Here is our new open thread on wildlife news topics. You can access the previous open thread here. Please post those comments and stories about wildlife you find interesting.

Alaska black bear salmon fishing. Photo copyright Ralph Maughan. Sept. 2011

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.

539 Responses to Have you come across any interesting wildlife news? March 30, 2012

  1. Citizens of Wisconsin will have one night to give input on whether they want a sandhill crane hunt. After winning a 135 day night and day running packs of dogs on wolves across the north to disrupt all of nature – why not go for a crane hunt?

    Monday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m. in every county in the state there will be an election of 2 delegates (out of 5 for each county) and a vote on 91 hunter sponsored issues to expand their power. Question #69 asks whether Wisconsin citizens want a sandhill crane hunt. Please go to for locations in your county if you live in Wisconsin and more information how to run for delegate (we need two humane delegates to run in each county). You can also read my every other Sunday columns by putting Madravenspeak into The most recent one about the upcoming election and vote is here:

    The rod and gun clubs have held all 360 delegate seats for 78 years – except two women who intruded on their control in the past decade…now gone. Now returned to complete hunting/trapping/lifetime NRA membership control. On average 5,000 hunters come out statewide to this “public” election deceptively called a spring hearings. Since only elected delegates can generate new proposals, and they can vote any way they want on issues despite occasional upset citizens coming out to try to save mourning doves or bobcats or whatever – this is an important election. All of the power to generate laws is in attending this one night a year to elect representation. The hunters and trappers call it the most important election in Wisconsin and I agree.

    Last year, hunters voted down a proposal to get lead shot out of the environment. According to the Audubon Society, lead shot left in nature from the all out war on wildlife, kills over a million songbirds and waterfowl ever year in our state alone. Nope – it is cheaper – the 5,000 hunters and trappers who attend want their cheap ammo. To hell with songbirds.

    Last year, hunters and trappers voted to kill 350 of our 700 wolves – this year they passed the most regressive cruelty to animals bill in this state’s history. After 20,000 “hunters” run packs of dogs on peaceful black bears for 15 weeks of the 24 weeks they are out of hibernation, culminating in murdering 5,000 of them, 2/3 of them cubs falling into packs of dogs (for some dog fun as reward), the hounders will continue from Oct. 15 through the end of February DAY AND NIGHT running packs of dogs on wolves(that is eight months of running dogs across the entire central and northern Wisconsin). Michael Vick went to prison for animal cruelty for a small dog-fighting ring in his house. This is dogs fighting wolves across the entire northern half of the state for four and a half months. This will kill a lot of dogs – and of course, wolves and their pups right through the breeding season. Trapping, shining and every weapon possible in tandem.

    Wisconsin has a unique system of electing county representation as the SOLE advisory to the Dept. of Natural Resources Board and the legislature. It is a representative system of grassroots governing that has been denied the general public and directed to the hunters and trappers and fishermen by targeting this secretive process to the outdoors pages. Even wildlife rehabbers did not know about it for 75 years. for more info for Wisconsinites.

    • ma'iingan says:

      @Patricia Randolph –

      Please take the time to read the proposed Wisconsin Wolf Management Act thoroughly before posting. Your comments do not accurately reflect the content of the law.

      Hound hunters will be allowed to pursue wolves ONLY after the conclusion of the deer season in December, and only if the established quota has not already been met.

      Shining is NOT allowed, but night hunters are allowed to use a flashlight at the point of kill, the same as the current law for coyote and raccoon hunting.

      There are no weapons allowed for wolf hunting that are not already allowed for other huntable species in Wisconsin.

      You continually damage your credibility by posting misinformation and hyperbole – very similar to the vocal anti-wolf groups.

      • Paul says:

        Doesn’t a flashlight shine? There is nothing that can justify what this bill allows. This species just came of the ESA list and war has already been declared on them. Dogs can now run rampant through our forests for almost eight months supposedly after different species. If they are not directly targeting wolves the “coyote” hounders will undoubtedly come across wolves and when their dog gets killed they will continue to be reimbursed. Just because something is legal, it does not make it right. Patricia may have posted incorrectly the exact amount of time that hounders can go after wolves, but the time that they are allowed to run their dogs through the woods for all species combined is correct. Did any of the “authors” of this bill take into account that bears are hibernating at this time and in the same habitat that hounders will allow their dogs to run rampant? I doubt it. This bill cannot be justified in any shape or form. This is probably the most extreme piece of hunting legislation that this state has ever passed.

        • ma'iingan says:

          @Paul –

          Since you’re employed in law enforcement, I thought you might understand the difference between “shining” and “use of a flashlight”. Here’s the excerpt from the WDNR Furbearer regulations –

          Use of lights: A flashlight may be used to find your way and at the point of kill while hunting raccoon, fox, and coyotes. Lights may not be used to shine or search for these
          animals. Flashlight is generally defined as a battery-operated light designed to be carried and held by hand.

          As far as hounds running rampant during bear hibernation, that is already occurring, since coyote, raccoon, fox, and bobcat hounds are all on the landscape throughout the winter months -in far greater numbers than will be granted permits for wolf hunting. Moreover, how is that a threat to hibernating bears?

          I don’t see anywhere in my post where I’m defending the proposed law. But I am a stickler for the truth – apparently you’re OK with Ms. Randolph’s misinformation, but I’ve seen you jump all over the hyperbole and exaggerations from wolf opponents.

          • Paul says:

            A flashlight still shines a light no matter how the statues classify it. It is like the relationship between a .50 machine gun and a .22 pistol. They are still guns. Considering how the wolves biggest enemy is the bear hounders, who in fact admitted that they wrote AB 502 with the help of seven lawyers, I would assume that they would use the same dogs that they hound bears with to hound wolves. Those dogs are trained to seek out bears so I would bet that instinct cannot be changed for a bear hibernating in it’s den.Hounders will indeed be able to run their dogs for eight months, that is not misinformation. Look at how long they are able to “train” their hounds by letting them run rampant. She was mistaken about the amount of time they can hound wolves. They can hound them for 2 1/2 months rather than 4 1/2 months. It doesn’t make it any less brutal. There is already much animosity among land owners in the north with hounders trespassing. This is only going to get worse with the wolf killing bill. Dogs need to be removed from the equation all together no matter what species they are going after. Do you really think that packs of dogs running loose through wildlife habit does not affect all species?

            • ma'iingan says:

              “Do you really think that packs of dogs running loose through wildlife habit does not affect all species?”

              How many dog packs do you and Ms.Randolph envision pursuing wolves at any given time during the proposed WI wolf season?

            • Paul says:

              I really don’t know how many hounders will be out there, but as far as I am concerned even one is too many. When I read on hounder sites about “payback” toward wolves, I really do not know how many will be out there. I have heard that a quota from 75 to 350 plus are being looked at. I would assume that means a few thousand licenses being issued. So out of those thousands I would be willing to bet that there will be quite a few hounders in that group.

      • Mike says:

        Wow. Night time hunting in 2012? What is with this hillbilly bullshit?

  2. Virginia says:

    My friend, Susan, who is also known as the “Bird Lady” of Ironside Bird Rescue, Cody,has written a letter to the editor of our local paper asking sportsmen to replace their lead shot with copper or steal. She had received two adult female golden eagles suffering from lead poisoning from areas in the BHB. As she says, lead is an accumulative metal and the birds will eventually have a high enough amount in their systems to bring them down, a horrible way to die. Is it really asking too much for these “sportsmen” to spend a little more money for copper or steel ammunition to help preserve our magnificent and amazing birds?

    • Salle says:


      It’s too much to ask them to do anything different than they see as their “god-given traditional rights”.

    • Elk275 says:


      Vintage double barrels can not shoot copper or steel; I only shoot old side by sides. I will not shoot pumps or autos. Bismuth shotgun shells are nearly $3 a shell and there availability is limited.

      I only hunt upland birds because of the lead shot ban on waterfowl; I do not like steel or the way it shoots.

  3. Gun November 17 – November 25, 2012 Regular deer season ends and hounding begins. November 26 through end of February – that is 3 months and 6 days to be precise. Add that to the 15 weeks of bear hounding and you get atrocity after atrocity to bears and wolves, coyotes, and ALL wildlife systems disrupted for a minority of ignorant mobs of men in mob mentality, with packs of dogs put at risk – men and women who care nothing for the lives of their dogs, and want to murder our wildlife. Since bear hounders designed this bill, they will kill bears and cubs in their dens as well.

    A forester retiring from the DNR after 11 years, called me the day he was retiring and said, “Get the dogs out of the woods – they are tearing up the forests and running bears just when they need to be putting on fat for winter.” DUH.

    No science – just rationalizers for the killing biz.

    The Wildlife Public Trust Doctrine AND the DNR mission statement declare wildlife to be under the stewardship of all citizens and for the protection of our “natural resources” fo all citizens – not mayhem for a bunch of serial killers who enjoy torturing our wildlife for private dead possession.

    So you can quibble about the time, but you cannot quibble about the cruelty. This law was crafted by bear hounders – the lowest of the lowest common denominator of the killing minority, along with trappers, sadists who are addicted to cruelty – for them to RULE all Wisconsin lands both private and public for most of the winter when our wildlife is most vulnerable. This will destroy our wildlife. I served on the trapping committee and know these hard core sadists from the inside out. They have done public surveys to guide them in rationalizing this cruelty to the public. They have found that if they babble on about how “safe” and “humane” and “highly regulated” and “improved” trapping is, and describe the animals as “nuisance” and “potentially diseased” and “in need of MAN-agement” that they can get away with murder. Trapping is NONE of the above – unlimited traps set on unlimited traplines with unlimited bag limits, using the same cruel devices banned in 90 countries (including UGANDA!) for their brutal cruelty. The steel jaw trap was designed by a 17 year old trapper in the 1700’s and the design has never been modified. The conibear, snare and steel jaw trap are the most commonly used obscenities – and they cause indiscriminate suffering. Like landmines, they should be banned from the face of this earth suffering from human obsession with murdering all that is beautiful, natural, and free.

    For you who apologize and promote trapping – go slam your hand or foot or face in a car door, half submerged in 10 degree below winter, overnight and tell us how humane they are. Then wait for the bludgeoner, to come, half strangle you with a wire loop on a poll, lay your body out, and lower his 200- 300 pounds onto your chest to crush you until you are (maybe) crushed to death…or bludgeon you to death, or drown you as you struggle to breathe.

    Along with trapping prioritized in ALL public lands – state parks, county parks, and all Stewardship lands prerequisite to buying them, along with a bounty on our wildlife dropping fees to $4 for mass murder of new recruits to killing AND their adult mentors – and putting torture and trapping, bowhunting and killing wildlife into the school systems taught for credit, creating a 12 member avid wildlife killing board (deer hunters, hounders, bear killers, duck killers, pheasant killers and so on) to find more ways to kill our wildlife – along with takeover of the Natural Resources Board to be dominated by (NOT science, hydrologists, biologists but) by the most avid active license holders of trapping and hunting – the imbalances of power – the lack of democracy – the cruelty and bastardization of our laws – is complete.

    All this at a time when the United Nations has issued a FINAL WARNING TO HUMANITY that we are destroying the web of life that supports human life (2007 – google extinction) and scientists have been warning us for decades that wildlife populations are crashing due to human destruction, ignorance and overpopulation.

    I know what the public does not seem to realize yet – that hunters will kill right down to the last jaguar, the last lion, the last elephant, the last sharp-tailed grouse, quail, bobcat, lynx, cougar, wolf, coyote and beaver. Hunters and trappers know nothing but expansion of species to kill, expansion of seasons right through the spring birthing, high tech militarization of weaponry and boy toys for killing, and now that they have all the land for killing – no refuges – welcome to a dead Wisconsin.

  4. Louise Kane says:

    This Wisconsin law is an abomination, period. Utterly disgusting. Wolves will be especially unprepared to use avoidance tactics because they have not been hunted and persecuted and are unused to the sustained and horrific methods of killing that are about to be inflicted on them. Wisconsin’s hunting season will be hell on earth. Shameful, barbaric retreat to dark ages.

  5. Louise Kane says:

    Patricia thank you for your work and for not mincing words. I hate trapping. Up until two years ago I thought it was banned most everywhere. When I learned wolves would be trapped and how may coyotes and other animals are trapped I was astounded. Your description of what an animal suffers in a trap needs to be more widely distributed. I don’t think the general public is aware that so many animals are trapped and what they endure before their brutal and terrifying deaths. I have some volunteers working with me to collect information from public comments that will provide data on how and if that public input is being used in a balanced manner or reflected in wildlife managemnet. Admittedly, we are maxed out on our committments but I if I can help you if there is some particular task you need done, please contact me. you can ask for my e mail.

    • Paul says:

      I thought it was wolves that were “killing all the deer, and reducing the herd?” I guess not.

      “The suspected illegal slaughtering of deer by Blaha violated all the rules of hunting, authorities said, and has since outraged many hunters and conservation groups who claim Blaha may have depleted the herd and brought unfair notoriety to the sport.”

      Why isn’t the same venom that is directed toward wolves within the hunting community directed at these poaching pukes?

    • Harley says:

      Ha! Liked the one where the eagle slaps the cat! That was pretty good, thanks Timz

    • Mike says:

      Nice to see funny animal videos. Lightens the heart. Thx for posting.

  6. aves says:

    The USFWS has released their final wind energy guidelines for minimizing impact to wildlife. The guidelines are voluntary, which won’t help wildlife one bit.

    New Voluntary Wind Guidelines Will Fail to Protect Birds:

    • Mike says:

      Nice shitty voluntary guidelines.

      The USFWS has been an embarrassment under Salazar and Obama.

  7. Harley says:–.html

    This is just a little bit bizarre….

  8. Louise Kane says:

    The USFWS is an embarrassement under Obama and Salazaar, The minute Salazaar was appointed I knew we were in for terrible setbacks. I just could not predict how bad it would be, especially for wolves. The worst part is what would be a better choice, Obama or Romney? There is no good choice, at least for a strong environmental advocate. greenlighting for GMO foods, categorical exclusions and expanded oil drilling in sensitive areas, a delsiting rider…its hard to imagine it being worse but I’m sure the Rep could make that happen. Too bad we don’t have a serious green party

    • Mike says:

      Well said, Louise.

    • JEFF E says:

      As naive and disappointing as Obama has been; go ahead and vote for Romney.

      He will make Reagan/Watts look like Leopold/Muir in comparison

  9. Louise Kane says:

    Paul thanks for the info on Patricia

    • Paul says:


      You are quite welcome. I have been working with her for the past few months getting Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic-Vote Our Wildlife (Wisconsin WE VOW)set up. We are just starting up and have much work to do, but so far things have gone well. I got our website up and running and we are working with wildlife advocates around the country to get the grassroots groups together to stand up for our wildlife.

      • Mike says:

        Paul –

        Do you have a link? Thx.

      • Louise Kane says:

        please ask for my e mail so we can communicate

      • Louise Kane says:

        I know how much work it is in getting up a site…am struggling with it now

        • Paul says:


          Actually setting up the site was pretty easy, it is keeping it updated that has been the struggle. It almost feels like a full-time job next to doing my school work. I actually enjoy it very much though. It is my small way to give back to wildlife in addition to my volunteer work with rehabbers. If you get in contact with me, I would be happy to assist you with your site. I have an IT degree so it wouldn’t be too much trouble. I was a little rusty at first with my web design, but most of it came back to me.

          • Louise Kane says:

            what an offer. I am working with a company that i self funded to get started and working intensively on the graphic design elements so it has a professional look that will help imporve its legimtimacy as I will be appealing to marketing and media specialists to help. But your offer is amazing. i worte to you at your site. I was very impressed. Its so good to see people fighting back and doing somehthing rathen then waiting for others to fix the problem. Kudos to you

            • Paul says:


              I am certainly not a full blown expert with web design, but I know enough to be dangerous 🙂

    • Nancy says:

      Thanks for posting that ma’iingan. Also enjoyed re-visiting parts of the Dutcher videos.

    • Louise Kane says:

      thanks for posting this wonderful reminder that wolves are amazing animals with strong interdependent family structures and they are gorgeous!

  10. Frank Renn says:

    Am I missing something here, what happens when a pack of,lets say 8 hounds catches up with a pack of 8 wolves? Its not like a mountain lion or bear chase by hounds where the animal gets treed. Appears like one could loose a few dogs. On another note avian plumbism has been listed in 130 species of birds. Upland game birds such as Mourning doves, N. Bobwhite quail, Chukers, Ring-necked pheasants and Wild turkey have all been documented to ingest lead pellets.

    • Paul says:


      Basically Wisconsin has legalized dog fighting. The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association wrote the wolf killing bill with seven lawyers. They admitted this in the Senate hearing. Even worse is that this bill passed with ZERO debate on the floor. All over hounder internet forums you keep hearing about “payback” and some saying that it is worth losing a few dogs to kill a wolf. Wisconsin law says that it is illegal to kill a wild animal with dogs, yet bear hounders continually shoot a bear out of a tree and then let their dogs have their way with the wounded bear. Even worse is the fact that they videotape it:

      This is what awaits wolves in Wisconsin except they will fight back. It will just be a matter of time before a video of that surfaces on YouTube as these people just cannot resist videotaping or photographing their sick exploits just like the trapper in Idaho. If you think that there was uproar over those photos, wait until that happens.

      • Frank Renn says:

        I left Wisconsin 45 years ago to move to Idaho. I spent 2 seasons at a raptor banding station at Cedar Grove and was employed by the D.N.R. on a Prairie grouse project at Plainfield. I get the impression that the politics and values have changed since I was there.

        • Paul says:


          The atmosphere took a deep and dark turn for the worse in just the past year and a half. I am just glad that there are enough citizens left in this state who were outraged enough to push for these recalls so that we can get our state back from ALEC and their shills Walker, Suder, Grothman, etc.

      • Mike says:

        That is truly some sick stuff, Paul.

      • Daniel Berg says:

        There is something mentally wrong with people who get off on watching animals fight.

        I have a friend who chose to move back down to one of the barrios in SoCal and I witnessed a pitbull fight on a visit down there that was not surprising for its brutality as much as it was for the thrill that the instigating party seemed to get out of it.

        If you would shoot a bear out of a tree then let your dogs work the wounded bear over for a while just for jollies then you’re a real dishonorable POS.

        • Paul says:


          That is an understatement. But obviously there is zero enforcement because these people feel free to post their sick exploits all over YouTube. Wisconsin law says that:

          It is illegal to:

          • allow a dog to kill any wild animal at any time.

          It is illegal to:

          • not immediately kill, in a humane manner, all game taken and make it part of your daily bag.

          Did that video look like either of those rules were followed? Yet these people post this stuff all over YouTube for the whole world to see and no law enforcement action is taken. If we cannot trust fish and game departments to enforce basic rules like these what else do they let these people get away with?

          • WM says:


            Most of us find this stuff as disgusting as you do. The problem is how does a wildlife agency nail these guys?

            Exactly how would you propose they prosecute these unlawful acts, with the limited resources law enforcement agencies and county/state prosecutors have for investigation, and taking a case to trial?

            So the investigation may begin with an internet posting, which maybe shows no faces, where the event took place, and maybe when. So somebody begins to backtrack the electronic trail to place of origin, interviews, subpeoonas, etc., only to learn the statute of limitations for the crime has expired. No eyewitnesses other than participants, who ain’t tellin’. No revealing information on the video (dates can be set by the owner purposely incorrectlY, if there is a date at all).

            You know this stuff, since you are in an aspect of law enforcement. Would the time and resources be better spent going after some more solvable crime involving humans?

            • Daniel Berg says:

              The resources just aren’t available at this point to strictly enforce those laws.

              Maybe there will be a push when the economy is on an upswing to build in more funding for the investigation and prosectuion of these types of offences?

            • Paul says:

              If the Wisconsin DNR can go out of their way to prosecute little old ladies who feed deer in their backyard, or go crazy over a kind person raising an orphaned deer they can certainly investigate incidents like these. Isn’t that crazy? It is illegal to feed deer, but it is perfectly legal to bait in parts of the state and plant “food plots.” It is obvious that many of the people who post this garbage are not very bright. As with most criminals, they would never get caught if they has any semblance of intelligence. My experience in the field has shown that a good investigator has an excellent chance to get an admission.

              So yes, a crime is a crime and they all should be investigated. If ethical hunters are against these acts as they claim to be then then they should also speak up when they see these activities. They should also expect that the DNR will conduct an investigation when necessary. There is this belief that cops are just so busy that they cannot focus on “minor crimes.” At least in my experience that is a bunch of crap. I worked for 14 years with these people and I know that they are not even close to being as “overwhelmed” as they try to make people believe. In a large jurisdiction that may be a different story, but it is not the case in the smaller ones where most of these incidents take place.

            • WM says:


              My point was the internet crime aspect, and how difficult and expensive it is to backtrack. The little old lady with the deer in the yard is a whole bunch easier.

              “Did ya feed deer in your yard, ma’am? I see you nodding your head yes. You know that is against the law, so I’m going to write you a ticket.” And, she pays it.

            • Paul says:

              As for the internet aspect, it is not as difficult as most people think. Major sites like YouTube, Facebook, etc generally work well with law enforcement when illegal activity has been posted. As I said most of these people are not too bright and cannot help but post their exploits on the internet as shown below:


              I would certainly say that allowing a pack of dogs to rip apart a bear cub is a far more serious crime than an idiot “planking.”

            • WM says:


              How about the prosecution/trial prep part? And, do you believe your local PD is representative of the resources available to WI DNR? I know here in WA, the resources are stretched pretty thin (and likely thinner next year), and would presume that might be the case elsewhere?

            • Paul says:

              What happens in my area is that the local jurisdiction often does the initial investigation and then turns it over to the DNR. Most of the incidents occur outside of a city limits so it is often up to the county sheriff’s dept. to investigate and pass it on to the DNR. As for my county our DA office has difficulty prosecuting a jaywalking ticket, so I do not have much faith in them for anything. It seems to be that way across most of the state as well. The people in that position are usually not the best and brightest that the legal field has to offer.


              Our DNR is indeed hurting for funding and that is why they are begging for non-consumptive users to give more money. The problem with that is they want our money, but refuse to give us a seat at the table. I would be happy to give money to them if my side gets a seat at the table, and they use that money for law enforcement activities, or non-killing conservation projects. I do not want my money going to reimburse bear hounders whose dogs are killed by wolves or to reimburse ranchers who refuse to take proper precautions to protect their animals.

  11. SEAK Mossback says:

    Nice photo, Ralph. Did you by chance go to Anan Creek, or is that one of the thousands of other creeks with pink salmon and black bears?

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      This particular photo was in a creek south of Ketchikan. I can’t remember the name.

  12. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Yesterday was…….
    ……April 1st

  13. Mike says:

    3,000 tons of poisonous lead released into the environment every year by hunters, causing 20 million bird deaths.

    Devastating, devastating assault on our open spaces.

  14. Salle says:

    How the Big Energy Companies Plan to Turn the United States into a Third-World Petro-State:
    Will North America become not just the next boom continent for energy bonanzas, but a new energy Third World?

