Here is our new open comments thread (begun on August 28) on wildlife news topics you think are interesting. You can access the previous “Interesting Wildlife News” here.
Please post new stories and make comments about wildlife in the comment section below.
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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.

424 Responses to Have you come across any interesting wildlife news? August 28, 2012

  1. Barb Rupers says:

    What happened at the recent Idaho Wildlife Summit?

  2. Peter Kiermeir says:

    I´m also curious! Everything about this „summit“ is kept on surprisingly low profile, wonder why?

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      That is a good question, Peter. There wasn’t much in the Idaho newspapers. The Spokane, Washington newspaper had this Wildlife Summit probes Idahoans’ thoughts on management. I am thinking maybe the views expressed were a disappointment in that they were quite moderate.

      • Peter Kiermeier says:

        There is a rather lame coverage in the Boise weekly:
        “ One highlight of the summit was a speech from Toni Hardesty………she opened with a story about why her grandparents never went fishing together. One fished for trout, the other fished for catfish. Thus, they could not fish together. “
        Could it be the attendants quickly fell asleep ?

        • Salle says:

          I particularly like this comment recorded in the Boise Weekly article

          ” Rick Brigham of Clarkston is a member of the Lewis Clark Wildlife Club who often volunteers his time to improve habitat for species like bighorn sheep. He said he came to observe and offer an opinion or two.

          ‘I thought I’d come see what it’s about and see if I can throw out a couple of ideas on finance and voice my general disgust of the Idaho Legislature, which is the biggest bunch of knuckle draggers I’ve ever seen for a Legislature.’

          Brigham is opposed to the Legislature’s attempts to favor domestic sheep grazing over protecting wild sheep in places like Hells Canyon and along the Salmon River Canyon.”

          At least it was included in the article.

      • jon says:

        Ralph, some hunters in Idaho think Idaho fish and game are trying to end hunting and are trying to change their mandate. What do you think of claims like these? Conspiracy theories without a shred of truth to em? There were some protesters of the summit that had pictures of wolf killed elk displayed on their trucks.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Peter and all,

      Here is an interesting story by Rocky Barker in the Idaho Statesman.

      Fish and Game calls Idaho Wildlife Summit a success

      • Peter Kiermeir says:

        Hmmmm, yes, thank you, but, are there any results, conclusions, decisions, common/controversal points? Well, I accept it was a summit and you´d expect not much from a summit, be it on Idahoan wildlife or the world climate. But the only conclusion is “the major challenge was that most of the people at the meetings were older white males,” Fish and Game calls it a success in the official press releases but doesn´t it look more like a – forgive me – complete failure ?

  3. Hello,
    I read with interest Kathie Lynch’s account of the inter-pack conflict between the “breakaway group” and the Lamar Canyon Pack. My university class witnessed the attack as well as the activity of the Lamars for two weeks during our study in the Park. We have hundreds of still photos of the event, rarely witnessed by biologist much less ecology students. Those interested in seeing these may contact me and I’ll provide the links.

    • Kathy Cheatham says:

      I was lucky enough to be in Yellowstone this summer and saw the Mollies in Lamar on a bison kill. I would love to see your pics.

    • Salle says:

      Joseph, you can send an e-mail message to the moderators and they can help you post some of those photos, if you like. Just click on the “about us” link at the top of any page and you can find your way to the info.

    • CodyCoyote says:

      Salle- if northwest Wyoming high country hunters stay true to form beginning Sept 1, they will be adding to the population of wildfires. Wilderness trophy game seasons open in early September, and when it’s a hot dry September , fires happen. Apparently , Buck Fever can run hot enough to ignite wood.

      Cross fingers, all.

      • Salle says:

        I’m wondering how many fires we’ll have around the region once that all gets going. It’s really dry over here too. I think Duck season starts in this area come Sept. 1st. It’s also the day after a “blue moon”… could be more than merely interesting.

  4. Maska says:

    For those who are interested in the status (and statistics) of the Mexican wolf reintroduction program, the 2011 Annual Report is now up on the FWS Mexican wolf website.

    Even if you aren’t excited about the graphs, charts, and maps, there are some wonderful photos scattered throughout the report. One photo of four little Hawk’s Nest pups among the charred tree trunks of the Wallow Fire is an entire story in a single picture.It’s on p. 22 of the document (p. 24 of the PDF).

    • Maska says:

      P.S. If you see only three little rascals, look again.

      • Salle says:

        Thanks Maska. That picture made my day. I’ll read all the details later when I run out of non-convention hoopla to read… I may be a political animal but I can’t stand those and all the hype associated with them.

    • Kathy Cheatham says:

      Thank you, very interesting. I wish people would give them a chance and learn to protect their animals better so they can exist in the wild.

  5. CodyCoyote says:

    The ” latest” Wyoming Wolf Status report has been posted at Fish & Wildlife website.

    The good news is :We are only seven weeks behind…
    The bad news is: no news. Nothing whatsoever reported on this summer’s control actions or outstanding incidents, just the census.

  6. CodyCoyote says:

    Wednesday 6pm. Facebook friends are reporting a nasty fire has broken out south of Livingston MT on Pine Creek this afternoon . It has destroyed several houses and structures, some number of horses have perished along with other livestock , and it’s getting downright awful. The photos are ugly.

    • Salle says:

      Ooooh! That was a beautiful place! I used to drive through there on my way south to Emigrant and Pray. There was a very old homestead along the East River Road with an old schoolhouse and a quaint old church. (Kind of reminded me of old farms in old rural towns along the central coast of Maine.) The old ranch had several horses and some cattle. A fairly heavily wooded little spot at the base of the east slope.

      That end of Paradise Valley just won’t be the same without those landmarks. I feel for the folks who live there.

      From the looks of things, there’s a lot of things that are being lost in the fires this year in lots of places. Looking at the map this morning, I saw that there’s the Buffalo fire out by the Thoroughfare and one on the east slope of the Wind River Range as well, looks like it’s below Gannett Peak.

      I saw some FS P2V tankers (not sure how many, maybe two) arriving/leaving the Yellowstone airport this afternoon, I can hear them coming and going to the Livingston-Paradise Valley area, it appears as they are heading north over the park. Over here in the Hebgen Basin/Madison Valley area, there have been a couple days of clean air after rain two days ago but with the high winds of the day, the smoke is returning quite rapidly. And we still have all of September to go. The winds are still high and gusty this evening… There sure was a lot of lightning associated with that last wave of storms, I’m not surprised about all the new blazes.

      Thanks for the info, Coyote, sad loss of an historic place, and a lot of animals, at Pine Creek.

    • elk275 says:

      Facebook, 10 Minutes ago. I reconize the homes burning. I was there 5 days ago and had dinner at the Pine Creek Cafe. Two weeks ago Emylou Harris played there.

      So sad!

  7. Immer Treue says:

    Question: before the 2012/13 season begins, of the 376 wolves “””harvested””” in Idaho last season, is there any data breakdown in terms of gender, age, or size among the wolves taken?

    • jon says:

      What is very troubling is that Idaho fish and game don’t know how many wolves there are in Idaho, but they still allow no quota on wolves. I predict that hunters and trappers will kill 400-500 wolves this year.

      • Mark L says:

        I don’t think they will be able to find that many other the course of the year (guessing). I think as they ‘thin the operation’ the wolves will get harder to find, shifting from hunting to trapping also i.e. more dying from a ‘land mine’ than a sniper’.

  8. louise kane says:

    You can help protect the Frank Church Wilderness by telling the U.S. Forest Service to say “no” to excessive development.

    Gold mining plan threatens wilderness and wildlife

    • Salle says:

      This needs to be a thread all its own! A serious violation of the Wilderness Act, as if there haven’t been many in the past decade.

      Thanks for the “heads up” Louise.

  9. Salle says:

    A friend sent this to me this morning. It’s amazing…

    • Barb Rupers says:

      Thanks, Salle.

      I especially like the mid-air shake!

      • Salle says:

        That was pretty cool. I thought, also, that the feat of getting multiple fish in one strike was pretty amazing. I’ve seen lots of osprey catching fish but never more than one at a time. I would love to capture footage like that! It’s nice to see that someone did and was willing to share.

    • Salle says:


      Didn’t see your post until just now. I posted the Ravalli Republic article below, same author and story but without the cool pic.

  10. Salle says:

    Wildlife officials propose study of Bitterroot’s lion population

  11. Salle says:

    Poor Boo Boo needs a home!

    Rescued black bear cub in need of a home

    • Kayla says:

      This North Buffalo Fire in the Teton Wilderness is now over 12,000 acres in size and burning up in a large portain of what makes up the North Buffalo and the Soda Fork of the Buffalo drainages. There is in here quite abit of old growth conifer forest and abundant beetle kill. Hope the whole intermountain region gets some needed rainfall soon.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        Thanks Kayla,

        At one time the North Fork of the Buffalo was a very pretty place, and almost all the trees were green. In my mind it is forever green and full of flowery meadows, but it is amazing how places set to be protected, such as Wilderness areas, certainly do change even though the agent of change is natural.

        • Kayla says:

          Ralph, do know exactly what you mean. It is still such a beautiful place.

          Now as for myself personally, the upper North Buffalo Fork has remained one of my more favorite places back in here with except for the beetle kill, it remains how much I have known it to be. This fire is really upsettling me even though I know it is natural. For myself it is like losing a very close friend. But I do know that whatever, the wildness will continue.

          This past summer it has been over 30 years for me in seeing and hiking in the Thorofare. And have been thinking of all the natural changes have seen thru the years. And how the wildness in the area continues and maybe more so with so much less visitation this day in time compared to some years ago.

          Now Ralph, I still do have your old book you wrote many years ago entitled, ‘Beyond the Tetons’ on the Teton Wilderness.

          Wishing You the Best!

  12. Ralph Maughan says:

    Pine Creek Fact Sheet August 30, 2012

    Incident: Pine Creek Fire Wildfire
    Released: 3 hrs. ago
    Information current as of 11:00 p.m.
    Wednesday, August 29, 2012
    · Call came in to Livingston dispatch of a wildfire near Pine Creek at 2:18 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
    · The cause of the fire is unknown.
    · The number of residences burned is unknown.
    · Some of the affected areas are:
    – The town of Pine Creek
    – Pine Creek Campground
    – Luccock Park Church Camp
    – Pine Creek KOA
    – Pool Creek
    – Deep Creek
    · The fire is estimated at 2,500 acres. (now 5,000, added by Maughan)
    · East River Road is closed from the junction at Highway 89 south to Mill Creek Road.
    · The evacuation area includes residences east of East River Road from Suce Creek Road south to Pine Creek Campground Road.
    · The evacuation center is located at the Livingston Civic Center.
    · No firefighters were killed on this fire.
    · There have been a few minor injuries to public and firefighters.
    · The Pine Creek Cafe, school and church were not burned down in the fire.

    • elk275 says:

      The best information is from the Livingston Enterprise on facebook it is being updated every hour with a new update due soon.

  13. jon says:

    What’s the appeal in hunting or trapping a wolf?

    “The new season is not about biological need or controlling specific problem wolves; it is a sport and trophy hunt. And the noise involves at minimum a certain sense of entitlement, a volatile and intractable mix of passion, political meddling in science, masculinity in search of itself, a residue of country-city enmity, political point-scoring with extremists, juvenile anti-authoritarianism and some ancient scapegoating. And possibly worse.”

    • Mark L says:

      And they wonder why some people still don’t know who to trust. If it’s not the ‘national’ elections that have scary characters, it’s the local and state ones: state legislatures have these anti-authoritarianistic Bubbas that get nothing done but pandering to their ‘sects’. Seems like improving many state’s ‘sunshine laws’ would help wildlife also, by exposing the culprits.

    • Salle says:

      I call it “weenie-waving”… one of America’s great national pastimes (in honor of the great Phil Ochs’ satire).

