right in that bears are a primary agent of predation on neonate elk calves, but once the calves are mobile they’re no longer vulnerable to bears.

            Wolves then become the primary component in predation loss of adolescent calves – and being the opportunists they are, they don’t select for prey on its ability to “feed the whole pack”.

            Calves represent over 40% of predation losses to wolves in winter, even though they make up only around 15% of the population (Smith, et al., 2003).

            Bears continue to exert indirect predation effects, however – due to their ability to usurp kills from all but the largest wolf packs, they can pressure wolves to kill more frequently than they would otherwise need to (Hebblewhite and Smith, 2005).

          • WM says:


            ++Lewis and Clark snacked on their horses in the area 200 years ago due to the lack of game,++

            You do realize when L & C went through the Lolo country on the Nimipoo/Nez Perce Trail, do you not? They went both directions, it is my understanding, at a time when elk and deer would have been at lower elevations due to weather and better feed. That does not mean it was great habitat but, still a huge factor in their slim diet in that particular travel corridor that tracks a ridge much of the way.

          • JB says:

            “My agency has not described wolf predation impacts on Idaho elk populations as “wiping out” elk, though we have thoroughly documented the effect of wolf predation on the Lolo Zone elk herd…”


            With all due respect–and I mean that sincerely–one of your commissioners has written, “Wolves are stone cold killers, do what they were born to do, and the damage that these killing machines are inflicting on Idaho’s wildlife is unacceptable, unsustainable and must stop.” That might not be the same as “wiping out elk”, but only a lawyer would argue that the two statements differ in substance. And that’s just the head of the agency, please don’t get me started quoting Idaho legislators (the real power brokers).

          • timz says:

            Get ready for some more cut and paste crap like “robust populations”, blah blah blah from the resident IF&G lackey.

          • Alan says:

            WM: Looks like L&C passed through the area in Sept. 1805 and again in June 1806. I may have missed it, but I don’t see any mention of elk; except that bear doesn’t taste as good as elk.
            “here we wer compelled to kill a Colt for our men & Selves to eat for the want of meat, & we named the South fork Colt killed Creek “…..Sept. 14, 1805
            ” Having breakfasted on colt, we moved on down the river 3 miles…” Sept. 15,1805
            “Killed a Second Colt which we all Suped hartily on and thought it fine meat.”…..Sept. 16, 1805
            “Killed a fiew Pheasents which was not Sufficient for our Supper which compelled us to kill Something. a coalt being the most useless part of our Stock he fell a Prey to our appetites. ” …Sept. 17, 1805
            “we had proceeded about 2 miles when we found the greater part of a horse which Capt Clark had met with and killed for us. ……at one oclock we halted and made a hearty meal on our horse beef much to the comfort of our hungry stomachs. “…Sept. 20,1805
            ” we killed a few Pheasants, and I killd a prarie woolf which together with the ballance of our horse beef and some crawfish which we obtained in the creek enabled us to make one more hearty meal, not knowing where the next was to be found. “….Sept. 21,1805
            “I divided the fish roots and buries, and was happy to find a sufficiency to satisfy compleatly all our appetites. Fields also killed a crow “…..Sept. 22, 1805
            Return trip:

            ” Sent our hunters out early this morning. Colter killed a deer and brought it in by 10 A. M. the other hunters and Drewyer returned early without having killed anything.”….June 14,1805
            “we sent out several hunters but they returned without having killed anything. they saw a number if salmon in the creek and shot at them several times without success.”…..June 18,1806
            “Our hunters were out very early this morning, they returned before noon with one deer only. the Fishermen had been more unsuccessfull, they returned without a single fish and reported they could find but few and those they had tryed to take in vain.”..
            June 19,1806
            “Our hunters set out early this morning; most of them returned before noon. R. Feilds killed a brown bear the tallons of which were remarkably short broad at their base and sharply pointed this was of the speceis which the Chopunnish call Yah-kar. it was in very low order and the flesh of the bear in this situation is much inferior to lean venison or the flesh of poor Elk.”

        • WM says:


          Thanks for quoting the L & C journal. The point I was trying to make is that there was not even enough feed for horses (or ungulates) on the path they took, according to the journal. If you read the journal carefully, or the synthesis and analysis of the content of it by Steven Ambrose (Undaunted Courage {1996, Touchstone}), he points out on the way west there was little food for even the horses along the trail in September in 1805, and Clark was advised of that several times. The conclusion was if the Indians can make the trip with women and children, so can we. They also hit snow, rain and hail. Do recall they were not exploring drainages through this area. They were trying to make their way along a narrow pathway to get from point A to point B. The Lolo/Nimipoo trail was that path.

          On the return trip in June 1806 (Chapter 30, p. 369) Lewis was repeatedly told by Indian advisors it was too early to start the trip as snow was still in the high country and there was no feed for horses or game. He found that out and they nearly starved.

          No reason for elk or deer to be along that path which sticks to the ridgeline for much of the way after leaving the Weippe Prairie, and traversing the ridge above the Lochsa River.

          This does not mean there are not elk and deer in the “Lolo area,” and specifically the ID hunting units which are in that area, one of which is assigned the name Lolo (Unit 10), the unit boundary of which is to the north of the path taken by Lewis and Clark, and encompasses a large area of the North Fork of the Clearwater, including lower elevation valleys. Do recall elk migrate with weather and feed. And let’s not forget the habitat can change with fires and man’s activities like logging.

          • Alan says:

            WM: I really don’t want to drag this out, but they did have limited success with deer. Seems if deer had already moved back into that area, elk would have. Also, since hunters were going out for hours at a time and sometimes all day and into the night, seems they would definitely be hunting drainages etc. I’m pretty sure these hunters didn’t just jump off the turnip wagon and knew where to look.
            Point is, the Lolo has more problems than wolves and if there really aren’t any game there, you won’t find many wolves either.

          • WM says:


            I don’t want to drag it out either, but let me make a couple final points. ++ limited success with deer++

            Yep, very limited as to deer in this area, at that time of year, to the point of near starvation.

            If there were/are no elk in the Lolo (today or even when L & C did their speed trip through – and by the way hunting down a drainage a few miles then coming back to the main expedition party is not likely to be reflective of an entire drainage, especially if they did not know the area) then IDFG would not be issuing nearly 1,000 resident and non resident elk tags for Unit 10.

            Furthermore, IDFG would not be concentrating on what they believe to be an impact by wolves (and cougar and bears in their past studies of the Lolo), including collared ones known to use the area. Same is true for the adjacent unit 10A to the west and 12 to the south.

            As for deer and elk using the same habitat, or using it at different times, I can give you hundreds of examples in several Western states where one species is present and the other is not. Why? Because they have somewhat different diets, and habitat requirements. Sometimes these requirements overlap or coincide, but sometimes they do not. For example, where I hunt elk, I think I have seen maybe a dozen deer in over twenty years of hunting the same area, and hundreds of elk during that period (until the last four years when the wolves moved in).

          • Alan says:

            Fair enough, WM. Have a Merry Christmas!

  11. CodyCoyote says:

    Heads Up ! Those of us living out West get a real treat next Saturday morning ( 12/10/2011 ) at dawn. A Total Eclipse of the Moon which reaches it’s maximum at local sunrise Wyoming time. Rare.

    So stake out your favorite low western skyline before dawn December 10 , and hopefully the wolves and coyotes will accomodate us with some musical accompaniement by howling at this magical full Moon show. There won’t be another total lunar eclipse till 2014.

    Can you say Photo-Op ?

  12. JEFF E says:

    unlike the above thread this has value.
    I’ll be there

  13. Nancy says:

    +Nothing that we’re talking about should be troubling and these points certainly shouldn’t be interpreted as demeaning+

    Mark – the fact that you work for an agency that promotes the protection and welfare of wildife, yet at the same time, benefits and secures funding from their ultimate demise, is very troubling, when you think about it.

    • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      Nancy –
      Thanks for your thoughtful response. If I understand you correctly, it reveals your personal perspective of wildlife management, which would be inconsistent with how wildlife has been, is now and will continue to be managed for public trust benefits. My agency (as well as other state wildlife management agencies) is not:
      “…an agency that promotes the protection and welfare of wildife, yet at the same time, benefits and secures funding from their ultimate demise…”

      – in the sense that you seem to imply. Specifically (and repeating an important concept that needs to be better understood), public wildlife resources are managed for the benefit of human society – NOT, for the welfare and protection of individual animals. Hence, it would be incorrect to say or imply that by managing wildlife for consumptive beneficial uses that agencies are complicit in the “demise” of wildlife. Of course wildlife die as the result of wildlife management, just as wildlife die of a myriad of other natual causes every hour of every day of every year. It is a fundamental and integral concept of contemporary wildlife management that the intentional regulation of wildlife populations be consistent with the natural cycle of life AND death that wildlife faces with or without human intervention. The purpose of wildlife management is to ensure sustained beneficial use of our wildlife resource – a goal that is the antithesis of “demise” for our wildlife legacy, predators (wolves) included.

      • JEFF E says:

        No Mark,
        Your agency is one that does exactly as it is directed by Clem and the legislature.
        Nothing more.

        To try and portray some concern for wolves as a viable component of the ecological health of the ecosystem as a whole, much less as a valuable big game species, is at best disgusting.

        You demean yourself as one that purports to be concerned with wildlife.

        You are simply a water carrier.

        More concerned with how Clem views you than with any ethical or valid input to the question at hand, that being the recovery of wolves across a significant portion of there historical range as mandated by the ESA.

        You know Mark, the law.

        • WM says:

          Jeff E,

          You do know, Jeff, the law is the law as intepreted by administrative agencies and the courts, or it is changed. Tell us just how ID (or Mark G., particularly) is not following the law, whatever it now is?

          • JEFF E says:

            to lower myself some, i know that the livestock drone Simpson pushed thru the back door subversion of the ESA.

            Do you support that?

          • WM says:

            Actually, I don’t like the way it happened, but the rule itself is not so bad, in my view. Yet it would still be the law. There are lots of laws I don’t agree with, as I suspect there are many other people who do not agree with certain laws. That was my point long ago about the stupid DPS interpretation that the Congress that enacted it probably could not have expected, that then resulted in the rider bill that made the 2008 FWS delisting rule a statute (a new law, or backdoor subversion – actually FWS didn’t believe it was subersion when it crafted the rule).

            So, back to my question, how is ID (or Mark) not following the law, whatever it is now (as you stated in your comment)?

          • JEFF E says:

            Well now wm that is the question in front of the ninth now is it not. My position is that what is currently happening in regard to wolf recovery is illegal, and the states know that, and will continue to be my opinion until all leagle questions are settled.

            as an aside who is this “us” you refer to?
            Are you suddenly some sort of self appointed spokesman and if so for who?

          • WM says:

            ++who is this “us”++

            That would be the “us” who contribute to this dialog and want to know whether ID is following the law, as you suggest they are not. I would guess I am not the only one who questions your assertion, and want to know how you reached it?

            As for the forthcoming 9th Circuit’s opinion on the rider case, I am not willing to predict an outcome. They are generally thought to be the most overturned of the 12 federal appellate courts in the entire nation. However, and this is an important issue, the weight of current appellate law on this issue appears to be with the defendants, as Judge Molloy distastefully found. I am also guessing somewhere in a desk drawer of some appellate lawyer in a heavy weight lawfirm in DC there is a legal memo that already outlines the likely success/failure of the rider on appeal, even if it should go to the SC. It would have been prepared BEFORE the rider was crafted.

            I am also guessing plaintiffs were told at the outset this case was kind of a hail Mary pass when the litigation was filed, and which may explain, in part, why Defenders and the other national wolf advocacy groups are on the sidelines on this one.

      • JEFF E says:

        so in other words you do view youself as some sort of self appointed spoakesman

        • WM says:

          I see the morning coffee hasn’t kicked in for you yet, Jeff. Two issues – my opinion is one. The other is a general question that I posed on behalf of interested persons. Happens all the time here. I don’t claim to be a spokesperson for anyone. If it makes you feel better, just assume the question comes from me, and me only.

          Again, for the third time, how is ID (Mark G), or maybe MT, breaking the law in the context of your comment that started this dialog?

          Let me help you frame the question. Congress passed a rider, which the President signed. This makes it law. A legal complaint is filed before a federal district court judge in MT (Molloy), and after full hearing he concluded the law was Constitional (distasteful language in his findings opinion). Ninth Circuit gets the case (defendants file for emergency injunctive relief which is denied). Opinion forthcoming after briefing and oral argument. Will there be a motion for reconsideration by either side, or will the case stop or be appealed to the SC (discretionary reveiw means they will decide whether the hear it. If they don’t the rider stands as law based on the lower court appellate ruling).

          That about sums it up for me, unless you have something of substance to offer instead of getting sidetracked on the “us” thing.

          • JEFF E says:

            obviously u did not read a couple posts up where I stated my opinion.

            No suprise there

  14. Connie says:

    According to Yellowstone Reports, former Blacktail Wolf 692F has been illegally shot near Gardiner. The poacher pled guilty and was fined $135.

    • CodyCoyote says:

      – guess we’ll have to wait till another news source publishes an article on this poaching of Yellowstone 692-F.

      Yellowstone Reports is by online subscription ; $ 20 annual fee.

      Offhand and knowing nothing more than what is printed here, the $ 135.00 fine is less than a slap on the wrist and more of a judicial statement on the intrinsic worthlessness of a certain endangered specie. I’d like to know the circumstances of the proceedings and the judge/magistrate who handed down the sentence.

      • william huard says:

        I’ll bet there was no loss of hunting priveledge, which to an assw^&pe means more than a 135.00 fine. What an outrage

      • Alan says:

        What would have been the penalty if this had been an elk shot out of season…any elk? Just curious.

        • Savebears says:

          Based on historical sentencing data, just about the same Alan..

          • Elk275 says:

            A $135 fine is a violation of commission rules. There is more to the story if a game warden issues a violation of the commission rules. Twenty 20 years ago it was a $65 fine and I got citation for killing 2 elk. I shot several times and killed at 6 point bull. I stated gutting it and looked a 100 yards east and there was a dead cow elk, how did I shoot it, I will never know but I shot it. I called the local game warden; he picked up the elk and I went over to his house had a cup of tea, played with his baby and he wrote me a citation, I paid the ticket and we shot the breeze for a half hour.