  15. Salle says:

    Can We Save the Environment and Our Communities By Giving Nature Legal Rights?
    From rural Pennsylvania to South America, a global alliance is promoting the idea that ecosystems have intrinsic rights.

      • Salle says:

        I feel for those who experience a mauling but I think that the idea that bears (in this account black bears) “behaving like they’re supposed to” is leaning a little bit too far into the “Goldilocks” myth of what wild animals actually do. Too much anthropomorphizing of wildlife is promoting this erroneous set of concepts that wildlife know what human rules are and that they can interpret changes in the rules accordingly, thus, “behaving” as humans want them to with regard to the “rules”. (You know, like some claim that wolves kill for fun, etc. therefore, they need to be killed because humans interpret that this is so.)

        If you go camping, know what animals and risks of sleeping among them in tents would be. Too many people think that camping in what’s left of the wilder parts of the country is much like a visit to Disneyland and that they are protected from any harm by those socialists who administer and manage these places.

        The wilderness cannot be antisepticized for the convenience of unaware visitors. It seems that it’s become too much to ask of the public to think for themselves using factual information. Just one of the horrible results of the dumbing down of America. The the mark of the American exceptionalism movement where most believe that they are equal to (or on their way to becoming) the elite which spawns such expectations as being “safe from harm” in the wild because the animals are supposed to behave themselves in accordance with human-made rules in a “park-like” setting ~ or even out in the woods near a park.

        What I want to know is why tent camping is allowed in that area to begin with.

        • JEFF E says:

          agree 100%
          I wanted to post this on another thread but here is what I was going to say:
          The idea that animals understand that they are causing some sort of horrendous experience for each other or another species when talking about life and death is a shaky premise at best.

          That includes how and by what means a particular animal dies.

          With humans, one would hope that compassion, ethics, and fair play would factor in but unfortunately, if one considers the whole scope of human experience, then 50-50 is about all that can be expected. We do not even treat ourselves with any extra ordinary level of what could be considered “the higher attributes” so if an animal is treated “inhumanely” I, personally am not surprised. Usually just the opposite.

          The virtue is that an individual does not accept an act or mind set that condones a blatant disregard for (lack of a better term) unethical behavior. That applies, in my opinion, to the whole range of behavior.

          • Salle says:

            Jeff E.,

            That brings to mind a book I read while in one of Ralph’s classes,

            “Searching for Yellowstone…” by Paul Schullery.

            I read it long ago, when it was fist published, I think, and I recommend it to many as it gives a layman’s terms reading of the issues regarding the manner in which people use the park and why there are management policies to begin with; because people don’t know how to behave in the wild. That’s the take-home message I got from the book. And since folks are less interested in the policies governing our behavior in such places, more policies to protect the park need to be applied as time goes by… due in direct response to the lack of interest in behaving responsibly with regard to something that belongs to all citizens and their progeny. And for that, I blame the ever-increasing lack of respect for anything in our current culture of “destroy everything because we can” attitudes. A sad statement for what was once touted as the jewel of humanity – even though it never really was. The scales covering many eyes need to be extracted.

            • JEFF E says:

              hell people do not even know how to act around animals in the parks built up areas. I can’t remember how many times I have read or heard about some one getting gored or stomped in Mammoth or Canyon or…..
              I once went to the park with a couple of people one who were 20 somthings from Sacramento,Cal. One had never seen an elk in the flesh so when we pulled into Mammoth and the usual band was laying around in the shade she immediatly let out a shriek and started to run towards a group of three cows. I literaly had to tackle her before she got to them. I don’t know if you have ever seen a cow elk go to work with their front hooves but they don’t fool around. Fortunatly all they did was stand up and stare at us at ~20yds away.
              Trouble is that a good precentage of people that go to the park think they are going to bond with their animal brothers and sisters or like the gal I was with, just do not have a clue. Then of course it is almost always the animal that takes the consequenses of the “bonding”

      • Mike says:

        Treating a tent with chemicals is not a good idea. The chemicals imbedded in the fly from the factory is more than suitable for the tent’s lifetime.

        First, it doesn’t really do anything except potentially damage you and your pet’s lungs. Second, yes indeed it’s a scent. And we know what that means.

  16. Virginia says:

    The author of “A Death in Yellowstone”, Jessica Gross, never relates the fact that neither of the parties attacked by this bear had bear spray with them. We have hiked Yellowstone for years and never gone without bear spray. Would that have saved them? Who knows, but if Yellowstone wants to get serious about dealing with this issue, they need to require hikers to carry bear spray. How you do that, I don’t know. But, rather than watch them destroy our grizzly bears, do something proactive rather than reactive.

    • Salle says:

      Virginia, Jeff E.,

      One way that I think that the park, for one entity, could further instill the reality of going into the wild upon the visiting public would be to:

      a). get rid of park pass sales from the gates. By doing so, several improvements to the quality of the visit could be made… like ending the long lines at the gates that set the tone for many by fueling impatience toward other visitors. But it would, most importantly, ensure that visitors have been educated about the park in ways they are rarely informed about the dangers they may face when outside the vehicles, why they must obey the rules of the road-not stopping in the middle of the road, getting out to go pet/feed the bears, bison and whatever else they encounter; what is required for a safe back-country hike or lengthy trip; food safety; and a host of other consideration that most park visitors have no clue about or simply disregard because “just this once” makes rule violations okay “for them” because they are on a special vacation.. as if that’s not the case for hundreds of thousands of others. Choosing tho violate the rules should result in serious consequences… prior to issuing a park pass. Too many folks get the fliers at the gate a fling them into the back seat or out the window or whatever, rarely ever actually reading them or looking at any of the warnings issued via printed matter-a voluntary information scheme.

      b). Enforcing the rules/laws that govern human behavior in the park, like actually issuing costly tickets for violations… once word gets out that there are serious consequences for bad actors, there will be a serious curtailment of such activities.

      c). Make it known to everyone entering the park that any harm done to visitors and or their property, due to stupidity or blatant violation of park rules, especially with regard to harm done by the wildlife, is a personal responsibility issue and that the park is a “pass at your own risk” zone that relieves the park and it’s management from responsibility for such harm (and from the need to destroy wildlife for the sake of antisepticizing the wild for the enjoyment of stupid humans who think everything is there for their convenience and enjoyment and that it’s all disposable if someone gets hurt by it/them). Ignorance of the rules/laws is no excuse for violating them.

      • JEFF E says:

        re c: that should be the “rule” for any trip in to the hills, not just the park. Especially and particularly for the livestock industry. But that is another topic

        • Salle says:

          Indeed. I was using the park as an example because it is a controlled entry situation for the most part. I have other ideas but the “I have to be able to do whatever the hell I want to do wherever the hell I want to do it” crowd would have a fit of apoplexy over it, no doubt.

      • Virginia says:

        I agree with everything you said – very well put. Too bad the park service hasn’t been able to see what changes they need to make to try to solve this problem. The article I refer to does not address these issues in any way. She does a disservice to the bears and to people contemplating hiking in Yellowstone.

  17. Louise Kane says:

    Good comment about why is tent camping allowed? Its wilderness, if people choose to camp they will experince some threat from wild animals. The animals protecting their habitat or families should not have to pay.

    • JEFF E says:

      It’s not wilderness.
      It was right on the main highway at two miles from Cooke city. An yes I have been there. Tent camping is no longer allowed.

      • Salle says:

        Yes, but only after the fact. It’s, apparently, like trying to get a traffic light at a dangerous intersection in your community… you have to wait until a certain quota of dead people are assessed before any motion to act is considered.

        • Daniel Berg says:

          If they just threw up a stop-light wherever an alarmist requested one, there’s a good possibility that I’d be clinically insane at this point in my life.

          • Salle says:

            That’s not what I was talking about. If traffic engineers had any input to the dangers of a roadway or portion of it, and actual observation of traffic behavior was assessed, that sort of willy-nilly application of safety wouldn’t take place. But then again, nothing seems to work like it should anymore.

        • JEFF E says:

          and only after the fact is how 99% of anything(choose the topic) is addresed.

      • Salle says:

        I have been there several time too but there are also signs along the road warning that it is bear country… guess some folks just expect that the bears won’t harm them because they are in a campground. A clue: unless it’s surrounded by a very tall chain-link fence or other sturdy barrier system, it’s not a protected from the wild space, dress/act accordingly ~ and that doesn’t automatically imply that you should just carry a gun…

      • Salle says:


        FYI, Cook City is pretty tiny in size and population, and is surrounded by some pretty wild territory. Not like it’s just outside Bozeman or Livingston or Cody, WY. I wouldn’t want my car to break down in that area, even on the main highway… along which there isn’t much development. And it is between Beartooth and Joseph Passes and the park. Unless you’re in a sturdy shelter of sound construction, you’re pretty much open to “the elements”.

        • JEFF E says:

          I am aware of where cooke city is.

          My family went to Yellowstone fairly regularly when I was growing up and if the feeding the bears bread out of your car window was slow we could always jump over to Cooke City and watch the grizz in the town dump. Or go to old faithful inn and see if there were any bears in the rubbish pile that used to be around the back.

        • JEFF E says:

          Was finally able to pull up some of my info on Soda Butte. Not only is it right on the main highway, several websites that cater to camping activities caution that highway noises can be heard throughout the campground.
          In fact in July of 2010 when this happened there were over 62,000 vehicles that entered the park using the NE entrance and who knows how many left that entrance as those are not counted I believe. In August 2010 there were ~59,000 vehicles entering the park.(the incident happened on July 28th) In addition there are who knows how many people and vehicles that go into that area but not into the park.
          Not sure what anyone else’s conception of “wilderness” is but that campground would not fit my definition of one.

          Anyway, here is something for your library if you do not already have it.

          • Mike says:

            JEFF –

            It doesn’t really seem like you know this area all that well.

            Soda Butte Campground is on the border of one of the largest wilderness complexes in the lower 48. Even though there is a highway right there, it is still incredibly wild by lower 48 standards.

            If someone made the case that Yellowstone itself isn’t wild because “lots of cars drive through Hayden Valley”. That would of course, be a ridiculous assumption. By lower 48 standards, it’s as wild as it gets. Grizzly bears, by their nature, live in wilderness in the lower 48.

            But don’t take my word for it, I only get paid to travel across the U.S. and document public resources, and Soda Butte Campground is one of them. The page I helped create on Soda Butte was linked to over the official USFS page by major online newspapers across the country during the fallout of the attack. The images I took of the campground are # 1 and #2 in Google images in the entire world (for that campground), and even Google ranks the page above the official USFS page. So yeah, I know a little tiny bit about the area. 😉

            And to my left, in a desk drawer, I’ve got a high-definition tape of the campground–every last nook and cranny.

            • JEFF E says:

              $3 Mike,
              try reading for comprehension. I said it does not fit my definition. If you believe sitting in an improved campground with an average of~2070 + vehicles going by 24/7 within yards of your table with a camp ground at 99% capacity day in day out equals a “wilderness experience” then have at it.

            • Mike says:

              You really stepped into this one, JEFF.

              And still with the insults. Too bad.

              If you’d ever camped there and hiked, unimpeded, from the southern boundary of the campground to the North Absaroka Wilderness, you’d think the area was pretty wild, too.

          • JEFF E says:

            No $3 dollar Mike, I do not think it is any more wild than 10,000 other places I have been and go to in the Intermountain west, the vast majority of which do not see 120,000+ vehicles in the immediate vicinity in a whole year, maybe more, much less in a two month period.
            But enjoy your campground lunch. Wash it down with a little exhaust smoke

            • Mike says:

              Why does every post include an insult from you?

              Are you that intimidated?

            • Mike says:

              You seem to be confused on how “big” wilderness is defined. It is not defined by how many cars drive near it, but by how large the roadless acreage is. Go look up those tables for the lower 48, and then tell me how “10,000 other places” are wilder than one of the top five wilderness complexes in the lower 48.

              The North Absaroka Wilderness is 350,000 acres. It also borders a similar-sized chunk of NE Yellowstone roadless country, forming a 700,000 acre hunk. To the north of the campground by a couple miles is the nearly 1 million acre Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness.

              South of the North Absaroka wilderness is the 704,00 acre Washakie Wilderness, which is bordered by the 585,000 acre Teton Wilderness to the west, and a similar-sized hunk of roadless Yellowstone west of that. South of these behemoths is the Gros Ventre Wilderness, the Fitzpatrick Wilderness, and the Bridger Wilderness, forming one of the largest wilderness complexes in the lower 48.

              This is what Soda Butte Campground borders. This is why the campground has grizzly bears.

              There are not five, let alone “10,000” areas wilder.

            • Elk275 says:

              Mike, I have several other things to do right now but if Soda Butte Campground is wilderness to you then Disney Land might be semi wilderness. I spend the night of the earthquake (1959) in that campground. In the late 1960’s as we got are driver licenses, my friends and my self drove to the Cooke City area and backpack.

              In 1979, I was a hunting guide in Cooke City and in the early eighty all of us would go to Cooke City for the Fourth of July weekend and camp at Soda Butte. The Range Rider was still open in Silver Gate and we partied until closing every night and some how made it back to Soda Butte campground for the night. I can remember waking up with sleeping pads and bags strewn everywhere. I took an hour to get going and into Cooke City for Breakfast and another repeat. Those were the days. Mike you and most of those that come out west once a year have developed western fantasies.

              Want wilderness in 1974 I hunted mountain goat in the Wrangell Saint Elias’s, The pilot landed the super cub on a remote strip and picked me up 6 days later. There was not a sign of humans or another plane in for the duration. Those were the days. I could carry a boned out mountain goat and the horns and cape plus my camp miles and miles. It is only memories now.

              Do not try to be larger than life and do not invent something. Cooke City is not wilderness it is the New World Mining District.

            • Mike says:

              Elk 275 –

              You need to take a look at the maps again.

            • Elk275 says:

              Mike I do not need to look at a map of the Beartooths. I have riden and hike those mountians since I was four years old. When I turned 4, I was allowed to hike to up to Mystic Lake with my and father and his friends and fish. My father carried me down sleeping on his back. When I was 10 years old our cabin was at the foot of the Beartooth Highway and I would fish up the Lake Fork of Rock Creek into the Beartooth Wilderness everyday alone fishing. I was scared to death of moose, never saw one.

              I have a picture of me fishing one of the mountain lakes up the Goose Lake Road in 1958. I do not go up in the Beartooths much any more. I have more interest in Southwest Montana and the Salmon river country now.

            • Mike says:

              Elk –

              How do you feel about the recent trapping events? I noticed you got sort of quiet.

              Also, why do you no longer favor the Beartooths?

        • Mike says:

          salle –

          One of my jobs is going across the country and documenting public resources for certain companies. Soda Butte Campground is one of those places. I do not camp there. I do not pitch tents in grizzly country near these kinds of what I call
          “fairwaysespecially in a tight corridor such as this. What I mean by “fairways”, are large, easy-walking swaths of grass in heavily-forested areas, and where these fairways lead right to tent pads.

          Moose and bears are like people. They’ll take the easy path if there is one. And it’s moose and grizzly which are my main concerns when camping.

          I have spent a lot of time in this campground. I lunch at a table (making sure every last crumb is put back into my car), and enjoy the day, but I do not camp. This area is one of the most beautiful in the country, and a good place to get lost and enjoy solitude. The mighty Beartooths are to the north, and the lengthy Absaroka’s to your south.

          • Doryfun says:


            Tons of time ago, I floated the Tatshenshini River in the Wranagle St. Elias region, as well as the Chitistone/Chitn/Copper Rivers. (and others). Agree. Wilderness up north is quite a different feeling than down south (south of Canada). But, wow, that is such spectacular country. Part of the 1979 World Heritage Site designations, for good reason. Your post jogged wonderful memories.

          • JEFF E says:

            “I do not camp there. I do not pitch tents in grizzly country….”

            But, three dollar Mike, you claim to know it very well…….because you went there at some point in time and took some pictures?
            And while eating your tasty lunch listening to thousands of cars whizz by you looked at the map and daydreamed about the Absaroka.

            Okay three dollar, its your story, tell it any way you want.

            • Mike says:

              JEFF –

              It seems like you keep repeating insults because you’re completely intimidated.

              I know the campground because the world, and every search engine in ,considers me an authority on it, even over the USFS. Think about that for a second. I get paid to document these places in high definition and with still images, and write about it.

              But, hey, you have some vague memories of a family trip long ago. Good luck with that.

            • JEFF E says:

              Oh.Silly me
              the pictures were in high definition.
              well “that ” changes everthing. I can see how that would make you a world authority, three dollar.
              Were you able to photoshop the highway with the thousands of cars out of the backround

            • Mike says:

              JEFF –

              I’ll ignore yet another of your insults (which I’m sure the mods are paying attention to).

              Photos were taken as well as high-definition video, and a survey of the campground and the national forest land. I go there every year and repeat the process. That is why every search engine in the world ranks the page over the official USFS page, and major newspapers use it as reference for the incident.

              But hey, I don’t know much about it. 😉

            • JEFF E says:

              mommy, mommy.
              JEFFY is being mean to me and if you don’t make him stop I will hold my breath and stomp my feet!

              whatever $3

      • Mike says:

        I’ve spent time there. It is indeed wilderness. The campground (Soda Butte Creek) is essentially a funnel between the Absaroka Range and the Beartooth Range, and there are “parkways” there which are nice, easy paths for migrating wildlife.

        The southern boundary of Soda Butte campground is 1.2 miles from the North Absaroka Wilderness boundary, but there are no developments between it and the official wilderness.

        This is one of the wildest areas in the lower 48. When you pitch a tent in that campground (which is no longer allowed),you are essentially pitching a tent in a gigantic roaddless wilderness complex.

        • Mike says:

          edit: That should read “at the border” of a gigantic wilderness complex.

        • Louise Kane says:

          we don’t need to go to maher or limbaugh for mean spiritedness…the last comment by jeff provided a good dose of that. why not be a little more respectful? thanks

          • Mike says:

            Yeah I’m not sure what JEFF’s problem is. Just grumpy I guess.

            • Alan says:

              Soda Butte Campground is not wilderness. By definition, no area with picnic tables and restrooms sitting next to the road is wilderness. But it sits right next to, and is connected to, one of the (if not the) largest wilderness complexes in the lower forty eight. Not in the world. Not in Alaska or Equatorial Africa; but in the lower forty eight (actually forty nine). That is why, in camping there, your probabilities of wildlife encounters are similar to what they might be in the nearby wilderness. Your probabilities of unhappy encounters with bears are in fact higher, due to the amount of human scent (including food, but not limited to that) that would be present in a well used, developed campground this close to so much wild country. Sheeesh!

  18. aves says:

    Experts surprised by which predator is No. 1 killer of deer in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula:

    • Salle says:

      If these guys are that surprised by the results they are finding so far, I wonder where they got their degrees from, if they have them. One might guess that they must have been influenced by all the hype from the anti-predator crowd to have been so surprised that it wasn’t wolves being the primary predator.

      And the comments are par for the course.

      • Paul says:

        The comments are full of the usual geniuses. I especially like the one who heard from a Gander Mountain manager who heard from a guy that told a guy who heard from another guy that there are 10,000 wolves in Michigan as part of some secret DNR conspiracy. Of course I exaggerated a little, but this is the kind of garbage that gets spread by these clowns. The same guy also said that they need to keep PETA and the National “Human” Society out of Michigan. And of course he supports bounties as well. As I have said before there is nothing more dangerous than an idiot with a gun and a computer with internet access.

        • Salle says:

          How about the fact that they haven’t been excluded from the gene pool?


        • Louise Kane says:

          I did not see you read that too, amazing isn’t it? Its quite distrubing that people are so ignorant and cruel.

          • Salle says:

            “It’s no accident” my ex used to say, “Hell, they breed ’em that way!”

            With the objections to science and critical thinking being taught in schools, I’m inclined to agree in many cases.

      • JB says:

        I’ll admit that I was surprised–bobcats killed more deer fawns than wolves??!

        • WM says:

          This is another one of those complex answers that isn’t likely final yet.

          From the article:

          73 percent of the deer (collared fawns) were killed by predators. No mention of whether collared predators were killed.

          This was not one of the heavily used wolf areas (May partially explain why so many coyotes took fawns, as it might be expected wolves would exclude/kill them).

          Wolves have been feeding on several (9 identified) active livestock pits (so maybe no need to go after fawns and maybe they kept other predators away from that source)

          Agency staff expect different results in other areas, and this is only the first year of the study.

          Stay tuned. The results are preliminary, but the bobcat aspect is, indeed, interesting.


          So my question is why is Missippi State University involved in this study?

          • ma'iingan says:

            “So my question is why is Missippi State University involved in this study?”

            MSU applied for and was awarded the grant – incidentally, the grant money is from SCI. If subsequent results show that wolves are not a primary source of predation, hopefully some eyes will be opened at SCI.

            • Paul says:

              Considering that the money came from SCI we will probably see “updated” numbers soon that make wolves the biggest culprit. That group only has one agenda and it sure isn’t “conservation.”

            • Immer Treue says:

              SCI, among others, also contributed to the Middleton(Since coming to Wyoming in 2007, Arthur has coordinated the Absaroka Elk Ecology Project in collaboration with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, studying elk migration and elk-wolf interactions in the Absaroka Mountains… that concluded that climate conditions where a major factor in elk decline

              Project Funders
              Wyoming Game & Fish Department · Wyoming Animal Damage Management Board · U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service · Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation · Wyoming Governor’s Big Game License Coalition · Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife · U.S. Forest Service – Shoshone National Forest · Boone & Crocket Club · University of Wyoming – National Park Service Research Station · Bowhunters of Wyoming · Pope & Young Club · Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming · Safari Club International · Cody Country Outfitters & Guides Association

            • Paul says:

              Immer Treue,

              You are really not defending SCI are you? If you really want to know what that group is all about read “Dominion” by Matthew Scully.


            • Immer Treue says:


              Are you nuts? The reason I brought the Middleton study up, I think New West posted it, the anti’s were all over it, and said it was probably funded by Ralph Maughan or some wolf organization. All it took was to open the article up a bit and the funders were listed. Could have heard a cyber pin drop.

            • Paul says:

              Ok, I was just making sure. I have come to realize that anything that group has their name on needs to be given a second look. They were one of the biggest supporters of that insane bill here in Wisconsin.

          • ma'iingan says:

            “Considering that the money came from SCI we will probably see “updated” numbers soon that make wolves the biggest culprit. That group only has one agenda and it sure isn’t “conservation.”

            Are you suggesting that SCI will influence the results of the study?

            • Paul says:

              Would that really be too far out of the realm for that group? I mean a biologist with ties to SCI suddenly made the bear population in Wisconsin double overnight a couple of years ago, so yes that would not surprise me. I guess it all depends on how much actual influence they have with the people conducting the study.

            • ma'iingan says:

              “…a biologist with ties to SCI suddenly made the bear population in Wisconsin double overnight a couple of years ago,..

              The bear population did not “double overnight”. The fact is that the tetracycline study gave us the means to accurately estimate the bear population.

              It validated what we were all seeing on the ground, that the bear population was much higher than published numbers.

              Prior to the initiation of the tetracycline study, black bear population estimates came from harvest data – a method that led to significant underestimation.

