Montana wolf hunting season ends today
Final figure to be about
163 166 wolves, 75% of quota-
Montana’s once extended, second wolf hunting season ends today. As of noon today, Feb. 15, 166 wolves had been reported killed in the hunt. Statewide this is about 75% of the quota set by Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks commissioners. Three hunting units closed before Feb. 15 when the subquotas of these units were filled.
Two hunting units fell striking short of their quota. They are unit 200 to the northwest of Missoula and 250, the West Fork of the Bitterroot. Both are units that some hunting groups have said were full of wolves which are depleting the elk herds. Currently an effort by these groups is underway to get the hunting season extended the season in unit 250.
It should be noted that Montana hunting unit 200 adjoins Idaho’s Lolo unit where hunters, local Idaho politicians, and the Idaho Dept of Fish and Game also claim is chock full of wolves which are said to be depleting elk herds. In real life, hunters have a hard time finding the wolves of Lolo too. There is no consensus why hunters find so few wolves where politicians yell the most about game depletion from wolves.
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.
93 Responses to Montana wolf hunting season ends today
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Wow, the morons were wrong. Shocker.
Which morons, the ones who said the hunters would kill all the wolves, wolves would be exterminated, they would be back on the endanger list, wolves need federal protection. Or the ones who said with all those planes, high power rifles and range finders the wolves don’t stand a chance. Or did you have some others in mind? Maybe another non-hunter who knows how easy wolves are to shoot or knows the wolf population is fixed.
Montana averaged just over 1 wolf a day and by the end of the month we’ll know what the minimum wolf population stands at for the end of the year. Want to bet it grew? What if we had Wyoming wolf hunting rules?
Wolf lovers would be jumping up and down about the “decimation” of the states wolf population by hunters.
Hunters and politicians were jumping up and down about the “decimation” of elk in the Lolo/Bitterroot areas due to wolves. Yet, MT has a quota in Unit 250 for 18 wolves and only 4 have been taken out of there. By their own claims there are no elk there, which logically leads to having no wolves there, no prey means no predators. Predators go where the “food” is. So they set an unrealistic quota and extended the unrealistic quota when it wasn’t met at the end of Dec. 2011. Now, Ravallli County wants to extend the season further into April…denning season. They are mulling over issuing more tags and considering trapping. This is a witch hunt. It makes no sense. The excuse of many hunters though is that wolves are hard to hunt yet many claim wolves are stalking kids at bus stops. ???? (moreso in ID than MT) “Wolf hunters” make these kinds of contradictory statements quite often. Reality and logic say that extending the wolf season into April will not solve the problem, that the quotas were arbitrarily set, that SCIENCE and facts/information were set aside in favor of hysteria and unfactual claims by some hunters and by commissioners who pay more attention to special groups rather than to their own biologists. Go look at IDFG’s page on Facebook. Wildlife agencies need to step it up in the wildlife education department. Go look at IDFG’s page on Facebook, a thread of over 400 comments about the upcoming Wildlife Summit this summer. It didn’t take long to devolve into a verbal assault fest and one can see that hysteria, paranoia and hate run rampant in that state amongst many “hunters”. Anyway, in short, leave the decisions of managing wildlife to biologists and leave commissioners and politicians out of it. Of course, along with SOME input of ethical hunters.
The article below explains why politicians in Bitterroot Valley want to talk about wolves. It displaces other subjects from the public agenda.
Program seeks response to poverty, hunger in Bitterroot Valley. By PERRY BACKUS – Ravalli Republic. Posted: Monday, February 13, 2012 5:00 am
The statistics are sobering.
One in seven people in Ravalli County are on the program most know as food stamps.
One in 15 received help on their energy bills due to low income levels.
In 2004, the Ravalli County Office of Public Assistance served a few more than 1,900 households under the program once called welfare. Today, that number is more than 3,300.
Diversion from REAL problems is usually one of politicians’ “go to” tactics. When all else fails divert! Divert!! Of course, the need for increased aid in Ravalli County and other places can also be blamed on wolves…outfitters and businesses closing up shop because the wolves ate all the elk. It’s too bad that these closed-minded people can’t focus on the big picture to help those who really need it. And couldn’t care less if the wolf hunt is extended or not. That is not in their list of priorities like food and heat are. People need to start speaking up.
Bingo. What a disraction the wolf has become for struggling areas such as this.
The food stamp stats aren’t so surprising, it’s 15% nationwide, I see people every morning that have slept outside.
What’s sad is that we feed wolves but not people. My kids had elk tonight as we do most nights. Lean but pretty tender.
Another insightful comment there Somsai.
At least it is factual, relevant, new, honest, and not filled with over the top emotion. More than can be said for many of yours.
Yeah- whatever WM. He’s the Louie Gohmert of the Wildlife News. I see you got in your HSUS cheap shot for the day. You’re very predictable.
Cheap shot, or insight on an organization’s own selfish objective (never EVER wants wolves delisted or lethally controlled) that has made this conflicting set of values exactly what it has become as a result of delisting delays. We will just have to see if they follow through with a suit, and where this confusing and wasteful process goes next. It’s not just about WI and their crazyness.
Could you please clarify what you mean by the statement, “What’s sad is that we feed wolves but not people.
In my way of thinking, wolves feed themselves, if they take too many elk, they are killed, if they take too many cattle/sheep, they are killed. To a degree, they will self regulate their numbers. People do not do this. Feel free to contribute to the welfare of others who have reached tough times, but then again, this smacks of socialism.
I’m curious about that comment, too.
There seems to be a common assumption in some circles that people who care about wildlife are misanthropes — weirdos who hate people and love wolves. This assumption usually leads to a lot of overheated rhetoric about how der Fuhrer was also an animal lover and a vegetarian (yes, and Ted Bundy was evidently a heterosexual male, so we can see where that fallacy gets us).
A few months back, duck-shooter Jeff Foiles of Illinos was packed off to prison for a range of violations. He also had appeared on video torturing wounded ducks.