            Why was the hunter issued a violation of the commission rule citation; it was up to the game warden and his/her investigation.

          • Alan says:

            Elk: Sounds like your situation was handled fine. You did not shoot the second elk on purpose; it was an accident. I guess you are fortunate that it was an elk and not another hunter, but it was an accident. There is nothing to indicate that this wolf was shot by accident; or is there? I can’t get to the story.

  15. Frank Renn says:

    Snowy Owls, as a teenager I got to participate in a trapping, banding and color marking of Snowy Owls during the late 1960s. As I remember over 60 were trapped, mainly on the lakes in central Wisconsin. One of the more interesting responses to locations of color marked birds was from an inmate of the Indiana state Pen.

  16. jdubya says:

    My assumption, proven wrong many times now, is that the Canadian government is much more enviro friendly than the gov’t of the states.

    Never has this become more apparent than Salmon-gate, the lying and obfuscation directly linked to paid off Canadian government employees.

    Never eat Atlantic salmon….and hassle stores that sell it and chefs that cook with it.

  17. Daniel Berg says:

    “Washington wolf plan approved”

    There were quite a few in-state wolf advocates that supported this plan.

  18. Salle says:

    Officials debate way forward on grizzly bear management

    “I worry we will lose the general public on the side of this animal if we don’t get something done,” Unsworth said. “They will not tolerate lots of human mortality, and they won’t tolerate being afraid of having a bear on your elk when you’re hunting.”

    I think that says it all with regard to how these agencies view the importance of any wildlife species, especially predators.

    I reiterate my claims of species-centrism and ignorance by choice finding abundance in the only places left for these members of the biosphere to exist and that this is perpetuated at the ultimate peril of our stupid/foolish species…

    • JB says:


      I think Unsworth’s statement reflects a very pragmatic concern–what will “the public” tolerate (or how many bears will they tolerate). The same concern (albeit with more hyperbole) underlies agencies’ rhetoric about wolves. The flaw in Unsworth’s comment is in his assumption that the general public “will be lost” if population growth continues. I think this is based upon a very biased perception of “the public’s” risk tolerance. That is, one that reflects input that is not systematically collected and evaluated, but rather, comes from what he/they hear at public meetings and other biased communications channels.

      • Ralph Maughan says:


        I also think he is trying to manipulate the public’s perception of risk. In your article about “social carrying capacity,” I hope you address the deliberate efforts of public officials to change the social carrying capacity (often to reduce it, if my perception of recent trends is correct).

        • JB says:

          Good point, Ralph. I can’t comment on whether these attempts are deliberate or not, but there are clear examples of strategic communications coming out of agencies that seem designed to increase risk perceptions (see Tony M. quote above; the UDNR’s comparison of wolves to the T. Rex is another great example).

  19. Nancy says:

    An interesting site, curious about the statement (below) in one of the articles. Anybody have advanced knowledge about this other than biggameforever?

    “We have just gotten word that there are new plans to place as many as 1,000 wolves in Utah, Colorado, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico”

    I’m always amazed at the hype created on some of these hunting sites when it comes to wolves, especially when their main objective is having enough wildlife around, so they can kill them.

    • william huard says:

      Ryan Benson is a blowhard who is factually challenged on wolf issues. He whines awesome though. He could do a whining 101 seminar and invite all his hunting friends.

      • Rancher Bob says:

        What level will you be teaching?

        • william huard says:

          Let me get this straight- Rancher BOB is asking me what level of whining I will teach. That’s funny BOB, because Ranchers wrote the book on whining.

          • Rancher Bob says:

            Yes us ranchers did write the book on whining and you could teach a 400 level seminar, because it takes one to know one. Just thought you should know how funny it is to see a whiner point another whiner out. You have a good day anyway. LOL

          • william huard says:

            OK thanks for the input Rancher Blob.

    • Immer Treue says:


      If you venture a peak at the “Dark Side”some are proposing that this type of thing could actually be “planted” by pro-wolf folks in order to get hysterical reactions from the anti-wolf crowd and some hunters group. Paranoia at it’s best.

  20. Nancy says:

    Yeah but, I’d really rather not go to the Dark Side” Immer….. While googling wolves, 15 pairs of and some western states level of acceptance, I seemed to have gotten there though.

    Sad (bad) news is, ranchers want to make sure they have enough cattle to kill and hunters have the same basic agenda regarding “big game”

    As long as there isn’t any sort of outside influence that can’t be “controlled or managed” (that would interfere with their agenda) everything’s good, a okay…. and the hell with a balanced ecosystem, in what’s left of wilderness areas.

  21. Barb Rupers says:

    Black wolf, collared in Jackson Hole in 2010, killed while killing sheep in Hammond, Montana which is in the SE part of the state.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Another very long distance wolf disperser, tho not so likely to get publicity because it was already in the region well occupied by wolves.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        Ralph, this region is not already well occupied by wolves – southEAST Montana. My cousin sent me four pictures. How can I send them on to you?

        • Elk275 says:

          Barb there is no place for wolves in Southeast Montana. The land is approximately 60% private depending upon the area with federal and state interpersed. There is not the prey base, wolves will always be in touble with livestock and will be subject to being shot on slight. That is a fact of life.

        • Ralph Maughan says:

          Barb Rupers,

          Thank you. You are right. I thought it was near Hamilton, MT, not Hammond, MT.

  22. Barb Rupers says:

    Bison may be going to a reservation near Fort Peck, Montana.

  23. Harley says:

    Well, I guess it was my own fault for putting an email address out there. Just like to say a collective Eff You to the person who sent me a nicely loaded greeting disguised from Barry Coe. Nice one. Hope it got you off and made you a happy soul!

    Have a great day!!

    • Immer Treue says:

      For those interested in ravens, two interesting reads are:

      Mind of the Raven and Ravens in Winter by Bernd Heinrich

  24. JEFF E says:

    good read

  25. Peter Kiermeir says:

    It happens everywhere! In the woods of Saxony: Wolf chased to death with a car, run over after about 100 meters. No skid or brake marks so it was fully intentional. Sorry, news article is in German language only.

  26. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Biologists surprised by world’s biggest leopard in Afghanistan

    • Salle says:

      Thanks, Peter. That’s a good web site for info in that region as well as others. I’m glad to see that they caught it, and other species, on camera instead of killing them to get a look.

  27. Salle says:

    Marine Predators Decline, As Overfishing Takes Toll: University Of British Columbia Study

    (I couldn’t find the original in the links in the H-post story.)

  28. JEFF E says:

    I have tried to post a link to a story about wolves that is in the current issue of “UPHERE” magaizine but looks like I have been put in the spam trap.

  29. CodyCoyote says:

    Odd… I never would have considered the state of New Jersey as being a prolific hunting area—even with the Pine Barrens and all that— but 257 Black Bears were taken in the Garden State on opening day…

    • WM says:

      Waddayaknow, adaptable bears in an otherwise urbanized environment that apparently need management to control their numbers and distribution. Imagine that.

      Then there is this. ++Critics claim the hunt is cruel and the state’s bear management policy is flawed.++

      So, you (the cityslicker untrained animal rights critic) just let a population of 3,400 bears (with a density of 3/sq. mi. in some places) just continue to get bigger and bigger, with bears getting in trouble. Then what?

      • aves says:

        I don’t think you have to be, as WM put it, a “cityslicker untrained animal rights critic” to have issues with a NJ bear hunt that allows baiting, the killing of sows with cubs, and the killing of cubs.

        • william huard says:


          For some strange reason WM hates animal rights activists more than slob hunters that hunt bears over bait and people that have no problem kiling sows with cubs

          • WM says:

            Actually, william, I, and I hope others, have a low tolerance level for either, for the reasons I have expressed here many times. But, I guess the activities of each, at least in NJ, is legally sanctioned (state adopted rules/regulations for the hunt), and court guidance to animal rights protestors (which apparently they intentionally choose not to follow – well, so much for compliance with the law as it applies to demonstration gatherings).

    • JB says:

      New Jersey is a case study in tolerance for large mammalian carnivores (or omnivores, as the case may be). The 4th smallest state (~8700 sq. miles) supports a population of ~3,400 bears next to a human population of 8.8 million. That’s over 1,000 people per square mile, and about .4 bears/sq. mile. Idaho, on the other hand, has nearly 10 times the land mass of New Jersey (83,000 sq. miles) with about 1/6 of the human population (1.5 million)–or about 18 people per square mile. Yet, despite the vast federal lands 1,000 wolves (.01 wolves/sq. mile) is apparently too many to tolerate?

      (Does NJ have bear problems. You bet. And they are handled with a mixture of preventative (non-lethal) methods, targeted lethal control, and hunting.)

      • william huard says:

        This NJ hunt has nothing to do with tolerance for black bears. The NJ FG is in business to kill animals for the 1% of people in NJ that slob hunt bears for personal enjoyment.
        There is fear campaign that the FG uses to drum up support for trophy hunting when the truth of the matter is securing trash and garbage is the best way to keep bears out of urban areas. Istead, the state refuses to enforce state garbage control laws and then shoots habituatedbears to scare the public about the “dangerous bears”
        I bet you didn’t know that NJ FG admits that they take bears from their northern NJ habitat and moves them south into hunting zones…..The result- Disoriented bears turning up in urban areas- and frighten urban residents- then the hysteria follows justifying a “trophy hunt” to manage the bears-
        It’s Bullpucky……..

        • JB says:


          In your mind, is hunting carnivores ever justified? If so, under what conditions? If not, thanks up front for being honest.

          • william huard says:

            To answer your question- yes. I have friends that live in NJ who have followed this issue closely. When you have so few slob hunters that kill animals for fun they need something like a fear campaign to get the hunt. Do you think relocating bears into hunting areas and then complain about too many bears is sound scientific wildlife management?

          • JB says:


            It seems to me that this “Bear Group” is engaged in some fear mongering of its own! And have you looked at their proposed “solution”? It is: “Bear resistant garbage cans”. Yep, that’s it. LOL! Sorry, that isn’t going to cut it; not in a place as densely populated with humans and bears as New Jersey.

            New Jersey bends over backwards to accommodate black bears–and they’re doing a tremendous job, in my estimation. We’re not talking about a place with vast federal public lands devoid of human inhabitants, William.
            “Do you think relocating bears into hunting areas and then complain about too many bears is sound scientific wildlife management?”

            First, I don’t think that is a fair characterization of what is occurring. Second, my answer would depend upon the reason the bear is being relocated. If it is food conditioned, it shouldn’t be relocated, but rather, euthanized. If the bear is being relocated because it is too close to human populations, but isn’t food conditioned, then moving it to an area with lower human densities to an area where it can be hunted seems an acceptable solution, but euthanasia might be more cost effective, and could prevent liability issues should the bear become a nuisance in its new location.

          • william huard says:

            Not a fair characterization of what’s going on? Taking bears from the north where there are less people and no bear issues and relocating them further south to invite problems to justify a hunt?
            Are you saying that NJFG is not in the business to provide “hunting opportunity” to it’s slob hunters?

          • JB says:

            “Are you saying that NJFG is not in the business to provide “hunting opportunity” to it’s slob hunters?”

            Here’s what I’m saying William: The tiny, densely-populated state of New Jersey has managed both its bear and human population in such a way as to have remarkably few conflicts (and no fatal human attacks), while supporting an extremely healthy bear population. I think they deserve a slap on the back, instead of a kick in the face.

            P.S. I am not privy to the internal motivations of New Jersey bear hunters, so I will refrain from commenting on your characterization. However, you might stop to ask yourself why, in a state as densely populated as New Jersey, that they would allow hunting over bait? Anyone? Bueller?

          • william huard says:

            Hunting over bait is an interesting situation. Kill bears for being conditioned to garbage, condition them some more, and then allow your slob hunters to kill more over bait- I don’t know a biologist that says that’s a good idea. It’s biologically reckless,but then again we are talking about people that would shoot sows, sows with cubs, cubs, or both…..Forget about the concept of fair chase- this is a management hunt!

          • JB says:

            Hunting over bait also allows you to control the location the animal is killed, and therefore reduce risks to others–useful in a state with 1,000 people per square mile. Moreover, it arguably allows hunters to get closer to their target, increasing the chance of a clean kill (i.e., decreasing the time it takes the animal to die). Those are good things, right?

            I envy the black and white world you live in, William.

          • william huard says:

            Since we are discussing the benefits of slob hunting- you forgot the calorie savings for the hunter who expends less energy while shooting the animal from a stationary target, and don’t forget the gas savings for his pickup truck….
            The world would be a more decent place if people did see things in black and white…..

          • JB says:


            As we have discussed before, principles of fair chase are somewhat at odds with the desire for “clean” and “humane” deaths. You seem to want it both ways, which ensures managers will always be the bad guys–if they set up rules that emphasize fair chase, they get criticized for promoting “inhumane” harvests; if, on the other hand, they emphasize clean kills, then they get criticized for promoting “slob hunting.”

            Kind of convenient for people who oppose hunting. They get to talk out both sides of their mouths and make hunters look bad either way. Still look black and white to you?

          • william huard says:

            What are you talking about JB? Face it-your argument is lame. Having it both ways-Bullsh^&. Fair chase and slob hunting are two different things. You are turning into quite the apologist. Is there any form of hunting that you find objectionable? I guess not

            I hunted for 15 years- Every year that goes by hunters are worse and worse as responsible stewards of wildlife….That’s a fact

          • Elk275 says:


            I want your definition of “Slob Hunting”. Four or five sentences.

          • WM says:


            If you were responsible for bear management in NJ, tell us (or just me if you prefer), exactly how you would deal with a growing bear population. Be precise in how you would control numbers and distribution, as well as how you would fund these activities.

            It is a serious question, and should be part of the answer of any animal rights person who wants to stop hunting of this bear population.

          • william huard says:

            Elk 275-

            Slob hunting is a method (a lazy method) of hunting animals where the human uses something to obtain unfair advantage during the hunt. Using an ATV, baiting an animal, using dogs to tree an animal, canned hunting, internet hunting- are all examples of “slob hunting”.
            I don’t know what JB is talking about with this fair chase-inhumane or clean kill- slob hunting nonsense. Fair chase methods are falling out of favor with today’s trophy hunter- the ethics of th hunt is not a concern- only the trophy is the concern which is unfortunate

          • JB says:

            “What are you talking about JB?”

