Since the beginning of the Idaho wolf hunting and trapping season I have been keeping a spreadsheet with a running tally of wolf kills. Presently the total stands at 332 dead wolves with 237 taken in the hunt and 95 taken by trapping and snaring. There are three zones that have been closed so far because the quota has been killed. If you include the two so called “non-target” mortalities from trapping, in areas where wolves are not allowed to be killed by trapping, and the 14 taken by USDA Wildlife Services sharpshooters in the Lolo Zone that total rises to 348.  I haven’t included those wolves killed by other causes because the IDFG hasn’t published those numbers since November.

If trends continue it is likely that the total number of wolves taken in the hunt could reach approximately 400 by the end of March when hunting and trapping ends in most areas. There are two zones, the Lolo and the Selway, where wolves will be legal to hunt until June 30.

It remains to be seen how this will affect the overall population because hunting that occurs after mating season, which is about over, could have a greater impact on reproduction if females which have mated are killed.

The 2011 year end estimates for the Idaho wolf population are about to be published but there have been approximately 130 killed since the beginning of 2012.  If the hunting success continues on its current trend then an additional 50 wolves might be taken, making the total taken since the beginning of 2012 stand at about 180.

Idaho Fish and Game – Wolf Harvest Limits – Map and Information.

Idaho Wolf Killing 2011-2012 (click for larger view)

Idaho Wolf Killing (trapping) 2011-2012 (click for larger view)

Idaho Wolf Killing (hunt) 2011-2012 (click for larger view)

Update 3/2/12: I have added the numbers found in the IDFG monthly reports for May 30, 2011 through Feb 29, 2012. I did add the 14 wolves killed by IDFG in the Lolo and the three reported as non-target or illegal (OR9). Some of the categories are under represented as far as documented mortalities are concerned. I’m sure there are probably many more poached wolves than are represented and, since there has been no reporting since November, 2011 none of the other categories, have been updated.  Some of this is offset by including all of the mortalities reported from 1/1/11 to 5/31/11.  Presumably only about half (or 9 of the 18 reported) of those were killed after den season.

It looks like total mortality could easily reach 500-525 for this reproduction year based on this information.  The 2010 year end estimate was 705, which will likely be retroactively increased due to wolf packs being rediscovered.  It is difficult to say how many pups were born in April of 2011 but if you generously assume there were 300 then the total number of wolves, including pups, at the end of May could have been about 1000.  That means, in very rough terms that, by the end of March, wolf mortality for the 2011 reproduction season could be at about 50% leaving the population at 500 or so wolves as den season gets underway in April.  It could be higher or lower depending on how many wolves there actually are and how many wolf deaths are undocumented.


All mortality Idaho 5-31-11 to 2-29-12 (click for larger view)

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About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project. We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.

218 Responses to Idaho Wolf Hunting and Trapping on Course to Take 400 by the End of March

  1. Ken Cole says:

    I suspect that by the end of March it is likely that the total Idaho wolf population will be at about 550 or so. I also suspect that the IDFG will liberalize the hunting and trapping regulations so that trapping will be expanded to more areas in the state and hunters may be able to buy more than two tags.

    • Ken Cole says:

      I would like to see statistics on how many of the wolves taken have been collared wolves and uncollared wolves. I suppose you could calculate a rough population estimate from those numbers.

      Mark Gamblin, would you be willing to provide this information?

      • Immer Treue says:


        a= collared killed
        b= total known killed
        c= total known collared
        d= population

        solve for d will give you a decent population estimate.

        • Immer Treue says:

          then of course, subtract b from d for your post “harvest” population

        • Paul says:

          Oh, don’t do this to me here too. I am in College Algebra,and Accounting courses, and helping my wife with Statistics in school now. All that I see is x=1*b=c+7=8. Now I see it here too, thanks. 🙂

    • JB says:


      So they haven’t published yearly total control actions? Could this data be gleaned from monthly reports to FWS, or are these still submitting these?

      • Ken Cole says:

        I haven’t seen up to date information. The latest Idaho wolf report is from November and I haven’t seen anything since. Have you?

        It would be nice to factor that information in just to see what it looks like.

        I would rather take a look at mortality numbers from April 15 – April 15 rather than the year end data to see what annual mortality looks like. I choose the April 15, or thereabouts, date because I think that is the average date that wolves den. I think it is a better time to figure out total wolf mortality for an entire breeding year.

        • WM says:


          Can you call Jon Rachael, or somebody else in the program and see if they will provide the numbers thru Dec., or even Jan. of this year?

        • JB says:

          I haven’t seen anything. In recent years, Idaho has killed ~75-100 wolves per year in control actions. I think it is safe to assume that at least 400 animals will be killed, probably more. It will be very interesting to see how the population responds.

    • Ken Cole says:

      Also, I choose the 550 number because I don’t believe the IDFG year-end estimate of 1000 wolves statewide. I think the actual number was closer to the actual estimate made in last year’s report. I am guessing that the 2011 year-end estimate is similar to last year’s year-end estimate as well.

      My math looks like this
      2011 year-end estimate ~750
      wolves taken since Jan 1 -130
      wolves likely to be taken from now to March 31 50+
      wolves dying by other causes ~5-20
      total of living wolves by March 31 550

      That being said, I bet you could make a pretty good estimate through mark-recapture method but it would be tricky to factor in the different timing of collars being added to wolves.

      • Ken Cole says:

        That’s pure speculation but based on an educated guess.

        • jon says:

          Ken, I heard all sorts of different #s when it comes to the # of wolves in Idaho. Some hunters in ID are claiming there are 3500-4500 wolves in idaho. no, I am not joking.

          • Mike says:

            You can never be sure what the actual numbers are when you have this kind of prejudice.

            • Paul says:


              Check out this video. Then read the comments afterward. This is the ignorance that we are up against:


              If this does not make you sick, nothing will. I love the peace symbol hat on the child. How appropriate. From the video:

              “We prayed to god, and then we shot him.”

  2. Nancy says:

    Thanks Ken. It sucks, big time, when you think about as our own species continues to grow, unchecked.

  3. Mike says:

    My wishes and thoughts go out to the slaughtered and tortured wolves, and the other animals killed by this insane bloodlust.

  4. DB says:

    Hunting and trapping taking 24 percent of the population in a year seems high.

    • Jon Way says:

      It will likely be much more than 24%. Probably more like 40%…. Shameful in my opinion for just coming off the ESA…

      • DB says:

        I know, but I’m surprised that amateur hunters and trappers could be that effective.

        • Jon Way says:

          Good point.

        • Kristi says:

          IF memory serves, or maybe it was in MT, that most wolves were “hunted” incidentally during elk season. Still, IDFG should have the “official” wolves killed each month since Nov. except for Feb., might be too early for tallies.

  5. Louise Kane says:

    This is a terrible thing to think about, killing off over half the population of Idaho’s wolves. The trapping part is especially disturbing. I can not think of any response that is not emotional, just now. what kind of people trap animals, especially wolves? I am truly disgusted. I don’t feel like being rational when hearing these numbers. I am sickened that people that hate wolves pose as responsible wildlife managers. I expect a lot of negative feedback and don’t care much. Idaho should be ashamed.

    • Paul says:


      You should see what Wisconsin is planning. They plan to hunt wolves with dogs, traps, at night, from the road, with bait all for 4 1/2 months. This may be more extreme than Idaho.

      • Kristi says:

        Wisconsin’s plan is HORRIBLE and IS worse than Idaho’s. The biologists are doing and saying what they can, but since the wolf “hunt” policy is being directed by politicians and we know what drives them, the biologists have little or no influence on the policy.

    • Salle says:

      The people who “run” the state of Idaho are seemingly incapable of anything remotely resembling shame. They see these issues and their responses to them as some divine right based in their ideology. Just go to one of their “gatherings” of nearly any kind and you can plainly see that they are seriously proud of their ignorance with regard to reality, science based information, and are determined to see that all citizens in their realm of control are under their control and kept ignorant like them.

  6. nabeki says:

    @Ken…I thought Idaho wolf numbers were around 750 @ the beginning of the hunt so if 400 are killed by March wouldn’t the population be more like 350? Of course all this counting of wolves is so non-scientific. They rely on fly overs and hunter estimates (who don’t have a dog in this fight to inflate the numbers, right?)

    Jay Mallonee proved how skewed the numbers are in Montana with his paper:

    “Hunting Wolves In Montana, Where Are The Data?”


    500 Dead

    • Ken Cole says:

      Let’s assume that the 2010 year end estimate is correct and the population was 750 or so. There is an important event that takes place between that estimate and the beginning of the hunt and that is the addition of a fairly large number of pups in April. After that, the number begins to fall again until the year end estimate is made at which I assume is similar to the previous year’s. I then subtracted the number of wolves taken in the hunt to come up with the 550 number.

      The agencies use the calendar year for their estimates. That doesn’t really make sense to me because the lowest population numbers are just before pups are born in April.

      I don’t know why the agencies use calendar years but presumably it’s partially out of convenience and partially due to ease of sighting wolves in winter from planes.

      • WM says:


        ++….but presumably it’s partially out of convenience and partially due to ease of sighting wolves in winter from planes.

        That is exactly why they use a calendar year for estimates. It also allows for accounting of the net survival of pups of the year, as I understand it.

        Incidentally, the research year (or portion thereof) for estimating how many ungulates a wolf kills- November to April- is largely because it is easier to see the evidence of a kill in the snow. So, the range for that period is 8-23 ungulates per wolf. But, rarely do you see the number of ungulates taken from May to October because is difficult to research for lack of snow, and we do know wolves eat ungulates during this period augmented by smaller mammals including rodents. IDFG says wolves are the largest takers of elk calves older than six months in the Lolo (even though wolves are fewer in number than cougar or bear). Wolves likely get a fair number of younger than six month calves as well. It is just not known unless the calf is collared, and maybe then not even known.

        • Ken Cole says:

          I understand all of that but wouldn’t you agree, all other considerations aside, that an April-April count would be a better measure of wolves?

          We all know that just before pups are born is the time when the wolf population is the lowest. That is the proper time to estimate survival and the percent of mortality.

          Like I mentioned in my earlier response to Mark Gamblin, I don’t buy into the party line about wolves being the primary cause of reduced elk numbers in the Lolo. I think it is more than reasonable to believe that bears and cats may play a bigger role in calf mortality there than in other places, particularly bears, because the habitat changes give them a bigger advantage. Habitat is the primary factor in the reduced elk numbers and is the primary limiting factor in their ability to rebound in numbers.

          • Salle says:

            I’m not sure where to look for the citations on this but I do know that long before wolves were known to even visit the Lolo, IDF$G were starting to blame the low elk numbers there on wolves.

            Ralph made a comment a coupledays ago relating a fact that one Idaho biologist had stated, (numerous times as I witnessed his testimony to this fact myself), that cats – and bears – cover up their kills to hide them from scavengers etc. thus making the carcasses less visible and evidence of kills harder to spot, even alongside a busy roadway. He also stated that before the wolves were reintroduced, the predator haters made the same claims and accusations about decimation of elk pops about cats and bears. When I asked him about it, he clearly informed me that the claims they made against wolves were, indeed, the same as they previously made against bears and cougars. There’s always a culprit to point to in order to absolve themselves of responsibility for poor management by way of playing the victim card as a smokescreen. It’s always worked for them in the past so they are clearly incensed by the lack of acquiescence to their ideo-anti-logical rhetoric.

          • WM says:


            Other than measuring at a temporary and very lowest point for some reason (which you have not explained), April – April annual count doesn’t seem logical or practical to me.

            Every state, to my knowledge, uses the winter count for the obvious reasons, and MN which sort of set the standard has been doing it for decades. It is when individual wolves are visible, tracks are visible, and prey/kill sites are visible, and average pack size may be larger. To do a count in April might actually result in a substantial undercount.

            As an example, I am remembering the rather stunning telephoto video images of the OR Imnaha pack from two years ago running in the trees with a heavy snow backdrop, and at that point maybe 8-10 wolves in the pack. I doubt someone on the ground or in the air would have seen them, without the snow for contrast. If there had been only tracks in the mud, it would have been very difficult to tell exactly how many there were.

            Then there is the transition year problem of either doing the survey twice in one year to convert to April-April (too expensive), or not doing one for 18 months (surely that’s not going to happen for obvious reasons).

            One other thought. Winter count might relate to personnel available to do surveys, when scheduling employee workload. In those states that rely on volunteer information from agencies, etc. a winter count might actually be easier, as well, especially if field staff is involved. I don’t know, just speculating.

            Notwithstanding the crap that is going on with the WI legislature, WI DNR, I believe, has given considerable thought on how to do accurate population estimates. In fact, they have even published a book on it, if memory serves.

            Maybe Ma’iingan can give some insight on why they do their estimates in winter.

            • ma'iingan says:

              The annual Wisconsin wolf census is conducted in winter because that’s when the animals are vulnerable to being counted – they leave tracks that persist on the landscape.

              The census period runs from December through the end of March, which ensures that the resulting estimate will be close to the annual nadir of the population.

              The census surveys are conducted by wildlife professionals from a number of cooperating agencies – WDNR, USDA-Wildlife Services, USFS, USFWS, and tribal biologists, augmented by a corps of approximately 150 trained volunteers.

