First instance of collared Yellowstone wolf being illegally killed

Wolf 692f illegally shot outside Yellowstone Park-

While there is no evidence any Yellowstone Park wolves have been killed inside the Park, in November a dispersed member of the Blacktail pack was shot near Gardiner, MT outside the Park about 4 weeks after the legal hunting in that zone closed.

Wolf 692F, who wore a radio collar, was killed by Branson Mace, a 19-year-old resident of Gardiner. He pleaded guilty and was fined $135. Many people who discuss and visit Yellowstone Park and post on various on-line forums like are angry that Mace wasn’t fined a lot more, especially given the price of a radio collar. A number of the forums’ participants are residents of Montana in addition to being Park visitors.  We have no information if a functional collar was retrieved.  Collaring a wolf is usually costly in terms of labor and expenditure of resources.

Only the wolf-killing federal agency Wildlife Services generally has ample funds for radio collaring.  In the 2009 Montana wolf hunt several Cottonwood Pack wolves who are usually instead the Park were legally killed just north the Park deep inside the roadless Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness.  So far this year we have no information on the toll of Park wolves killed in Montana or Idaho legally while they were temporarily outside the Park.




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  1. KB540F Avatar

    We have it on good authority that the collar has been retrieved and sent back to the park, as well as 692F.
    Supposedly a bigger fish (habitual poacher) is who they are after that was with this kid and fired upon but missed 692F. We shall see if these claims turn out to be truthful or not.
    All eyes are upon MT FW&P as usual — it would be nice to have them do something in favor of our wild lands and wild animals for once.

    1. Wendy Avatar

      Thank you KB54OF. I had heard such rumors and will await additional info before commenting.
      It’s too bad if it turns out young Mr. Mace is learning bad habits. Hunters? I await your comments.
      And thank you Lesa.

  2. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    Ralph- The Yellowstone Foundation has contributed over 4 million to collar Yellowstone wolves since they were introduced. The link above explains their program.
    As someone who often visits Yellowstone to Photograph and observe wolves, I think the collaring has been excessive and detrimental to the wolves. I watched the mange-infected Druid Pack struggle to survive the disease while encumbered with 7 collars on the 14 wolves in the pack. They didn’t make it.
    Those who contribute enough for a radio collar, through the Yellowstone Foundation, get to keep the collar, when the wolf dies or is shot in this instance, to put on their mantle.
    The wolf watchers in the Lamar Valley are coddled by the Park Administration and allowed to intimidate and harass other visitors who want to watch or photograph wolves, because the wolf watchers are often the ones who give the foundation money for the collars.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar


      They don’t get to keep the telemetry, just the collar.

      The Wolf Recovery Foundation, of which I am the President, has never liked collars, and we have supported a number of projects to get data about wolves using non-intrusive methods like howlboxes.

      My scientific background is social science. It is well known that running experiments on people changes their normal behavior, so what are called “unobstructive measures” are often employed. Nevertheless, the survey, which is intrusive continues to be the mainstay in a lot of research. Likewise, my guess is that something like radio collars will always be around. I worry a lot more about cheap tiny tracking devices the wildlife killing agencies are likely to get to put in as many animals as possible so they can be killed to satisfy their clientele. Larry, you are unique, in that collars no doubt make your photos less desirable — certainly not the interests of a rancher.

      In general the measures the Park Service employees pale compared to these folks.

      1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
        Ralph Maughan

        I think I should add that I guess I support collars in Yellowstone Park as long as there are these hostile people on the boundaries.

        The collars can bring them to justice. Those people who are tired to being pushed around by local troublemakers like Bob Fanning (ironically an import from Illinois) should get organized politically and take over the county commission. That would solve a multitude of problems that have festered for years.

    2. Salle Avatar


      Are you referring to those CB radio folks who glom watching spots? Some of us refer to them as “The snotty Pack” and usually pass by places where there might be good viewing because there are so many of them there that watching is more like a zoo experience than one in a wilderness-like public land. Surely a deterrent for many.