  14. Salle says:

    Pine Creek update:
    Now at 12,000 acres

    Millie Fire:
    Last reported at 9,500 acres

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Well, at least they’ll still be at the Bronx zoo. (sarcasm)

      Can’t they at least haze them back into the park first? Do the bison spread brucellosis or have the domesticated cattle spread it to them?

  15. Salle says:

    Fish experts puzzling over whitefish die-offs

    Um, can you spell selenium…?

  16. Salle says:

    Statement from Paul Watson…

    I must serve my clients, the whales

    I can do that far better commanding the Sea Shepherd fleet than I can defending myself from bogus charges by Japan

  17. jon says:

    Some very good news. Judge orders no dogs to be used in wolves in Wisconsin wolf hunt.

  18. louise kane says:

    Video taped court proceedings –

    of hearing and injunction issues in Wisconsin

  19. louise kane says:

    A great letter in opposition to the MN wolf hunt. There is a real organized grass roots movement working to stop this hunt.


    According to the Star Tribune reporter Doug Smith (“It’s open season on rules for wolf hunt” May 22,2012), U.S. Geological Survey wolf scientist David Mech contends that the state Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) wolf hunting and trapping plan is “well-designed, won’t hurt the wolf population and should benefit both wolves and residents.”

    Thinking of animals as individuals rather than as populations is evidently beyond the scope of the kind of wildlife management science Dr. Mech, with whom I have flown and hiked in the northern woods to spot these elusive animals, is advocating. Otherwise who could conclude that killing a wolf ‘quota’ of an agreed-upon 400 wolves from a possibly over-estimated population of 3,000 in the state of Minnesota should “ultimately benefit wolves and residents’?

    Livestock owners are already being compensated for losses due to wolf predation, are allowed to shoot wolves on their property that are also trapped and killed by Mech and other licensed federal predator control agents.

    The most evident beneficiary is the state, whose coffers will enjoy an increase in revenue of some $200,000 annually (and possibly more with non-state resident licenses selling for $250.00 rather than $ 30.00 for residents) with the sale of 6,000 DNR permits to hunt and trap wolves who will be competing with 250-300,000 licensed hunters of deer and other wildlife But who will be counting the numbers of suffering wolves crippled and dying slowly from injuries and infection, or unable to hunt and starving to death when not killed by firearms and bow and arrow? What of the terror of wolves (along with dogs and other animals) caught in traps and snares? The emotional and social stress to individual wolves of this highly evolves social species losing inter-dependent pack-mates to such calculated, scientifically sanctioned, ‘sustainable’ exploitation and ecologically unwarranted human predation cannot be ignored or justified. It is unacceptable to any civil society.

    Wolf-trophy sport hunters along with other recreational and consumptive users of natural resources may give voice to some degree of esthetic appreciation for wildlife and wilderness that is echoed by artists, scientists, nature lovers and others, and even speak of a hunting ethic. Such appreciation, however, gives no higher moral ground without the ethic of compassion and empathy for the wolf and every living creature which preclude all killing except for reasons of dire survival, subsistence, and for endangered species and habitat protection; and then, only when there are no viable alternatives and the killing swift, humane.

    The state government has refused any further public hearings on this issue, but public comments will be accepted until June 20 on its website Most Minnesotans, to my knowledge as a resident, are opposed to this wolf hunt plan regardless of the efforts of Senator Amy Klobuchar to legalize the hunting of this recently de-listed endangered species, and to even have the opening of the wolf hunting season named after her, Governor Dayton, who has taken a stance on many issues of conscience, has the authority to rescind legislation that he has signed allowing this wolf hunt to proceed rather than instigating the 5-year moratorium set out in the DNR’s original wolf management plan. The Governor could also call for a referendum and have the public vote on this issue.( ) This would indeed be a meaningful civil society initiative in the face of minority control by a vested few, in which all Minnesotans could take pride rather than feel the shame once again when witnessing people wearing the furs of Minnesota-killed wolves.

    Michael W. Fox PhD, DSc, BVetMed
    Author of The Soul of the Wolf

  20. Mike says:

    “Boo Boo” the black bear rescued from burning tree in Idaho:!prettyPhoto/0/

    The bear cub is doing well.

    What a freaking mess out there. I wonder how many of these fires were started by idiots with guns.

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      I followed this fire from day 1. It was clearly lightning started. The strikes hit the highest peaks over about a 3-5 mile square area, creating a “complex” of fires on the tops of the mountains. After several days, the fires burned together. Later, the mountains (the Salmon River Mountains) sustained another couple lightning storms and the various fire starts then burned together again.

      The target shooter created fires were in Utah, not Idaho. In Utah an amazing number were created by shooters, but not in Idaho.

  21. Salle says:


    • Salle says:

      Dang, no wonder there was no XM/Sirius reception today… and probably the next few days.

  22. Salle says:

    I know this isn’t about nonhuman wildlife but I just can’t resist…

    • Nancy says:

      TOO FUNNY!!! Thanks for posting it Salle 🙂

      • Salle says:

        It’s a gem, ain’t it? 🙂

        • Nancy says:

          The bit on our “invisible” president had me in stitches.

          • Salle says:

            I liked that part but I equally thought the part about “downsizing” economically failed states was pretty good. Colbert had a good show the same night too. They usually have more valuable info than real news shows a good part of time. At least they are analytical when most news programming refuses to be. just goes to show ya…

  23. Immer Treue says:


    A bit off topic, but possible ramifications for all of us, and wildlife…

    Rather than it be buried where the discussion was going on during an older thread, and this is not meant as the start of a “fight”, but it is evident from past posts you care little for Obama. It’s not just that he is the lesser of two evils, but here is what you get if the other guy wins.

    It’s a lengthy read from a liberal rag, but if you have the time, read it and think what this man has done.

  24. Salle says:

    Thanks for posting that link, Immer. I saw Taibbi on Stephen Colbert or The Daily Show this week and was interested in reading that. He’s the one to complete the shock doctrine transition in our country, being one of the operative orchestrators in the first place.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Under Wyoming’s management plan, the state is required to keep a minimum of 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Reservation.

      A minimum of five breeding pairs and 50 wolves are required inside Yellowstone.

      This number isn’t reasonable. What if they fall below this pathetic number? It would be so easy to say “oops, made a mistake. Chalk it up to a learning opportunity.” Yellowstone straddles three states; with hunters hovering near the park to shoot and trap from all three states, and with the same thing in Grand Teton and along the John D. Rockefeller corridor, I fear that it won’t be long until they are gone. There’s no real protection for the wolves in the park, and this number is far below what is necessary for genetic diversity. Then, they know that once that pesky population in the park is gone, it’s open season on the rest of ’em. Somebody correct me if I am wrong, please.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        The number in the park isn’t reasonable. The larger number outside the park is to hunt them, but still kept to the absolute edge minimum. It’s so painfully obvious. It needs to stop. 🙁

  25. Salle says:

    Wilderness study standoff near the Idaho/Montana stateline:

    Snowmobilers, mountain bikers and ATV riders challenge a new plan that closes them out of Great Burn

    WTF? It’s an f’ing WILDERNESS AREA!

  26. Salle says:

    Investigative journalist to discuss oil in President’s Lecture Series opener

    “The University of Montana’s 2012-13 President’s Lecture Series will begin Wednesday, Sept. 5, with a lecture from acclaimed investigative journalist Andrew Nikiforuk titled “The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Servitude.”

    The lecture will begin at 8 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. Nikiforuk also will present a seminar titled “Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug are Killing North America’s Great Forests” earlier the same day from 3:10 to 4:30 p.m. in Gallagher Business Building Room 123. Both the lecture and seminar are free and open to the public.”

  27. Salle says:

    Wyoming Game and Fish Department offers extra elk licenses

    “I think this adds one more tool that the department and [Game and Fish] Commission can use in areas where we have over-objective elk,” he said. “It’s similar to what we’ve done with deer and antelope populations.”

    For Jason Thornock, a Cokeville area rancher, allowing hunters to kill one more elk might help ease his elk burden. He has lost some of his grazing leases recently because of too many hungry elk, he said.

    His cattle are also in a brucellosis surveillance area where they have comingled with elk.

    “With twice as many elk, we have a higher likelihood of contracting brucellosis,” he said. “Until they get that number back down to objective, I think giving more licenses is a good idea.”

    So I thought that wolves were eating them all so they have to hunt the wolves for that reason…? Interesting, looks like they think Paul Ryan’s liar-scheme is working for him so why not go there?

    • TC says:

      Most of these extra tags are for areas without wolves. The real problem is many of them also are for areas with little public access, or for elk herds that run to private land once the shooting commences. WGFD seems to be making a concerted effort this year to get access to more of said private lands in some areas.

      • elk275 says:

        Also, it is only for cow elk. Access is a real issue. I have an either sex antelope permit North of Big Timber and east of the Crazy Mountains. The district has 600 buck and 600 doe permits and less than 15 sections of public lands that is antelope habitat only 5 sections that have access.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      From the quote in Salle’s post above: “Nesvik said ‘I think this adds one more tool that the department and [Game and Fish] Commission . . .’ [note that I boldfaced “more tool”].”

      How many times have we heard that metaphor regarding what some department of wildlife or fish and game has in their “toolbox?”

      “One more tool. . . ,” Unfortunately it is like a toolbox full of hammers only. Though they may be of a different size and style, they are all hammers. Likewise, without the analogy, their various options always seem to be killing — more killing or less or, killing at a different time or with a different weapon.”

      What I am saying is their options do not seem abundant, but instead seem very limited.

      • JB says:


        Deja vu. I had much the same conversation with a friend in the National Park Service at last year’s meeting of the Wildlife Society. Her comment–and I’m paraphrasing: Wildlife agencies are like the boy with the hammer who finds that everything needs pounding. On second thought, it’s more like agencies rent hammers to those who like to pound things. 😉

  28. Salle says:

    Saving Banff’s grizzlies: Five-year action plan to reduce human-wildlife conflict

    Parks Canada, CP rail, researchers part of plan

    I think it would be helpful if the railroad came up with a way to keep grain from spilling out of the rail cars in the first place, like enclosed hoppers similar to those they use for potash and other substances. A vacuum machine was a major waste of $$ when enclosed cars would have solved a great deal of the problem, and fences… maybe?

  29. Salle says:

    US-Funded Armies Slaughtering Record Number of Elephants

    • louise kane says:

      The poaching of elephants is horrifying. I have a photographer friend who puts his money where his mouth is. Nick Brandt started Big Life. While directing and shooting a Michael Jackson video way back he became interested in the wildlife, specifically elephants, and then noticed that many of the animals he photographed were dying at the hands of poachers. He started Big Life (with his own funds) to protect elephants. Big Life uses their funds to amass anti poaching teams and equipment, to get the word out and to document the animals. Its an impressive effort. Nick’s photography is impeccable. Art, conservation, that old adage one picture can be worth a thousand words. anyone wanting to see some really amazing images of elephants and african wildlife check out Nick Brandt.
      For conservation efforts
      check out the site

  30. louise kane says:

    anyone wanting to see some spectacular coastal brown bear images please visit the site of my friend Bill Maynard who just posted these! Bill is a fantastic photographer, big of heart, and has generously donated many of his wolf images for advocacy purposes.

  31. Salle says:

    Food for thought…

    ‘A Great Silence Is Spreading Over the Natural World’
    Bernie Krause has spent 40 years recording nature’s sounds. But such is the rate of species and habitat loss that his tapes may become our only record of the original diversity of life

  32. Salle says:

    Ohio Black Bear: Animal Stuck In Tree In Bedford Heights Comes Down, Evades Officials (VIDEO)

    • Mark L says:

      Didn’t they just shoot 6 black bears last year that escaped from Terry Thompson’s place?
      See? Progress!

