Testimony heavily against current hunt levels, but commissioners completely reject suggestions-

Boise, ID. Wednesday night (March 21) the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commission met at its headquarters. In attendance were approximately 40 wolf advocates and a handful who were on the opposite side. 39 people testified. Over 30 were against continuing the wolf hunt.

The relative balance was immediately apparent. Just before opening the meeting to testimony Commission Chair, Tony McDermott asked that the people who were about to give their testimony to be considerate. This might have been prompted in part because of his own introductory remarks. McDermott made the controversial and unsubstantiated claim that there were 1200-1600 wolves in Idaho, with 250 wolves in the Panhandle Region alone. On the official record just a week before IDFG’s own big game biologist Jon Rachael said there were about 577 wolves remaining in Idaho after the lengthy hunting and trapping season.  McDermott’s sudden 200-300 per cent population inflation unsettled the audience.

Commissioner McDermott also said Idaho Fish and Game is committed to managing wolves for a sustainable and viable population somewhere above 15 breeding pairs and 150 wolves. His comments were ambiguous as to what this actually meant.

Many of the people who then gave testimony spoke favoring a reduction of wolf killing from the present level in Idaho. The speakers were emphatic that the Fish and Game Commission was not conducting responsible wolf management. Many testified they were concerned that the goal of managing for only 15 breeding pairs of wolves and 150 wolves would not maintain a viable population.  There was also considerable expression for safety of pets and non-target wildlife given the large number of traps and snares in place across the landscape.  They were also very concerned about the torture of wolves which could be in traps for up to 72 hours. As if to underscore the concern, the very next day a photo of an Idaho wolf with circular blood trail in the snow went viral.

One common theme of those who testified was that the Commission does not adequately consider the feelings of the general public.  A man representing Friends of the Clearwater gave a passionate speech about this, and suggested that the entire mission of the IDFG be revamped to take the concerns of the public at large into consideration.  He suggested that their funding structure be revamped with their funding to come from a state sales tax and general funds rather than hunting licenses and tag fees.

It is an axiom of wildlife management that reliance on hunting and fishing licenses and related fees strongly pushes the agency toward management for game species rather than wildlife in general and also generally against management for more than a low number of large and medium sized predators.

Ken Cole, who is one of the editors of this on-line newspaper, challenged the assertions Commissioner McDermott made in his opening remarks.  Cole recounted McDermott’s claims and asked him to consider the unchallenged, official facts.  He said the commissioner had no basis for the numbers he had presented, and that if you look at the number given in the official annual wolf report (released March 1, 2012) and subtracted the number reported killed in the hunt and trapping season since Jan. 1, the result is about 560 to 575 wolves.  McDermott had claimed 1200-1600 wolves without citing any evidence for the much higher numbers.

Cole turned to Jon Rachael and asked the department’s big game biologist what proportion of the wolves killed in the hunt wore radio collars.  He couldn’t answer. Cole said it underscored his feeling that the IDFG is not adequately considering the toll that hunting and trapping has taken on the wolf population in Idaho because of their lack data in addition to the large disconnect between the reported scientific facts and what the Commission feels.

The Commission was reminded that they did not listen to their own biologists when setting the original population objectives contained in the 2008 IDFG plan which had adopted the objective of maintaining 518-732 wolves. Then they even abandoned that population objective in favor of managing for a vague number of wolves to be determined by unspecified methods somewhere above 15 breeding pairs and 150 wolves.

Cole reiterated there was absolutely no reason to trust the IDFG Commission to manage wolves properly when the chairman of the Commission made totally unsubstantiated claims.

‘Wolf impact has been huge’ – ShoshoneNewsPress.com: Local/State News.

Attending the meeting the next day (the day after the testimony), the commissioners discussed what they had heard. According to reports from the public who listened, Commissioners had no sympathy for any of the testimony presented and felt the public is clueless.  They thought that science was on their side. Pleas for not reducing wolf population down to 150 were ignorant (chairman McDermott: “The public is full of misinformation. They need to understand a need for balance between wolves and ungulates”). Gary Powers said “Idaho is not Yellowstone. We don’t have a problem with over-browsed aspen”.  Powers apparently felt that benefits of wolves were limited to vegetation in Yellowstone Park, not Idaho.

Commissioner Randy Budge said the public is polarized and he hoped that the public involvement meeting coming up could get “both sides” together to “get to know each other.”  By getting to know the other side, he said, people would be better able to come to consensus on controversial issues. However, he followed by saying that “the commission could never get anything done if the public looked like that group last night.”

It was obvious that those who testified were more diverse than the white, middle-aged hunters who sat on the Fish and Game Commission.


There was no sympathy for the large number who passionately opposed trapping.  It was not discussed, and McDermott even remarked that trapping was their most effective tool to control wolves.  One of the commissioners did say that trapping was only a two-month season so it should not be a hardship on the public.

The Commission released its new wolf rules for the 2012-13 season.

  • Gray Wolf

o   Increase bag limit to five each for hunting and trapping in the Panhandle, Palouse-Hells Canyon, Dworshak, Lolo, Selway and Middle Fork wolf zones.

o   Extend the season on private land in Panhandle zone.

o   Add a trapping season in Units 19A and 25.

o   Increase harvest limit in Southern Mountain zone from 25 to 40.

o   Increase season length in Beaverhead and Island Park zones to close on January 31.

After a couple days retrospect, Ken Cole told me. “It seems that the IDFG Commission doesn’t want to listen to its own biologists. They made this clear when they arbitrarily decided to manage for 518-732 wolves in their 2008 plan against the recommendation of their biologists to manage for the then current population of around 800. They made it even clearer when they rescinded the 2008 plan in December of 2010 in favor of some vague number above 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs. What is the point of having a staff of biologists if the commissioners just invent wolf population estimates? Should we trust them when the Commission chairman pulls a population number out of the back of his pants?

– – – –

By Ralph Maughan. March 24. 5:25 PM

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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

275 Responses to ID Fish and Game Commission Gets an Earful but Increase Wolf Hunting and Trapping Anyway

  1. Ken Cole says:

    I sent this message to Commissioner McDermott and Director Moore this evening. I cc’d Brian Kelly of the USFWS as well.


    Dear Commissioner McDermott and Director Moore,

    The other night, before accepting testimony of the public at the Commission meeting, Commissioner McDermott asserted to me and the rest of the public attending the meeting that there were 1200-1600 wolves in Idaho and at least 250 wolves in the Panhandle Region alone.  I would again like to reassert my strong concern about these comments and ask you to provide any documentation for these assertions.

    I have examined the most recent annual report issued by your own department which states that the year-end estimate for 2011 was 746 wolves. http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/docs/wolves/reportAnnual11.pdf  Since the end of 2011 there have been an additional 167 wolves killed in the hunt, 17 others killed illegally (3) or by the cooperative efforts of IDFG and WS (14),  and presumably several more have died and have not been documented.  This additional mortality lowers this number to somewhere below 562 wolves.

    Contained on page 93 the 2011 annual report, issued by your own department, is an explanation of how the estimate is derived.
    From 1996 until 2005, wolf populations were counted using a total count technique that was quite accurate when wolf numbers were low and most had radiocollars. Since then, we have used an estimation technique that is more applicable to a larger population that is more difficult to monitor. This technique has been peer reviewed by the University of Idaho and northern Rocky Mountain wolf managers. This technique bypasses the need to count pups in every pack, and instead relies on documented packs, mean pack size (from number of wolves detected for those packs where counts were considered complete), number of wolves documented in small groups not considered packs, and a percentage of the population presumed to be lone wolves. This technique differs slightly than that used since we initiated this estimation method, in that beginning in 2010 we used a total count of wolves for those packs where we had a high degree of confidence that we observed all pack members, and applied the mean pack size (statistical mean is used when number of packs with complete counts ≥20, otherwise median pack size is applied) to the remaining packs (with incomplete counts), rather than using the mean or median pack size for all packs. Mathematically this technique is represented as: 

    Minimum Wolf Population Estimate = [# Wolves counted in documented packs with complete count + (# Documented packs lacking complete count * mean [or median] pack size) + (# Wolves in other documented wolf groups of size >2)] * (lone wolf factor) 
    # Wolves counted in documented packs with complete count = 109 
    # Documented packs lacking complete count = 85 
    the number of documented packs that were extant at the end of 2011 was 101, 
    complete pack size counts were obtained on 16 of them, leaving 85 packs with counts that 
    were presumed incomplete, 
    Median pack size = 6.5 
    median pack size was calculated using only those packs (= 16) for which complete pack counts were obtained in 2011, 
    # Wolves in other documented wolf groups of size >2 = 2 
    “total count” for those radiocollared wolves in groups of 2-3 wolves that were not 
    considered packs under our definition, 
    lone wolf factor = 12.5% 
    a mid value from a range derived from 5 peer-reviewed studies and 4 non-reviewed papers 
    from studies that occurred in North America and were summarized and reported in 2003 
    (Mech and Boitani 2003, page 170). 
    Using this technique, the 2011 wolf population estimate is 746 wolves, a decrease of ~4% from the 2010 corrected wolf population estimate: 
    ((109 + (85 * 6.5) + (2)) * 1.125 
    (109 + (552) + (2)) * 1.125 
    (663) * 1.125 = 746 

    As you recall, I challenged Commissioner McDermott on the assertions he made to the public and we had what could be termed as a heated discussion.

    Please refer me to any documentation that explains your asserted 200-300% increase in the estimated number of wolves in Idaho.  I am at a loss to find this information anywhere on the Idaho Fish and Game website.  I was, however, able to find an article published on March 8, 2012 in which the IDFG big game biologist, Jon Rachael was quoted as saying there were approximately 577 wolves in the state.  http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/08/3477061/idaho-gov-otter-want-more-federal.html

    I have been tracking the progress of the wolf hunting and trapping numbers in Idaho in a spreadsheet and assembled a graph to illustrate the various sources of mortality that has been reported publicly.  Surely the mortality that has been reported is an underestimate which does not account for undocumented mortality due to natural or illegal killing of wolves.  I would hazard to guess that the actual number of wolves killed since April of 2011 is in the range of 550 rather than the reported 480 or so.

    I think it is highly unprofessional that you seem to disregard the judgements of your own staff about the number of wolves in Idaho.  More concerning is that you seem to believe these assertions and base your management decisions on totally unsubstantiated numbers.  I am disheartened that you have increased harvest in many parts of the state and, along with the rest of the Commission, have chosen to completely disregard the concerns that many citizens expressed at Wednesday night’s meeting.

    It appears that Idaho doesn’t even need to pay our highly skilled biologists to count wolves and conduct monitoring because we now have commissioners who can pull an estimate out of their back pocket and make management decisions based on those estimates.

    Again, please refer me to the valid estimates of wolf populations made using peer reviewed protocols which substantiate the claims made to the public on Wednesday night.

    I look forward to your early reply.
  2. Salle says:


    I, for one, commend you on your comments and the letter. Well said, well written, factual and civil.


    • Nancy says:

      Ditto on what Salle said Ken. Back pocket? A few inches “south” came to mind when I read that sentence 🙂

  3. Frank Renn says:

    Perhaps Commissioner McDermott could conjure up Elk like he does Wolves.

  4. Paul says:

    Do the feds need anymore proof that these states are incapable of “managing” their wolf population? What those commissioners said is the exact same garbage that has been spewed here in Wisconsin by the “authors” of their wolf killing bill. The lawmakers here kept saying that there were 2000 wolves in Wisconsin when the official tally by their own DNR showed around 800. It seems that in both states instead of listening to their wildlife biologists they are taking the word of the “barstool biologists” who despise wolves. There is something very wrong here.

    • Salle says:

      “It seems that in both states instead of listening to their wildlife biologists they are taking the word of the “barstool biologists” who despise wolves. There is something very wrong here.”

      I’ve been watching the Idaho gang for a long time, it was very early on that I learned to expect nothing less from them. It was evident the first time I saw them in person and I have always “known” that they were biding their time to pull of this wolf elimination game. Guess what time it is.

      • Mike says:

        No one is surprised, of course, except the incredibly naive.

        There is a full scale extermination of the wolf underway in the Northern Rockies.

  5. Robert R says:

    I’m an outdoorsman and yes I love to hunt. I do not want any one species eliminated only managed for healthy numbers and the carrying capacity of there environment. If the wolf needs so badly protected by the ESA, how do you protect the pray species. How do you protect, let’s say the moose from going extinct or any other pray species. I can tolerate the wolf, but problem I have is the species intruded not reintroduced was not native.
    What ever the true population is, they need managed not left run rampant.
    I have read and tried to understand the true reasoning behind the whole wolf reintroduction since 1995 is to control the hunting and the hunter.
    If my comment were to be post I would love to have civil discussion but it seems to only be one sided opinions.

    • timz says:

      Folks we still have a long way to go when people like this are stll talking about the “non-native” nonesense.

    • Kristi says:

      Robert, one of the goals of wolf “management” in ID is just for that one reason you mentioned in your comment—for increased numbers of another species. Moose everywhere, except in the Northeast not just in the Rockies, are in trouble and not from predators, they are sick and malnourished. The wolves are the same wolves, hence REintroduced, not intruders, not introduced…gray wolves, period. Your belief that the reintroduction was to control hunting and hunters is a fantasy, it is not true, not fact…why do many ID residents like this believe there is this great conspiracy against them—are they really that desirable for such a great conspiracy?

      • Cobra says:

        Since reintroduction our hunting seasons are controlled, fewer tags, shorter seasons etc. I’m not against the wolves but they have changed things quite a bit.
        In the panhandle they’re going to change our seasons considerably and there are still a lot of folks up here that use the meat.

    • Savebears says:

      There is no genetic difference between the wolves re-introduced to Yellowstone and the historic wolves that inhabited Yellowstone, the wolves of the Northern Rockies are actually naturally migrating wolves and were not re-introduced. Wolves have no concept of international borders or state borders. They are simply wolves.

      You would think after all of this time, that the myth of non-native wolves would finally die!

      • timz says:

        nicely put SB

        • Salle says:

          Indeed. However, the myth is kept alive by keeping up the charade of “knowledgeable authorities” perpetuating the lies and fearmongering. The very same who claim that the public have no clue as to what is happening in the real world. I would posit that they are the folks living on the “fairy-tale planet”.

          • Savebears says:


            There is a big difference between knowing what is going on and caring about what is going on.

  6. Mike says:

    Let me say this right off the bat. Shame on that guy that posed while a bleeding wolf is stuck in a trap. That is the most unethical, unsportsmanlike pic I’ve ever seen since paying attention to the outdoors as a wee bitty kid.

    WARNING: Do not look at this pic unless you want to be really pissed off.


    There’s no question now that there needs to be a serious look at how these wolves are being trapped. Utterly disgusting.

    Fuck you, Idaho.

    • Kristi says:


    • jon says:

      Is taking a picture of yourself grinning while an alive trapped wolf is behind you worse than taking a picture with the wolf if its dead? To me, trappers gloating about their kills and posting pics of themselves with their kills really makes the non-hunting and non-trapping public turn against them. It is pictures like these that make the public disgusted with trappers.

      • Cris says:

        “Is taking a picture of yourself grinning while an alive trapped wolf is behind you worse than taking a picture with the wolf if its dead?”