            I assumed what I was talking about would be self-evident? Let me be more specific. If an agency’s goal was to make hunting as humane as possible, they might require hunters to use laser sights, ban bow hunting, and even require them to hunt over bait (to maximize the opportunity, and minimize distance to target). However, all of these policies are essentially at odds with “fair chase” principles; thus, agencies are faced with the choice of promoting one over the other, which makes them vulnerable to attacks from critics of hunting.

            “Face it-your argument is lame. Having it both ways-Bullsh^&.”

            Thanks for the well thought out and constructive feedback. I disagree.

            “Fair chase and slob hunting are two different things.”

            Agreed. In fact, I would think they are opposites (that was my point), but I am not aware of any formal definition of “slob hunting”?

            “You are turning into quite the apologist.”

            I wasn’t aware that I apologized for anyone?

            “Is there any form of hunting that you find objectionable? I guess not”

            No need to guess, I’m happy to answer: I find hunting objectionable when it involves species of conservation concern, or when it is carried out in such a way that violates state or federal law. I also find hunting objectionable when it requires states to expend resources to artificially boost populations. Personally, I find it distasteful when hunts are carried out out of spite or to get a thrill, but you can’t regulate based on hunter motivation, so I am comfortable with suffering a few rotten apples.

            “I hunted for 15 years- Every year that goes by hunters are worse and worse as responsible stewards of wildlife….That’s a fact”

            Well you have me there, William. I only hunted for ~10 years. I am not aware of any data that tracks hunter stewardship over time, so I’ll withhold judgment on your claim. However, the surety with which you express your judgment speaks volumes about your own bias.

            Good evening.

          • william huard says:


            That is a very good question.
            I am working a 9p to 9a shift tonight, and I will give a detailed answer tommorrow after I get some sleep. I just want to say for the thousanth time- I have no issue with ethical- fair chase hunting- and I wish I didn’t have to question state fish and game depts and the obvious deterioration of hunting ethics that I see all around me.

          • JB says:

            “You are turning into quite the apologist.”

            This statement really bothered me, and I wasn’t quite sure why. So I’ve been reflecting a bit, and here’s what I’ve come up with: I have not, nor will I ever, apologize for hunters–or ANY OTHER GROUP. Why? Because I don’t feel it is appropriate to apologize for the actions of others. Let them apologize for themselves, if they are sorry.

            The real issue here is your presumption of guilt on the part of hunters–your assumption that all hunters have something to be ashamed of. This guilt-by-association logic is necessary to support your theory that, “Every year that goes by hunters are worse and worse as responsible stewards of wildlife”. You repeat these attacks day after day, even in the face of evidence to the contrary (in the form of the many hunters who post here). How ’bout you give it a rest and treat people as individuals?

    • william huard says:

      Same old tired argument. NJ is overrun with black bears, with an estimated 3500 in the state. They better keep Gov Christie indoors and out of the woods, one of the more unenlightened hunters could shoot the Gov and think he is a rather ugly black bear

      • Nancy says:

        JB, William –

        “Those who find bear an agreeable meal agree, but they also point out that the meat tastes different, depending on the animal’s eating habits.

        “The meat is a lot different if they’re eating out of a Dumpster,” said Pappas.

        “You are what you eat,” said Person, as he sliced away the bear’s thick layer of torso fat”

        Hmmmmmm…..appears there may be some valid reasons why “living around bears” is not such a bad thing in Jersey.

  30. JB says:

    House Republicans propose getting rid of Smokey and Woodsy:

    Only you can prevent…jerks like Cantor from getting elected. 😉

  31. Salle says:

    Scientists learn about elusive wolverines in greater Yellowstone region

    …he said there’s got to be a way to fund wolverine conservation other than using hunting and fishing fees. He suggested outdoor users such as backpackers and birdwatchers could also help pay for conservation.

    “We need a broader spectrum demanding opportunities to contribute their share.” Robert Inman, director of the Greater Yellowstone Wolverine Program

  32. Salle says:

    An Opinion Piece from SLTrib…

    Economy of future

    It’s becoming more clear that Utah’s members of Congress are living in the past. Rep. Rob Bishop, for example, tossed aside a plea last week from a group of economists urging the Obama administration to protect scenic public lands as a smart economic development strategy.

    Bishop said that only if there is no possibility that the land could be drilled, mined, logged or grazed should it even be considered for designation as a national monument or as wilderness.

  33. Nancy says:

    “If there were/are no elk in the Lolo (today or even when L & C did their speed trip through – and by the way hunting down a drainage a few miles then coming back to the main expedition party is not likely to be reflective of an entire drainage, especially if they did not know the area) then IDFG would not be issuing nearly 1,000 resident and non resident elk tags for Unit 10”

    Not a hunter WM, so not familiar with the tag system but would that be similar to issuing/selling 30,000 wolf tags knowing that there are probably not 500 in the entire state?

  34. Rancher Bob says:

    Yesterdays news find your own links:Dana L christensen to replace Judge Donald M.

    Montana reaches quote and closes third wolf hunting unit.

  35. SEAK Mossback says:

    A report on the fatal wolf attack at Chignik Lake is out that has a lot of information including aerial photos of the scene, summary of forensic evidence, numbers, weights & condition of the wolves subsequently dispatched, etc.

    Accompanying press release:

    • Barb Rupers says:

      Good read. Thanks, SM. Interesting to see the weights of the wolves culled from the area and the aerial pictures of the place of occurrance.

  36. Immer Treue says:

    Wolf Watching Guide Sees Spike in business

    “He says Idaho’s focus has been on reducing wolves through hunting and trapping, and the wolf-watching tourism angle has been mostly neglected. He adds that wolf-watching tourism provides much-needed off-season revenue for his business, and that winter is the best time to see wolves.”

    • Paul says:

      Now that is an Idaho business that I can get behind and would love to support. I may have to rethink my avoidance of all things Idaho if more opportunities like this become available. I guess these are the “stakeholders” who were ignored when IDFG came up with their insane plan. Is there a reason why this potetially lucrative industry is ignored by Idaho officials? I guess the money spent by wildlife watchers is not as valuable as the dollars spent by hunters and trappers in the eyes of the state of Idaho.

  37. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Is it „Killer Wolves out of control“ or would it be better „Mentally disturbed citizens out of control“?

  38. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Gov pens wolf budget
    Mead recommends $300,000 each for compensation and management, $200,000 to kill predators.
    ……includes $608,099 for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to manage wolves in the state’s trophy game area in the northwest corner of the state. How´s that x08,099 calculated?
    What a bargain anyway.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      WM asked the other day what would happen in Washington State when the cash strapped state didn’t have the money to manage wolves? Wyoming apparently does have the money to do such management. My answer is that the wolves will do much better in Washington because of the lack of management money, and money will be saved.

      • CodyCoyote says:

        Ralph- the notion by Mead to fund the wolf ” management” and compensation program by direct appropriation has an odor to it. By which I mean using General Fund money and therefore taxation to accommodate the allegedly aggrieved livestock producers and sport hunting groups for their pain and loss. In other words, making all of us pay for killing wolves and buying off ranchers, to some extent.

        I could temporarily assume te guise of a Tea Party type and beller ” No taxation without representation ” here by saying I really don;t want the oppressive Crown governing Wyoming to use my money to kill down wolves. Wyoming’s concept of wolf conservation is all killing and darn little conserving nonproblem animals. So peorhaps inthe interests of fairness, mead should propose the state general fund be apportioned on a matching fund basis, with Game & Fish and the livestock producers coming up with half the necessary funds from their own existing revenue channels before tapping the taxpayer-at-large.

        I’m tired of paying for the failed economic model that is public lands ranching.

        I’m waiting for the other jackboot to drop where Mead follows Idaho’s lead in asking his Legislators to fund whatever budget shortfall Wildlife Services is delivered in federal budget cutbacks in Wyoming.

        I somewhat agree that the best management tool for wildlife is often a lack of government money to go to war. Too bad that in Wyoming the ‘ private sector’ will take up the slack on that, whenever and whereever possible, legally or otherwise. Lock and load.

      • WM says:

        Ralph, I think we can guess some of what WY will be doing with the money appropriated. WA, in contrast, has set out a very ambitious monitoring and translocation program essential to implementation. They also contemplate a generous livestock loss program(though not even close to what WY is doing with livestock losses).

        I gather they seek some FWS funds (no doubt like everyone else) to help defray costs.

        You are likely right about how well the wolves will do. The part I don’t like is if the funds don’t show up, they won’t know how many wolves they have, where they are, and what they are eating. This includes whether livestock is killed, or ungulate populations are at risk thresholds from wolf depredation. Additionally, if some wack jobs start killing wolves, without telemetry, I think this will be problematic in habitat areas where wolves might be difficult for administrators to follow/monitor manually and hope to count.

        These will become key issues, I believe, if agressive translocation/lethal enforcement is felt necessary at some time, OR at the time of delisting under state, or federal (for the western 2/3 of the state), law. I can already see the language that will be drafted by plaintiffs in legal complaints for the litigation which will be certain to come at those decision points.

        The details of the final adopted plan are still unfolding, but the policy statement by individual Commissioners that emphasized “flexibility,” would be a part of the planning process going forward (though I didn’t hear anything about an amendment process), I found to be encouraging. My sense is that means if the wolves start going after large numbers of elk, say the Yakima or Colockum herds, flexibility might be applied, ….or not.

  39. JEFF E says:

    Shit. I guess we will have to kill all the elephants now.

    What is it with these wild animals anyway?

    • JEFF E says:

      This person seemed to be able to bridge the gap between different entrenched mindsets. Sad

      Having said that, it is obvious to me that these so called “pygmy elephants” are nothing more than sport killers and should be removed from the face of the planet by any means necessary. I and my family should be able to go in to these areas and not have to worry about this {{{menace}} to our health and well being. I mean, why should there be wild and untrammeled areas if we have to worry about being attacked by some killer animal at every turn??

  40. Peter Kiermeir says:

    The new war on wolves,0,822158.story?track=rss
    I think this Los Angeles Times article speaks some clear words!

    • Nancy says:

      Its not just interesting Larry, its down right heart warming to know that even big cities can deal in a positive way with predators. Wonder if anyone has done a study on the rodent populations (which are usually a huge problem in cities) since their arrival?

    • Mike says:

      Love them Chicago coyotes. They receive a great deal of respect from people, too. It’s not until they get into NRA country they are hated.

      • Harley says:

        Another heart warming story of coyotes. Noticed no comments on this one so I thought I’d repost it for y’all.,il

        • Nancy says:

          Harley, the “catch phrase” for the link you provided was “coytoes-surrounded-lincoln-park-woman

          After reading the story, it was kind of obvious they (the coyotes) didn’t surround this woman, they surrounded this woman…. with her dogs.

          Lots of past posts on this site when it comes to canines, wild or otherwise, when it comes to establishing territories.

          I’ve got a “leg hiking” (like a male pissing on everything resembling a bush, tree, etc. around the property) neutered, female dog and while I live in coyote country, I never see coyotes or their tracks, across my property.


          • Leslie says:

            Nancy, 6 years ago when I moved to my WY cabin, coyotes regularly crossed my property. In not too short a time, they now take a different path through the woods since my male dog has marked everywhere. I’ve noticed the same thing with the wolves, including the ranches around here with dogs. Wolves go through the ranches, but avoid where the dogs are. Canines communicate and I think respect each other territories, esp. with the small territory that a dog has.

        • Mike says:

          Three coyotes surrounded her dogs at daybreak. Not a big deal. If found, the coyotes will be humanely relocated.

          Welcome to planet earth, other things live here besides us. How we treat our neighbors is the only that that matters in the end.

        • Immer Treue says:

          OK, here comes a multi-faceted rant.

          Without going into the details of this story, I made a decision one day, and a fellow employee asked,”what happens if something goes wrong?” My reply was, if I choose to live my life wondering what can go wrong, I may as well never get out of bed in the morning.

          As I said, this will be a rant, with plenty of red herring arguments. So what about the coyotes! When in the Chicago area I have seen plenty of coyotes. One sat down and watched me once, and you know what, it wasn’t “an aggressive stare”.

          My dogs are large, and have frequently seen and interacted with coyotes, with no casualties on either side. I would think walking in some areas of Chicago are fraught with problems much more significant than coyotes. Get used to it, because they are firmly entrenched in the greater metropolitan area of Chicago and they aren’t going away soon.

          People have been trying to get rid of coyotes since it seems like forever. Coyote populations keep growing. Well, who’s stupid?

          Now let’s move into larger canids. Had an exchange with Reality 22 about poaching problems in Wyoming, and he/she said with the problems Wyoming has with drunk drivers, why should they waste money pursuing poachers? Big Fing duh! If drunk driving is such a problem in Wyoming, why don’t they go after it as aggressively as their wolf policy.

          The wolves are stalking hunters and folks in the woods ad nauseum. Why is it only the folks who have the anti-agenda have this “problem”? I have more fear of the cell phone users, texters, (while driving) hunters who shoot first and say, “I made an honest mistake” later, and trappers than I do of wolves, coyotes bears, or cougars.

          Oh, but the wolves are spreading tapeworm, they are ***decimating*** all OUR elk/deer/moose. They are going to eat children at bus stops. If an animal looks at me with curiosity, it’s going to eat me.

          Harley, intelligence goes beyond opposable thumbs. You’re willing to stand up to people on this site, because, for the most part, they won’t rip you a new one, and they’ll be somewhat civil about it. The one time you attempted to stand up elsewhere (15 wolves with one shot) you were licking boots in a short matter of posts.

          Take a stand, stay with it. The only ones speaking up for predators are people. Perhaps I don’t agree with everything some of the folks here say, but I admire their willingness to make a stand, and remain loyal to their philosophy. If you can’t do that, don’t get out of bed in the morning.

          • Nancy says:

            🙂 🙂 🙂

          • Harley says:

            Thanks for the words of advice.