      • Salle says:

        Good question. I was just rooting for the bear in this case. Wonder if there’s a connection.

    • amanda says:

      Poor terrified bear (although those screaming people did make me chuckle). I can’t believe there are only 100 black bears in all of Ohio.

  33. Salle says:

    Strong earthquake in Central America and tsunami warning…

  34. Salle says:

    Interesting Montana Senate race coverage…

    Who is Denny Rehberg, really?

  35. Salle says:

    Okay, I’m not so sure that this is a good idea…

    Proposed bill allows silencers for hunting in Wyoming

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Does anyone think for a second that the WY highway patrol or the Cheyenne police department, for example, would support someting like this if they could be victimized? The ATF or the FBI? How do you control a suppressor once it has been sold so that it doesn’t get into criminal hands? I would challenge this to be an outright lie and a load of buffalo crap.

      As far as poaching, once the damage has been done, the penalty doesn’t mean that much.

      • ma'iingan says:

        “I would challenge this to be an outright lie and a load of buffalo crap.”

        Careful – don’t hurt yourself with that knee jerk. Suppressors are legal in 39 states, and are now legal for hunting in Texas and Arizona, with legislation pending in Georgia and Oklahoma.

        Criminals, who tend not to obey firearms laws, have been able to use them forever, since they are easily fashioned from makeshift parts.

        Or maybe I’m wrong – do you know of a lot of crimes involving suppressed hunting rifles?

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Careful – don’t hurt yourself with that knee jerk.

          Ha! I think it only was a minor sprain. 🙂

          They are not legal where I am, probably more of an urban area. I think they are associated with criminal activity.

    • Immer Treue says:

      The question is, how could the positives(if any) for using suppressors outway the possible negatives? Don’t these politicos have anything better to do with their time?

      • elk275 says:

        Suppressors are legal and used in the UK for hunting, most European countries and New Zealand allow there use and in some cases. the use is required.

        They are legal with some paper work and a fee in the US. The last gun show that I was at in Bozeman a vendor from Helena, Montana was selling them and doing the required paper work for the ATF. It is state law whether they can or can not be used for hunting.

        • Savebears says:

          There a strong misconception that suppressors make guns silent, that is not true, they normally reduce the noise about 20%, to a level that reduces the possibility of hearing damage. They will not allowing a gun to go around and kill things without noise.

      • Salle says:

        ” Don’t these politicos have anything better to do with their time?”

        Apparently they don’t think they do.

      • Salle says:

        Hey, they have to keep that gun lobby happy, election’s right around the corner.

        • CodyCoyote says:

          In northwest Wyoming, the grandest of trophy Elk hunts take place in the wilderness surrounding Yellowstone Park…such as the Thorofare and Yellowstone River headwaters and the Snake River headwaters country. WHich is to say you hunt your trophy Elk on the same high country territory as Grizzly bears

          For years I have heard time and time again to the point of droning that the sound of gunshopts is the Grizzly bear’s dinner bell. Guides swear that rifle reports attract bears who have presumably earned to associate the noise with a possible gut pile or fresh-killed carcass to be dined upon, and they go there.

          I’m skeptical of that. Very skeptical. G. bears are smart. Really smart , but I’m not the animal behaviorist here. I’ve always thought grizzlies didn’t depend on their sense of hearing all that much. Nevertheless it’s gospel in the high country gun congregations hereabouts. “yea verily…gunshots are grizzly dinner bells”. ( As if the bear’s snout can’t smell stuff and home in on it from a few miles off. If you doubt that , crank open a propane cylinder in the Thorofare for a few minutes and sit back . Smells definitely attract grizzles over hither and yon.)

          Thoughts? I quit going to the hunting camps in 1990 when the Great Bear had not yet recovered its numbers or expanded its range from the early 70’s killback.

          • Savebears says:


            Actually the bear biologists in Grand Teton have studied what happens in the park with the elk reduction hunt and they swear it is the gunshot that brings the Grizz running for the gut piles. There are also several of the bear management specialists in Montana that say the same thing, they don’t see the problem during bow season, but they do during gun season.

      • louise kane says:

        perhaps the idea of a suppressor means that not as many people will hear the guns and be less likely to complain and that if this is an objection to hunting on private land that a less intrusive form of killing would be more acceptable? A stealthy way to make killing more acceptable?

        • Ida Lupine says:

          My fear exactly.

        • Savebears says:

          Louise, in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, hunting and killing is already acceptable, that is why here in Montana, we have a state constitutional right to hunt and I know other states have tried to get this amendment to their state constitutions. You guys sure come up with some interesting theories.

    • WM says:

      One has to wonder how much WDFW $$$ will go (has already gone)into this effort? At least WA didn’t box themselves in with a wolf plan/management process similar to OR, which has them in court now.

    • WM says:


      Too bad the Wild Earth Guardians propaganda does not accurately portray risk of loss in their piece and the accompanying charts. The starting premise should acknowledge that cattle have zero risk of death by wolves, bears, cougars or coyotes where they are not present. Then discuss the risk of loss to cattle/sheep where each of these predators is present.

      The statistics would still likely show very low mortality risk to cattle and sheep from these predators compared to other risks and causes. However, that would be the truthful representation and from my experience Wild Earth Guardians is just another spin master grounding its postions in facts which are not truthful.

      • louise kane says:

        Everybody spins WM. But as you point out
        “The statistics would still likely show very low mortality risk to cattle and sheep from these predators compared to other risks and causes.”
        so whats the beef to use a pun. Most of the American public is not even aware of the issues related to predator management and possibly would never educate themselves or have time to especially considering the immense amount of minutiae and conflicting and confusing science and law on the subject. Wildearth Guardians are advocates for wildlife.

        • JB says:


          Give him a break. WM is a scientist at heart and a believer in the notion that we should make decisions based upon a factual/truthful/honest assessment of what is occurring. On this point he and I agree wholeheartedly. There is way too much spin, and it is far too often justified with ‘the other side does it’.

  36. louise kane says:

    a comment from Immer’s link about the Wedge pack

    These conflicts occurred on public land (Colville National Forest). I agree that it is near impossible to protect your livestock on this land. The neighborhood has changed since the tenant signed the rental agreement. I say it’s time to terminate the rental agreement, not change the neighborhood back to the way it was. If you can’t make a living in a natural environment then it’s time to change professions. Killing our wild life so that you can raise livestock doesn’t work for me or most other taxpayers. Things aren’t working well in NM and Arizona (80% human mortality rate) because of human intolerance, arrogance and ignorance. Wolves live fine around people (they are very tolerant of the brutal, savage, barbaric species known as man), it’s certain people who don’t seem to be able to live around Wolves that is the real problem 22.

  37. Salle says:

    ‘Something Really Wrong’: Tens of Thousands of Dead Fish Wash Up on Lake Erie Shore

  38. CodyCoyote says:

    Wildlife and the ecology of the seafloor threatened by the equivalent of clearcutting and deforestation : Bottom Trawling

    • Mark L says:

      21st century dust bowl. You should see some parts of the Gulf of Mexico….trawled flat and smooth (even more than it already was). PPCC!

      • louise kane says:

        George’s banks is in similar shape. When my Dad fished they used names like the lemons, figs, canyons etc to describe the bottom and the areas they fished in. They dropped sounding leads to the bottom to which the substrate became attached to the lead and left an impression and or brought up parts of the substrate. Thats how they knew where they were. Now these are just names and do not indicate anything about the bottom. Its trashed and often without relief or bottom cover. There is a similar phenomenon that my husband often rants about in developments. A development is named beaver dam road, partridge path, dove lane, herringbrook road or after some native plant or animal and once the development goes up the organisms (plants or animals) disappear, making a mockery of the name. We are not a very smart species most of the time

  39. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Namibian tourism officials arrive in Billings for 10-day Montana tour

    “The lions’ population (in Namibia) has been protected and there are more of them now,” Austin said. “That creates an environment where the lions are eating their goats. Now what does that remind you of here? It’s like the wolves.”

    Read more:–day-montana/article_ded08bb8-072b-5011-aaec-2c1699b836dc.html#ixzz25mjYbhNM

    Namibians benchmark conservation issues in Montana! Ok, could be worse, thank god they haven´t yet heard there is Idaho……

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Spin is everything – instead of the recovery of an endangered species, it’s referred to in this article as the “resurgence of a predator.” Visitin Montana will be an exercise in what not to do I guess.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Here’s the plan as I see it:

        “Keep your indigenous people impoverished on a reservation, make up lies about the targeted species, proliferate them in the apathetic general public arena, and then go on a killing spree. Rinse and repeat.” I’d be skeptical if I were the visitors.

  40. Salle says:

    Wyoming Gov. Mead: No mass killing of wolves

    Okay, so two things…

    1) The peer review process consists of a one-time evaluation by individuals of the state’s choosing and that assessment can and will apply to the entire state-all zones for all time, period.

    2) As Bill Clinton said the other night… do the math; 328 – 150 = 178 wolves are set to be killed in the State of Wyoming during this upcoming proposed hunting session. That’s more than 50% of estimated population immediately following removal from the endangered species classification listing.

    Anyone else wee where this is going?

    • Mike says:

      I’ve seen where it’s going all along.

      The paranoid and angry hunters and ranchers of the Northern Rockies have proven they cannot responsibly handle wolves.

      Their delirious actions forced them onto the endangered species list years ago, and they will do so again.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      If they do this every year….

      I’m concerned that all of the wolf states in our country have jumped into the killing fray immediately after the wolves were removed from Federal protection without taking the five-year delay of hunting after delisting(what will effects of harsh winters and disease have on the packs in addition to hunting) and come up with a responsible, rational management plan. They seem to just want to kill first and ask questions later. This is not based on science.

      For example, why can’t hunting be done every other year or leave a gap in between hunts of some kind so that the pups can grow up and seasonal effects on the packs can be studied?

      • Salle says:

        Probably because that’s a rational idea, they seem incapable of engaging in that sort of thing when there’s a gun leaning against the wall next to the door. Brute force and ignorance wins the argument for too many too often.

      • ma'iingan says:

        “…what will effects of harsh winters and disease have on the packs in addition to hunting…This is not based on science.”

        What makes you think that this kind of data does not exist? Wolves have continued to thrive in Alaska and Canada, where they’ve been subjected to sometimes very aggressive levels of exploitation.

        North American wolves carry high seroprevalence to Canine Parvovirus and Canine Distemper, and their continued persistence on the landscape should tell you that they are a highly resilient species.

        There is a wealth of research available online – many links and citations have been posted on this forum, if you’d do a little searching. A word of warning though – the science will not support an anti-hunting agenda. So I’m left wondering if you really want science-based management?

        And just out of curiosity, what effect would you expect harsh winters to have on wolves?

        • Rita K. Sharpe says:

          What species doesn’t carry disease?

          • Ida Lupine says:

            The point I am making is that, yes, I fully realize there is data on the subject. Every year must be differet, and if there is a high hunting quota plus, for example, wildfires, heavy snow and bitter cold, and a limited food supply that winter, more wolves will be lost to an already low base. Somehow I don’t think this is taken into account with the quotas, and I was just asking if this was so. Seems a fair question. Disease has nothing to do with it by itself, only the effect of more loss is what I was concerned with, when the numbers are so low as they would like to have them in the Western states.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              What I have been finding in my harsh winter research is that harsh winters severely affect the populations of deer, elk and moose, the food for the wolf. Another reason not to blame declines on ungulate populations on wolves. I have no doubt that this will affect hunting one iota, however.

  41. Salle says:

    Fight over wild wolves reignited by plan to kill as many as 4

    A rarity, they actually interviewed Carter Niemeyer and quoted some of his comment in the article! (I’m pretty sure he had more than one or two sentences in his comments.)