A common refrain on internet by pro-Foiles commenters was that there would have been far less outrage had Foiles been torturing humans rather than ducks. Unbelievable, but it kind of fits in with the “these crazies care way more about wildlife than they care about people!!” meme.
It’s a whole system of thought designed to make voracious sport killing seem noble and selfless, while demonizing people who have different notions about wildlife. Exponents claim they are doing God’s work because they are “managing” wildlife, and when they donate their kills to food banks (see Ted Nugent) they are showing how altruistic they are at the same time.
There’s more than a grain of truth to this worldview, as long as it doesn’t become too self-congratulatory. Yes, many wildlife populations need to be managed in today’s world (lack of room for large predators; potential for crop damage, vehicle collisions, disease spread). Yes, it’s preferable to respectfully and ethically use the meat from the kills to feed someone — even better to share it with those who don’t have enough.
Here’s where I part ways: when hunters use these facts to short circuit any discussion over ethics, or over the appropriateness of wolves, or what have you. Cripple three elk with your crappy shooting? Don’t tell me how the herd needed “managing” anyway. Arguing with someone over wolf management? Your game meat donations to the food bank aren’t part of the discussion.
Yes, it is good to donate game meat to the poor. Yes, is appropriate to manage many wildlife species with sport hunting. But don’t set these arguments up against largely imaginary* people who supposedly are selfish misanthropes.
I hunt. I like deer and elk meat, I even like processing it myself. I share what I don’t need. I also acknowledge that hunting is exciting in a way that merely walking through the woods is not (for me). I am not being some selfless saint when I sling that rifle on my back in the predawn dark.
*I say “largely imaginary” because it is possible to find wildlife advocates who are selfish misanthropes. Just as it’s possible to find hunters who beat their wives and enjoy hurting animals.
WM was right about one thing. At least Somsai is honest about his hatred for predators like coyotes and wolves. Calling coyotes song doggies…clever huh. He can’t help it – he was raised that way.
After following the issue of prairie dogs in Kansas and the whole debate with ranchers not wanting Black footed ferrets reintroduced because the “Endangered Species” protections afforded the ferret would hamper the ranchers with their poisoning of Prairie Dogs with Rozol…..This months Audubon of Kansas newsletter shows a video of a prairie dog flailing it’s legs and arms as it bleeds to death slowly from the inside…..What humans do all in the name of “wildlife management” shows really how depraved humans are….All for a bunch of ranchers….
These “varminters” have been offered lead free bullets for four years to stop the lead poisoning of hawks and other raptors- so far no takers…..
One rancher killed over 7000 prairie dogs in one year….that’s a person with a real sickness and way to much time on his hands.
Immer feeding wolves is what we do with elk and moose. Twenty elk per wolf isn’t a very high price to pay to have a more full compliment of species in the hills, I like the idea, it’s the twenty thousand elk I have a problem with, or forty thousand.
The choices we all make about how many wolves determines how many elk humans get to eat. Too many wolves and they cut back on tags, at first cow tags then later all tags. No tags, no meat in the freezer. My little girl doesn’t have all her molars in yet, loves organ meat, eats parts you probably haven’t even heard of, I don’t like to buy those kinds of meats in a store, don’t think it’s clean maybe, chemicals and stuff you know. My kids eat the meat we butcher, the worst they’d ever get is some copper from a Barnes.
Besides my wife and kids there is a retired school teacher couple across the way who are crazy about food and yoga and all, they eat a lot of our meat. Also some old buddies that are of an ethnicity from the other side of the world that grew up on wild meat. I bring them meat to fead their grandkids so they can make them the same foods they grew up with.
You’ll never hear me say bad things about socialism.
No argument from me about wild meat. Wolves will most assuredly impact elk numbers. In terms of feeding people who need it the most, homeless etc, unless we really go to a feedlot mentality with elk, the impact people would make on the elk would bury what wolves consume.
In the GL states, there are just too may deer. Accidents, CWD, brain worm affects moose, agricultural damage, possibly Lyme disease… Managing game for hunting is beginning to manifest in quite a few problems once never dreamed about. Wolves are not the silver bullet, yet they can help. We are doing with deer and elk what we have done with cattle. Leopold’s quote is appropriate here,
“The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf’s job of trimming the herd to fit the range.”
What’s the real solution? Fewer wolves: short term fix. Fewer people: I don’t know, what do you think?
Why must it always come down to a contest between wolves and humans? Elk are also killed by bears, cougars and coyotes, and there are many more of them then there are wolves. Why the fixation on wolves?
JB, Wolves are important for a number of reasons.
They are the one species that so far has been unmanaged.
They have a history in the NRM of doubling in population somewhere around ever 3 years.
They eat elk all year long.
Cats take a fair number, but cats are more self regulating, they space themselves out territorially.
Bears reproduce slowly (but boy oh boy during calf drop they sure do gobble up the young elk and moose calves)
Coyotees similar to bears are only a problem during the crucial weeks of calf drop. Their noses are much less good at scenting calves.
All predators are nice to have around for the sake of diversity of species, but a strong commitment to monitoring and control is needed.
I suspect that many supposed pro wolf orgs are really anti hunter. More wolves equals less hunting.
Wolves are self regulating when given the opportunity. When you look at the population in Yellowstone you will notice that their population has declined from its high of 174 to the present level of <100. They also spread themselves out territorially. Wolves in Idaho presently number below 800 while cats number at about 3,000. The wolf population in Idaho has actually remained stable for the last few years after a decline from the 2008 level and is likely declining due to the hunting pressure. Last year the overall NRM population declined.
The USFWS is due to publish its numbers soon and from my understanding the number in Idaho is down from last year.
All of this information is freely availed by doing a google search.
Don't assume that all pro wolf groups are “anti-hunting”. That wouldn’t be true.
To say that wolves have been “unmanaged” would be a falsehood. USDA Wildlife Services, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the USFWS killed plenty of wolves while they were listed under the Endangered Species Act.