            I do know where I stand, I have a philosophy. I have no problems getting up out of bed in the morning, nor do I have any problems laying my head back down at night. There are things I agree with and things I do not. On both sides of the fence. I pick and choose my battles. I think I have a right to do so. I pick and choose who I admire and those who I think are filled with a load of crap. I think I have the right to that opinion too. I don’t think I’ve been nearly as disrespectful and blatantly hate-filled like others on this blog. I challenge things that don’t stand up to what I think fits into that philosophy you say I should stay loyal to. I believe I am doing that just fine, thank you very much.
            As for coyotes, if they are so bold as to surround me while I am out walking my dogs, I also have the right to be upset, scared and perhaps a tad bit pissed off. A part of me really doesn’t give a rat’s ass about worms. But when it comes to coyotes moving into my backyard and surrounding me and my dogs when I’m out walking, now that affects me Immer. I live here. Not you.

            I’m glad you know how to handle yourself in such a situation. I’m glad there are so many here that would do this or that in any given situation. But no matter what kind of advice you are all so willing to dispense, what remains in the end is me and how I will react and what I have to deal with, within my own self and within the environment I’ve chosen to live in. Do I think the coyotes will eat me? Probably not. Do I think they might hurt my pets? Damn straight skippy. Coyotes aren’t supposed to be doing that if they are ‘shy and elusive’. If they are bold enough to surround me, they are bold enough to react in a way I probably won’t like.

            This blog has been interesting and at times educational. Thanks for letting me voice my opinion here.

  41. Here’s a bison commentary I just wrote. Needlessly to say, I’m angry.

    It’s entitled Citizens Working Group Sells Out Wild Bison. It’s at … feel free to reprint or comment.

    • Nancy says:

      +We need to get out of the God-playing business+

      That one sentence summed it up very nicely Jim MacDonald. Thank you for the commentary.

      • Thank you. I don’t think this essay will make me that popular, and I already have multiple evidence of that in my Inbox.

        Still, I was/am angry and felt that it needed to be said.

    • A point of clarification on the article that has caused an unfortunate amount of conversation … Anyone who reads this article and believes I am saying that BFC has sold out the bison or consented to this has completely misread the article. If that were my intention, a far more provocative title would have been “Buffalo Field Campaign Sells Out Wild Bison”, which couldn’t be further from what I believe.

      BFC is the only consistent advocate for the bison that I know about; I just wish that the anger I express toward unnamed people hadn’t somehow been construed by some to mean anger at BFC (as that’s not even consistent with what I write in the article’s text). I don’t need the wrong people angry at me, especially my friends.

  42. Mike says:

    Who would’ve thought that pumping dangerous chemicals into the ground would posion water?

    I feel horrible for the people around the Wind River Range that actually care about the environment. What a wonderful place that was before greed took over. One of the world’s finest ecosystems.

    Hopefully the EPA will crack down.

  43. Salle says:

    Polar Bear Eats Cub: Cannibalism May Be On The Rise (GRAPHIC PHOTOS)

    This is really sad. It is also telling in that humans have no regard for the impact they have on other species, in general that is. I know many who do as much as possible to decrease their contribution to these problems but until the corporate world faces the music, we have only this sort of thing to look forward to in our futures as well. It can happen here.

  44. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Extension of wolf hunting season
    A lot of licking lobbyists boots in this article.

  45. Nancy says:

    +Canines communicate and I think respect each other territories, esp. with the small territory that a dog has+

    I think you’re right Leslie. I know I’ve mentioned this before but if we could get just one rancher out there to test the theory – peeing on his fenceposts – who knows what the outcome might be? Rancher Bob, you game?

    • Salle says:


      I know that there has been a study conducted over the past two years “testing” this theory, or something very close to it… It’s called the “Bio-fence” _ developed and tested by the guy who came up with the “howlboxes”.

      It looks promising… I’ve not had time to read the entire report but it seems that the “respect of area” or of established range concept is something that can be incorporated into non-lethal management practices.

      I am not sure how to post the info I have but maybe Ralph can help with that… a post would be nice if he could get permission from the author. Ralph?

    • Rancher Bob says:

      Don’t have time now but been doing the mark my territory thing for three years. They respect me by howling at me when we’re near each other but neither of us has moved. I rule the day wolves rule the night that’s as far as it’s gone.

      • Nancy says:

        When you have the time Bob, I’d really like to know if you think that approach, bizarre as it might seem – pissing to establish territories (human or otherwise) did made some sort of difference?

      • ma'iingan says:

        I worked on a project in which we attempted to move a wolf pack away from a rendezvous site, using howl boxes and scent-marking.

        Contrary to our expectations, they became very territorial and aggressive, seeking out and attacking local pet dogs.

        Aversive conditioning can work under the right circumstances – but it can also yield unintended consequences.

  46. Nancy says:

    Keystone pipeline


    • Nancy says:

      “We have no memory of the past, so all of a sudden a species is doing fine. It’s lost 99 percent of its range like the bison, but we just put on the blinders to all that,” Greenwald said”

      Yeah, that statement, kind of sums it up…..

  47. Mike says:

    Cougar poached in SW Minnesota. Apparently they were using an assault rifle and allegeldy posed for photos and posted on facebook (possible someone else). There could be legal action as cougars are a protected species in Minnesota. The cougar did nothing wrong, and was not a threat. They trapped the lion in a culvert, and flushed it out with a light. They were hunters, too. According to the second article, he did not keep track of how many rounds he fired. He just kept shooting with the assault rifle.


    Clearly this is a case where the full weight of the law needs to be applied. This was reckless.

    • william huard says:

      C’mon Mike- these are isolated poaching incidences. There’s no problem. It’s not like there’s a rampant poaching issue here…..

  48. Mike says:

    ++Ranchers get OK to use hunters to kill wolves ++

    That says it all right there.

  49. SEAK Mossback says:

    Here’s a whole extended tribe of poachers that have been working on a combined rap sheet almost too convoluted to decipher, split between here and Gallatin County. So far, no jail time — 20 years with 20 years suspended from Montana for poaching 19 antelope and “numerous other game animals”. However, federal charges are still pending — maybe some Lacey Act charges that frequently lead to hard time.

    • william huard says:

      This whole family has quite the defective gene pool. Talk about enviro-terrorists….How could these scumbags avoid going to jail? Laws don’t apply to them.

  50. David says:

    Here’s a link to an article about the reintroduction of Fishers to part of their historic range in California.

  51. Leslie says:

    Some good news regarding fishers. Timber company partners with CA F&G to help restore fisher habitat.

  52. Nancy says:

    The lunar eclipse has just started for you early birds that haven’t looked outside yet.

  53. Salle says:

    I watched the first half, until the moon was completely eclipsed. It’s foggy, though, and it all disappeared in the fog and never reappeared… so I can conclude that the moon has been eaten by the “darkness”… An omen no doubt. 🙂

    I’m sure it will rise again this afternoon.

    • Nancy says:

      Had a wonderful view of it here, clear skies. The shooting star, about midway thru the eclipse, was a treat!

      • Salle says:

        There was a near total eclipse of the moon about this time last year, maybe in January. I was able to catch that one but it was earlier so that the moon was overhead and you had to watch from outside unless you had a skylight. That was a hard position to maintain and it was about -20F that night. I got to watch the whole thing that time. This was right out my front window, framed by evergreens, although hazy. A meteor would have been nice but I was happy with what I did see.

  54. Jerry Black says:

    Now We Know Where The Term..”Big Rig, Little Dick” Comes From. (Some hunters have quit eating deer and elk after noting a “shrinkage)
    “Pesticides Could Be Linked To Ungulate Mutations”

  55. Mike says:

    The Obama administration has launched a massive attack on the ESA.

    Very sad news.

  56. Mike says:

    New study: Lab rats show empathy, free companion over chocolate

  57. CodyCoyote says:

    Has this link been posted yet ?

    ” Modeling Effects of Environmental Change on Wolf Population Dynamics, Trait Evolution, and Life History”

    In the current issue of Science Magazine , a study whimsically headlined ” Mathematically Dancing With Wolves” from the Yellowstone populations observing the changes wolves bring to the environment, then the corresponding ecological change that change effects on the wolves.


    ” Environmental change has been observed to generate simultaneous responses in population dynamics, life history, gene frequencies, and morphology in a number of species. But how common are such eco-evolutionary responses to environmental change likely to be? Are they inevitable, or do they require a specific type of change? Can we accurately predict eco-evolutionary responses? We address these questions using theory and data from the study of Yellowstone wolves. We show that environmental change is expected to generate eco-evolutionary change, that changes in the average environment will affect wolves to a greater extent than changes in how variable it is, and that accurate prediction of the consequences of environmental change will probably prove elusive.”


  58. Peter Kiermeir says:

    A wolf wanders toward California……
    The California Cattlemen’s Association “definitely has concerns”. Now, wait a minute, “a” wolf means one, in words “one”, in numbers “1”, single, solitary wolf?

  59. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Gir (Asian) Lion Project: a rare conservation success story

  60. Immer Treue says:

    Here we go again with some sensationalism, might be fun to watch, but nothing to ease the stereotyping.

  61. Salle says:

    Black vs. gray: What does wolf fur color have to with climate change?

  62. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Hurrah, researches and officials think there is maybe a harvestable surplus (of bobcats). Hmm, maybe not really, they are not quite sure. Anyway, who needs reliable data when people want a bobacat season!

  63. IDhiker says:

    I heard on the local Missoula news this morning that FWP is considering altering or dropping the “disabled” hunter program whereby hunters can get a special permit to road hunt etc. and shoot from their vehicle. Apparently, there has been a lot of abuse of this where hunters that are not disabled are using it.

    • william huard says:

      OK I’ll refrain from commenting- but it is so hard…..

      • Salle says:

        Aw c’mon, William.

        If you think about the suggested comment guidelines/rules you’ll find that it just requires a little more time engaged in independent cognitive functioning before applying fingers to the keypad. I know you can do this…


    • Salle says:

      Well, duh!

  64. Salle says:

    Intensive studies provide insight into iconic species

    ‘Everybody thinks that everything that happened after wolves (were reintroduced) happened because of them,’ Smith said.

    “In reality, a combination of wolves, human management and climate changes, such as a 10-year drought and last year’s harsh winter, have led to today’s reduced number of elk. Also, Yellowstone is now home to more predators than there have been in 100 years — including species like cougars and bears.’

    “Fewer elk doesn’t have to be a bad thing, Smith said. The environment is now more balanced. Woody vegetation is growing better, which has resulted in more beavers and songbirds.’

  65. WM says:

    Looks like the Congressional rider is potentially going to be used again. This time to make the WGL and WY delisting rules a statute, via an Appropriations bill.

    The thing this writer doesn’t get (perhaps knows but wants to repackage) is that a statute or law passed by Congress doesn’t get judicial review unless it is for some reason unconstitutional. This is, of course, the same issue that is presently before the 9th Circuit on the NRM rider, that trial court Judge Molloy found to be constitutionally permissible.

    Here is the interesting language from the article:

    ++ It would shield the final delisting rules for gray wolves in Wyoming, the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment, and, potentially, 29 Eastern states, from judicial review, meaning NO challenges regardless of the rules’ content.++

    • Daniel Berg says:

      Do you know who “sponsored?” this new rider?

      • Rita K. Sharpe says:

        If I remember correctly,the rider bill was introduced by Rep.Cynthia Lummis. from Wyoming,

        • Rita K. Sharpe says:

          Sec 13,is attached to the current budget bill,FY2912,that is supposed to be voted on or by 12/16/11,and this rider’s bill wants to permanently delist wolves in Wyoming and the Western Great Lakes with no judical review.

          • Salle says:


            I saw that somewhere in my search but I wasn’t sure and overlooked it.

            (As Rick Perry would say, “Ooops.”)

            What a travesty for the Commons.

          • Ralph Maughan says:

            I have heard from one major conservation group that most of these riders have been negotiated away and there will be a vote on a “clean” omnibus appropriations bill. Riders to an omnibus bill are about the most undemocratic mechanism there is in a legislative process because no one is going to vote to hold up the entire appropriations for the government because of a couple of amendments no matter how obnoxious if they only apply to a couple states — measures inserted without hearings and without a separate vote. However, if too many of these get put in, other members of Congress might rebel and insist on none or the entire bill will fail. Maybe this has happened.

            Another possibility is Congress will fund the government with a “CR,” a Continuing Resolution. A permanent CR extends the current budget in all aspects for a year, A CR means, in essence they could not produce a budget for the year.

        • I read today that Cynthia Lummis is one of the richest members of Congress and a classic example of Wyoming’s ruling elite.

          It seems like a classic case of the 1% pushing around the population around.

          • CodyCoyote says:

            Cyndy Lu (Who?) was Wyoming’s elected state Treasurer after serving in the state House for 8 years, the youngestperson ever elected to the State House . She clerked for the Wyo Supreme Court and was on the Governor’s staff. Lummis has two B.S. degrees, in Animal Science and Biology , besides having passed her Bar exam for a J.D. The biggest feather in her cap as measured by most in Wyoming was her reign as ” Miss Frontier” , the rodeo queen of Cheyenne Frontier Days. She actually went on to serve on the board of CFD , no small feat in Wyoming at that particular Good Old Boys Club and forest of Stetsons. Lummis and her hubby own several large cattle ranches in southeast Wyoming and may be worth more that $ 75 million …on paper, anyway

            Having said all this, to meet and greet Lummis in person you would find all of this incredible. To watch her in action you wonder how she could possibly be that accomplished or educated. She comes across as a country bumpkin with very narrow beliefs based on ideology and rhetoric, not experiential factuality and critical thinking. Like her wealth , Lummis looks better on paper than she does in person.

            Truth be told, she’s a career politician. I feel in many ways she is worse than her Congressional predecessor, the notorious Barbara Cubin . As politely as I can state it, she comes across as ” dense”.

            Wyoming is very notorious for sending truely awful representatives and appointees to Washington. Truely awful.

            Also on that list of notable red state rapscallions: Darth Cheney , James Watt , Randall Luthi , Senator J. “Doctor No” Barrasso , and as much as I hatre to say it but in context with the wildlife issues of this blog, Al Simpson , who was never a friend to wildlife in his 18 years as a Senate mogul.

            Lummis is just the latest short minded, close minded, narrow minded ideologue who has swallowed the Wyoming myth whole and regurgitates it as bad policymaking. The problem is: she’s very representative of far too many of her constituents. I spend a lot of time apologizing to the rest of the planet for my home state and its leadership.

      • Salle says:

        Here’s what I found when trying to find out who sponsored this abomination:

        This a comprehensive list of 19 riders, Section 1713 is the one that is being discussed here. Funny the sponsor(s) aren’t mentioned but my first guess is that it is the anti-wolf crowd from the NRM region where the wolves are. They just can’t wait to kill them off.