    • louise kane says:

      Thanks for posting Salle
      Despite the political difficulty in this case, I am hoping Washington state looks for another way to resolve this instead of killing the wolves. While complicated, this first response to how the situation is handled is likely to determine how the state responds in the future. If I remember correctly Washington passed one of the best wolf management plans and took a great deal of time to be inclusive of stakeholder input which showed an impressive support for wolves and a desire to see healthy populations( not just token populations). And doesn’t this rancher graze on federal lands? If so it would be ever so wonderful to see one state take a stand against lazy ranchers who expect business as usual.

      • CodyCoyote says:

        I read the article. Two key points missing as written. First , didn’t say a word about what if anything these McIrvin ranchers are doing proactively to protect their valueble livestock. Are they turned out and left untended, for instance? Which brings me to point 2: the cattle were lost on public lands, in some tough country , real close to the Canadian border.

        So…if they were on public land and untended when the wolves dined on them ….?

        Just another flaming data point on the negative hue of Public Lands Ranching , IMHO.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      There seems to be one rancher here who almost singlehandedly has the effect of turning this from a minor controversy to a full blown one. If the media quote him correctly, the senior McIrvin’s statements have the effect of making a minor livestock depredation problem and and fairly small wolf control action into a “culture war,” to quote to Mitch Freidman. It sounds like the rest of these ranchers would just as soon as let this go if a few wolves were removed, and conservation groups should realize that this wolf pack will soon be replaced by in-migration.

  42. Larry Keeney says:

    Operation Mountain Sweep under direction of the U.S. Attorney offices from several districts seized 1.45 billion dollars worth of marijuana during this summer. California of course was top producer but then came Washington and Idaho third. Other western states filled the list. I don’t know too much about such grow operations, I only came across one in my career. That was when I was a game warden for Idaho and then I didn’t know what I had until they got away. I was doing a foot patrol in the Idaho City vicinity and came across two people walking out carrying hoes and rakes (circa 1969). I was puzzled and thought how were they using those implements to take fish? I was too narrow focused on wildlife and I didn’t even see the vehicle they used and of course didn’t see them again either. I’m sure they still count that as one of their luckiest days ever stumbling across this inexperienced young officer. Well the other observation I make in today’s time is at least they don’t use cows to plow the fields for planting. It might be legal to herd cows across our forests but that doesn’t make it right. No I’m not advocating for marijuana grow operations but compare the $$ used in enforcement for that compared to eradicating livestock from public lands. And then $$ used for eradicating predators from public lands. Which of the above operations move the most soil into the streams, diminishes stream side vegetation, increases water temperature, removes ground cover for ground nesting birds, etc? Enforcement is good but let us improve our list of priorities that will make a positive change for the next generation. If you read about this article then also read about rancher Cliven Bundy and the government enforcement efforts to bring him into compliance in southern Nevada. There IS humor in government. Re:

  43. Salle says:

    ‘Unprecedented,’ ‘Amazing,’ ‘Goliath’: Scientists Describe Arctic Sea Ice Melt
    Arctic Sea ice levels continue to drop below record set on Aug. 26

  44. Salle says:

    Gulf Coastline Littered with Tar Balls from BP Oil Spill (It’s said that they were churned up during the recent hurricane)

  45. louise kane says:

    Aves are you out there?

    Press Release from the Southern Environmental Law Center
    For Release: September 7, 2012
    Quoted from Tara Zuardo,

    Groups challenge N.C. spotlighting of coyotes near endangered red wolves
    CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—Accidental shootings resulting in death or injury are a primary concern outlined in a court challenge filed today against an illegal, temporary state rule that allows spotlight hunting of coyotes at night throughout North Carolina, including in the area inhabited by the only wild population of red wolves, one of the world’s most endangered animals. The Southern Environmental Law Center filed the court challenge against the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and a request to stop the temporary rule in Wake County Superior Court on behalf of the Animal Welfare Institute, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Red Wolf Coalition.

    “As currently written, this spotlighting rule sets the stage for a tragedy of mistaken identity,” said Derb Carter, the senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center who represents the groups in today’s filing. “A hunting rule can be done in a responsible, legal way that preserves the world’s only wild red wolves whose refuge is North Carolina.”

    After its proposed permanent spotlighting rule sparked concerns in public comment meetings and over 30 objection letters, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission adopted the permanent rule as a temporary spotlighting rule, effective August 1, 2012, without sufficient grounds for doing so – which violates state law.

    “The process used for this spotlighting rule is inconsistent with state law requirements for adopting rules under North Carolina law,” said Tara Zuardo, legal associate at the Animal Welfare Institute. “Not only did the commission flaunt established state law, they did so without regard to the serious impact on a critically endangered species.”

    Gunshot deaths are a significant threat to red wolf (Canis rufus) recovery. Once extinct in the wild, the red wolf was reintroduced in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. With only about 100 wild red wolves now living in five counties on the Albemarle Peninsula of eastern North Carolina, the wolves are frequently mistaken for coyotes even in daylight. Red wolves and coyotes are similar in appearance, coats, and coloring. Red wolf yearlings are similar in size and weight to coyotes.

    “The risk of mistaken identity for red wolves only increases at night,” said Jason Rylander, attorney at Defenders of Wildlife. “This spotlighting rule sets endangered red wolves up for a double whammy—increasing risk of accidental gunshot mortality and setting back successful coyote control efforts in red wolf territory.”

    To prevent wolves interbreeding with coyotes—another threat to the wolf population—the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sterilizes coyotes that have territories within red wolf habitat. Shooting sterilized coyotes will undo effective coyote population control efforts and further jeopardize the native red wolf population.

    “Because only one small population of wild red wolves exists, an increased loss of red wolves by gunshot could reduce their numbers to a point where they would not recover,” said Kim Wheeler, executive director of the Red Wolf Coalition. “At the same time, the loss of sterilized coyotes would make room for new unsterilized coyotes in the red wolf recovery area, raising the risk of inbreeding and resulting in the loss of the red wolf species.”

    In public comments on the proposed permanent rule to allow spotlight hunting, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service echoed these concerns, stating that spotlight hunting “will impact and potentially threaten the recovery of the endangered red wolf.” The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also raised concerns about the safety of its personnel who handle coyotes or wolves at dusk, citing the fatal shooting at Georgia’s Ocmulgee Bluff Equestrian Trailhead of National Forest Service officer Christopher Upton that occurred when a hunter believed he was shooting at the reflection of a coyote’s eyes at night. The National Forest Service raised similar concerns about safety for its personnel and people using national forests for recreation who may be present at night and difficult to see.

    Although the temporary rule requires a permit to spotlight hunt coyotes on public lands, it does not clarify for hunters what kind of permit is required or whether, and to what extent, the public land managers have the authority to preclude or set limitations on spotlight coyote hunting on the public lands within their jurisdiction.

    North Carolina is home to the only wild population of red wolves. Red wolves bred in captivity were reintroduced on a North Carolina peninsula within their native range in the late 1980’s after red wolves were declared extinct in the wild. Once common throughout the Southeast, intensive predator control programs and loss of habitat decimated wild red wolf populations.


    • jon says:

      Some good news for a change. Thanks for posting Louise.

    • aves says:

      Hi Louise, thank you for posting this!

      • louise kane says:

        Its good to see some action on this!

      • Salle says:

        Indeed, Louise, thanks.

        I have been so appalled at this kind of ignorance (that allows for the wanton destruction of species so endangered by humans while these stupid policies come to the fore) that I don’t know what to say anymore.

        Obviously the politicians in these places feel they can waste taxpayer $$, by taking their salaries, and then enact crap like this and go unnoticed, Geezus.

        I honestly feel that politicians should not be paid unless they actually do something worthwhile for “we the people”, who elect them, and if they fail to do anything worthwhile for their electorate, there should be not only no pay but no pensions, etc.. And their pay should be based on the level of positive impact they have, with proof of it as well.

  46. Mark L says:

    If you look into the reasoning behind the night-time shooting of coyotes, the law permitting it becomes more and more odd. The primary reason for shooting them isn’t livestock (relax ranchers), it’s house cats. Coyotes eating cats. The horror…

  47. louise kane says:

    In the US we grant personhood status to corporations whose special interest money is often targeted to harm ecosystems in New Zealand they grant person status to a river! A progressive stance.

    • Salle says:

      A good friend of mine, a “kiwi” who is also Maori, and I have numerous conversations about the indigenous beliefs in her country and others where the given is that the earth and its components ~ mountains, rivers and all ~ are as alive as we are and that these entities deserve the same level of respect that we demand. It’s a cyclical thing not linear. As long as we pretend that we hold some self appointed superiority over the rest of other living things, including the planet itself, we will continue to decline in our ability to survive. Many humans buy into the mostly European-based belief in this real-time fallacy of faux-superiority and they do so because they have been told that it will bring them some kind of wealth that doesn’t really exist. Even if this “wealth” did exist, not many can have it anyway…

  48. Salle says:

    Thus begins another year of the (now) annual fight…

    Yellowstone taking comments on snowmobile rules

    The 30-day comment period began Friday and ends Oct. 4.

    Written comments may be submitted in person, by mail or online. The park says it will not accept comments by phone, fax or e-mail.

    • Nancy says:

      “Mange was introduced into the Yellowstone ecosystem in 1905 in an attempt to accelerate wolf eradication during an era when wildlife officials tried to cut down predator populations. When the wolves were gone, the disease likely persisted among regional carnivores, like coyotes and foxes, the researchers said”

      Again, yet another sorry, not to mention lasting, example of Mankind’s attempt to “tinker” with Mother Nature, for the benefit Mankind.

  49. jon says:,104979.msg1366726/topicseen.html#new

    Hunter shoots a pregnant cougar. Check out the comments. They make your blood boil.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Or they make your skin crawl. But this guy looks like a kid who really doesn’t know any better. 🙁

    • Mike says:

      Disgusting. There’s so many like this, too.

      • jon says:

        I agree. There are many of these types of hunters who have no respect for wildlife. They prefer dead wildlife over alive wildlife.

    • Nancy says:

      “I am also running to get off the road and find a spot to lay down. I saw a nice little patch, kicked out the legs on the bipod and was trying to get this cat in the glass. Finally, I spot it running like thunder up on the the ridge about, 350 yards out. Just as the cougar was about to disappear over the ridge, BOOM, that 7mm spoke and every critter in that valley stopped. I look and see that cougar do a leap and the flop. Now in my head im like holy S#!t, did that just happen.

      Now this thing is pissed doing its death circle and finally it stopped just long enough for me to take another shot. I heard the whap of the second bullet and saw the hit through my scope, right in the vitals. By this point my blood is pumping 900 miles an hour.

      All I could think about was the revenge I just got on their kind (I had one put the sneak on me in april during turkey season and just about left me with some full shorts)”

      Can only wonder what might of happened if he’d actually been left with some “full shorts”

      Perhaps a greater respect for predators that don’t have the benefit of a bipod, lots of yardage AND a 7mm?

      “All I could think about was the revenge I just got on their kind”


      • elk275 says:

        Shooting that mountain was legally allowed by law and everything checked with fish and wildlife. If one does not like it then change the law. LOL

        • Mike says:

          What do you find humorous about that comment, Elk275?

          • jon says:

            You would think an ethical hunter like elk would say something about the killing of a pregnant mountain lion, but no. He has no problem with it.

            • elk275 says:

              Jon how would he know if she was pregnant. Most mountain lions get pregnant sometime in the winter and give brith in the spring. This is not the time of year for mountain lions to be pregnant.

            • jon says:

              Hi elk, the hunter who killed the cat said it was a female who was pregnant with twins.

          • elk275 says:

            Mike I did not find anything humorous about that comment. The fact is that the hunter legally killed a mountain lion under the laws of the State of Washington.