              Each surveyor is assigned a block of approximately 200 mi² with either known or suspected resident wolf packs. At least three surveys are recommended for each of the 154 survey blocks, with priority given to blocks with signicant wolf presence. The track surveys are supplemented by visual reports from weekly flights over collared animals, and citizen observations and trailcam photos are also considered.

              Howl surveys are conducted in late summer to provide supplemental data on pup production and survival.

            • Ken Cole says:

              I never said it was practical. I just think that if it were possible that would be a good time to figure out the low of the population.

  7. nabeki says:

    @Ken, I realize pups are born in the Spring and make up for some of the losses but there are other factors that decrease wolf numbers. Did you include projected killings of wolves from November 30, 2011 attributed to the 10j, Wildlife Services, Other, Unknown and Poaching? Also consider wolf pup mortality between Spring 2011 and the beginning of the hunt. According to the IWC, 40 to 60 percent of wolf pups die each year. (that’s the problem with killing off large numbers of wolves and then playing catch up by counting pups in the Spring to make up for it) Another factor is wolf pup mortality caused by the hunt and not included in hunt numbers, as in wolf pups starving to death from loss of their parents or pack. I know you added a category of wolves dying of other causes as 5-20 but that seems very low, if you factor in the other categories I mentioned, ESPECIALLY poaching.

    We’d have to guess on poaching numbers but I think it’s pretty high, don’t you? Guessing is what this is all about anyway because wolf counting is just not accurate as was shown by Jay Mallonee on Montana wolves. He alleged the wolf numbers to be inflated in Montana. I can’t imagine it’s any different in Idaho since they basically use the same methods. What’s scientific about IDFG fly overs, hunter estimates and anecdotal on-line sighting reports? I realize you’re trying to make a best guess estimate, my point though is there easily could be fewer than 550 wolves, especially since the population certainly was decreased in the Spring and Summer of 2011 by pup mortality and poaching (SSS)(and I’m not talking about the 9 poaching incidents mentioned in the November 2011 update report, which is laughable.

    • Jerry Black says:

      The use and manufacture of snares has become very popular here in Montana and I know of one individual that’s making lots of money selling them in Idaho as well as Montana. In Montana they can be used year round and ARE being used in wolf habitat. There is very little difference between a snare that’s constructed for coyotes and one that’s constructed for wolves. Slightly stronger cable in manufacture and when setting them, a heavier anchor ie.. log, pole etc.
      IF a trapper is caught snaring wolves, and that’s a chance in a million, all he or she has to say is that it’s a coyote snare and the wolf is an incidental catch. No game “warden” in this state (Montana) will even question the trapper.
      I predict that snares will have a huge impact on the wolf populations.
      Those of you that get outdoors ….ever see an ID tag on a snare?….I see maybe 1 for every 5 snares I find.

      • WM says:

        ++….ever see an ID tag on a snare?…….I see maybe 1 for every 5 snares I find.++

        I suppose you “claim” the ones without ID, and if you are challenged anyone claiming they are not yours, would have to…eh… prove it.

        • Salle says:


          Not a bad idea… of course, they’d have to find them to prove and identify anyone else who might have “claimed” them in the first place…

        • Jerry Black says:

          “I suppose you “claim” the ones without ID, and if you are challenged anyone claiming they are not yours, would have to…eh… prove it.”

          NO!! That would be illegal, tag or no tag.

          • WM says:


            I was justing thinking outside the box, taking a page from the beginners Earth First handbook. Seems to me you and I have discussed those folks before. How do you feel about just using the wire cutter on your Leatherman? Save a coyote, save a wolf, save a dog from a painful death? I’m on board with this civil disobedience, though it might not be technically legal. Just be careful not to mess with a WS trap if it is properly tagged/identified, Bella’s story notwithstanding. That would make it a federal offense.

            Isn’t a snare illegal by not being tagged? How would one know it was not abandoned? You wouldn’t have to keep it, just drop it on USFS/BLM porch stoop after hours, with a note that says “abandoned property.”

            By the way, under a memo from about five years ago, the federal government has laid claim to all property which appears to be abanoned and on federal land. How do I know this? I found a really nice Canon digital camera in a case just laying in the middle of an National Park trail about 10 mile in from a trailhead (must have fallen out of a backpack or pocket). I turned it in at the visitor center, filling out a federal form, which had box you could check saying you would like the item if the owner does not claim it within the specified period. I think it might have been 60 or 90 days. I called the NP visitor center about three months later only to learn the item had not been claimed, but the form should not have been used, since the policy had changed. When I asked for documentation on the policy I was directed to a legal memo from about a year earlier (Bush admin.). I bet some ranger has a very nice camera.

            • Immer Treue says:

              Question, will the wire cutter on a leatherman cut the cable used for wolf/coyote snares?

            • WM says:

              Field trials, Immer? LOL.

            • Immer Treue says:


              I’ve got/will have dogs. Just a precaution that is good to know, when one considers what the alternative could be, and consequences; in particular on trails that I create while bush-wacking.

  8. Paul says:

    Now Idaho wants to increase the “bag limit” to 5 wolves next year. I wonder how this will impact the “robustness” of the wolf population. Of course they have to show the picture of the “scared granny” grinning over the dead wolf. Disgusting.

    • Ken Cole says:

      They are treading on dangerous ground already but if they do this then they are really going to be in a pickle. If they liberalize seasons without even writing their new plan then I think it may be possible that wolves in places like the Panhandle zone could be in serious trouble.

      It would seem to me that there should be quotas set up in the various zones, especially zones like those where dispersal to neighboring states and Canada occurs so as to meet their genetics MOU.

      I don’t think we really have an idea about how many wolves have died due to poaching either. Any estimate on that is pure speculation I think.

      Frankly, I think that this hunt has impacted the wolf population to a greater degree than they expected. I think, with all sources of mortality combined, that they will have taken more than 50% in just one year. If the population suffers that kind of mortality two years in a row then I think we’re looking at a petition to relist them.

    • Jon Way says:

      That will work in nicely with their aerial helicopter harvest if any other wolves are remaining in the area… Now that’s a robust population waiting to inhabit that area….

  9. Doryfun says:

    If the hunter is given a bag limit of 5 wolves, how about Fish & Game getting with modern management, to reflect what their own scientists are calling for in the Journal of Wildlife Mgt, and get rid of trapping and aerial gunning altogether? It appears hunters do have an impact to reducing wolves, so why not promote more of that to arrive at destination population numbers and get rid of any other method of take? Perhaps hunter only control would reflect more of a “natural” (in a sense) predator prey relationship?

    Let trappers turn into hunters, rather than continuing with an art that should have been banned long ago.If hides are that valuable, hunting, rather than trapping seems the better choice.

    • Jon Way says:

      Its funny that trappers are allowed to sell hides from any furbearer (wolf, coyote, raccoon, etc) and make a profit on it yet one of the 7 tenets of the great NA model of Wildlife Mgmt is to ban the commercialization of wildlife…

      • Salle says:

        But Jon,

        If it generates $$$ then it MUST be okay, after all, money is all that matters anymore… ethics and true morality be damned.

      • Paul says:


        Maybe that is exactly what we need to fight this. Use their own NA Model of Wildlife Management “Bible” that fish and game departments use as being sacred against them. I had a discussion with someone the other day about why trappers are allowed to sell the pelts from their “take.” If you take that incentive away I would bet trapper numbers would plummet, except for the sadists of course. Another thing that they conveniently forget is how Aldo Leopold, before his death, said that non-hunters should not be left out of wildlife decision making, and fish and game departments should be funded by general funds. It seems that those inconvenient sentiments were also discounted and ignored by most states.

        • Jon Way says:

          You are right Paul. This is a clear double standard set forth by state game and fish depts that espouse the NA model then allow wildlife (furs) to be sold….

          • Elk275 says:

            There is probably a historical prescient that has continued since the settlement of North American. Trapping and the fur trade is what drove western expansion until gold was discovered in California. Trapping and the selling of furs continued after the states became states and because it employed people no one thought about it until recently. It provided the farm and rural residents an outside source of income as long as there was demand for the product. In the 80’s and early 90’s my nephew use to trap on their farm and made better money than someone his age working at a fast food place in a larger town.

            Hunting and fishing outfitters, guided wolf watching trips and photographers are commercialization of our fish and wildlife, too. Whether it is guiding a hunter to a trophy elk or a picture of a wolf in the Lamar Valley money has changed hands because of wildlife.

          • WM says:

            Paul/Jon W.,

            If I understand the NA model correctly, the commercialization aspect has more to do with market hunting. That would be market hunting of migratory birds (huge thing in the Midwest at one time that eventually required federal intervention), bison (meat and hides for wealthy Easterners or royal hunts), beaver, and some fisheries.

            The entire revenue stream from trappers can’t be more than a few million dollars, if that. They just don’t take that many animals in most locales, and there is not much US demand which depresses prices (suspect some are exported). I think we have even seen the statistics here. That being said, it wouldn’t break my heart to see trapping by the general public stopped for the most part. But it wouldn’t have much to do with the NA conservation model.

            • Paul says:

              The question I ask, and I seriously don’t know, is are they required to pay and collect taxes on the revenue they make and “products” they sell? I know that in Wisconsin 8000 trappers killed 500,000 animals last year, and got to do all of that for only the price of a $20 trapping license while I had to pay $25 just to drive into a state park with my vehicle. Something is very wrong with this picture.

            • Elk275 says:

              Trapping is a small income producing business, all income and expenses have to be filed on schedule “C”. I doubt after they deduct their expenses and take legal deductions that there is any income to tax. The cost of gas and/or the mileage deduction would cancel any net income.

            • Immer Treue says:


              Then if there is little to no profit, why do it? The excuse of being out in the woods doesn’t hold any water, other than killing wildlife. They can enjoy the woods all they want, and not kill via trapping.

            • Paul says:


              You just answered your own question. I posted an article about a trapper in ND a few weeks ago who described it as a “disease” that once you catch you are hooked. In a normal world these people would be shunned as sadists. In our world they are celebrated and encouraged.

            • WM says:


              Tax on pelts: Most businesses require the purchase of a business license. If the trapper is a wholesaler, they would not pay sales tax, but would pay federal income tax. The retailer would collect sales tax. If the trapper is the retailer the purchaser would pay a sales tax directly to the trapper who pays the state; the trapper would pay in some locales like Seattle a business & occupancy tax (whether there is profit or not) and federal income tax (some states also have state income tax). It is my understanding some types of pelts have to have a seal to be legally sold, and that may depend on the state.

              As for profitablity, assume a business is actually run, it might pay for the write off of certain equipment, and you can use your imagination on what that might be, including an ATV, snowmobile, etc., and operating expenses.

              By the way, I had no idea WI trappers took so many animals. There must be a market for something somewhere. Who is buying fur these days? Thanks for the information.

            • jb says:

              TWS, the society that certifies wildlife managers, currently lists “the elimination of markets for game” as one “tenet” of the North American Model. Some scholars have already noted that trapping and commercial fishing both conflict with this tenet.

            • Paul says:


              From studies that I have seen most trappers in Wisconsin fall under the “recreational” category. But from these numbers money is obviously changing hands to the tune of 4.3 million dollars in 2010-2011 Here is a WI DNR study about fur prices:


              I would indeed be interested in knowing what tax revenue if any the state gets from this. I just do not understand how someone can make a “business” out of a public “resource.” That sounds like some kind of “welfare” program for trappers to actually get paid for their “recreation.” I am going to have to make some calls and try to get more information on this. Now I am very curious.

            • WM says:


              ++ I just do not understand how someone can make a “business” out of a public “resource.”++

              In the West it is done all the time on federal and state lands. Patent mining claims for precious metals; some renewable products of the forest like mushrooms, silal (a foliage florists use), huckleberries, rocks for landscaping and quarry material, firewood (dead trees). Some of this requires only a nominal permit and reporting to the government for volumes taken, but there is no signficant assessment.

            • Dan says:

              Why do people ski, backpack, play chess, golf, cook etc.?

              I have a good friend who traps and deals in pelts. He does it because it keeps him active. He does his own marketing, typically through online markets. He likes marketing his own stuff because he feels part of American business culture. It gives him a sense of being “in the game.” He pays taxes like everyone else but by most standards makes a meager living. He has a full-time factory job that drains his brain and fitness. Being out in the woods rejuvenates him and provides extra income. I think he’s extremely gifted. I have watched him skin critters with amazing speed without ever imparting the smallest defect in the pelt. He typically hunts every day of elk season in the mornings before going to his swing shift factory job. He spends part or all of about 160 days in the woods.

              I also have a good friend who is an animal observer. He too spends all or part of about 160 days in the woods. He has a trail he pioneered up a ridge to look across at a mountain goat population. He keeps a very detailed journal about calving, eating habits, mating, population etc. He too spends time in the woods to rejuvenate him from his boring office job. He is a strong hiker and once pedaled a bike from N. Idaho to Kansas. He too has a meager income. He constantly has new projects, everything from building a new redwood cap for our community fish pond to charting river flows and guessing err “predicting” spring run-off rates. I laugh at the thought of him harming a critter. I once watched him try to swat a goshawk off a pileated woodpecker to no avail.

              Point is, both these men are very intelligent, the trapper was a state chess champion, the mtn goat watcher a Big Twelve college graduate. They both love the wilderness and can’t get enough time hiking and interacting in the mountains and woods. I am great friends with both because they are honest, hard working mountain men. I do not judge one for trapping or one for watching. They both do their thing. For the majority of you, these two men are at the opposite ends of spectrum and most likely one or the other would be an enemy, in mine they are mentors.