        Still hunting for the name(s) of sponsor(s)…

        There’re many that should concern us:

      • WM says:


        I had forgotten I wrote about this last summer:

        WM says:
        August 9, 2011 at 7:32 am

        Who is that I see walking akwardly down the hallway to the US House of Representatives Bill Room? Could it be? Yes, yes. It’s wild-eyed MN Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. The folder in her right hand says, “WGL wolf rider bill.”

        She mutters, “It’s time to end all this foolishness.” As the reporter looks closer, the legs seem a little heavier than in her photographs, and that walk – wwwwhhhhooooaaaa – I’ve heard that voice before. Why, why it’s Senator Al Franken posing as Rep. Bachmann?

        The reporter approaches cautiously, microphone thrust forward, with cameraman close behind, and asks, “Excuse me, Senator, what are you doing?”

        Michele, er, Senator Franken looks over his shoulder and quietly says in a whisper, but in a much higher pitched whine than the reporter remembers as being Al’s, “You see I gotta keep the promises I made to the MN Democratic Farmer Labor Party that got me elected, but I don’t want the heat from the D’s, if you know what I mean. These wolves are eating me alive man, politically speaking anyway. Now somebody wants not one, but two, different kinds of wolves in the Great Lakes on the ESA. How dumb is that? Geez, don’t they get it. This crap can’t go on forever. Michele wouldn’t mind. I know she’d do this on her own, but she’s still scrapping with that photographer that took that photo of her that’s on the front page of Newsweek. You see, that pic, man? She looks like a cat with somebody dangling a treat over her head.”

        The reporter continues the query, “Senator, do realize how ridiculous you look? It’s not just the voice, sir, but you have hairy legs, and its showing through your, uugh, nylons. You’ll never get away with this.”

        Senator Frank says, “Watch me! I’ve done worse things. Say, would you like me to draw you a freehand map of the United States with each state in proper location and proportion while we wait? These wolves need to be off the ESA, so my turkey farmers and deer hunters can get back to business.”

        The camera pans back, and a familiar voice says, “LIVE FROM THE NATION’S CAPITOL, IT”S SATURDAYYYYYY NIGHT! With special guest star Al Franken, and your host is Ken Salazarrrrrrr, Secretary of the United States Department of Interior!”

        (I thought that reporter with the cowboy hat looked familiar.)

    • Salle says:

      And all that hoopla is in direct violation of the ESA itself. By this machination I suspect that eventually these cads will argue that the ESA is no longer viable and should be abolished, if left unchallenged. It’s beyond frustrating…

      • WM says:


        Congress passed the ESA as a law. Congress passes the rider(s) as a law, even though the operative language is buried in the Appn bill. The legal argument is that one law cancels out the other (the more recent one trumps it even if there is no language amending the ESA). The legal question before the 9th is whether they can do it this way. Again, Judge Molloy begrudgingly thought it was permissible.

        I will agree with you, this is not the way it should be done. However, some of the folks doing the endless stream of litigation can thank their own efforts for the approach, and maybe even the end result.

        • Ralph Maughan says:


          I can’t say there would be no litigation, but I doubt there would be litigation by serious attorneys, and litigation that often wins if the states were not trying to reduce the wolf to a token population or less.

          • ma'iingan says:

            “I can’t say there would be no litigation, but I doubt there would be litigation by serious attorneys, and litigation that often wins if the states were not trying to reduce the wolf to a token population or less.”

            Delisting has been blocked three times by litigation in the WGL DPS, with a fourth attempt looming.

            This despite the fact that the region holds more than quadruple the minimum number of animals to be considered for delisting, and that there is clear genetic connectivity to Canada.

            This is not remotely about a “token population”. None of the three states has a plan in place to reduce numbers, and even Defenders of Wildlife have declared this population fully recovered.

            It’s clearly a cash cow for the litigating firms, who’ve been awarded upwards of $300K each time they’ve won. And they’ll be back for more in 2012 when USFWS files the latest plan.

          • Salle says:

            I did and I disagree. You seem to have missed the point.

        • Salle says:


          I really wish you would stop blaming the litigants for exercising the rule of law, that being the part where the ONLY way for the ESA stakeholder disagreements to be resolved as per the ESA itself. The ESA states that disputes will find remedy in the courts.

          So stop blaming those who exercise this mandate for the illegal, piss-poor decision-making on the part of a bought-and-paid-for legislative faction that insists it is always correct. These decisions show a lack of knowledge, lack of concern for all constituents’ needs and is an expression of hatred toward diversity and all that is required in a democratic society. You are buying into and perpetuating this misinformation and validating the legislative temper-tantrum that plagues the nation at this time.

  66. Jerry Black says:

    Surprise!!!….Able bodied hunters in Montana are faking disabilities for perks according to FWP.

  67. IDhiker says:

    Well, I suppose many of us could see this coming with Idaho’s leading example.

    On tonight’s Missoula news, a number of my fellow Bitterrooter’s were pushing FWP to allow trapping of wolves, due to the very ineffective hunting season. The news did, however, present a brief differing viewpoint that indicated that over-hunting was one of the causes of elk declines in the “Root.”

    • Savebears says:

      It would have been far more credible, if they had not allowed Marc to speak on TV, his knowledge of wildlife and wildlife issues is very minimal…he is not a good spokesman for the pro wolf side. I know him personally.

      • IDhiker says:

        That may be true, but my point was that trapping was the next step.

        • Savebears says:

          Knowing FWP and its inner workings as I do, I seriously doubt your going to see Montana go down that road, you may not agree with them, but, they are not going to take the same route that Idaho did and take all of the crap from the community..

          If Montana does anything other than extend the season, it will be kept very quiet, right now you have some vocal parties in the Bitterroot running their mouths and that is all

  68. Immer Treue says:

    Yellowstone wolf population increase.

  69. catbestland says:

    Apparently the birds thought the smooth snow covered parking lot was a nice body of water they could land on.

    • Salle says:

      This is not the first time this has happened in that area. I recall hearing reports of this misfortune a couple times in the past 20 years.

  70. Salle says:

    Bitterroot sportsmen urge state to meet West Fork wolf quota

  71. Salle says:

    Study shows elevated lead in grizzly bears
    Researchers can’t blame bullet fragments in gut piles, don’t see immediate threat to individual bears.

  72. Salle says:

    Schweitzer Halts Federal Wildlife Shipments

    BILLINGS – Montana’s governor on Tuesday issued an executive order blocking the Interior Department from transporting fish and wildlife anywhere within the state or across state lines — raising the stakes in his ongoing tussle with federal officials over their management of wildlife.

    Gov. Brian Schweitzer said he was concerned the federal agency’s actions have allowed animal diseases such as brucellosis and chronic wasting disease to spread across the region.

    • Salle says:

      Oops,guess I missed putting up the link. Had a rough day yesterday…

      Schweitzer Halts Federal Wildlife Shipments

      BILLINGS – Montana’s governor on Tuesday issued an executive order blocking the Interior Department from transporting fish and wildlife anywhere within the state or across state lines — raising the stakes in his ongoing tussle with federal officials over their management of wildlife.

      Gov. Brian Schweitzer said he was concerned the federal agency’s actions have allowed animal diseases such as brucellosis and chronic wasting disease to spread across the region.

  73. WM says:

    This is big, and what a treat – front page Seattle Times article on rare blue whale sightings off Westport, WA!

  74. CodyCoyote says:

    We all learn much from Ralph’s Wildlife news rolling blog. This past month I learned about the surprisingly high population Black Bears live in New Jersey , a state more associated with sprawling urbanity and wild people than open spaces and wild animals.

    The latest : a cable guy encounters a sleeping black bear in a customer’s basement:

    • william huard says:

      Maybe the bear was trying to get some peace away from the hunters bullets…..

  75. WM says:

    Wolf delisting rider for WGL (and WY?) dropped in appropriations bill negotiations. Somewhat predicted, but the pendelum has arced again.

  76. Does anyone know if this latest bill to avoid government shutdown included Rep. Simpson’s bighorn sheep rider? Or did that get thrown out?

  77. Immer Treue says:

    Perhaps a very appropriate quote for Bertolt Brecht, “Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the bastard is dead, the bitch that bore him is again in heat”.

  78. Paul says:

    Mexican wolf killed for mating with dogs. Apparently this is the wolf’s fault and warranted a death sentence for the critically engangered animal.,0,1146299.story

    • bret says:

      Unfotunate necessity,the program is having enough problems without adding hybrids to the mix.

    • william huard says:

      Gee- here’s an idea. Get the anal retentives in NM and AZ to release more authentic real Mexican gray wolves that are being held in holding pens into the wild….Then maybe the wolves will mate with wolves!!!!The mismanagement and politics is the single largest detrimental aspect to a sustained recovery of this animal.

      • Salle says:

        It’s a clear result of knuckle-dragging by misguided bureaucrats.

      • WM says:

        Actually, william, it would be FWS that would do any releases, if I understand correctly.

        Here is an interesting companion topic from UT and its fear of getting Mexican wolves, which would then jeopardize the status of its gray wolves (if they have/get any). Interesting aspect:

      • Jeff N. says:

        This is a beauty from Orrin Hatch

        “It is past time for Washington bureaucrats to turn wolf management over to the dedicated state professionals who have a proven track record of managing elk, deer and other wildlife.”

        He’s right. All we need to do is look to ID and WY and their approach to wolf management. We can all be confident that wolves are as valued as elk and deer, and will be managed as such. Sigh of relief.

        And of course AZ’s game and fish department recently announced that it “supports” Mexican Gray wolf recovery, although it will not support any releases of wolves into the recovery area until the feds come up with a new recovery plan which could take a few years to finalize.

        So basically AZ game and fish is stonewalling the recovery process. In the meantime…much needed genetic diversity within the small population will go unaddressed unless the feds decide to release wolves over the objection of AZ game and fish, and they should.

        • Salle says:

          It has occurred to me that it is time to put folks in office, all over the country, who make less than $80K a year and have no big buck$ contributors… You know, real people without corporate ties and obligations.

  79. Salle says:


    Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter Will Run For Re-election In 2014

    “Tweedle, deedle, drazzle, drone… time for this one to go home”

  80. Salle says:

    Elk study: Researchers capture, tag elk calves to document herd dynamics

    One of the big data gaps from the studies across the West is elk calf survival through the winter,” Hebblewhite said. “When you look around the West, you can find a lot of studies on what kills elk during their first six months, but there are very few on what kills them in winter.”

    Hebblewhite was a little surprised by the large number of mountain lion kills during the first six months in the Bitterroot.

    Of the 49 elk calves that either died or shook their tags, 22 were killed by cougars. Black bears took 11 and wolves two. The rest were undetermined.

    “If those numbers remain consistent through next summer, I think it will be a higher number of mountain lions kills than many people would have thought,” he said. “I think people thought wolves would have played a bigger role.

    Read more:

  81. Salle says:

    Montana plans to let bison back into Gardiner Basin outside Yellowstone Park

    It appears that their intent is based on increased management with increased hunting. Not that they deserve to graze in the area due to the fact that they don’t recognize human boundaries. And then again, some of the locals have a problem sharing public lands with the wildlife.

  82. Salle says:

    Hey everybody, the stupid riders slipped into the budget Bill got yanked…

    But then again,

    Perhaps a very appropriate quote for Bertolt Brecht, ‘Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the bastard is dead, the bitch that bore him is again in heat’”.

    (Thanks for that one, Immer!)

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Here is a summary from Rep. Norm Dicks, Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee. Most riders were stripped. The wolf riders are gone, some “compromises” were made on public lands grazing, diseases from sheep to bighorn, and timber cutting runoff. The devil will be in the details.

      • CodyCoyote says:

        … what an odiferous list of budget riders. Whatever sausage your Congressman brings back home from D.C. to hand out to the voters as a holiday gift , don’t touch it! ( apologies to the real sausage makers of the world, whose fine profession has been wrongly subverted by the political rhetoric , egregiously ).

        The GOP obfuscators obviously Ride For The Brand , as we say in Wyoming. And Wyoming’s GOP representatives in Washington are definteley part of the problem , not the solution, for what ails America these days.

        Thanks for posting this, Ralph. But I have to ask: what does the Dem side of the rider rundown look like ?

  83. william huard says:

    Speaking of the NJ bear hunt-
    This is your typical hunter-taunting the lawyer that tried to sue to get the hunt stopped.
    Killing a mother and cub over bait. Scroll down to see the picture of the asswi*& with his daughter with bear blood all over them. Do you people really think this makes hunters look favorable to the majority of people that do not hunt?

    Read the posts- What a bunch of freaking losers

  84. Salle says:

    Well, this really sucks:

    Payroll Tax Cut Deal To Include Controversial Keystone Pipeline (UPDATED)

    They “say” he has to make a decision in 60 days, not that construction has to start by then… Gov Schwietzer has already approved the permits for Montana and plans to use eminent domain to silence landholders who object.

    I’m ready to give up.

  85. Salle says:

    U.S. Exempts Species Classified as Endangered in the Rest of the World [Slide Show]

    A comparison of the U.S. list of endangered species with the world standard finds many species are left unprotected

  86. IDhiker says:

    Hello Ralph and Ken,

    I am sort of lost at this time regarding the wolf issues in Idaho and Montana, and other issues, too. I have written so many letters to officials in both states, usually with no reply, and the letters don’t seem to have any effect. Phone calls, too. Either they aren’t listening or I’m the only person writing with my viewpoint…or they just don’t care.

    Anyway, my wife and I were talking today as we were putting up Christmas decorations about how futile and depressing all this seems. Can you recommend what we, and others, can or should be doing to be more effective in trying to change things for the better?

    It seems like the conservation community is “rudderless” on some of these issues.

    • JEFF E says:


      This is primaraly because the elected officials do not care one wit about you or I as individuals.

      In Idaho and Montana and Wyoming they take direction first and foremost from the livestock industry and second from any significant extractive industry such as the oil companies in Wyo. After that it falls off sharply to about zero for my input and any other common voter.