“Cats take a fair number, but cats are more self regulating, they space themselves out territorially.”
As Ken pointed out, wolves do “self-regulate” largely through “intra-specific strife” (i.e. wolves killing other wolves). They also “space” themselves according the availability of prey. Wolves and cougars are roughly the same size and both are obligate carnivores; the difference is there are a lot more cougars in the NRMs then there are wolves. You just don’t see them.
The Idaho hunt and trapping season has taken 300 as of today (when you factor in the two that were classified as “non-target trapping mortality”). http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/?getpage=121
Why isn’t “non-target trapping mortality” considered the same thing as poaching? I love it how these wolves were killed but they don’t “count” toward the total number.
So Idaho has slaughtered 300 wolves out of the “official number of 705.” This is 43% of the official population killed with at least another month and a half to go, and not including those killed by poachers, and WS assassins. Montana killed 166 out of an official total of 566. That is 29% of the official population killed, again not including illegal killings, and WS goons. The question I have is how many other “big game” species are allowed to have their numbers decimated like this? Elk? Deer? After these numbers and all of the killing to come these people can no longer claim that this is anything other than a witch hunt. An don’t for a minute think that Montana will not institute more Idaho style wolf killing before or during the next “season.” Why has this been virtually ignored by the national media?
If the wolves of Idaho were decimated, in the true sense of the word, only 70 would have been killed.
They do count towards the quota in the specific areas they were taken. Look at the link.
Sorry, I got bad information from elsewhere. Thank you for pointing it out. I just removed my head from my a$$.
“…don’t for a minute think that Montana will not institute more Idaho style wolf killing before or during the next “season.” “
Already is and our wonderfully complicit with extractive interests senator tester (of Budget delisting-rider fame) is sounding more like Clem every day. He’s more of a DINO that he was after his election.
The new total is 166 as of noon today. The final count should be about Friday when the season has been closed for several days and all the reports are in. I doubt if there will be anymore kills, the history over the last 2 months indicates that the middle days of the week produce one or no kills.
Thanks. I updated the story to reflect these new numbers.
I may have this on the wrong thread (probably better on the Have You open one), but since it involves common sense maybe it has a place here. Refreshing middle of the road approach from a MN rancher and the MN DNR, balanced with the moron at HSUS who could well derail this GL delisting (talk about setting yourself up for a perfect sh**t storm with another Congresssional rider or worse).
What are they supposed to do when you see bills like that monstrosity from Wisconsin come out the same day they are delisted? The “authors” of that bill have gone on record saying that they want to kill 60% of the wolves in the state. MN is taking a relatively “conservative” approach, but the plan from Wisconsin is so far out there that if it passes it must be challenged. People like Scott Suder and the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association are to blame if this goes back to court, not the HSUS. The pro-wolf groups have not challenged it yet because they were waiting to see what was going to happen. And what happened? Are they just supposed to stand by while states like Wisconsin implement Idaho style wholesale killing in the manner that they propose? MN is mostly going about this the right way. Wisconsin is not.
The HSUS needs to focus on the legislation in Wisconsin and not use such a broad brush over the entire Great Lakes.
You forget. The DPS issue is exactly like that in the NRM. The ESA says you have to delist the entire DPS or none at all. What do you do with two states that act responsibly and one does not? Seek to relist the entire DPS, thus not allowing MN and MI to manage their, even after respective 10 and 5 year delays from litigation and coming up with good plans even for a hunt? Wanna see a couple of pissed off Congressional Delegations?
If there is a suit, I might even guess junior Senator from MN Al Franken might jump to offer an Appropriation (or other) bill language (I even did a little satire skit on that possibility a few weeks back).
This is about whether the GL wolves need ESA protection, and they sure as hell do not in at least those two states.
Then MN and MI should direct their fury towards the people and group that I mentioned if this goes back to court. There is no reason what so ever that Wisconsin cannot do this with moderation. They are the ones potentially screwing this up for the other two states. Do you think that pro-wolf groups should just roll over and let the extremists in Wisconsin have their way?
This rider crap needs to end no matter what the issue. How is that democracy when one or two people can slap their agenda not a bill that has nothing to do with the “rider.” An to tell the citizens of the United States that they cannot challenge it in court? How has this not been declared unconstitutional thus far? I agree with you that the lawsuits need to end, but that will only happen when the states stop pandering to the extreme elements. Budget riders are no way to create policy. If wolves were to be delisted through legislation out west then it should have come to an up or down vote.
You have little recall of recent history. When WY decided to go its own way (with their crappy shooot em all except in the GYE plan), the delisting rule promulgated by FWS was only for ID and MT, then got caught up in the legal mess of the DPS (all or nothing) both states went to WY to ask them to rethink their position. WY thumbed their noses.
The the rider solution was offered (reinstating the FWS delisting rule for ID and MT as statute law, instead of a regulatoin subject to judicial review) leaving WY out. WY pouted, huffed and puffed, and tried to do their delisting thru legislation on their own (Lummis bill, I think), and it didn’t go very far.
What makes you or others think something like this couldn’t happen if WI goes batsh**t crazy, as it appears they may? By the way, I don’t think FWS can relist until they determine the actual number and range of wolves in the WLG DPS warrants (after a bunch are killed off).
For additional background MN, in fact, petitioned the FWS sometime back to go it alone on the delisting, and that is still a legal possibility, aside from the DPS all or none issue, because the MN wolves are separately recognized under law (complicated but true).
And, Paul, riders have been in Congressional bills for a very long time. How do you think some pork measures get through Congress, that standing on their would not. Ralph, I am sure can address this concept generally, (even before the 9th Circuit weighs in on this last delisting appeal on the Constitutionality of the rider).
Oh, believe me I know about riders and how they have been used, often by the “fiscally conservative” types that claim to hate “pork.” I think it is a disgusting practice, and it needs to end. I very much doubt that will ever happen.