            • Dan says:

              ++ I just do not understand how someone can make a “business” out of a public “resource.”++

              ahhh a very large amount of the industries and jobs in this country are directly related to public resources.
              Almost anything related to water, minerals and materials, recreation and many more industries are seated in public resources.
              Mines are a lot of times on public lands, aquifers, ski resorts, etc. etc.
              How about government contractors? Don’t they make their “business” on “public resources”
              I’m guessing “business” in the “public resources” is a multi-billion dollar industry.

            • Paul says:

              I guess I should have been a little more clear about my concerns. These trappers pay a very, very small fee to essentially kill as many animals as they want. Then they get to sell these pelts for a profit. That is the problem that I have with this. In Wisconsin 8000 trappers spent approximately $160,000 on fees to practice their “hobby.” In turn they took in $4.3 million. That is a helluva trade off for just a $20 fee. That averages out to about $540 per person. If that person spends $20 on a license, they are getting $520 in pure profit. That is a pretty good return on something that is supposed to “belong” to the public.

              As for the comparison to large corporations using public resources for their own gain, I would say that there is a huge difference between essential industry and a non-essential “recreational” activity like trapping. If trappers are going to be profiting off this, I am of the opinion that they need to be paying higher fees to do so. $20 is a very small price to pay to get that large of a return. I am pretty sure that that big industry pays a much heftier fee to benefit from public resources.

            • Mike says:

              ++Why do people ski, backpack, play chess, golf, cook etc.? ++

              This is one of the nuttiest comparison’s I’ve ever seen. Comparing chess and backpacking with maiming and causing the slow, painful death of a mammal? What is the color of the sky on your planet?

            • Doryfun says:

              Paul, Jon Way, WM, Dan,

              Like Elk275, WM, Dan say, there are a lot of people making money off of public land. Part of the reason I don’t comment a lot on this blog, except for winter, is that I am outdoors most of the time, and my entire income comes from public lands. This time of year, guiding steelhead fishermen, other times chukar hunters, or whitewater trips. As anyone who has any kind of commercial interest to be gained, all have to pay special use fees to which ever agency manages the land,ie USFS, BLM. (3% of gross in most cases). Any consumptive users (guests) must pay for the appropirate licenses and tags, thus a big part of the state agencies revenue.

              The commercialization to which the TWS refers, is more like that to prevent selling of fish and wildlife (the market hunting aspect) as as been mentioned.


              That you have friends that are wonderful people, whom trap too. Big deal. So do I. But that doesn’t mean I have to like trapping, or that it is still a good management tool or endeavor. I’m not judging them, just because I don’t like what they are doing.

              I don’t like trophy hunting, but don’t judge people who do it, nor lobby against it. But I don’t see it on the same scale as trapping.

              We don’t torcher prisoners (so we claim anyway) as the Geneva Convention addresses this, so why should we do so with animals. Just how is it that traps and snares is not a form of torcher?

              Even if trappers make a huge income off this, does not justify the end. Market hunting is not allowed anymore, times change. It is time to change fish and game policies to catch up to this world, now.

              My quick two cents, as I must head out fishing again today.

  10. Ken Cole says:

    Note the update that I just made to the post. New chart and some very rough numbers.

    • Salle says:

      Thanks, Ken. It covers a lot of ground and exposes the IDF$G agenda based on mandates from the office of Clem… (who is probably entrenched in the ALEC advisory board’s rhetorical agenda.)

  11. Nancy says:

    “By the way, I had no idea WI trappers took so many animals. There must be a market for something somewhere. Who is buying fur these days? Thanks for the information”

    WM – if you go to the left hand side of the page and click on completed items, you can get an idea of how well “furs/skins” are doing out there.

    And here’s another site, a wish list for the “wall hanger” mentality, so prevalent in our species:

    • Salle says:

      Waaaaaaaaaaay back another lifetime ago, I lived in Wisconsin. I recall being dispatched to a tiny littl town in southeastern-most MN to pick up a full load (for a 24′ drybox) of pelts that were on their way to Belgium to be made into coats and such. While I was loading, a pick-up truck full of dead, frozen animals pulled up. He had dead, frozen deer, muskrats, raccoons,and a variety of species heaped higher than the cab roof, and a five-year-old boy helping him heave the carcasses of the truck. It was a hard day for me that day, to imagine all the wildlife this guy removed from the woods for cash as I followed the Upper Mississippi to the Wisconsin river… I took a couple days off after seeing that.

      A whole bunch of pelts go to the EU to be processed, a lot of it doesn’t come back across the pond. Some of the finest furs come from the woods, forests and riparian zones of the US. I can’t help but think that our “wildlife management” schemes aren’t completely based on monetary gains via the public’s “commons” for which we all pay taxes to maintain… like the other extractive industries… all under the umbrella guise of something pertaining to their model of “the common good” sans fact or data.

      • WM says:


        ++I can’t help but think that our “wildlife management” schemes aren’t completely based on monetary gains via the public’s “commons” for which we all pay taxes to maintain… like the other extractive industries… all under the umbrella guise of something pertaining to their model of “the common good”….++

        You do realize, as a trucker, your industry is subsidized heavily. We taxpayers all pick up the balance, and yet there is still a deficit. The big rigs (some overweight, which is why there are all the weigh stations on the Interstate Hiway system), have trashed the hiway system across the entire nation.

        Off topic of this thread, but we all need to recognize that subsidies occur in many, many areas other than crop subsidies, Wildlife Services, livestock grazing and taking both non-renewable and renewable resources from the public lands and the water.

        Somebody figured all this was for the “common good,” but the louder voices, of course, were the ones with the political clout to make things happen for themselves and their constituencies.

  12. Paul says:

    Ravalli County at it again with their bounty obsession:

    Does anyone have the numbers for the number of alleged wolf depredations here? I think that “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” if a fitting description of this county and all of the wolf haters in that region.

    • Rita K. Sharpe says:

      Just a question,with hunting and trapping still going on in the neighboring State of Idaho,are wolves just migrating towards Montana?Wouldn’t one want to wait to count the wolf numbers after Idaho’s season is over, before jumping to a rash or a hasty descision?Apparently,not from the looks of it.

      • Paul says:

        This bloodlust is just insane, and spreading. Montana only took a “cautious” approach the first year and now they are going to pull out all of the stops just like Idaho. If these measures to keep killing more and more wolves are put in place all depredation payments need to stop. There is no reason that wolves can continue to be persecuted by these people and have the ranchers still being reimbursed for their alleged losses.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        I imagine the Idaho population figures will be released soon. Then we can look at Montana and Idaho together.

        I would be a bit skeptical of figures, however, because the number of collared wolves, which are crucial to the population estimate, are way down I think.

  13. Leslie says:

    “Why do people ski, backpack, play chess, golf, cook etc.?” I can’t imagine putting trapping in the same category as those sports. First off, a lot of trapping is very inhumane. I discovered a fox last Dec. with its leg totally skinned and dead. It had obviously gotten out of a trap intended for a slightly larger animal like a coyote. Animals can lie there for days suffering.
    Secondly, the little bit of trapping I’ve seen here doesn’t seem like much out in the wilderness activity to me. One trapper has his bobcat leg hold a few hundred paces from a popular turnout on a busy road. The turnout has the only bathroom for miles and people and their dogs stop frequently all winter. Another trapper is up and down my road a few times a week with his snowmobile to check his traps. Doesn’t quite strike me as ‘time hiking and interacting in the mountains and woods’.

    I too have wondered about the practice of trapping for cash on public lands by individuals. If you can trap and sell your furs to China and Russia, why can’t you sell your elk or deer meat? Seems inconsistent policy-making to me.

  14. Mike says:

    All of this is an example of WHY the wolf was put on the endangered species list.

    These dudes couldn’t handle the wolf. Never could, never will. Mommy has to come along soon and cradle the species in her arms and take it away from the little chubby white men who never grew up.

  15. jon says:

    Heard a troubling rumor that IDFG is going to allow hunters to kill 5 wolves next wolf season and to allow trappers to trap 15 wolves each. Don’t know how true or accurate this is, but it’s very troubling none the less.

    • Alan Gregory says:

      So much for protecting and preserving a state’s natural heritage.

      • Savebears says:


        The state of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming have no heritage when it comes to wolves, think back, how many generations have passed since wolves were on the landscape? I believe there is less than a handful of people living that might remember when there was a wolf in these states…

        For the people currently living, there is simply no state’s natural heritage when it comes to wolves.

        • Alan Gregory says:

          The “natural heritage” I write about is the full range of species – flora and fauna – of which large predators (i.e., the gray wolf). I don’t doubt at all your premise that few, if any, humans are alive today that witnessed the original gray wolf populations. Like it or not, though, the species (Canis lupus) that was reintroduced is part of today’s natural heritage. We, i.e., humans, got a second chance to live along side wolves and we seem to unappreciative of that opportunity.

  16. Chuck says:

    But who is to say that IDFG wouldn’t error on the side of not losing control of the wolves, so who is to say that will report and true number of wolves killed????
    I personally don’t trust them. Also by all rights when a hunter kills a pregnant female the number of pups that were inside the female should also be counted. If you go by human standards a fetus is consider living when its conceived, so why can’t that standard be applied to wolves???. How many other wildlife species are hunted during pregnancy and birth???

    • ma'iingan says:

      “How many other wildlife species are hunted during pregnancy and birth???”

      Most North American game and furbearer species are hunted during their gestation period.

    • Paul says:


      I would assume that its just canids like wolves and coyotes who are subjugated to this. This is absolutely disgusting and Idaho should be ashamed. But of course they won’t be and we will hear some crap from their PR people about “robust” and “sustainable” wolf populations and how killing pregnant females is good “conservation.” This is shameful, and just one step closer to even more barbaric measures against wolves. Killing pregnant females, 10 month seasons, aerial gunning, trapping, when does it end? Mark my words that next “season” they will attempt to adopt what Wisconsin is pushing as in using dog packs, road shooting, and night hunting. Then don’t be surprised when gassing pups in dens becomes all the rage. The relatives of our dogs being treated this way is shameful. I wonder how many of these people go home and scratch their dog behind the ears while reveling in the fact that they just shot a pregnant wolf?

    • Elk275 says:

      Elk breed in September and hunting is general right after breeding season. There are only a few places in the US that have a rifle season during the rut.

      • Elk275 says:

        I have shot numberous cow elk in late November, December and early January. When gutting the cows I have felt the fetus in the uterus. No big deal.

        • Dawn Rehill says:

          Yeah Elk 275, not really feeling that remark, shows disrespect . I do not know you, but,

        • Dawn Rehill says:

          Sorry my computer has a mind of it’s own tonite, but anyway Elk 275,I do not know you,but show respect to the animal, not NO BIG DEAL, not cool

  17. M says:

    I really appreciate all the data people are trying to gather re recent wolf semi-genocide. Sickened here in Portland.. would it to me any good to rent a car, drive to Boise, and hold up up a sign in the middle of town protesting this? or will I just get run over? Seriously… any ideas beyond giving more money to envir. groups, etc. I was gonna write Idaho Gov. and or FWG etc., then got lazy after the group that emails me – Defenders of Wildlife? – could not even supply their email subscribers with good contact numbers. Shoot, some Israeli peace groups will give you the number of a prison to call.
    Ken, if you see this, and think it’s worth your time, you could also email me with ideas. Marc

  18. nabeki says:

    I know this is off topic but please help Wisconsin’s wolves. There are two bills ready to be voted on in the Wisconsin House and Senate..AB502 and S411 that are absolutely toxic. They want to hunt wolves down with dogs, club them to death in traps like baby seals, shoot across roads, hunt them at night and the list goes on. There is already a vote coming up on Tuesday in the Assembly which is filled with Republicans and will certainly pass. The Senate is more moderate so it could be slowed down there. The Senate hasn’t set a date for a vote but it more than likely will be this week following the Assembly vote. The tribes are up in arms over this so there may be a lawsuit from them. If anyone hasn’t noticed there is a full out assault on wolves in this country that is bordering on maniacal. Thanks Obummer for unleashing the Hounds of Hell upon the gray wolves.

    The thought of wolves being ripped shreds by a pack of dogs or the horrific screaming that would go on while being pounded on the head with a club? bat? and having their skulls crushed is the stuff of nightmares. Something has to be done about this brutality!!

    URGENT TAKE ACTION: Wisconsin Wolves Under Siege!

    • WM says:

      ++… club them to death in traps like baby seals… full out assault on wolves in this country that is bordering on maniacal. Thanks Obummer for unleashing the Hounds of Hell upon the gray wolves… ripped shreds by a pack of dogs or the horrific screaming that would go on while being pounded on the head with a club?

      Your contribution to the misinformation/disinformaion campaign once again, Nabeki?

      • Paul says:


        There is no misinformation in her post. This bill will indeed allow everything that she mentioned. It may not happen all in one incident but what she described is allowed. The bill allows packs of up to 6 dogs to be used day and night to go after wolves for 4 1/2 months. Have you seen what these same dogs do to the bear cubs that they are set upon in Wisconsin? then of course if something happens to one of the dogs they will find a way to get reimbursed for it.