        They are both bad. But the former shows that putting an obviously-suffering animal out of its misery as quickly as possible isn’t a priority, to put it mildly.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        Those who don’t like wolf hunting, or at least the way it is conducted in Idaho, should from a political standpoint rejoice at that photo.

        I imagine it will be used for a long time for fund-raising, organization, editorials, etc.

        • Mike says:

          I’d rather that never happened to that majestic animal.

          I’d lose a hundred conservation battles for an animal like that to never have to endure that kind of suffering.

  7. IDhiker says:

    It is very clear that management should never have been turned over to the state of Idaho and those that favored it were wrong. These men on the commission are simply simpletons that conjure up figures to justify their beliefs and desires. They also clearly resent, disrespect, and ridicule anyone who has a different opinion then they do. They have no concern for other forest users with their trapping and lengthened seasons.

    Thank you, Ken, for your letter and participation in the meeting. It must have been infuriating to deal with.

  8. Mike says:

    WARNING: Do not look at this link unless you want to be incredibly upset. The image shows a trapped Idaho wolf amongst a blood circle in the snow. Reports on the link infer the wolf was shot at by other Idaho residents while the trapper came back. Then, in the image, the trapper poses with the injured wolf still alive in the background. I don’t care for the way the wolf’s back side looks there, and there’s blood all over the ground.


    Let me just say that Obama and Senator Tester made a horrific mistake. Idaho is not to be trusted, neither is Wyoming.

    It is imperative at this point that the executive branch makes sure that wolves are not being tortured in Idaho.

    A sad, sad day for wolves, and for the human race in general. There is something very, very wrong in Idaho.

    • Elk275 says:

      How stupid can hunters and trappers be posting that tpye of photo online.

      • Mike says:

        These are your people, Elk.

        That is the reality of what goes on out there. I’ve said it all along. I know it. You know it.

        How sad that your outrage is with their posting of it, rather than the actual act.

        Shame on you. There’s a word for it, you know.


      • IDhiker says:

        Because they are stupid, cruel, thoughtless, and disgusting human beings.

        • Mike says:

          There was more intelligence in that wolf’s dead eyes than in the “man” holding him up.

      • Immer Treue says:


        I don’t recall exactly what happened during the 09 season when someone posted the names of some of the successful wolf hunters.

        Though I DO NOT condone this type of behavior, I wonder if some unintended attention meanders in his direction. His actions were LEGAL, he did NOTHING wrong except for not using his head. I have said many times that I just don’t understand the need to pose with something one has just killed. Also, the picture of the wolf with leg up and blood trail in the snow, awaiting execution, will go far in winning hearts and minds of anti-trapping groups.

        • Mike says:

          Not to mention people showing up and allegedly taking shots at the trapped wolf.

        • aves says:

          When Nabeki posted their names some of them got death threats and she was roundly criticized here for enabling that madness. Especially considering she herself had received similar threats for her pro-wolf advocacy.

          I don’t normally find it offensive when hunters pose with animals they have just legally killed. But posing as this guy did while the animal is still alive, trapped, terrified and suffering is so heinous and so far beyond the pale that words fail me.

          If anything can reign in ID’s wolf reduction, and it’s still a big “if” considering the powers that be, it will be that photo.

          • Mike says:

            ++I don’t normally find it offensive when hunters pose with animals they have just legally killed. But posing as this guy did while the animal is still alive, trapped, terrified and suffering is so heinous and so far beyond the pale that words fail me. ++

            I couldn’t agree more. The most classless, tasteless photo I’ve ever seen from the hunting/trapping community. And I can’t help but wonder why those gloves are bloody pre-death, and how the wolf was eventually killed.

          • IDhiker says:

            As I have said before, people such as this trapper are sociopaths. They have no concept of evil and that what they are doing is wrong. It does not bother them, and they have too many apologists for their activity that should know better.

            If this kind of viewing material was seen by every member of the public, trapping would be banned in short order. “Out of sight, out of mind.”

            Hopefully, someone with the know how will get this poor animal’s picture out where many will see it. I only wish that trapper the worst in his life. What a scum!

      • jon says:

        Elk, hunters/trappers do it all the time. Check out any hunting/trapping forum and you see will plenty of pics of hunters/trappers posing and gloating about their kills.

      • Immer Treue says:

        “I got a call on sunday morning from a FS cop that I know. He said that You got one and you better get up here as there was a crowd forming. Several guys had stopped and taken a shot at him already! lucky they were not real good shots.”

        Leaves questions in terms of trap checking and sense of fair chase. Sorry, trapping just isn’t “right”.

        • Jay says:

          The law says you cannot tamper with a person’s traps or catch–anybody want to take bets on an IDFG warden pursuing the shooters for messing with someone elses catch?

    • Paul says:


      Add Wisconsin to that list too. We need the grassroots to rise up against this war on predators. Everyone needs to see these pictures.


      • Ralph Maughan says:


        You are right. If this extreme anti-wolf position is to be defeated, there has to be grassroots opposition.

        I have another question, is my assumption that the anti-wolf folks who are interested only in white-tailed deer, generally supporters of Governor Walker?

        • Paul says:

          Actually Walker is not real popular among most of the deer hunters that I know. Of course I live in the south-central part of the state and it seems that most the extreme antis live in the north. Walker’s biggest hunter/trapper supporters are from George Meyer’s Wisconsin Wildlife Federation and the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association. They along with the agricultural interests own the legislature and Natural Resources Board just like in Idaho. The sooner Walker goes the better.

      • Salle says:

        I think that whomever may be so inclined might go to these web sites (below) and post the links to these awful photos and stories about such despicable activities and a brief, polite comment:



        And all of these guys:


        And every news outlet you can think of… for starters.

    • Cris says:

      If you read the discussion, it gets even more sickening. The wolf was shot- twice- *from the road* by a couple of kids, and the trapper thinks this is funny.

    • Immer Treue says:

      I don’t know, but they may have pulled that thread down as the link will not open it anymore, at least from where I’m sitting.

      • Paul says:

        Immer Treue,

        Thats okay. Those pictures will still make their way to the proper authorities. Of course like the poacher he will probably just get a “warning” too.

    • AYRES says:

      Please send this photograph and link to the
      Idaho Trappers Association so they may reprimand
      if the trappers belongs to the association.

    • Mauro Hermida says:

      Ken Salazar needs to go. Obama really screwed the pooch on this one.

  9. Doryfun says:

    Great letter Ken,

    That fish and game commissioners, can be so out of touch with sound facts, then turn around and act like they aren’t, gives anyone a healthy dose of mistrust and little confidence that politics from the top will have good results for any kind of wise use or policy.

    I have always claimed that many of the people in the legislature of Idaho, need hire no biologist, because science goes against their agenda. Why waste money on mere tokens?

    It seems the meeting supports a couple of other things that have been hot topics the last couple days on this blog:

    JB & colleagues observations of Idaho:

    “We took exception with Mech’s claim that state governments have not shown hostility toward wolves, noting, for example, that Idaho’s state legislature has consistently taken legislative actions with the intent of removing wolves from the state, and pointing to similar legislation in Wyoming and Utah.”

    (Although, Idaho is still bound by ESA to keep wolves from being re-listed; for now, anyway).

    An FOC member at the meeting suggested revamping funding to better reflect the better balance for various public interests, as also previously discussed here. And is also supported by info Nancy dug up, that adds more weight to other professional research with the same general message:

    “If wildlife resource managers are to manage public resources truly for the benefit of the entire public, we must learn more about the public. For successful wildlife management, HDWR research and public involvement programs should be pro-active (not crisis-driven), longitudinal in design (rather than one-shot studies), representative of the entire con-stituency (not just the vocal lobby groups), and truly in-
    tegrated into the daily decisions of wildlife managers.”

    Lastly, to ignore a large group of people at the meeting who also challenged trapping and snaring, with legitimate concernes, is hardly an open ear. It seemed to domonstrate good evidence there is a healthy interest by the public about these ugly control methods, that is beginning to swell.

    Unfortunately, it sounds like just another public meeting, to blow wind across minds that have already been made up. Idaho Red is still a dread.

  10. Jackie says:

    Did anyone ever stop and think that Jon Racheal’s numbers are off? That maybe McDermott’s numbers are more accurate? I live in N Idaho and I can tell you the number of 250 in the Panhandle is inaccurate at best. There are 7+ documented packs on the St. Joe River.

    • Mike says:


    • IDhiker says:


      The point here is that McDermott has no documentation to back up his claim whatsoever. The commission has professional biologists that do this type of work for them and they should pay attention. In fact, IDFG has always estimated larger numbers than actual counts and no reputable sources I know of have ever claimed such outlandish numbers as McDermott. If McDermott has this data, he had a great opportunity to throw it out for all to see. Fact is, he has no such information. It’s a classic instance of generating “facts” to match ones beliefs. McDermott is a disgrace.

    • jon says:

      Tony Mcdermott is not a biologist. He is commissioner and an anti-wolf commissioner at that. Does Mr. Mcdermott have any evidence to support his claims or is he just pulling any number out of his ass to justify the aggressive killing of wolves? That is what it seems like to me. The problem is that all of the commissioners are anti-wolf and they listen to the minority fringe that hunt and hate wolves and not to the rest of the people in Idaho who don’t hunt.

    • Mauro Hermida says:

      So I guess you went out and counted. How did you get your number? Sorry, but one guy threw numbers out and should be banned from office. While the other side actually had scientific evidence.

  11. Craig says:

    Killens their businesses and business is good! Get used to it!

  12. Mike says:

    Most disturbing to me is that this wolf seemed to have an audience. I made this comment a few days ago, that there were wolves out there with audiences that probably didn’t go quickly. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is.

    The politicians of Idaho are to blame for this animal abuse, for the hate that even children impart upon this animal now. Hunters have fed their nonsense, and created a monster.

    It’s time for a serious evaluation of the status of the wolf in Idaho. Clearly, a foundation has been placed that stacks the deck against the future of the wolf in that state.

  13. Chuck says:

    I am confused here, there was suppose to be 746 wolves in Idaho before the hunting/trapping season started and if you go by what is on IDFG website updated today, there have been 368 wolves killed leaving a grand total of 378.
    I am wondering how closely the feds are monitoring these numbers?? I personally don’t think IDFG is doing an adequate job at all managing any of our wildlife.
    But if I am wrong here someone please correct me.

    • Ken Cole says:

      No, there were 746 wolves estimated at the end of the year when they make their annual estimate. And they retroactively updated the previous year’s estimate to 777. Don’t forget that wolves have one litter each year in April.

      Read the annual report.

  14. Jon Way says:

    Taking all of the preceding comments together, this type of stuff goes on nationwide with wildlife commissions being middle-aged, white, and heavily biased to consumptive uses. Science is secondary in most decisions…. And little consideration is given to the individual animal like the link of the trapped black wolf that Mike shared with us.

    It is pretty obvious that there needs to be a major change in wildlife management from how it is funded (switching to general tax money and not solely license fees) to who composes these commissions (getting out of the good old boy club and to a cross representation of citizens). There needs to be some national legislation on this. If anything, hopefully wolf management in ID will open more eyes to this.

    • Mike says:

      Jon –

      It will change.

    • Doryfun says:

      Jon Way

      “One common theme of those who testified was that the Commission does not adequately consider the feelings of the general public. A man representing Friends of the Clearwater gave a passionate speech about this, and suggested that the entire mission of the IDFG be revamped to take the concerns of the public at large into consideration. He suggested that their funding structure be revamped with their funding to come from a state sales tax and general funds rather than hunting licenses and tag fees.”

      I think this guy might have had a good idea in referring to a state tax. What if there was a 3% sales tax that all goes to fish and wildlife? It seems fair, since everyone depends on healthy ecosystem services to live on the planet.

      Several scientific studies already urge professional managers to reconsider their directions,towards a better equtiable share between user groups, not to mention exploring new avenues for potential funding.

      Any economists in the mist? What would a 3% tax do to help change things? Or how about some sort of environmental tax on industries that exploit natural resources. Perhaps conversions of subsidies into fundings?

      Seems an opportune time for a brain storm. Anyone else have and ideas?

    • Mauro Hermida says:

      Middle aged and white…key words in my book. Those people should be de-listed.

  15. Killing Wolves Eliminates Barrier That Protects Our Food and Water

    When attempting to manage wolf populations today, we must admit that the threat of prion contamination in our watersheds and food chain now poses a much greater risk to several industries, human health, and homeland security than our god-given wolves ever did. In fact, predators are one of nature’s few defense barriers against the deadly spread of prion disease.

    Prions are a form of deadly protein that builds up in the cells and bodily fluids of people and animals afflicted with various forms of prion disease, including mad cow disease, chronic wasting disease, scrapie, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. Prions now are such a formidable threat that the United States government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 to halt research on infectious prions in the United States in all but two laboratories. Now, infectious prions are classified as select agents that require special security clearance for lab research. The intent is to keep prions and other dangerous biological materials away from terrorists who might use them to contaminate, food, water, blood, equipment, and entire facilities.

    Dr. Stanley Prusiner earned a Nobel Prize in 1997 for identifying and studying deadly prions. President Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 to recognize the growing significance of his discovery.

    We now know that various forms of prion disease are already spreading around the world. Prion disease has been found in humans, livestock and a variety of wildlife species across the U.S. and Canada (in gray wolf habitat). Reducing wolves in these areas below natural numbers will open the door even wider to the deadly spread of prion contamination in the environment.

    The prion pathogen spreads through urine, feces, saliva, blood, milk, soil, and the tissue of infected animals (not to mention soil and water). With those attributes, prions obviously can migrate through surface water runoff and settle in groundwater, lakes, oceans, and water reservoirs. There is not a known cure for prion disease and allowing sick animals to wander the wild unchecked by wolves will further contaminate entire watersheds – increasing the pathway to humans, livestock, and wildlife downstream.

    If prions must be regulated in a laboratory environment today, the outdoor environment should be managed accordingly. Wolves and other predators represent one of the few natural barriers to help minimize the spread of prions in the environment and within our food chain. Accelerating the killing of wolves and other predators for profit and pleasure is a foolish experiment in prion management and a reckless platform for safeguarding wildlife, watersheds, and homeland security. In fact, the National Park Service studied the issue and concluded that “as CWD distribution and wolf range overlap in the future, wolf predation may suppress disease emergence or limit prevalence.” (The Role of Predation in Disease Control: A Comparison of Selective and Nonselective Removal on Prion disease Dynamics in Deer.)

    Now, more than ever, wolves are part of a healthy ecosystem and a healthy future. It’s time to develop a comprehensive prion-management strategy that maximizes safeguards for human health, food, water, and wildlife around the globe. The stakes are too high for fragmented and misguided prion policies. Just ask the Canadian cattlemen what a few prions did to their industry. Ask the U.S. cattle and dairy industries if they want to increase prion pathways in the watersheds that feed our public and private lands. My guess is that a prion in the soil or water doesn’t care if it attaches to a cow, sheep, deer, elk, or human. It kills them all with the same efficiency. Dilution of this pathogen is not a solution. Ignoring this pathogen is not a solution because prions migrate, mutate and multiply. Let wolves and other predators do their job in the food chain without human interference. This is no time for people to play god.


    • Mauro Hermida says:

      If we could only be so lucky and prion spread to the hunters….what a waste Idaho is.