            • Jerry Black says:

              Elk 275….. “Jon how would he know if she was pregnant. Most mountain lions get pregnant sometime in the winter and give brith in the spring. This is not the time of year for mountain lions to be pregnant.”
              Elk….check your facts!
              Mountain lion mating occurs ANYTIME of year and most litters are produced from JULY THRU SEPTEMBER.

            • jon says:

              Jerry is 100% right elk.


              “Mating can occur any time of the year, however, most litters are produced from July through September. Mountain Lions give birth at 1.5 to 2-year intervals but if a female loses a litter she will enter estrus soon after.”

            • Savebears says:

              Aw with domestic cats, for that matter many species of cats, they can mate pretty much anytime of the year.

              This still begs the question, how was the hunter suppose to know the cat was pregnant? I can’t say I agree with the selected comments Jon, picked from the comments section, but it is not illegal to kill a cat during a legal hunting season, even if pregnant.

            • Jerry Black says:

              Jon….hunters love to throw out misinformation to soften their image, thinking that non-hunters are ignorant about wildlife…problem with that is that many of us used to hunt, and have more than a little knowledge about these topics.

        • Nancy says:

          “If one does not like it then change the law. LOL”

          Yeah right Elk. Kind of like trying to bring an end to the war in Afghanistan? NLOL.

      • Mike says:

        Very disturbing, Nancy. The stuff of nightmares.

        • jon says:

          It is indeed very disturbing. Just look at the comments from the hunters on that link. These same people claim they are conservationists and wildlife lovers.

          • jon says:

            Some comments made by hunters.

            “How friggin’ lucky. Get all 3 stuffed. I’m jealous to beat hell !! I’ve seen 15 cougars and never have shot one, yet.
            Good writeup, nice cat.”

            “You did the deer population a great favor, congrats on getting 3 cats in one.”

            “Congrats! Any pics of the twins?

            “Congrats on the cat…..Dead lions are Cool…x3”

            Comments like these made by hunters and people wonder why non-hunting conservationists hate hunters.

            • SAP says:

              Gotta agree that this is absolutely disgusting. “Revenge”? WTF is wrong with these people? Such an immature, bloodthirsty culture. Gotta be the biggest, baddest critter out there, huh?

              These morons just can’t help themselves, apparently. Sure, it’s legal. Keep it up, knuckle-draggers, and someday soon, it won’t be legal anymore. A lot of people who are on the fence about hunting are going to tip over to the anti side by seeing this kind of thing.

      • louise kane says:

        what a disgusting disturbing emotion to feel as reflected in that comment, thrill at killing. This is what people hate about hunting. I’ll admit its not the type of post I see from the hunters here but I’m thinking you are in the minority. I think you need to recognize that there are a great many hunters who are thrill killers and that does disgust a great many non hunters, as I believe it should. A new paradigm for wildlife management is in order.

        • rork says:

          Altering wildlife management is unlikely to change the culture of some hunters. Some of these folks aren’t so thoughtful or even intelligent, treat it too much as a competition, and they are usually men, so it spins out of control, and gets irrational. Education is my only hope. Sane hunters must speak out more.

          And don’t doubt I could cherry pick comments by anti-hunters that would disappoint as well. Like in the mute swan debates near me, where it’s the biologists vs. the nuts (who have been feeding their mutes for years against all advice, and have never seen a trumpeter in their lives).

          • louise kane says:

            Rork you don’t have to cherry pick obnoxious disturbing comments from most of the websites that celebrate killing, trapping, and snaring and many trophy hunting sites. Just browse at will and they are right there.

    • JB says:

      Hunter posts a HSUS video on bear hounding, and hunters debate whether the practice is ethical:


      Jon: You do a disservice when you present one side of the issue; especially when you pick and choose your posts in order to “paint” hunters in a negative light. We could do the same with nearly any group (the media has been doing it to urban African Americans for years).

      • Immer Treue says:

        I guess two of the more efficient methods of taking bears are hounding and baiting. The efficiency and possible selectivity of baiting has been explained on this site.

        Hounding, again, efficient. Dogs do most of the work, and once the bear is treed, hunter selectivity ‘can’ come into play. You tube videos, I presume by the hounders, of dogs tearing into bears while on the ground, invites just a bit of karma when these dogs, in areas where wolves are present, tear into the dogs. So I would cast my vote toward doing away with hounding for bears, cats, and wolves.

        • jon says:

          Baiting and hounding are considered unethical by a good amount of the non-hunting public. There are many people who would support a complete ban on unethical practices such as trapping, baiting, and hounding. In some places, some of these practices are already banned.

  50. aves says:

    Wind power takes precedence over whooping cranes in Obama administration:

    Putin’s antics draw attention to plight of Siberian cranes:

  51. Salle says:

    Shell halts new Arctic drilling as ice moves toward company’s ship off Alaska

  52. Ida Lupine says:

    What I find disturbing is the sense of getting revenge. Revenge on what? Because he was out in the woods and a mountain lion happened to be about? You go out and you hunt an animal for food or something – but there’s no “revenge” element. The anti-wolf crowd is forever accusing folks of anthropomorphizing animals and attributing human qualities to them – this is the very same, projecting human morality and negative emotions onto an innocent creature.

    As far as wind and solar, whether they are environmentally sound, I’m not sure. We are at the point that anything we attempt overwhelms the environment and other inhabitants of the planet I think. It seems there is not much talk of cutting back usage conserving energy, just switching from fossil fuel to wind or solar in equal measure or to use even more. Taking down or devoting large swaths of forests and desert to turbines and solar panels and destroying habitat isn’t a better alternative for the environment, trees which offset increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere, especially with continued development for homes and roads, etc. Rooftop solar would be much better IMO. Again, this adminstration seems to only think of the environmental matters, and conservation in terms of how it benefits humankind and energy usage, not anything else. The cranes should not be sacrificed, nor should the wolves, nor any other animal. We need to rethink our priorities.

  53. Salle says:

    Conservationists Issue Plea to Save 100 Most Endangered Species
    ‘What can nature do for me?’ mindset wrong path to conservation, say experts

    • JB says:

      Thanks for sharing that, Salle.

      • Salle says:

        You’re welcome. I thought it was appropriate to post it.

        It might also be food for thought to consider that humans are the only species ~ that I am aware of ~ who willfully and knowingly poison their own bodies and foul their own nests.

    • JB says:

      Knowing the author tells me everything I need to know–Dave Smith, of ‘grab-your-gun-and-toss-down-your-pepper-spray’ fame.

      • jon says:

        I think sb is familiar with this guy. Sb, can you tell me a little history on this guy Dave Smith?

        • Savebears says:


          I am not all that familiar with Smith, other than what I have read on the net about him as well as the various odd articles he has wrote. I have read one of his books.

    • Savebears says:


      You only have to read the comments after the article to know what most people think about it.

    • SAP says:

      A) sounds like somebody’s jealous of an amazing photo.

      B) did the bear actually leave? Doesn’t sound that way. So maybe the bear experienced a tiny uptick in stress.

      C) the flight had a legitimate research purpose; sure, maybe circling in closer JUST for a photo was a bit a lapse. We do learn from the photo that this was a marked bear (ear tag) and, we may learn at least a little about how this bison died (probably not from wolves; more likely from fighting another bison).

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I hope the photo didn’t unduly stress the bear – those planes and helicopters are very loud.

      The article I read said that he was tracking “a pack of 50 wolves”. That sounds like an unusually high number and must be incorrect? It’s things like this that cause unnecessary misunderstandings of wolves:

      It sounds like he’s doing some good work though – here’s a youtube clip from the PBS documentary “The Wolf that Changed America” where he discusses wolf hunting and elk.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Hope it was ok to post the video – I meant to post just the link and messed it up if you need to delete! 🙂

  54. jon says:

    Who would have thought, cheetahs and dogs becoming friends.

  55. jon says:

    “The litigation did throw a wrench into the process, and more may yet be flung. Robert Habush, an attorney for the plaintiffs, has suggested that further court proceedings would “expose really what happened here,” declining to elaborate. (A September 14 hearing will be held on whether the case should be dismissed.) And Dick Thiel, a retired DNR wolf biologist who gave expert testimony in the dog case, expects other legal challenges to be filed.

    Thiel and others suspect the bill was written with substantial input from pro-hunting groups, which invested more than 200 hours lobbying on its behalf, and minimal input from DNR staff and other wildlife professionals.

    “They needed to keep science out of it, because there are a lot of flaws in the bill,” asserts Thiel, who is among the 20,000 people who’ve applied for a wolf hunt license. He says the DNR has stacks of reports of wolf attacks on dogs: “It’s just a bloodbath.”

    Wisconsin hunters say using dogs to track wolves crucial to success as 1st hunt approaches

    • Immer Treue says:

      Good posting jon,

      I submit that what is occurring in Wisconsin, and for that matter Mn, is exactly the reason why a “cooling off” period was necessary between delisting and hunting. Wisconsin’s plan, though fairly conservative in numbers(now) was rushed through, half assed, and ill conceived, and all but invited litigation.

    • Nancy says:

      “Wisconsin hunters’ dogged insistence on using their pets to help them hunt opens a curtain on some messed-up mental patterns. How can they love their pet dogs while killing innocent wolves for “fun”?

      One explanation comes from a study by the University of Queensland’s School of Psychology, which studied the mind games people play in order to eat “meat animals” while loving domesticated pets. ”Many people like eating meat, but most are reluctant to harm things that have minds. Our studies show that this motivates people to deny minds to animals,” researcher Dr. Brock Bastian said. Bastian calls this the “meat paradox”

  56. Salle says:

    Poachers killed 100 rhinoceros in South Africa in slaughter surge

  57. CodyCoyote says:

    – never heard of this guy Gunther or his organization , Animal Welfare Approved” , but he came to Wyoming and did some field research . Form your own opinion.

    • HAL 9000 says:

      You beat me to posting that article. Every rancher in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming should read it, I think.

    • louise kane says:

      Last winter one commenter/rancher discussed their wolf/wildlife friendly ranching certified program. It was illuminating and hopeful to read his comments and attitudes about coexisting with other wildlife. Thank you for posting the blog Cody.

      i think the rancher that posted was Steve???

    • Rancher Bob says:

      Nice rose colored piece but can you sell more beef to a vegan?
      Wolves, grizzlies and other predators are commonly seen in pastures with cattle around Montana with no problems, but the wolf is the only predator I’ve heard about that will travel 5 miles, in one night, to kill a calf then return those 5 miles by passing other prey.

      • SAP says:

        Now now, Rancher Bob, you don’t have to be a vegan to care about animal welfare. I agree with the philosophy, “just because we’re going to eat them doesn’t mean we have to make them miserable first.” Might even amend that to say, “ESPECIALLY because we’re going to eat them, we should treat them with the utmost gratitude and respect.

        The article about the Arapaho Ranch is encouraging. Sounds like they, too, have a risk-reduction approach to ranching with wolves (as we discussed here earlier).

  58. Salle says:

    Antelope numbers up, in spite of a dry year

    • louise kane says:

      Salle this is a terrible situation but one that could have been avoided. I get angry when I read articles like this. The whole fisheries issue is complex as is the wildlife/predator issue in the west. Essentially the fisheries have been mismanaged. But the fishermen are not the victims, a public resource has been squandered at the hands of a corrupt political system, fishermen, and a bad piece of legislation that handed fishery management decisions to councils that listened to and in some cases were heavily stacked with fishing industry members. The ultimate fox in the henhouse situation.
      Far too often politicians argue for subsidies for resource extractors, based on faulty presumptions that these extractors require assistance rather then real regulations with teeth that will prevent the abuse and preserve the resource. This quote in particular makes me angry. “Kerry compared fishermen to farmers, saying they’re just as dependent on the vagaries of the ecosystem as farmers are, and just as deserving of assistance when things go bad through no fault of their own, like when farmers face a drought.” The fishermen of New England have been bailed out many times. There was a boat buy out some years ago, financial aid programs and reeducation programs, tax write offs etc. The boat program was egregious paying off many who had faulty, broken almost unusable boats. The handwriting has been on the proverbial wall for many years, yet the fishermen scream bloody murder every time there is a restriction placed on the industry to try and curtail excessive fishing. I have said it before, its not societies responsibility to subsidize bad fisheries policies. When the fisheries collapse due to overfishing the fishermen and poliiticans that allowed it should be stopped not treated like fallen heros. We need to stop subsidizing bad policies that wreck ecosystems and reward resource abusers, here and in the west.