I just want to know why the “author” of the Wisconsin bill thinks that his bill will insulate the state from lawsuits or having the wolf re-listed? This is exactly what he said during the bill hearing, and in media interviews. If his plan is to wipe out all but 350 wolves, how does he think this will not attract a lawsuit or federal intervention?
I do not want to see it come to a lawsuit or rider. I want to see my state act responsibly and not cater to the extreme elements on either side. Unfortunately, they are pandering to the worst of the worst. That is what is pissing people off and making them talk of lawsuits. This talk is not just from the HSUS, but from the tribes as well. This can be averted before it comes to that if Scott Suder would listen to the scientists that testified and not SCI and the WI Bear Hunters Association. The scientists are not opposed to a limited hunting season, but even they testified that the bill goes too far.
++ …That is what is pissing people off and making them talk of lawsuits. This talk is not just from the HSUS, but from the tribes as well….++
I had been meaning to ask you more about this statement. What exactly would be the basis for a suit by one or more of the tribes? I read the testimony by the executive director for GLIFWC, the Ojibwe associated tribes for the GL area, but I could not get a firm handle on what the basis for a claim might be. Treaties, maybe but that would be against the federal government, with focus, maybe, on some defect of the delisting. Only other possibility might be WI’s failure to coordinate with affected tribes, but I’m not sure that even rises to a cause of action.
Do you know more details?
This statement came from an assistant for a state representative that I have been talking to over the past few weeks. He said last week that the tribes are furious at being shut out of legislative debates that directly impact them. I don’t know if you have heard about the controversial mining bill that is in the Wisconsin Senate now, but the tribes were completely shut out of the debate and these mines and their runoff impact them directly. The tribes also view the wolf issue as another slap in the face from a state that has been less than friendly toward them in the past (spearfishing rights, casinos, etc). I don’t know what grounds that they would use, or even if they can sue, but that is what I was told. Here is an admittedly slanted article about these issues:
“What are they supposed to do when you see bills like that monstrosity from Wisconsin come out the same day they are delisted?”
And just how did Wisconsin get to this contentious state of affairs?
Repeated legal blockades to delisting, even though federal and state recovery goals had been met.
So are they supposed to stand by and let this bill kill 60% of the wolves in the state against the wishes of the majority of citizens according to surveys? Wisconsin citizens do not oppose a hunt, but not this. Whether or not the recovery goals were exceeded and lawsuits blocked delisting Wisconsin has control now. They got what they wanted, so why try to piss on all of those who worked on recovery whether listed or not? Those same groups have stood by during this delisting and let it happen. Why does Wisconsin feel the need to rub it in their faces that they want to kill hundreds of wolves, and do it in the most controversial ways possible? Are they trying to antagonize them? I think that HSUS and the other pro-wolf groups did the right thing by not filing a lawsuit after delisting and waiting to see what happens. They are now being taunted through this legislation. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Scott Walker controlled Wisconsin.
“I think that HSUS and the other pro-wolf groups did the right thing by not filing a lawsuit after delisting and waiting to see what happens.”
I’m not impressed – the time for restraint was back in 2007/2008, when wolves were delisted and WDNR had control of management.
The overwinter population was around 500 animals, and depredation payments were $68k, instead of the $200k they reached last year.
The Wolf Science Committee was actually allowed to recommend wolf policy, and the Wisconsin government was attentive to ecological issues. And perhaps most importantly, the combined Wildlife Services and landowner take resulted in ZERO population growth in 2008/2009.
Anti-wolf sentiment was a murmur compared to what it is today, and there’s no way we would have seen a wolf hunt proposal like AB502.
Do you really think that there would not have been a push for an open hunt on wolves if they were delisted then? I don’t. Do you recall the WI Bear Hunters Association putting out the “Little Red Riding Hood Was Right” TV ads around this time? They have been pushing for a wolf hunt for years, and they have the ear of the legislature as this bill proves. Do you think AB 502 is an acceptable response? This type of “payback” bill is going to do far more damage not only to wolves but perceptions toward the hunting community in general. I already have my perceptions formed, but this type of bill may influence those who are indifferent, or sitting on the fence. I have actually been impressed by the number of hunters that I have heard speak out about this bill, both in person and online. Believe it or not that buys good will in my book. And for the record, although I do not like the killing of wolves, I agree that HSUS should have dropped the legal challenges years ago.
I am embarrassed about all of the insane things that my state has been doing lately. Not just because I am left of center, but because it shows the dangers of extremism. The Walkers/Fitzgeralds, and Suders have driven a wedge in this state that I have never seen before. These type of extremist pandering bills are only going to further that divide, as you are seeing with the mining bill. I certainly don’t think that the libs have all of the answers, but moderation needs to return on all issues in this state.
“Do you really think that there would not have been a push for an open hunt on wolves if they were delisted then?”
I didn’t say that – I said you wouldn’t have seen anything like AB 502. And the Wolf Science Committee would have been allowed to set the structure for a public hunt, if one were to occur.
You can speculate all you’d like, but I was there.
Unit 250 is reporting 6 out of 18 killed as of the 5 pm news this evening(33% success) There is a special meeting on several areas on Thursday to consider extending the season in areas that did not meet the quota, I suspect you will see some extensions by this time tomorrow. I am again, not a wolf hunter, but I have seasons extended on other game animals when quota’s have not been met, I have seen special tags sold to ensure quota’s are met.
Living next door and watching the neighbors ( and my own kin for that matter ), I’d have to say it’s always Wolf Season in Montana…
Well it’s pretty good that they made 75% of their goal, must be some very civic minded citizens in Montana. I wonder 2 things, will they try other means to reach the magic number and did this actually bring populations down or just slow the increase.
To answer the first part, they will be killing by other means… which means the WS hit-squad that functions at livestock producers’ request at taxpayer expense until the bloodlust quota is filled.
It’s the american way… just kill it.
“Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission chairman Bob Ream says next year’s season could be adjusted to ‘loosen’ hunting restrictions in some areas.”…..Today’s Livingston Enterprise.