  16. Alan says:

    If the state of Idaho is using phantom numbers to set hunting and trapping limits, it would certainly seem to me that it would qualify as “significantly increasing the threat to wolf populations”. If your goal were, say 2-300 wolves (150 plus a ‘buffer’), and you were setting your regs based on a starting figure of 1200 or more rather than the 500 that actually exist, every wolf in the state, theoretically, could be killed.

    From the 2009 delisting:
    “We recognize that States can alter their regulatory framework after we issue a final delisting rule.Therefore, per our post-delisting monitoring requirements, we will initiate a status review to determine if relisting is warranted if States alter their State laws OR management objectives in a manner that significantly increases the threat to the wolf population.”

    • Salle says:

      “…and you were setting your regs based on a starting figure of 1200 or more rather than the 500 that actually exist, every wolf in the state, theoretically, could be killed.”

      That has been their stated goal all along and for a short time they gave lip-service to other ideas but when it all comes down to the nitty gritty, they never had any other intent.

      They see it as the Hari Krishnas of days gone by; everyone else is a demon so it’s okay if you lie to them and cheat them… remind you of anyone else in our past history? The never ending tale of power and politics in the US of A.

    • Mike says:

      I love that wording there.

  17. Louise Kane says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write to the Commission and to send the same letter to Director Moore. I too have had numerous e-mail conversations with Idaho commissioners and, as I have posted in the past, was given purposely erroneous and deceitful information.

    I feel so disheartened. I can hardly believe this is 2012. I am greatful that someone posted the image of the black wolf in the trap because the publc needs to see this. I can’t bring myself to look. I have seen some of these images in the past and because of it do not sleep well, ever anymore.

    There are many people here on this site who have a tremendous amount of collective knowledge. There are endless arguments for and against hunting of wolves, the actual populations of wolves per state, etc. Despite the way that science can be skewed to bolster one argumnet over another, one thing is clear. The foundation of hate, bias, and irrational fear that drove people to hunt, kill, maim and persecute these animals to extinction is just as solid today as it was when the last wolves were killed by these same states in the 1920s. The states can not be trusted with wolves.

    Perhaps someone can answer what’s next, does anyone know of any potentailly promising actions being taken to counter the increasingly hostile, aggressive wolf-killing agendas?

    I/we continue to plod through and catalouge the comments to provide information about the way the states disregard public input. Anyone wanting to work on the comment catalouging please contact me.

    • mikarooni says:

      “…does anyone know of any potentailly promising actions being taken to counter the increasingly hostile, aggressive wolf-killing agendas?”

      …perhaps the final two months of a second term.

  18. Louise Kane says:


    My sentiments also. if nothing else changes immediatly, trapping and snaring have to stop. There are too many of these crazy, f’d up bastards out there torturing wolves.
    just disgusting

    et me say this right off the bat. Shame on that guy that posed while a bleeding wolf is stuck in a trap. That is the most unethical, unsportsmanlike pic I’ve ever seen since paying attention to the outdoors as a wee bitty kid.

    WARNING: Do not look at this pic unless you want to be really pissed off.


    There’s no question now that there needs to be a serious look at how these wolves are being trapped. Utterly disgusting.

    Fuck you, Idaho.

  19. Louise Kane says:

    Thank you to all of you who showed up in Idaho. I hope that those of you who attend the meetings, do not get discouraged. Change of the magnitude that needs to occur is surely going to take time. There are many of us who live too far way to attend, but we are not arm chair quarterbacks. I know I write to newspapers, write and call the wildlife commissions and state and federal agencies involved and spend time to attract media attention. I know a lot of other people doing this as well
    Thank you

    • IDhiker says:

      These developments, and the wolf pictures, are sickening. But, they have energized and angered me to work all the harder.

  20. Lesly says:

    Great job on the letter Ken! I appreciated your use of their facts and calm approach. This is a heated issue and remaining civil is important. I VERY much agree that IFG is not equipped to manage our wolves. I’m new to the area. In Oregon where I’m from there is more support for conservation. What can we as average residents do to help rectify this very wrong situation? My husband and I are involved with NIWA but I feel there is more I could be doing.

  21. Leslie says:

    I am going to encourage all of my friends who take vacations to, let’s say, Sun Valley, to boycott Idaho completely. I have friends who drive to Yellowstone to visit me. I will encourage them not to patronize Idaho in any way, shape or form.

    Many many people all over the country supported the reintroduction and have followed wolves. I think an outcry from other peoples around the U.S. who visit this state and care about wolves might force their hand a bit. This tactic has seemed to work somewhat with all these states that are passing anti-women issues. It could also work with wildlife, and wolf, issues.

    Frankly, I wish the general news media, like MSNBC, would do a story on this with pictures like this asshole posted. Its’ hard to see, but so are photos of starving children, which tell the real story.

    I suppose as a woman, instead of just feeling angry first, I felt a terrible sadness and agony for that poor wolf. I’d call that trapper a criminal…and I’d have him tried like one.

  22. mikarooni says:

    You know; I read through the comments on the thread about whether we can use the public trust doctrine to protect wildlife. I applaud the comments made here and there by enlightened folks like Mike, Louise, Salle, and, immediately above, Leslie and, as always, I’m disgusted by the usual garbage from WM, Savebeers, and others of their ilk. But, what strikes me most is the contrast between the idea of public trust juxtaposed so closely with this report of how a panel of “community leaders” upholds the public trust by willfully ignoring the public. Don’t get me wrong; I strongly support the public trust doctrine; but, as this report of the usual shenanigans of the gangsters who pose as state government in ID demonstrates, arguing public trust in the face of filth like the IDFG and their masters is truly akin to casting pearls before swine.

    • Salle says:


      I have told the ID legislators and others that they need to remember that they are public/civil servants many times. I also have told several of them that I question their ability to justify their income ~ derived from taxpayer dollars. Seems they need to be reminded of this on a daily basis, since they have such contention for us, maybe they need to get out of public office cuz they aren’t doing their jobs that they were elected to perform.

      I don’t get brownie points for it but at least they sense some discomfort at being confronted by that set of facts… and then again, some have no sense of shame or remorse for their blatant favoritism toward the landed gentry and their footsoldiers who keep them in office. This is just one of many examples of how that works in these parts. (and other parts around the nation as well.)

      • mikarooni says:

        I hear you; but, as your comment clearly indicates, they don’t. They spout public interest when they need to get into power; but, they forget what they said as soon as they have that power and don’t need such drivel anymore. They’re hypocrites, in this case buoyed by perverse cult teachings that tell them they were born to be in a state of Grace and thus don’t need to think about what they do because they’re in the right no matter what they do. It’s just another form of “lying for the Lord” and just as disgusting.

      • mikarooni says:

        Think etch-a-sketch… same concept.

    • WM says:


      ++I’m disgusted by the usual garbage from WM, Savebeers, and others of their ilk.++

      I have news for you, mik. Change will come from those of us in the middle, rather than you purists that seem to think you have the key to how things ought to be in a complex world, driven by economics, vested interests, and state governments with influential power nodes and huge lobbying machines. The wolf advocacy NGO’s and their five year litigation fest really made a contribution to tolerance. How do you think the retribution is working out for ya so far in the last year?

      You probably ought to give some thought to the fact that the “public trust” or “wildlife trust” is ultimately a balancing test, and the trustee (state) has lots of other interests than just wolves to balance.

      • Elk275 says:


        ++I applaud the comments made here and there by enlightened folks like Mike, Louise, Salle,++

        You call Mike an enlighted person!

        • mikarooni says:

          It’s enlightENed. You’re missing something …in more ways than one. (Yeah, I know; you know somebody with an 8th grade education who makes a fortune in real estate.)

        • Mike says:

          Notice how elk275 doesn’t have much to say about his fellow sportsmen on this one.

          “Spirit of the wild”, indeed.

          • Cobra says:

            I’m a hunter and do have to agree with you. Any hunter or trapper should do everything in their power to end an animals suffering as quickly and painlessly as possible. I hate seeing this kind of crap in pictures or videos, it’s not fair to the animals or those of us that try and do it right.
            F.U. Idaho? Really, your going to hold an entire state guilty for what this ass did? What about Chicago and all the people hurt on the south side not to long ago?
            I hate Chicago, however I have meet some really nice folks there as everywhere else I’ve been. You can’t judge a state or its people by their lowest inhabitants.

            • Mike says:

              You’re right Cobra, there are many good people in Idaho, and my comment was made in anger after seeing that horrific photo.

              But, that doesn’t absolve the awful people that are currently engaging in these activities, and I think it’s fair to say that a certain venom lingers in the air there towards wildlife, in a place where they won’t even admit animals as “wild” or “life” in the road signs, but rather refer to them as “game”, or a game.

      • mikarooni says:

        “…the trustee (state) has lots of other interests than just wolves to balance.”

        Yeah, I know that it’s tough; give us Barabbus and all that.

      • Ken Cole says:

        WM says:
        “Change will come from those of us in the middle, rather than you purists that seem to think you have the key to how things ought to be in a complex world, driven by economics, vested interests, and state governments with influential power nodes and huge lobbying machines.”

        I don’t think I’ve ever seen change come from those in the middle without prodding from those on one side or another of any issue. Change certainly won’t come those like WM who always seem to defend the status quo.

        The status quo is a comfortable stance to argue for but it doesn’t bring change.

        • WM says:


          I didn’t say there was not a role for advocacy. Rather, it is how the advocacy is strategically played to create momentum for change. I will submit some wolf advocacy arguably has been misdirected, improperly packaged and poorly timed. Unfortunately, some of the evidence of this is before us.

          By the way, Ken, on the public trust thread I queried if you would mind an update on the Buffalo Field Campaign litigation against Montana GFP over the Turner deal, if there is anything to report.

          • Ken Cole says:

            You can argue all you want that what the states are doing now is retribution for lawsuits or whatever but I’ll say it again, and I think I have been vindicated, the states made it very clear that this was the path that they were going to take. Wolf and ESA advocates had no other choice but to litigate knowing that this was going to be the fate of wolves in places like Idaho.

            Had we not litigated the result would be the same.

            You continue to argue that our litigation is responsible for the backlash but this backlash has been planned since the day the first wolf came to Idaho. In fact, even before wolves were reintroduced to Idaho they were being poisoned as soon as they became noticed. There is a stuffed wolf in the visitor center of the Nature Center that was found dying of poisoning in Bear Valley in the early nineties. The genetic testing of the wolf showed it came from southern Alberta.

            The assertion that our litigation is the reason for the backlash is absurd. What is happening now is no different than if we hadn’t litigated.

            Keep arguing the status quo. I’m certain that will bring change. Just certain of it.

            As far as the Turner litigation, there has been no ruling but I can’t report anything else.

            • Ralph Maughan says:

              I am absolutely certain of what Ken Cole writes having followed and participated in the beginnings of the wolf restoration in 1994 and beginning to write about it in detail in 1995.

              From the start, from the election of 1994 in Idaho, the state’s elected officials were dead set against any wolves and were not shy to say so. At no time did they say “let’s sit down and discuss the matter.” Wolf conservation interests were not represented among those who wrote Idaho’s wolf management plan except for Professor Jim Peek, an truly remarkable expert, but alone, a token.

            • JEFF E says:

              I have to agree with Ken.

              It is also my belief that Idaho and Wyoming has never had any intention of managing wolves. Instead these two continually tried to find some way around the question from the 17 failed management plans from Idaho; Wyoming even more, at the very start of the re-introduction.

              Unfortunately it really was not the states per se that is behind the hatred but instead the livestock industry that is the prime moving force behind it.

              Had Wyoming not stonewalled from the beginning the wolves would have been delisted, and the whole thing would long past in the rear view mirror.

              No, the lawsuits were a result of the states not following the ESA.

              Was that fact just supposed to be ignored? To what end?

              Instead what we have is an ever more entrenched mindset by all sides which is becoming ever more driven by extremist’s vituperation as evidenced on blogs, forums and other media outlets.

              Does anyone truly believe that head cases such as Bridges, Hemming, $3 Mike, et alia. would have been able to display their narcissism for all to see had this issue not been resolved a decade ago, by each state simply achieving ALL of the delisting requirements and then move on?

              That Montana would truly have a candidate named Bob Fanning running for Gov.?
              That two livestock industry bootlickers would be able to subvert the whole process with a back-door rider? (pun intended).

              The whole thing is turning into a Greek tragedy.

            • JB says:

              I agree that wolf opponents and Idaho’s legislature were dead set against wolves from the start, and would likely have pushed to lower wolf numbers no matter when they were removed from ESA protections. The extra protections probably allowed wolves to push into some new areas; and the extra wolves are now making it harder for states to reduce wolf populations.

              However, WM’s criticism cannot be easily pushed aside. In particular, I think wolf advocates’ insistence on using the courts likely led some “middle-of-the-road” folks to the conclusion that (and I’m paraphrasing) ‘nothing short of total protection will satisfy them’. In a way, the Rockwells, Fannings and Bridges need the Nabekis and Stones. Both sides point to the other as evidence that the other side is radical and unwilling to compromise–and both win converts because of the rhetoric and actions of the other side. Without each other as evidence, their words would ring hollow.

              Anyone wanting to study how people become polarized couldn’t ask for a better example.

            • WM says:


              My comment was meant to be more general including the entire NRM, and the WGL. The whole thing is playing out worse than most of us predicted. I keep asking “why?,” as we all should.

              I am recalling some of my earlier exchanges with JB about the GWL, mostly MN. Not so much activity or interest around the delisting, seemed to be his reading at the time. Well, MN finally got pissed about the delays and filed its own petition for delisting, followed shortly by WI and MI, forcing FWS to act. FWS finally stated its intention to delist the WGL wolves, and the antis’s came out of the woodwork in the last three months or so. Potentially we are seeing bad things play out, because of the delay. MN believed its wolves would and should have been delisted at least 8-10 years earlier, but for the HSUS litigation. There is a substantial retribution backlash in what is happening. The thing that the pro wolf crowd pulls out of the bag of tricks now is that MN is not following its plan. Well, the plan was predicated on an earlier delisting date which was long, long surpassed.

              You are probably right about ID, and we are seeing the evidence of it with the topic of this thread.

              As for the NRM generally, in my circle of acquaintances, some located in Eastern OR and Eastern WA, all they could talk about was the delays in delisting and the litigation in the NRM and Molloy’s rulings, including the foolishness of the DPS issue, which gave way to the passage of the Tester/Simpson rider, which itself was litigated. Then that left WY, on its own to create their own political and legal stink. All of this has been played out in a very public way – quotes from the antis and pros being paraded through the news articles

              In this last round, the initial rider litigation was questionable without the national groups like Defenders, who I suspect figured it was a loser and didn’t want to be associated with the political fallout. Of course, going forward with the appeal made it even worse.

              Incidentally, on the other side of the issue, I think what WWP and you, Ken, appearing individually before the IDFG Commission is a good thing. They need to have their feet held to the fire to make them back up their numbers. Question the risks of the bold and aggressive hunting and trapping. Keep the whine on with FWS, to make them enforce the 2009 delisting rule/legislation. I am for this kind of advocacy, if it is factual.