        • WM says:


          If you haven’t already, you need to read and comprehend ma’iingan’s posts. What a bill if enacted into law allows, and what actually occurs in the field are likely to be quite different things. The clubbing thing I just don’t get, other than a desire by Nabeki, for purposes we all know, to create a parade of horribles, to get all worked up.

          • Paul says:

            I read his post, and have been reading every detail of the bill for weeks. Whether or not this happens in the field the possibility is there especially if it is a lone wolf cornered by one of these packs. People should be worked up by this bill. This bill is blatant pandering to a select minority of people to allow them to kill wolves in their preferred method that the majority of the state disapproves of. Studies by Adrian Treves of the University of Wisconsin have shown time and time again that Wisconsinites disapprove by wide margins the use of dogs for hunting wolves (and other predators for that matter). And yes trappers will be able to club wolves to death whether this is their preferred method or not. It may or may not happen, but we have all seen what some trappers are capable of.

            • ma'iingan says:

              “Whether or not this happens in the field the possibility is there especially if it is a lone wolf cornered by one of these packs.”

              It is illegal in Wisconsin to allow a dog to kill a wild animal.

            • Paul says:

              So you are telling me that those videos of bear hounders allowing their dogs to rip apart a bear show illegal activity? If the bear died from the dog attacks this is illegal? Do you know if these activities are investigated by the DNR or if any hounders have ever been charged?

        • ma'iingan says:

          “The bill allows packs of up to 6 dogs to be used day and night to go after wolves for 4 1/2 months.”

          The pursuit of wolves with dogs will only be allowed after the close of the final gun hunting period for deer, which is typically the second full weekend in December – so the the duration will be 2 1/2 months, not 4 1/2.

          Franlky, I would expect the wolf harvest quota to to be fulfilled by this time.

          • Paul says:

            It depends on what the quota is. According to WKOW senate committee members said that they want a quota of 350. I know that during the committee hearings the members made it sound like the dogs and night hunting would be for the duration of the season. 2 1/2 months is still a very long time.

            • ma'iingan says:

              “According to WKOW senate committee members said that they want a quota of 350.”

              That’s just sloppy reporting – the reporter is confused about the current management goal of 350.

              There was no quota mentioned by anyone in the Senate hearing, and the only mention of a quota that I heard in any hearing was 50-100 animals in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee hearing.

            • Paul says:


              I was at the Capitol today and I heard 50, 100, and even 200 mentioned at least a few times by the staff of several lawmakers. I really hope that the DNR does not go overboard and give in to political pressure on this and have a 200-300 or more kill quota. But as I saw today this is Scott Walker’s Wisconsin and nothing is off limits. At least the recall protesters were out in full force while I was there so that was one bright spot.

      • nabeki says:

        Your contribution to the misinformation/disinformaion campaign once again, Nabeki?


        WM..I don’t appreciate the personal attacks. How about you find someone else to harass?

        • WM says:


          You have in the past not been a slave to truth, in your advocacy rants. Why stop now, unless you are challenged? If you don’t want to be challenged (harassed) don’t say stupid things.

          • Paul says:


            Is that really necessary? When has Nabeki posted falsehoods? Just because her take on a topic differs from yours it does not mean it is false or stupid. It is one thing to have an argument or debate, it is quite another to call names and make it personal.

            • WM says:


              If you read my posts, no names were called. I just challenged, and got back the word “harassed.” Nabeki’s history on this forum goes back quite sometime with questionable material, long before you joined the conversation.

  19. nabeki says:

    ripped to shreds

    • ma'iingan says:

      Wolves will not be “ripped to shreds” by trailing hounds – in fact the opposite will be true. A wolf can kill one of these dogs in a matter of seconds.

      Therein lies one of the major flaws of this legislation – the continuation of paying damages to hound hunters who lose their dogs to wolves.

      The hunter only has to claim he was hunting coyotes at the time, and he can receive reimbursement up to $2500 per dog.

      As far as clubbing wolves to death, I don’t know why trappers would change their standard practice. The universal method of dispatch is a .22 round to the head, providing minimal damage and minimal risk.

      • ma'iingan says:

        I should also mention that there’s well-founded speculation that pursuing wolves with dogs will result in increased aggression towards any dog in the pack’s territory.

      • Immer Treue says:


        +++Therein lies one of the major flaws of this legislation – the continuation of paying damages to hound hunters who lose their dogs to wolves.

        The hunter only has to claim he was hunting coyotes at the time, and he can receive reimbursement up to $2500 per dog.+++

        When I saw this, the amendment that was voted down, I almost choked. The analogies are countless.

      • Paul says:

        This was pointed out in the Assembly “public hearing”(the one announced 24 hours before it occurred). It was either Suder or Rivard who said that they would have to rely on the “honesty” of the hounder in determining whether a wolf killed the dog. Where else does government place that much trust on their citizens without a thorough investigation,especially when money is involved? I know that when I file my state taxes or file for unemployment a thorough investigation is done to verify my claims. Not here. We will just take the word of these infallible bear hounders, because we know how ethical and honest they truly are.

        • Salle says:


          That’s one ploy that’s straight out of Idaho’s playbook. And lest we forget… Kempthorne and the former sen. wide-stance have moved into the private sector as influential lobbyists and “advisors” for their favorite pet pogroms. Rest assured they are involved in the shadow side of legislation when it concerns corporate greed v the people’s will and preserving the commons.

          (I call it the karlrovian theocracy.)

          • Paul says:

            Old Senator Wide-Stance. I have not been able to visit an airport bathroom the same way after that story broke. Every time I move my feet or legs for leverage I am afraid that someone will think it is a proposition 🙂

  20. nabeki says:


    “6 2. No more than 6 dogs in a single pack may be used to trail or track a wolf.” Six dogs are perfectly capable of attacking and killing a wolf, especially if the wolf fights back, which any cornered animal would.

    The reason some trappers club wolves to death is to preserve the pelt. That’s why baby seals are clubbed instead of shot.

    “Some trappers will club their victims to death, or simply strangle it. Some will just stand on the suffering animal with their full weight and the animals will slowly suffocate because it will not be able to breathe.”

    • ma'iingan says:

      @nabeki –

      I don’t know your background, but I’ve been a wildlife professional for over 25 years. I’ve seen what wolves do to trailing hounds, and while there are always a few lone wolves dispersing around Wisconsin, most hounds will encounter groups of wolves during the proposed hunting season.

      None of the wildlife professionals who’ve testified regarding this bill have expressed the slightest concern about wolves being killed by dogs, in fact their comments have unanimously addressed the potential loss of dogs.

      You might enjoy the comparison with clubbing baby seals, but trappers in this state dispatch coyote, fox, and bobcat with a .22 round to the head, and I don’t see them changing this practice when wolves are involved.

      • Mike says:

        Ma’iign –

        Funny, I’ve spoken with several wildlife experts who are stunned at the dog hunting aspects of this. I’ve also ran into trappers in Wisconsin who use the “chest crush” method on mammals.

        You’re portrayal of what goes on out there is Disney-esque, and bordering on outright denial. The truth is, many of these “sportsmen” are simply leaving animals to suffer in traps, and especially during cold snaps (not all trappers do this, BTW). There is often alcohol involved, and the killing of non-target species. There is no honor, no glamour as you portray it. It’s an ugly, ugly thing.

        Also, please spare us your childish terminology. No one “dispatches” an animal with a .22 to the head. They KILL it. They end its life. Blows its brains out. It’s an incredibly violent finality that can never be taken back. Dispatch is perhaps the weakest possible word used to describe such an action, and I’m sure it wasn’t by accident.

        I won’t even get into the outright lazy, slobbish “past time” of using dog packs to hunt bears in Wisconsin, but let’s just say it usually involves obese white men sitting in pickup trucks on logging roads, Pabst Blue Ribbon between their legs, hands on tracking transmitters that are on at least one collar.

        • Immer Treue says:


          “I won’t even get into the outright lazy, slobbish “past time” of using dog packs to hunt bears in Wisconsin, but let’s just say it usually involves obese white men sitting in pickup trucks on logging roads, Pabst Blue Ribbon between their legs, hands on tracking transmitters that are on at least one collar.”

          If they do this, with wolves, their dogs are going to die. They may get a wolf or two using dogs, but I feel fairly confident in saying more dogs will die.

          I think ma’iingan has addressed this already, as have folks from the WDNR and the Timber Wolf Alliance. Wolves, if chased by dogs will look upon all dogs as foes. It does not bode well for the dogs. Wolves aren’t going to f&*k around as they have to kill for a living and to defend territory. This is why the reimbursement for hunting dogs is now surreal.

        • ma'iingan says:

          “There is no honor, no glamour as you portray it.”

          I’ve re-read my post a few times and I don’t see any comment that would suggest honor or glamour.

          My “portrayal” is grounded in actual experience, Mike – in what’s referred to as “reality”. You could use a dose.

          Tell me about “running into” trappers in Wisconsin? How many Wisconsin trappers do you know, seeing as how you hail from Chicago?

          • Mike says:

            I grew up in the Northwoods, in the areas of St. Germain (WI) and Skanee (U.P.). I have extensive history of hiking the area, as well as documenting various violations by “sportsmen” and extractive industries.

            One summer and fall I camped in every roadless area in the U.P. for a project I was working on which never came to fruition. I spend more time outdoors than most people, and I see a lot of dumb behavior–most of it from hunters.

            My experience with wildlife is well-documented with camera and lens, as well as other avenues which I don’t feel like delving into here, but let’s just say I have considerably more reach than you on this topic.

            • ma'iingan says:

              “…but let’s just say I have considerably more reach than you on this topic.”

              Let’s not. You’re obviously a legend in your own mind, and while you may have “reach”, you’re woefully short in “grasp”.

      • nabeki says:


        I’ll say again. hunting wolves with dogs is extremely cruel and should not be allowed in modern society.

        As for “dispatching coyote, fox, and bobcat with a .22 round to the head” I’m not sure why you think that is humane? As for what trappers do and don’t do in a particular state really has no relevance since nobody can speak for all trappers. I would check out some of the trapping videos on you YouTube to show how humane trappers can be.

        Whether killing by bullet, clubbing or suffocation..the methods are barbaric. Trapping and snaring should be outlawed. Killing wolves or any animal in this manner shows cowardice and a shocking lack of empathy. Frankly it’s stunning that someone can talk about these subjects in such a detached manner.

        I’m done with this “conversation”, it’s pointless and ugly.

        • Elk275 says:


          ++Whether killing by bullet, clubbing or suffocation..the methods are barbaric. ++

          In hunting the animal is killed by a bullet or arrow, therefore hunting is barbaric. Well hunting is not going to end in your lifetime or mind, get used to it.

    • JB says:

      “Six dogs are perfectly capable of attacking and killing a wolf, especially if the wolf fights back, which any cornered animal would.”

      Back to reality. Wolves make their living killing animals larger than themselves. Dogs make their living repressing this instinct–in fact, we’ve bred it into them for thousands of years. Yeah, dogs may get a couple of wolves, but I think its safe to say wolves are going to come out on top in this battle.

      Here’s my objection: I see this as legalizing a form of dog fighting. In fact, It’s a form that is patently unfair (for the domestic dogs, that is). Michael Vic was universally condemned for the very same behavior that the Wisconsin legislature is now set to endorse.

      • Immer Treue says:


        An ironic twist in terms of the Michael Vick comparison. One of the more prevalent anti-wolf posters has always used the Michael Vick analogy in terms of what wolves do. The aforementioned poster calls Wisconsin home.

        Now that dogs can be used (if not removed from bill at last second) the shoe is on the other foot. As I mentioned earlier above, and you reinforced, wolves kill for a living. For the most part the kill instinct in dogs has been repressed, and when faced with something that will only run so far (maybe) and won’t climb a tree, the dogs will be in conflict with a nemesis of their own and owners making.

        Almost anybody with brains in Wisconsin has said this is a bad idea. The hounders will need to change their ways, and if there is a grain of truth to what Mike writes about fat old white guys who do this sort of hunting, they better slim down fast, or they won’t have any dogs, and you might have a heart attack or too in terms of these folks trying to keep up with their dogs. Just a bad idea.

        • Jon Way says:

          The laugh of the day is going to be when these “fat old men” want compensation for when their dogs are killed. They will then blame wolves when it is obviously their fault for putting their dogs in that situation. And of course they will have bought a golden hunting license which will essentially absolve them of any cruelty laws/crimes.

          • Jon Way says:

            Lets take the Michael Vick situation in a different light. Here’s a serious question for Mark Gamblin: If Vick purchased an Idaho hunting license and did what he did to coyotes would he have violated the law. Can’t you kill them in any way: electrocute, drown, obviously shoot/trap….

            Thinking of it in this way really shows how far behind in time wildlife regulations are for some species. And yet they have commissioners in probably every state that would and will keep the status quo.

            • Paul says:


              I just found out today that Wisconsin also allows coyotes to be hunted by packs of dogs. I nor the longtime wildlife advocate that I was with knew this. This apparently is one of their justifications for allowing the same thing to happen to wolves. This is “conservation?” I really hope the feds are paying attention to this. This is just the beginning here in Wisconsin. Don’t be surprised if you see wolf hunting with hounds spread to other wolf hating states if Wisconsin gets away with it.