      Collars aren’t of much use in most places anymore since most of those wolves end up dead by human activity focused on killing them than watching or studying them.

      I know that the Wolf recovery Foundation, who used to purchase some collars for research purposes. That practice ended back when collars became a tool for locating wolves for the purpose of killing them, specifically.

      There is no need for all wolves to be collared in order for thugs like IDF$G to “monitor” them so that they will be able to “know where all the wolves are” so they can kill them more easily. It has been stated by many IDF$G folks that they intend to collar all the wolves out there. Somehow that plays into the concept of wildlife in particular, if you man-handle them enough, they aren’t really wild anymore and then other negative adjectives can be applied until they come ’round to the conclusion that they equate to the same pariah status as feral pigs… See where this could lead..? Pretzel logic that is enthusiastically acted upon far more often than real logic.

      1. Salle Avatar


        I meant to say;

        I know that the Wolf Recovery Foundation, who used to purchase some collars for research purposes, ended that practice back when collars became a tool for locating wolves for the purpose of killing them, specifically.

    3. Wendy Avatar

      Mr. Thorngren’s “arguments” above are not only bogus but off topic for this article.
      The way I understand this sordid tale, the 19 year old “hunter” who shot this wolf on Nov. 5th, lived and worked in Gardiner. How he could “not know” that sub-unit 313-316 had been closed since October 6th is extremely hard for me to believe. And equally so for anyone who has spent any time in Gardiner. The hunt is a VERY big deal there. Hunters are expected to know the rules, where the units are, what the quotas in addition to having proper tags or licenses.
      He shot the wolf, drove to the Blue Goose bar with her body and bragged about his act, willing to show the wolf to anyone who wanted to look. Someone in Gardiner turned him in (thank you, brave person). The Game Warden went to his house. Apparently, he fessed up (that’s to his credit, I guess) and he eventually pled guilty. The Game Warden recommended the sentence he got, stressing it was his first time.
      In my opinion, the fine is quite low – this was a collared wolf, well known to the Wolf Project in Yellowstone, with a long, detailed history. She could easily have remained a vital part of the Northern Range, teaching us more about wild wolf behavior. She never got into livestock that I ever heard, even though she travelled quite widely in the last 10 months. But now we’ll never know.
      I imagine even such a low fine would not be easy for a typical Gardiner resident to cough up. But I am incensed that his punishment did not include the loss or mitigation of any hunting privileges. It is no shock to me that the Game Warden or other Montana officials value wolves so little, but it still makes no sense when they expose their bias so blatantly. Montana’s hunting rules operate like a “gentleman’s agreement”. Well, alright, that’s the tradition. So, to me, when someone so clearly breaks the traditional agreement, and commits what can properly be called poaching, he ought to be singled out for a hard lesson, not with an undue financial burden but with a highly symbolic and unmistakeably firm response, so that he never, ever treats the gentleman’s agreement so casually again. And so that other folk in the neighborhood think twice before committing a similar act themselves.
      Nothing I can say will make anti-wolf people value wolves as vital members of the Rocky Mountain ecosystem. But shouldn’t hunters of all stripes be incensed that a young poacher has been let off so easy?

      1. Lesa Avatar

        I applaud your commentary, Wendy. It boils down to irresponsible and egocentric people enabled by more of the same (wearing badges) to continue illegal, unethical and methodical killing of wildlife, incl. wolves and other predators that “compete” for prey species. Sadly, F&G agencies exist mainly to protect wildlife in the interest of human use, not for its own sake.

  3. Savebears Avatar

    At this point in time, there is very little need to collar wolves any longer..

    1. Salle Avatar

      But it’s become an institution among F$G agencies. And a revenue generator as well as campaign prop.

  4. william huard Avatar
    william huard

    These cowards that kill wolves in these situations are also liars. I wonder what this idiot’s excuse was- the usual- I thought it was a coyote, or I was in fear for my life because the wolf looked at me in an aggressive fashion….