            • Salle says:

              I’m with Ken, Ralph and Jeff E. on this. I’ve seen it too many times over the years, like a broken radio that plays one horrid song, you can turn it off but when you go and check to see if something else is being broadcast, you find it’s the same ugly, old song on a feedback loop. I’ve been to a number of these “public” events to know that I hear the same song at each and every one.

              Idaho, since I started listening back in the early 1990’s, has emphatically insisted that the wolves “were foisted upon” the good state of Idaho and they will fight to remove them all no matter what it takes and no matter how long it takes… by whatever means they deem necessary. The only thing I have ever heard from the legislature, several governors and their special interest friends.

              Those who cast a dark shadow over the idea of litigation that seemed endless… mind you, litigation is the basic tool for ensuring that the ESA mandates are carried out and via use of the best available scientific data to support them.

              Outside of reasonable consensus for procedural decision-making based on best available scientific data, it’s litigation or abandon the efforts of conducting the mandates and processes of the ESA, conceding defeat in the act of attempting to conserve those species we have pushed too close to extinction.

              If you read the Act itself, you will find within the first two chapters that the tools are made quite clear… litigation is the tool for satisfaction of dispute with regard to the Act and the processes it prescribes.

            • Dan says:

              The reason the outcome of going the litigation/Congressional route doesn’t work and is a enormous failure is because the remedy is not a compromise. Neither polarized side likes the outcome. The construct of the original plan was poorly crafted. What should have happened from the beginning is that the stakeholders should have sat down and hammered out wolf zones. Areas that wolves would be allowed, areas where wolves would not be allowed at all and zones where wolves would be capped at determined numbers.

              As I have explained to JB at times it only takes 10% or so of the elk population going to wolves and it makes the population unsustainable for wolves and hunters.

              If I were a rancher, I would be ticked if I lost a single animal to wolves. I can’t imagine anyone producing anything tolerating losses from capricious elements.

              Conservation groups want unmolested wolf populations. They want wolves on the landscape, free to run their way.

              The only sensible remedy should have been hard lines drawn across the mountains and prairies. If a pack took residence in an out zone they would be eliminated. If they reside in and in zone they would be free from human interference. And lastly, areas such as the lolo would be capped at a hard number of wolves.

              I can imagine that YNP would be an in zone, whereas area that host ranches would be out zones…areas that are public, multiple-use and mountainous i.e. lolo, CDA forest, Clearwater forest etc should have been capped at a hard number.

              This construct would have given both sides holy grail zones (unmolested and no tolerance zones) and it would have allowed for genetic transfer.

              People fear most the unknown and change. The way the wolf issue progressed, every milestone was fraught with both elements and still is. A clever plan to begin with would have minimized both and would have gone a long ways to change the historical image of the wolf.

            • JB says:

              “As I have explained to JB at times it only takes 10% or so of the elk population going to wolves and it makes the population unsustainable for wolves and hunters.”

              Dan, You certainly asserted that this is the case, but you shouldn’t take my silence on the issue as tacit agreement. Too many factors are at play locally to make such broad generalizations.

              “The only sensible remedy should have been hard lines drawn across the mountains and prairies.”

              That type of solution is still possible; but trust me, hunters won’t like the boundaries that get drawn, as they will be drawn around federal public lands. I’ve mentioned before that I believe this outcome (i.e. federal legislation protecting wolves on federal public lands) is likely (long term) if the two sides cannot agree to a reasonable compromise.

              Again, Newton’s law of motion seems to apply to politics, at least as far as gray wolves are concerned.

            • WM says:


              You do realize HSUS, an animal right groups by its own admission, NEVER wanted Great Lakes wolved delisted. NEVER. It openly said so, and chose to use the ESA litigation avenue to pursue that goal. Yes?

              Do you think the drafters of the ESA intended that application of the law?

            • Dan says:

              “That type of solution is still possible; but trust me, hunters won’t like the boundaries that get drawn, as they will be drawn around federal public lands. I’ve mentioned before that I believe this outcome (i.e. federal legislation protecting wolves on federal public lands) is likely (long term) if the two sides cannot agree to a reasonable compromise.”

              I think there’s no question this is where we are headed, however, it will not be as one-sided as you are implying.

            • JB says:

              “…however, it will not be as one-sided as you are implying.”

              It doesn’t have to be; but the history of this issue suggests otherwise.

          • Mike says:

            Your pale gig is up, WM.

      • Jeff N. says:


        Remove head from rectum and take a cleansing, deep breath. Purists my ass. I believe most on here have an appreciation for the “complexity of the world” and how decisions are made, for better or worse, to accomodate for these complexities. However, most of us also realize that what is taking place regarding wolf “management” in Idaho (and what will happen in WY and WI) is nothing more than pure bloodsport…..much of it inhumane; and you know this. Managing wolf numbers based on science has been thrown out the window in Idaho. It’s nothing but a body count. Stack up the carcasses as high as we can. Idaho has made this clear.

        Middle of the road isn’t going to accomplish shit. You live in a fantasy world if you think this way. The pendulum is about to swing back baby. The grinning asshole on the trapper’s website is a good start.

        • WM says:

          Jeff N.,

          You are a bit confused about who lives in the fantasy world. Unless you know of a way to storm the Bastille, unfortunately, things may not change for awhile (with substantial uncertainty whether D’s can even hold on to the Senate).

          ++The pendulum is about to swing back baby.++

          No its not. The “bloodsport” element and the creeps like this trapper, are fewer in number than what most folks here want to believe. And, with wolf numbers knocked back a bit, it will also eliminate many of their opportunities. In that sense maybe a bit of the antagonism will even subside from the livestock and hunting communities. So, to that extent, maybe the pendelum will have reached its arc in the coming months, but I think it has significant probability of being dampened some on its way down for quite awhile (see paragraph 1).

      • Mike says:

        ++I have news for you, mik. Change will come from those of us in the middle,++

        WM, you’re not in the middle.

        • JB says:

          Where wolves are concerned the middle is a pretty big place. WM is about as close to the middle as anyone I’ve seen.

          • Mike says:

            There is no “middle”, or right, or left on the wolf issue. There’s science, and managing the wolves in an ethical fashion, and that’s it.

            WM has been an advocate against wolves for a long time on here, and now all of a sudden he’s Bipartisan Johnny when these trapping pics show up. No one is buying it.

            • JB says:

              Science cannot answer “should” questions, Mike. And I submit what constitutes “ethical” management is highly subjective.

              WM has advocated for some lethal management of wolves–that should not be confused with advocating against wolves. He also understands the legal aspects (and history) of this issue quite well; which has led to some interesting and (at times) enlightening debates.

              I don’t always agree with him, but I’ve come to value his perspective.

          • IDhiker says:


            I would respectfully disagree.

            Many of those who claim to be in the middle do a good job of bashing those they perceive to be too pro-wolf. But, they neglect to similarly bash those that are too far anti-wolf. Usually, they “rip the heads off” the pro-wolf “extremists,” but then only mildly criticize the other extreme.

            A true “middle of the road” person would equally go after both extremes, which has not been the case here.

            • Immer Treue says:


              Bashing anti-wolf folks doesn’t do anything, at least via electronic messaging. Hit one and two take their place. Visit the “lions”den and it is possible to disagree and have a conversation, then three or four more jump all over you.

              Very few “anti-wolf” folks post here. It used to be challenging when New West would run stories in regard to wolves. It was a pretty level playing field, then someone would start name calling and the dialogue would go into the gutter, only to to have comments close down.

              The problem here is the generalizations that some make. How many times have commenters like Savebears been clumped in with unethical hunters, trappers, anti-wolf agenda, etc… Only to once again have to explain his stance, over and over again.

              I don’t think the too pro-wolf folks get bashed for their stance on wolves, but how they promote their stance, sometimes with the generalizations and comments about others are not true.

              These next few years are going to be interesting. How soon will it take for the “middle” to be reached. With hunting and trapping a coming reality in the GL states, I hope it doesn’t take a whole lot of accidentally killed dogs and shot hikers to push it more toward the chord I think we all hope will eventually be played.

            • JB says:

              Agreed, Immer. Ralph used to let some of the fanatics post here, but most have been kicked off for making absurd, offensive, delusional rants. Their absence on this site hasn’t moved the middle–just the middle of those represented here.

              Perhaps WM would have more time to attack the anti-wolf crowd if some posters here would keep from making absurd statements and overgeneralizations?

            • WM says:


              ++But, they neglect to similarly bash those that are too far anti-wolf.++

              To the extent that comment was directed to me, let me respond. I post on no other forum than here. Before I became associated with this site I posted some at New West. I took on Toby Bridges and some of the other well known anti wackos and others on a regular basis. I found that no matter how ridiculous their statements, and irrational their arguments they kept coming back. You can only attack an idiot idealogue on a mission so many times. By the way the same argument is true on this forum.

              The anti’s don’t post so much here, by Ralph’s design. And, I think that is a probably a good censorship practice to a large extent. Since coming here, I rechristened Rockholm with a more fitting name, “Rockhead” which seems to have stuck, and repeatedly challenged the baseless assertions of he and his dim-witted followers over on the bad bear blog make. I have been critical of trapping (I don’t like it any more than you and have said so. The picture link on this thread, I also find disgusting).

              If I don’t participate in the dog piles that occasionally occur here, it is not because I necessarilly agree with the poster(S). What is the point, since some here do a pretty thorough job of calling them out. I kind of find it interesting that some of the outlandish views of some pro’s here don’t get critical attention they surely deserve, for example fantasy land Mike, Nabeki, Howl (haven’t seen him in awhile), or our new conversationalist and instant wolf/legal expert who just trashed Dr. Mech, Louise. Don’t think I saw you in that exchange, so you must think Mech is cold-hearted, scientist who lost his way, as well.

              And then, Immer, who is very pro wolf, but one of the more rational folks who sees things from both sides gets pasted by pro-wolf radical Nabeki. I don’t see you jumping in to call out Nabeki,fantasy Mike, or mikarooni. Does that mean you agree with them?

              If you don’t think my values reflect the middle ground, then wolf advocates will have a very long legal, technical and political haul to get that advocacy rock up the hill to a point where it stays for awhile. Because, if some wolf advocates can’t adjust their values to reach that common ground (which is a very long way from where the anti’s are) you may never achieve a future with more wolves on the ground in more places, accepted by livestock owners/operators of all types, pet owners, hunters and those who must balance various interests and make policy decisions for all of us.

  23. Richie G. says:

    To to people I respect, I hope people vote the recall to get Walker out,it will not be fast enough. He gace Obama a number one shirt,give me a brake. Now most people who care,do know something about what is going on,and it is always politics.Thank you Ralph for thie forum.

  24. Richie G. says:

    To to people I respect, I hope people vote the recall to get Walker out,it will not be fast enough. He gace Obama a number one shirt,give me a brake. Now most people who care,do know something about what is going on,and it is always politics.Thank you Ralph for thie forum. Sorry I just can’t stand Walker, he is trying to bring down everything that we have built up for many years. For the people who think we are headed for socialism, send back your social security check every time you receive one. Put your money where your mouth is,respectively.

    • Savebears says:


      Why should people send back the money that has been taken out of their check for the many years they worked? I don’t understand, Social Security is an employee contributed fund, it is not given to people by the feds, it is money they paid into the system. It is a small piss poor savings acct that the government told us we have to participate in.

      • Salle says:

        I think what Richie is saying makes a good point ~ even though it makes little sense to passers-by.

        Many who proclaim the rise of socialism in our country usually don’t understand that we have already been practicing forms of socialism for a rather long time… like Soc. Sec., for example… or our US and Interstate Highways, or the “war effort” that spawned Rosie the Riveter and other social programs like the hydro-electric dams in the rivers and… and…

        They don’t get it, and many of the complainers are benefiting from social(ist) programs. It reminds me of those guys at a public hearing in Idaho regarding the Roadless Initiative in the late 1990’s who yelled at the presenters from the FS; “…and don’t you tell us the BLM’s been taken over by the fedr’l govermint!” It’s was almost funny and pretty scary, kind of like this issue on this thread.

        • Paul says:

          Don’t forget to add welfare ranching as one of those “socialist” programs that the hypocrites take advantage of.

  25. Sarah says:

    To someone who mentioned the DNA stuff, you hit it right on the nail. Dog and wolf DNA is 99.9% similar, and subspecies are not defined by differences in DNA, it is their skeletal anatomy that makes them different, though in the past, they developed sub-species by looks alone. One biologist had a seperate sub-species just because of colors. But it seems like science now and days is almost always objective… Rarely is it ever sound anymore. But one thing I am certain of, this “Rocky Mountain subspecies” is not sound, even in the least bit. There is more documentation proving that Occidentalis has always been native, than there is this Rocky Mountain wolf… One just has to find the research and documents, which is not hard to do at all. This Rocky Mountain wolf is rarely if ever referred to in biology or by biologists, because even the thought of doing so makes ME laugh, it is a subspecies that was made up and contains no actual solidity to it.

  26. Drag the governor into this dogfight. Hang it on his conscience. I’m sending the following via twitter. Take it and make it your own. I received a great deal of support yesterday from around North America. I have other ammo on my twitter account @gary_chandler. Keep fighting the good fight for truth–and against greed/fear/ignorance and selfish special interests.
    Tell Idaho Governor>> @ButchOtter to STOP BUTCHERING OUR WOLVES. Trapping is for cowards–GRAPHIC PHOTO: http://www.trapperman.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/3081673/Idaho_Wolf_about_time.htl #wolf #idaho

  27. Mike says:

    This applies.


    Thank you, Samuel L. Jackson.

  28. JEFF E says:

    somthing to put in the personal library.


    • Salle says:

      Yeah, I’m kind of wondering which section to put it in.

      I found it to be rather subjective and inappropriately so for a “study” produced by the Congressional Research Service, whoever they are. I think I’d like to see a second opinion on their selected topic and subtopics.

      • JEFF E says:

        I got the impression that this was like an information paper handed out before some sort of committee hearing. I just file away stuff like this and use in the endless comparison of facts and information that I pursue, mostly for my own information. I thought it interesting because I have never come across a paper quiet like it. I am sure it will provide me with some nugget of pertinent information at some point…..

        • Salle says:

          My first clue that there was a subjective element: “When wolves were returned, the science community was nearly giddy in anticipation…” (pg 4).

          And the last three paragraphs indicate a serious problem that inspired quite a bit of litigation surrounding the rule changes that gave the states the power of determination on the impact on ungulate pops… and their particular manner of making that determination… that was done in 2005. All of that prior to the delisting events.

          I recall a public hearing in Cody, Wyo in 2006, I think it was, and I asked Ed Bangs about how the state of Wyo. would make this determination and exactly who were the peers to review the state’s determination. He replied that the state would decide who the peers would be and that they could also use one one-time study as a blanket sample for the entire state. (I believe dink was SOI at the time.)

          I was appalled at the prospect and what I thought would happen, based on that set of rule changes, has come to pass, sadly.

          And finally, the paper makes no conclusion on all that blather about the authors’ interpretation of the Act and events regarding the management of wolves. It just makes implicit attempts to show that fighting for the protection of wolves is futile and kind of silly… which indicates a biased approach. I think this Congressional “think tank” has been stacked with teabagger types given that this faction has taken over the will of the Congress… And then, there are all those “wedged in for life” appointees of the last regime.