      If elections were not essentially bought and sold it would be nice if each and every politcian was voted out and a completly new bunch put in, and if that bunch did not preform then repeat.(Nationaly too)

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      You can’t fight to protect wolves directly in Idaho and Montana, in my opinion. Hysteria about wolves is used to keep what I call the “feudal elite” in power. This elite is all the old Western groups who produce little, and live off a host of tax and regulatory subsidies and their privileges written into law. They provide little in the way of economic opportunity for the rest of us. More and more of us live in the streets while they prosper and try to scare us with conspiracy theories. In Idaho, the hegemony of the Republican Party needs to be desultory so there is a two party system. Before 1994, Idaho had a two party system, and the state was prosperous, growing, and becoming more tolerant and green. In Montana, people need to get active in both parties. It is a competitive state now. The Republicans need to be saved from the kind of people who now dominate Idaho politics. The Montana Democrats already can win, but they need backbone and people who are willing to speak up for the outdoors. I guess I am also saying that protecting wolves and wildlife in general plus our access to the outdoors cannot be a one issue thing.

    • Nancy says:

      +Can you recommend what we, and others, can or should be doing to be more effective in trying to change things for the better?+

      Excellent question IDHiker! And no, you are not alone when it comes to being ignored by elected officials.

      Unfortunately, wanting to do the right thing when it comes to the welfare, care of public lands and wildlife on those lands, is still decided by an influential few, capable of lining the pockets of those officials, come election time.

      Got my first taste of that sorry fact when the (my word) “Demopublicans” surfaced a few elections ago here in Montana.

      Definition of a Demopublican:

      One who represents a certain party i.e. Democrat or Republican; one who’s willing to kiss the mouth of justified outrage ….. yet at the same time, depending on who’s contributing the most – has no problem changing direction and kissing ass 🙂

    • Jerry Black says:

      ID HIKER…….I requested and read through all the comments submitted to MFWP regarding the extension of the Montana wolf hunt. I read yours and your wife’s comment and it was excellent, but only one of very few from Montana that was against the extension. Most all from Montana were for extending it and some went further and advocated poisoning wolves and year round hunting.
      The out of state comments were both intelligent and articulate and almost all were against extending the wolf hunt.
      Interestingly, only two non-profit groups even bothered to comment…Greater Yellowstone Coalition and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
      So yes, I agree…the “conservation” groups seem “rudderless” or have just “thrown in the towel”.

      • IDhiker says:


        Obviously my “cover” has been blown if you knew which letter was mine. Of course, you already knew I lived in the “Root,” so that was a dead giveaway.

        We have actually met before, and I appreciate your comment about my letter. I suspect the anti-wolf side has a good organized “calling tree” similar to the Montana Trappers Association. They see weakness in the other side and are just going for the kill.

  87. Ron Kearns says:

    ‘A ranch family’s Mexican gray wolf story (updated)’

    “The Center for Biological Diversity and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service put out press releases Thursday about the shooting Wednesday of an endangered Mexican gray wolf in New Mexico.”

    Read more:

    • Paul says:

      And the drama queen of the year award goes to:

      “My daughters and I had literally been held prisoner in our own home for over 24 hours. It’s difficult to describe the terror of a predator so fearless and eager to get in my home. My responsibility as a mother is to keep my children safe at all times. For a period of time, that God- Given Right was stripped away. The thought of “what might have been” consumes my every thought.”

      My only reply to this is Bull$hit! Again a rancher being “terrorized” by a wolf. How come these things only happen to ranchers and hunters?

      • Salle says:

        Maybe ‘cuz they want it that way, makes for a good story to tell.

      • Salle says:

        They have to make themselves out to be the victims… You know, like that sheriff in Phoenix,AZ who claims he’s been victimized by his victims… pretzelogic, it works for some folks.

        • william huard says:

          They make awesome victims. There was a report that the wolf demanded a glass of orange juice and some sausage links… the nerve of that wolf. Would you put anything past these people with their history of hysteria and dishonesty…..

      • Immer Treue says:

        From an Ely, MN friend yesterday.

        Last night at 2 in the morning I woke up to the sound of a blood curdling howl. I sat
        up in bed just as a second howl erupted. I was shocked as I sat there and realized
        it was coming from INSIDE the house! We have a night light in the bedroom, and
        I could see both of the cats looking at me with eyes as big as saucers. They had
        a look on there face as if they were saying HOLY SHIT!!!! I jumped out of bed and
        thought there was no way it was coming from inside the house, but it sure sounded
        like it was coming from down stairs in the great room or maybe the basement. Sue
        sleeps with ear plugs in (she says I snore, but I don’t believe it)so I had to wake her up.
        We went to the bedroom window and in the moon light could see wolves running all over
        the driveway. The one doing the howling was about 20 feet from the house.
        He was sitting facing the house and howling. I ran to the other windows and there were
        wolves by the garage and all around the house. This went on for about 2 more minutes
        and then they ran off to the south, down into the creek valley. We cracked the bedroom
        window and could hear the howls become fainter as they ran off to the south east.

        In morning I went out to look at the tracks before they were covered in snow. I couldn’t tell how many there had been because the tracks were all mixed together, but they were all around the house and garage and in the woods.

        I’ll guarantee he and his wife will not run to the authorities and cry wolf. That said, when hearing them close up, three times while camping and once from my cabin, the howling is beautiful and quite eerie, and if unexpected it will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

        Also, another Cougar was observed on the northern shore of Shagawa Lake.

        • Nancy says:

          +Last night at 2 in the morning I woke up to the sound of a blood curdling howl. I sat
          up in bed just as a second howl erupted. I was shocked as I sat there and realized
          it was coming from INSIDE the house!+

          Laughed out loud when I read that Immer because I’ve gone thru it twice…. and it WAS coming from INSIDE my house! My 8 year old mix breed was either responding to outside influences or, was having an interesting dream!!

          Also heard the howling of wolves close by. A rare treat.

        • Salle says:

          Events like that have an effect similar to jumping into a cold lake, spine-tingling but revitalizing. It’s probably a healthy thing to experience in some manner other than purely psychological.

      • Jeff N. says:

        Good old Catron County NM. Land of wolf proof school bus shelters and manly hunters being forced to spend nights up trees due to the blood thirsty menace known as El Lobo. Catron County NM makes Greenlee County AZ look like a bastion of liberalism.

        Folks, things like “Catron County NM” happen when the family tree is devoid of branches.

  88. Nancy says:

    Probably will see more and more of these “accounts” in Rocky Mountain areas as wolves are hunted and killed, families split up, young wolves looking for any kind of canine companionship. Reminds me of the Romero story. Too bad she couldn’t of been relocated closer to other wolves.

  89. Salle says:

    Speaking of anti-wolf hysteria;

    Sen. Jack Reed (D) Rhode Island was instrumental in removing the anti-wolf riders from the DOI appropriations portion of the Budget Bill this past week. We should all thank him for his efforts in sane decision-making in the face of anti-wolf hysteria.

    Info here:

  90. SAP says:

    Not wildlife-related, but if you work on wolf conservation or care about it then it’s relevant: Listen to the intro to This American Life #453: “Nemeses.”

    The intro is Columbia Prof Peter Coleman, speaking on the issue of “intractable conflicts.”

    Myself and others here have stated before that the conflict over wolf recovery is starting to look like an ethnic conflict, or a conflict of identity. The good news is, we’re not alone. The bad news: Coleman says something to the effect that these conflicts last an average of 36 years!

    Also, don’t expect time to be the only input: something besides waiting for 36 years to go by has to happen if we want things to get better (and defining what “better” even looks like may be a good place to start).

    Coleman is at the Columbia International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution

    He has also written a book that sounds interesting:

    Of course, order it from your local independent bookstore when possible!

  91. aves says:

    “Expert thinks more whooping cranes died in 2009”:

    For more info on the issue:

  92. Immer Treue says:

    Don’t know if anyone has already posted this somewhere, but Twist defense: Wolf-poaching evidence was wrongfully seized.

  93. Jeff N. says:

    Apparently Oregon has a native population of the smaller mythical stealth wolf that many have claimed roamed the mountains and valleys of the west before the Canadian Killing Machines were released into the U.S. The story is in the side bar of the article about Oregon wolf OR-7.

  94. Salle says:

    I think this falls into the category of WTF?

    Australian coal company hires Wyoming lawmaker

    I mean, there’s no blatant appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest here or anything, right? Um, Toto…?

  95. Salle says:

    Expedited decision could kill Keystone XL project

    WASHINGTON — The White House sent new signals Sunday that President Barack Obama may be forced to kill TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oilsands pipeline if his administration is forced to make a decision on the project within 60 days.

    I think the Housethugs figured out they messed up with the XL timeline demands and now they’re rejecting this Bill they foisted upon us because they blew it and want to tweak it and throw some more “trash” on top.

  96. aves says:

    Mexican wolves waiting @ Sevilleta NWR, New Mexico for release to the wild:

  97. Paul says:

    Quote from above article about these “conservationist” in action.

    “Mohr dispatched the wolf with a rifle shot to the lungs.”

    “First we were whooping and hollering like a pair of teenagers,” recalls Shank. Then they took lots of photos. Then they took the wolf home and skinned it out.”

    And many here wonder why some of us have such disdain for these type of people.

  98. Nancy says:

    “The next year, he caught his first coyote, and was hooked!”

    Well geez, that seems like a good, sound, plausible (not to mention legal) reason to continue to kill….. “I got hooked”

  99. WM says:

    Well, now this isn’t exactly wildlife news, or is it? You guys decide – think vectors for transmission.

    Your federal government sponsors scientific research that reputedly results in one of the most dangerous viruses known to man. The scientist(s) succeed, and now are in the first stages of publishing (yes publising) the research and how it was done. And, the government hadn’t thought to consider this in the contract?

    Absolutely freakin, amazing! The only thing worse is publicizing it on NBC national news. If would be terrorists didn’t know about it, they sure do now.

    • Savebears says:

      Is that the one, they mutated and then infected ferrets with it, so it could be transmitted to humans?

    • Paul says:

      Here is another article about this story.

      The fact that these researchers even had to be asked to not publish the details is astounding. How arrogant can these people be?

      • Salle says:

        If there’s money to be made, it must be okay…

      • TC says:

        This is how science works – people publish their findings so that they may be scrutinized by peers. It’s not arrogance. It’s an open, honest, and transparent process at its best.

        And this is very important work. This is how we move the body of knowledge forward, leading to improved detection/diagnostic methods, improved surveillance tools, and possibly towards improved treatment and prevention tools. These viruses undergo antigenic drift and occasional shift frequently – better that we try to stay ahead of them in the lab then wait for the field strains to beat us to the punch.

        Not understanding science is not an excuse for dismissing it or ridiculing it – c’mon people. And if you don’t know that there are dozens or hundreds of labs around the world that already could do this work you don’t know much about biomedical research. Manipulating viral genomes is not rocket science anymore.

        • Salle says:

          I think it’s the politics that often taint things and where significant scientific findings become corrupted or misused for… well, I ‘m sure you get the picture given how things have been going of late.

    • Nancy says:

      Interesting – I clicked on the site MSNBC to read the article WM posted and then for some reason couldn’t get back to the Wildlife News link. Then when I finally did get back after closing out everything, I had to re-enter all my information Name – Email in order post. Hmmmmm……

      • WM says:


        Don’t know what to tell you about your computer glitch. It is an MSNBC site. One would think it is about as free of bugs as you can get.

        I find it useful to open links with a new Windows tab (right click your mouse). That way you don’t have to scroll back and reopen Wildlife News.

        • Salle says:

          I’ve found that this happens with a number of web sites, they log you out of whatever you were on and there is no auto-return. WM’s remedy works best, at least that’s how I do it.

  100. Salle says:

    Lack of snow in park brings challenges to West Yellowstone businesses

  101. Salle says:

    Sportsmen’s group to pay $100 for photos of killed wolves

  102. Salle says:

    I hear that. The only thing they want to conserve, it seems, is their power over the wildlife and their ability to kill it and then wave their weenies around to show how manly they are. Primal humanity…?

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      I put up a post on this yesterday. I think yours is from earlier, but I think it would be much more accurate to say the bullet that killed Stevenson passed through the bear hitting and killing him.

      Your comment kind of makes it sound like he shot the bear and then took a second shot that did not pass through the bear and hit his partner.

  103. Jeff N. says:

    Poor Montana lion “hunter” is having his lifestyle altered by wolves. He can’t let his dogs run loose in the forest anymore in order to tree lions so he can walk up blast and the cat out of the tree.

    Of course there is the usual anti-wolf hysteria, such as “the wolves will kill everything until there is nothing left” and the comment “wolves are top predators even over man” leads one to believe this guy’s manhood is being challenged by the wolves.

    • IDhiker says:

      This is the kind of article that just inflames people, and gives hunters a poor image.

      Times change, and being a houndsman may not be feasible anymore. Things change for all of us. For example, we always enjoyed the Chamberlain Basin of the Frank Church, now it’s burned to a large degree. We still go there, but it’s not the same. And, now with the trapping season running through March in Idaho, hiking in my favorite month on the Salmon, Middle Fork, and Selway, etc, is a risk with pets. I’ll have to give it up. IDFG says too bad. Well, that’s what happens sometimes. I remember some houndsman who hated trappers because their dogs would get into snares and traps when off chasing a cat. Trapping is still with us.

    • Paul says:

      Are these articles actually designed to garner sympathy for people like this? This guy torments wildlife for fun, whether he kills them or not, and we are supposed to feel sorry for him? If I let a pack of dogs run rampant through my town I would be cited and possibly arrested, yet these “hounders” can run their dogs through the woods terrorizing every animal in the way and it is okay, even encouraged? How is this a sport? The comments of the article are also full of the usual anti-wolf tripe.

      • william huard says:

        My favorite is the “the only place there should be wolves is in the zoo….the arrogance and selfishness is stunning.

    • Jeff N. says:

      Sorry…in my above comment I meant to say “and blast the cat out of the tree”

  104. Salle says:

    Forest seeks comments on Hebgen-area grazing allotment environmental assessment

    This is the last area ~ I think ~ that has grazing in the first three – five miles immediately adjacent to YNP where the majority of the bison travel out of the park along the Madison River. (There is private grazing on the south side of the river.)

  105. Paul says:

    Story about dogs caught in traps in Montana. I also like the part about how victims are afraid to report incidents like this because of some bullies in the trapper community.