    1. Jeff N. Avatar
      Jeff N.


      Mistaken identity could be the cause. If I recall a similar situation occurred north of the park a few years ago where a “hunter” heard something in the brush moving towards him, and thinking it was a pack of wolves, started shooting. It turns out that the thing approaching in the brush was his hunting buddy, who unfortunately took some lead.

      If you are an “educated hunter” and you claim that you were unaware that the the season had closed, or if you claim that you thought a 30 pound coyote was an 80+ lb wolf, you are not being honest.

      And if the rumor is true that this kid was out with an unsavory character w/ a reputation of being a habitual poacher, than it’s not a stretch to claim that this was an intentional act of poaching.

      Hell, maybe the rumored second person was the guy who thought his hunting buddy was a pack of wolves coming to eat him.

  5. jdubya Avatar

    Was he tracking it via the collar?

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan


  6. Mike Avatar

    What a shame.

    We’ll be seeing much more of this. I also expect Fish and Game cover ups.

  7. Maska Avatar

    In a recent instance in the Southwest, an individual who pled guilty to killing a Mexican wolf was made to pay restitution for the value of a destroyed collar. In the case of GPS collars, that can amount to a fairly hefty sum.

    1. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      Was that the jerk that was told there was a wolf in the area the DAY BEFORE he said he thought the wolf was a coyote after he shot it? There should be mandatory jail time for these mental defectives

  8. Mtn Mama Avatar
    Mtn Mama

    Ralph, I am guessing that your title “First instance of collared Yellowstone wolf being illegally killed” is just refering to this season. Let us not forget the mighty 10M who in 1995 was poached by Chad McKittrick of Red Lodge, Montana just a month after being released into the park.

    william huard, I understood the story to be that this wolf was killed in a hunting unit that had a recently closed because quota had been filled. He supposedly had a wolf permit and claimed he didnt know the unit was closed.

    This year, in that same unit 642F (also a dispersed Blacktail/ born an Agate) was legally killed, she too was collared.

  9. Alan Avatar

    At very least; at very, very least this guy should have lost his hunting privileges, but as I understand it he did not. What was his excuse anyway? Does anyone here know?

    1. Mtn Mama Avatar
      Mtn Mama

      Alan as posted above “I understood the story to be that this wolf was killed in a hunting unit that had a recently closed because quota had been filled. He supposedly had a wolf permit and claimed he didnt know the unit was closed. “

      1. Alan Avatar

        Thanks. Looks like we were probably typing at the same time! Did you get that from an official source or news story?

      2. Ralph Maughan Avatar
        Ralph Maughan

        Mtn Mama,

        You are obviously right. 10M slipped my mind. I guess it should be first collared Park wolf poached in a long time.

        Can anyone remember others?

  10. CodyCoyote Avatar

    The sentence and fine are an insult.
    Depending on make and model, restitution for the radio collar would run about $ 2500.

    The first Yellowstone wolf shot outside the Park was assassinated near Red Lodge MT by Chad McKittrick in April of 95. That prosecution was handled by then US Attorney Dave Freudenthal who would later be elected Wyoming Governor as a Democrat. Freudenthal overtly hated wolves even before they were reintroduced and doubly hated them afterwards , and while he summarily prosecuted McKittrick in this first-ever federal legal action against a wolf poacher , prosecutor Freudenthal asked for and got a PALTRY $ 500 fine. That sentence was also insulting, but it was a foreshadow of Freudenthal’s vehement anti-wold demeanor as Governor. The present Wyoming Governor, Republican Matt Mead, was also a US Attorney, but his predecessor plowed the ground and set the stage for Wyoming’s wretched wolf management facade.

    It has not been explicitly stated in the few stories about this Gardiner case if the perp was prosecuted in a state or federal court. I’m presuming it was local justice , local court , and a sentence/fine reflecting local ‘values’.

    No surprises. Just disgust.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      Cody Coyote,

      In a way Freudenthal was perhaps the worst governor of all when it comes to wolves.