            • Jon Way says:

              Most states allow the use of dogs on coyotes/coywolves depending on where you are in the country. So I can see the status quo reason to allow them on wolves. As you know, my point was to show how blatantly out of touch wildlife policies are with most public opinion… Nationwide…

        • Paul says:


          I just got back from spending over six hours at the Wisconsin Capitol today meeting with legislative staff about these bills. I wish that I could report that there was some common sense coming to light, but sadly that is not the case. We were told that the bill is likely to be voted on in BOTH houses tomorrow and is pretty much guaranteed to pass. One of the most absurd arguments that I heard today came from the aide of a supposedly moderate Senator. He said that the senator thinks it is okay to use dogs on wolves because “that is what they do to coyotes.” Using dogs on coyotes is sick in itself, but to pull out all the stops and do it on a species that was just delisted a month ago? This is absolutely legalized dog fighting, and I hope that the Feds are paying attention. The so called “leadership” of this state cannot be trusted to manage this species. I saw firsthand today how much pull the hunting/trapping lobbies have in Wisconsin. I always knew it was there but I was horrified to see how deep their pull is with both parties. I have never been more disillusioned than I felt walking out of those capitol doors today. We found a few allies today, but they were few and far between. I kept emphasizing that this bill makes Wisconsin look bad, but it seemed to be water off a duck’s back. It is almost like they are proud to be so brutal and pass this type of legislation. Bring on the lawsuits.

          • Immer Treue says:


            Commendations for your efforts. The whole thing would just be so silly, if for the fact that saner heads have tried to rationalize with the Houses of Wisconsin Government to no avail. Their feet are set in concrete, and though in the total scheme of things the wolf issue is small, it “could” provide a powder keg in terms of back-lash toward hunting.

            Most people know, or care little about hunting. The Wisconsin bear population is very large, and in terms of management, baiting and dogs are the most effective means of “managing” bears. When one explains this to “common folk” ,baiting, and treeing bears that have been chased by dogs only to be shot out of the tree, I receive looks of revulsion. People just don’t know.

            I understand that baiting allows one selectivity in terms of what bears get shot, and sows with cubs are avoided, but even friends in MN who hunt don’t look upon baiting very favorably.

            Chasing wolves with dogs is asinine. Night hunting is equally ludicrous. A recipe for continued discord is on the horizon, instead of a discourse that would have allowed proper input from all interest groups, and there was plenty of time to do it.

            Michael Vick indeed.

            • Paul says:

              I have actually came across several hunters who are as disgusted by bear hounding as I am. I also think that bear numbers are hugely inflated in Wisconsin to justify allowing more and more licenses to be sold, and more bears to be killed. From what I was told today one year bear numbers were in the 10 to 15 thousand range. The next year a guy with strong ties to SCI did a “study” for the DNR and suddenly the bear population was between 26,000 and 40,000. They actually came close to banning bear hounding in the early 2000’s but failed. The only thing that came out of the bill was that bear hounders were required to wear back tags because of the constant trespassing complaints. Now there is legislation to even remove that stipulation.

  21. nabeki says:

    WM “You have in the past not been a slave to truth, in your advocacy rants. Why stop now, unless you are challenged? If you don’t want to be challenged (harassed) don’t say stupid things.”

    That’s your opinion, not shared by most people who read my blog. I don’t make advocacy rants. They are sincere appeals to other wolf advocates and wildlife advocates who care about these animals. Sorry if emotion bothers you.

    There is nothing stupid about a wolf being attacked and killed by a pack of dogs. There is nothing stupid about a wolf dying by being beat over the head with a club. That’s the reality of trapping and trophy hunting.

    Now find something else to do beside shadowing me around, it’s creepy.

    • WM says:


      Not really concerned about what you say on your own blog, to your likeminded conversationalists, but this is a different forum, now isn’t it? To my knowledge you have little to no formal wildlife biology training, or for that matter much experience in the natural resources field, or law.

      Opinions are fine, even the emotional stuff, but expect to be challenged when your expressed thoughts do not track reality, or the emotional speech overrides facts or rational thought.

      That kind of goes back to the “misinformation” assertion I began with. I see ma’iingan challenged your … uh …”opinion” again.

      As for the “shadowing” comment… ????

    • Mike says:

      Nabeki –

      Well said. I think WM is just one of these cranky dudes who doesn’t like animals. Perhaps sees them as things to control, to alleviate feelings of no control in other aspects.

      • Rita K. Sharpe says:

        I’ll be waiting for WM’s reply on this comment.

      • WM says:

        Actually, Mike, I don’t care much for what is going on in states which have more wolves than they want (especially this WI nonsense). But, many of us who have been following this for years predicted once wolves were delisted, after so many delays at the hands of advocates who bound things up with lots of litigation, state wildlife agencies would begin to reduce wolf populations. What has happened, however, seems more extreme and has happened more quickly than predicted, alot of it because legislatures have gotten DIRECTLY INVOLVED.

        Just think, MT had a net increase of 15% in its population of wolves, EVEN with its fairly large harvest?

        What some wolf advocates have failed to acknowledge is that whether the reduction/management begins now or five years from now it would have to occur. AND, if it were five years into the future the numbers would be alot more, and it would be a real blood bath.

        At some point, OR and WA (where wolves are few and now protected) in the future will be faced with the same thing.

        So you need to get used to it.


        And, my rescue pets (golden retriever + 2 cats) seem to think I like animals, just fine. I only harvest an elk for food every year if I am lucky, and maybe a couple grouse. That’s it, sport.

        • Mike says:

          I didn’t know you had pets. That’s cool.

        • Paul says:

          The thing is that the vast majority of Wisconsin citizens want wolves. It is the extremists in the legislature who want them hunted to near eradication to pander to certain hunter/trapper special interests. Here is the testimony of UW Professor Adrian Treves:

          From his testimony:

          “First I address Wisconsin’s public opinion of wolf harvest. In all our surveys, the majority of state residents (both within and outside wolf range) indicate they would support a public regulated, hunting or trapping season on wolves on two conditions: it is designed to reduce depredations without jeopardizing the wolf population. The bill as written neither ensures sustainable, annual harvest nor targets depredations so I anticipate it will be viewed negatively by the majority of state residents. In short, although this bill claims to address depredations, the proposed rules for the hunt suggest that recreation and indiscriminate take are the goals.”

          You cannot lay it out any clearer than that. This bill is poison, and will impact wolf populations far beyond Wisconsin as other wolf hating states adopt pieces of it for their own “management” plans. Any bets that we will see similar proposals in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming?

  22. nabeki says:

    @WM…Just more personal attacks, per usual.

    “To my knowledge you have little to no formal wildlife biology training, or for that matter much experience in the natural resources field, or law.”

    You know nothing about my educational background yet you feel absolutely free to attack me. Unbelievable.

    “Opinions are fine, even the emotional stuff, but expect to be challenged when your expressed thoughts do not track reality, or the emotional speech overrides facts or rational thought”

    And YOU are the voice of reason. You are the rational one? I find you to be pompous, arrogant and mean spirited. My moral compass is working just fine. Everyone on this blog knows or should know that hunting wolves with dogs is brutal and cruel. Clubbing wolves to death or strangling them or standing on their chests to suffocate them while trapped, is not only cruel it’s criminal. Shooting them in the head is not any better.

    You cannot defend the indefensible so you attack me. It’s an old trick WM but it won’t work, it just reflects badly on you.

    • WM says:


      My recollection from an exchange you and I had probably two years was that you have a care-giver medical background, maybe nursing? In no previous posts to my knowledge have you ever identified any training or background on the topics discussed. That is of no consequence, as everyone is entitled to an opinion. But, you seem above, to speak with authority about substantive knowledge.

      If you have the substantive knowledge and background for it, disclose it and maybe your opinion will carry more weight.

      My money is on ma’iingan based on his knowledge of the topic. Your view has been directly challenged by ma’iingan, who has a quarter century of work directly with wolves in the state where this legislation is being proposed.

      Defend yourself, with some substance, and maybe it should be a little more than “I am a wolf advocate and I have my own blog” if you expect anyone to believe you.

  23. nabeki says:

    Just to remind everyone the vote in the Wisconsin Assembly is Tuesday March 6, 2012. If you can take the time to contact the Wisconsin Senators and Representatives and let them know what you think of this bill, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Here is what Gaylord Yost, retired from 34 years of forestry service in Wisconsin had to say about AB502 and SB411:
    “One of the most absurd pieces of legislation ever put forth by extremists in the legislature is now moving through the legislative process – AB 502.This bill not only threatens human safety but is full of the most barbaric inhumane treatment of a wildlife population ever written into proposed law. People who countenance this sort of treatment of animals ought to be subject to the law themselves and imprisoned for inhumane treatment of animals. *There are 5.6 million people in Wisconsin, 3.4 million cattle, 1 million deer, and 800 wolves. If you listen to the gun-toting minority of hunters in this state, one would think that these wolves are threatening the very existence of humanity. *While thousands of people get killed every year by automobile and thousands by gun fire, the 800 wolves present a wonderful target for testosterone filled males who love guns and get off by killing some wild animal. This law is nothing more than one more SUPERPAC hunter/trapper move to dominate our wildlife management.

    Please vote NO to this piece of trash legislation.”
    Thank you!

  24. DT says:

    I’m sorry, I’m coming rather late to this blog and to this debate, so if this has ever been proposed, please pardon my ignorance on this subject.

    I have been reading that elk numbers are dwindling in Idaho and hunters blame wolves. Has there ever been a moratorium on elk hunting in areas where the numbers are going down? Maybe, only allow it for those who are sustenance hunters? The moratorium could be lifted as the numbers increase. If they don’t increase, then maybe consider culling predators?

    • Mike says:

      Hunters kill the most elk in Idaho. That’s the problem right there.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Might this mean Harley has a case of the DT’s?:-)

      • Harley says:

        Ha! Probably! LOL! oh boy!
        *shakes head at own silliness*

        • Immer Treue says:

          Gosh Harley,

          You don’t have to hide over here. Come and speak what’s on your mind. Someone disagrees with you, I guarantee the sun will still rise tomorrow. If it doesn’t, we’re all in trouble.

  25. Alan Gregory says:

    It’s not hard at all to arrive at the notion that F&G would be happy with the complete elimination of Canis lupus, regardless of political boundary lines. And think of the license and tag revenue. In many respects, some folks have not learned a thing from conservation history.

  26. Richie.G says:

    Scott Walker is Governor of Wisconsin ? This should be enough to say where this bill came to be ? Sorry I am very late,in this conversation…. I recall two or three years ago,the topic was delisting of the wolves!!!!! Then came, the state would move in and kill certain wolf packs.Then the government would use planes to hunt wolves,then it was delisting and give the states the right to manage the wolf packs.Now it is trapping wolves,and using dogs,where does it end. Most of what I have heard is, it’s not wolves who kill most livestock, but wild dogs,and other animals. We will not be happy till they are almost wiped out, then we will have another wolf reintroduction program,just to go through the same cycle all over again. Does this make sense to anybody ?

    • Savebears says:


      I seriously doubt we will have another wolf reintroduction, the state you are talking about has never had a wolf reintroduction. The great lakes wolves are naturally occurring wolves. After everything we have seen happen in the last 20 years, I can bet you the states are going to really fight if the Fed’s decide they are going take over again.

      This is one of those issues that could redefine the United States of America, of course with the way things are going, I feel it is one of the least pressing issues to most of America.. After this election cycle, I feel that those of us that contribute on pages like this are going to be the only ones paying attention to this issue.

      The majority of America, just really don’t care.

      • Dawn Rehill says:

        True Savebeara, everyone’s living paycheck to paycheck . But when I talk to my family back east about what is happening with the wildlife out here in the West, they do care and even if they can’t donate money, cause of the web,they know they have another tool . Word has to get out, people do care about nature and wolves, not every American is AKA Rush or Butch Otter !

      • Dawn Rehill says:

        Meant Savebears, sorry my typing is not feeling it tonite !

        • WM says:

          By the way, this FWS 5 Year Review document on wolf recovery, to which the CBD news release links, is an excellent summary of the recovery/reintroduction efforts for the NRM, WGL and Mexican wolf Distinct Population Segments, and the regulatory timeline, backgrounds, recovery levels, etc. for each, in just 22 pages.

      • WM says:

        ++I seriously doubt we will have another wolf reintroduction++

        SB may be right, and FWS is nearing a crossroad in that debate. Here is a link which Maska posted on the open thread a few days back, and which went without comment. I thought for sure Ralph/Ken would pick it up and post as a new thread.

        I am reposting below:

        Maska says:
        March 1, 2012 at 11:37 am

        Precisely what this may mean for wolves in various parts of the U.S. isn’t clear at the moment. The actual document (PDF) is linked in this press release.


        CBD has one take on the document. FWS, as its author, has possibly another.

        Anyone speculate on what this all means?

  27. Chuck says:

    Now I attended the last wolf management meeting here in Boise and I seem to remember then when IDFG “Steve Nadeau or Jon Rachael” spoke about the Lolo zone and its low elk recruitment, at that time they were placing blame on habitat, bears and cats. They did not speak as loudly that it was the wolves that caused it, they also claimed that the problem started long before the wolves were re-introduced. If someone was there and has a better memory of what was said please correct me.