        • Salle says:


          You are not a wildlife biologist conduction biological inquiry. Neither am I but I sure wasn’t surprised.

          • Salle says:

            Oops, spellcheck got me, I meant conducting.

            • ma'iingan says:

              “You are not a wildlife biologist conduction biological inquiry. Neither am I but I sure wasn’t surprised.”

              Oh really? My colleagues and I have been surprised by the preliminary findings. Bobcats have not previously been identified as a important predator of fawns in the WGL region.

              Do you know of a preceding study that suggested this?

            • JB says:

              Actually, I was very surprised by the bobcat finding. In fact, I just had a student in my office the other day who was asking about bobcat predation on fawns and I dismissed them as a significant source of mortality. When I saw this I send it straight away to the student.

              I agree with WM, this study is going to be extremely interesting to follow!

            • JB says:

              Sorry, I should’ve written “insignificant source of mortality”.

        • JEFF E says:

          I recall my dad saying that he was driving along big sheep in Montana when he was in high school and see a doe run across the road just in front of his car with a bobcat clamped on to its back.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Even when presented with evidence people will still blame wolves, this is one of the comments followed by another that said they should takle things into their own hands and poison wolves. I am already alarmed for the coyotes too.

      From the comments in the article aves posted. “I am a 100% supporter of using scientific data to maintain wildlife populations. The problem is political organizations like PETA, National Human Society and other anti-hunting organizations influence politicians and the system becomes corrupt. The DNR was trying to manage the wolf population for years and these organizations would judge shop the judicial process where wolves were killing cattle and causing a nuisance to people. A federal judge stopped this process. Until these activist organizations are brought under control you will see citizens taking the law into their own hands i.e. killing wolves. I would never do this I am not stupid, however, I know alot of people who will do it and I support it. The 687 wolves in the U.P. is an inaccurate statement. It is probably around 1500! Again, I support the DNR and the policies allowed to manage coyote populations. They should include bounties. It will be interesting to see how they manage predator populations down the road. A big area they could improve on is providing better winter habitat for yarding deer populations. Let’s keep these anti-hunting organziations out of Michigan and we will be fine. ”

      This is why we need laws protecting predators.

      • Paul says:


        This is why we need laws that stop stupid people from breeding. But remember a manager at Gander Mountain told him this so it must be fact.

      • Salle says:

        It is, after all, one of the reasons why we have such laws as the ESA of 1973, among a host of others. People don’t seem to know how to behave when it comes to other species and what they need to survive. Funny, they also don’t understand that the survival of those species is what makes it possible for the humans to survive.

        And to reiterate my feelings on that in a concise statement: (with apologies to Bill Clinton, sort of)…

        It’s the biosphere, stupid.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        Would be wolf poisoners in Wisconsin and the UP should learn from Idaho and Wyoming’s experience with would be wolf poisoners.

        It is not clear they ever poisoned more than one wolf, but they certainly did poison people’s dogs and misc. wildlife.

    • Mike says:

      Not surprising to anyone who’s ever had a cat. They are hunting machines. They make canines look clumsy.

      • ma'iingan says:

        @Mike –

        Of course you know better than the wildlife professionsal – and for you it’s as simple as watching your cat.

        You’re a tool of epic proportions.

        • Paul says:

          Is all of this hostility and name calling really necessary? So Mike has a different opinion than you do, so do many others on this blog. Mike made a valid observation that anyone who is familiar with felines would know is accurate. They are far more stealthy and graceful than canines. He wasn’t trying to make a scientific statement, he just made an observation.

          • Mike says:

            Paul –

            My gf and save a feral cat every couple of year, whether plucked from the wild or from a shelter. They are amazing animals. “Fresh off the cart” they can be a bit much, but they become incredibly trusting and playful as time goes on.

            They really are neat animals, they way the behave and how they are put together. When you compare them as hunters to the clumsy,bipedal, chinless goofs tromping with rifle through the woods, it’s quite a difference.

            • Paul says:

              I love cats, but I would take my dog any day. Of course may severe allergy to cats kind of made that decision a no-brainer.

            • Mike says:

              Yeah the allergy is no fun. I had a mild one, which went away after six months of exposure.

          • ma'iingan says:

            @Paul –

            Mike can’t resist the opportunity to take a dig at wildlife professionals.

            To Mike, the fact that the professional biologists in the article express surprise at the effect of bobcats on fawn predation apparently means they are just not very good at their jobs.

            And of course, he could do a better job just my watching his cat. And of course, he’s observed enough bobcat behavior (one of the most cryptic animals in North America) to understand exactly how they hunt neonatal fawns.

        • Mike says:

          Ma’iingan –

          Once again you hurl an insult.

          If only it were as simple as “watching my cat”. It’s a combination of observing feral cats in my area, and understanding how bobcats/lynx behave. Bobcats are incredibly tenacious, and I’m just not surprised they would kill deer fawns. I don’t see how any seasonedpassionate outdoor enthusiast would be.

          There are many, many biologists out there. There are good ones, bad ones, lazy ones. Every profession has its sloths, its underachievers. I know wildlife “professionals” who could give a crap about the wildlife, and instead rush home for TV-time and a cold six pack of PBR.

          What makes one knowledgeable concerning wildlife is the desire and determination to observe, watch and study them, and to keep this passion fueled. Doug Peacock is a great example. He knows more about grizzlies in the lower 48 than most people, because.

          Spending time in the outdoors does not mean one is knowledgeable about wildlife. It just means one spends time outdoors. I’ve met hunters in Montana who didn’t know what a fisher or marten was, let alone a rocky mountain sculpin or a chimney swift. I’ve met people in downtown Chicago who do. It’s about a desire to acquire knowledge. There are no “automatics”.

          • JB says:

            “It’s about a desire to acquire knowledge.”

            Indeed it is. It is too bad that you consistently choose to lecture people who are more knowledgeable about wildlife. I’ve learned a lot from participating on this site, and have come to value the opinions of people–even if I don’t agree with them. We have several fisheries and wildlife professionals, academics, and even a few people who are knowledgeable about natural resources law. Yet none have been immune to your lectures. Why not moderate your tone and engage people thoughtfully and honestly? Wise words from a former teacher: “You can’t learn with your mouth open.” 😉


            P.S. I’m not trying to pick a fight. Just think on it.

            • Mike says:

              JB –

              Most of the time I’m simply defending myself from insults by a few select posters. You’ll notice my tone is quite different with those who have not repeated personal attacks.

              It’s my job to listen and to observe. I have a genuine interest in what people say and how they feel (see my question to Elk275 about the Beartooths). But that skill also makes me impatient with obvious trolls, and I have no time for them.

              None of this is about me, or you. It’s about wildlife, public land,and ethics. That’s what this site has always been (correct me if I’m wrong, Ralph). I will not react kindly to those repeating refuted talking points, or those who are hurling specific insults to posters here.

              Something for you to think about, JB.

            • WM says:


              ++Most of the time I’m simply defending myself from insults by a few select posters.++

              You might give some thought as to why those “insults” occur.

              And then reflect some on JB’s sage suggestion.

    • Salle says:

      Yeah, it was posted earlier, but it’s good to see that Slate is giving the issue some attention.

  19. Savebears says:

    Does anyone have the like to the picture of the wolf on top of the car, I saw it yesterday, but don’t seem to be able to find it today, was it removed?

    • Louise Kane says:

      I think it was removed but one of the volunteers working with me saved it in her files.

  20. Paul says:

    On the same day that Walker signs the Wisconsin wolf kill bill look what news comes out:

    CWD in wolf country. They knew about this in early March and confirmed it on Friday. Of course they waited until AFTER Walker signed the wolf bill to announce it.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Walker, out of the same mold as Butch Otter her in Idaho.

      At least Idaho doesn’t have chronic waste disease yet. Wolves and hopefully coyotes tend to kill the weaker deer, the only ones (writing as though they were people) doing anything to control the spread of this dire disease.

  21. Immer Treue says:

    Local Tracker Voices Wolf Hunt Concerns (Wisconsin)

    • Louise Kane says:

      Thanks for the article. Paul I hope you read this and maybe Patrica can get in touch with Tilseth the tracker. If this woman has some media attention and is also linked to a Wsiconsin Rep this is a good opportunity for your newly founded organization to do some collaborating.

      Also if you want to organize calls and e mails to the governor, I have an e mail list of people that i can ask to make calls.

  22. Mike says:

    Bill Maher comments on hunting, gun culture on the March 30, 2012 edition of Real Time:

    • Paul says:


    • Ralph Maughan says:

      I’d say he is the Rush Limbaugh of the left — smarter though, but just as mean.

      • Mike says:

        Ralph –

        He’s definitely not the Limbaugh of the left. Maher is a science guy. Yes he can be mean, but the behavior of anti-wildlife, anti-science goofs needs to be ridiculed and called out at every possible instance. This country cannot be continued to be held back by flat-earthers.

        He makes a great point in the video. Why do you need silencers to hunt deer? They don’t even have hands. Isn’t a gun good enough? Funny stuff.

    • john says:

      yes,, maher is really good source of information,,remember, he is the one that said the terrorist that ran the planes in the towers were really courageous people,

  23. Peter Kiermeir says:

    If you are fighting for votes you always need to be even more anti-wolf than your competitor:

  24. Louise Kane says:

    RE Bill Maher
    just my opinion but Bill Maher is definitely not the opposing end of the spectrum from Limbugh. Maher, funny, witty, brilliant even, socially tolerant, and even when he is being mean he uses humor and will just as soon make fun of himself as anyone else.

    Limbaugh is mean, ignorant, intolerant and predjudiced against most everything.

  25. Louise Kane says:

    If you watch that video, not only is it hysterically funny, it is relevant and timely. Why indeed can’t we even regulate lead in bullets? Why do people need so many guns? Why did the democrats roll over when they had a turn at the table and give up every inch of advantage they had in implementing and promoting good environmental policy. Obama putting Salazaar in, what the hell. Anyhow Maher doesn’t take sides he pokes fun and takes aim at stupidity (whether from the democrats or republicans) and make social commentary with humor.

    the part about the new black panthers needing a 4th member was funny!

    Listen to Limbaugh and none of it is funny, its pontificating and hate.

    Thanks for the laugh Mike, going to bed with images of wolves being trapped, shot and maimed for the last year and a half is just too sad sometimes.

    • josh sutherland says:

      Bill Maher is a tool, he hates religion, guns and pet owners. He is an avid PETA supporter, and they are crazy.

      • Paul says:

        Generalize much? So hating religion makes one a “tool?” What do you call religious freaks that hate atheists, gays, women, etc? I call them bigots.

        • josh sutherland says:

          When you hate someone solely because of “religion” then yes one becomes a tool, especially when he has ZERO understanding of the the religion he is trying to mock on his show. He gets a free pass for his liberal show but Rush gets pounded by liberal media. I also call religious freaks that preach hate bigots also.

          • Paul says:

            As an atheist, I often get accused of “hating” religious people just because I don’t accept their views. I honestly don’t care what superstition a person wants to believe, and I certainly don’t hate them unless they give me a reason to. Where I have a problem is when these people try to push their twisted sense of morality on me. What happens in a person’s bedroom is their own business, and I don’t want some guy in a dress telling me how to live my life. As other posters have said Maher is witty with his slams while Limbaugh is felt out mean.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Sorry but I’d rather listen to Bill Maher than a lot of commentators…he makes me laugh, and provides a unique take on current social issues that matter ( to me and a lot of others). Irreverence is a quality I admire, not so much strict adherence to a set of priniciples that seek to take away or supress other’s rights as religious sects and cultures have been known to do.

        and you know whether you like PETA or not they are also one of the most vocal groups to challenge the status quo about the treatment of animals. Some of their advocacy is looked at as extreme but changing attitudes about the way we treat animals has come a long way, in part because of groups like PETA. These are the people sending staff into countries like South Korea where they torture dogs in most unimaginable ways before they are killed for food, they work to get exposure to mandate basic decency for farm animals whose lives are truly living hell and do a lot more. And advocating vegan diets is a lot more than crazy, its a lifestyle choice that has a lot to do with ethics and what you put into your mouth for your own health and that of the planet. Its fashionable to call PETA a crazy group, but not really true. They have been a very effective group that makes a strong stand against animal abuse.

        • josh sutherland says:

          They also want our ice cream made from womens breast milk and all ownership of any sort of pet abolished. The bad far outweighs the good!

          • Louise Kane says:

            To say that PETA advocates drinking breast milk ice cream is taking an outreach campaign statement out of context,.

            From an article on this….”PETA wrote a letter to company founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield on Tuesday, telling them cow’s milk is hazardous and that milking them is cruel. If Ben and Jerry’s replaced the cow’s milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers — and cows — would reap the benefits,” wrote Tracy Reiman, executive vice president of the animal rights advocacy group. She said dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies and obesity.

            Ashley Byrne, a campaign coordinator for PETA, acknowledged the implausibility of substituting breast milk for cow’s milk, but said it’s no stranger than humans consuming the milk of another species.

            “We’re aware this idea is somewhat absurd, and that putting it into practice is a stretch. At the time same, it’s pretty absurd for us to be drinking the milk of cows,” she said.

            The idea is to bring light to the inherent cruelty in milking cows and to illuminate people about the dangers of drinking milk.

            If you want to read more about that subject look at John Robbins “The Food Revolution” and or T Colin Campell’s The China Study.

            However much we have been led to believe that drinking milk is healthy. Its not. Milk, milk proteins and animal fats are linked to heart disease, obesity, autoimmune disorders (like MS) and other diseases. We are the only species that drinks the milk of another animal and the only one that drinks milk for an entire life span. Its really not a natural or in many minds a healthy practice. Yet extremely powerful lobbying groups have been successful in convincing the public that consuming large amounts of dairy products are good for you.

            To read some issues about the milk and dairy industry and raising animals the way we do and its effects on our health and impacts to the environment, look at:

            1) The China Study – a 2004 book by T. Colin Campbell, Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, and his son, Thomas M. Campbell II, a physician. It examines the relationship between the consumption of animal products and illnesses such as cancers of the breast, prostate, and bowel, diabetes, coronary heart disease, obesity, autoimmune disease, osteoporosis, degenerative brain disease, and macular degeneration.[1] The book had sold 500,000 copies as of January 2011, making it one of America’s best-selling books about nutrition.[2]

            2) The Food Revolution by “John Robbins. A review…” shows the seamless integration between our food and our world. Diet and farming practices that are causing human disease are hurting animals and the planet. Now, genetic engineering, based on these damaging misunderstandings, is creating new dangers. Robbins clearly shows that the sensible path to restoring personal health is one with the path to restoring planetary health and with restoring moral relations with other living creatures.”
            Martha Herbert, M.D., Ph.D.
            Pediatric Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital

            For a quick look at the dairy industry and the imapact it has in shaping public policy look at the following:



            I am not arguing that I would have used that marketing technique just that the substance behind the campaign is there.

            As far as I know PETA has not said people should not own pets. I beleive the message is they should not buy them. This is from their pages

            Walks in the park, car rides, and games of fetch and Frisbee are all things that shelter dogs could have enjoyed if they had been given the chance. But most of them never get that chance. That’s right, dogs across the country are dying because people choose to purchase animals from pet shops or breeders instead of adopting from animal shelters.

            PETA’s video “Everyday Dogs” asks, “When you buy a dog, what will you do with the shelter dog you kill?”

            somehting like 6 million dogs are euthanized every year partly because people buy new designer dogs or discard their own dogs when they become inconvienent. There are litealy millions of dogs waiting for homes, pups, purebreds, any kid of dog. There is no need to buy another dog until all of them have homes.

            So if thats what you mean by PETA thinks people should not own dogs then I agree. get a rescue, pick up a stray, go to the pound. Discourage breeding. Give a needy dog a home.

            • josh sutherland says:

              Louise, read this

              They dont agree with pet ownership through breeding or any other means. If dogs/cats are never ever bred again from this day forth how would people still have pets? All populations of dogs/cats would die in one generation. Would dogs just breed naturally in the wild and then we go catch them and make them pets? They refer to domesticating animals as a pastime.

              Also I train and compete bird dogs, it takes a very well bred dog to do what my dogs do. I BUY very well bred pointing dogs, what right do they have to tell me that I have to go to a pound to “Adopt” my hunting dog.

              In all honesty I feel kind of stupid even arguing the credibility of an organization like PETA. What did they say, save your pets before your kids cause they are both equal…. 🙁

          • Louise Kane says:

            Josh you need to read to the end of the article and also read for the entire content. They write, “Contrary to myth, PETA does not want to confiscate animals who are well cared for and “set them free.” What we want is for the population of dogs and cats to be reduced through spaying and neutering and for people to adopt animals (preferably two so that they can keep each other company when their human companions aren’t home) from pounds or animal shelters—never from pet shops or breeders—thereby reducing suffering in the world.”

            The article is basically saying that by breeding more animals for pets many animals are likely to end up in the never ending stream of discarded, unwanted or abused animals. Should you doubt this go look at the rescue sites and check out what some people do to animals. perhaps you feel that you can only get a highly trainable dog from a breeder but I bet if you looked hard enough you’d find a good many discarded dogs capable of doing what you want or need them to do. There are thousands of pure bred dogs of all kinds that need homes. usually you can find them by typing in your prefred breed name and search that on petfinder or by looking for a breed specific rescue. There is no imminent danger of dogs becoming extinct. But millions suffer from neglect, and unimaginable torture or abuse. My rescue started his life as a “bait dog” and then when he escaped some people tried to adopt him (while he was in recovery) so that they could use him as a “guard dog”. They were going to chain him to to a tree for most of his life. My dog is a 100 pound black german shepherd akita mix who looks a lot like a black wolf. He is my faithful companion, has a gentle and compassionate soul, dotes on me when I am sick, and has literally saved my life. I would do anything for him and he is devoted to me. When I think that he could have been tied to a tree his whole life I feel sick knowing that another beautiful dog took his place. The person who tried to adopt him sent someone else trying to get him. Sadly a great many people do not deserve to have pets because they do not know how to treat animals. Breeding contributes to the stream of animals that may be subjected to abuse or end up in overcrowded shelters only to be euthanized. I’m quite sure thats what PETA is saying. I know there are some good breeders and some people that buy dogs that are responsible. But there are so many dogs needing good homes I could never support an industry that brings even more into the world.

            • josh sutherland says:


              There is not a pointer in a pound or shelter anywhere in the world that would be able to go out and do what my dogs do. The lines my dogs come from have been bred for over 100 years to compete in Field Trials, my dogs are not only my companions but they are intense hunting and competition dogs. I have trained and tried to help people that have got huting

              Its like saying you could go to your local used car lot and buy a car that you could compete at a NASCAR race. It would never happen, same type of thing.

            • Louise Kane says:

              crs don’t have brains and a desire to learn and please all dogs do. They train all kinds of dogs to be service and military dogs too, not just shepherds and labs. Its a mindset and we differ on that

          • Louise Kane says:

            Josh I am a bit sensitive about the dog and car analogy. There are so many purebred dogs, also with great lines, that are up for adoption. And I know that these rescue dogs can be trained to do most anything, just like a designer dog from a breeder. And there may be junk cars but there are no junk dogs, just homeless or discarded dogs that people may think of as junk. Try typing in pointer rescue and see what you come up with. You might be surprised at the variety and type of dogs available. There’s a guy near me who runs and trains his two pointers near the marsh for duck hunting. I’ve watched them for a couple of years and talk to him sometimes. Both dogs are purebreds with good lines. Both came from a breeder who discarded them because there were too many in the litter and they became too old to be adoptable. I got two of my Siberian Huskies this way and two others were show dogs that oulived their usefulnes and were sent to a shelter. Anyhow, the pointers were sent to the pound.Purebreds find themselves homeless far too often. People that adopt them bring them to a pound for all kinds of reasons, when they have a baby, or find out the dog has particular needs and is not suited to being in a crate for 10 hours a day ,as if anyting should be). Usually the pounds have contacts with breed specific rescue groups. The dogs are usually adopted out to homes after a good screening. While its true that soemtimes dogs from abusive situations need socializing you often get a good and truthful assessment of the dog becasue the rescuers desire to place the dogs in good homes with a good match. If your objection is that you need to train a puppy from the start there are plenty of those too. Its a fallacy to think that dogs with good lines and purebreds are not in need of homes or that rescues are not highly trainable.

            I know we have different opionions and that you have your reasons for not adopting, but buying a dog does not guarantee that it is any more trainable or valuable then a dog you could research or find from a rescue group or even shelter.

            On another note: This is a great story about vets working to save wolf dog hybrids at a rescue facility.


            • josh sutherland says:

              “I know we have different opionions and that you have your reasons for not adopting, but buying a dog does not guarantee that it is any more trainable or valuable then a dog you could research or find from a rescue group or even shelter.”

              Louise I have been involved with pointing dogs for over 10 years. I have helped numerous people that have adopted pure bred pointing dogs from the pound. It is tough to make them a decent hunting dog, let a long a competitive field trial dog. Is there a pointer in some pound somewhere that could make it happen, maybe. The odds would be very very long. Not only is there an unknown to the dogs mental capacity, was it beaten or neglected etc that would severely handicap it in training etc. I would rather go with a proven system, I dont want to be a rescuer of dogs sent to the pound. I want to have dogs that accomplish what I want of them, which is be good companions and good hunting dogs.

              The car analogy is spot on, I am not insinuating that the dogs are junk dogs. I am saying they can not and will not be able to accomplish what I want them to accomplish. I dont just want a pet to lay around on my front porch, I go hunting with my dogs at least 60 days a year. I guess a better analogy would be saying you can take a horse that you adopted at the local mustang round up and go win the Kentucky Derby. It will never ever ever happen.

            • Mike says:

              ++, I dont want to be a rescuer of dogs sent to the pound. I want to have dogs that accomplish what I want of them, which is be good companions and good hunting dogs. ++

              Wow, that just sucks. So you are looking for something to control more than anything. Never mind unique personalities, funny behavior, or rescuing a dog that may be put down. It’s all about what you deem worthy.


            • Immer Treue says:


              And you wonder why the barbs get thrown your way. Once again, you have contradicted someone with infinitely more knowledge on a subject than you have. Though I do not hunt with dogs, Josh is spot on with his reasoning.

              You look for the dog you want. Working with a pup, in particular having that pup during it’s critical period of socialization is paramount.
              I have had my German Shepherds work carry a pack, pull a sled…, so I want a larger dog, full thick coat(yeah I have to put up with the shedding)for protection from insect and cold. I want a dog where I can have a certain degree of comfort that he is of sound genetics, so I want to know from where he is coming.

              I want to know how that dog will react in +++ANY+++ given situation, either with people or other dogs/animals. My dog will be off lead, so I do not want a dog that will have that predatory chase impulse. That will get him killed and possibly me in trouble. This knowledge comes from working with a pup.

              It’s not about what we deem worthy, but this type of trust that comes with working with a pup. House breaking, chew breaking, I don’t want someone else’s bad habits. Did the dog have distemper, was it kept on heart worm preventative, and other inoculations?