    • JEFF E says:

      Along the lines of misunderstood information I have been made aware of a situation that is/will become an urban legend. As most of us are aware IDFG recently released the 2011 wolf status report.


      This is a pretty standard format for this type of document, nothing too complicated, written for someone that possess at least a minimal understanding of the English language. The point in question seems to be the number of wolves in the Panhandle zone in Idaho. So in order to have some understanding of a document like this one should read all the introductory information as usually that is what the rest of the report is built on. This is Standard English comp 101.
      So when we go to the section which covers the Panhandle there is a chart on pg. 25 that gives certain information about the wolf population. The first column is headed “Min No. wolves Detected”. (What is it about that word “minimum” that so many people cannot grasp?).
      Then go down that column and notice that the majority of entries contain either a question mark or are blank. At the bottom, the entry states “WMZ total=26”.
      So when the “ENTIRE COLUMN” (duh) is considered what does it mean?
      Of course it means that the minimum number of DETECTED wolves =26.
      So where am I going with this?
      What I have been made aware of is that there is a miss-conception (and I am being very, very generous with that term), that somehow this report is claiming that the [TOTAL number] of wolves in the panhandle =26.
      To highlight the ignorance of this claim recall that the majority of wolf packs cited in this column have question marks or blanks, and then go the pack summary’s and read that most packs counts were incomplete, not pursued, or represented minimum numbers. (There’s that word again).
      So what I have been told is that the individual pushing this nonsense is one of the usual suspects who is well known for a startling lack of comprehension of English, but also some of the people that are buying into this are some self-proclaimed researchers, teachers in the public school system, and even a candidate for public office in the executive branch.
      So the question becomes, how is that level ignorance overcome?? (And I use the term “ignorance” in the most neutral and generous application).
      If there is not even a displayed threshold of comprehension on the most basic documentation how is it possible to progress?

      • Salle says:

        They just make it up as they go along based on the heat of the rhetoric of the uninformed. It’s worked for them so far…

      • WM says:

        Jeff E.,

        Somewhere in your explanation you lost me. What is your best guesstimate of how many wolves were in the Panhandle year-end 2011, with all those packs that have a “?” mark instead of a confirmed minimum number?

        • JEFF E says:

          I don’t have a guesstimate, nor does IDFG. The numbers represented are the minimum and IDFG does not here or has ever maintained anything else but a “minimum” estimate.

          But read the report,…. find yourself,….. and then enter into a pertanite discussion.

          • Salle says:

            It would appear that all those “report wolf sightings” to IDF$G were taken as whole packs and the state’s official numbers, and the corresponding maps, indicate such fuzzy math. If you look at these maps, they would have the casual viewer believe that the state is over-run with wolves so that they can be recruited to the groupthink that insists “something” must be done. Like kill all the wolves. It seems likely to me that the lying has allowed for the egregious policies in place that allow for mass killing so that when it is discovered that there aren’t any wolves left they can simply say “oops” and let it go at that with the SSS crowd mopping up any evidence of lingering wolves on the landscape. They will stop at nothing and have had this agenda for wolves all along. they can tell you whatever they think will satiate the opposition but you have to remember all the lies to keep them valid… and as we have seen with mr. beetlejuice, he can’t keep it all straight when questioned.

            Old Russian Proverb: You can’t hide an awl in a cloth bag, they will always poke through and show themselves eventually. (You can’t keep lies secret, the truth will always come out at one time or another.)

          • JEFF E says:

            understanding that this report is for 2011 and does not account for those killed from the first of the year it looks like your model comes out at ~102 for the panhandle not counting the three suspected packs which could bring that total up to ~120 at year end. Am I reading that right?
            That seems to be at least in the ballpark especially since you actually relied on scientific methodology.

            So that brings up a couple questions.

            1. Why does IDFG not use the same type of process and give an estimate of a total population instead of the “detected minimum” that they now use in the reports?

            2. What do you think the confidence level is of your model as opposed to the one that IDFG is using to come up with a minimum #. Are they comparable?

        • Ken Cole says:

          63 using the formula

          • I applaud the passion and knowledge demonstrated by those in this forum. Please take this entire expose/debate to Twitter. There is support out there than can rally to help build awareness, understanding, support & action–immediately. Help expose the pseudoscience/special interest agenda on wolves across North America. I know that Twitter can be short & shallow, but there is a deep end ready to help. You can see my past tweets on the issue at @gary_chandler. I used to think that it was a tool for fools. I’ve been proven wrong as I dove in. That forum needs people like you to shape the issue and to keep these debates in full view (with viral capability). We can influence public opinion as a means of influencing public policy.

          • WM says:


            Would you mind walking us thru the calculation for the Panhandle, as you did for the entire state at the start of this thread?

            • Ken Cole says:


              Minimum Wolf Population Estimate = [# Wolves counted in documented packs with complete count + (# Documented packs lacking complete count * mean [or median] pack size) + (# Wolves in other documented wolf groups of size >2)] * (lone wolf factor) 


              # Wolves counted in documented packs with complete count = 0 

              # Documented packs lacking complete count = 14 

              the number of documented packs that were extant at the end of 2011 was 14, complete pack size counts were obtained on 0 of them, leaving 14 packs with counts that were presumed incomplete,

              Median pack size = 6.5 

              median pack size was calculated using only those packs (n = 16) for which complete pack counts were obtained in 2011,

              # Wolves in other documented wolf groups of size >2 = 0 

              “total count” for those radiocollared wolves in groups of 2-3 wolves that were not considered packs under our definition,

              lone wolf factor = 12.5% 

              a mid value from a range derived from 5 peer-reviewed studies and 4 non-reviewed papers from studies that occurred in North America and were summarized and reported in 2003 (Mech and Boitani 2003, page 170).


              ((0 + (14 * 6.5) + (1)) * 1.125 

              (0 + (91) + (1)) * 1.125 

              (92) * 1.125 = 104 

              Subtract the 41 killed since the end of the year and you get 63

              If you add the 3 suspected packs (3 x 6.5 = 19.5 + 63 = 82.5) you get 82-83

            • Ken Cole says:

              Also note that there were no reported livestock or pet conflicts in the Panhandle and the elk and deer objectives are being met or exceeded.

            • Ken Cole says:

              P.S. I don’t think this formula is meant to be used for a small area. It is meant to be used to estimate a statewide population.

            • WM says:

              Thanks Ken. I agree, applying the model to a sub-area of the state may have limitations. The interesting part, I found in the data inputs is that a “Documented Pack” (one they know exists, but didn’t actually count members because they didn’t actually see them during the visual count period) from the table for the wolf management units was limited to only 2 members (1 male + 1 female). So, it would seem there is under-estimation built into the model. How many documented packs does one suppose include a total of only 2 wolves?

              This, I believe, is the same model Commissioner McDermott was talking about in the email exchange with Berry Coe (again, anyone know who he is?).

            • Ken Cole says:

              I think you may misinterpreting the formula. A documented pack, according to the explanation of the formula, is not just two wolves but 6.5 wolves. There median pack size, calculated from the 16 packs that they got an actual full count of in 2011, was 6.5.

            • WM says:


              You are correct. I screwed up using the wrong terminology. Here’s where:

              Minimum Wolf Population Estimate = [# Wolves counted in documented packs with complete count + (# Documented packs lacking complete count * mean [or median] pack size) + (# Wolves in other documented wolf groups of size >2)] * (lone wolf factor)

              I was looking at the “Wolves in other documented groups” and the minimalist conclusion that equal to or greater than 2 was reduced summarily to only 2 wolves per group in the calculation. In all likelihood the number real number is higher, so the argument stands. It is just not as strong.

            • Ken Cole says:

              You do see the “greater than” sign (>) next to the two don’t you? They would use an actual number there, not just an estimate.

            • Ken Cole says:

              # Wolves in other documented wolf groups of size >2)

              To rephrase that “the number of other documented groups of size greater than two”.

              In the case of the statewide estimate they used just 2 but last year they used the number 9.

              ((142 + (67 * 7.1) + (9)) * 1.125
              (142 + (476) + (9)) * 1.125
              (627) * 1.125 = 705

  29. Kayt says:

    I sure understand how most of you would want wolves in your particular area. I, on the other hand, do not. I don’t need them. I used to go outside to do domestic things. I still do that, but now I have a gun on my hip. Won’t /Can’t let my dogs out alone. There are lots of wolves in North Idaho. Don’t need any more. Fact. !

  30. IDhiker says:

    There’s been some controversy in the last couple days concerning, “Change will come from those of us in the middle, rather than you purists.”

    I’m not so sure of that. One never sees anyone “in the middle” seemingly doing anything. No letters to the editor, no taking anti-wolf extremists to the task… The “middle” reminds me of the old “silent majority.” Maybe they really are there, but they certainly make no effort to let us know it. If the vast majority of hunters are as ethical as some here promote, then why are they allowing the radical fringe to run the show? Why aren’t these extreme clowns that want to kill every wolf shouted down by the “vast majority?”

    You often see several people on this site who are hunters taking it to the the pro-wolf side, but where are their voices elsewhere? After a letter in the newspaper from an anti-wolf extremist, there are never “middle of the road” hunters opposing this view. Silence is no better than agreement. If there is a large and moderate group of hunters out there, it’s time they make themselves visible, and quit letting extremists dominate their sport.

    The extreme voices wouldn’t dictate so much policy if they were heavily opposed from their own ranks, by people with moderate, middle of the road views. I just don’t see it.

    • timz says:

      “The middle of the road is for yellow lines and dead armadillos.”

      • JB says:

        The armadillos die just as easy on either side of the road; the only difference is the color of the line.

        Standing up for what you believe in is noble. Refusing to compromise because the compromise is imperfect is childish. Unfortunately, we have a lot of “children” in Congress (especially the House) right now–and their behavior hurts the rest of us.

  31. IDhiker says:

    Also, regarding the dispute over how ethical hunters are, I haven’t seen that either. I grew up in a hunting family in Northern Wisconsin. Everyone hunted and met in the north woods every fall. Then my family moved to Montana where we continued to hunt. Dad had a pack camp in the Bob Marshall every fall for over 20 years. Great experiences and a lot of fun, but ethical?? Not really.

    As a kid, I remember Dad shooting a bald eagle out of the sky, and a showshoe rabbit just to see if he could hit them. In this group, which was heavily dominated by highly educated people, breaking the rules was commonplace, and people got a chuckle out of doing it. Shooting game for someone else’s tag, out of season, keeping over your limit – it didn’t matter, it was out of sight, out of mind. Who would know?

    At the pack camp, friends came yearly from other states. These were well-to-do people that could afford out-of-state licenses, but no, they pulled stunts like buying a grouse license and going big game hunting, or no license at all.

    I remember one year an MD from Arizona went in with Dad’s group to mule deer hunt with no license, of course. I was so irate over this, I called Montana FWP to report it, but as you can imagine, being in the backcountry, no one went in to investigate. He got his mule deer and went home to Arizona.

    I often wonder that with all these illegal shenanigans going on with college professors, MD’s, teachers, and other professionals, what happens in the woods with the less-educated segments of society? Now I know, education doesn’t make ethics, but you would think it would. For example, most of the people we deal with in the sheriff’s office are the more less-educated variety. Maybe they just get caught more often…

    • JEFF E says:

      I have hunted for over 40 yrs and come from a family and extended family that have likewise engaged in hunting. While I am sure there are exceptions I have not encountered any of the “commonplace” behavior you describe.
      I would assume that such behavior comes from a generational lack of ethical behavior and not a little lack of personal self esteem.

      Some peoples families.

      • IDhiker says:

        All of these people I describe were great enablers for each other, too afraid to question each others actions and be possibly ostracized by the group, I suppose. The good news is that they were a previous generation that is now too old to hunt.

        • Immer Treue says:

          I have witnessed this same mindset on Canadian fishing trips, not to the degree you related to, but there nonetheless. Not to say this attitude was/is the soul provenance of a previous generation, but what I saw also came from that age group.

        • Mike says:

          I’ve seen that behavior time and time again, and was even part of it as a youngster.

          But as my “outdoor buddies” started spending more time drinking and smoking around the campfire, I wanted to explore roadless areas, where I learned much about the outdoors. Eventually we went our separate ways, physically and spiritually.

    • Mike says:

      I think IDhiker describes the common mindset.

      I really don’t see most hunters as ethical, or knowledgeable. Most have the NRA mindset.

      Yes, there are ethical, concerned hunters aware of how ecosystems work and the value of public land and wilderness. But anyone telling you this group is a majority is a liar.

      • mikarooni says:

        You’re right; IDhiker has pegged it and Jeffy is just in a nostalgic fantasy world of denial at best. You just have ask yourself what kind of mind obsesses on killing animals for fun.

  32. jon says:

    Was sent this email exchange between Tony Mcdermott and a hunter in Idaho.


    Again. you are dead wrong with respect to Jon Rachael and the headquarters wildlife staff so for the 10th time stop the personal attacks. The model that they are constrained to using is a minimum number that by all accounts can be actually counted. Using the minimum number to come to any conclusion by either side is idiocy at best. It is also my belief that the model could be off by as much as 50% and if this is the case the number of wolves on the ground at the start of the 2011 season is somewhere between 12-1500. Your guess is probably as good as mine or anyone else?

    Idaho is required by State law to maintain a viable minimum wolf population of 150 individual wolves and 15 breeding pair. [B] The number that is important is the cow calf ratio and not dead or live wolves.[B] When we reach a point where the wolf population is at a level where the cow calf ration is 30 calves per 100 cow and meeting the hunt unit objective we will be ok. Until this happens IDFG is committed to an aggressive, adaptive wolf management program.

    The extreme envir crowd who do not want wolves managed at all or want the numbers to be in the thousands (DOW, Wstrn Watershed, Howling for Justice etc…) could care less about the status of Idaho’s deer, elk and moose populations. The Federal contract is to have 100 wolves and 10 breeding pair in Idaho. The organizers of the people in attendance at the Wednesday public hearing could care less about original agreements. Their interests focus on re-writing the rules, raising as much money as possible from folks who don’t have a clue or could care less about the impact that wolves on our wildlife.

    60+% of Idaho is federally owned property and yes the extreme enviro’s have the right to show up, voice their opinion and attempt to influence the process. Our wildlife populations belong to all of the people and if we loose the 80% who support the concept of hunting, our hunting heritage will be in trouble. Yes I believe that the summit will do a great deal of good in reaffirming what the North American Wildlife Model is all about so become part of the solution and not the problem. If you have additional ?’s call me.

    Tony McDermitt

    Barry Coe My reply………

    Personal attacks? Again, you misrepresent what personal attacks are, what I pointed out is exactly the truth, Jon Racheal is being intellectually dishonest, he always has been, he always will be. He was brought into the department right from the Ed Bangs wolf exoneration program and he continues in his public comments to fail to explain the reality of the absurd numbers he turned into the feds. If IDFG was serious about this, they would be addressing the truth and that the methods of counting wolves is pure fraud. The model is bad, you know it, I know it, everyone knows it, but no one addresses it, that is complicit when you are employed and educated to do the job. Ignoring it, dismissing it or defending it will only make the situation worse, and actually make the person doing it culpable. Either that, or we count elk the same way. What do you suppose that would do for your objectives Tony?

    While you and I realize it is idiocy. It is the federal OFFICIAL number, it is entered in the federal register and it will be used to bring Idaho back to court. Your and the departments acceptance and defense of this method makes me wonder if relisting wolves is a department objective.