  28. Richie.G says:

    To save bears, once you said your German Shepherd died and you cried for his passing,I was in a vet’s office once ” a long time ago”, and he had a chart of the blood line of a wolf,and the first dog was a German Shepherd,…now can’t you be less analytical and have sympathy for the wolf. We treat it as an object not a living creature. I had many dogs and cats over the years,and I am an easterner so I do think different, but a wolf is a beautiful creature. SB I was not speaking about the great lakes in particular in regards to the reintroduction program, but the entire picture in general.Remember If I am correct, the reintroduction was presented in the Bruce Babbit era,as secretary of interior under President Clinton,which some say he was our best environmental President. Ralph brought up the essence of what I am trying to point out, in the article about drill baby drill. The right is presenting all these crazy measures, and the left is to weak to stop it.Big bussiness is taking over,from the right to work proposition in some states, to this crazy thing in hunting wolves with dogs and trapping too.Most people do not like these acts but the lobbyist are getting away with murder,then their is insider trading,which congress can do and their aides can also do, this is crazy sb.

  29. Richie.G says:

    P.S. Remember Scott Walker is the Governor, and their is a recall going on to get him out,so all these measures is straight from his side of the road.

  30. Paul says:

    Holy crap! Otter has really gone off the deep end this time:

    From the article:

    “Otter complained to Congress about the wolves last week, testifying in Washington, D.C., that wolf reintroduction had been forced on the state and the federal government should be “exploring a long-term funding mechanism to mitigate this federal action.”
    “He argued that the feds should be paying for wolf and elk management costs in Idaho, and that “livestock producers should be reimbursed for confirmed and probable livestock losses.”
    Otter’s office said the state was instead told to expect a gradual cut in federal wolf management dollars over the next four years from $704,000 down to zero.
    “I hear from environmental groups all over the United States when we started our very successful wolf hunt, that, ‘Why was I killing all those wolves, and how beautiful they are,’” Otter told Congress. “You respond back to them and say, ‘When was the last time you came to Idaho and spent some money to look at a wolf?’”

    This guy is out of his skull! He expects the feds to pay for his states elk management costs too? The Feds should pay this clown back by putting the wolf back on the list because Idaho obviously has no interest in “managing” them.

    • Dan says:

      About 5 years ago my little brother, who has a Ph.D in Material Science, was on a flight with a Representative Congressman. My little bro struck up a conversation about the future of fuels and energy. At the time, my little bro was studying membranes for fuel cell technology. After a brief discussion,the Congressman says, “We don’t really care about the science of fuels or energy we just want to figure out how to tax them”

      So, morale of the story, Otter and all the rest of the politicians in Idaho and elsewhere probably don’t give a flying rip about wolves one way or the other. Which if you look at the history of reintroduction the state of Idaho was pretty ambivalent towards wolves to begin with. What they really care about is dollars and tax dollars. If the wolf was making the state bank, I’m sure they would love wolves. Since the wolf is costing them not only revenues streams but now potentially actual tax dollars, the wolf in their eyes is a must go.

      • Alan Gregory says:

        Good, solid points you make. It truly is about greed and the almighty dollar. I remember the feelings expressed to me about Americans’ materialism by a South Korean friend during my one year of service in that country 1985-86.

    • WM says:

      Suzanna Stone from the article:

      ++“In some ways wolves are benefitting elk in that they’re the only predator that actually culls disease and other illnesses from those herds,” Stone said. “So genetically over time, wolves actually improve the overall health of elk populations. ++

      Horse shit! What does she think the bears and lions eat, as well? Like they don’t eat the old, weak, diseased and injured, along with a fair number of the young and healthy but just in the wrong place at the wrong time?

      • WM says:

        Between Butch and Stone, I am not sure who is the bigger liar. They both seem to excel at it.

        • Salle says:


          I can tell you, since I have had face time with both. Clem is – hands down – THE liar. I’ve known Suzanne for a long time and when it comes to making comments for news stories, she has nothing to hide and is up-front honest because folks like you will pick whatever she says to pieces just because you have some deep-seated resentment and/or hatred for her and what she stands for. She’s well aware of that practice and thus, is very careful to make sure she is not telling untruths that folks like you are lying in wait for a chance to pounce on her for. And in Idaho, it’s not hard to be honest when making rebuttal arguments against the likes of Clem and his shadow partisans.

          In print media, Clem is an obvious liar, Suzanne is not… get over it.

          • Salle says:

            one more point with regard to Clem and Ms. Stone being liars…

            Given that Ms. Stone has science based knowledge, reality, first-hand experience and legal standing on her side of the argument, I honestly doubt there’s anything to lie about or incentive to lie on her part…

            • WM says:



              I wonder about Suzanne’s “science,” and have since I began commenting on this forum. My biggest beef with her and Defenders is this mistaken belief (lie if you will) that many non-lethal techniques to keep wolves from livestock work OVER THE LONG TERM. The studies to date seem to suggest that things like fladry, which Defenders and Suzanne personally pushe, does not. This, according to the International Wolf Center in Ely, MN.

              The second, and this is the one fries my bacon, is that her fancy little booklet, which was prepared at some expense, does not speak to the econmics of convincing livestock owners to engage in these practices-
              “Livestock and Wolves: A Guide to Nonlethal Tools and Methods to Reduce Conflicts,”

              I have commented at length before, on what is missing in the book. In order to get livestock folks to do some of things suggested, they need to know the cost and the effect on the bottom line. Yeah, just go out and buy and train a couple of big guard dogs for each of your flocks/herds, hire riders, put up the fladry (or turbo fladry), get an antenna, etc. How much for labor and materials does this add to the O&M costs of the operation? That is the real question.

              Third, I sometimes wretch at the partial veracity of some of her comments which appear in print, like the one above. Quick little one liners that seem on the surface to have the ring of truth, but when you dig deeper they tend to fall apart.

              Butch or “Clem,” on the other hand lies most of the time so you can be forewarned. As they say, “forewarned is forearmed.” Suzanne kind of sneaks up on you, especially if you are not fully prepared to accept that some of what she says is not true, or at the least debatable.

            • Salle says:

              Wow, as if my employee hassles weren’t enough today…

              “Horse shit! What does she think the bears and lions eat, as well? Like they don’t eat the old, weak, diseased and injured, along with a fair number of the young and healthy but just in the wrong place at the wrong time?”

              LOL!! Well, basically, yes. If you think she doesn’t recognize that factor, even though it wasn’t included in the quote that someone else edited… get a grip, man!

              “but just in the wrong place at the wrong time?”

              Isn’t that also the case for wolves then? Predators eat things that are made out of meat. Meat in the wildlands comes in the form of ungulates, the preferred stuff, but also bunnies and other predators-sometimes, and on some occasions domestic stuff like sheep and cows (oops). Most predators are opportunist in their selection processes, sometimes they don’t even do the killing, they just eat the leftovers.

              So, bears kill and eat what? just about anything that fits in their mouths (omnivores) so they eat a lot of flora as well as fauna. Big cats eat… what they can catch, some like special things like Lynx have a diet consisting mostly of snowshoe hare… I’m sure they eat other things too, including stuff somebody else killed and sometimes they get lucky and get something they like in its prime… sometimes. And then the wolves and coyotes eat pretty much the same thing, wolves have a little more advantage when it comes to the bigger animals like elk and deer due to their size. Did you know that numerous studies of wolves have shown that they are successful in their kill chases approximately one in nine attempts. And that they get their butts whipped sometimes and lose pack members in unsuccessful chases too? Not as efficient killing machines as some would have you believe.

              The fact that predators eat “game” meat seems to be a problem for you.

              And then you seem to have a really big problem about Suzanne… She’s not my BFF or anything but she is a professional cohort with whom I have had interactions of various types over many years aside from being privy to the development and research for many, if not most, of the techniques represented in that pamphlet you cited. I would say that the information in that publication is pretty good, offers numerous options to consider and an outreach program to help the livestock producers, who wish to participate, understand what they can do to thwart predation events. (IMO-do their damned jobs.) This publication you dislike is not meant to promise anything nor is it meant to provide yet another task that would be done for them. What I think the ranchers ought to have a clue about is how much many of these techniques cost as they are traditional methods that have gone by the wayside in exchange for the pampered rancher syndrome that needs to go away. And, pray tell, just what system or set of techniques (other than killing animals or people) for anything, can you name that is absolutely permanent, long-term without changes, cost or otherwise?

              I’m challenging you here. I think your vehemence is a little extreme with regard to Ms. Stone and founded on rhetorical mythology with embellishments based on personal disdain at best. (You instantly reminded me of a particularly insidious talking head who is looking for a good attorney to defend his hate speech right about now.. one who really hates women, if you catch my drift.)

              Furthermore, The techniques presented in that publication are an array of techniques, some work longer than others, some have been in use in other countries for centuries, like fladry. There’s no one single silver-bullet solution to anything, dear. To think or believe so is fantasy…

              And to quote Dan,a little further down this thread:
              “To think science is so static that it happens the same way every time is naive….”

              Thanks, Dan.

          • WM says:


            Again, this was the quote from Stone with which I took issue:

            ++….wolves are benefitting elk in that they’re the ONLY predator that actually culls disease and other illnesses from those herds,” Stone said.++

            It is simply not a true statement taken by itself. All predators are opportunistic, generally seeking to get the easiest meal at least risk to themselves, and lowest caloric expenditure. Injured and disease weakened animals (including the young) fit that bill for bears and lions as well. I know its tough to say everything one needs to in order to avoid a challenge, but you, in your comment, do not point out that with those 8 of 9 unsuccessful attempts also can weaken or injure the temporarily lucky so that the wolves, or another predator might be successful next round. And, let’s not forget the studies that show some wol- chased elk go into winter with less fat reserve, and some cows drop underweight calves, which are then weak themselves and are at risk, along with their weakened mothers who might not be able to deliver as much nutritious milk when needed.

            If my comments come across as to “vehement” it has to do with Stone’s affiliation with Defenders as her employer (sorry not gender based as you seem to suggest). Cut me a little slack there will ya. Some here go ape$hit over Mark G’s comments, not so much for the content of his comments, but for whom he works.

            And, thanks for the biology lesson. LOL.

            I would just like to see that booklet updated with the economics of non-lethal measures, so some wolf advocates can see just how much it costs the operator to adjust for this. And, like whatever happened to the MT Livestock Board’s money that was supposed to go into that stuff?

            • Salle says:

              And, like whatever happened to the MT Livestock Board’s money that was supposed to go into that stuff?

              I believe that was co-opted by WS if I remember correctly.

            • Salle says:

              So, seriously, what your gripe is has to do with whom employs Ms. Stone; you don’t like the way the book was written or the lack of elements you would like to see in it…? And did you contribute to its formulation, or any of the R&D projects, or are you a rancher for whom this tool and its array of problem solving techniques it addresses? If not, you are not the audience for whom it was created.

              As for your summation of the elk-life set of conditions, it seems you want them to be healthy like human babies under similar, ultimately favorable conditions where nobody has to be embarassed or ashamed and everything is happy and sparkly… as if you’re advocating for some birthing service where elk moms check in, have their calves, hang out until everybody’s ready to go home and then it’s out the door so the hunters can get them, but only if they’re healthy and fat enough… and horns would be really cool if they had those too. 😉

              Life in the wild is not easy, convenient, nor do any of our human values have anything to do with how the natural world functions except our foolish attempts to control, manipulate and trash whatever we can feel gives us the upper hand, so to speak. Why is it that there cannot be any place nor any species on this planet we all inhabit that can be allowed to live without our interference and manipulation?

            • WM says:

              ++So, seriously, what your gripe is has to do with …++

              I think I already said it was three things. And, books that are intended to get people to do things need to have the economics covered. This piece of junk propaganda book does not, and I think it was a waste of money without it.

              The fear of predation weight loss impact on survival seems to be a concern to IDFG and MTGFP, and apparently to some livestock owners who want their cattle/sheep to gain weight for market instead of looking around for what might eat them or run them into a fence.

              Those are legitimate concerns, in my view.

            • Salle says:

              And in my view, WM, they amount to a rant based on the fact that you didn’t get exactly what you wanted (unless, of course, what you wanted was a never-ending-revolving-arguing platform). What the first gripe is… you think they should have included the price list?

              So if components of any of the systems don’t come straight from the factory they have to be assessed before seen far in advance of any commitment to using said system? In case you hadn’t noticed, soooooooo many things now cost something waaaaaaaay different from what they did four or five years ago (when the publication was written), such a demand is pretty unrealistic. And besides, how do you know whether or not there is an insert that accompanies this brochure with current price lists for components and with regard to location and specific considerations for which elements will be good candidates for each individual user? And just how the agents of the organization work with individual ranchers in helping them set up these systems… is this something you have privileged info about? (and it appears that you are not a member of the intended audience of primary concern.)

              Gong on that one.

              Next: “The fear of predation weight loss impact on survival seems to be a concern to IDFG and MTGFP,…” uhoh, Red Herring alert. They are ONLY concerned because it is their job to appease the uninformed hunters whom, they claim, pay their wages and the politicians
              who make sure that they do while upholding whatever stupid anti-wolf/anti-govmnt ideology he’s dreamed up this time. Once in a while, (except in ID and this area) due to stupid management policies, the feds get involved, in large part because they administer all the public lands in the area through one agency or another.

              “…and apparently to some livestock owners who want their cattle/sheep to gain weight for market instead of looking around for what might eat them or run them into a fence.”

              Isn’t that a bit disingenuous? I mean if it’s the body weight and it ends up being fat that is rendered into pink slime… but I digress, I think it’s a matter of fat v. lean meat, if I ate that stuff, I’d want the lean stuff. so I’m fine with worried cows.