      He was the first official of note who blamed wolves for huge economic harm. He was doing this when Wyoming had maybe 30 wolves outside of Yellowstone.

      Worse, he was a Democrat, taking away any choice for the citizens of such a red state. He might have thought this would give him credibility with the many Republicans in the state legislature.

      Because you are a long time Wyoming observer, do you think this helped him advance his agenda?

      1. CodyCoyote Avatar

        Ralph- short answer: Freudenthal was able to advance his agenda by sharing some key ideological positions with the enemy , i.e. GOP. He hated wolves before it was fashionable, before they were reintroduced even , owing to growing up in rural Hot Springs County ( Thermopolis) and Dave was also endorsed by the NRA. Not many Dems wear those badges. He was a good politician and gave a lot to get anything done at all. he dampened the Wyoming GOP powder and vitriol well. They couldn’t hang much on him. I supported Dave on many things and campaigned for him but we were light years apart of wolves , griz, and Black Gold (coal).

        Our recent Democratic Governors—Mike Sullivan and Dave Freudenthal— judged on their own merits without party acclamation , would appear to be moderate or slightly conservative Republicans in any other state. The “D” behind their name is shorthand for DINO…Democrat In Name Only. In my state, one must cow-tow to the GOP to do governance. The Wyoming state senate has only 4 Dems out of the 30 seats and the state House had maybe 12 of the 60 seats last session. Mike Sullivan is a good friend, and I’ve known Dave F. since we debated back in high school years and I actually dated his future wife Nancy back when. Sullivan is a true Democrat but also pragmatic enough to know how the machinery operates in Wyoming. Freudenthal went further by co-=opting many of the GOP stock and trade issues such as gun control. giving ranchers sway , and semi-appeasement of energy and minerals. He was a Pre-emptive Dem , in order to have any support at all. Both Sullivan and Freudenthal were able to successfully garner a considerable number of GOP votes in their elections. They were well liked all around. Wyoming GOP voters are not necessarily zombie straight-ticket Repubs. Our current Guv Mead is an antithesis — he’s GOP red to the bone marrow.

        Freudenthal poured a lot of the cement foundation for the anti-wolf movement in Wyoming. He wasn’t even being political – he honestly personally did not like nor want wolves at all. He just wasn’t as overt and stupid about it as your Guv otter. Dave has a brain.

    2. Elk275 Avatar


      I think that he also went to jail for 6 months, Chad is deceased. I only meet him several times in the Snow Creek Bar in Red Lodge. Jack Daniel was his hunting buddy, in Red Lodge, Jack Daniel is a friend to many.

  11. Observer Avatar

    I realize the focus on the radio collar is due to the fact that it can support a direct financial compensational link to a higher fine, but it seems a bit callous to speak of the price of a radio collar. What about the price of a living creature which plays a vital part of an ecosystem? I also agree with comments above (Wendy) that allude to the fact that some individuals are raised in a hunting culture where killing an animal like a coyote or wolf is like wearing a badge, and it is unlikely that we can win them over in an intellectual manner. I also agree that the fine is not even a slap on the wrist and may actually encourage others to behave in this manner. This story only encourages hunters to poach. What it discourages is bragging to people you don’t know. How sad.

  12. WILLIAM PINER Avatar

    There are hunters and there are poachers, some of them will kill anything just to watch it die. A hunter only kills legal game in season, and only for food.

  13. Kristi Avatar

    I spoke to a member of MFWP shortly after the news release of the killing of this wolf by this kid. He said that the “kid” who shot her didn’t realize the district had been closed, due to reaching the quota. This was his first offense and it was explained to me that yes, he should have known the area was closed and that he was negligent but poaching needs the component of intent. The officer said that this was not a full poaching offense and that the friend of this kid is a repeat offender (next fine after $135.00 is $500., next is more money and jailtime). They want the other person, badly. The officer seemed very genuine and dismayed that this wolf was killed. He said that was one of MT’s natural resources and it is gone forever now, they’ll never get that wolf back. We also talked about the mentality of the “anti’s”…he said part of their job is education and hopes he reaches some kids so they don’t turn out like their parents. The collar went to Yellowstone and the wolf will be used for educational purposes, the kid did not get to keep the wolf. I hope they got the other guy that was with this one.