              And before you accuse me of using a dog for only utilitarian purposes, my shepherds have been inside dogs, part of the family, welcome at the home of my friends…

              Rescue dogs, yeah, it’s a great idea, depending on the purpose of the dog ownership. Contradicting Josh’s comments, not you, is idiotic.

            • Dawn says:

              I have been reading this site for a few years and this is the first time I have commented. I have a learned a great deal and been frustrated quite often. I have years of experience and an education in wildlife biology. I also have significant experience working with shelter animals. I have to say that Louise is correct. I have seen a 7 year old, purebred, registered, trained and proven in the field Greater Munsterlander given away on craigslist and then surrendered to the shelter after 24 hours, with all his paperwork from puppyhood on. I keep in touch with his adopters and he is an amazing dog, still hunting. I am partial to setters, having had Gordons for years. The shelter manager adopted a purebred, registered, started border collie that was bred and trained to work sheep in Scotland. Very exclusive lines,bought and shipped to Oregon and surrended to the shelter while still a puppy! These examples happen every day. I was raised with purebred dogs, mostly bird dogs. I will never buy another one, anything I want will be at a shelter. My current dog is a mutt and the best dog I have ever had. I have witnessed and had to euthanize to many dogs because nobody wanted them anymore and there was nowhere for them to go. Purebred is nothing but a piece of paper and a lot of health issues! Thank you for your time.

            • josh sutherland says:

              Mike so in all reality it is the act of shooting a bird, with or without the aid of a dog that you have issue with. Even if I chose to hunt without a dog you would still have problems with it, so the dog is a mute point.

              Also I love how you characterize everyone beating their dogs into submission to go out and hunt, your ignorance to “actual hunting” is appalling. I honestly have no idea where you get these stories that you post, it truly baffles me.

              Oh and I do wish I could tromp around the “fields” looking for my birds, just google “hells canyon in Idaho” and that is chukar country. You start at the bottom and hike to the top, if you feel that is an “easy” jaunt good luck! Also the birds run to the top and then flush wild and fly to the bottom, then you start all over again. Its a blast, and the dogs love it!

            • Louise Kane says:

              For those of you arguing that a rescue dog is not capable of being trained at the same level as a purebred purchased from a reputable breeder this is a link to my friend’s GS rescue.

              There are two recent graduates from the shelter who graduated from the police academy and are working in Philadelphia. Lots of of other dogs are now selected from shelters.

              This is the story on the website.”

              “Shepherds Hope is so proud of our two rescue dogs, Baron and Reaper, who just graduated the police academy and will be serving and protecting the streets of Philadelphia, PA.

              Reaper came from the city shelter. His owners surrendered him saying he was ‘too hyper’. Wonder what they were thinking when they got a Belgian Malinois?! Heresay has it that he was a puppy kept back from a litter and he
              basically lived in a yard with no human contact, only food and water. Once we got to know him, we saw he had a tremendous curiosity and toy/play drive. Our wonderful friends at the Philadelphia K-9 unit came to evaluate him and snatched him up immediately for their next class.

              Baron came to Shepherds Hope through a wonderful organization in NYC that helps keep pets out of the shelters. His owner was critically ill and his family wanted to make sure Baron went to a safe place. They reached out to us
              and we took him into our care. Our K-9 friends saw Baron and really took a liking to him too and decided to take him for their program. I know his dad would be very proud.

              Baron, Reaper and two other dogs from another fine German Shepherd rescue are lovingly known as the Pound Puppy Posse. They have earned the respect of the entire unit. We are so grateful to the Philadelphia K-9 unit for their faith in these amazing dogs.

              This is a great example of all the wonderful dogs who are sitting in shelters, not knowing why there are there and crying for their owners. We are honored and privileged to have found homes for so many and also to have put
              a few heroes on the streets.”

              If you choose to buy a dog to do a job great but don’t please make broad and sweeping statements about rescue dogs and how they are unable to pull off the same jobs as a fancy designer dog.

              want more examples, glad to send some. or maybe a police dog requires less training than a hunting dog?

          • Louise Kane says:

            Josh I don’t think that we are likely to agree about rescue dogs given the back and forth… but please consider, several of my close friends that do rescue involve German Shepherds. They are overwhelmed with purebred dogs from pups to adults to seniors. They have adopted quite a few of the dogs into service work. Those dogs do not sit on the porch. Despite their being rescues, they are highly intelligent, working dogs that have been successfully trained as police or military dogs. A lot of people think like you, that a rescue dog won’t be as smart, valuable or trainable. I think it does an injustice to rescue dogs to think that all they can accomplish is to sit around on a porch. Asking a question please, since you are involved in pointer rescue for ten years, have you never seen any pups or other pointer dogs in rescue capable of being trained as bird dogs? Is it because the dogs are so difficult to train? I don’t know that much about pointer dogs except for the two I see in training at the marsh and they are rescues and seem to be doing well. i don’t know the person all that well and never thought to ask him if he had particular difficulties but I will now. I am asking seriously, why do think a pointer rescue could never be trained as a hunting dog?

            • josh sutherland says:

              I have not been involved in pointer rescue for 10 years, I have been involved in pointing dogs for 10 years. There are many reasons and unknowns that come into play with an older dog, not just a rescue dog. The most important part of a hunting dog is its youth, how was it introduced to birds? Does it have bad habits a bad trainer taught him that I will have to spend countless hours trying to overcome. Why was the dog sent to the pound in the first place? Can those bad habits be overcome? Does the dog have registration papers so I can compete him in Field Trials? How was the dog introduced to gunfire? Is it gun shy? What commands has it been taught? Are those commands going to be detrimental to what I want to train him to do. Has he caught tons of birds on the ground? Does he have a natural point or does he want to break? Is he going to have a high prey drive and want to hunt for 3-5 hours at a time. So lets say I rescue a pointer and he wont cut it, what do I do then? Give him back to the pound? Keep him and feed him while I keep adopting and searching for a rescue pointer that will do what I want him to do?

              All those things are so important in training a dog, my oldest dog is almost 3 years old and is finally becoming a polished/finished hunting/trial dog. And he comes from some of the best pointer lines in the country. It takes countless hours to train and get a dog to the point to where he can be an effective hunting dog and a competitive trial dog.

            • josh sutherland says:


              ++, I dont want to be a rescuer of dogs sent to the pound. I want to have dogs that accomplish what I want of them, which is be good companions and good hunting dogs. ++

              Wow, that just sucks. So you are looking for something to control more than anything. Never mind unique personalities, funny behavior, or rescuing a dog that may be put down. It’s all about what you deem worthy.


              Mike I don’t want to be a rescue society. If you think that would be a noble cause have at it!

              I am looking for a dog to fit the needs I am looking for, ABSOLUTELY!! Do you think a sheep herder would want an Australian Shepherd that can herd sheep or an Australian Shepherd that cannot herd sheep….. What do you think the answer is Captain Obvious? Dogs can fill more than the role of just a “pet”. They can be both..

              So if I want a hunting/pointing dog you think its totally out of the ball park for me to want a dog that ACTUALLY does that!! Its not what I deem “worthy” its what the freaking dog was bred for!!

              As to my dogs, they have an amazing life. They go fishing and camping with the family in the off season. They get trained every week and ran in the off season. They hunt multiple times each week during the season and make a few multi day trips to other states every year. They are in amazing shape, up to date on all their shots. The vet compliments me on their health when I go in for check ups. My dogs live the life, any bird dog would love to call my house home..

            • Mike says:

              You make a good point about work dogs, but these are not necessarily work dogs. A hunter doesn’t need a dog to get birds. It’s just seems sort of lazy to let the dog do it (no offense).

              If that floats your boat, go for it. But buying dogs from a breeder kills dogs in the pound.

              I’ve never felt the need to control animals.

            • Louise Kane says:

              Thanks for your reply Josh

            • josh sutherland says:

              Mike in my opinion it would be very unethical to hunt birds without a dog. Do you know how many lost birds you would have without a dog? You know how far a crippled pheasant can run before it dies? A very very long way. Or a chukar that is wounded that glides 200 yards to the bottom of a canyon that crawls under a bush then dies? My dogs find those birds for me and bring them back. Even a bird that folds and drops right in front of you can be difficult to find.

              The goal when I take my dogs is not to kill as many birds as possible, I want my dogs to find them and point them. Usually one shoot one or two birds per hunt. I like the birds to be in the mtns so I can go find them again. The dogs are the whole reason I go hunt birds, if I did not have dogs I would not hunt birds. Also if you have every seen chukar country, there is nothing easy about it, with or without a dog.

            • WM says:


              I have mentioned before we have taken a fair number of rescue animals over the years (currently 1 dog, 2 cats).

              On the whole we have been very lucky with the ones we have brought into our home. Some of these animals have not been without their behavior and health challenges. We do not know the history on any of them.

              Our most recent acquisition is a polydactyl (six toes on each paw) tabby cat. We learned shortly after we got him that he has a congenital breathing problem, which is probably the reason someone gave him up. That means he swallows loudly alot, his throat gurgles, he has a finicky diet, and he snores very loudly when he sleeps. He is also very odd and erratic in his behavior sometimes. So, in those respects he is not the best house guest.

              However, he is gentle, funny, and gets along well with the dog and the other cat. We love him dearly, and with the same decision to make over again, we would still take him. We do know we are likely up for some expensive vet bills in future years. Some folks like to know what they are getting before they take on a rescue animal, which is not always possible. YOu never really know what you are going to get. On the other hand, when one goes to a breed the probability that you will get a smarter, more trainable animal with better aptitude for the tasks in mind, and fewer health problems increases some, maybe even dramatically.


              And, Mike, I am compelled to agree with josh about the necessity of a dog for bird hunting for the reasons he gives, plus the fact that for a human to retrieve a downed duck or goose from the water is near impossible.

              In addition, birds like pheasants or chuckar, will often run on the ground and it is generally considered unethical to shoot a bird unless it is in flight. A dog is the only way to stop and flush them. Quail in heavy brush, like windrows or field breaks sometimes don’t flush at all.

              Again, your acerbic comments are way above your knowledge level, Mike.

            • Mike says:

              Josh – You’re are talking to a reformed bird hunter. I shot grouse and pheasant and my primary weapon was a Remington over/under.

              I’ve never liked hunting with dogs. Some model their life after it. Bird hunters all dress the same, drive the same trucks, listen to the same music, act the same way. It’s a weird little cult.

              Yes, it is more difficult to retrieve birds without dogs when hunting over water, but that’s my entire point, and ultimately why I quit. Humans have all the advantages, and the animals have almost none. It’s supposed to be difficult.

              In the end, I saw more and more people in the woods “pressing” on animals. Too many gunshots over the next ridge. Too many roads and motors closing in on what last little wild there was left. I scrutinized just how powerful my tools were and those around me, and I said “this ain’t right”, and walked away.

              Best choice I ever made.

            • Mike says:

              And now we’re getting to the heart of the matter, Josh.

              ++Mike in my opinion it would be very unethical to hunt birds without a dog. Do you know how many lost birds you would have without a dog? You know how far a crippled pheasant can run before it dies? ++

              Let’s stop right there. I thought the same thing when I was bird hunting. I’ve hunted with dogs, without. Most of my dog-less bird action was in the U.P. and upper Wisconsin, but most of the dog action was in Illinois on farmer’s land. I used to think “good thing we have the dogs to chase the wounded birds”. Then one day, I said to myself , “who’s wounding the birds? Who’s causing all this?”

              It is not the absence of dogs to blame for the lack of ethics, but the act of shooting the bird itself. If the act is unethical without dogs, it is unethical with them. And that is where, at the time, my logic was so faulty, and where yours currently resides.

              As a hunter, I was often engaged in “woods magic” talk and justifications, but I never followed the logic trail to its core principle until the end.

              And I’m not so sure that having a drooling, strange creature clasp down on a paralyzed animal and running around with it is all that ethical.

              If bird hunters weren’t so busy trying to shoot as many birds as possible, they could spend more time analyzing the field for their prey. Instead, the dogs help create a “grab bag” scenario where there’s hootin’ and a hollerin’ and people filling up their pouches and the action is quick and slick like one of them thar shows on the teeveee. That’s what the dogs enable, rather than people taking the time to work the fields for their own killed birds. And to me, that is a little greedy, and a little lazy, and that’s not the fault of the dogs who were probably smacked and kicked into submission over time to behave this way.

            • Mike says:

              If I may, I’d like to share with everyone what happened on the day I quit hunting.

              I was at a property near the Huron Mountains of the U.P. that belonged to a family member–a ten acre orchard in the middle of the Northwoods. The orchard was an excellent place to hunt grouse, and it also happened to border a trout stream. The view from the orchard high point was one of the best in Michigan, way out over a valley of second-growth forest to the tallest point in the state. This made for an excellent clay pigeon site as well as for observing the night sky. This kind of property is the envy of many because you don’t often get this kind of view or this kind of dry high ground. Most of the surrounding land was bog.

              I was there on vacation with a friend of mine who also happened to be a wildlife biologist. As I was setting up the campfire up on the orchard, I heard a shotgun blast that I was not expecting. My heart was battling and I glanced around, fearful that perhaps a trespasser was nearby, that we were at risk. So I shouted to make my presence known, and my friend comes strolling up to the high point with a fat hen in his fist. As he walks up to me, he’s smiling.

              He says to me, while holding the slumped hen in his hand, “beautiful, isn’t she.” I stared at the bird, watching its head loll in his palm, and I thought it was beautiful. I asked him why he shot it out of season, and he told me he wanted a snack.

              There are too many people, with too many guns, and too many motors pushing in on wildlife in our modern society. There are too many poachers, too many “snackers” like my former friend. The pressure is enormous and I simply want no part in contributing to any of it.

            • Louise Kane says:


              thank you for your work in rescue, I have a huge amount of respect for my friends and others doing rescue. The small rescue groups often go into debt, give over their lives and work insane hours to prevent misery and suffering of discarded dogs, purebred or otherwise. I’ve often had GSD’s on and off in my life. My latest rescue is a GS and Akita mix. I was looking for a purebred and while there were literally hundreds I saw his face on petfinder and fell crazy in love. Like you best dog I have ever had, smart, and just amazing. Thanks for your devotion to animals!

            • Mike says:

              Dawn –

              Thanks for your rescue efforts.

            • Doryfun says:


              “Oh and I do wish I could tromp around the “fields” looking for my birds, just google “hells canyon in Idaho” and that is chukar country. You start at the bottom and hike to the top, if you feel that is an “easy” jaunt good luck! Also the birds run to the top and then flush wild and fly to the bottom, then you start all over again. Its a blast, and the dogs love it!”

              Or the Salmon River Canyon, for that matter – over a mile deep and second only by 500’ to Hells Canyon as the two deepest canyons in North America. Only real chukar hunters need show up. These places aren’t for the timid, out of shape, or armchair bird chasers. (not Kansas).
              Unless you have done the yoyo thing to get wounded birds in this kind of country, a person can’t appreciate just how valuable a dog is for this type of terrain. To purposely lose elevation, after most arduously gaining it to begin with, is folly in chukar hunting tenets. Not to mention that when wounded birds go down and seek rock shelter, a dog can often get them before any human can get there in time to do so.

              Half of my whitewater guide service, is fishing and hunting. Half of the consumption oriented side of that is chasing chukars with my two Weimaraners. Guests are also invited to bring their own dogs, and many do, because they, like me realize that just working with dogs on the hill is more than half the satisfaction of the hunt. A dog on point is pure elegance, grace, and a most beautiful thing to see.

              Dogs are a big part of my life, business and pleasure. Heck, even though they are serious hunting dogs, my wife and I even let them sleep with us, watch tv, and pretty much they almost think of themselves as human. But, all the same, they are still hunting dogs and that is what they love to do. Their genes tell them so, and for me to deny them that seems quite irresponsible.

              “Mike I don’t want to be a rescue society. If you think that would be a noble cause have at it!”

              I agree with you Josh, why should everyone else have to be responsible for the people who are not, and have caused too many dogs that end up on death-row, to begin with. (same with cats) . It is an “irresponsible pet owner “ people problem. We can’t save the world of starving people, let alone dogs or cats. Yes it is commendable for people to rescue dogs and cats, and should be encouraged. But why should people who choose responsible genetics (known blood lines), or for any other reason not to get a rescue animal, be put down for those interests?

              Lastly, what amazes me most, is there are still several people on this blog who continue to waste efforts trying to reason with the unreasonable person who rides a horse higher than anyone else will ever be able to come close to mounting.

            • josh sutherland says:


              You hit it on the head, there is nothing more amazing in my mind than seeing my dog standing on point on a cheatgrass hill. Its why I go, and chukars will always be my choice of quarry!

            • JB says:

              “…buying dogs from a breeder kills dogs in the pound.”

              No. The individuals who can’t or don’t take care of their pets are responsible for their pets’ deaths. Don’t try and pin that on those of us that are responsible pet owners.

              BTW: Pure bred dogs have been much maligned recently. For some time I was part of the American White Shepherd Association (I own a WS), and was considering getting into breeding. Why choose the WS? Because the breeders keep a list (online at of all dogs they breed along with any diseases they have or are known to carry (i.e., their offspring have the disease). Thus, when selecting a potential stud dog, the animal can be matched to the owner’s bitch so as to minimize the risk of diseases (such as DJD) in pups. Many of these breeders make buyers sign a policy stating that, in the event that the owner cannot care for the dog, they will return it to the breeder for placement.

              In the end, our dog turned out to be a great pet with superb herding skills, but I just wasn’t interested in adding more puppies to the world; so we had our dog spade at age 3. Today she is a healthy, happy family pet (9 going on 2) who entertains herself (and expresses the instinct for which she was bred) by herding our two cats (both rescue animals, btw).

            • JEFF E says:

              You and I have been around the bend a time or two but on this subject I could not agree more. I have two Schipperkes which I am training to run rabbits. That is “part”of what they were developed to do. It is a very rewarding experience and I have respect and admiration for those such as yourself that pursue the calling as you do.

              I have also been involved, for several decades, in rescuing a certain type canine that has also been both extremely challenging but also some of my greatest victories.
              By the time I get involved it is usually the animals last option and unfortunately most are past the point of redemption.
              However, my current one is truly amazing and could very well be my best yet. A Professional trainer I work with has expressed a interest in spotlighting this ones development, coupled with my ~40 years experience dealing with this type of canine we could have something very interesting.

              “Lastly, what amazes me most, is there are still several people on this blog who continue to waste efforts trying to reason with the unreasonable person who rides a horse higher than anyone else will ever be able to come close to mounting.”

              because to ignore that level of extreme narcissism will transform this blog into little more than a platform for projected hate.

            • Doryfun says:

              JEFF E

              “because to ignore that level of extreme narcissism will transform this blog into little more than a platform for projected hate.”

              And poking a sharp stick into a cornered animal,over ignoring a ticking time bomb with an itchy trigger, helps how?

            • JEFF E says:


    • Mike says:

      You are right, Louise. Maher is witty, funny, can be persuaded by science and data, and often pokes fun at himself. The exact opposite of Limbaugh.

      • WM says:

        I think they are both mean spirited, vulgar jerks, and the media would be better off without either. In Maher’s case, if you have to stoop that low for laughs (even in sarcasm) you don’t deserve them. In Limbaugh’s case, well (Senator) Al Franken was right, Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat idiot (for his book of that title).

        • Louise Kane says:

          maher’s humor is self deprecating and he is very irreverent. That’s a big difference than being mean-spirited.

          • WM says:


            Maher… is very irreverent. Indeed, a form of mean-spiritedness.

            As if the qualities of over the top disrespect, sleazy, shock jock value topics and a copious use of language that would make a longshoreman blush are admirable. And, ya have to wonder if he even writes his own stuff. He seems kind of shocked when he delivers some of it, and yet he has creative control.

            • Paul says:


              I happen to find his stuff funny, but of course I am a godless, tree hugging liberal. To each their own when it comes to entertainment. Some people think that Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are viable forms of entertainment. I don’t. Again, too each their own.

            • WM says:


              Limbaugh, Beck as entertainment. I don’t see it either.

              Entertainment reflects our values. Or, is it the reverse? Anyway, look how far we have come, and our country is a better place for it (Insert Maher irreverent, sarcastic smile looking into camera… here).

              Leno, Letterman, Conan, Carson, Kimmel, Seinfeld, Jon Sewart, a ton of Saturday Night Live cast/writers, and a bunch of others get/got more and better laughs without quite so much of that…. beloved Maher irreverence.

              Good for you and your own, entertainment, that is.

  26. jon says:

    Miller’s plan calls for:
    Hiring a new Fish, Wildlife and Parks director who isn’t a political appointment but someone who understands that the state constitutional opportunity to harvest wild fish and wild game animals. Hill also called for “a change of attitude and a change of leadership” at the department.
    Designating wolves as predators, similar to that of coyotes, across the state. Miller criticized as “irrational” Hill’s plan to split the state into wolf management zones.
    Standing up to the federal government’s intrusion in a state matter. Miller said Hill’s “Washington, D.C., insiders gave us this crazy idea of wolf reintroduction and management” and pledged to see that it is reversed.

  27. Harley says:

    Interesting little blog. Kinda shoots holes in the theory that only the anti-wolf people are the violent ones.

    • Paul says:

      A thug is a thug no matter if they are located in Idaho or Africa. There is something very wrong with our species.

      • Harley says:

        This was brought to my attention by someone who was talking about the author of the above mentioned blog putting a bounty out on the trapper that everyone’s been discussing here lately. The needless torture of any animal angers me. If you’re going to kill it, kill it. There shouldn’t be any kind of enjoyment from taking any life. But yet those that say they defend animal life often advocate the things this blogger has called for. Where is the sense in that? I have seen others value the life of a wolf, get all crazed when they read about pups being killed but yet say nothing of abortion and in fact, in some cases, will defend a woman’s right to such a thing. I personally think a life is a life. I suppose this isn’t the forum in which to address this however. I just wish with all my heart that people could find someway to meet in the middle. It’s distressing that ‘our species’ is so vilified. I mean think about it! What kind of self loathing is this? I heard about some person who proposed that people stay out of national parks altogether and go live in cities and let animals take back the ‘wilderness’ or densely populated areas. This woman is an avid hiker, spends time in the outdoors… I just don’t get it. Yes, there are people out there that have a tendency to spoil anything they touch. But we, as the human race, as the human ‘species’ can’t just write off our own kind! It defies logic! And making threats, putting bounties on people’s heads, that solves absolutely nothing. It only makes things escalate more and more. Stand for what you believe in yes but don’t be moronic about it. And that goes for both sides, not just this one.

        • Mike says:

          Harley –

          You’re on a wildlife blog talking about how humans are vilified? Come on, man. People have it easy compared to wildlife for the most part.

          • Harley says:

            Sure they do Mike! I tell you what, let me show you just how flippin easy humans have it…

        • Nancy says:

          “The needless torture of any animal angers me. If you’re going to kill it, kill it”

          “I have seen others value the life of a wolf, get all crazed when they read about pups being killed but yet say nothing of abortion and in fact, in some cases, will defend a woman’s right to such a thing”

          Mixed messages here.