              It all goes back to those guys at the ID capitol telling the committee that they couldn’t tolerate the unclean-ness of the rural parts of their state now that those filthy wolves were there and lamenting about how their way a life was disrupted from those dreamy days of life without care, out in the wilderness among all those fat cows. And they have come up with every complaint they can dream up, the more outlandish the better – like Clem’s dog and pony show in DC last week for instance – just to be obstructionists because they can’t get their way anymore. Temper-tantrum mentality on display; my way or the highway…

              I have no answer that you’d care to hear on that one. And since it’s an extension of a component of your gripe, I’ve only seen two. Not that I want to spend any time on the third one at this point… sorry.

      • JB says:


        Here is the logic: Cougars are ambush predators (non-selective) and bears opportunists who, we know, disproportionately hit calves. Wolves are coursing predators–they “test” elk herds to look for weaknesses, and target those individuals.

        • WM says:


          I fully understand the text book logic, and which predator generally selects for what type of prey, and how they attack. A cougar will, however, make much of the same type assessment before ambush. It won’t take the biggest and most fit, if it sees and assesses more vulnerable among the prey. And, while bears take more very young calves, it is only because there are more of them. I have a friend who does shed hunting in the west side of the GYE. He has observed in Spring, wolves getting their share of newborn elk calves. Why wouldn’t they? They still have to eat, and it is an easy meal. It is only after those calves get stronger and quicker a single bear can’t catch them. On the other hand, a pack of fast wolves get their opportunity to go after, perfectly healthy, but inexperienced 4-6 month old calves. That, as I understand it, is the crux of the problem in the ID Lolo.

          • Salle says:

            And if you adhere to that set of “logical” assumptions, WM, you’re not willing to see what’s really going on as studied by biologists and animal behaviorists.

            Perhaps someone can give you a few citations to help you “see” what the folks in the news story were talking about. I have to go to work…

          • mikarooni says:

            Others would say that the “the crux of the problem in the ID Lolo” is the changing nature of the habitat. Elk do well in mixed timber (open just enough for them to move through but dense enough to provide cover) that is “checkerboarded” with open grass areas (they need the high grass production that only open sun can generate). This is habitat created by many years of small fires. Fire suppression creates habitat that is too dense and clear cuts leave inadequate cover. Beetles and drought leave the worst of both worlds.

            • WM says:


              Agreed, but the language IDFG used in their 10J request, and other documents, was that wolves had the largest impact on the older (6 mo) young of the year calves. IDFG acknowledged the other very significant habitat factors, and if I recall was working with the FS to do some burns to enhance habitat. The wolf issue, as I understand it, is there are more than they want there, reduced somewhat by the the 42 they took, and there are even more that move thru from MT (sharing the area but are counted as MT packs) AND, they have a whole bunch more than they want in the adjacent Dwarshak-Elk City zone to the west and south, which had no quota and is still open to hunting/trapping I think.

              I keep thinking if wolves are not there, and do not have impacts, how is it that they took as many as they did, OVER the objection of those who said there were few.

          • JB says:

            I’m not going to argue evolution with you–especially when we’re looking at such a short time frame. I merely presented the logic. Please return to your regularly scheduled program (i.e., calling people with whom you disagree “liars” and “naive”).

            • WM says:


              Is a half truth or an intentional omission a lie, an untruth, or yet something else? Just asking.

              And is it ok to call only Butch a liar, even though they are both public figures? Or should we refrain from calling either any derrogatory label for untruths told on public forums?

            • JB says:

              I don’t necessarily agree that what she said was a “half truth”–what is factually correct here is largely debatable. I don’t think any of us know the extent to which the species in question are “benefiting” elk by removing sick and diseased individuals–how could we? However, wolves follow elk herds and test them regularly (Insert complaints about wolves affecting elk pregnancy and health here. BTW: I’ve never heard these complaints about cougar or bears?). This constant contact, and wolves’ focus on testing the herd for weak animals means that they are in a position to remove sick and diseased animals quickly, relative to bears and cougars. (Bears, of course, do not have access to elk in the winter, and tend to focus on the calving season. Cougars method of hunting (stalking v. coursing) is not *as* selective.)

              You’ve made it clear both in prior comments and in your subsequent comments on this thread that you do not like Suzanne. Do you think it’s possible that your interpretation of her comments are colored by your own dislike? I just don’t see anything in her original comments that should produce such a visceral reaction?

              – – – – –

              “Or should we refrain from calling either any derrogatory label for untruths told on public forums?”

              In general, I think name calling is a waste of time, no matter who we’re talking about (though I’ll admit there are always some I’ll make exceptions for).

        • Dan says:

          This is, of course, general science and omits many other influential factors…topography, seasonal & weather conditions, etc. etc.

          Any predator can size up a calf and figure out it’s the easiest to take.

          Snow conditions often allow heavier healthy elk to sink through top snow layers allowing wolves to take the largest healthiest elk from a herd….

          To think science is so static that it happens the same way every time is naive….

    • Peter Kiermeir says:

      “When was the last time you came to Idaho and spent some money to look at a wolf?’”
      Good joke! To be honest, why should somebody from a environmental group or interested in wildlife conservation go to Idaho at all and spend his hard earned money there? Because everything and everybody is so inviting in Idaho?

      • Alan Gregory says:

        I got to Idaho (Pocatello) in the mid 60s, the family moving from Albuquerque, N.M. I went through junior high school and high school in Pocatello and then graduated from Idaho Sate U in 75. My father was professor of recreation and park science at the university. My first journalism jobs were in idaho, at Gooding and then in Meridian. I enlisted in the Air Force in the fall of 77. I became an officer in April 80. I served at assignments in San Antonio, Texas; Robins AFB, Ga., Tinker AFB, Okla., Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, Plattsburgh AFB, N.Y., Griffiss AFB, N.Y., Offutt AFB, Neb., and Langley AFB, Va. I became a lieutenant colonel in 1999 and retired five years later. So, I have seen a lot of country. My point is this: Idahoans should be proud of their natural heritage and should be actively protecting it. They are blessed to have public land and the wildlife it harbors. But, many Idahoans, including the governor, just don'[t care. I get that sense through watching and reading about their actions. To them, including Otter, progress amounts to paving over land for a new strip mall. Sad.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        Peter Kiermeir,

        During the creation of the Idaho wolf management plan, the Idaho Conservation League, a very moderate conservation group proposed that a few small areas in Idaho be set aside for wolf observation.

        At the time wolves were quite easily seen by visitors in scenic Sawtooth Valley.

        The ICL’s proposal was rejected and the Sawtooth area targeted for strong wolf reduction. So the governor’s statement to Congress is especially offensive.

    • Paul,

      Otter is expressing a long tradition from extractive users of the public lands in the West. I believe it was author Wallace Stegner who, a long time ago called it “send us your money and leave us alone.” In other words, they want the federal government to use its money (that means money from every American) to be given to the states to manage the public lands, not the way Americans want them managed, but how local land barons want them managed.

      I am not just talking about wolf management. I am talking about public land management in general. Currently Otter is promoting state control over federal public land timber harvest — logging. Idaho officials would make all the important decisions and all Americans would pay to implement the decisions. Of course, Otter would say, “no” we will make a lot of money harvesting timber without cumbersome federal regulations (by which he means protect the environment)

      • mikarooni says:

        Yep …and then they brag about their independent, self-sufficient lives and curse all those “other people” who get subsidies.

      • WM says:

        Isn’t this how the federal government, since the time of Andrew Jackson, decided the West was to be settled – incentives of various types, homesteading, extractive industry including mining, timber, grazing, killing off Indians and putting them on reservations? Western states are just asking for a continuation of the course set long ago. That is why there are now big cities in the West, and some in the Midwest and East, like St. Louis, Gateway to the West, and Chicago with its livestock yards got bigger.

        • Salle says:

          And so that logic provides a realistic justification for continuing something that has been proven to be problematic… to put it mildly for those with special minds?

          Honestly, to expand on that line of reasoning you are implying that we should still accept slavery, forcing those opposing the dominant society’s reigns of control should be shackled and made to work in deplorable conditions… because it was okay in Andrew Jackson’s time? Really? I thought you said you knew something about the history of the Native Americans because you lived with some, did you ever hear them speak favorably when that president’s name came up?

          Andrew Jackson was responsible for the Trail of Tears tragedy, to name only one of his heinous follies for fun and profit.

          Do you need to take some meds or something, WM? You’re really off kilter, more so than on other days… or maybe it’s the solar wind, yeah, that’s it, too late in the day for the coffee problem.

          Back to the topic, so, in your assumption you’re saying that, hey, manifest destiny worked a hundred years ago so why are we changing the methodologies? You may have noticed that at least a century has passed and so the go forth and multiply in mass quantities and till the land isn’t exactly a realistic goal nor is it an option in current times.

          Pretzel logic isn’t a good platform to argue upon.

        • WM says:

          WHOAA, there Salle! The comment was intended to have a sarcastic edge Sorry I didn’t leave more clues.

          • Salle says:

            Yeah, I saw that. But your example wasn’t humorous in the least. And for the reasons stated above, I called you on it. You wouldn’t want anyone to come along and think you really meant that do you?

        • Ralph Maughan says:


          They are like the oil companies. Subsidies started for them in about 1915 and it has proven impossible to shut them off.

          It is interesting that the Sagebrush Rebellion of the late 1970s began after conservation groups had their big successes at designating wilderness, curbing subsidies and truly putting non-extractive uses into the Multiple Use/Sustained yield act. That was when the “rebels” (actually they were counterrevolutionaries) began urging the states to be given the public lands and/or sell them off.

          If they could not be subsidized or had to share, they wanted the land privatized or owned by states friendly to the good old boy system.

      • Daniel Berg says:

        And what we’re talking about with his push to increase logging has nothing to do with jobs. Technological advances in timber-cutting/processing ensured that there would be far fewer jobs even with increased harvest. During the Reagan years, their was an inverse relationship between the number of board feet harvested and the number of jobs in the timber industry.

        It’s about cutting through as much of the forest as they possibly can, as quickly as they can. Typical boom & bust, which ultimately hurts local economies and the environment. The only long-term winners are the politicians and the executives.

  31. Dan says:

    morale = moral….yikes!

    • Salle says:

      Dog-whistle blow hard clarion calls and zealotry, it’s all most of them know.

  32. Louise Kane says:

    I want to comment to WM who was attacking Nabeki about her qualifications and her thoughts on the use of dogs, snares and traps and clubbing of animals etc. First off, it does not take an advanced degree to feel empathy, have educated opinions, or to know when something is ethically questionable. I do have an advanced degree, two of them actually, but those degrees have nothing to do with my sureness that using dogs to chase down and rip apart wild animals, and people stomping, suffocating or clubbing trapped animals to death is wrong. Should anyone question that abuse happens and is common, just look at that bastard trapper/wildlife commissioner Tracy Truman who recently posted a video of himself torturing a trapped bobcat and the other California commissioner who went to Idaho to kill a mountain lion and posted a video of that and the bear killing that followed. These are wildlife commissioners/officials, one can just imagine what the real wolf haters do. These visuals are posted on the web for all of us to see.

    While it is an emotional issue, Nabeki has not posted lies. Its difficult to imagine how trapping and snaring animals like wolves, coyotes and bears and then subjecting them to the additional pain of being clubbed and suffocated is anything but inhumane, barbaric and needing to be outlawed. This is not wildlife management. If we saw this happening to a dog, it would be all over the news. We imprisoned Micheal Vicks for inhumane treatment of dogs for less than these trapped animals will suffer.

    Why is this kind of behavior acceptable for wolves and other predators. For people that are fed up with the BS coming from our wildlife management agencies, Nabeki’s site gives them a voice and a way to take action against the never ending assaults on wolves. While you waste time arguing about whether its 300 or 500 wolves left, Nabeki is organizing a grass roots movement to stop the accelerated, out of hand, irresponsible management that is decimating wolves.

    Someone wrote if Idaho does this next season, then maybe wolves will be relisted. Why will it take that long? Can someone refresh my memory, does threat under ESA also include demonstrated hate, bias, fear and ignorance? if so its hard to argue that the these western states do not present a threat to the continued survival of wolves. It took 17 years, from reintroduction, for 66 wolves in yellowstone to reach between 1500 and 1700 in all three states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Two states have killed 511 in less than a year. How can anyone argue that is sustainable?

    Its desirable to have accurate numbers but whether its 300 or 500 left its hard to argue that killing of 50% of a population of a species that just came off the ESA is using sound judgment. The lies are not coming from the wolf advocates the lies about managing your wolf populations responsibly are being brought to light by people like Nabeki.

    Hopefully people will call and write Wisconsin before Tuesday. What dark days for wolves.

    • JB says:

      “It took 17 years, from reintroduction, for 66 wolves in yellowstone to reach between 1500 and 1700 in all three states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Two states have killed 511 in less than a year. How can anyone argue that is sustainable?”


      I won’t address all of the content of your post, but I can address this (factual) question, which I have written about in the past. Research on wolves suggests that, because of their high reproductive capacity, they are capable of withstanding annual human mortality of 30-40% with no impact to the population. In fact, since 2001 the percentage of wolves killed in agency control actions has steadily risen from ~11% in 2001 to 31% in 2009–yet the population continued to grow.