Here’s the breakdown of wolf deaths in Idaho from January 1, 2011 to November 30, 2011, two and half months ago. It was already @ 238 dead wolves. This is their last update other than the wolf hunt figures.
IDFG Control (13)
“Harvest” (145)I hate that word
We will never know the full extent of wolf poaching in Idaho but we all know it’s extensive. All most two months to go of the slaughter, officially ending March 31, 2012 but the Lolo and Selway zones have been extended into June right through wolf breeding, denning and pupping season. Something completely unheard of in any other game animal.
This was posted on Wolf Warriors by Scott Rockholm a few days ago:
“Scott Rockholm…Absolutely! What part of wolf infestation gave you the impression we were going to tolerate the out of control slaughter of our wildlife? Snaring is just the beginning. If you knew what I knew, you’d have to double your psychotropic drugs. The sovereign citizens of the states infested with wolves are going to systematically unravel all of this junk science, and expose the criminal wolf pimps. Wolves are not endangered by any stretch of the imagination. Get ready, because we are going to shift gears and really start killing wolves.Feb 11, 2012”
Scott Rockhead? That clown has been posting that kind of crap for years. What I don’t understand it if he is such an avid “sportsman” why does he always find the time to troll the internet and post his garbage every day? Shouldn’t he be too busy “gut shooting” wolves? Idaho should be so proud that this putz is one of their most visible citizens. Idiots with guns and computers, what could be more dangerous?
“Idiots with guns and computers, what could be more dangerous?”
Idiots with guns, computers, with a ready and gullible audience and someone like the koch-heads to fund his insanity at the expense of all others – and an appearance or his own show on fuxnews…
Now FWP is assessing why the hunt was so unsatisfactory – doing a classic “lessons learned” session and considering all aspects. Ah, not quite, seems, they only look how to improve hunting conditions:
“Are the fees reasonable? Are we discouraging people from hunting? Should there be an opportunity to take more than one wolf by an individual, and do you need more than one license to do that,” Aasheim said.
“We are trying to figure out the best ways to utilize the hunting public to manage wolves,” he said. “Are there barriers to their success, or are there opportunities that we need to take a look at?”
Geezus! And some on this blog will argue that this mindset has merit.
Therein lies the problem. It is not wolf management, but wolf reduction. Proper wolf management would be reduction in numbers where wolves are a problem, and leave them alone where they are not. How come we only got “166 is not enough” management philosophy.
In jest, perhaps wolf hunters should set up at bus stops, playgrounds, and anyone’s backyard that has a dog.
Yeah, Immer, I hear you on that.
I could see some validity if this were the conditions under which a wolf hunt in the state were conducted but instead we had “free-for-all” at the expense of the viability of the species… completely driven by emotive values rather than scientific inquiry.
It’s the American way these days, if it is any bit of an inconvenience, kill it.
That’s the new American motto, “just kill it.”
Montana wolf hunting season ends with 166 killed
“It’s uncertain what effect the number of wolves actually harvested will have on the animal’s overall population. The most recent population count, from the end of 2010, tallied a minimum 566 of the predators in Montana and at least 705 in Idaho.
The 2011 wolf population count for Idaho and Montana is not expected to be completed until next month, wildlife officials said.
In 2009, when there was a minimum of 524 wolves in Montana, computer modeling by state wildlife officials suggested a 165-animal harvest would result in a 14 percent population increase.
Seventy-three wolves were shot by hunters in Montana that year during a brief period when wolves were off the endangered list before a lawsuit restored their endangered status.
Ream said Montana’s season could be adjusted next year to loosen hunting restrictions in some peripheral areas of the wolves’ range.”
To his credit, Ream did mention that there is a predator study ongoing in the area of concern and that they would be better off to wait for that study to be completed. And he did not vote for the extended hunt. A final vote takes place today.
This just in!!!
Wolf Hunt has Ended: The Extension was Denied in MT!
Just wonderful news. I can actually thank Ron Moody and Bob Ream for having the courage to stand up and say it’s wrong to hunt wolves when they’re denning. WOW!! It was their message that carried the day. I guess there are tears in the Bitterroot (:
But what’s the catch? I am guessing that the next “season” will pull out all of the stops. However, if they are truly using science, I wish that their neighbors in Idaho would take note.
“…I wish that their neighbors in Idaho would take note.”
Fat chance. If they actually do take notice, they will take every opportunity to reinterpret the theme in such a way as to:
a) portray MT as a bunch of sissies…
b) dispute that whatever the science indicates is valid
c) attempt to make their misinterpretation translate to a mandate for killing more wolves (because MT refuses to).
Here is another thing to think about. During the 2009 wolf season in Idaho an incident happened which was posted on this site. The state or the feds shot and killed a wolf in the Stanley Basin leaving it lay. Susan Stone, an Idaho Defender of Wildlife employee had purchased a wolf tag. She found the dead wolf, tagged it and took possession of the carcass. She wanted the carcass for educational purposes. The Idaho Fish and Game took possession of the carcass. She broke the law. A license holder can transfer his/her license to kill made by another hunter. I think that she should have prosecuted. Fined heavy, incarcerated and lost her hunting and fishing privilege for life. She was given a warring the same a the wolf hunter. What is fair for one is fair for the other. She was informed of the law and her wolf was taken away and the hunter’s wolf was taken away.
Now if either of them had crossed state lines it would be a violation of the Lacey Act, that can get serious.
One big difference, she did not kill the wolf.
She did not kill the wolf but she transfer her tag to a wolf that she did not kill, which is illegal in the State of Idaho. I would be the same as a hunter killing two elk tagging one and his buddy tagging the other, same law.
Both should have been prosecuted. The rules exist for a reason. How hard would it have been for a simple citation to have been issued in either one of these cases?
If memory serves correct, I think she did it in an effort to apply her filled tag toward the quota for the total number of wolves to be taken in the ID 2009 season. I expect that may have also been an illegal purpose, if there was a law to cover that kind of thing. It really is interfering with an ongoing hunt (for those who wanted to legally fill their tags). Most regs have something very broad to cover stuff like that.