          You’re right though Harley. This is not the forum to address this, but I will say til “our” species wakes up to the fact that hundreds of thousands of children (probably more in the neighborhood of millions if you take into account the rest of the world) are born into families where proverty is a painful norm, familes where rage, all sorts of abuse, neglect are also the norm – abortion seems to be the only logical answer.

          Educating youth about the consequences of unprotected, raging hormones, educating period, when it comes to unwanted pregnancies is a much better way to go but thats been out there on the table for quite awhile with little results 🙂 if you look at all the children in foster care, up for adoption etc. “praying” for a better life.

          • Harley says:


            Not sure how it’s a mixed message. But then, I’ve never been against ‘hunting’. If you hunt, hunt it, shoot it, kill it. Don’t torture it.
            I’ve never advocated killing wolf pups or any kind of young, animal or human so I’m still not sure how I’m sending a mixed message.

            It is true, our system is messed up. You are speaking to a person who could have been very easily aborted, so perhaps my view is skewed. My single mother chose to put me up for adoption to a family that was ‘praying’ for a child. (caught that implication there 😉 )This isn’t the place to get into that sort of debate however. As Mike pointed out, this is a wildlife blog. And I am not one to ‘ram’ my religious beliefs or belief of faith down anyone’s throat here, besides, it would be like pissing in the wind.

            • Mike says:

              I have to say I like your view, Harley. All life is precious and should be respected, although I will always stand by a woman’s right to choose, not these turkey-necked pale ghouls in congress choosing for them.

            • Harley says:


              I’m not sure if I should be pleased or horrified that you actually like my point of view as far as life, ALL life being precious. That would mean we have at least something, in part, that is in common other than living in Illinois.


  28. Louise Kane says:

    For anyone reading the post that Harley just sent scroll down to see the story on the 22 Congo elephants that were massacred. A friend of mine has an NGO called Big Life you can google it. he started it with his own funds and is working against poaching. If you want to help go look at his site, they have had some good success detering poachers. Its a real tragedy.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Thanks for posting this additional story
      hopefully this story will continue to be circulated

      • Salle says:

        And some more national coverage… the comments, some of them, are interesting and show that folks all over the country are pissed and disgusted.

        Stripped of Protection, Wolves Face ‘Second Extermination’ in US
        Outrage follows photos of tortured wolf and trend of plummeting populations

  29. Atlas says:

    Not really news, but this could protect habitat from windfarms and keep it open to wildlife

  30. Dude, the bagman says:

    If anyone’s interested and around Moscow:

    Science, Law, Politics, and Wolves: A Panel Discussion on Wolves in the West
    Thursday, April 5th at 6:30 pm in Room 104, Menard Law Building

    Join the Environmental Law Society for a panel discussion on wolves, one of the most politicized and difficult issues in environmental law. Ed Bangs (Former FWS Wolf Recovery Coordinator) will provide the scientific background, Professor Dale Goble (University of Idaho College of Law) will describe the law surrounding wolf de-listing, and Professor John Freemuth (Boise State Masters of Public Administration Program) will talk about what public policy makers consider when negotiating their way through divergent interests to a workable solution.

    Ed Bangs worked as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator in the northwestern U.S. from 1988 to 2011. He has extensive experience in wildlife management and was a key player in reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone and central Idaho.

    Dr. Jon Freemuth teaches at Boise State University’s MPA and Political Science programs, focusing on natural resource and public land policy. Dr. Freemuth has worked with numerous state and federal resource bureaus to integrate science and policy within the context of land management, including serving as the chair of the Science Advisory Board for the Bureau of Land Management

    Prof. Dale Goble is teaches natural resource law (including public land law and wildlife law) at the University of Idaho College of Law. Prof. Goble formerly worked at the Solicitor’s Office at the Department of the Interior where he dealt with numerous complex issues relating to wildlife and public land management. His broad and distinguished scholarship is nationally recognized, particularly for his extensive work on the Endangered Species Act.

    • Salle says:

      Dang, Dude.

      I’d love to attend that. Unfortunately, it’s half a day’s drive and I can’t afford the $4/gal. gas. I have always wanted to see Dr. Goble and Ed Bangs together. Took a seminar with Dr. Goble years ago, been acquainted with Mr. Bangs for longer. Always thought that would be an interesting conversation.

      Hope it goes well.

    • CodyCoyote says:

      Somebody who goes to this needs to ask Bangs where the idea for the “Flex Zone” in the Wyoming wolf management compromise came from. I thinks Bangs proposed it. It was ( barely) enough to neutralize the genetic dispersal argument that Judge Molloy made when he kiboshed Wyoming but allowed MT and ID to proceed with state management. That was in late 2010 after the election. By the time gov. Matt Mead took office in Jan 2011 the Flex Zone was anchoring the Wyoming plan , and Department of Interior was cutting a deal.
      Bangs conveneiently announced his retirement after 23 years in April and was gone in June. i think the ” Flex Zone” was his swan song or his brokeback straw. Whatever, he left, and suddenly Wyoming and DOI have a mutually agreed to but very bad wolf management plan.

      Come June, Bangs will have been away from the federal governemnt for a year, and maybe then he can speak more freely . I would hope he could do so in Boise Thursday night, if asked about whose idea the Flex Zone was. It came from Interior on his watch.

      Goble could really backstop that issue nicely. Or not. So—– ?

      • CodyCoyote says:

        Sorry…I typed Boise when I meant Moscow.

      • WM says:


        If I am not mistaken, when WY sued FWS after they got bumped from the 2009 NRM wolf delisting rule, FWS had to come up with a new approach that didn’t stray off the path too much after federal trial court Judge Johnson (Judge Molloy’s equivalent in WY) told FWS they couldn’t summarily dismiss the WY Plan as long as they met their numbers/genetic connectivity obligation as contemplated in the reintroduction plan.

        Hence the “flex zone,” modification.

        You do raise a good question about who proposed it as the fix, though.

        • Dude, the bagman says:

          I agree with WM that the flex zone was probably a compromise born from litigation.

          Between the 9th circuit’s argument in DOW v. Hall and the 10th circuit’s argument in WY v. Dept. of Interior, there wasn’t much FWS could do to comply with both and avoid having whatever rule they proposed being overturned as arbitrary and capricious. Other than maybe appealing WY v. Dept of Interior.

          They had to provide for genetic connectivity (or explain why they no longer considered genetic connectivity to be important) or prove to the 10th circuit’s satisfaction why they were requiring statewide trophy game management (probably an easier argument, but didn’t go so well with the first judge).

          • CodyCoyote says:

            Yes, DOI and Bangs’ staff had to do something to address Molloy’s mandate about genetic dispersal. Even though we know that NRM wolf program long ago left the halls of ESA wildlife conservation science and was tossed into the curb and gutter of special interest politics.

            My rephrased question Bangs were I at tonight’s discussion in Mosocw would be for him to describe the gestation of the Flex Zone compromise in Wyoming…when was it proposed, who formulated it, and most importantly when in the timeline did id arise ? And was it done under pressure from Salazar’s office to find a ” solution” to the Wyoming Wolf stalemate at all costs since Wyoming Senator Barrasso was holding up ( holding hostage) a key DOI appointment—Assistant Secretary Daniel Ashe to force a wolf plan.

            THAT is when i think Bangs and his crew caved and threw out a compromise ‘bone’ with a little meat left on it. The Flex Zone is a compromise of a compromise and really bad science , but since Molloy semi-retired from the bench abd Bangs either retired or had his head handed to him , it because the basis of a Wyoming-DOI wolf plan…one in which after all these years of wrangling and skirmishing, Wyoming ended up with virtually everything it wanted: predator status, a low number of recovered wolves and only 10 breeding pairs to sustain. In other words, the Department of Interior CAVED and gave Wyoming its awful plan , which is egregious in every way.

            I just want to hear somebody say that. This Moscow panel discussion sounds like a good venue for a retired Northern Rockies wolf manager to tell us how it all came about. I hope Ed Bangs follows in Carter Niemeyer’s giant footsteps and starts saying things publically that his former federal job prevented him from saying at the time.

            • Salle says:

              I honestly feel that once Bush/Cheney took over, Bangs’ concerns were totally discarded and he was left to do the bidding of Dink and Salazar… effectively muzzling him. I do commend him for staying in place, regardless of the drubbing he took from all sides… not unlike what he dealt with a good part of the time anyway. If he had stepped down when his superiors’ agenda took hold – don’t forget that Dink was gov of ID when reintroduction happened and he had a serious hate on for Bangs because he had the feds (ESA) behind him, this was one way he was able to muzzle Bangs and effectively castrate him with regard to the power of the law and scientific backing – I can only imagine how much sooner this ugly set of circumstances would have come to the fore.

              One reason I’d love to see this event.

              There were some good things that Bangs was able to facilitate that seemingly stayed under the radar… like accepting the Wind River IR Wolf Management Plan that effectively took another 2.2 million acres of land away from the Wyo management authority (another area outside YNP that is roughly the same size as the park… and a sovereign nation). In fact, it was the first Wolf Management Plan that was accepted years before any of the states’. I will always respect Bangs for that, among other things I know, even though not very many knew much about it. Even the NGOs didn’t get it for nearly a year thereafter. They asked me about it for confirmation due to my affiliation with some of the signatories of the Plan at the time… seemed they didn’t realize that it was a done deal even a year after the fact.

      • Dude, the bagman says:

        I asked him to talk about Wyoming’s new plan and the flex zone. He gave a brief, general answer about how it was basically the product of litigation. His discussion of genetic exchange mirrored that of the last few delisting rules: that since genetic diversity is currently high, inbreeding is not likely to be a problem.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Is this going to be recorded? If anyone knows about whether this will be recorded would love to know how to listen to it. Thanks

      • Dude, the bagman says:

        I don’t know. If it is, I can try to get a copy. But I don’t know how I feel about imposing on these folks by asking to plaster recordings of them across the internet. I don’t think I’d feel real free to speak my mind if I knew I was being recorded.

        • Salle says:


          In the age of the “court of the Internet” I tend to agree. But on the other hand, maybe it would be a good thing to bring an open and honest discussion, based on facts, out to a wider audience for the sake of education. A large swath of our American population have no access to such events, have no idea what goes on out here in the NRM states and only get edited snippets from sound bytes. It would certainly be a refreshing contrast to what we see with regard to “public hearings” led by IDF$G and the like. Maybe folks elsewhere could see that there are folks in the region who have a different perspective on wolves in their midst besides the vitriol slinging Ron Gillettes and Josh Branfords, and that there are probably more of them out here than the news cycles might imply.

          Personally, I’m on the fence about a recording of the event, due to concerns of safety for the presenters. I know Mr. Bangs has lived with the threat factor for well over a decade and probably still deals with such. Dr. Goble has been a lesser known entity in the public realm, not sure how he’d fare with that set of factors though I’m sure he’s not unaware of the potential consequences of making such a presentation… after all, he does live and work within the heart of wolf-hater country and has been aware of the problem from the start.

          And most likely, as Ralph had experienced, attacks on both faculty members ~ Goble and Freemuth ~ by opposing interests claiming they have violated some state employee code of behavior… ie., calls for dismissal for supposedly illegally fomenting dissent against state’s stance ~ eliminating all wolves. I’m sure that set of issues will arise directly following tonight’s event.

          • Doryfun says:


            If US citizens are willing to go off to some other country to potentially sacrifice their life in war, would it be too much to ask of earth warriors to put their necks on the line in our own country?

            Since we are now hi tech creatures, why not use the medium for the good. Arab Spring for wildlife, seems like a good cause, so I like your idea of broadening the scope of education about what is going on in the trenches.

            Normally, more information is better than less. Aside from analysis paralysis, better decisions can be potentially be made when more things are known about the issue, than what back room politics can end up doing.

            • Salle says:


              “If US citizens are willing to go off to some other country to potentially sacrifice their life in war, would it be too much to ask of earth warriors to put their necks on the line in our own country?”

              Doesn’t get much press but many of us have/do, regularly just by speaking up while living in the battleground. I’ve asked my alleged Congressional and State reps to assist in abating such threats but they, Dems mind you, basically lamented that I wasn’t in favor of their anti-wildlife/landed gentry, pro-special interest friends’ stance and basically told me to get lost.

              Lest we forget… historically, democracies don’t last much beyond two centuries as control-freak elements of human nature tend to use violence ~ and whatever tactics they deem necessary, like overt deception ~ to usurp the will of the people. Just look at recent news around the nation for evidence.

    • JB says:

      Are there plans to record the panel discussion?

      • JB says:

        Oops, my apologies for re-posting the question. I would be very interested in getting a copy of the recording, assuming the discussion is recorded.

      • Wolf Moderate says:


        I will be attending. I could record for you if it’s for personal use only. If they wanted to be recorded, they’d probably post the meeting online 🙂

    • CodyCoyote says:

      April 6 AM- Any followup from attendees to this panel discussion last night , or notes about the course of the conversation or quotes ?

      • Dude, the bagman says:

        See above. Also, it was recorded. I’ll get a copy. I’m not how I’m going to distribute it though. It’s probably going to be too big a file to email. Maybe I’ll upload it onto youtube or something.

        The discussion was pretty general, but that kind of figures given that it was a public event and there were ~100 people in the audience.

        • Louise Kane says:

          Thank you

        • Louise Kane says:


          if you have the ability to tranfer the video to your computer you can create a quicktime file which then can be posted as a link. Or as you suggested it could be posted on u tube.

          • Dude, the bagman says:


            Sorry for the delay. I don’t have the file, and the person who does has been having trouble getting it to upload onto Youtube. I may suggest Quicktime, or just try to get a copy of the file and try it myself.

  31. Salle says:

    3,000 Dolphins Found Dead On Peruvian Beaches In 2012 (VIDEO)

    • Paul says:

      $10,000 to shoot one of these animals in a canned hunt. What is wrong with these people? They try to play it of as this great thing they are doing for the species when in reality they are doing nothing but providing “exotic” targets for rich slobs who want an easy trophy. Can Texas just please secede and get it over with?

  32. Peter Kiermeir says:
    A little wolf slaughter is always THE solution to any problem! It´s cheap, easy and popular with people!

  33. Salle says:

    With tax due day arriving soon and to add some perspective to where that money goes, even though most taxpayers object to where most of it goes:

    for the breakdown:

    Merely for those who might be interested.

    • Salle says:

      What a crock of poo headline… but then, what can you expect from the armpit of the NW?

      • JEFF E says:

        that’s what I thought too.
        the Mollies appear to be on a walk-about…….doing what wolves do.

        • Salle says:

          As Dr. Smith said, this isn’t the first time they have done so but it is the first time they have shown such aggression. It seems that the weather is affecting numerous things. I don’t expect a return of natural events, like the weather patterns most of us are used to. The polar axis shift of the last ten or fewer years is something that is going to become part of the conversation eventually… whether openly or not. I have noticed that the position of the sun is no longer aligned with what it was even two years ago. Where the sun rose at the equinox, a few weeks ago, is way different from where it had for all the previous years that I have lived where I do now. I get sun shining directly into north facing windows in the summer, that was never the case in years prior, I expect it to be a little more so this year – longer duration and from a more acute aspect. It’s quite noticeable from my location.

  34. Salle says:

    I saw this yesterday but forgot where I saw it… until now ~ not good:

    Wolves, no longer endangered in Wyoming, now labeled ‘predators’

    • Salle says:

      Please consider the big picture and read the bill in its entirety. Also please take note of the co-sponsors of this bill.

    • Salle says:

      Oops, wrong link…

      This one works. This is important.

      • Paul says:


        Maybe this bill should be attached to a must pass piece of legislation as a “rider.” We will then see how supportive the wolf haters are of riders then.

        • Salle says:

          That’s an interesting idea. Truly, what goes around comes around.

          • Mike says:

            I’d love to see it.

            • Paul says:

              It sure would be nice to give these people a taste of their own medicine. Not to bring up the Maher thing again, but he was so right about how spineless the left is when it comes to dealing with these issues. I see that my rep is one of the cosponsors of this bill. I am going to contact her and see how serious they are about pushing it.

      • JB says:

        Not sure if any of you took the time to read the text? This bill would ban the possession or use of any body grip (foothold, connibear, snare) in National Wildlife Refuges–period.

        “In General.–No person may possess or use a body-gripping
        trap in the System.”

        The bill needs to be amended to provide exceptions for (a) research purposes, (b) management of invasive, threatened, and endangered species. In the latter case, it may (at times) be necessary to trap out non-native invasive species to benefit threatened or endangered species.

        • Salle says:

          The way I see it;

          a). this should cover national forests and wilderness areas, etc. (I don’t think it covers enough ground.)

          b). If you have research to conduct or any of the management concerns offered by JB, permits can be issued for such rather than allow just anyone to go out and conduct whatever actions. Permits can equal temporary, specific exemptions which afford a level of control over these activities.

          • JB says:

            Permits are fine, but the bill would still need modification to allow for permitting. Else you’ll have a bill that may protect animal welfare but end up hurting ecosystems or T&E species in the process.

        • WM says:


          ++In the latter case, it may (at times) be necessary to trap out non-native invasive species to benefit threatened or endangered species.++

          Indeed. The bill is quite a broad prohibition as currently drafted. Probably needs some thoughts from the wildlife agencies in the states as well as FWS (but that would be way too practical), if there are not other existing provisions of the Wildlife Refuge system legislation.

          Wonder how many of those Gambian rats are on National Wildlife Refuges in Florida, or how long before they start moving north?

          It seems even a hand held body gripping trap like a snare loop pole such as dog catchers use (or for small gators) would be prohibited.

          Whatever this bill is, it needs alot of work.

          • Louise Kane says:

            I would be nice if alot of work also meant rewriting the act so that trapping and snaring was banned on all public lands.

          • Salle says:

            Well see, in the normal series of events in the legislative process, a Bill would be introduced, debated, changes of whatever severity would be made in both chambers and voted upon in each case. That would be the normal procedure for introducing a law. However, this Bill is an amendment, could possibly be accepted in committee as is and turned loose for a vote in general session. That’s not saying that debate and compromise and/or changes can’t be made. An amendment can be treated as a Bill for a stand alone law.

            Just because this Bill for amendment is being introduced does not guarantee anything regarding it’s current form, though it could survive the process in its current form…

            These Bills, as with those for stand alone laws should be viewed as an introduction to the conversation and process the legislators should be engaging in with regard to this concern/topic.

            • WM says:


              ++ this Bill is an amendment, could possibly be accepted in committee as is and turned loose for a vote in general session..++

              Doubtful. If I understand this bill correctly, based on the summary from the website you provided, this would go before the House Natural Resources Committee.

              The chair is Doc Hastings (R-WA), from Eastern WA. He hates the ESA, and by association anything that affects individual/rights freedoms as the R’s have defined it, so that would include restrictive legislation on Wildlife Refuges.

              For now, it is reasonable to conclude this will die in Committee. If the D’s take back the House (as I hope they do), then depending on who the new chair would be, the content of this bill might come up for discussion (amendment?) and a vote. Big if at this point.

              Your Vox website gives it 8% chance of passing. One phone call from an NRA lobbyist (with their fingers into nearly everything) and its toast, regardless of who controls the House, IMHO.

            • Salle says:


              I was trying to be hopeful about it but you’re probably right.

  35. Salle says:

    Idaho wolf trapper’s smiling photo ignites firestorm (Warning: photo has graphic content)

    The usual suspects comments display their ignorance for all to see…

  36. Salle says:

    Residents support plan to allow bison on Horse Butte year-round

    This has been the case for HB residents for a looong time, with very few exceptions.

  37. Salle says:

    Could this be an unrecognized factor in ungulate pop issues?

    Winter closures remain even as slopes melt off

  38. Susie says:

    I worked for local government in Kootenai County Idaho for many years. Two employees from Fish and Game would routinely come into the office to get property ownership information. Here are a couple of excerpts from conversations I had with them.

    In 2006 I was told that the plan was to reduce the wolf population in Idaho to 150 or 15 breeding pair. That was 6 years ago.

    In retrospect, it is likely this plan has existed as long as 7 or 8 years ago. (Looks like they have no intention of changing it). Carter Neimeyer can most likely verify this as I believe he was a consultant in the process of forming this plan.

    Kootenai County experienced a period of rapid growth in 2004-2005. Many new subdivisions were built. Fish and Game received a complaint that an elk herd was destroying landscaping in one of the new subdivisions. This new subdivision was build right in the path of a long existing travel route of this particular herd. Fish and Game was in my office to get surrounding property owner information to notify them of action to be taken. We found that most of the property owners in the subdivision were out of state residents. He voiced an opinion that they would probably not respond to the mailings due to lack of concern. They exterminated a herd of 18 elk at the developers request. I was shocked that this was legal and acceptable to Fish and Game. Nothing ever appeared in the newspaper or on the local television stations.

    These are typical examples of our state’s political leaders ignoring public opinion. Fish and Game is operating as for profit organization. Hard to blame them, they’re just following the Department of Lands business model with their timber harvesting practices.Perhaps we need another watchdog committee to oversee these money driven politicians and federal agencies. Our good governor can smell the money trail from the bodies of trophy elk and harvested forests and he’s very, very hungry.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Thank you, Susie.

      Since I was with this issue at the beginning and knew Idaho politics so well, I always knew their (the livestock politicians’) ultimate objective was as few as possible wolves no matter what they might say or sign so to get a free hand.

      That’s why I urged groups not to give them anything unless they got something solid in return. In fact, conservationists were never even offered shadows but then accused of violating some non-existent agreement that there would be 150 wolves in each state.

  39. Carter Niemeyer says:

    This is a pretty good story that expresses Dr Bob Ream’s take on the wolf/elk situation in the Bitteroot region of Montana. Bob is chairman of the Montana Fish and Game Commission and a very respectable person. The thread following has a dose of hot air from delusional governor candidate and pipe-dreamer, Bob Fanning, that I think merits some comments back in support of Dr Ream. Thank God we have people like Bob Ream still active in wildlife management issues in Montana.

    • JB says:

      “The arrival of wolves in the West Fork, according to Ream, added to the predatory pressure on the elk herds, but does not come close to the impact that mountain lions have. He noted that lions kill four times as many elk as wolves or bears.”

      This sounds familiar. There are 5 to 10 times as many cougars in the NRMs and they have roughly the same energy requirements as wolves, yet 2,000-5,000 cougars is just fine while 500 wolves is too many?! Thanks to Mr. Ream…I get tired of singing the same song.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        This is quite a story!! I immediately put it up as an article with commentary, and hopefully it will get a lot wider distribution.

        Anti-wolf arguments about wolves depressing elk numbers across the board have been widely accepted by the media because, after all, you really have to dig to get the total numbers and I don’t know where the surplus elk areas are in Montana. Without the-elk-are-all-being- killed off argument, hunters don’t have much to complain about.

        Republicans in the 3 state NRM area are deeply invested in the idea of elk just hanging by a thread against the bad federal government/Canadian wolves.

    • Mike says:

      Good read. I doubt it will penetrate the anti-predator bubble that surround the Northern Rockies. People believe what they want to believe, and politicians in the area are running camping on wolf cruelty.

  40. Salle says:


    Thanks for posting that article. I agree with everything you said above. This is so very informative on so many levels.