      Now recall that the hunting and trapping seasons initiated by agencies are designed to reduce wolf populations (thus, higher mortality)–without eliminating wolves. So when agencies reach the number they belief is acceptable, presumably tighter harvest restrictions (in the form of quotas) will follow. This management is “sustainable” because the agencies plan to adapt management in order to ensure a population persists. From my perspective, this latter point is very much debatable. That is, will management be sufficient to ensure the persistence of wolves–especially in light of political pressures beyond agencies’ control.

      I hope that answers your question.

      • Immer Treue says:


        ” So when agencies reach the number they belief is acceptable, presumably tighter harvest restrictions (in the form of quotas) will follow.”

        One would hope, and not for the point of argument with you, but I don’t recall anyone with any “official” credentials relaying this sort of conclusion. If I am wrong about this, I hope someone will keeps us all informed.

      • Alan says:

        I have a friend who argued against wolf re- introduction from day one, not because he did not believe that wolves belonged in the Northern Rockies (he very much felt that they did); but because he feared the inevitable blood bath. He accurately predicted the various court battles and the eventual de-listing, as well as the all out effort to reduce numbers to, or close to, bare bone minimums; and the annual slaughter (precisely because of their high reproductive rate) to keep them there. In the long run, he said, wolves would never be allowed to exist in sufficient numbers to fill their niche in the ecosystem, with the possible exception of inside National Parks. Hundreds and eventually thousands of wolves would die, he said, not because they had done anything wrong, not to put food on anyone’s table, but simply for the crime of being born. Simply, he argued, so that pro-wolfers such as myself could have a warm and snugly feeling that we again had wolves in the Northern Rockies. He felt it was selfish and inhumane, and as a true wildlife lover he could not wish that fate on any species.
        I had that conversation almost twenty years ago and never forgot it. At the time I scoffed. Today I fear there may have been a lot of truth in his words.

        • Salle says:

          Yes, a lot of truth in his words. What I feel is that those who won’t tolerate certain species will soon live to regret it, whether they understand or not. The biosphere is what is in need of repair or at least rest from our ignorance.

          I don’t have a warm, snuggly feeling about the wolves being here, I do see them as a necessity for me to have a healthy environment to live in regardless of where I am.

          Most folks can’t think that far outside the house, I guess.

          Humans have to get their heads out their you-know-whats and get this list of factors straight, period.

        • JB says:

          “Hundreds and eventually thousands of wolves would die, he said, not because they had done anything wrong, not to put food on anyone’s table, but simply for the crime of being born.”

          We all die, regardless of whether we do something to justify it. And the way in which we leave the world seems to have little correlation with the good (or ill) we do while we’re here. Wolves dieing is not an injustice, it is an inevitability–the same as it is for all of us. Where it becomes frustrating, for me at least, is when wolves (or any animals) are killed based upon faulty assumptions about their impacts.

          • Jon Way says:

            Nice answer JB…Especially “Where it becomes frustrating, for me at least, is when wolves (or any animals) are killed based upon faulty assumptions about their impacts.” This is a particularly timing quote with the Bitterroot prelim data that Ralph reports today (3/12)….

            Mark G.’s response to this will be particularly illuminating….

            • Salle says:

              Yeah, clear as mud unless you understand the subtext… that for some of us is actually pretty clear… oh, Beetlejuice…

              • Alan Gregory says:

                Often times I can’t help thinking that we Americans, two hundreds years after slaughtering many native wildlife species still have not learned from that history. A gut feeling. I remember thinking about this very topic the first time I saw the stuffed Passenger Pigeon specimen at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary ( in Pennsylvania. IT came to mind again when I first watched tame American Bison in the Midwest.

  33. Louise Kane says:

    Again to Wm who says that the blood bath of wolves would be inevitable, why? Minnesota was living quite comfortably with a population of 3000 wolves with relatively little depredation. I think it was 75 cattle in 10 years. Please correct me if I am wrong. In any event that population became self limiting and its likely from the literature that other populations would have as well. The deer and ungulate populations in Minnesota are healthy and thriving with wolves. Wisconsin and Minnesota populations are also stable. There is no need to hunt them. The DNR was killing the wolves responsible for predations. Why is it necessary to manage wolves at the lowest imaginable populations in states (Montana, Idaho and Wyoming) that have a collective 6 million plus acres of wilderness and that also contain Yellowstone? Can you really argue that 400 wolves will be enough. Seems extreme and intolerant

    • WM says:


      ++Again to Wm who says that the blood bath of wolves would be inevitable, why?++

      Sorry, I just saw your comments for the first time. I think JB, above, gave you information on the rapid reproductive rates for wolves.

      When one looks at the agreed goals for delisting to occur (in the NRM it was something like 100 wolves in each of the three states of ID, MT and WY, with a buffer and genetically connected metapopulattion that minimum number was something like a total of 450 wolves), the basis for the impending “blood bath” is pretty easy to understand. That minimum goal was first reached in something like 2002. The states believed wolves would be delisted after the goal was met for 3 consecutive years. We are now going on eleven years, with litigation by wolf advocates causing the delay for much of that time. ID and MT both had hunting seasons in 2009, which dropped the population some, before wolves went back on the list, during which time their numbers continued to grow, until the 2011-12 hunting season. Wolves with histories of depredation of livestock have also been removed all along the recovery period in each of the 3 states.

      Here is the basis for my comment: If the states believe they can manage for a certain number, which includes harvest and control, and delays are caused, while the numbers of wolves INCREASE through high levels of reproduction, the number of wolves to be killed to get back to agreed management objectives will be larger. Hence, the bloodbath comment, as more wolves would be killed probably in a given year the longer the wait.

      The delays in the Western Great Lakes deisting is very much the same. Their delay, especially, for MN, was over ten years (MN was likely at saturation level at about 3,000 and all source wolves for WI and MI come from MN, so the population was expanding, but just going to new territory, as well as an increase in dead wolves from depredation control each year). Again, the cause for delay of delisting was litigation by groups like HSUS who openly vowed they never wanted wolves delisted.

      I don’t know where you got the statistic that wolves killed 75 cattle in 10 years in MN. It is incorrect. The depredation statistics are much larger more dramatic than that. The International Wolf Center in Ely, MN used to maintain annual statistics on their website (obtained from WS). I do recall wolves have killed thousands of turkeys in past years, possible as many as 1,600 in one year in the late 1990’s. Apparently they no longer maintain the statistics. However, the link below will take you to statistics in MN just for 2010, which also contains some good time series charts.

      I think you will also see in these materials MN, with technical assistance from WS, kills about 175-200 problem wolves a year, in the northern part of the state, and the simply don’t keep stats for the southern part of the state where they basically don’t want wolves (a little discussed topic, but contained in their wolf management plan).

      • Immer Treue says:


        There is nothing you have written that is false in this comment. But also remember that the MN wolf population has been stable at ~3,000 wolves for something like the past 10 years, and most, that is most stakeholders in MN are satisfied with the management of wolves that has occurred thus far. It will be interesting to see if the 400 wolves called for by MNDNR is additive or compensatory to the 200 or so removed annually by the DNR. And, can the MN legislature keep out of it and allow the DNR to manage wolves, unlike Wisconsin.

        In terms of the numbers, that point will always be debateable. In the NRM states, the 1600 in MN and 350 in WI. Those were target goals for a recovered population, especially in the GL states. We can argue till hell freezes over if those numbers were meant for once reached the gut slamming begins. Once again, MN, which is the font for wolves of the GL states has had a fairly static population for close to 10 years, and a hit of 400 ~13% will not hurt that population.

        As an aside, it was enjoyable (very) to read the “philosophical” battle in which you and Salle were engaged yesterday. Proof in the pudding that intelligent debate can occur on this or any blog without the discussion flowing into the gutter.

        • Salle says:

          Thanks, Immer. It wasn’t easy.


        • WM says:


          Like you, I am interested to see what plays out in MN. I am also curious how DNR will be conducting their population estimates, previously only done every five years, and not using particularly sophisticated techniques because the wolves were so numerous and few were collared (as compared, for example, to neighboring WI, and the NRM states which have fewer wolves but more rigorous estimation techniques, including the collars and lots of scientists studying packs and their prey on the landscape). If you learn anything on that front from your contacts, please share it.


          And, Immer, thanks, I mostly enjoy my conversations with Salle, though we do occupy different places on the space-time continiuum on occasion, and therein lies the challenge. I’m still trying to digest the pretzel logic paradigm, as well as my alleged defamation of Alexander the Great, even in light of the numerous references available suggesting he indeed cheated by cutting the Gordian knot. Incidentally, truth is a defense to defamation. And here is an explanation of the knot that seeks to find the middle ground, so all can save face:

          • ma'iingan says:

            “Once again, MN, which is the font for wolves of the GL states has had a fairly static population for close to 10 years,…”

            Keep in mind that the MN estimate is only accurate to around ± 700 animals. For a 90% confidence level in the 2007/2008 survey the range was 2200 to 3500 wolves.

            • Immer Treue says:


              Not going to split hairs with you over confidence levels.

              +++Minnesota’s wolf management plan establishes a minimum population of 1,600 wolves to ensure long-term survival (Minnesota DNR 2001). The population estimate from the 2007/2008 survey is 2,921 animals, compared to an estimated 3,020 animals in 2003/2004 and 2,445 animals in 1997/1998 (Erb 2008). This indicates that over the last 10 years there has been no significant change in the number or distribution of wolves in Minnesota. Few suitable areas in the state remain unoccupied by wolves indicating a fully recovered gray wolf population in Minnesota.+++

              Just that current indications over the past 10 years is that the MN wolf population appears stable. And I have not heard, as I have from those in the NRM states, that there are twice or three times that many.

              My hope is, and I emphasize this, is that the legislature remains out of it. Allow the MNDNR to do their job, and keep it conservative rather than bow to certain hunter lobbies and risk continued vitriol in the form of litigation and ill will.

              Minimum populations are just that. Not target goals, but rock bottom minimum.

              This includes Wisconsin as an example of how not to go about the process.

  34. Louise Kane says:

    correction meant michigan not minnesota, too late! sorry

  35. Chris Edwards says:

    I’m up in NW WI, I’ve been tracking/trapping since my boyhood in the 60’s. This winter I’ve been surveying wolves in the blue hills between Bruce & Hayward, using digital sound equipment, every night since the first of the year, I’ve enticed only four returns in that entire time span. It would seem that the blue hills packs have already been decimated, almost certainly poached by ranchers…In an interesting aside, a southern MN farmer was only fined $1000.00 for illegally killing a cougar there, the first such kill in about a 100 yrs. It costs more then double that to get yourself a guided hunt out west! They didn’t even yank his hunting privlege!

    It’s clear where this is all leading to, here in NW WI the WDNR went in the tank for the ranchers and Hunters when the wolves finally discovered that the Chequemagon elk herd is essetially, tame & defenseless. Once gray wolves started preying upon the 190 elk, the WDNR really started lobbying to kill em….

    • ma'iingan says:

      “…here in NW WI the WDNR went in the tank for the ranchers and Hunters when the wolves finally discovered that the Chequemagon elk herd is essetially, tame & defenseless. Once gray wolves started preying upon the 190 elk, the WDNR really started lobbying to kill em….”

      I don’t believe your statement to be accurate. There’s been no “lobbying” by WDNR to kill wolves for predation on ungulates. In fact, a group of the Clam Lake elk are being moved to an interstitial area in an attempt to establish a subpopulation in a wolf-free area, rather than apply lethal control to the resident wolves.

      When elk were introduced to the area, it was believed that they would disperse to a much larger area than they currently occupy. However that has not been the case, and the translocation is being conducted to simulate natural dispersal.

      If the elk were tame and defenseless the wolves would have begun preying on them immediately – to the contrary, it took the resident pack several years to figure out how to kill elk, and their preferred prey is still white-tailed deer.

  36. Alan says:

    I read in the paper today the Yellowstone Park officials claim that wolf numbers in the park remained fairly stable over the past year at about 100 animals. I find it at least interesting that in the Park, where wolves are not hunted nor are they removed for depredation, and where they are far less likely to be subject to SSS (one would assume), and where they arguably are better counted and studied than anywhere else, the population has stabilized over the past two years. Yet in Montana, where 166 wolves were killed in the hunt, plus (?) for depredation and (?) SSS, the population increased 25%!
    In Idaho where close to 400 have been killed in the hunt plus (?), the population dropped only slightly (what did I read? 31, something like that?)
    At very least it clearly demonstrates how a wolf population will stabilize as suitable habitat fills. At very most? A cooking of the books?

    • Paul says:


      Didn’t you know it’s those black helicopters parachuting in more Liberal Canadian Wolves each time one is “harvested” in either of those states. That is why the numbers keep increasing. How dare you accuse the fine upstanding fish and game departments of either of those states of “cooking the books.” Even if there were only 1 wolf left it would be a “robust” and “sustainable” population according to IDFG. 🙂

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Yellowstone shows that wolf populations come to stability over a large area without human intervention. The same is quite possibly true where they are hunted and “controlled,” though I am not so sure. Wyoming is going to kill a lot of wolves soon, but in recent years, controls there have been fairly light (little need) and the population growth slow. The whole scene seems very placid to me.

      Politics dictates the state should stir things up and make a lot of people angry.


February 2012


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

~ Edward Abbey

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