      If any of you think that its easy for me to say this as it does not affect me.
      My father was a commercial fisherman. i fished, and my son is a hook and line commercial fisherman now, which his considered a more sustainable form of fishing.

      • JB says:


        I must admit that pondering about the fate of our marine fisheries is depressing business. How will fish respond to increased acidification? How will fisheries respond to increased pressure exerted by rising populations? And how will we manage a resource that transcends not just state and provincial political boundaries, but international boundaries as well?

        • Immer Treue says:

          Correct me if I am wrong, but is one of the reasons for Somalian piracy the devastation to their costal fisheries?

          • WM says:


            I think you are right. The Somalian fishery was devastated by foreign take from big trawlers, putting the local, but at one time sustaining, fisheries on the brink of collapse.

            Protection of coastal fisheries throughout the world has gotten more contentions over the last fifty years or so. I recall as a kid going out on salmon charter boats in the late summer, out of West Port, or Ilwaco at the mouth of the Columbia. This would have been in the late 60’s and early 70’s, a the time of year when the kings and silvers would congregate and mill around awaiting the signal to migrate up the Columbia to spawn(where they faced challenges from dams). Fishing was good, and sport fishers could take 2 kings and 3 silvers per day, almost paying for the charter trip. Commercial guys did well, too.

            Toward the end of this bountiful run, the Russians (or Soviets at the time, if you prefer) had huge trawlers just off our coast, within a 23 mile limit of the coast line. The US commercial fishermen and the charter boat guys would seethe and fume over what these guys were doing. You could hear these guys cussing them out over the ship’s radio, even with threats that the Coast Guard feared might translate into action. Shots were fired a number of times, as some of these US fishers would get fed up as they watched their bounty dwindle and go into the holds of these massive Russian mother ships tended by smaller trawlers, nets filled with what they believed were their fish (and that of the tribal fishers under treaties, as well). This was during the cold war, and many feared it would escalate to an international incident that could not be ignored.

            Eventually the limit was unilaterally (I think) expanded to 200 miles for all US coast lines in about 1977 or so, under federal legislation, pissing off the Russians. But the damage had been done. Many of the US fishermen went out of business, and boats were left at docks abandoned, as the owners couldn’t pay debt service on their loans or even the moorage fees at the docks.

            Grave damage has been done throughout the world, where these big ship/big company operations from China and Europe have raped the seas putting fisheries of various types on the verge of collapse.

            • louise kane says:

              WM while I agree with most of what you wrote your last statement needs ammendment. “Grave damage has been done throughout the world, where these big ship/big company operations from China and Europe have raped the seas putting fisheries of various types on the verge of collapse”. as soon as we ousted the european fishers others the US fishermen jumped right in with their own versions of factory ships and contract with foreign vessels for fish. We have been no better…

            • WM says:

              Thanks for amending for my post, louise. I did not intend to leave out our own bad guys from the US. There were and still are enough of them doing lots of damage with big gear, maybe even with ships registered out of foreign ports.

              I have no basis to say this, but I often wonder if the Dungeness crab fishery is next.

            • CodyCoyote says:

              … not to mention that unscrupulous Europeans ships were using the coast off East Africa as a toxic waste dumping ground. They were hauling whole boatloads of illegal waste thru the Suez Canal out into the Arabian Sea with toxic cargo that could not be disposed on land under any circumstance or without horrendous cost, then just heaving it over the side off Somalia.
              Unmitgated use of the oceans as a sewer or cesspool is a larger problem than most folks realize. It definitely affects fisheries if residents along the shorelines have severe health problems from it, and in the case of East Africa, they very much do…

        • louise kane says:

          yes JB its very troubling. The effect of closures in George’s Bank was to see a surge in different year class fish but the data is not all that conclusive as it relies on a complicated yield and catch formula that not even the scientists agree on. I think its always been problematic to rely on yield as an indicator of a stock’s health for a wide range of reasons. So try and manage a fishery with bad numbers, then throw in legal boundaries in state, federal and international waters as well as in adequate protection of coastal nurseries like marshes and estuarine habitats and its a recipe for meaningless management. Fish like wildlife do not respect legal boundaries. There are some pelagic fish like Atlantic Bluefin that there is not even accurate and reliable life history information. I’ve watched Bluefin be harvested regularly at 1200 pounds (in the hey day years) to where the fishery is now. The fishermen are happy to get 400 -500 pound fish and they also harvest what they call the footballs or 50 pound fish. Most fish are harvested with no restrictions during breeding periods etc. Its a terrible situation. The large pelagics, like the “charismatic megafauna” are in bad shape. No restrictions on miles of nets, draggers destroying bottom, and miles of plastic debris that chokes the life out of everything that comes into contact with it. The oceans are so incredibly fecund and remarkable. I think its going to take a worldwide moratoriums on fishing and then we would see tremendous rebounds, as we did in George’s Banks for a short while until fishing resumed. Instead we go from one fish species to the next overfishing as we go. For anyone wanting a good read and an overview of groundfish check out, Cod the fish that changed the world by Mark Kurlansky . The Secret Life of Lobsters is also wonderful.

        • Nancy says:

          “And how will we manage a resource that transcends not just state and provincial political boundaries, but international boundaries as well?”

          Excellent question JB. Here are just a couple of articles out of hundreds (thousands) that relate to your question.

          Dated. but some interesting graphics & facts, now that the planet just rolled over to 7 billon people….Anyone paying attention?

          Mankind continuely feels the need to manage/manipulate every other species on the planet, while ignoring the fact that we’re the ones in true need of management now, if we care about the planet and the future of OUR species.

          Are there any universities out there, anywhere ( graduating students) dedicated to understanding the negative impacts of mankind in this day and age or is it all about how best to “damage control” what’s being left in our wake?

          • JB says:

            “Mankind continuely feels the need to manage/manipulate every other species on the planet, while ignoring the fact that we’re the ones in true need of management now…”

            Nancy: While I found the articles you passed along interesting (thanks!), I find the above statement misleading, at best. The “need to manage” ecosystems is as much about managing our own impact as it is managing other species. We regulate the “take” of wildlife, restrict access to wilderness, regulate the harvest of national forests, prohibit various types of activities on public lands, create programs to mitigate our own impacts, etc. To say that we are “ignoring the fact that we’re the ones in true need of management” ignores the FACT that the better part of all natural resource conservation and management is people management.

            Now in all fairness, perhaps you meant to say that we need to do something about population growth? If so, I ask: what would you suggest? Here in the US we have been at the replacement birth rate for several years. The only reason our population is growing at all is immigration–much of it illegal. More importantly, have little ability to affect population growth beyond our borders, as we have no authority. Finally, the US already actively promotes the two factors that consistently correlate with reduced population growth, i.e., equal rights for and access to education and birth control for women.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              312,780,968 was the census count of the end of 2011. I never understood why we need “replacement” value. We still have a large population, and our birth rate is still rising, albeit less so, not only because of immigration.

              As for equal rights and access to education and birth control – conservative and religious families don’t actively promote equal rights, access to, education about, or birth control for women, and it is in serious jeopardy if Romney/Ryan win in November.

            • WM says:


              You might be interested to know the highest birth rates in the US are from those who have come here in the last 20 years, mostly illegally, or they are the children of the children who came here illegally. And this component of the US population will likely be the most fertile going forward for the next couple of generations (whether they can afford to have these children or not).

            • JB says:


              Actually our birth rate (total fertility rate) is not rising–it peaked in the late 1950s at around 3.7 children/woman. Today it is just under the replacement rate of 2.1 children/woman–meaning our population would be shrinking were it not for immigration.

              You make a fair point about the Rs’ party platform and the dangers of religious conservatism. And WM is right about the potential implications for illegal immigration to affect birth rates in the future. (Perhaps the Rs don’t have it all wrong).

        • Salle says:


          Having lived in fishing communities along the New England coast decades ago I would have to agree with Louise’s complaint,and also suggest that the concerns you mention are insignificant when it comes to extractive industries shilling the public for their hard earned taxpayer dollars via subsidies and buy-outs. Remember, Maine (for instance) has one of the most depressed economies in the country and fishing is one of its largest industries. That and timber harvest with a little mining thrown in. I would have settled there for my current residence if it weren’t for the overt unequal situation regarding the points brought up by Louise, above. And the fact that women suffer a great inequality factor there, more so than most other parts of the country.

          With regard to oceanic acidification, it’s a subject that gets thrown overboard when there’s a buck to be made by grabbing the subsidy gravy train should the opportunity arise, just like the scene here in the NRM with welfare ranching, timber and mining factions taking over that which belongs to all of us. Sad situations in many places these days… lest we forget the fracking wars going on in the area where you reside. It’s all kind of the same problem; those elements that seemed like they were free for all of us are now taken from us by those with deep pockets and an agenda at a major expense to the rest of us.

      • Salle says:

        And then, on the west coast…

        Commerce secretary declares Alaska salmon disaster

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Through no fault of their own. Yeah, right.

      They have overfished and fought catch limits and gov’t regulations for years despite warnings and the collapse of Canada’s fishery. They’ve made their bed as far as I’m concerned.

    • Mike says:

      How is a guy who can’t tell a golden retriever from a deer allowed to own a gun?

      • Salle says:

        Okay, so this is a cop who, I’m guessing, carries one on the job? You know, there are still wooded areas around there but I can’t imagine that there is enough space between dwellings to allow for hunting in the first place, yikes. But then, in that end of Mass. what cops do is often overlooked because they’re cops, period… impunity, ain’t it grand?

      • jon says:

        Lord knows. He is a cop. The cop shoots at a tail that he thought belonged to a deer when it really belonged to a golden retriever. I hope the victim sues the hell outta this cop who shot her.

  59. louise kane says:

    Here’s your chance to cast your vote on the issue of grazing cattle on public lands – The bill favored by the The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and, of course, strongly opposed by environmental, conservation and animal advocacy groups, such as the The Wolf Army and Western Watersheds Project to name a few – with others:

  60. Salle says:

    This should get some attention and action from those who are interested in any and all public lands. This is just the beginning of the trend and I think the Obama alternative will ramrod crap like this up our you-know-whats so fast that we won’t have a chance to respond before it’s way too late:

    House GOP Votes to Transfer Tens of Thousands of Acres of Minnesota Public Lands to the State for Sulfide Mining

  61. Salle says:

    County commissioners publish draft predator policy

    “Although Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is the only agency with the authority to manage state wildlife, the draft policy lists 26 assumptions that lead commissioners to think a county large predator management policy is justified.”

    • JB says:

      They are playing with fire, and clearly don’t recognize/think that re-listing is possible. In fact, this is exactly the type of policy that could force FWS’s hand.

      • jon says:

        JB, you seem very knowledgable, so let me ask you this, if Rick Hill becomes governor in Montana, he has said he will classify wolves as predators allowed to be shot on sight year round. Will the feds step in? Montana fwp wants wolves to be classified as big game while Rick Hill wants wolves to be classified as predators.

        • Salle says:

          Whether the feds step in or not will depend heavily on who is Sec. of Interior, among other players in Congress and the SCOTUS. I don’t expect Ken the rancher to have any inclination to act in favor of any species other than the wealthy or welfare ranching human kind.