And she certainly had the necessary intent to do what she did. The legal (Latin)term is called “mens rea” or guilty mind.
Possibly another instance of discretion on the part of IDFG law enforcement. In this instance they likely didn’t want to give her any more publicity than she had achieved already. Probably why she did it, in the first place. I bet she could have gotten as many educational purpose pelts as she would have asked for.
Whoa there Elk275…
“Susan Stone, an Idaho Defender of Wildlife employee had purchased a wolf tag. She found the dead wolf, tagged it and took possession of the carcass. She wanted the carcass for educational purposes.”
It was Lynne Stone of White Clouds Council (or something like that, sorry Lynne) NOT Suzanne Stone of DoW. Two very different people affiliated with two very different organizations. Please get your identities and facts straight.
Salle, et el, I my apologies to Suzanne Stone and others for the mistake. I did not know that the Wildlife News had a good search engine. Here is an quote from the past:
I was part of the “recovery” team on Dec. 11th that found B171 Alpha Fe in Goat Creek Meadows in the Sawtooth Wilderness. I put my wolf tag on her, hoping that one less wolf would be killed in the Sawtooth Zone. I phoned the IDFG wolf kill number and reported it. Several days later I called local IDFG to “process her”.
Unfortunately, IDFG took her away from me, saying that any wolf killed by Wildlife Services is property of the state. IDFG has not heard the end of this yet. Alpha Fe is in Jerome. I am filing state records request every few days to know what IDFG has planned for her … if I can’t get her back (lawyers are being consulted since WS left her in the woods, not wanting her), then maybe eventually she will go to auction. She was a magnificent, beautiful wolf, even when the life had gone out of her. I am so heartsick over this. I tried for four years to keep this pack alive and it’s a miracle they lasted as long as they did – due to the hatred of wolves of Challis ranchers who run a sloppy cattle business near Stanley from June to Nov.
It is illegal to put your tag on any animal that the tag holder did not kill, there may be exceptions.
++If this was an elk?++
That question would be better answered by an IDFG conservation officer or policy person. Maybe Mark can weigh in.
From my perspective, one needs to look at how, facts and program operating history for managing a species are similar or not. In comparing a wolf infraction like this to one involving an elk, there are alots of distinctions, not the least of which is the short operating history of the wolf hunting season (hastily put together) with the crossover 2011-2012 years, and the vendor testiimony on not needing the 2012 tag if you have a 2011 tag and 2012 license. And, then, again there is that pesky possibility this Imnaha wolf (from a pack with a huge depredation history) would go after the easy livestock meal, in the nearby feedlot. Of course, all this has been discussed previously on this thread, and contribute to what I personally think was a good decision by IDFG enforcement personnel.
My guess is an elk infraction under similar facts would have been cited, instead of just a warning.
Despite your views of law enforcement, Paul, there are thousands of cops, sheriff deputies, wildlife conservation officers, and maybe even the occasional health inspector across the country, in large cities, small towns and rural counties who use discretion in deciding whether to cite someone for an infraction, give a written warning, only a verbal lashing, or a kindly reminder to be more careful and not do the particular act again. Another example of a continiuum, where certain actions may be justified under particular facts. What pisses you off is that this involves a wolf under state management. The wolf is dead (or would likely be at the hands of another hunter or maybe a control action), regardless. So why go after this particular guy who thought he was doing it right? Do tell, what is gained by going after him, any more than IDFG did – he lost the pelt and got a written warning, in a case that would likely have lost if prosecuted.
I fear for next year Paul. I think they may go the way of Idaho and pull out the traps. Maybe just maybe, the Ninth Circuit will overturn Molloy, @ least I think he hopes so.
As for IDFG including poaching in the “harvest”..that’s a laugh. If anyone thinks there were only 13 wolves poached in Idaho by November 30,2011 I have a bridge to sell you.
When poachers get let off with “warnings” what do you expect? Apparently you can also kill a wolf and go by a tag later too.
It may not matter much, but I have not and will not spend one cent on any product that comes from Idaho, including potatoes. My wife and I even cancelled a trip to the Yellowstone area last year because of this crap. We will reevaluate this year and if we do decide to go we will only stay at or patronize businesses that are not anti-predator, and not in Idaho or Wyoming. That is going to take quite a bit of research. Again it may not mean much, but it is my small way of taking a stand against this war on wildlife.
“When poachers get let off with “warnings” what do you expect? Apparently you can also kill a wolf and go buy a tag later too.”
So, the game warden wrote a ticket that would have entailed a large fine and loss of hunting privileges. What would have happened? He would have pleaded innocent, the county attorney would not want to try the case and it would be dismissed or a very small fine negotiated. Other wise the hunter would have gone to court and there isn’t a jury in Idaho would have convicted the hunter; attorney fees pass the hat in the bar. State fish and game departments historically have had very poor luck in the court room.
That makes it OK? This excuse has rattled the walls of this site before. I keep hearing we make too many laws, why not just enforce the ones we have. A hefty fine, community service, something, anything…
That is exactly how it should have gone down. Whether a jury blew it off or he paid a small fine it would have at least made him think twice before letting this happen again. It’s called rule of law, and if the citizens of Idaho ignore that then tells me all that I need to know about them. I have worked long enough in the law enforcement field to know that “officer discretion” is often another term for “I don’t want the hassle of having to write a citation and dealing with the fallout that comes with it.” Or it is often just plain laziness, at least among the cops that I worked with.
I did not say it made it OK. I said that a jury would not convict him. This is the United States and the defendant has a right to a jury of his peers. What would you do, get a change of venue to Boulder, Berkely, Eugene or Madison
Let me just offer something to Elk’s comment.
Presumably you were referring to the ID hunter who shot the wolf with the 2011 tag in 2012.