    Round up the wagons Tony, IDFG is about to bring on a situation they have no idea what to do with. Your claim about everyone having a say is incorrect, it is the CITIZENS of Idaho’s wildlife, not any ORG.’S or anyone else who would speak for anyone outside of the state. I have no doubt IDFG will continue forward in an attempt to bring funds to their failed coffers, just remember a year or two down the road when it is worse, you were warned. Anyone allowed into the summit that represents an org with out of state members or any person not holding a valid Idaho residency, will by law make this summit invalid. Those people have no legal say in the management of the property of the citizens of Idaho, it has nothing to do with the amount of federal lands in the state,the wildlife that walks, swims and fly’s on or over it are Idaho property.

    As far as a phone call, I am not at liberty to do that at this time. I have been advised to keep our communication in writing. As much as you may want me to be, I am not your enemy. But neither will I just stand on the sidelines and shut up when I see such things in IDFG and their personnel. The list of provable cover ups and denials inside IDFG are long and distressing, it would be irresponsible of me not to call the department out on them. If you see that as attacks, I think you are missing the entire point of our republic and the structure the constitution of this country created.


    • jon says:

      I think this email really shows how ignorant some of these IDFG commissioners really are.

      • mikarooni says:

        not just ignorant, proudly and defiantly ignorant …not even up to the level of true anti-intellectualism, but rather not even on any modern intellectual scale.

      • IDhiker says:

        A little background on who Barry Coe is would be helpful.

  33. Paul says:

    Even Fox News is calling it a “war on wolves” in the NRM states.


  34. timz says:

    Poor old Mr. Alred,can’t find any elk. Some guide. I saw at least 100 on the way home from work tonight. And old whiskey breath Otter with his “we don’t want em here crap.” We must mean he and his sheep ^&%(ing buddies.

  35. Richie G. says:

    To SB first SS is a small amount of money that all of us contributed to, I agree. But Roosevelt wanted to make it bigger,but he got shut down,when he tried to put more liberals on the Supreme Court. But as for giving it back I stand by this statement. It is SOCIAL SECURITY,SOCIAL Security at that time Roosevelt tried to give something to people who had nothing. You were in the military,that is kind of socialism. But people call Obama a socialist,we need him in their to get more liberal judges on our side, on the Supreme court. This is really the only way the laws will change. Good for you not liking these pictures, sb you know how it feels to get shot and the pain that follows.I am sorry I am bringing this up, but my point is when I see a hunter holding a wolf over his shoulder or in his face. He looks like he feels he killed it with his bare hands. Just my opinion, but he is not Tarzan, get with it. What I would like to see is that hunter face to face with an angry wolf and give the hunter the benefit of a knife,I will bet my life he will run. To me it shows in the pictures,the bolder the picture,the more coward the man. That is my opinion.

    • JB says:

      Actually, the members of the US armed forces have socialized medicine, so they don’t need “Obamacare”. The best thing for Obama right now would be fore the Supreme Court to toss out the new health care law; this would make the conservatives even more apathetic toward Romney (no need to repeal the law), while enraging the liberals. Moreover, it would probably hand the biggest swing state, Florida, which is filled with retirees, over to Obama.

  36. Louise Kane says:

    To WM ”
    who said “I kind of find it interesting that some of the outlandish views of some pro’s here don’t get critical attention they surely deserve, for example fantasy land Mike, Nabeki, Howl (haven’t seen him in awhile), or our new conversationalist and instant wolf/legal expert who just trashed Dr. Mech, Louise.

    WM, You continue to be confused about my comments re David Mech…I did not trash Dr Mech. My statement reflected my frustration about what I perceive to be a cold clinical detachment in Dr Mech’s more contemporary discussions about managing wolves that contrast (as you point out) to much of his earlier and other work. This is essentially how I feel about promoting the trapping and snaring of wolves and what seem to be excessive harvests by a biologist, it lacks humanity. Its a personal opionion and not one that you need to share. Animals suffer tremendously in traps and then they are subjected to addtional fear, stress and probably a good deal of abuse as they are killed when the “hunter” finally “harvests” them.

    As for the premise that the states are not showing hostility…Dr Mech is a renowned wolf scientist/biologist, not an expert in social sciences. That statement is somewhat subjective. If there is some connection to a particular set of data or study that might corroborate it, please enlighten me. Conversely, there is much evidence to the contrary, wolves were extripated from a region that they had historically occupied, by a systematic process driven by politics, fear, ignorance and intolerance. Unfortunately that mindset does not seem to have changed largely among the livestock, hunting and trophy hunting industries despite a shift in the general public’s opinion. (I’ll pull out the studies done during the ESA process if you insist)
    I do not have to be an instant “wolf/legal expert” to see that some of the western states have been extremely biased and hostile in their management of wolves. Unfortunately, Dr Mech’s statement about the states not showing hostitily towards wolves helps to undermine the work that many people are doing to advocate for better and more responsible managemnet of wolves. This was JB’s take on it…
    Disagreement over the Public Trust Doctrine’s application to Wolves
    Jeremy Bruskotter S.A. Enzler & A. Treves
    Mech contended that “state governments have not shown ‘hostility toward wolves’”. He defended this statement noting that “teams of highly qualified scientists set wolf recovery criteria” and state management plans pledged to maintain wolf populations at or above 150% of recovery goals. Further, Mech argued that monitoring by the FWS ensured that “the wolf can be relisted anytime if necessary”.
    Our response. We took exception with Mech’s claim that state governments have not shown hostility toward wolves, noting, for example, that Idaho’s state legislature has consistently taken legislative actions with the intent of removing wolves from the state, and pointing to similar legislation in Wyoming and Utah. We further pointed out that Mech’s confidence in states was predicated on wolf management plans that were developed by state agencies, who merely perform ministerial, management duties under the direction of the legislative and executive branches. We also disagreed with Mech’s claim that wolves could be relisted at any time by the FWS, given Congress’s willingness to remove wolves via legislative rider and the fact the the ESA’s monitoring period was limited to 5 years. Finally, we felt that Mech misinterpreted our argument, which empowers wildlife managers to act on behalf of wildlife by reminding states that they have a common law obligation to conserve wildlife for the benefit of current and future generations.

    WM I never said that I am a legal/ or wolf expert. However, I do consider myself well educated enough to enter into a rational dialouge about the issues, to register opinions, to continue to learn, and to continue to push for new options for predator managment policies that don’t promote killing as the first line of defense.

  37. Richie.G says:

    JB good point,some people think it is a first step towards single payer health care,I do not think Obama thinks this way.Anyway if it fails we need real progressives to say either single payer or you are not what we want. This is how the laws will change for all wildlife especally the wolves. As for social security is a little thing, but it was created for everybody who worked, socialism.People who call Obama a socialist I still say do not cash your check. In another vein, we need to spare these beautiful animals,get on Obama’s hot line tell him the killing and the slaughter of these wolves must stop now, not tomorrow.Let your voices be heard just like the pipeline and the gas drilling.Speak to him for the wolves,forget the rest it must get to him in numbers.I love animals,especially dogs, their closet bloodline is getting slaughtered this can’t go on. It is not a harvest these are beautiful animals,they slaughtered being killed like rats,like pigs,cattle in a slaughter house etc. Shameful I say !You know the terrible feeling cows go through to slaughter. I wish more people would take this into consideration. We have a lot of good caring people who speak on this site,Ken for one is great to me and others too. SB your a nice gentleman , just a little like Mr. Spock lol

  38. Louise Kane says:

    To JB who said ” I’ve mentioned before that I believe this outcome (i.e. federal legislation protecting wolves on federal public lands) is likely (long term) if the two sides cannot agree to a reasonable compromise.”

    what do you think the possibilities are for a national large carnivore/predator protection act that would acknowledge a special status for predators based on their contributions to healthy ecosystems and the threats they face from loss of habitat, prey bases, and human intolerance.

    I’d like to hear ideas from people here about what they think might work.

    • DB says:

      I don’t think you would find much support in congress – who would push it? If JB thinks it will eventually happen it’s probably for reasons similar to health care – if the supreme court strikes down the ACA, a single-payer system is more likely to happen..eventually.

    • JB says:


      The problem I see is primarily in the West, and it arises because (a) so much of these states are federal public land,(b) there are fairly dramatic differences in what state’s citizens want compared with what the U.S. public wants, and (c)states traditionally set wildlife management objectives on non-NPS federal public lands.

      So when states’ management objectives conflict with the desires of the nation as a whole, there is a problem that could be resolved via federal legislation. For example, on option would be legislation akin to the wild free-roaming horses and burros act; that is, legislation that either prohibits undesired management activities (e.g., use of gas in dens, aerial shooting for population control, etc.) or sets minimum population requirements.

      Another option would be for advocates to get involved in the BLM and Forest Service planning processes (for important FS/BLM units) in order to advocate for more protections for carnivores, or designated viewing areas. This option would provide greater flexibility, but would be a lot of work and require patience (I believe Forest management plans are, by statute, to be revisited every 15 years).

      I need to point out that I am *NOT* in any way advocating for either of these options, but I do believe that the likelihood of their occurrence increases with the aggressiveness of state management.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Thanks those notes are going into my files as I work on a draft I appreciate the response

  39. Louise Kane says:

    I am looking for ideas here…. There are many people with a great deal of experience on this site that could provide valuable input toward drafting a national predator or carnivore protection act, and finding key sponsors.

    The right timing is key to getting any initiative passed. Crises and strong public sentiment often prompt new legislation. Perhaps the extensive and excessive hunting plans the states are implementing in the aftermath of a recent delsiting might be the fertile ground for sweeping policy change in pedator protection? Would really like to hear from any of you with novel ideas.

    One friend suggested hunting of wolves and predators only by a revolving lottery. The lottery would only be open to individuals trained by wildlife biologists and managers. The training could be multi dimensional. These individuals could be called somewhat like reservists in the military.

    This arm of reservists would be called upon to assist in the managemnet of or to eliminate recidivist livestock killers or animals posing threats to human saftey. No trapping, snaring or other methods that were not considered fair chase.

    The idea being that wolf management would focus on allowing wolf populations to stabilize naturally. Those wanting to hunt could do so but only as part of a professional program that actually targeted problem wolves. This would provide an outlet for responsible hunters to hunt wolves, but would probably reduce or eliminate the extremist blood thirsty wolf and predator haters from participating. It would also target “problem” wolves only instead of fragmenting packs, and putting excessive hunting pressure on wolves and other carnivores. Its just one idea.

    I think Immer asked a question to economists about the usefulness of a 3% tax. no one commented on this question.

    My friend rafts the Colorado and participates in a lottery that is used to limit the impact of rafters on the river. This is where his idea came from, he does not have specific expertise in wolf management but does live in Montana.

    what are your thoughts?

    • I’m happy to help this group and others craft some legislation for better predator protection and sell it to public and policymakers. I also suggest that we start the WOLF PAC to promote pro-predator candidates. Contact me by twitter @gary_chandler I’m building public support now. The debate on this forum is like yelling into the grand canyon. Raise the platform and your voice. Long way to go. The prion-disease angle is huge–great leverage with livestock and hunters. Studies support the premise and so does homeland security law (designed to prevent prion spread).

      • Louise Kane says:

        my computer is down am using my husband’s antiqated monster, as soon as its up will contact you

    • Doryfun says:


      Actually, I was the one recommending the 3% sales tax (unlesss Immer did elsewhere ?)but it got little attention. (actually none). But, I was only rebounding off the person (from FOC?)who recommended that idea at the IDFG public meeting.

      Your idea about a lottery like the grand? Well, I’m not up on current stats, but it used to be waiting list 1 – 12 years long to get a permit. People sumbitted applications, but took forever.

      Other ideas? Well, assuming the ESA works (though I guess JB and company might have low confidence in that), it still sesms like a numbers game. Hunters vs non-hunters over how many get to be killed or saved. The danger of getting relisted by ESA should be incentive to the states not to reach that number. Otherwise the feds step in again and enforce mgt direction back upward.

      Managing for minimum isn’t optimum, but it still is above listing and keeps wolves on the landscape. No one will ever be totally satisfied,no matter the final mix, anyway.
      Such are the woes of compromise.

      It seems to me, something like a tax scheme, would offer the best alternative for a better distribution between share holders. So everyone would have an equitable say, not just consumptive users that foot most of the bill now.

      A state tax, rather than federal, would fit best, since wolves don’t cover every state. So good habitat states get more priority for tax structure to pay, rather than, or in addition to licenses fees. Just flying a kite here.

    • aves says:

      Advocating for lowering the number of each predator species that can be legally killed and elevating all predators to “trophy game” status would be a more productive approach.

      You may want to check out Jon Way’s coywolf website if you haven’t already. Scroll down on this link for his ideas about a National or State Canid Conservation plan:


      • Louise Kane says:

        but how does this prevent the irrepsonsible hunters from abusive practices, wolves are special there is so much hatred directed at them. I think traps, snares and most other methods of hunting need to be eliminated as well as only allwoing specially trained individuals to hunt and for predation only. This would prevent abuses and still allow for livestock offending wolves to be removed. What’s wrong with that, its along the lines of what the original compromise was in the ESA, a federal law would accomplish the objective of addressing recidivist predating wolves but protect the wolves from the hate based hunting that is still a big big issue.

    • ma'iingan says:

      “This arm of reservists would be called upon to assist in the managemnet of or to eliminate recidivist livestock killers or animals posing threats to human saftey. No trapping, snaring or other methods that were not considered fair chase.”

      I’ll tell you right now, based on my actual experience in lethal treatment of depredating wolves, whatever methods you determine to be “fair chase” will not be effective in removing problem wolf packs.

      The most efficient tool for that kind of operation is trapping, which is why it’s employed by Wildlife Services, and why the state of Minnesota is developing a civilian trapping corps to take over for WS.

      Regardless of your view of trapping, short of aerial gunning or poisoning it is the most practical means of near-surgical removal of problem wolves – which is what you seem to be suggesting.

      • Louise Kane says:

        do you have any info on the civilian corps that MN is training….would like to know more about this

  40. MostlyMike says:

    What is the name of the grinning Forest Service employee with the trapped wolf and the circle of blood in the photo that has gone viral. Does anyone know?

    • IDhiker says:

      I happen to know his name, but I am unsure if it would be a good idea to post it here. He is known to many people.

      • MostlyMike says:

        ID hiker,

        Thanks anyway. If he is known to a lot of people, I guess it will come out.

        • WM says:

          Just curious. Why is it important to anyone here to know who this guy is, who he works for, and where he is located?

          • IDhiker says:


            For the simple reason that it is time that the hunting/trapping fraternity clean house. That those who engage in unethical behavior be ostracized, shamed, and held accountable.

            • WM says:


              How does that apply to this specific individual who was apparently lawfully exercising his trapping privilege?

            • IDhiker says:

              Shooting a trapped animal and wounding it (by others), but still thinking it is funny (allegedly), and then posing for pictures in front of it, obviously in much pain, is revolting. I realize who posted the pictures is still unknown. I think everyone on here felt the pictures were disgusting.

              WM, I would never presume to be anywhere near your level on legal expertise. But, I feel you are overly concerned with “lawfully exercising his trapping privilege?” It is the ethical aspect I am concerned with here, and I think that is the most important part. It gives sportsmen and women a black eye.