  41. aves says:

    “Coyotes come to the Big Apple” and make for some great camera trap footage:

    • sleepy says:

      Well, well, coyotes in the streets of New York.

      Anyone know the name of the old novel that began with the line, “There were wolves in the streets of Paris”? I think it was about the plague years.

      • Mike says:

        We have them in Chicago, too. One even trotted into a pizza place. We keep them running wild and free because they help control rats.

  42. sleepy says:

    Some interesting news about polar bears coming ashore in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

    These are on the island of Newfoundland, much of which is on the same latitude as, say, Seattle. Apparently, it’s not that unusual to have 1 or 2 stray to Newfoundland when the pack ice breaks up and the currents up there carry ice flows down from further north. But according to my sister in law who lives there, this many this earlier is unheard of.

    She speculates that the ice has broken up earlier and more quickly than normal, leaving some bears stuck on icebergs heading to Newfoundland.

    My wife and I are planning on traveling to Newfoundland for a week of camping next month–doubtful I see one, but hopefully it would be at a great distance if I do.

  43. CodyCoyote says:

    The perennial debate about the conflict between wild Bighorn sheep and domestic sheep grazing in proximity to one another is firing up in southern Wyoming, the medicine-Bow Routt N.F., where attempts to reintroduce and sustain a wild sheep population have not gone well…the G&F can’t get the herd above 50 animals. Never mind there are domestic sheep in abundance nearby… can you say ” smoking wool ” ?

    Pay special attention to the knee-jerk blather from the very conservative state Senator from Baggs WY , a small town near the WY-UT-CO tri-corner. He immediately tars the effort to keep wild and domestic sheep separated as a ploy by radical enviros to eliminate grazing on public lands altogether. His comment goes from Zero to-Mach 2 BS hyperbolically without passing thru reason or science or experiential range management.:

    “State Sen. Larry Hicks, a Republican from Baggs who also serves on the Wyoming Statewide Bighorn/Domestic Sheep Interaction Working Group, said the lawsuit is part of a larger effort by environmental groups to eliminate domestic livestock entirely from public lands.

    Hicks pointed to a similar lawsuit won by environmentalists five years ago in Idaho. In response, he said, there was a movement in Idaho to ban bighorn sheep reintroductions altogether.

    “Instead of trying to craft a win-win situation, this is nothing but a ‘We win on this one, you lose,’” Hicks said. “The big loser on the whole thing is going to be bighorn sheep and rural agricultural communities that are dependent upon that economic livelihood of having the domestic sheep industry in the state of Wyoming.”

  44. Frank Renn says:

    Took my grand daughters to Twin Lakes in S.E. Idaho to watch migrating Common loons. While there we came across a dead Striped skunk,as it was fresh and there was no smell the girls wanted to get close and check it out. The first thing they noticed was it had a “collar.” The collar turned out to be the bottom of a plastic beverage container that was so tight it caused the skunks death. The girls could not believe that people could use the outdoors for their own garbage can, and cause such a senseless incident to happen. Needless to say they had us all picking up trash on our way back to the car.

  45. aves says:


    Despite their 1987 reintroduction serving as the template for the reintroduction of gray wolves to ID and WY, less than 100 red wolves roam the wilds of their one million acre recovery area in northeastern North Carolina. The leading cause of their mortality is illegal shootings and the few poachers that are caught typically claim they thought they were shooting a coyote. Granted young red wolves look similar to coyotes but most of the red wolves that are shot are adult breeders and people should know what they are shooting.

    The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) has ignorantly proposed allowing the night hunting of coyotes statewide, including in the red wolf recovery area. This will surely lead to more red wolves being shot. The NCWRC is accepting public comments for one more week until April 16. The Red Wolf Coalition’s website has a link to the NCWRC’s comment page and instructions on how folks from out of state can comment.

    The Red Wolf Coalition:

    “Night-Hunting Coyotes in N.C. Risky for Red Wolves” accurately presents all sides of the issue and has some quotes from Jon Way:

  46. Salle says:

    I will always have a special place in my heart for George for more reasons than I can articulate…

    Guest opinion: Wolf control breeds conflicts

    • Louise Kane says:

      thank you for posting, his writing always makes me feel like maybe there is some hope, some good people writing on the issue.

      • Salle says:


        May ask..? What part of the Cape are you on? My grandparents had a large place in West Barnstable… Centerville. The family estate, where I spent many childhood summers back in the 50’s and 60’s.

        • Louise Kane says:

          we live in Eastham which is part of the lower Cape towards Provincetown. After spending most of my life trying to get away (successfully )and living in many places, I then spent a huge amount of time trying to get back. We are lucky to live a couple hundred feet from a beautiful beach that allows me to see a lots of migrating birds, some foxes, coyotes, raccoons and now wild turkeys. I wish we had wolves! I hope you had good memories of the Cape, its special for sure.

        • Louise Kane says:

          does your family still have property there?

          • Salle says:

            Sadly, no. After the last of the grandparents’ family passed, the property was sold, none of those inheriting it wanted to pay the property taxes, I have never had the means to acquire it. Was whittled down to about thirty acres upon sale; when I was a child it was more like a few hundred acres with part of the nearby lakefront and old growth forest.

            As a child of the military, we moved so often it would make your head spin. I always considered it to be my home because it was always there regardless of where we had moved to. The last of that generation are the last to be interred in the “ancient cemetery” near Craigville Beach, where we had so many clambakes back in day.

            I do miss the place and my memories are mostly good… I miss the seafood too. Living in the NRMs is good for me but eating seafood isn’t the best idea. Fortunately salmon and trout are pretty good.

  47. Salle says:

    Our view: One trapper’s barbarism reflects badly on Idaho

    • Salle says:

      Oops, I thought this was yet another opinion but it’s the article this thread is based on, sorry.

  48. Salle says:

    Just some food for thought (for those who partake in independent cognition)…

    “Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free”

    • Daniel Berg says:

      Thinking about a career change? If you acted like enough of a redneck while you were out catching them, you might even get your own reality show to go along with those $200 bounties.

    • Salle says:

      They didn’t state it outright but the bounty is not for ever snakehead caught, it’s for the winner of a contest for catching the most over some given period of time like a derby.

      I’ve seen documentaries on these things, they’re an ecological nightmare with lungs. Apparently they not only have the capcity to breath out of water for up to four days, they can crawl overland.

      Yet another reason just letting things go in the “wild” isn’t appropriate. (The history of the invasion claims that some individual was going to cook one and changed his mind and let it go in a waterway. Might have been a female that was carrying at the time.)

  49. Louise Kane says:

    Jeff thanks for the link, great reaffirmation of what most of us know but good to see in print.

    wonder if the authors of this study would argue for a 100 or 150 wolves in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming as a valid and defensible recovery goal? Maybe they are just rabid, tree hugging, bunny loving, environmentalists publishing in Science?

    • Salle says:

      Dr. Ripple and Dr. Beschta have been working on this for some time. The first I ever heard of these studies was in the 90s when they started looking at the riparian areas in YNP and then in Olympia NP and then a bunch of other places. Now they have “big picture” data. Cool, except it’s not exactly good news considering what a challenge it will be to get the facts into the heads of the “deciders”.

      Thanks for posting that, Jeff E.

    • JEFF E says:

      “More studies are necessary to understand how many wolves are needed in managed ecosystems,” Ripple said. “It is likely that wolves need to be maintained at sufficient densities before we see their resulting effects on ecosystems.”

      I would guess Yellowstone would be the best shot at distilling that information.

      Don’t look for it to make a dent into the collective mindsets of the NRM states legislatures. They are one and all controlled by the livestock industry. If that industry could get rid of every other animal but cows and sheep they would do it tomorrow.

  50. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Trouble on the horizon for the redwolf?

  51. Louise Kane says:

    If the red wolf is still endangered wouldn’t the practice of hunting coyotes, where data shows that incidental takes of red wolves occur because they look like coyotes, trigger protection under the ESA. Federal law superceding the state law etc… JB perhaps you woud know why not?

    Once again wildife policy being proposed at the behest of special interests, in this case the predator huting association. Hunting season on coyotes, no season, no limit etc. just outrageous

    • ma'iingan says:

      “Once again wildife policy being proposed at the behest of special interests, in this case the predator huting association. Hunting season on coyotes, no season, no limit etc. just outrageous”

      Not so outrageous if you understand that coyotes and red wolves interbreed readily. That’s been one of the difficulties in red wolf recovery – if you want recovery to succeed you need to control coyotes aggressively. A little research prior to the knee jerk might be in order.

      “Hybridization with Coyotes or Red Wolf x Coyote hybrids is the primary threat to the species’ persistence in the wild.”

      • JB says:

        Ma’iingan is exactly correct about the hybridization issue. If memory serves, their were actively trying to eliminate coyotes from the area were red wolves were reintroduced. If you recall, someone posted a link to new federal legislation that would ban trapping. I criticized that legislation for not being very well thought out for this very reason. Sometimes we need to remove abundant species (including non-native species) in order for reintroduction/recovery efforts to succeed.

        • Peter Kiermeir says:

          maiigan and JB
          ´Sorra, but that is not the point of the article!
          Interbreeding might well be a red wolf recovery problem. Accepted!But it is not solved by the night hunting proposal. They admit having already difficulties to identify coyote and red wolf and now you are going to tell us they will correctly identify a coyote and a wolf by night? Again, the point of the article is that night hunting might affect red wolves instead of coyotes!

          • Peter Kiermeir says:

            ….and it should read “sorry”

            • aves says:

              Exactly! We don’t need people distracting from the critical issue at hand or using it to carry on arguments about other topics.

      • aves says:

        North Carolina has not proposed the night hunting of coyotes within the red wolf’s range in order to deal with the hybridization issue. In fact, the effect would be the exact opposite. More illegal killing of wolves will lead to more hybridization.

        The methods that USFWS uses to deal with the hybridization issue are not the issue here other than they have been very successful and will be damaged by the states nonsense.

  52. CodyCoyote says:

    A bit of a bombshell article in the Billings Gazette today, front page above the fold , calling into question the effectiveness of Wildlife Services and pointing out the tax dollar wastefulness of predator control , especially Coyotes.

    The story repeats what I’ve been saying for many years—that USDA Wildlife Services attempts to manage coyotes is a losing proposition… besides coyote numbers staying high , Wildlife Services spends 5x-6x more dollars in eradicating coyotes than the actual dollar losses to livestock producers from coyotes. Ranchers getting a free ride without a net gain , but taxpayers getting an expensive ride.

    Not that WS doesn’t do useful work with invasive species and research, but it seems predator control to appease livestock producers is a money sinkhole , besides upsetting the balance between species which in turn causes new problems.

    This isn’t news to most of us, but it is good to see it so prominently splashed in the news.

    • Nancy says:

      “Citing federal data, ASM says that between 2000 and 2010, agents with Wildlife Services used aerial gunning, trapping and poisoning, among other methods, to kill more than 2 million wild mammals across the U.S.”

      These figures are a lot higher when you take into account wild amimals killed for reasons like “perceived threat, sport or for profit.

    • Mike says:

      An complete waste of money. The entire thing needs to be eliminated.

  53. Salle says:

    Utah Environmental Law Review, Vol 32, No 1 (2012)

    • Mooseboy says:

      Unfortunately you have to convince a State legislature that lives in a constant state of fear and paranoia that wolves are not the evil, monsters that many on the hill believe them to be. Remember this a state that compared the wolf to a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

  54. Salle says:

    Wolf hunting meeting at Snow King tonight

  55. Salle says:

    White-Nose Bat Deaths: Fungus Behind Mysterious Deaths In U.S. And Canada Came From Europe

  56. Salle says:

    Bakken Crude Express Pipeline: Oneok Partners Propose North Dakota-Oklahoma Oil Project

  57. aves says:

    The Nature Conservancy’s chief scientist is among the authors of this critical opinion piece on the failures of today’s conservation movement and the need, in their mind, for a conservation ethic that accommodates more development and benefits more people.

    A NY Times article on the many rebuttals:

  58. Salle says:

    Good news on Far East (Amur) Leopards and Tigers in Russia.

    The population #s are extremely low, the good news; a new Land of the Leopard National Park has been established to help protect them.

  59. Wolf Moderate says:

    Interesting demographics of National Forest/Wilderness use.

    About half of all visitors live w/in 50 miles of NF/Wilderness area that they are visiting.

    95.8% are white!
    Surprisingly, 35% are female.

    I’d be pissed if I were a minority, paying for young white people to visit federal lands with my tax dollars. Perhaps just giving the land to the states would be a fair alternative :*)

    Tables 3,4,5.

  60. Jerry Black says:

    Wolf Moderate……95.8% white!!!…..That’s not surprising.
    Montana is a scary place for minorities. Having been involved in football recruiting in Washington State, I can tell you that minorities read about the KKK in the Flathead, the Militia in the Bitterroot, the legislature trying to pass a spear hunting bill…at least when it comes to parks and wilderness in Montana, they don’t feel welcome.

  61. CodyCoyote says:

    I find this amazing , but I’m a ” cat person”. Adult Cougars and their cubs banding together, and sharing kills. This communal behavior is more like African lions, not solitary American Panthers. [ by the way , it is a total taxonomic misnomer to call Cougars as ” Mountain Lions. There are no Lions in North or South America, just various Panthers ]

    Howard Quigley’s Teton Cougar Project once again throws out old stereotypes about the seldom seen little understood Cougar. Wyoming has the highest population density of the big cats, but folks seem hardly aware of them except when they mix it up at the human-wild interface ( usually to the cat’s detriment ).

    Safe to say , those who follow Wolf and Grizzly issues and mix it up with the hunting and ranching clans will all be paying more attention to Cougars in the years to come.

    Quigley’s team is doing great work. Now if we can only keep the uninformed and easily agitated from misinterpreting the “new” findings to make really bad policy ( cue drumbeat).

    • Mike says:

      I love cougars. A cougar and wolverine are my two “ultimate” animal to photograph. I’ll probably never get either.

      It feels good just knowing they are out there, and it’s one of my favorite things about coming west.

      One of the freakiest sounds I’d ever heard was a cougar in Glacier at 1 .am. It was that odd cougar woman-scream thing.

  62. aves says:

    An excellent 4 ½ minute video on the latest threat to red wolves:

    “North Carolina Nights: Endangered red wolves threatened by proposed coyote night-hunting rule”

  63. IDhiker says:

    Wow! I just came back from a wilderness trip in Idaho and reviewed what I had missed on this site. What a lot of nastiness and name calling!

    Anyway, for what it’s worth, my wife and I (and two dogs) just returned from an 8 day backpack through the Frank Church Wilderness. We flew from Challis, Idaho into the Thomas Creek Airstrip along the Middle Fork Salmon River, hiking down river to Big Creek, and then going up Big Creek to the Cabin Creek Airstrip where we flew back out to Challis.

    We had heard about how the game animals were gone from wolf predation, so we decided to keep track of elk we saw along the way. Our results are simply what we observed from the river trail as we hiked.

    At Thomas Creek – 34 elk, Little Loon Creek – 18, Cougar Creek and Mahoney Airstrip – 266, Mahoney Bar – 196, Shep Creek – 33, Loon Creek – 51, Norton Creek – 4, Tappan Ranch – 29, Camas Creek – 19, just below Camas Creek – 71, Sheep Creek – 17, Warmsprings Creek – 12, Flying “B” Ranch – 58, for a total of 808 elk in three days. We saw an additional 39 at the Cabin Creek Strip for 847. Unfortunately, it did not occur to us to count calves, but they were not uncommon along with spike and smaller branch antlered bulls. And these were the numbers seen only from the canyon bottom trail! As far as mule deer, we didn’t count them, but I would say there were far more than elk.

    In the first 40 miles of hiking, we encountered two sets of fresh wolf tracks, and found the remains of two trapped wolves near Loon Creek, minus their paws and heads. Of live wolves, we saw one group of four at about 150 yards, all silver(almost white)in color. We never heard any howling as in the past.

    During the 8 days, we saw no other hikers, and not even any tracks. Two guys on two rafts were all we saw – we had the place to ourselves.

    • Louise Kane says:

      what an amazing trip. So many elk and so few wolves….
      why were the trapped wolves missing their heads and paws?

    • Immer Treue says:


      By chance did you photo document the wolf remains?

    • Jake says:


      How much snow did you see from the plane,and while hiking the area?

    • wolf moderate says:

      Sounds like you had an exciting trip. Bull elk still have antlers in April? That seems really strange. I see a few hundred elk a week where I live and I’ve only seen one spike. The bulls all lost there antlers in January and february. 847 elk seems pretty low actually.

      That’s great that you got to see some wolves. Hope you got some pictures. Perhaps you could have post the pictures of the 2 pawless and headless wolves. Seems like that could be the next Josh Bransford story!

      • IDhiker says:

        My wife was bothered and I never really thought about it. They were mostly skeletal, but the bones were still articulated. I assume the trapper took the heads and paws. Possibly the paws went with the hide when skinned?? I’m not an expert on that.

      • IDhiker says:

        Wolf Mod,

        We were surprised to see the antlers, too. I suspect that larger racks had been discarded already, and that the smaller branch-antlered racks we saw were possibly still on due to smaller size?

        As far as 847 elk being a low count, we did the same hike 4 years ago, and counted 900 and some in the same stretch. But, according to the pilot that flew us, the lower elevations along the Middle Fork received very little snow this year and he said many elk were already higher up. That’s just his observation, though.

        • wolf moderate says:

          “the lower elevations along the Middle Fork received very little snow this year and he said many elk were already higher up. That’s just his observation, though.”

          That makes sense. The elk could’ve already started migrating up.

          My Dad saw a bull with antlers last week in southern Oregon 3 days ago. I guess it’s just a weird year.

          Thanks for the update.

      • CodyCoyote says:

        Spike elk may not lose antlers at all, till they become true antlers and branch the following year.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      ID Hiker,

      That’s what I expected, and thanks for posting your results. The all-the-elk-are-dead myth is clearly false, and one article posted while you were gone has the chairman of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission (Dr. Bob Ream) stating at a public presentation that the total number of elk in Montana is presently at its highest population ever recorded.

      • SEAK Mossback says:

        As this kind of evidence continues to come in, it will be interesting where those who prefer a bone-headed simple narrative over a complex scientific one go next. I suspect it will morph from “they’ve killed off all the elk” to “the only thing keeping them from killing off all the elk” has been “us killing them (the wolves) off first.” Unfortunately, you can’t do a comprehensive controlled experiment on a complex ecosystem, so everyone will have room to continue to cling to whatever narrative suites them.

        • Daniel Berg says:

          I don’t think there’s anything you can do with the “create your own reality” crowd, or anybody who uses those folks as their authority on these kinds of topics.

          If you’ve put yourself out there publicly by stating that all the elk are gone and this is the biggest wildlife disaster since the destruction of the buffalo herds, how do you come back from that? You have to maintain that narrative to a great extent no matter what the reality, at the risk of losing all credibility and dignity otherwise.

      • Louise Kane says:

        This from Salle’s post, “County commissioners are concerned that Montana’s growing wolf population — which increased from a minimum of 566 wolves in 2010 to at least 653 at the end of 2011, even with 166 removed by hunters — has precipitously dropped elk and deer populations in some areas. They fear that along with destroying human hunting opportunities, it’s also impacting local economies.”

        It irresponsible reporting not to include the statement from Bob Reams about the numbers of elk. Its a poorly written and predictable article.

    • JEFF E says:

      Just curious.
      Why do you believe they were trapped instead of shot.

  64. Wolf Moderate says:

    Selkirk Woodland Caribou. 103 individuals were augmented between 1987-1998 at a cost of $4.7 million. There are currently 35 remaining in N Idaho and NE Washington. Is it time to let them go extinct in the US? There are still over 1,500 in British Columbia. USFWS is proposing setting aside 375,562 acres of habitat for the caribou, which would affect local towns, recreation, and the timber industry.

    • Daniel Berg says:

      Unfortunately, when it comes to woodland caribou, the residents in the affected areas are only interested in protecting them if it means open season on wolves. When it comes to protecting old growth forest, or limiting other activities that possiblly stress the caribou it’s crickets, if not outright opposition.

  65. Mike says:

    Bill Cosby:

    “It’s about the gun”

    He’s right.

  66. Salle says:

    Officials seeking information in Mexican gray wolf’s death

    ALBUQUERQUE – One of the Mexican gray wolf pups that survived the largest fire in Arizona history last summer has been found dead along a forest road, and federal wildlife officials on Tuesday confirmed a single gunshot wound was to blame

    • Mike says:

      Wow is that sad. A fitting followup to my post. It’s about the guns, folks.

      • Dan says:

        It’s about the TV camera
        It’s about the keyboard
        It’s about a lot of things, Mike
        Like I have said earlier some people use cameras for evil, some a keyboard, some an automobile. Are we going to outlaw them all?

        In 2009, there were roughly the same amount of gun homicides as drunk driver fatalities…So should we outlaw automobiles?

        • Louise Kane says:

          we do outlaw drinking an driving. There are a lot of guns in people’s hands who are dangerous and letting them loose in society is dangerous.

        • Mike says:

          Dan –

          When is the last time a wild animal was killed by a camera or a keyboard? It seems to me animals get shot quite often with guns, though.

          • Dan says:

            Every time a feature film/documentary/widely publicized photos come out that has adorable little critters or some variance of a domestic animal the rush to get one spells doom to the critter or breed. Clown fish after “Finding Nemo” the Dalmatian dog breed after “101 Dalmations”….the list is long with critter’s demise after they come to light on film.
            As for the key stroke…the written wrote is very powerful. One argument against ESA is that when an animal is listed the public will rush to eliminate the signs of the critter on private property…is that not the written word?
            The gun is only a tool.
            You are attacking the wrong side of the equation. Attack the demand side. Why do people use guns? Why are guns a method to kill? Do you really think killing would come to an abrupt end with just the elimination of a tool? That’s like thinking if we eliminate spoons we will eliminate diabetes.

    • Mike says:

      The wolf was probably just moving along the road, and here comes Joe Road Hunter, pulls the truck over, uses the side view mirror as a brace, and “pop”


      • ma'iingan says:

        And no hunting groups have denounced the act, so it’s obvious that hunters support this kind of behavior.

        • Louise Kane says:

          Sounds like there are some hunters with a good ethics out there but it would be nice to see hunting groups, livestock groups etc take some stand against the recent events involving Josh Bransford and others, as well as against managing wolves at their lowest viable numbers instead of continually poushing for more and more killing and being silently complicit to the egregious actions of those that are in violation of the ethical code that you indicate most hunters follow. Its sinking pretty low when you kill an endangered species that have less then 50 members. How much lower can you get than that? I’d bet it wasn’t a tree hugging liberal environmentalist who did that. Silence can be read as complicity in some instances.

          • Savebears says:

            Bullshit Louise, this is getting old!

            • Louise Kane says:

              I am not being nasty so you don’t need to be either. Thank you

            • Louise Kane says:

              Savebears why do you say bullshit this is getting old. A legitimate question was asked, where are the responsible hunter groups that voice concern about the unethical actions taking place in the hunting world . Where are the calls for more responsible management. Talk about getting old, its getting old watching the states ratchet up their plans to kill more and more wolves using more effort and more methods. Its old watching the same special interest groups call for bad wildlife policies under the guise of conservation or protection of ungulates and cattle. Where are the concientous hunter or rancher voices? Big Game Forever? Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation? National Cattlemen’s Association? National Rifle Association, National Hunters Association?