Here is the legal analysis. Let’s play this out. The guy timely reported the kill as he was required to do by law. That is a required affirmative act after killing the wolf. Now, if he had intended to poach, he would have just gone down and bought the 2012 tag after the fact, and nobody would have been the wise, and it would have appeared to have been a legal kill when he reported. This guy didn’t do that because…as was disclosed before…he was advised by the state’s licensing vendor/agent a new tag would not be necessary for the 2011-12 wolf season.
Would the vendor even have sold him a 2012 tag?? It was an honest mistake by the hunter, lacking the necessary INTENT to violate the law.
That is the problem some of you idiots can’t grasp (sorry to use that term, and I don’t mean to single you out, but this discussion certainly deserves that label for the many stupid posts that have been made on this subject).
A judge would toss the case (on the testimony of the vendor who told him a 2012 tag was not required when he renewed his 2012 license), and the state would have spent time preparing it for no good purpose. That is exactly how a prosecuting attorney would think it through.
And, according to Mark G., the guy did not get to keep the pelt, because technically it was a violation, even though only a warning was issued. So, there was a deterrent for this specific hunter as well as a message for future potential violators.
Paul you work around law enforcement. You know that there are limited resources and the law and the county attorney has more pressing matters to deal with.
“What would you do, get a change of venue to Boulder, Berkely, Eugene or Madison.”
Not at all. Just saying why have laws, statutes, rules,if they are not enforced? +My intention was not to infer that you said it was OK, but you more or less said what’s the use because of the likely end result.
But we are taught that what the DA may do should not factor into what law enforcement does. If the DA reduces or dismisses the charge later that is on them, not the cop. That should not be the concern of the investigating officer.
I don’t care what a violation is, there should be some type of punishment. If that makes me an “idiot” so be it. To me this is no different than someone running a stop sign or speeding. I guess I could use the excuse that I “heard” or “was told” that I wouldn’t get a ticket if I were going only 15 over, or made a rolling stop. In my mind and according to the law ignorance is not an excuse. Do you think that he would have just gotten a warning if this were an elk? I don’t think so. And do you really think the loss of the “pelt” is going to be a deterrent? Most of these people want to kill wolves period and you know it. I would be curious to know how many “harvested” wolves end up in a dumpster or just laying where they were shot, trapped, etc. Of course this is Idaho that we are talking about so we know that any talk of punishment is a moot point.
Did you just conveniently overlook the language that a licensing agent of the state advised he didn’t need the 2012 tag because he had one for the 2011 (overlapping year), AND the law enforcement officer independently confirmed the bad advice was given, that would have also been the testimony at trial, or even in deposition, or affidavit form).
Defense lawyer question to witness (license vendor)
Q: At the time Mr. X bought his 2012 hunting license, did he ask to purchase a 2012 wolf tag?
A: Well, yes, but he already had one for 2011. I thought at the time he didn’t need one for the remainder of 2011-2012 season that ended in March. You know, because it is only one hunting season. He just bought his license because he said he wanted to hunt coyotes, and of course there are no tags for them. You just need a current license.
Q: Would you have sold him a 2012 wolf tag?
A: No, because as I said he already had one, and I didn’t think he needed one.
No further questions, Your Honor.
I know that when I purchase airline tickets, concert tickets, etc. I check the dates and verify that everything on my hardcopy is correct. I guess this guy couldn’t read? This is a moot point. He got away with it in my eyes, and it was an honest mistake in your eyes. I really don’t think that any violation against a wolf in Idaho is going to bring much if any punishment anyway.
This was an Imnaha Pack disperser. Any bets on whether his diet ever consisted of beef, since the pack has 30+ plus confirmed or probable depredation kills in 18 months? He was shot within a mile, I think the article said, of a feedlot.
Lots of reasons not to prosecute, and the guy was penalized – a warning on his record, and forfeiture of the wolf pelt. Maybe Immer can ask, on behalf of IWC, for that one if the Lynne Stone pelt is not available. The story is better anyway.
You never answered my question. If this were an elk rather than a wolf do you think he would have gotten a warning?
++If this were an elk rather than a wolf do you think he would have gotten a warning?++
Sorry. I did want to answer your question, and it is a fair one to ask. I got the reply in the wrong subthread since this discussion has gotten rather long.
I never said that I have a problem with all law enforcement, just certain types of individuals that I worked along side. It may have just been my department, I don’t know. I could go on all day about the abuses of “discretion” by the officers that I worked with. I used to be skeptical about the complaints of “DWB” and other “profiling” activities. I will tell you in all honesty that these concerns are very valid, and I have seen it firsthand. It is even encouraged among some law enforcement agencies at least in my area. These are they type of cops that give the whole field a black eye, but there are far more than you think. I worked with some very ethical cops, and I also worked with some that make criminals look like saints.
Idaho has a reputation among wolf advocates that they will not prosecute wolf poachers. This only adds fuel to the fire. A simple citation would have gone a long way to temper some of those concerns. As I said before I highly doubt that most of these people give a damn about the “pelt.” They just want the kill and their stupid picture grinning over the bloody carcass. We could argue this all day and not change a thing because the decision has been made.
May have,possibly, probably, and she should have received some penalty, yet I’m sure in some fern bar, or through the coffers of DOW her fine would have been paid. Still doesn’t hide the fact that she did not kill the wolf, even on a technicality, illegally.
If Mark is around, any chances the said pelt is still available to send it to the IWC for purpose of education?
Perfect. Hope IWC can get it, if IDFG is able to oblige. Maybe Dr. Mech can advocate for it You would have a great story to tell, too! [The discussiion here, and the opinions expressed, as well as the facts of the taking of it.]
That’s how it is! When making presentations about wolves to kids, one must include the controversy surrounding this animal. Most kids are truly fascinated with wolves, but they have to know the other side of the story.
Funny, but a presentation to young kids 4th/5th graders, I had wolf pelt/ skull, moose parts/skull, deer parts skull, etc, but the thing with which they were most fascinated was the wolf scat. Used stuff from the IWC so nothing nasty, but it was bagged and cased. The bits of bone and hair(deer) let them know the wolves were not eating ALPO.