  106. Mike says:

    Trapping already hurting pets in Montana:

    It’s time to let this go. Trapping was a useful tool when we needed to carve this country from the wilderness. With 300 million people, and lazy folks setting traps near trails and a mile from the nearest Quick Mart, clearly this practice needs to come to an end.

    • Kayla says:

      In Montana, it is still Legal to trap Wolverines believe it or not. This on trapping Wolverines, at least, has to end. And it is interesting how little one hears of this it seems.

      • william huard says:

        The quota is 6, and Montana FG has no clue how many wolverines are in the state.

        • Kayla says:

          Thanks William for that info! Now ‘6’ is the quota, Jeminy Crickets! This has been on my mind a bunch as of late. Wolverines should be declared an ‘Endangered Species’ at least here in the lower 48 Bigtime!

          • william huard says:

            I remember speaking to the head of the Fish and game trapping program in Montana. I asked him how they arrived at the 6 quota….he gave me this rambling explanation which ending with the statement- “if it’s any consolation William we’ve already reached the quota…..
            You wonder why the world is screwed up with people like that in a position of authority

          • Elk275 says:

            William you live in New Hamphire not Montana. It is the business of the State of Montana on how many Wolverines they trap not the business of out-state-people. It is not my business what the New Hampshire Fish and game does. I get so sick of non residents both hunters and non hunters trying to influence how wildlife is managed in the state.

            It is not your business what the State of Montana does.

          • Kayla says:

            Elk275, personally I live here in Jackson Hole. The last I saw at least Wyoming has some sense when it comes to Wolverines with not being able to be trapped. Also Lynx, and Otters are not able to be trapped here either.

            Now everyone knows there are just a few Wolverines are out there in the wilds in the lower 48. Opinions on trapping is one thing. I personally have a good friend who lives in Idaho and is a trapper. I have learned a bunch from him. But I think trapping Wolverines is completely a different matter. In my opinion, How could anyone trap a Wolverine? Jeminy Crickets!

          • william huard says:


            You are right- I don’t live in Montana. Last time I checked I was a U.S. citizen with first amendment rights to voice my opinion. I know you conservatives think Constitutional rights only apply to you right wingers- Sorry!
            It’s a legitimate concern and question- of how a wildlife agency can make a decision on a quota without knowing the basic data to make that decision….Why trappers have any influence in wildlife management decisions is a mystery to me

          • Mike says:

            ++William you live in New Hamphire not Montana. It is the business of the State of Montana on how many Wolverines they trap not the business of out-state-people. It is not my business what the New Hampshire Fish and game does. I get so sick of non residents both hunters and non hunters trying to influence how wildlife is managed in the state. ++

            Weak response Elk. Rather than admit FWP is out of their minds regarding the wolverine, you’re deflecting. It’s a typical tactic for those who don’t really have an argument.

            It’s never the hunter’s fault. It’s never Fish and Game’s fault. But it’s the fault of non-locals who have little impact on the situation? Okay….

            Besides, most of the wolverines in Montana are on federal land, and the wolverine is considered a candidate for endangered species protection.

            A huge portion of Montana is federal land, which means any U.S. citizen is a stakeholder.

            Sorry, but it’s everyone’s business.

          • Kayla says:

            Interesting here in Wyoming, none of these animals can be trapped. Sure one can go after Beaver and Pine Martins. But not Fishers, Otters, or Wolverines. I know some good local people here in Jackson with the Wyo. F&G who love the wildlife. And I know some of them out of Cody also who are good folks and care about the land and wildlife. Guess there is a whole big different from Wyoming F&G to the FWP in Montana. I know a trapper friend in Idaho who loves Otters and says could never trap an Otter. Do think this is interesting. And now the Montana Governor raising all of this other stink.

          • Mike says:

            ++Mike, Montana is only 29% federal land and the last I heard the state is allow to set hunting, trapping and fishing seasons. ++

            That federal land is where most of the bigger endangered species live. The wolverine is a candidate for endangered species protection, and to allow wolverines to be trapped is insane.

            ++Kayla, Montana allows the trapping of fishers, after the fires of 1910, the state reintroduce fishers for the purpose of trapping. Whether one likes it or not, that is what happen. ++

            So the state reintroduced the fisher, which had been wiped out by trapping, so the fisher could be trapped again? Funny stuff…you just can’t make it up.

            Personally, I do not think that the harvest/killing of six wolverines is going to hurt the population of wolverines and is sustainable.++

            Actually it is hurting the population, along with development which is cutting off travel routes. The wolverines are now an “island” species. Even killing six causes massive damage. That’s not even counting how many wolverines are caught in traps overall, or other rare wildlife.

            ++ The last time I talked with a state biologist, he and other biologist thought that the trapping of six wolverines was not going to hurt the population. They have spent the entire working lives managing wildlife and have done a very good job.++

            The wolverine is a candidate for endangered species protection in the lower 48, so no, they haven’t done a good job.

            My personal experience with wolverines. In the fall of 1975 I was working and living in Bethel, Alaska. One day I purchased a large piece of wolverine hide to make a fur ruff for my parka. A young Eskimo lady was standing in the store and said that she would sew the ruff on the hood; I gave her my parka hood and the next day it was delivered to the hotel. It was a beautiful piece work. I paid her twenty dollars that afternoon. She bought a bootlegged bottle of alcohol and drank the entire bottle immediately. She was found dead the next morning dead either of alcohol poisoning or she passed out and froze to death that night. I have not thought of that story in many, many years++

            Whiskey makes the killing easier.

          • william huard says:


            Montana Dept of Fish and Wildlife allows the trapping of wolverines to keep the trappin community happy. Trappers are money grubbers. They could care less about the wildlife they kill. I would love to know how many femle wolverines are killed in traps as incidental take and not reported.

          • WM says:

            I have long believed the status of wolverines to have been overlooked. If there is an icon of wilderness, independence, secrecy (and maybe a bit of mischief) this animal represents those traits.

            Allowing trapping of wolverine(within any state) with apparently as few numbers as there appear to be in most of their range is just plain stupid.

          • william huard says:


            Well said. From your perspective-why do you think Montana Fish and game allows a quota?

          • william huard says:

            The wolverine foundation has some very interesting articles-


            In the gift shop section is a cool wolverine print

          • Mike says:

            Hey I agree, WM. Let’s bust out the champagne.

        • Mike says:

          Surely Montana FWP knows what they’re doing. LEt’s just let these “professionals” allow almost unlimited wolverine trapping….

          • Kayla says:

            Now checking the FWP of Montana page, they also allow trapping in Montana of Fishers and Otters. Good Grief!!! I personally know there are hardly no Fishers in Yellowstone NP. Gosh, just how can this be. Do think that Fishers also should be put on the Endangered Species List. What’s Wrong with Montana!!!

          • william huard says:

            That’s easy Kayla-
            The Montana Trappers Assoc is to Montana FG what the tea party is to the Republicans. That’s what’s wrong. These people make wildlife policy around the trappers work schedule, instead of making policy based on what’s best for the animal

          • Elk275 says:

            Mike, Montana is only 29% federal land and the last I heard the state is allow to set hunting, trapping and fishing seasons.

            Kayla, Montana allows the trapping of fishers, after the fires of 1910, the state reintroduce fishers for the purpose of trapping. Whether one likes it or not, that is what happen.

            Personally, I do not think that the harvest/killing of six wolverines is going to hurt the population of wolverines and is sustainable. The last time I talked with a state biologist, he and other biologist thought that the trapping of six wolverines was not going to hurt the population. They have spent the entire working lives managing wildlife and have done a very good job.

            I wonder how many people on this forum have seen a wolverine in the wild; I have seen two.

            My personal experience with wolverines. In the fall of 1975 I was working and living in Bethel, Alaska. One day I purchased a large piece of wolverine hide to make a fur ruff for my parka. A young Eskimo lady was standing in the store and said that she would sew the ruff on the hood; I gave her my parka hood and the next day it was delivered to the hotel. It was a beautiful piece work. I paid her twenty dollars that afternoon. She bought a bootlegged bottle of alcohol and drank the entire bottle immediately. She was found dead the next morning dead either of alcohol poisoning or she passed out and froze to death that night. I have not thought of that story in many, many years

          • Nancy says:

            I seem to recall, Montana brings in roughly $100 grand a year (in licenses & fees) so trappers can trap, statewide.

            Maybe its just me… but it would appear, the low cost (to sign up as a trapper) enables just about anyone with spare time on their hands and no conscience when it comes to animals suffering – fur prices being what they are depending on the animal and the fact that many still want that actual fur lined or fur trimmed coat – and how it appears to balance out one less worry ($$) when it comes to calling in agencies like Wildlife Services to address the problem. Like coyotes, beavers or perhaps other forms of wildlife that have yet to be defined as in threatened or possibly endangered, like wolverines because………no one really knows what their populations might be at – they to often fall below the radar.

        • Mike says:

          The highest concentration in the state is Glacier NP, at 50 animals.

          • Pronghorn says:

            What a shame and embarrassment that MT is the only state in the lower 48 to allow wolverine trapping. The quota is five–reduced from 10 a few years ago after a bunch of us (individuals, grassroots groups, national groups)–applied pressure for a complete closure. Female sub-quotas also exist. Two of the management units have currently met their quota, one is still open. Details here But how many are trapped and never reported?

            It’s folly to continue trapping an animal warranted (but precluded) for ESA listing and listed as a sensitive species by the state, and it defies what science is known–that the wolverine “effective population” is NOT large enough to be sustainable, but is “… below what is thought necessary for short-term maintenance of genetic diversity.”(Federal Register, Vol. 75, #239)

            And now with global warming threatening the snow they need at their denning sites

            the pressure from trapping absolutely should be removed. Ah, but trappers (includes FWP employees) want their “prize”! For all my time in remote backcountry I have never seen a wolverine. I’ve seen only one fisher–just a year ago, and came face-to-face with a pine marten high in the Tetons. The mustelids are amazing animals.

          • Kayla says:

            Pronghorn, Yes the Mustelids are amazing animals.

            Elk, now since you asked, my lifer Wolverine was up near Logan Pass 20 years ago in Glacer NP. The Wolverine crossed right in front of myself and a friend I was hiking with at the time. What a sighting it was. I have also come across Wolverine Scat and Sign high up in the Yellowstone Absarokas.

            Now as for Fisher, I saw one many years also here in the Rockies. And the only one I have ever seen which was on the trail right in front of me. And what a sighting it was.

  107. Mike says:

    Beef industry is sliding:

    Good news.

    • Daniel Berg says:

      How much the industry slides is partially dependent on the strength of the export market. While I haven’t found any statistics that prove a long-term correlation between a strong export market and higher beef prices, it does provide an opportunity for revenue outside of the domestic market.

  108. CodyCoyote says:

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    A Washington state hunter takes a few minutes to answer Nature’s Call ( # 2 ) and ends up shooting a Cougar while his pants are down below his knees.

    • Mike says:

      Disturbing story. Such a beautiful cat. The ugly kills the beautiful.

      Weird to eat the meat, too. Especially if any of those people had cats in the house.

      • william huard says:

        Wow. What a classy picture with blood coming out of the cougars nostrils and mouth. I guess the term assw^%pe is appropriate in this situation.

      • Ryan says:


        People have parrots for pets, yet we eat chicken, Pot belly pigs are pets, yet we eat pork, many houses have a fish tank, yet we still eat fish.

        I really fail to see any wrong with story. No dogs, harvested legally, and the whole animal was used.

        Cougar meat is very tasty, mild like pork and lean.


        Its a dead animal, WTF do you expect?

        This site has gone to shit, all rah rah rah, with no room for differing opinions due to overbearing self righteous people like mike and yourself.. Its too bad.

        • JEFF E says:

          Ryan, yes you are right. Here is a general explanation.
          A Troll posts inflammatory messages for the sole purpose of getting attention. It’s true that this does include harassing others but it can also range to messages on any and all topics that might draw rebuttals from anyone on the board. Once a single reply is posted the Troll has met his or her goal of being important enough for response and attention.

          At times this aberrant behaviour can actually be entertaining, especially when a message board attracts two or more Trolls who then battle to see who is King Troll (if you will) and therefore deserves the most attention. Unfortunately, I have also seen boards effectively killed as the more responsible and mature members, tired of the constant demands to feed the Troll’s ego, drift away.

          • Ryan says:

            What makes a board interesting is room for middle ground and the possibility for some intellectual persuasion (and possibly growth) to happen. This board was that way a couple of years ago.. Now it is pretty much ran by one side who make it so unfomfortable for people of opposing opinions to post and because of the manner in which their posts are stated the board, ensures that those of differeing opinions will not even bother to read the content of the posted topic and in most cases will leave.

          • Daniel Berg says:

            I disagree that this site has “gone to shit”. There are a plenty of people who post from the middle ground here.

            There will always be a couple of trolls that come here and use this site as an outlet to lash out. There will always be people who can’t reconcile their emotions with the realities of the world we live in. It’s easy to skim over comments that fall into that category.

            In my opinion, you can run the risk of over-moderating a site. I actually appreciate how well the administrators have done in walking the tight-rope between over and under moderation this blog.

  109. CodyCoyote says:

    … and this just in from Steamboat Springs CO . Watch out for the Moose on city streets . They came to town to lick up the road salt, it is theorized, but I think they’re after fruitcake and Glogg…

  110. Connie says:

    More news about the illegal killing of Blacktail Wolf 692F near Gardiner. Second man charged in incident.

    • william huard says:

      These hunter/poachers should have MANDATORY loss of hunting privledges, whether it’s 30 or 60 day loss, how else will you get these people to understand anything unless it hits them in the only area that means anything to them.

      • Savebears says:

        I think for willful poaching an individual should loose his hunting privilege for life as well as the right to own a gun.

      • Elk275 says:


        The fine they received is the maximum that could be accessed without the individuals pleading not guilty and demanding a jury trial. Good Luck. The case would be tried in Livingston, Montana and would end up with a hung jury or the defendants found not guilty. It is not worth the tax payer money or the state and county resources to try the case. Park County has far more pressing problems than the illegal killing of a wolf.

        Merry Christmas everyone, I am going to Billings to see my father; it will be the first time that I have seen him in care facility.

        • Mike says:

          ++Park County has far more pressing problems than the illegal killing of a wolf. ++

          Exactly. Far bigger problems such as “wolves running rampant” according to Tester and Rehberg.