              This quote came from a hunting group ( a new one to me hunters against peta) referring to the delisting “This is great news for hunters/sportsmen in the battle against the non-native Canadian Gray Wolf. We will continue to drop the wolf numbers as low as we can. A big thanks to all of the hunters, sportsmen and organizations that are fighting this battle. Let’s keep it up! – Hunters Against PETA”

              Why do so many hunter groups tend to spread such misinformation about wolves and other predators and then call themselves conservationists?

              There are some really sweet pictures and comments here on the National Predator Hunter Association site. One guy killed 5 coyotes and posed with them, his girl “was amazed at the pop sound that she heard when the bullets hit the coyotes.”


              The national predator hunter association or a chapter of it is the group advocating for hunting at night for coyotes in NC in the red wolf recovery area.

              Its getting old seeing people pose with “trophy” animals (sometimes multiple animals) they kill for fun. Is it ethical, concientious, responsible to shoot 5 coyotes? to lay 75 snares or traps in an area lusting to kill the two biggest members of wolf packs… like J Bransford, ethical to gut shoot wolves, ethical to let your dog lunge at and harrass a trapped bobcat while you video it…etc
              Maybe you don’t like what I say but convince me, show me one hunting association that disagrees with lets say Wisconsin’s hunting plan or Wyoming’s, or one national group that denounced the black wolf affair, I’m all ears. I hope you can, really I do because it would be a hopeful sign. I’m just not seeing it.

            • WM says:


              I think SB’s comment is in reference to your repetitive and rather lengthy monologues about why hunters don’t get involved in chastising the trapping community, as you simultaneously shame them for not doing so. You seem to lump both together, which is incorrect in itself. They are largely separate activities, and most hunters are not trappers, don’t know anything about it, and have no ownership of the activity. Some (manY) hunters don’t like it, myself included, but only to a small degree feel compelled to actively advocate against it.

              On the other hand, if one views removal of/reducing numbers of wolves by any means as a benefit to hunter opportunity, success rate, changing the effort involved in success in getting an elk/deer, why would they generally be motivated to make affirmative acts, as organizations like the ones you name, to go after the “unethical” trappers?

              I think, for many hunters, you confuse tolerance of wolves, with advocacy for them. And, that, to some degree, is a naive, but understandable, mistake.

              And, let’s be clear here, it is one thing to support ESA recovery of wolves as defined by FWS, and yet another to want wolves in high density/large numbers in areas where hunting is a favored recreational or essential food acquisition activity.

              I continue to be amazed that you still don’t get that basic tension, as you continue your advocacy for wolves, and open disdain for hunters.

              Keep asking the same stilted questions over and over. It is doubtful you will ever be satisified with the answer, and you will get SB’s overt frustrated response above, and as time goes on possibly from others here, as well.

              And, as for the hunting groups formally taking a stand against, “unethical trapping,” I don’t think they believe it is their issue to address. If they enter the discussion, they become targets for wolf advocacy groups by association. They will never be able do enough to satisfy you. So, from their perspective, it is probably better politics to stay on the sidelines. My thoughts, anway.

            • Mike says:

              WM –

              I’m pretty sure most people here are turning over a new leaf in terms of tone and cordiality as of today. Did you get the memo? Your posts are often laced with barbs to irritate animal enthusiasts.

              Louise doesn’t insult people. She shows a curious, sincere nature, and is quite polite.

              I highly doubt she’ll “have problems” with other posters, save for those who are religiously defensive of hunting/trapping.

            • JB says:

              “And, as for the hunting groups formally taking a stand against, “unethical trapping,” I don’t think they believe it is their issue to address. If they enter the discussion, they become targets for wolf advocacy groups by association. They will never be able do enough to satisfy you. So, from their perspective, it is probably better politics to stay on the sidelines.”

              Well said, WM. But it isn’t just about making themselves a target for wildlife advocacy groups. The wolf issue, as we’ve seen, does not split neatly along hunter/non-hunter lines and hunting groups often work cooperatively with other non-hunting conservation organizations. Thus, any group that speaks out stands to potentially alienate some of its own members (no matter what side they come out on) and potentially, muck up their relationships with other partner organizations.

            • Jerry Black says:

              JB……” hunting groups often work cooperatively with other non-hunting conservation organizations.”

              Will you give some examples of this “cooperation” in Montana and Idaho.

            • Mike says:

              ++This quote came from a hunting group ( a new one to me hunters against peta) referring to the delisting “This is great news for hunters/sportsmen in the battle against the non-native Canadian Gray Wolf. We will continue to drop the wolf numbers as low as we can. A big thanks to all of the hunters, sportsmen and organizations that are fighting this battle. Let’s keep it up! – Hunters Against PETA”++

              Louise, that is the mentality among many of them.

              The wolf, to many hunters, has become a symbol of “big government”, and of “liberals”. So it’s no surprise we are seeing this kind of hostility towards them from hunters/trappers, which of course is the majority of the anti-wolf sentiment in the Rockies.

              • Ralph Maughan says:

                Hunters Against PETA” and similar new groups, I’d bet are astroturf groups, and have few to no members. They exist to produce news releases. They were started up to influence perceptions of the public, politicians and the media.

            • JB says:


              I can’t speak to Idaho and Montana, though perhaps others could? Here in Ohio I know that Ducks Unlimited, in particular, has worked with a number of conservation trusts to protect wetland habitat.

            • WM says:

              Jerry Black,

              I don’t specifically know about co-op conservation efforts in MT or ID, but I am aware RMEF has worked with the Nature Conservancy on several projects, one major one just completed in the Bald Mtn. area of WA, west of Yakima. I think it was even posted here awhile back as its own thread.

              There are others in many states where RMEF is active, and has been involved in land exchanges, conservation easements, purchase – donations to the FS, etc., with other conservation groups including those some would not generally thought to be associated with a hunting group. I think Nature Conservancy has had several projects in different states.

              Here is a list of MT properties RMEF has protected alone, or in conjunction with others (though participants do not seem to be listed and you may have to drill down on each property description to find it).

              It is pretty impressive for a group that has only been in existence for 25 years – most (all?) the land purchases become part of the National Forest system, and conservation easements provide access to all wildlife enthusiasts, not just hunters.


              There is a similar link for ID or other states on the RMEF website, if you look for/link back to it.

              Maybe Mark G. can tell us of similar examples in ID with names of hunter/non-hunter conservation group land protection efforts, if he can avoid the inevitable dog pile from some of the usual rabid types here.

            • Dan says:

              “The wolf, to many hunters, has become a symbol”

              You come close, but not quite, to saying something I wholly agree with.

              The wolf is a symbol. A symbol for everyone involved, not just the hunter.

              The wolf is the most prolific large critter outside of humans on the planet. The wolf circles the globe. The 100 or so in YNP and the glacier pack along with a few in the Frank Church and a few in southern Canada is all that’s needed to ensure their survival and genetic robustness in the NRM. All the others are a human issue, a symbolic issue. That’s what we all show up here everyday to read about.
              My great friend and neighbor who loves wolves likes they’re his kin, loves the free roaming nature of the wolf. Their wildness to run the ridges! Symbolism at it’s best. FREEDOM!

            • JB says:

              Sorry, Jerry. I was in a hurry when making that last post. In my neck of the woods (the Midwest) it is quite common for land trusts such as the Nature Conservancy and other wildlife conservation organizations to team up with sportsmen’s groups to protect land and/or restore habitat. (for example:

            • Savebears says:

              Louise, if you think that is nasty, perhaps this is a situation you should not play with, you want nasty, wait until your life is threatened and your car is vandalized, you get really ugly phone calls and such, that is nasty, all of which I have experienced for anti-hunters!

            • Harley says:

              Hey JB, are you based anywhere near Illinois? I didn’t realize you were in the midwest!

            • JB says:


              I grew up in Michigan and now live in Ohio. I spent some time in California, Utah and Minnesota in between.

              P.S. Go Red Wings!

            • Harley says:

              Oh you did not just utter those words! Ralph! JB is a Wings fan! That’s worse than anything! (LOL!!)

              GO BLACKHAWKS!

              Gah, I’m missing the game tonight too!

            • JB says:

              LOL! Well I’ll take the Blackhawks over the Blues, Predators, or Penguins. Maybe we can agree upon that?

              We better get back on topic before we get banned! 😉

            • Harley says:

              lol! Ok, agreed! I think we’re ok, we aren’t name calling but to be on the safe side, Back to the topic at hand! Although, discussion of hockey is kinda like coming across interesting wildlife isn’t it?

              BTW, I admire your patience.

          • Wolf Moderate says:

            If you read Mike’s comment you will see that these wolves aren’t endangered. I mean how can a fat drunk redneck shoot an elusive animal from a road unless they are plentiful?

            Not sure what your background is, but you should hook up with a hunter and have him take you out. There’s a bit more to it than just driving and shooting. I’ve posted before, but the success rates for elk are around 16% and deer around 30%. It’s not a walk in the park to bag a big game animal, but believe what you like.

            Another thing, what do you believe the success rates for wolf hunters are? Less than 1%. So that means for every wolf harvested (Killed), the state of Idaho receives $1,100+ in tag revenue to use towards habitat enhancements, law enforcement, educational programs and many other valuable things. I didn’t even factor in the license fees that accompany wolf tags, due to the fact that wolf hunters usually also hunt other animals or the increased prices for out-of-state hunters…

            Here is a link to success rates for elk. Colorado is the only state that has a decent chance of success.
            If you read Mike’s comment you will see that these wolves aren’t endangered. I mean how can a fat drunk redneck shoot an elusive animal from a road unless they are plentiful?

            Not sure what your background is, but you should hook up with a hunter and have him take you out. There’s a bit more to it than just driving and shooting. I’ve posted before, but the success rates for elk are around 16% and deer around 30%. It’s not a walk in the park to bag a big game animal, but believe what you like.

            Another thing, what do you believe the success rates for wolf hunters are? Less than 1%. So that means for every wolf harvested (Killed), the state of Idaho receives $1,100+ in tag revenue to use towards habitat enhancements, law enforcement, educational programs and many other valuable things. I didn’t even factor in the license fees that accompany wolf tags, due to the fact that wolf hunters usually also hunt other animals or the increased prices for out-of-state hunters…

            Here is a link to success rates for elk. Colorado is the only state that has a decent chance of success.

            • Mike says:

              ++If you read Mike’s comment you will see that these wolves aren’t endangered. I mean how can a fat drunk redneck shoot an elusive animal from a road unless they are plentiful?

              Not sure what your background is, but you should hook up with a hunter and have him take you out. ++

              Wolf Moderate –

              I was a hunter, and it was the behavior of hunters in general that pushed me out. This is a widespread problem.

              I remember a ten years back driving some of the old logging roads at night in Michigan’s U.P. I was with two buddies and we had a few beers in our laps, etc. Every time we saw an animal in the headlights (usually a woodcock or a porcupine) both of my friends would run out of the truck with their weapons, and I’d stop them from firing every time. I mean, the woodcock is just sitting there in the road, not even moving when we go up to it, and they have their gun barrels point blank. Shooting stuff just to shoot it.

              Over the years, I began to understand why so many property owners put up NO HUNTING signs.

              Idhiker has posted similar stories. Yes, there are good hunters. But man, there sure seems to be a heck of a lot of bad ones. And there’s a peer pressure, almost grade-school mentality when you get adults into the great outdoors with guns and booze. You can sort of see some of this in Yellowstone tourists, that this is the wild west and they’re gonna shout and holler and drink it up. Well, now mix in guns, and moving, furry targets.

              I left hunting because I saw supposedly educated people poaching at will. People educated in biology at Stevens Point, or skilled tradesmen, or business owners. I couldn’t believe it.

            • Louise Kane says:

              TO WM, who said” I continue to be amazed that you still don’t get that basic tension, as you continue your advocacy for wolves, and open disdain for hunters.”

              I actually understand the tension quite well, what I don’t agree with or understand are statements or defenses for maintaining the status quo, like the following.

              “Thus, any group that speaks out stands to potentially alienate some of its own members (no matter what side they come out on) and potentially, muck up their relationships with other partner organizations.”

              If particular actions reflect badly on a group of individuals and or do not conform to the ethics that an organization purports to follow, isn’t there some obligation to speak out against those actions?

              Its not always comfortable or politically easy to take a stance that goes against the status quo, but if you want non hunters to take you seriously as true conservationists then we need to hear your voices too whether or not there is some risk of alienating some factions within the hunting world.

              is it not true that hunting and livestock groups are partly, if not primarily, responsible for pushing legislation that can be considered as contrary to good, reasonable or progressive conservation models. For example, both groups were helpful in eliminating the 5 year waiting period that was part of MN’s original wolf plan. These groups are also largely behind WS’s new hunting plans for wolves, and for passing the same or very smiliar plan that was originally rejected by the USFWS for Wyoming’s wolf population. Factions of these groups also lobby hard for extreme predator hunting measures that I find indefensible in light of the science that clearly argues the value of predators in their ecosystems. I think there was a recent post here of an excellent article about the loss of predators as being a pervasive threat to global ecosystems.

              If hunters want to hide behind the cloak of conservation that they have been preaching about then let’s see some of them self-policing their own, cleaning up the dregs of their society, and also advocating for good sound science-based polices that include conserving all animals including other carnivores.

              Please don’t confuse my desire to see a change in how wildlife is managed nor my desire to see trapping and snaring, posions, baiting, dog hunting ended and the ideas behind trophy hunting re-evaluated as naive. These opionions are shared by many others.

              Wm you are severely critical of me and others becasue we do advocate for change. You state that I “keep asking the same stilted questions over and over.” I beleive you are guilty of repeatedly defending the status quo and the don’t rock the boat stance.

              Whatever my opnions, I do try and be respectful and I do see this as a place to learn as well. There is a huge amount of collective knowledge here. I do take the time to think about your comments as well. If SB is frustrated because I am insistent that we need to change our policies, then I am just as frustrated by the lack of forward momentum in humane, responsible and progressive conservation policies for wildlife.

              Take a look at this group Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. In the world of hunting and fishing they seem to have some pretty good ideals. This is from their mission statement…

              In 1964, the U.S. Congress and President Lyndon Baines Johnson provided America the tool needed to keep our hectic lives in perspective: The Wilderness Preservation Act. This law provides a glimpse of what the land was like prior to the founding, development and expansion of our great nation. It also provides all living creatures clean air, clean water, and the habitat needed to sustain biodiversity. Human beings are a part of this equation. We can and will make a difference by promoting the sustainability of all life, and the ethics and traditions of angling and hunting, so that these activities can be enjoyed by future generations.

              So, in the tradition of the great Republican President, Theodore Roosevelt, along with such noted historical figures as John James Audubon, John Muir, Bob Marshall, Judge John B. Waldo, George Bird Grinnell, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Republican Representative John Saylor and Democratic Senator Frank Church, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers launches its conservation beginnings.”

              I’d like to see more groups like this. They don’t seem to be afraid of alienating other hunters because they see the use of ATVs as incompatible with wilderness.

              I’m going to call them to see what they think of predator and wolf hunting as it is being conducted now by many states. I am truly interested in hearing.

          • Wolf Moderate says:

            I double posted somehow. Anyway, do some research on success rates for hunters. You’ll be surprised at them.

          • Wolf Moderate says:

            Here’s some better data (Page 3).

            Fish and Game sold 32,273 hunting
            tags for the 2011 hunting season, and as of January 31 2012, 209 wolves have been “harvested”.

            So wolf hunting had a success rate of 0.65% through Jan 31 2012.

            I was a bit surprised, however by the 14% wolf trapping success rate (416 tags and 60 killed)through January 31, 2012.

            • JEFF E says:

              should the “success rate” not be a measure of how many killed as opposed to total population?

              What I mean is that if the hypothetical total number of wolves were 1000 and all were killed then according to your thinking that would only be a 3.09% “sucess rate” for the 32273 tags sold.

            • JEFF E says:

              Wolf Moderate,
              I understand your point. I just wanted to concatenate that a low hunter success rate may have quite a bit to do with the actual population of the target species, and that is a factor that gets lost in the shuffle.

              As far as hunting not being easy, no it is not,and probably should not be. I am getting ready to take my twelve year old daughter and twelve year old grandson out for their first hunting season where they are actually carrying a weapon. Both have been out with me for a number of years already and they already have an idea of what is involved, but if one or both are fortunate enough to kill something, the I can’t think of anything that will teach a basic work ethic better than dragging your own deer out of the woods. That is just plain hard work, I don’t care who you are.

            • Wolf Moderate says:

              That’s great Jeff E. I hope your grand kids enjoy the experience as much as I did when hunting with my grandpa. The work doesn’t even start till’ the game is down for sure.

              On a side note, I’ve always enjoyed conversing with you and reading the links that you post. Keep it up and don’t let a few extremists deter you.

          • Mike says:

            ++Sounds like there are some hunters with a good ethics out there but it would be nice to see hunting groups, livestock groups etc take some stand against the recent events involving Josh Bransford and others, as well as against managing wolves at their lowest viable numbers instead of continually poushing for more and more killing and being silently complicit to the egregious actions of those that are in violation of the ethical code that you indicate most hunters follow.++

            Well said, Louise. Most here agree with you. And that’s what this thread is about in the end.

            It really does speak volumes that certain groups have not distanced themselves. In fact, the top trapping group condoned it. Scary!

            • Louise Kane says:

              To wolf moderate who said” If you read Mike’s comment you will see that these wolves aren’t endangered. I mean how can a fat drunk redneck shoot an elusive animal from a road unless they are plentiful?

              Also, 1,000 wolves in Idaho? are you missing a couple of zeros? Joking.

              Wanted to provide Louise and Mike with some alternative data to some of there possibly misinformed assumptions.”

              I’m not sure you should be using the above dialouge to try and bolster your rationale or argument whatever it is

        • Mike says:

          Ma’iingan –

          You are right. The wolf was killed by a tourist from Portland Oregon driving a forest green Subaru Outback. She used her 3rd gen iPad to bludgeon the wolf.

          These dang Portlandians and their iPads! I wish they would leave the wolves alone.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      A number of counties in Montana are doing this. The funding and motivation are from outside Montana.

      Seeing the literature they send to the counties, it seems to be 10th Amendment stuff. A political organization is using a locally contentious issue to push an extreme “states rights” point of view. The motivation has nothing to do with predators, and these Montana counties are being used.

      • Jerry Black says:

        Ralph… you have any more information on the group funding this? Any Links?
        Seems like MFWP is buying into it also.

        • Ralph Maughan says:

          This is a link to the material sent around to the counties. Trademark America. The name sounds so mildly weird. Click on it and you see it is another conspiracy group, so typical in Idaho and Montana over the last 20 years. They emphasize county supremacy, one of the dumbest of the pseudo-constitutional doctrines out there.

        • Ralph Maughan says:

          Trademark America is a 501c3 organization that “coordinates counties to fight the federal government and maybe states not controlled by the right wing to take 1920s positions on wildlife management and other matters.

          They say they are headquartered in Meridian, Idaho

          They seem to have no interest helping counties resist oil companies though, as when the state of Idaho ran over the counties that wanted to have a say over fracking in Idaho.

          • Salle says:


            Isn’t that the rock group that a certain former US Senator with an infamous wide stance and the former gov/sen/gov/sec of Int. crawled under (after leaving office) to serve as advisors?

          • SAP says:

            I have been paying attention to public land/wildlife politics for 20-odd years now. This seems to be a cyclical thing — various re-incarnations of the Sagebrush Rebellion. Nye County, NV; Catron County, NM; Owyhee County, ID . .. on and on. Always some “patriot” with a copy of the Constitution in his pocket, discovering some novel (and usually totally wrong) legal theory that gives locals control over federal land.

            Roughly a decade ago, county commissions in Idaho and Wyoming (maybe elsewhere) developed a mania for “unacceptable species ordinances.” This fad seems to have come back around now, with county governments trying to assert control over state or federally managed species.

            I’ve come to accept that it is not going to go away — these movements will re-emerge from time to time.

            I would wager, too, that historically these tantrums track fairly closely with economic downturns of one sort or another. National elections — especially ones that put Democrats in the White House — are another catalyst (eg., early 90s – Babbitt at Interior & Rangeland Reform + wolf reintroduction).

            I agree with Ralph — the political DNA of these trends runs pretty deep and isn’t endemic to the West. Richard Hofstadter published a seminal essay, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” in 1964 (I believe this essay has come up on this blog numerous times before). Great piece

            Good summary of same:


            Fast forward 40 years: fMRI studies in neuroscience are demonstrating that people with certain political orientations are in fact using their brains differently; perhaps were born with different brains to begin with:


            My utopian reveries have been beaten out of me by reality. We can make progress for awhile, then limit the damage as the Amygdala Party ascends again, and wait them out. Cue Edward Abby quote . . .

    • Harley says:

      Have you been watching the eagles Salle? I haven’t been able to visit as often as I would like to. One of the chicks seems kinda smaller and more lethargic than the other two. This evening I observed him or her on the outskirts of the nest as mom fed the other two.

      • Salle says:

        I have been checking in about once a day, some days more but I do watch for a while when I go there.

        What I observed is that the larger two emerged from their eggs within 20 hours of each other, the smaller one came out a good 30+ hours or so later. It seems to be doing well. They all compete but I didn’t notice that there was any “selecting” going on. They each seem to get their share, maybe not all at once. They seem to have a staggered eating pattern where one or two will eat more at one feeding but the other(s) get more the next time. They go right to sleep only minutes after they feed. They also have an interesting way of dealing with “taking a slice”. Each one, when the time comes, wiggle around and aim their backsides up and toward the outer edges of the next and let it rip-sound effects included… 😉

        Maybe something has changed, haven’t looked since this early morning.

        They eat all kinds of things from fish to other birds and squirrels. Haven’t seen any cats or small dogs yet. I hope the little one was just in sleep mode while you were watching. They have all been getting up out of the bowl the last day or so. It’s amazing how fast they grow. Looks like they’re starting to get feathers already.

        Just now I see one of the larger two trying to wrestle with a tuft of nesting, takes a couple tugs then doses off, so cool to watch.

        • Salle says:


          “edges of the nest”

          • Harley says:

            The little guy looked ok when I peeked in later on. Lol starting to feel like a peeping tom or something! Yeah, I’ve seen that nice little trick of, how did you put it, taking a slice, lol!!

            • Salle says:

              Actually, as I understand it, that’s what birders and other bird aficionados call it, a slice. I though it odd but that’s what I heard, have to go look that up I guess to avoid “correction attack”. 😉

            • Harley says:

              I can’t believe how big they have gotten!! Wow… It will be fun to see them all in the next at one time.

  67. Salle says:

    [Wyoming] G&F targets 98 wolves

  68. Salle says:

    Rare photo of lynx using Banff highway overpass delights wildlife experts

    ‘It was like he was posing for us’

  69. Paul says:

    Video of more ethical “sportsmen” in action gut shooting a wolf, chasing it until exhaustion while it bleeds out, and then killing it. Of course then they have to brag about killing the wolf and share their “grinning idiot” photos.