Okay so here you guys are arguing what? The legal details of a poaching and then comparing it to an action of protest intent, civil disobedience if you will, against an unjust series of circumstances where the WS hit squad illegally wasted a wolf in an unauthorized zone, against court rulings.
Apples and oranges anyone?
And besides, I do know that some folks put tags on elk they did not shoot… One person told me they did this because they found they couldn’t pull the trigger after seeing from afar a wild west style Montana elk shootout where slob hunters indiscriminately shot into a large group of elk and only took what dropped in place. this person told me that they found a cow that had made it a ways then died. They placed their tag on it and claimed it. So this does happen, perhaps more often than one would think.
I know Lynne and I know that the wolf haters also hate her, including those in the agencies, so I’m sure it was more of a case of selective punishment on their part in order to intimidate her, if that’s possible.
WM…first of all it’s 20 depredations and I bet half of those were sketchy, anytime WS gets involved, I don’t trust them as far as I can throw em.
Lets put those 20 cattle along side the 51,200 cattle Oregon ranchers lost to non-predation, in ONE YEAR (2010). Now try to tell me that 20 cows will put any rancher out of business. I want a report on everyone one of those 51,000 cows that died from disease, weather, calving or were just carted off by some rustler. You know the way they report on every wolf depredation like they are terrorists? This is nonsense and you know it. No rancher is going under over 20 cows. They have zero trouble absorbing the losses of thousand of thousands of cattle, they just don’t get their victim compensation from it or get to whine to the media about how horrible those big, bad wolves are. An Oregon rancher admitted these losses are just a blip. It’s not about cattle depredations and its not about wolves. This is a culture war.
It is my understanding the Imnaha Pack depredation count stands as of this date (that is up thru 2011, Jan and half of Feb. at 20 confirmed, and an additional 10 or 11 probable, including a mule, which is exactly what my statement says. It is also my understanding Carter Neimeyer was on the panel reviewing the ODFW determination on confirmed/probable, and that dialog on this topic occurred on a thread here,sometime in the last six weeks, with his participation.
There were at least two newspaper articles using the 10 probable number, that I recall, as well.
The Imnaha pack has been identified as a CHRONIC depredation pack by ODFW, and the wolf shot in ID was a member of this pack until it dispersed.
Paul, you can bet the farm that if this guy shot a 7 point bull elk with an expired tag he would have got more than a warning. But does IDFG give one whit about wolves?? Do gophers live in holes?
Siddoway wants to shoot them from ultralights and use live animals to bait them with. I wonder if he’d be willing to donate his own dog for the first victim? He’s been planning on introducing this bill for a long time. I wrote this in October 2009.
Idaho Man Shoots At Wolf Pack….FROM THE SKY!!
The wolf issue is giving Idaho a terrible reputation. The “wolf managers” look petty and mean, beating up on the wolves for some perceived wrongs. Oh yeah, it’s cause they’re alive and breathing. Oh NO Wait,wolves are scaring kids at bus stops, OH NO Wait, it was a hunter who accidentally (still no excuse) shot a little Oregon kid in the leg at the bus stop. Notice how only anti wolfers get chased around by wolves?
I used to spend time with a certain wolf pack,I won’t say where. We’d howl back and forth for 10 mins or more at twilight. I was never afraid and they never gave me reason to be afraid. I’ve lived in the Northern Rockies a long time, I’ve been bluff charged by grizzly bears and yes that scared the heck out of me but seeing a wolf has always been and always will be a feeling of pure joy. That’s the effect they have on normal people. And I’m very upset that they are taking away my right to view these animals. I have just as much right as the ranchers and hunters. We need a wildlife “management” paradigm shift, pronto.
And Montana…just when I thought they did a good thing Maurier had to make a statement today they’ll just go the legislature to get what they want.
“Within the first two weeks of the Legislature, we get this wolf package passed which would allow some electronic calling, more than one wolf to be taken, so more than one license to be purchased, and allowing all of those sorts of tools to be used.”
I don’t know about you but I’m sick and tired of these vengeful acts against a persecuted animal.
Good for you staying away from Yellowstone. Wyoming is busy trying to get their ducks in a row so they can slaughter wolves in 90% of the state. Wolves bring in 35 million to the GYA. I say boycott the park. It would give the wolves a rest from all the “wolf watchers” and put the pressure on the state of Wyoming to drag themselves into the 21st Century.
While we continue to contemplate the reasonableness of the MT and ID wolf hunts this year, consider this. Armenia, a former state of the Soviet Union nestled between Turkey and Georgia has a population of 600-700 wolves. The cold winter in Europe, snow and all, has brought wolves down into towns and villages scavenging for food, and tackling with dogs. Apparently there are reports of attacks on humans (no deaths, but many times there never are). The Armenian government has just determined hunters will bounty kill 200 wolves.
I offer this for two reasons. The Armenian government doesn’t think knocking back the population by a full third will be a problem. Second, when one thinks of this in historical context Europe has had cold snaps before. Such events force basic survival instincts to kick in, and will cause animals, including wolves, to do things they normally would not. Big, bad wolves, may have at certain times in history been somewhat more than just fairytales (I know I will take crap for this, but consider the context).
Google Armenia and wolves, and some of this will come up. I can’t vouch for the safety of the websites if you open a link.
OMG WM, you just don’t have a leg to stand on. ARMENIA? Pleeeze. Lets stick to the facts. Imnaha’s 20 supposed depredations and 51,000 cattle falling over dead before they’re sent to the big slaughterhouse in the sky. There are 29 wolves, or 28 whether that includes OR9 or not. The Oregon Cattle Association wants them dead and they will whine and moan to the legislature to get their way. The wolf kill bill passed the House and is now off to the Oregon Senate where they are a bit more sensible. Wolves are not a threat in Oregon any anyone that says they are doesn’t know what they’re talking about.