    1. IDhiker Avatar

      When one is participating in hunting, it is your responsibility to know the regulations and season openings and closures. Most people seem to learn through experience. This “kid” should not have gotten off easy.

      1. Savebears Avatar

        As with any crime, intent always plays a very large part in punishment..

        1. IDhiker Avatar

          Considering the company he apparently keeps, I doubt his story of ignorance. A drunk may not intend to kill anyone when they get behind the wheel, but they are still responsible for what happens.

          1. IDhiker Avatar

            $135 dollars is a pair of shoes.

          2. Savebears Avatar

            If you look at the punishment for a first time offender in a drunk driving death, many times they receive NO jail time, it happens in Montana and many other states all of the time. Your rush to judgment is all to telling..

            Want tougher penalties, talk to the people that make the laws and keep talking until such time as they change things.

          3. IDhiker Avatar


            “Your rush to judgment is all to telling..”

            This is the kind of statement that really isn’t necessary. It is rude and implies the other person is of lesser intelligence. Personally, I would put my education and life experience up against yours, anytime.

            Fact is, for example, a drunk driver in Missoula named David Delsignore killed two teenage girls. He was sentenced to 15 years even though this was his first offense.

          4. Savebears Avatar


            You are being far to sensitive, but if you want to compare brain pans, find with me.

            The drunk driving in Missoula is the exception and not the rule.

            By the way, I am not being rude, but many who post here reveal quite a bit about their selves with their very one sided statements, but if you feel it was rude, then so be it. You and I have far different feelings on these issues, I do not make my judgments based on emotion, unfortunately many do and this is on both sides of the issues.

          5. Savebears Avatar

            that was “fine with me”.. Sorry dealing with a new laptop keyboard.

          6. Savebears Avatar

            As far as life experience, I would not wish my life experience on my worst enemy. My education, we it is possible yours is more in depth, mine only includes a Masters Degree in Biology as well as an appointment to and graduation commission from the Military academy.

          7. IDhiker Avatar


            One thing that I have refrained from on this site is name-calling. But, I also don’t appreciate being insulted, demeaned, or whatever by others. Perhaps you didn’t mean it the way it read. I will also say I am not overly sensitive.

            Actually, I don’t think you and I have “far different feelings on these issues.” I have always accepted that wolves would be managed through hunting. We only differ to what extremes that management takes. You also seem, in my opinion, to be too accepting of the status quo in wildlife agencies, rather than questioning. Perhaps it is your background being in that line of work.

            As far as emotion, you, as many of us, often give the impression that you feel you are always right about the issues. True, some are more emotional than others, but you do show emotion often in your reactions to other comments.

            Anyway, I’m sorry this exchange has happened, as I wasn’t looking for a skirmish with you.

          8. IDhiker Avatar


            Well, my education only includes a BA in Education, and a Masters in Anthropology, emphasis in archaeology.

            Luckily for me, my life experience has been wonderful, but like everyone, I have some regrets.

            By the way, what military academy?

          9. Savebears Avatar

            West Point, Retired E-6 in the mid 2000’s served first Gulf War, Wounded, spent many years as a non active training officer specializing in urban combat. I attended college when I was non-active and received my degree in wildlife biology, specializing in disease transmission causes and effects between predators and prey animals. Was forced out of my position with FWP when I would not doctor studies to fulfill a specific agenda concerning wolves.

            Believe me, if I accepted the status quo, I would still be with the agency well on my way to an early retirement.

            As such, I work independently when I can now. Sometimes for the very groups we talk about on this blog. But far more often, for private individuals and organizations.

          10. IDhiker Avatar

            When I said “status quo,” it was an impression. But, from what you have just written, I can see it was in error.

            If I might ask, what was the “specific agenda?”