        • elk275 says:

          feel that Bullock will be elected governor not Hill. Bullock as Attorney General has spent many years with wolf litigation and does not want to have any trouble with the Feds and has said so. Every hunter and fisherman better be very careful if Hill is elected for he want to commercialize fish and game and change the stream access bill.

          • Salle says:

            Hill is a problem child from hell and I hope he loses his electoral bid. I’m not exactly thrilled with any of the choices this time around but will vote to help keep the worst of the worst from being elected anyway. I don’t feel as though I have been properly represented for quite a long time and I don’t expect to be anytime in the near future… disheartening at best but it is what it is.

            When I was working the 2010 census I had hoped that Montana would show a large enpugh pop increase to regain that second rep in the House but most of the housing increases, at least in my districts were mostly vacation and trophy homes – like 70% of them, approximately, none of which represent actual pop increase, just buildings taking up prime habitat that could be put to better use by wildlife.

            • elk275 says:


              Has your house taken up prime wildlife habitat, If you live where I think you live or near there then it is a very important wildlife corridor between two mountain ranges.

            • Salle says:


              No, and I’m not going to disclose my location but suffice it to say that I wasn’t interested in making a majorly hypocritical statement on that… glass house thing I guess.

              A good example, however, would be Big Sky. The vast amount of that community was built during the period between the 2000 and 2010 decennial censuses. I had to map portions of that community, it took four of us, and there were days when my hand-held unit used to “map-spot” housing units became overloaded and crashed. I spent several days where I recorded over three hundred addresses in an eight hour time period… all those condo complexes were the worst. Aside from the sheer number of units, being between the mountains, especially on the valley floor and in canyons, made triangulation difficult which ultimately messed up the maps that resulted from the process and that were used in the following operations. Many of my enumerators complained about the inaccuracies and asked me what idiot did the recording. When I responded that I mapped the area myself they were shocked, then I asked them if they had cell phone service in those places. After the triangulation explanation, they, most, understood why the maps were not entirely accurate and why they had to go door to door to verify them all. Most of Montana involved the “hand deliver” scenario for questionnaires for other reasons as well.

            • elk275 says:


              I hear you, I hear you. I have been working all afternoon on a “Starter Castle” appraisal in Big Sky. I can not get into it and have not been able to get into for a month. Several months ago I was assigned a “Castle” appraisal in Yellowstone Mountain Club. I thought about it for several days and even with a $2500 fee I decided that I did not need that “poop”. An 18 to 20 million dollar liability with very little supporting data, no way. Oh, the skiing is good if one has extra change for a lift ticket. Big Sky is not my favorite community.

            • Salle says:

              Most of those property owners must have some pretty sophisticated and reliable security systems, there’s no local police there… but then, if you got to the hilltop, YC area, they actually do.

              I have no positive affection for the place either, some of the attitudes I encountered were way over the top as far as self aggrandizing putzes go. I met some nice people too but the ones who weren’t made the whole place, overall, unpleasant to say the least. Too much of too much.

        • JB says:


          What people say on the campaign trail and what they do when they are elected are often quite different. Classifying wolves as predators throughout the state will trigger relisting–and if the feds don’t jump in you can damn well bet one of the groups will petition and force relisting. A far more likely scenario is that cooler minds prevail and Montana tries to play Wyoming’s game–i.e., classifying wolves as a predator/nuisance species in the eastern 2/3s of the state. I suspect this is also coming in Idaho–assuming Wyoming gets away with it. For now, we will all just have to sit back and see where the chips fall.

      • louise kane says:

        One can only hope, a relsiting with a federal national carnivore protection act to follow based on prior history of recidivist predator eradication policies.

    • WM says:

      Let’s cut to the chase. Here is a link to the draft resolution in full:

      This BOC ever done a resolution before, they have so many “Whereas” clauses its making me dizzy?

      • jburnham says:

        Agreed, a lot of filler text. Most of their goals could have been summed up in one bullet point: Advocate for more big game and fewer predators.

        Some of the text is crafted to give the impression of a balanced approach, but as a result, misses the real issues.

        4. Gallatin County recognizes that large predators are an important part of the natural ecosystem and our local culture but asserts that wolves, grizzly bears and mountain lions must be managed and at times controlled in order to protect the health, safety and welfare
        of our citizens, protect our agriculture and tax base from serious harm, and protect our large ungulate game herds.

        Of course, large predators are being managed for these exact objectives as has been the case for quite some time in Montana. This assertion skirts the real divide over the subjective understanding of the word “management” when it comes to wolves. BOCC, RMEF, SCI, etc. continue to imply that if wolf numbers in MT are over 150, then predators aren’t being “managed”. If elk HD’s are below objectives, predators aren’t being “managed”.

        This resolution is pretty sloppy and unimpressive in my opinion.

      • louise kane says:

        Thanks for posting the full text
        whereas we want to kill all predators and thats what we want now, and no one can stop us. Fingers in ears

  62. Salle says:

    I put this on the wrong thread earlier…

    Here’s some good news for a change (and I find it amazing that it comes from Kenny-boy which makes me think it was not his idea)…

    Red Rock Lakes refuge adds 12,000 acres

    • elk275 says:

      The purchase was from duck stamp funds. Money from duck hunters.

      • Salle says:

        ..and wasn’t that the intended purpose of the stamps fee?

        I also am skeptical of this move, one makes me think that this is based on positive promotion of hunting while in another part of the state this Dept. Sec. also said that fossil fuels extraction on public lands is okay and going forward. Is that a trade-off, or is it some kind of “cover” or both?

        Regardless, I guess he wants to cover his behind by making it out to be funded by something other than general fund tax revenue because it is for the alleged benefit of wildlife species, many of which can be hunted, of course. I’m just glad that the expansion will benefit Trumpeter Swans which are in trouble due to loss of habitat.

  63. louise kane says:

    Connie Poten sent this to me its a link to a trapper who has trapped over 13,000 foxes in PA. I’m beyond words. This is what those of us who hate trapping need to get out there. I can’t think of a more heinous activity. and yes that’s a value judgment

    • Mark L says:

      If it means anything to you, he did not put a dent in the population. There are still plenty (does seem a huge waste though). Glad they weren’t gray foxes too.

      • louise kane says:

        killing 13,000 of anything puts a person into another category far beyond the sadistic pyschopath category. I don’t see much consolation in the fact that they were not grey foxes. Why would anyone do this? Trapping sucks.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I was hoping it was photoshopped. This man seems to have made it his life’s work. The bigger the brain, the more that can go haywire I always say. 😉

        • JB says:

          “killing 13,000 of anything puts a person into another category far beyond the sadistic pyschopath category”

          Louise: I understand that trapping offends you, but did you really think this statement through? Commercial fisherman can easily kill 13,000 “anything”s in a day; crop dusters might kill many more, does that make them psychopaths? What about those who kill non-native species (e.g., European starlings) to protect biodiversity? Are they psychopaths?

          I think the kind of moral absolutism exhibited in your post burns a lot of bridges with pragmatic conservationists.

          Red fox: There is some controversy as to whether to consider red fox “native” species throughout much of the conterminous US, as they were absent from much of they area following the last glacial recession. However, anthropogenic changes introduced by our European ancestors made conditions favorable for red fox again, so they have been repopulating areas, often out-competing gray fox. The rescue facility I worked with in California (years ago) would not take red fox, as they considered them invasive.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            What about those who kill non-native species (e.g., European starlings) to protect biodiversity? Are they psychopaths?

            I’d like to answer this, if I may.

            No, I don’t think they are the same thing. In our modern world, there are jobs that may be distasteful but necessary, and correcting the mistakes of the past is one of them. However, once the person does the job and it’s done. Commercial fishermen are providing food for us – I would classify them as hunters, not farmers, because they are not “growing” anything, just harvesting a “resource”.

            What is so disturbing about this photo is the “displaying” or “hoarding” behaviour, and without having all the facts at hand, it suggests similar behaviour to a serial killer.

            • ma'iingan says:

              “What is so disturbing about this photo is the “displaying” or “hoarding” behaviour, and without having all the facts at hand, it suggests similar behaviour to a serial killer.”

              What you perceive as “hoarding” is merely a trapper keeping his furs until market prices meet his criteria. It’s not unusual for trappers to have a few year’s accumulated catch waiting for an upswing in the market.

              “Commercial fishermen are providing food for us – I would classify them as hunters, not farmers, because they are not “growing” anything, just harvesting a “resource”.

              This trapper sells his furs, so obviously there is a market, like it or not. And if you asked him I’m sure he would reply that he’s harvesting a resource.

            • WM says:


              ++…it suggests similar behaviour to a serial killer.++

              This guy is very good at what he apparently does for a living, unashamedly, but please spare us the drama and unfounded speculation.

            • jon says:

              it’s disturbing that some people don’t see animals as beings with lives, they see them as only “resources”. This trapper is very good at killing wildlife. This trapper who killed 13,000 foxes is not conservationist.

            • jon says:

              ma, I don’t see that as “harvesting”. It’s killing. Just call it what it really is.

            • Salle says:

              But isn’t he harvesting a resource that belongs to everyone? In which case I’d say he’s making his living from taking what belongs to everyone else… including the lives of all those animals who died a terrible death. Bad juju on him.

            • WM says:

              ++… he’s making his living from taking what belongs to everyone else++

              And, he is harvesting a renewable resource, with the permission of a democratic society, which, after due deliberation, has determined the method of take, how many and where.

            • Mike says:

              Ma –

              You “harvest” corn, or pumpkins.

              When you put a bullet in an animal’s brain or crush it with your boot, you are killing it.

              Stop watering down reality with donut sprinkles.

          • louise kane says:

            JB you are correct, I did not think this through. The image elicited an immediate visceral reaction. Yet,I think that reaction is not unwarranted. I believe that there is considerable justification in feeling outrage and in questioning the mindset of a person who kills and displays 13,000 dead animals. It’s reminiscent of of an image that one of my Dad’s friends had when the unit they were in entered a concentration camp to “free” the tortured inhabitants. Stacked bodies dead and walking dead.

            I know that I’ve struggled with a dilemma lately. The question being what course is most successful when it comes to advocacy, and predators? Is it a more palatable and successful to take a centrist, non emotional, value free approach, facts only please course or is it more effective to incorporate emotion and allow value judgement and a moral dialogue in the process? I think there is an argument for both.

            I get your argument that “the kind of moral absolutism exhibited in your post (has the potential to burn) a lot of bridges with pragmatic conservationists” Therin lies the dilemma for me. Are these pragmatic conservationists that you refer to very effective? What lessons are we learning about advocacy? The most pressing issue to me is that we now live in a world where advocacy to protect wildlife, wilderness and the environment has become big business and is a necessary evil. As a business model successful businesses rely on advertising which relies on emotive responses to the campaigns. I know that some of you detest NGOs like PETA, Greepeace and SeaShepherds, but some of their effectiveness lies in the fact that they use emotion, as well as facts and science and have been open to burning some bridges in their advocacy. In the case of predator “management” extremist policies provide the backdrop that allow a single person to trap and kill 13,000 foxes, allow the setting of hundreds/thousands of indiscriminate traps and snares (sometimes by one individual), do not provide quotas, and invite agencies like the wildlife services with little or no transparency or accountability to oversee predator management. These laws favor special interests and allow “some” sociopathic individuals to operate under the aegis of law. There is the unfortunate evidence of the presence of sociopathic behavior toward wildlife on numerous websites for all the world to see.
            At some point, I get fed up seeing such carnage and apply terms that are triggered by my honest reaction to what I consider to be an extreme, hostile environment for predators that allows predatory individuals to wantonly kill and maim wildlife. I am probably burning some bridges but I’m thinking as a society we may have to burn some bridges to get to a more humane, less wasteful destructive place where we coexist with wildlife instead of seeing them as items to be harvested and slaughtered.