    • Salle says:

      Please submit link and title to entities on the list:

      And all news outlets you can think of.

    • Mike says:

      Paul –

      Shocking video. I’m so sorry to see that.

      Thank you for posting it.

      There is something very, very wrong with hunters when it comes to wolves. Thanks again for posting.

      • Paul says:

        Salle and Mike

        I was emailed it yesterday and could not believe what I was seeing. Please share this with whoever you can.

    • Mike says:

      Paul –

      This is going to be another one of those that goes viral.

      We’ve got to do something about the hunting/trapping venom towards wolves. It’s s shame that no hunting/trapping groups are condemning these actions.

      Folks, don’t watch that unless you want to be super upset.

      There is a very, very real problem with attitudes towards wolves in that community.

    • JEFF E says:

      Here is one
      Look at that antelope scream.

      • Harley says:

        In regards to the videos of an eagle killing a wolf and an eagle killing an antelope:

        Wouldn’t an eagle do this in the wild? And if so, does that mean because it is being used by a human to hunt that it makes it more distasteful?

        If the screaming of the antelope is disturbing, do you think a wolf makes a nice clean no pain kill to what it consumes?
        Are we not reminded by many here that is just a wolf being a wolf? Would it be distasteful if people used wolves to hunt elk?

        Also, the videos of people using eagles to hunt is not something that is practiced here. I believe this is practiced in Mongolia. I’ve read or heard somewhere that eagles are used to kill wolves because the wolves have been attacking domestic herds and have become a danger to the people living there. It’s a tad bit different from the situation we have here in the US and to used this to inflame people is irresponsible. Just my opinion of course.
        And no Mike, I don’t condone torture. But I will also not condone hunting when done ethically.

        • JEFF E says:

          good questions, but my point is that life is harsh and one dies so that others will live. A human, unless one CHOOSES to be a herbivore, is going to consume another animal. And regardless if one subscribes to evolution or a deity, some animals are designed to be prey and some predators and some omnivores.As far as the eagle/wolf video, if we notice the hunters are using the pelts for clothing. they probably do not have a Walmart right around the corner.
          As far as the antelope, twofold.
          I am fed up clear to my eyeballs with the haters whining about how a wolf goes about the business of living. Those individuals have obviously little or no experience as to how nature works so this display is relevant, and the same for the all wildlife is wonderful and just lives in perfect harmony with never a harsh action crowd.

        • Frank Renn says:

          Falconers in the United States can get a permit to capture and keep a Golden Eagle for falconry purposes. Permits are issued to take immature Golden Eagles that are causing depredation problems. There are a few falconers in Idaho who fly these birds.

          • Harley says:

            Really? well huh. Have you ever heard them hunting big prey like antelope and wolf? I dunno, I think hunting a wolf in particular would be a tad bit dicey for the eagle! I had seen that video before it was posted here and I was truly amazed that an eagle could take down large prey like that, particularly a wolf.

            • Frank Renn says:

              The Golden eagle in Mongolia are larger than ours and the wolves are smaller and live in more open country. I know of no American falconers who hunt wolves with eagles. Jackrabbits,birds and fox and coyotes are probably the size limit. And yes when hard pressed to find a meal they are capable of taking a deer or antelope. I did get to see on take a antelope fawn years ago.

              • Harley says:

                I could see a fawn being taken, they are so small. Those goldens are magnificent!

    • Alan says:

      These videos should be plastered across prime time network television nation wide, with the question, “Is this how we should be treating an animal that just came off the ESL?” This is why wolves need continued protections.
      Ethical hunting groups should speak out against this kind of stuff, just as ethical animal advocacy groups should speak out against eco-terrorists, and ethical religious groups against religious wack-jobs. Like it or not; fair or not; people see videos like this and think, “Hunters”.

    • WM says:


      ++ “sportsmen” in action gut shooting a wolf, chasing it until exhaustion while it bleeds out, and then killing it. ++

      [Note: Before engaging on this topic, let me just say I have no desire whatsoever to shoot a wolf, but I do find the topic of hunting “ethics” to be a different subject than wildlife ethics, generally. Here is why.]

      First, there are and will be wolves in larger numbers on the landscape, and states have indicated their desire to regulate those numbers/range through hunting seasons (4 states so far, soon to be 6, and more in coming years as they become more numerous in OR, WA, and eventually CO, and maybe UT), in which wolves will die. That is just a fact of having them on the landscape. We can disagree on how many, and where, but some will die at the hands of hunters during legals seasons.

      Second, it appears these guys (like it or not) are engaged in a legal hunting season for wolves, using proper equipment for that purpose.

      Third, if one hunts for wolves it might be expected they would shoot one.

      Fourth, the hunter takes a 300-350 yard shot (This is the first hunting ethics question – is that within your capability? Apparently he thought so.).

      Fifth, the wolf was not mortally shot, and the hunters tracked it for some distance, over a mile (This is ethically correct and responsible to follow up on the wounded animal).

      Sixth, the wolf was apparently quickly dispatched (Maybe ethical and responsible not to show this on video, though showing the kill of an animal is done on the horn porn cable TV channels all the time).

      Seventh, taking a photo of the fruit of a successful hunt with the dead animal may be distasteful to some, but there should be no shame in this act, (There is nothing unethical from a hunting perspective. It seems to most of us it would be patently unethical to take a photo with a hunter while wounded and before it was dead – the standard being set by the “unethical trapper.”). It also appears the hunter will utilize the pelt and skull (This is ethical.).

      So what is not ethical, from a hunting perspective, about this event?

      Chronicaling it with a video, maybe distasteful? This guy did not intend to “gut shoot” it, Paul. It was necessary to follow it to complete the kill, or “harvest” in the words of some.

      It would be reasonable to predict wolf “harvests” not too different from this in eight states within 10 years, or less (if the states don’t screw up the ESA obligation).

      If you don’t want wolves killed, but their numbers not to grow to the point states have to regulate numbers/range through hunting or other means, you will have to find a population management plan that prevents it. And, you better get busy – otherwise learn to accept it.

      • JEFF E says:


        This video was lifted from Youetube.
        all you have to do is right click an copy the URL.

        then spend the next month going thru it all.

        My take: as opposed to Josh Bransford,
        nothing here to see

      • Paul says:

        You can justify this in any way you want, but it still does not make it any less barbaric. This wolf will end up on a wall rather than being consumed. As I have stated before just because something is legal it does not make it right. Do you ever not try to justify what people like this do? What is not ethical? How about the fact that these clowns should have been concentrating on a quick efficient kill rather than videotaping their sick exploits. If you think that it is ethical to kill something to just to hang it on your wall then that is on you. But of course from a “hunting perspective” anything seems to go, doesn’t it?

        • Paul says:

          Just who are the people in those states that are declaring there are “too many” wolves? It is not the average citizen, with the exception of a few whack jobs. It is politically connected hunting groups and agricultural interests. In Wisconsin it was the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and their seven lawyers that decided a hunting season was immediately required. Most biologists were adamant that the state should wait before jumping into a hunting season. This garbage of “social capacity” is just a construct of these very same people. If the state of Minnesota can have the number of wolves that they have for decades there is no reason that larger states with far more wild areas cannot accept higher numbers. You have faith in human management. I don’t. Wildlife management has become nothing more than a money making tool for state agencies and hunting groups. States have modeled themselves to become giant “game farms,” where elk and deer numbers are kept artificially high for “hunter opportunity.”

          Programs were already in place to deal with “problem” wolves in all of those states. The hunting/trapping seasons in Idaho are nothing more than a push for a second eradication of the wolf. If you don’t believe me just listen to their governor and people like Siddoway. Wisconsin and Wyoming are not too far behind. The reality is that these hunts have been pushed by hunter, trappers, and agricultural groups out of pure spite and the desire not to have any competition for what they consider to be “their” elk, deer, etc. This is a war on these animals not based on science, but based on pure hatred and misguided beliefs. Plenty of “alternative” methods have been proposed but the states just ignore them and push for as much killing as possible. Maybe these seasons would be more acceptable if the states didn’t go crazy with their killing. Idaho wants to kill almost all of their population. Wyoming and their crazy “shoot on sight” crap. And of course Wisconsin’s plan to kill wolves every way imaginable. Not even Idaho allows night hunting or dogs. If you can show me anything “reasonable” in the plans of these three states, I would be happy to hear it.

          • Immer Treue says:


            Careful what you say. Mech, in testimony, informed the panel that they do not want to even approach the 1600 number.

          • Immer Treue says:


            +++Look at the Minnesota situation compared to the Rockies situation. You then realize one area is managing wolves based on science, and the other on emotion and politics.+++

            The fact that wolves were never entirely eliminated in MN, and over a period of 30 years, with a certain amount of tolerance, education, and “pride”, wolves were and are accepted in MN, the wolf population has risen to 3,000+/-, where it has stayed for the following 10 years.. That’s the reason MN wolf management is “science based”. There is a long history of co-existance with wolves that has been missing in the West. It’s going to take time.

            Wolves were always present in MN, not so in the West. It will take time to heal the “wounds” of the “gubmint” forced them on us… That said, I really don’t believe that natural re-colonization of wolves in the West would have been tolerated either. The reintroduction put wolves under the magnifying lens that has finally provided them with both physical and philosophical protection.

            • Savebears says:


              Natural recolonization was being accepted, we have had wolves moving into and through the area I live in NW Montana for 15+ years now, based on living here, I really think a natural occurrence of wolves would have been much easier and a lot less polarized.

              • Immer Treue says:


                I’m familiar with the natural recolonizers, the Ninemiles, and the Glacier wolves. My point is would they have gotten much farther south? Part of my argument is the supposed remnant population that certain folks hold on to. It’s tough to accept anything but the fact that natural dispersers made it into Idaho and Wyoming from Canada, and the SSS crowd never let them get established.

                I agree with you that natural recolonization would have lead to less polarization.

                • Savebears says:


                  We were not seeing the reports of poaching that we do now, and I have no doubt, they would have found them back then as easy as they seem to now.

                  I do know of one instance of poaching, that I reported and it was completely ignored by the agencies, I remember it vividly, because I reported it to Ed Bangs and the MFWP. I found the wolf the day before Ronald Regan was buried, and reported it, nobody ever came out to investigate. There are still remnants of the wolf skeleton in the spot that I found it, there are a few ribs, the pelvis and a couple of leg bones. That was a natural migrant that obviously didn’t make it, it is about a mile from my house.

                • Ralph Maughan says:

                  Natural recolonization would have resulted in many more dead cattle and a much longer recovery, but irony might be that it would have been accepted.

                  I do think though there was a sea change in the Republican Party and its extremes becoming accepted. They never wanted wolves, wilderness, wild rivers, wildlife beyond deer and a few elk.

                  When I moved back to Idaho and began my career, Idaho was a fine place with a balance between Republicans and Democrats. It never recovered though from the 1994 election. Things that seemed plenty feasible in 1994; were suddenly not; and slowly ideas from the early 20th Century and the 1940s that were laughed at, were slowly implemented.

                  This whole recent tea party enterprise reminds of a dystopian SF novel written, let’s say, in 1980.

                • IDhiker says:

                  I remember the days when Cecil Andrus and Frank Church were around. They, as all of us, were not perfect, but certainly refreshing compared to the current leadership.

                  Had Jimmy Carter not signed the Frank Church Wilderness Bill when he did, it would never have happened, and we would not have the greatest wilderness in the lower 48.

                • JEFF E says:


              • Ralph Maughan says:


                Maybe, but I think the current situation is more the result of nuts getting elected into office, a weak President on outdoors issues. etc; but you might be right.

                • Savebears says:


                  For the most part, I don’t even think the president pays attention to this type of situation and the USFWS just want it to go away.

                  Being honest with you, for the most part, I believe we are being thrown under the bus on these issues when it comes to the power that be and it does not matter what side of the coin you are on.

                • Ralph Maughan says:


                  You might be right on this, but it is for sure with the Republicans. It is not that way with progressive Democrats.

                  The Citizens United decision by Supreme Court corrupted American democracy. It needs to be reversed or democracy will die and I think the country as a whole. It will split into regions, gray areas like Afghanistan, various baronies. When I write of incipient feudalism I am serious.

                • Mike says:

                  I agree, Ralph. Citizens United is bad news.

                • IDhiker says:

                  Jeff E,

                  Oops, I didn’t mean for this to be posted back where it was…

                  “Just curious.
                  Why do you believe they were trapped instead of shot.”

                  Sorry for the late reply. When we flew in, we asked the pilot if anyone was staying at Loon Creek, where there is a small private inholding leased by an outfitter. He told us the outfitter had stayed until he trapped “his quota” of wolves, but then left the wilderness. Also, both sets of wolf remains were only about thirty feet from each other. There was an elk carcass close to them, which I thought might have been the bait, but it is possible that both wolves were shot there, not trapped.

                • JEFF E says:

                  Makes sense, especially with the elk carcass.

                • Louise Kane says:

                  I believe that the citizen’s united decision is the biggest threat this country might ever face.

                • mikarooni says:

                  “split into regions, gray areas like Afghanistan, various baronies… incipient feudalism” Yep, that’s it alright.

            • Mike says:

              ++The fact that wolves were never entirely eliminated in MN, and over a period of 30 years, with a certain amount of tolerance, education, and “pride”, wolves were and are accepted in MN, the wolf population has risen to 3,000+/-, where it has stayed for the following 10 years.. That’s the reason MN wolf management is “science based”. There is a long history of co-existance with wolves that has been missing in the West. It’s going to take time.++

              There are other reasons. First, Minnesota has a much better education system than the northern Rockies. It’s also far more culturally diverse, which equates to simply more tolerance of things different than you from all corners. Cultural isolation tends to lead to things like militias, racist groups, etc. And the thinking from these kinds of groups mirrors that of the anti-wolfers.

              ++Wolves were always present in MN, not so in the West. It will take time to heal the “wounds” of the “gubmint” forced them on us… That said, I really don’t believe that natural re-colonization of wolves in the West would have been tolerated either. The reintroduction put wolves under the magnifying lens that has finally provided them with both physical and philosophical protection.++

              I agree it really shouldn’t matter to those who understand how ecosystems and native species work. A wolf is a wolf, reintroduced or not. The perception is due to cultural isolation and a lack of education.

              • Immer Treue says:

                Should add that MN does not have a large ranching lobby, or open range as the Western States.

            • Louise Kane says:

              But Immer wolves were present in the west they were just eradicated.

              • Immer Treue says:


                Should add that MN does not have a large ranching lobby, or open range as the Western States.


                Yes, wolves were present in the West, and they were gone for almost 70 years. This topic has been talked to death. When their natural prey was all but eliminated, all that remained was cattle. The wolf certainly was not going to win that battle.

                The wolf was the only animal not given some sort of recovery plan. The reintroduction was long in coming. It will take time for both sides to find common ground.

          • Harley says:

            Wolf Moderate, are you being naughty again??

        • Mike says:

          WM –

          That’s not what this thread is about. It’s about how we can improve the treatment of these animals by hunters and trappers.

          What are your suggestions?

        • Mike says:


          I am afraid you are right about that. The same book that they say gives them “dominion” over animals also allows their unbridled hatred toward homosexuals and anyone not like them.++

          We’ve seen some of that here, no doubt. Those who appreciate wildlife running free and wild tend to get bullied by those who favor shooting wildlife (called “managing” by some).

        • Salle says:


          I’m not comfortable with your set of assumptions ~ assuming you have the facts on your side and/or that you “get it” when it comes to science backed data ~ with regard to wolf pop numbers and the alleged need to control the species. Thus, I find your comments to Paul, at this point, are factually anemic and based on conclusions that are not backed by data that has been gathered for decades… with additional info regularly coming in to date.

          “I’ll ask again. How would you control the numbers as they go beyond the desired levels in each and every state where wolves are or will be in the coming years?”

          Here, you’re assuming that there is some specific number that qualifies as acceptable… to whom? And by what criteria beyond the emotional bluster (rather than best available science based data) from biased, anti-predator state agencies? Had these states and agencies focused on the actual biological integrity of habitat for all species existing within the state boundaries rather than trying to please donors and special extractive interests by exploding to un-natural population size certain fun to hunt (and edible) species that in such numbers are a detriment to their own survival as well as ours, this wouldn’t be an argument in the first place.

          “You can’t dodge this issue, and you can’t just say we won’t control their numbers or range, because that at some point the numbers and range will not be socially acceptable, and likely before wolves hit some kind of density carrying capacity (governed by a human managed prey base or wolf social tolerance of other wolves).”

          You know, education with appropriate data does amazing things, like assist in designing appropriate management policy based on the best available scientific data and with regard to the big picture rather than a tiny, loud-mouthed and uninformed emotional faction who want to destroy something they don’t understand. Those who continually pay lips-service to all the negative rhetoric that gets mouthed and lip-synced into cyberspace are in it for the 15 minute factor and instant personal gratification that they mistakenly believe gives them some kind of empowerment.
          It appears that you are assuming that these forms of “control/management” are the only answer/methods available or that are viable and that an ‘educated on these issues’ public is not an option.

          “If you don’t want “unethical” hunters as a control method, would you prefer an expanded role for WS (or a state equivalent with their own black choppers and door gunners), or greater use of those despicable public/private trappers?”

          Another assumption that educating/informing the public with actual data and engaging in the democratic process is neither an option nor valuable as a pursuit. I see that the big picture evades the conversation here and I find it troubling.

          • WM says:


            ++I’m not comfortable with your set of assumptions++

            First off, they are NOT my assumptions. The framework for the question is plans/regulations/law and operating goals and objectives that are in place in each and every state that has more wolves than they want (as well as the contemplated course of action for states that will be getting wolves and who have their planning complete, as in the cases of WA and OR).

            One can disagree with whether these guidance/governing documents reflect best available science or something else, but it does NOT change their operative characteristics at the present time.

            So, in short, that means those states (4 or 5 now) which have decided to reduce the numbers of wolves to reflect their guidance documents or even go below.

            Your assumptions (and make note here of YOUR pretzel logic here to avoid discussing the issue and the question originally posed to Paul) would be that these just might be changed in some fashion in the near future, so as not to reduce the number of wolves, and the method by which they would be taken might be modified meaningfully. Realistically, that is unlikely to happen.

            Again, I am assuming nothing. I am dealing with the world the way it is at this time. And, I simply do not see how the scenario played out in the video Paul provided can be avoided in some instances. It may be distasteful/disgusting to some as recorded, but it is something that could and does happen very occasionally when hunting. There was nothing overtly “unethical” in the video.

            The question, again, is how inevitable wolf population reduction to be conducted in a less offensive manner?

            I have suggested, at least in the short term moving some wolves from states that have more than they want to states which might need/want some…if they will take them. No takers anywhere, I suspect. Do you see CA, with some of its residents anamoured by lone wolf Journey’s recent and brief presence, jumping in saying we want more?

            Moving wolves was a serious suggestion. But in the end, even if that were done, wolf numbers will have to be controlled, according to experts like Dr. Mech – so we are back to the start of the inquiry, how to do it less offensively to some segment of the public, if they find hunting of wolves too gross?

          • ma'iingan says:

            “Another assumption that educating/informing the public with actual data and engaging in the democratic process is neither an option nor valuable as a pursuit.”

            Watch the SB411 and AB502 Wolf Management Act hearings on WisEye and you’ll see the democratic process in action, and how much effect “actual data” exerts on it.

            Wildlife management is a function of government agencies, populated with people like me who attempt to apply the best science we can within the prevailing political climate.

        • Ralph Maughan says:

          Well I had to delete quite a few posts of people yelling at each other. I hope I got most of the offending ones without sacrificing any useful content.

          Please folks!

        • JB says:

          “Do you ever not try to justify what people like this do? What is not ethical?”

          One of the things that interests me about hunting ethics is the expectation (from those who oppose hunting) that the “rules” are agreed upon, known, and followed by everyone. They are not. Each individual has their own ideas as to what constitutes “ethical” behavior. Those ideas are shaped by a variety of factors (e.g., what is legal, what our peers believe, what we are taught, how we see others behave, what culture/religion we grew up with, etc.).

          In China there are markets where one can order cat–served fresh. I’ve seen video of how they are prepared–they often go into the deep fryer still breathing. The “chefs” show no empathy whatsover. Numerous cultures and religions have a variety of prescriptions regarding how animals are killed and/or prepared. It often involves a slit throat and then bleeding to death. My own grandmother used to walk out back and wring the necks of chicken (for dinner) while carrying on a conversation with the kids. I wonder how you would react to wolves being killed in any of these ways? Would it be acceptable to kill them the way we (in western societies) generally kill animals we eat? Would any of these methods be any less painful for the wolf?

          Paul, you ask, “What is not ethical?” I submit that the answer depends upon what culture you were raised in, what your religious beliefs are, what your peers think, etc. My question is, can you accept this and try to understand how others justify their behavior?

          We (Western Europeans) have a long history of condemning others for cultural practices that conflict with our (current) ideas about what is right/ethical. I submit that history shows our collective judgment is not always sound.

          • Paul says:


            I certainly understand why many people think the way that they do. I just cannot accept any justification for killing strictly for recreation. Just like how many on the right cannot accept any justification for abortion. Call me stubborn or whatever you wish, but that is how I feel. Religion has been used to justify many abhorrent things throughout history, and continues to through today. Our own society found human bondage acceptable until just 150 years ago. Hell, it seems like many want to go back to those “good ole days.”

            I stopped eating any and all meats a few months ago, because I found that I was lying to myself even though I bought only “organic humane raised” meat. I may be the exception, but I did not need my peers or religion to tell me that I don’t like animals being killed so that I can have a meal. I only know a couple of vegetarians/vegans so there was little to no peer influence. I also know that humans will always kill animals for one reason or another, but I don’t need to be a part of that or accept it when it is unnecessary. I know all too well how many Asian cultures treat the animals that they consume. I find that as revolting as I do recreational hunting and trapping. My mother grew up on an Iowa farm and had a complete emotional detachment from all animals. After spending time with my sister’s and my dogs she finally came around to showing some affection at least toward dogs. I grew up around that, yet it only made me love animals even more. If there is one thing that I am happy for, it is the fact that I was born as and continue to be a freethinker. That has gotten me into much trouble in my profession, but I wouldn’t change that for anything.

            • Ralph Maughan says:


              This is not JB, but I don’t know if you have read my views yet.

              I can accept your ethical objections to hunting.

              I’ve tryied to explain many times here why I am neutral on hunting (due to my lifetime experiences), but I do want hunters to have an ethic and not have laziness or deliberate cruelty rewarded. So I rail against perfectly fit ATV riders who just won’t walk.

              I will not eat beef. Mostly I eat chicken.

              I want to emphasize this is not an anti-hunting news, nor pro-hunting. The grave risk to both sides are the livestock interests and segments of upper 1% who would privatize wildlife.

              To me the danger is not hunters, it is the Koch Brothers and their partners, the livestock interests, and far right wing that is trying to gain a majority in this country.

              I have a lot of other issues too, unrelated to wildlife. These influence my beliefs and actions