          11. Savebears Avatar

            I am accepting of the fact this individual committed a crime, he plead guilty and was sentenced within the guidelines set up by the legislature of this state, that does not mean I condone the action or the sentence, it means if I want to change something, I must do it in a clear and concise manner with the people that can actually implement the change. There is no one on this blog that serve in the legislature of Montana, hence we are preaching to the choir. The people that can change things on issues like these are in Helena..

          12. IDhiker Avatar

            My niece from Boise is attending the Air Force academy, but is currently spending this school year at West Point. Other than her roommate, she likes it there.

          13. Savebears Avatar

            My studies involved disease transmission between wolves and cattle, with a source animal being bison. I will leave it at that..

          14. Savebears Avatar

            I spent some time teaching at the Air Force Academy, nice facility in a beautiful area.

          15. IDhiker Avatar


            I totally agree with your 8:46 post. I have already written so many letters and made so many calls til I’m blue in the face. I also have come to the realization that such efforts have had no effect that I can see. Right now, I’m wondering where to go next, to be more effective with the powers that be.

          16. IDhiker Avatar

            Must be brucellosis???

          17. Savebears Avatar

            We just keep throwing them out of office until we get more reasonable people in there that can actually think rationally.

          18. IDhiker Avatar

            “We just keep throwing them out of office until we get more reasonable people in there that can actually think rationally.”

            See, we are in agreement on most things!

          19. Elk275 Avatar


            “The drunk driving in Missoula is the exception and not the rule.”

            I left U of M in 1974. My favorite bar in the early 70’s was the Stockman’s on Front Street, after a few drinks we would cross the street to the Top Hat and then make the drinking rounds. Those were the good years. I had a very wonderful car, it had an auto pilot and was able to drive it self and me home.

            About ten years ago, I was in Missoula and parked behind Stock’s had a few beers and make the downtown rounds. I was planning on having one last beer in the Stock’s before going to my motel. Well, Front street was light up with red and blue lights. I ask the bartender what was going on and she said if you even think that you had one to many do not drive. There was no auto pilot that night — I walked.

      2. william huard Avatar
        william huard

        If you criticize anything about hunters- from the all too familiar ethical lapses to poaching- the resident KIA’s on this site label you an extremist anti -hunter. This has been a popular technique- and you wonder why nothing changes?

        1. JB Avatar

          That simply isn’t true, William. The way you get yourself labeled an “anti-hunter” is by only ever saying negative things about hunters. Hunters are an extremely heterogeneous group. Some have and continue to do a lot for wildlife and yes, even carnivores. Others could care less about stewardship of wildlife, especially carnivores. That you can’t seem to recognize this fact speaks volumes about your own bias, not the people who occasionally call you out on it.

          1. WM Avatar

            I think william was just looking for a rumble.

            By the way, william, a few days back I posed a hypothetical resource management problem to you regarding the wildlife agency management of bears in NJ. You said you would respond when you had time. Got an answer yet?

            Let me restate it here from the “Have You Seen ….” thread:


            WM says:
            December 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm

            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:
            December 6, 2011 at 5:23 pm

            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.



          2. william huard Avatar
            william huard


            I had a response the next day, but after thinking about it, I thought it was pointless to share my views. I would just be labeled an emotional, uninformed, liberal, animal rights activist who has an agenda to ban ALL hunting (and deprive the yahoos their ability to slob hunt for kicks) by people here on this blog that obviously think the current state of wildlife management is just wonderful, without any need to be overhauled and changed. I’m still waiting for Mark Gamblin to tell us how the state of Idaho determined the 3 day trap check policy….We already know the answer- I was waiting to see if he had the ability to be honest about it.
            I gave the National Urban Wildlife Coalition website before..They explain pretty well why Fish and game depts do not work for wildlife and all taxpayers in it’s current form.
            No matter what I say you will criticize it. I can tell you there are many progressive and enlightened states that view wildlife management as more than just a way to satisfy hunters and trappers. These states think of the needs of the wildlife first before the needs of the hunters.
            There are many ways to fund wildlife management differently than the current way it is funded. Selling items into a general fund (like the Northern Right Whale license plate in my state for example)or people having the option to donate revenue toward wildlife management on their taxes- are just a few examples…..
            IN NJ for example- I would not relocate bears from one part of the state into another part of the state to give hunters more hunting opportunity- that is biologically reckless. I wouldn’t allow cubs under a year of age to be killed, and I wouldn’t allow cubs to be shot with their mother…. these are common sense ethical and moral positions that most people agree with. I would not allow bear baiting…