      • Jeff N. says:

        $135.00 fine is a joke. As with WY and ID, MT has such little regard for the wolf and its value to the landscape. All the $135.00 means is that this a-hole won’t be able to go drink at the tavern for a couple nights, until his next paycheck. Pathetic. Actually, $135.00 will be paid back in spades because this pc. of human scum will have the drinks bought for him.

      • Mike says:

        So allegedly kill a wolf illegally and you still get to hunt?

    • Paul says:

      So if I get this straight the poacher puke who killed the wolf got a $135 fine while the puke who “attempted” to poach the wolf faces a fine of $250? Why would the actual killing be fined less than the “attempted” killing? Was the “attempted” poacher a repeat offender?

      • william huard says:

        The best society could do is to neuter these people so they can’t reproduce.

      • Connie says:

        Yes, I think so. I read somewhere that this was his second offense.

        • Paul says:

          Is there really a deterrent here? This is less than a speeding ticket in most places and that sure as hell doesn’t stop people from driving like idiots. And people wonder why wolf advocates have no faith that the system will protect even the token populations of wolves that will remain? Do hunting groups lobby to have the penalties increased or for longer/lifetime bans for violators? If they do I haven’t seen it. Many of the individual hunters may find poaching and poachers revolting, but where is the organized outrage? The only time I see strong organization from hunter/trapper groups is when they lobby for more things to kill or for longer seasons.

          • WM says:


            You do realize governor appointed Commissioners usually adopt such rules, or the penalties are set by legislative laws, yes?

            Placing responsibility for advocating such changes with hunters is probably misplaced in the NRM (and maybe UT, NM, AZ where the sentiment among elected/appointed officials is probably not so pro-wolf). I expect they will do what they want, regardless of who is lobbying for what might otherwise be a good thing.

            Many hunters, I suspect, would have little problem with stiffer fines for some infractions. In light of the history of delisting, stiffening infractions for killing wolves will be a tough sell there, IMHO. Might have been a different story in 2009, before this last round of litigation and vitriol.

          • Paul says:


            I do realize this, but nothing is stopping these groups from lobbying them for stricter penalties. At least where I live, the rule makers tend to bow to every whim that these groups have. I am not just talking about wolves but for any poaching violations. I would assume that most if not all ethical hunters would not mind harsher penalties for the poaching of any animal. Lifetime bans and jail time may be the only deterrent that gets through to these thugs.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      jon and all,

      This is likely slip folks’ minds since it will be held in Sept. 2012, but I think, and have been told by some conservation leaders, that this is likely to be a very important event.

      • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        Ralph, All –
        There will be many reminders in the intervening months, as well as opporunities to help identify key issues for discussion. This is a serious inquiry and dialog with all Idahoans about needs, desires and expectations for wildlife management services for the Idaho public.

    • Salle says:

      Well, perhaps some of the comments and interaction here have had an impact on the institutional thinking of IDF&G… I wonder if it’s something they really intend to do sincerely and effectively, that would be nice ~ something I don’t anticipate under the current governor.

      If they are sincere about what they claim in the article ~ which I think is minimal effort and only reluctantly recognizes that there are “other” interests that they should address ~ but you still have to pay to play = *minimal effort*

      Maybe, too, JB’s expertise would be helpful in this process… if it’s a sincere effort to address the interests of the entire population of the state in wildlife management.

  111. CodyCoyote says:

    By way of comparison , a man here in Cody Wyoming was recently caught redhanded poaching a nice Mule Deer trophy buck. He was fined $ 500 for the offense, and an additional $ 4000 ( four THOUSAND ) dollars for restitution to the State for the value of the animal. Another man is facing charges for poaching a cow and calf Moose in Sunlight Basin…slam dunk prosecution , but not yet before the Judge. Each of those Moose could cost him up to $ 10,000 in fine and $ 7500 in restitution. Each. Theoretically he could pay $ 35,000 for this egregiousness.

    The restitution component of the punitive sentencing is a relatively new thing to Wyoming… our ” cowboy
    ” Legislature resisted that restitution notion applied to poached wildlife for a very long time, probably because more than a few of the Wyoming lawmakers or their brother had smoked some deer in their brief time on Earth. The restitution vale value for the animal taken is recommended by Wyo G & F and the Judge usually accepts that value as given. Had one of the Moose been a prime trophy Bull instead of a cow, the value might have been significantly higher. $ 15,000 for a full curl trophy Bighorn ram is in the ledger. Even a common Cottontail rabbit can be billed out at $ 200.00

    But there is another new law that might even have more dissuasive value to poachers here in Wyoming. Game and Fish wardens are now allowed to confiscate all equipment used in the commission of an act of poaching…pickup truck, ATV, rifle, binoculars or spotting scope. In other words, take away the perp’s favorite toys, which the Game & Fish later sells at auction and applies the proceeds to wildlife conservation programs. The very first time this new law was used, back in the year 2000, a guy lost his helicopter. The family’s Robertson helicopter was used to haze elk and the pilot , Don Davis of Cody , dropped off his son( an 11 year old illegal hunter, no less ) on a ridgetop for the kill. That cost him $ 6750 in fines and the copter was sold. Davis and his family eventually left town under a cloud.

    Another serial poacher from Greybull WY with a long line of offenses in Wyoming and Alaska lost his almost new Dodge Ram truck and gear in a much-celebrated Christmas Eve poaching of a well known trophy Bighorn ram on the North Fork of the Shoshone River, and did some serious hard time. AND lost his Wyoming hunting privileges for life. Maybe in other states, too, given the wider use of new reciprocity laws which basically say a wildlife crime committed in one state is the same as being committed in all of them , and the sentence applies in all as well.

    So there you have it. It took regressive conservative ” good old boy ” cowboy/mentality Wyoming a couple generations to finally pass some effective wildlife laws. And more importantly , enforce them and adjudicate them.

    Three prongs:
    1. Stronger fines for poaching; loss of privileges , too
    2. High-dollar Restitution for wildlife taken
    3. Confiscation of sporting goods and vehicles used.

    OK —having said all that , Wyoming already has a defacto State wildlife policy of saying Grey Wolves have no dollar value or maybe even a negative value to the state. Wyoming Game & Fish Assistant Director – WIldlife Coordinator Bill Rudd went on public record in Cody in May 2008 saying just that when I asked him point blank at a public meeting explaining the draft Wolf Management Plan what the value of wolves to Wyoming for purposes of restitution might be: No value was his answer.

    So we have a huge paradox here that contradicts itself; negates itself even. If wolves are not considered wildlife, only pests, we can’t get much in the way of restitution for a poached wolf, can we ? We already know the Judge in Wyoming won;t give much more than a slap on the wrist for a fine…Dave Freudenthal our former Governor set the precedent there when he as US Attorney for Wyo-Montana prosecuted the first wolf poaching case outside Yellowstone in 1197 and asked only for $ 500 in fine and no restitution ( US vs. Chad McKittrick )

    Truth be told, facetiously , if this guy and his accomplice had poached the collared YNP wolf near Cody Wyoming instead of outside Gardiner MT, he likely would’ve been fined $ 25.00, paid no restotution ( even for tha pricey $ 2500 GPS colalr ) , and been given a medal and a red feather for his Cabela’s hat by our local chapter of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife and would not have to pay for his own drinks at the bar for a few months.

    S0— we’ve got some work to do. But at least it is going in the right direction. The most important thing is to get the states to acknowledge in the eyes of the law that Grey Wolves are, in fact, wildlife and DO have value to the public and are in fact a public resource requiring restitution when that resource is illegally taken from the public or destroyed.

    Montana and Idaho need to adopt the Three Prong approach to poaching…Harsh fines; Restitution for wildlife value; Confiscation of sporting goods and vehicles used.

    And all three states need to codify wolves as wildlife.

    In this recent Gardiner case, the fine should have been $ 500. The restitution quite high …thousands of $$$ , and the perp should’ve lost his toys and hunting privileges.

    Like I said, we have our work cut out for us.

    • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      CodyCoyote –
      Wolves are codified as wildlife in Idaho.

      • CodyCoyote says:

        Codified? Yes.
        Treated as such , behaviorally or otherwise by the populace and even the alleged wildlife managers? —debatable.

        I never believe what anyone says, mark. I watch what they do. Same applies to the letter of the law and the manner and extent to which is is enforced, or not.

        Just waving your arm and saying ” Wolves are wildlife in Idaho ” isn’t enough. That has to be backed up.

        One or more investigations into illegal wolf kills in Wyoming in the Jackson area have gone nowhere…just quietly withered away. The Department just can’t be bothered to throw resources at wolf cases that it does towards species it actually makes money from and have a higher social value.

        Wyoming officials will tell you that by law wolves are classified as wildlife here, too. They just don’t back that up with egalitarian actions of enforcement in the field or the system.

    • Elk275 says:

      Cody you must remember that if a person is changed with a wildlife crime and pleads innocent and demands a jury trial, the jury must find him guilty. If might be hard in jurisdiction such as Cody to get 12 juries to unanimously vote guilty as charged. The wolf poaching incident in Gardiner, Montana would have to be tried in Park County, Montana and there would be little chance that a 12 person jury would find the defendant guilty, it is a waste of time and county/state resources to prosecute the defendant. Mountain sheep and moose yes, wolves no. That is the way it is, you know it and I know it.

    • Mike says:

      ++But there is another new law that might even have more dissuasive value to poachers here in Wyoming. Game and Fish wardens are now allowed to confiscate all equipment used in the commission of an act of poaching…pickup truck, ATV, rifle, binoculars or spotting scope. In other words, take away the perp’s favorite toys, which the Game & Fish later sells at auction and applies the proceeds to wildlife conservation programs. The very first time this new law was used, back in the year 2000, a guy lost his helicopter. The family’s Robertson helicopter was used to haze elk and the pilot , Don Davis of Cody , dropped off his son( an 11 year old illegal hunter, no less ) on a ridgetop for the kill. That cost him $ 6750 in fines and the copter was sold. Davis and his family eventually left town under a cloud.++

      Nice. Take away the toys from the little boys and they might behave.

  112. JB says:

    Happy holidays to all ye wildlife lovers–whether you hunt, trap, fish, photograph, or just watch.

  113. Salle says:

    Los Padres sanctuary goes to the rescue of wolf dogs,0,6218882.story

    Chained to posts on a half-acre lot, the 29 wolf dogs languished for years behind stockade fencing at a roadside attraction near Anchorage.

    “In a telephone interview, Werner Shuster, owner of Wolf Country USA, denied that the wolf dogs had been mistreated or that he had broken the law.

    “We raised them since they were pups, each one had 12 to 15 feet of space and they were the healthiest animals on the planet,” said Shuster, 82. “They do better on chains. That way they don’t fight, and people can pet them.

    Humans, the worst thing on the planet.

    • Salle says:

      The rescuer said:

      Wolf dogs are products of human vanity and machismo.

      Can’t argue with that.

  114. WM says:

    Not really wildlife news, yet closely related to why there seems to be a disconnect of Congress with the shrinking middle class America. The House of Representatives, the lower house of Congress is increasingly made up of the wealthy and super wealthy.

    And, another change in America as 120 Sears stores in America are closing (job losses, with many in small towns) and limits the retailer choices of consumers (Sears loss is WalMart’s and Target’s gain).

  115. Salle says:

    Journal editorial: Montana puts its trout eggs in one basket

    (Posted by Idaho State Journal)

    Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer is challenging the U.S. Interior Department to decide — perhaps by the time this is written.
    If the feds don’t change the way they manage wildlife — particularly bison — they won’t get upwards of 5.7 million trout eggs from a federal hatchery in the Treasure State, Schweitzer has decreed.
    The governor says Interior officials in recent months have repeatedly rebuffed the Democrat’s proposal to allow bison hunting in parts of Yellowstone National Park to help control an animal disease, brucellosis. The federal agency also has resisted Schweitzer’s idea to relocate some disease-free bison to the National Bison Range.

    Never misunderestimate… must be the c-boy hat.

  116. Salle says:

    ‘Secret’ Environment Canada presentation warns of oilsands’ impact on habitat

    “It’s clear that there’s nothing ethical about this level of environmental destruction and greenhouse gas pollution,” said Saul. “The government seems to know the level of destruction associated with the tarsands and yet they’re presenting a very different face to the public and in reality, there seems to be a massive gap between what they know to be an extremely destructive project and a policy agenda that is essentially seeking to promote the rapid expansion of the tarsands.”

  117. Doryfun says:

    In light of some rather controversial subjects that are often discussed on Wildlife News, by various intelligent folks with strong minds, opinions, and views, with broadspectrum magnitudes of fact, or not, I found an interesting site that might shed a bit of light on how our minds work. (whats real, what isn’t).

    It is a bit long and deep, but very interesting food for thought, as we all are in some sense, seekers of truth.

    “The Magic of Consciousness” by Daniel Dennet:

  118. Daniel Berg says:

    “Rare influx of Arctic snowy owls wintering here”

  119. aves says:

    Some rare good news for bats! Scientists have identified the fungus as the cause of White-nose syndrome and have found some little brown bats to be unaffected by WNS.

    Culprit Identified Fungus Causes Deadly Disease:

    Scientists Hopeful in Fight to Stop Bat Die-Off:

  120. Daniel Berg says:

    “Wolf fund frozen, at least for now”

  121. Paul says:

    Two views on wolf delisting in Wisconsin/Great Lakes:

    Be sure to check out the comments section for the usual fear mongering “they are eating all the deer,” and “they are eating your children and pets” crap. One clown even quoted a news article from 1887 to “prove” the danger of wolves.

  122. Salle says:

    The value of truth about wolves

    And some less than vitriolic comments!

    • Ryan says:

      I agree, op ed pieces written by activists are the very basis of the truth.. Pssht on scienctific research, its all about op ed peices preaching the truth.

      off to get my news from fox news and Hannity… 😉

  123. Salle says:

    I finally found some news about that new tar sands mine approval:

    Total’s Joslyn mine approval triggers Tory calls for speedier review process



    Athabasca Oil Sands gets regulatory nod for Alberta project

    Each article contains links to related info.

    • Nancy,

      That story astonished me. It is one of those that really put you in a philosophical frame of mind.

      Do we have a record of the time period and place when the first homo ?? learned to set and use fire?


December 2011


‎"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