              Considering the number of people working on this incident, all of the facts will eventually become known. The people involved (already known), what really happened, and the legal and ethical violations that were or were not committed will come out.

          • Salle says:

            “WM, I would never presume to be anywhere near your level on legal expertise.

            Wow, where did you ever get the impression that WM has any viable level of legal expertise?

            I’m almost willing to bet money ~ if I had any ~ that he’s playing you on that one.

  41. Louise Kane says:

    It does take a very long time to get the lottery for river rafting. But that is the point here, those who really wanted to hunt wolves responsibly would need to undergo training and a committment to hunt responsibly and under the direction of wildlfe managers, as part of a management scheme. The lottery would give them their chance to hunt and kill a wolf. Much as I detest the thought of hunting wolves and other predators for sport, some hunting is going to occur. I would at least like to know that hunting was being done for a valid management objective and not solely to satiate a thirst for killing. To see trapping of predators stopped is a big dream.

    I have very little faith in the ESA when it comes to wolves. Part of the issue being the extremely low numbers (my opinion) set for recovery goals. Relisting the wolves will also not help to reduce the hate and stereotyping of wolves. Then too, how long will it take to prove that there is legal justifaction under the ESA, with the states manipulating the numbers and so much controversy surrounding the numbers of wolves.

    a relsiting might be a temporary reprieve for wolves but it does not seem to me to be a long term solution without ammendments or a restructuring of the original recovery plan. I hope to see a new legislative scheme that will mandate responsible management of predators that is not driven by livestock and industry but by a true conservation ethic. The way that coyotes, wolves, bears, mountain lions and other wildlife are “managed” is despicable to me.

    I think a lot of people would not mind footing the bill via a tax to conserve wilderness or wildlife. I know I would not. It would be far easier and less expensive than donating continuously to various NGOs that are engaged in perpetual defensive battles to protect wildlife and wilderness. and far less frustrating.

    • WM says:


      I think you (and perhaps others) misunderstand the objective of the ESA with respect to species threat of extinction and preservation of habitat. The way to deal with the issue is more wolves in more places, not increasing the number of wolves, by creating or attempting to maintain higher density in the existing places.

      Therin lies the rub. Nobody wants lots of wolves. In three to five years OR and WA will have more than they want. Then what? Maybe they will move some around for a short while, but in the end wolf numbers and distribution will be rigously controlled there as well. Keep projecting forward in time, and it will be the same scenario wherever they are. This is an additive exercise, where over time more and more states, wherever wolves are allowed do repopulate, will engage in generally the same management regimen, though some will utilize practices reprehensible to some of us – maybe because they have to.

      • Louise Kane says:

        people do want wolves…lots of polls and opinions etc. The original language within the scoping documents show that polls were taken and that a majority of americans want them. Now its time to figure out responsible ways to live with them. That objective has not been achieved under the current laws.

  42. Louise Kane says:

    I’ll look at that site thank you

  43. Louise Kane says:

    was the trapper in the photo really a Forest Service employee. Please tell me thats not true. I am still unable to look at it.

    • Immer Treue says:

      FS employee called the trapper.

    • Paul says:

      According to reporter Bill Gibson on the Earth Island Journal this individual is a Forest Service employee. I have seen some horrific pictures before, but this one takes the cake. To make sure that you have a grinning photo taken while an animal is in severe distress from your trap behind you is absolutely disgusting. That poor wolf left a huge area of snow covered in blood while walking with the trap on his foot. Then according to the trapper a couple of people shot at the wolf from the road. On the “Trapperman” site where this guy posted the pictures they just laughed it off like it was no big deal. Apparently this happened either in front of or in full knowledge of a Forest Service police officer according to the trapper. Is it legal to shoot at animals in Idaho from the road? I guess this is what passes for an “ethical sportsman” in Idaho.

      • Mike says:

        This is face of the modern sportsman, Paul. They are the majority.

        • Cobra says:

          Bull, they are the minority, problem is, they post these stupid things where people can see them making everyone think they are a majority. He might have done this just to get people like you all riled up, which he did. I don’t like it or condone it but guys like this are not the majority. Real sportsmen who respect the animals would never do this or condone it.
          It’s to bad both sides are using the wolf as an 8oo pound hammer to hit each other with.

        • Salle says:


          Do you actually mean… The majority of hunters and trappers?

      • Cobra says:

        I live in Idaho and this is NOT an ethical sportsmen in any state. As I’ve said before, every state, even yours has bad guys.
        What pisses me off is young hunters look at this crap and then they think this is the way it should be when you hunt or trap. Somewhere along the line a lot of older hunters forgot to teach younger or new hunters about respecting the animals and it sucks because crap like this is sure not fair to the animals and definately makes us look bad.

        • Paul says:

          Believe me my state has plenty of unethical scumbags. If you had a chance to look at the “Trapperman” forum before they pulled it down there was only one trapper who spoke out against the picture and the shooting from the road. The rest were acting like this behavior was perfectly acceptable and is the norm. I have seen in person along with many grotesque photos that show what trappers do to animals, but this photo, and the one with a live wolf screaming in pain on top of that car are the worst that I have personally seen. Both photos were posted for bragging rights and for people to laugh at. This goes far beyond “conservation,” “recreation,” or even trophy hunting. This is flat out sadism and these people are getting off on the suffering of these wolves and then laughing about it afterward. They also post these type of pictures on the internet to taunt pro-wolf advocates. These pictures prove that a line has been crossed and wolves are not being “managed.” War has been declared on them and these people are getting pleasure out of making them suffer as much as possible.

          • Mike says:

            Paul –

            I didn’t see the one with a live wolf screaming on top of a car. Where in the heck did you see that, and what state was it?

          • Mike says:

            On a further note, I wouldn’t doubt if some of these wolves are being kept alive and tortured. The amount of venom spewed by ignorant politicians in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana has created the largest witch hunt since the segregation days.

            These anti-wolfers have become the KKK in many ways. The language and logic is eerily similar, but this time, the good ole boys can get away with it because it’s “just a wolf”.

            If you read Cormac McCarthy’s “The Crossing”, you’ll see a glimpse into the mindset of people who lack a refined awareness of the world.

          • Mike says:

            Paul –

            Excellent point about the comments. Only one trapper showed up to condemn the actions.

            This mindset is the MAJORITY, period. always has been, always will be. These are not men out there. They are little boys.

            • Paul says:

              Alive or dead to me that is still a horrifying picture. There is something very wrong with these people.

            • JB says:


              Using your logic…If a hunter clicked on a thread on this site and examine the comments, s/he might conclude that people who are interested in wildlife are anti-hunting. We know from scientific surveys that this simply isn’t the case.

              My point: Just because a bunch of loud-mouth jerks who post on a trapping website condone a behavior, that doesn’t mean that the “MAJORITY” condone that behavior.

            • Mike says:

              Oh yeah I agree. Horrifying. But I feel there may have been some fishing line in that photo somewhere.

              I could be wrong, of course. It’s happened many times before.

              Even stranger is that many of these hillbillies go home to dogs, which have pretty much identical DNA to wolves.

            • Mike says:

              JB –

              That boat don’t float anymore. We’ve been down that road on this blog time and time again. Please stop apologizing for these people.

              This mindset is the majority, period. One guy, JB. One guy showed up in that forum to condemn.

              That’s the problem. Most hunters behave like sheep, not wolves. When they get amongst their peers, they cave in to this idiotic behavior…even if they may have a better set of standards.

              Most people interested in wildlife are wildlife watchers, national park visitors, teachers, ecologists, etc.

            • JB says:


              I have a pet theory about what personality characteristics make for a good scientist. Scientists are intellectually curious; they are always asking questions and are not afraid of complex answers. In fact, they enjoy complex answers and are often able to see the “grey area” where political issues are concerned.

              Scientists can be contrasted with politicians. Politicians aren’t intellectually curious because they already know the answers. And, of course, the answer is never complex (complex answers don’t play well politically); rather, answers are simple, stark, black and white.

              You’d make an exceptional politician, Mike.

            • Mike says:

              I know you meant that as slam, but I’ll respond anyway.

              Not all scientists are intellectually curious. They become tired and bored with their jobs as others do,and get by at the every minimum of effort so they can go home to their family and watch TV.

              Motivation is motivation, an attribute not unique to a particular field.

              My specialties are not hard-core scientific, although I have been published in “science” magazines. My specialty is to harness and mold the underlying emotion beneath scientific debates, and/or sociological rifts. That is what I do.

            • JB says:

              “My specialty is to harness and mold the underlying emotion beneath scientific debates, and/or sociological rifts. That is what I do.”

              Yes, I see. What you call “mold[ing] the underlying emotion”, I call dishonest advocacy. You might be effective using Fox News tactics, but you’re sacrificing your integrity to achieve the policy outcome you desire. Do the ends justify the means…?

            • Mike says:

              JB –

              You’re not getting what I’m talking about, and that’s fine.

              I’m not interested in Fox News tactics, because there’s no foundation to dishonesty.

              What I’m talking about is the core response from people to this issue, with an emphasis on those who show compassion, those who have no money to gain from their part, only to seek a reduction in suffering from creatures they will never meet. I don’t consider that an agenda, but rather the behavior of a good neighbor.

            • WM says:

              ++My specialty is to harness and mold the underlying emotion beneath scientific debates++

              Oh, Now there is a calling that solves problems. Where do you get the scientific training for that? Oh, that’s right you don’t. Back to the politician model.

    • IDhiker says:

      Yes, he is. Resides in Grangeville, Idaho, I have heard.

  44. Cobra says:

    I think what a lot of people are forgetting is that predator numbers are up no matter where you look. Most of you want everything based on science, but bear,cat etc. populations are not in trouble in any way.
    Predators at times will hurt other populations, we added an apex predator to the population and time will tell how that will work out.
    You cannot manage anything with just emotions and it’s to bad that science is also done this way. Pro or anti wolf if you look hard enough you can find materials that coincide with your beliefs.
    I buy cat, wolf and bear tags every year mostly to help support management practices. I probably see an average of 10-12 bears a year that I could take home but don’t, I would rather spend my time hunting deer and elk because that’s what we like to eat. Their is no shortage of bears, cats or even wolves in our area, they just saw three last weekend not a 100 yards from town. They hear them howling on the ridge at night above the local golf course also.
    You cannot manage anything on just emotion.

    • Nancy says:

      “Manage”….. Geez I hate that word Corbra, as though wildlife is punching some sort of time card to justify our choices about their existence in areas that they once, in the recent past, roamed over before property started selling at a premium, dozers moved in and whole communities of humans popped up.

      Communities with little tolerance for the local wildlife they displaced unless of course its in the form of prey animals like deer, moose and elk.

      And even thats gotten old with some (often the 1%ers, second/third homes) when it comes to spending thousands on landscaping only to have it “munched” down 🙂

      • Cobra says:

        Unfortunately it’s got to be done. Not enough room for everything. I hate to see all the land that is being cut up for sub-divisions etc.
        There’s a lot of land here that I would love to be able to buy to keep it from being divided into lots. I would buy it and just leave it vacant for winter habitat. Come on Mega-millioins!

        • Nancy says:

          Yep, that would be nice 🙂 picked up a couple of tickets today. Heard the odds were 176 million to 1…..

    • Larry Keeney says:

      What are we if we don’t have emotions? Maybe killers of wildlife (hunters) don’t have emotions. If so no more smiling when you kill the next animal. That would make you more wolf like you know. Ever see wolves respond to each other when they meet after a long road trip?

      • Paul says:

        “What are we if we don’t have emotions?”

        Exactly. Wolf haters are full of emotion. That emotion being hate.

      • Cobra says:

        It’s fine to have emotions, we all do, however you cannot manage a species on just emotions.
        I wouldn’t say I’m always smiling when I take an animal, it’s more relief really. Relieved that the kill was as quick an humane as possible and relieved that the freezer will be full for the next year.
        You see their are still many of us that use the meat from the animals we take, especially the last 3 or 4 years.
        We take care of it from trigger pull to freezer and I know that it’s a good healthy alternative to beef. Besides we like it better than beef, especially the burger, no grease.

  45. Richie G. says:

    Mike could post that wolf army site I joined and can’t find those bad pictures again the wolf on the car the guy who had the wolf in the trap! I ask Ralph to send you something please respond that was horrible never seen anything as bad as that ! I will not ask again to consider Ralph’s site.

  46. Louise Kane says:

    what do you mean about a wolf screaming in pain on the top of a roof? Can someone please explain to me who did this and where. There are some volunteers working with me and we are putting togther a data base with images to illustrate that the line has been crossed, as Paul put it. It took me a couple of months to get the image of the wolf in the lassos about to be torn apart and that was somehting that happened years ago. I can’t actually look at the black wolf right now or a screaming wolf but I would appreciate hearing what any of you know about it as I am documenting these extremes in the data base and want to be sure to post them wherever possible. It seems that people will stop at nothing to torture wolves, thats why we need a national predator protection act.

  47. Richie G. says:

    Paul thanks a lot !!!!! I will try to post on my page !

  48. mikarooni says:

    The good people of Idaho can’t possibly be committing the grotesque and inhuman acts that this site is attributing to them. It’s just impossible; Idaho is a Christian state …er, wait, no, on second thought I guess it really isn’t after all.

  49. Richie G. says:

    Look guys are wolves top predator, I once seen on a pbs film they were last on the lakes,wild dogs,coyote’s,bears ,cats,then wolves,so if this is true,someone tell me why the horrible treatment to wolves,wm,JB,sb anybody, Ralph,Ken ? We do not have the big power, it is the Robber Barons,they take public land,let their cattle roam anywhere ,and eat and destroy the landscape. Thanks ,then we have the nut jobs who think they are Ramma of the jungle and torture wolves.I still do not like the word harvest,why don’t we harvest people. Oh wait COME TO THINK OF IT ISN’T THAT WHAT Hitler did? O.K. animals are o.k. to harvest like corn,but people that is an outrage. We are not so far removed from our beginnings,not most of us,but it only take a few rotten apples to spoil the barrel.

  50. Richie G. says:

    P.S. I got the link of the wolf on the roof and Tarzan who had the wolf in the trap. I got it on facebook to anyone I could and e-mailed it to all I knew.

  51. IDhiker says:

    “That’s the problem. Most hunters behave like sheep, not wolves. When they get amongst their peers, they cave in to this idiotic behavior…even if they may have a better set of standards.”

    In my experience and observations, how true, unfortunately. It’s time the ethical stand up against unethical behavior and shame those doing it. Reminds me of my brother in Eagle, Idaho. He’s a great hunter, and very ethical, but he’d never say “boo” to anyone doing something wrong, write a letter to the editor, call the governor, etc. Time for people like him to get with the program!

    • Savebears says:

      Do you guys really want to take actions that could elevate this to a level of violence? With the level of agitation on both sides of this issue, the pot is boiling and the top could blow off with just a bit more heat..

      • Paul says:

        You mean actions like these from Bill Gibson’s article:

        “Footloose staff and board members also received an anonymous death threat in their email: “I would like to donate [sic] a gun to your childs [sic] head to make sure you can watch it die slowly so I can have my picture taken with it’s [sic] bleeding dying screaming for mercy body. YOU WILL BE THE TARGET NEXT BITCHES!” FBI agents and Missoula, Montana police received copies of the threat.”