            On the hunting show last week I was sickened to watch a slob hunter shoot a black bear over bait. He missed the shot and hit the bear in the lower stomach area. As the hunter was smiling and bragging and talking about how much work goes into the bear baiting process, you could hear the bear crying in agony away from the camera for a solid 5 minutes as he bled to death.
            When I see things like that my first thought is how I would love to show that slob hunter what pain feels like- (a leg choke hold) or (a shovel up side the head come to mind) before I realize violence might be what these people understand best- but is not an option in a civilized society.
            Like I said before- with the topic so polarized- it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why nothing has changed in decades…

          3. WM Avatar


            I think there are alot of folks in the “ethical” hunting community who find some of the stuff that goes on very disgusting.

            Our family does not watch much TV, much less the crap that is on cable, like these hunting channels/shows. It has been labeled by some as, “horn porn,” and what little of it I have watched at the home of friends is not something I condone. On one program I saw some grossly overweight gal from the South, maybe KY or GA, ride out with a guide in a jeep on some Texas ranch, to a spot where she walked a hundred yards up a hill and waited to catch her breath. Then she shot a really nice 4 point buck with a rifle. I bet she didn’t get her hands bloody. Not even sure what the point of that program was. I suppose somebody found it interesting.

            The real question is how do those of us who have higher standards affect change in those who do not. I am sure open to suggestions. There are some illegal acts, like the topic of this story, that in my mind are deserving of more harsh penalties – maybe a $500 fine and a license revocation for a year, is what I am thinking.

            As for the NJ bear management scenario, I think the wildlife agency is in a tough spot. Lots of bears with apparently few constraints to a robust population at the fringe of urban areas, some of which get in trouble. There are hunting stakeholders who want an opportunity to shoot a bear. So, there seems to be a bit of a match there. You can argue about how the program is carried out, and there probably are opportunities for improvement, but the sheer numbers of bears is in need of control. I was hoping to get a bit of a creative answer with some details of how you might suggest doing it better, but you chose not to engage.

            As to the question you posed to Mark G., I think somebody else gave an answer. It had to do with the amount of time it takes to run a trap line, which can be fairly time consuming. And, some of these trappers do this part-time. It is actually a fairly widely recognized time interval in several states.

          4. Savebears Avatar


            I agree, as with any group of society, you have the good the bad and the ugly, William has been branded as an extremist, due to the fact, he always uses derogatory slang to describe those he disagrees with. I have agreed with some of his points, only to be called names and branded, as has many others on this blog.

            The majority of hunters are ethical and have strong opinions about those who practice canned situations for the glory of the TV audience.

            When was the last time a positive hunting story was published on this blog? I don’t remember one, does anyone else?

            There are extremists on both sides of these issues, then there is the majority, the moderate group, that gets it from both sides.

            I am not sorry to say William, your posts are what have got you labeled.

          5. JB Avatar

            “When was the last time a positive hunting story was published on this blog? I don’t remember one, does anyone else?”

            SB: I commented on another thread that we don’t see such stories because they aren’t really “newsworthy”. The thousands who go out, hunt ethically, and go home aren’t really of interest to anyone; but the bad apples make the news every time.

            Similarly, I find it frustrating how much of the news about wolves is negative. Is it really newsworthy when wolves kill some elk in a drainage, or a cow on a ranch somewhere? You’d think reporters would have something better to do.


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.

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Ralph Maughan