        This incident escalated the minute those death threats were sent to Footloose Montana. And we are called “eco-terrorists” by many of these people?

        • Elk275 says:


          Go over to Wolf Warriors and read the death threat ranting’s posted daily on that bog. There are some want to be Wolf Warriors eco-terrorists.

          • Paul says:

            Are there any posts where someone threatens children on that site? Nabeki has made it very clear that death threats are not tolerated and those posts are removed when found. Death threats from either side are unacceptable, but I would put far more stock in the threats from the anti-wolf crowd.

            • Savebears says:

              No Paul,

              I put a lot of stock in an organization that has caused millions of dollars in property damage in this country in the last 20 years.

          • Mike says:

            Yet the only folks carrying out violent acts are those killing predators.

          • IDhiker says:

            Which is no excuse for what is happening now in Idaho.

            • IDhiker says:

              Meaning, past eco-terrorist acts do not excuse extreme cruelty to animals today.

        • Savebears says:


          The eco-terrorist that threatened to kill me is still in the state prison, he has resided there for over 8 years now. It happens from both sides.

          • Mike says:

            It’s always deflection time, isn’t it, SB? This isn’t about anyone else but what happened recently.

            • Savebears says:


              You know where you can stick it, don’t you? I deflected nothing, I was answering what Paul brought into the conversation. I have been a target of what Paul was talking about.

            • Mike says:

              SB –

              I don’t understand your hostility, but whatever.

            • Immer Treue says:


              To put it bluntly, there are extremes on either “side” that provide no good favor for anybody.

            • Savebears says:


              I don’t understand your hostility, but whatever.

        • IDhiker says:

          This threat against Footloose is a felony, and the suspect sent it by email, with his address on it, obviously. With a subpoena, law enforcement can get the sender’s name and address. Should be an easy case to solve and prosecute.

          • Paul says:


            If it was transmitted across state lines, wouldn’t that make it a federal case? I have to do a little research on that.

    • Mike says:

      IDhiker –

      There’s a lot of those “rug sweepers” on this website.

  52. Doryfun says:


    You might have a more productive conversation with the wind than you can with Mike. The height of futility is applying rational thought to an irrational person. Two symptoms of delusional thinking: absolute conviction, and being un-changeable by proof to the contrary.

    Mike had no backbone to answer my earlier questions to him on another post, preferring to be combative rather than demonstrate integrity, so I will no longer dignify his diatribes with engagement. At least a rattlesnake has a good use for its venom.

    I find it curious that those who hate hunters so much, seem to have no problem viewing bad behavior of sadistic trappers. Yet I’m a hunter and will never go to any of these sites that show such obsceneness. It makes my blood boil, and I just can’t stand looking at that kind of thing. I don’t need to see them to know it is so obtuse. It only raises emotion to a level that can work against rational thought when trying to figure out better ways to curb this kind of behavior. Such as lobbying against trapping and snaring as a legitimate tool in a more evolved and enlightened wildlife mgt. arsenal.

    Ma’iingan says: “ The most efficient tool for that kind of operation is trapping, which is why it’s employed by Wildlife Services, and why the state of Minnesota is developing a civilian trapping corps to take over for WS.”

    I don’t doubt this, but would rather support aerial gunning (along with ethical hunting) as a better potential for the least amount of suffering to those animals killed, thus a better tool. A good trade off, in my mind.

    • WM says:


      Well said. I might offer reinforce your observation that Mike has no ability or desire to engage in rational conversation. He loves those one or two liners that say the same thing over and over again, no matter how absurd.

      And, if one attempts to engage on a topic, as some of us have attempted here, after attempting to define the dimensions of the field of discussion (including sideboards if needed so the conversation makes some sense), he completely goes off the field with his diatribe.

      It is especially acute when his argument hits a dead end wall, and he has no material for a rebuttal to defend what is often a ridiculous and unsubstantiated assertion in the first place (hence my reference in a previous post about his swiss cheese hole thoughts that lead to nowhere- dead ends).

    • JB says:


      Sorry I missed your message earlier. Perhaps it is futile to attempt to engage ideologues in rational, factually-informed dialogue. However, even if the message is lost on the individual with whom you are engaged, it may hit home with others who are paying attention. At least that’s how I justify it!

  53. Louise Kane says:


    to speak to your comment. You wrote “I find it curious that those who hate hunters so much, seem to have no problem viewing bad behavior of sadistic trappers. Yet I’m a hunter and will never go to any of these sites that show such obsceneness. It makes my blood boil, and I just can’t stand looking at that kind of thing. I don’t need to see them to know it is so obtuse. It only raises emotion to a level that can work against rational thought when trying to figure out better ways to curb this kind of behavior. Such as lobbying against trapping and snaring as a legitimate tool in a more evolved and enlightened wildlife mgt. arsenal.”

    When wolves were removed from the ESA protections via the ESA rider, I spent a great deal of time and effort being angry about the outcome. It was a pivotal moment for me because I came to think that my laziness was part of the problem. Why did I have a right to complain when I expected others to advocate for me. From that moment on, I have spent a lot of my time focusing on the development of an organization of volunteers working to catalouge public input so that we can eventually provide the data that we collect to others. This is one way I can work toward protecting and conserving wolves and other predators. The images that you described prevented me from being lazy or turning away. Unfortunatly, images of killing and sadistic behavior are not hard to find, and if you post about protecting wolves people will even send you unsolicited images to illustate even further, their depravity. There are also plenty of other historical images and data to illustrate that hunting of predators has not traditionally been an honorable or justified practice. We are collecting these images and sources to illustrate that point. They are being catalouged in a data base. I admit I can not look at most of them anymore, they haunt me terribly. But, the images serve to remind me that we can’t rely on others to affect change. As far as raising emotion to a level where it eliminates rational thought. Perhaps these images raise emotions to levels where inaction is unacceptable, witness the effectiveness of the Humane Society Campaigns. Not so long ago dog fighting was veiwed as a culturally accepted sport. The images of dog fighting helped drive home the extreme cruelty in the “sport”. Enough so that a national sports hero was imprisoned. Emotion is a driving force behind change. These images are emotional because they depict the underlying cruelty and depsicable behaviors that trapping expose animals to. Despite the scientific evidence that wolves and other predators are a necessary and integral part of their ecosystems, the states have implemented all out hate, fear and special interest driven bias “management” plans. Science (alone) has not been the driving effective tool to preserve or foster strong environmental ethic. It is only one of the tools in the tool box. The emotion that is generated through art, literature, photography and other non-science based studies all play integral roles in fostering, maintaining, and preserving conservation ethic . Together these ways of communicating, are responsible for a good deal of the emergent discussion that surrounds the wolf controversy. Hoepfully these wolf slaughtering/torture images will be a wake up call to Americans that they need to be more engaged in the debate about wildlife managemnet and conservation because the “rouge” elements do exist and wolves and wildlife need to be protected from them. Those kind of images reminded me about my obligations as a concerned citizen.
    i do not hate hunters I hate hunting animals for sport, and believe that all wild animals deserve hunt free zones and protection from random violence and consistent hunting pressure. I hate trapping, snaring, poisons and using helicpoters to gun down animals.

  54. Louise Kane says:

    Please if someone can provide a link or other information about the wolf on the roof i would like to add it to our data base. Thank you

  55. IDhiker says:

    The “Wolf Army” has detailed information (which they claim is accurate) on the “Tortured wolf” incident on their Facebook page.

  56. Louise Kane says:

    One other thought
    Its interesting that this site is commented on by such a variety of people on various sides of the argument. The only topic I have seen full consensus on was about the images of the wolves and the suffering they were subjected to.

    Those images served to create a collective and unifiying spirit of disgust. That’s pretty powerful

  57. IDhiker says:

    Here is an article from the Great Falls Tribune(Montana)that tells the story, including the name of the trapper involved in the Idaho incident.


    • Paul says:

      From that article:

      Dave Linkhart, spokesman for the National Trappers Association, said there’s nothing wrong with a trapper posing with his catch before killing the animal.

      “You pose with a successful catch just like you do with a successful hunt,” Linkhart said. “People make the problem of attributing human feelings and emotions to these animals.”

      Linkhart claimed trapped animals don’t suffer, so taking the time to shoot a photograph does not cross ethical boundaries.”

      No that wolf didn’t look like he was suffering at all (sarcasm). What planet do these people live on? I know many hunters who are revolted by trappers and their activities. This guy tries to sugarcoat it and act like there is no suffering. So according to this guy animals don’t feel pain, or extreme stress when stuck in a trap for hours or days?

  58. IDhiker says:

    How someone, a trapper in this case, can say that a higher level vertebrate feels no pain is incredible, but is probably necessary for trappers to do what they do. It is extreme denial.

    Anyone who owns a dog knows this is BS, or has studied elementary biology. Trapping is a revolting “sport,” done by revolting people, of which Dale Linkhart is a perfect example. There’s a reason state laws exempt it from cruelty to animals statutes.

    • Paul says:


      There seems to be this push by trappers and trapping groups to show how “humane” and fluffy their activities are. This comment was posted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on March 13th:

      “Hunting and trapping are far and away the best tools for managing wolf populations. Wolves with pups will not be shot because the hunting season takes place in fall when pups are grown up and able to fend for themselves. Trapping is also a very logical, effective, and humane way to manage the wolf population. When caught in a leg hold trap (which often times have the jaws padded) the animal usually lays down and often times falls asleep. Animals are incapable of inflicting harm on themselves i.e. “chewing off their own leg”. That is a wive’s tale and simply untrue. Trapping allows for selective harvest – non target animals or immature animals can be released unharmed. Also, traps must legally be checked every day – trapped animals will not be caught for days on end. Hunters and trappers offer the best, most economical,and most logical solution for managing wolves. Mother nature has her own way of dealing with over populations. That includes mainge (where all the animal’s fur falls off), parasites, starvation, or succombing to the elements – all very long, cruel, and gruesome ways to die.”

      See it’s all okay, they just fall asleep because those traps are just so darn comfortable. And we have to kill them so they don’t die. Makes perfect sense.


      • Larry Keeney says:

        The fluffy trapper story would be so funny if it were not such a serious subject. Of every time I have come across a trapped animal and released it (several times,- canids always gave me the best feeling)I have never seen the “padded jaws”. Must be a new model trap.

        • Paul says:


          It must be because I have never seen those either when transporting injured animals who were left to die in traps. Don’t you just want to step in a trap and take a warm cozy nap? I just sounds so wonderful.

  59. Wholesale slaughter and torture of Wisconsin wolves planned for the fall. We need to organize all of the pro-wolf sites and press Obama in an election year to oust Salazar the rancher and follow the Center For Biological Diversity call for a 48 state real recovery plan for wolves and other natural top predators to have connectivity in protected corridors.
    At the root level of all of these anti-science, anti-wild native nature cruelties is the STRUCTURE of our state agencies. Set up by hunters and trappers who were over market-killing even a hundred years ago – they were privatized by setting them up on killing license funding. Now if a patron went in to the state agency to buy his “I want to kill any creature that walks” license and found only “saving” licenses, how surprised would he be? I am just as OUTRAGED to go into the state agency and find only killing licenses. A store that sells only killing could give a hoot about the majority of citizens who are wildlife watchers or wildlife appreciators or who just want nature intact and the violence OUT.

    Now that the demographics have changed dramatically, despite desperate state agency efforts to lure younger and younger kids into killing, women into wearing dead animals on their heads, and takeover of boards and publicly financed lands, wildlife watching is the fastest growing outdoor activity. Google the U.S. Fish & Wildlife 2006 surveys of the economic impacts of wildlife watching versus hunting. Wildlife watchers bring 10-40 times the revenue to state and local tax coffers HELPING wildlife while hunters bring in minuscule amounts. The job creation and multiplier effects of “business” generated by each is about equal now in 2012. For example, in Wisconsin, a very extreme hunting/trapping controlled state, hunters generated $40 million in killing licenses last year – and it was not even enough to run their killing business – stocking, licensing, staffing, registration stations, wardens – all in the machine of running a killing biz – they had to depend on vying for federal Pittman-Robertson monies (which come 60% from home protection and gun collectors, not hunters) to fill in. Hunters brought $10 million directly to state tax coffers. But if you extrapolate forward to 2012 the $111 million that wildlife watchers brought to the state tax coffers, we are generating some $175 million now LOVING our wildlife and helping nature.

    We must organize to lobby that money to REPLACE the bias of killing licenses and run our state agencies on GENERAL PUBLIC FUNDS. They want our money but they want it in sneaky ways through the sales tax so they do not give up their exclusive power to kill everybody and run our public lands. We must organize to claim our citizen rights to be involved in governing and BALANCING this systemic corruption.

    We must organize quickly – great damage is being done and great suffering can be averted. DEMOCRATIZE – the money is already there. ORGANIZE STATE BY STATE. We started Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic – Vote Our Wildlife (www.wiwildlifeethic.org) to do just that.

    • ma'iingan says:

      “Wholesale slaughter and torture of Wisconsin wolves planned for the fall.”

      There has been no quota set, nor have the hunting zones been delineated. In fact, I will be representing the agency I work for in developing and recommending harvest quotas and zones over the next few months.

      Apparently you already have some inside information on quotas, since you’re stating that there will be a “wholesale slaughter.” Maybe you’d be willing to share what the quota will be? You could relieve the Wolf Science Committee from a lot of work.

      • Paul says:

        According to Suder, Rivard, Molton, etc. the right number is 350 as they have stated many, many times. That means they want HUNDREDS of wolves killed. If they get their way, as they already have, that sure sounds like a slaughter to me too. Just like their rushing through this bill, do you really think that they will listen to the biologists without exerting political pressure? I don’t. The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association admitted that they wrote this bill. Do you really think that they will not have sway as to how many wolves are killed. How about George Meyer? I am sure they will leave just enough wolves so that they can keep the gravy train of reimbursement funds flowing every time a dog dies in the woods from whatever the cause. Call me skeptical that science will have any role in this witch hunt.

      • Louise Kane says:

        you don’t think what the states have been doing can be categorized as slaughter? Pull out the data where other species target population numbers allow them to be legally hunted down to 100 in states your sizes. Please i woudl like to see that.

  60. Richie G. says:

    Louise I have the link on my facebook ask ralph for my full name and my e-mail I will try to helit’s on my face book the link is I mean . Again this gets back the old country the way they thought about wolves. But if you hunt or not ,this is not the issue,animal cruelty is the issue. Look I am from the east we all know that, but again to inflict physical pain is out of bounds. So sb how should we treat this,right now the deck is stacked against those who care. SB you are correct many people in the east do not put time in this. Only I believe if they grew with loving animals and wildlife and dogs in general.But you guys must admit we just can’t sit by and let them put on the slaughter,that happened eighty years ago! I hope I got the years correct.Jb you can be as analytical as you like,but this still involves pain and suffering.Look Idaho likes the wolf sighting,that’s o.k. ,but do not say nothing how they are slaughtered?Walker gets his recall soon I hope we can fend off their tricks.Look all people on the right over thirty years ago were good,Nixion put in the ESA act,they went radical right religion where animals are only tools, no way man somebody must stand up for the torture.


March 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