            If you have studies about the nature of individuals that hunt and trap, I’ll look at them. Yoru info is always reliable and good

            Thanks for the call out.

        • jon says:

          What I want to know is how on earth this trapper was allowed to kill 13,000 foxes. he did not care about all of the wild foxes he killed. He was more concerned with killing wildlife and making some money off of his killing. This is sad and unacceptable behavior to many in this day in age.

      • jon says:

        That does not make me feel better. 13,000 foxes are dead because of this man. That is 13,000 foxes that will never be seen by wildlife watchers again.

    • Mike says:

      Good news. The more that tilts to fishermen, the more ethical and responsible state game laws will become.

  64. Salle says:

    I think this issue scream for major letter writing campaigns, among other forms of protest:

    Salazar: All energy production OK on public land with careful planning

  65. Salle says:

    Grouse Group Completes Milestone


    Efforts to Help Sage Grouse Increasingly Colliding with Idaho Energy Projects
    Efforts to help the possibly threatened sage grouse are increasingly colliding with projects that would provide or convey energy to southern Idaho.

  66. Salle says:

    And yet more good news… sort of

    BC Bear Hunting Ban Declared By 10 First Nations

    • CodyCoyote says:

      We had a Grizzly Bear wrangler/biologist from Alberta Canada named Jay Honeyman give a talk in Cody last week on his role in managing grizzly bear-human conflicts in all of Alberta. I learned a few things. Mainly that even though the bear species is the same and not too far away from our Yellowstone grizzlies on the same planet , management is done as if they were on different worlds. Canada is w-a-a-a-y behind the curve on getting a grip on grizzlies.

      For one thing, they just now got around to listing them as Threatened in Alberta. Even though Alberta is three times larger than Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho COMBINED , it has fewer grizzlies…estimated at maybe 690 bears , well under the total of Yellowstone + Glacier Park-northwest Montana bears. About half of Alberta’s bears are in the immediate Banff National Park area centered on Canmore and Banff , in very fragmented habitat. The population has fallen dramatically in recent decades from poaching, conflict kills, and overhunting of grizzlies , which were not held in high esteem ever, until just recently.

      Honeyman said they want to get the grizz population back up to a minimum of 1000 bears but the Alberta grizzlies reproduce much slower than the Montana and Wyoming bears. And apparently get in a lot more trouble. They are trying to expand eastward away from the Rocky Mountains but are running into agriculture and the booming oil and gas industry.

      tehre is a brief article about his Cody talk at Yellowstone Gate.

      – which does not touch on the larger issues of how the bear situation got where it is today.

      Honeyman has his work cut out for him up there, since he relies on money from the Province and seeing as the capital is the oil-gas driven Edmonton , money for the environment and wildlife etc is in darn short supply and only giving grudgingly. The Stephen Harper government in Canada is very conservative and anti-science and anti-environmental, and nowhere is this more obvious than in Alberta where industrial money trumps both science and ecology , and keeps conservation on a short leash always.

      The grizzlies over in the Rockies of British Columbia in the Columbia and Kootenay watersheds are on a different world altogether…but that topic is for another day.

      • Salle says:


        I have seen some news about these issues but they are so numerous that I become bewildered and don’t know how to approach the set of issues that are popping up every day. The only hope for the rest of the species who inhabit the same biosphere as humans is a mass reduction of humans, as far as I can see it. We have outnumbered everything else, other than viruses and cockroaches.

        I am sure that the human apologists will attack me for saying this but it is what it is, we are a danger to the biosphere (and ourselves) and if we can’t control ourselves, the biosphere will do it for us. Otherwise there is no hope for all the other species, period. Our self-aggrandizing posture is nauseating, horrifying and stupid but we persist with horse-blinders and rose-colored lenses anyway,..

        “Following in the footsteps of a funeral pyre
        You were paid not listen now your house is on fire
        Wake me up when things get started
        When everything starts to happen
        My features form with a change in the weather
        Some of us horrified
        Others never talk about it
        But when the weather starts to burn
        Then you’ll know that you’re in trouble”

        (From “Mothers Talk”… Tears for Fears)

  67. Salle says:

    This is interesting but it sends a message that glosses over the fact that it is our quest for wealth and convenience that is destroying the habitat of endangered species. In fact, it is, in part, due to our misguided perception that all other species require our management that they have become endangered at phenomenal rates in the first place so that we can propagate uninhibited.

    Rescue dogs sniff out endangered species
    By training shelter dogs to find the scat of threatened species, Conservation Canines is saving the lives of both dogs and wildlife

  68. Salle says:

    Forget the Farm Bill and anything else that Congress is supposed to act on for the rest of the year… I realize that this isn’t specifically about wildlife but it is too important to not spread far and wide…

    House Republicans Plan Two Month Vacation, Leaving Key Bills Awaiting Action

    This is exactly why these people should not be in office and why they should not be paid for their dis-service to the American public in any way, shape or form, including their guaranteed healthcare and retirement annuities-that may actually obliterate the deficit all in one action. And this is why everyone who is qualified needs to vote.

  69. Ida Lupine says:


    Just wanted to say that I hope some of my opinions haven’t been (too) offensive, I don’t mean to be, and that I really do appreciate reading the thoughtful and intelligent comments from all sides of these issues.


  70. Mark L says:

    Quite the opposite, I like getting all sides of an issue…especially ones I hadn’t thought of before (interesting to think if someone who is a serial killer may share traits with someone who obsessively hunts a certain species). If it risks getting ‘shot down’ by some folks that don’t see things the same way, then who cares? Say it and let them shoot it down. It may have ‘unintended’ bearing on another subject not even thought of.
    (a democracry of thought)

    • Immer Treue says:

      Well said.

      • Mark L says:

        Which means listening to what ‘Mike’ has to say also.
        (whether we want to or not)

        • Immer Treue says:

          I knew that would follow. But give Mike his dues. His convictions are strong, he perseveres, and his bark must be thick.

          • WM says:


            Your many years as a teacher doing “difficult” student evaluations is showing thru. LOL

        • Mike says:

          Someone has to offer a different opinion to the hunter’s cabal this site has become.

          It went from pro-Yellowstone wolves to “let’s shoot them pretty darn fast (or in the terms of spin artists, “let’s harvest them”) and the majority of posts are now from hunters. Didn’t used to be that way, and it’s not an easy transition for someone who has been here since the beginning.

          People need to ask “why”. It shouldn’t be assumed that we have to shoot anything. Although this is a gag reflex from the hunting community. It’s like each species is built up only to be shot down, like some perverse shooting gallery.

          • Immer Treue says:


            “It went from pro-Yellowstone wolves to “let’s shoot them pretty darn fast (or in the terms of spin artists, “let’s harvest them”) and the majority of posts are now from hunters.”

            Where is your data to support this comment, in particular “the majority of Posts are now from hunters”?

            • Mike says:

              Take a look around, Immer. Most of the posters hunt now, or are pro-hunting.

              JB, you, WM, Wa’, Rancher Bob, the list goes on.

            • Savebears says:

              May of us do Mike, if you want a blog that does not allow both sides of the issues, you need to step up and start you own, Ralph has graciously allowed both sides to post to his blog. I for one am glad he does, it keeps you zealot antis in check!

            • Mike says:

              JB –

              As much as I like many of the posters here, I think it’s probably at the point where I need to find a wildlife site with more pro-animal people. It really has become a hunter’s cabal.

              I don’t buy into the notion that every species needs to be recovered, and then shot. This behavior seems self-defeating to me, above all else.

            • JB says:


              Just to be clear, I am not pro-hunting nor anti-hunting (I do not advocate for or against), and I haven’t hunted in ~15 years. I do support legal hunting of wildlife (different from advocacy), as it provides a variety of public goods. Moreover, in my experience, those who advocate against hunting typically either do so claiming moral superiority (while purchasing their meat at the grocery store) or out of sheer bigotry (replete with derogatory slang for rural folk). I don’t find either group makes a particularly compelling case against hunting, so I continue to count myself among the 3/4 majority of Americans supportive of the activity.

            • Savebears says:

              Bye, Bye Mike.

            • Immer Treue says:


              I’ll take stab at it: jon; you; Salle; Ida; Louise; Nancy and the list goes on. To those on the list other than Mike, I mean no disrespect and enjoy your posts. Heck Mike, I don’t even mean any disrespect for you.

              Trying to hold any communication with you is analogous to the Monty Python skit where John Cleese pays a fee to have an argument, and to his chagrine walks into his assigned Room and instead of argument or debate finds contradiction. There have been some wonderful postings of late, in particular Susan. She has added information to the topic at hand.

              finding a site where everything about wildlife fits your ideals, and you have group hugs, will do very little for your causes. those causes require a paladin.

            • jon says:

              Antis? I think you mean anti-hunters savebears. If someone is against snaring, baiting, trapping, killing of predators for sport, etc. does that make them an anti-hunter? There is nothing wrong with being against these forms of “hunting”.

            • jon says:

              You are talking about hunting for food JB. Baiting, snaring, trapping, shooting predators for sport, etc are things that the majority of Americans would not support.

            • Savebears says:


              You know better, you have read my posts over the years, Mike is Anti hunting and it does not matter the method, the majority of the hunters contributing this blog have made our positions clear, but when it comes to Mike, he is against ALL forms of hunting.

            • Savebears says:

              And Jon,

              In this day and age, if you want to contribute to a website that follows your ideals and only your ideals, it only takes a few minutes to set on up, that way you don’t have to deal with anyone that disagrees with you.

            • jon says:

              I don’t know if Mike is against all hunting. I don’t think he is. I think he is like most, he’s against hunting for “sport”. Trapping, baiting, and snaring are things he’s probably against and there are plenty of reasons to be against these things. Hunters accuse anyone that is against one form of hunting as being against all hunting. Is someone an anti-hunter if they are against shooting predators for sport and supporting those that specifically hunt to eat and survive?

            • jon says:

              Is an anti-hunter someone who is against all forms of hunting or someone that is against one form of hunting? If someone is against snaring, baiting, shooting predators for sport, etc., but don’t have problem with those that hunt deer and elk to eat, is that person an anti-hunter or pro-hunter or both? I never seen Mike say he was against hunting for food. I think those that particularly don’t get along with Mike will accuse Mike of being against all hunting. Hunters and non-hunters are always going to get into arguments and no one is going to change how they feel.

            • Mike says:

              That’s some remarkable spin, JB. Just admit you are pro-hunting.

            • Mike says:

              Jon –

              Over the years, I have grown to dislike hunting more and more.

              I am against use of lead bullets, period. I am against any form of trapping that involves the death of the mammal (live trapping and relocation is different). I am against any kind of hunting that takes predators, regardless of device.

              In my travels, there are very, very few places where roads and development do not impede. There are too many people, too much technology, for it to be anything but fair or a worthy task, or anything that requires skill. It is, at its foundation, a mental phallic symbol, a thing for men to chest thump over, to set forth into “the great wild” (which doesn’t exist east of the Mississippi). It is, by and large, and antiquated practice.

              There are very few things I find admirable or necessary in the hunting realm. Were this 1820, I’d have an entirely different thought. But it’s not, although many are still dragging on those “traditions” without any kind of personal evolution or thought process as to why.

            • Immer Treue says:

              “In my travels, there are very, very few places where roads and development do not impede. There are too many people…”

              Mike, I think many of the folks who post here would agree with this part of your comment.

              It’s the habitat.

            • JB says:

              Merely an honest assessment of where I stand, Mike. Why doesn’t it surprise me that you fail (yet again) to recognize any sort of nuance? Per usual, it is all black and white with you.


              As I and others have noted many times, hunters do not fall into discrete motivational categories. That is, studies consistently show most hunters hunt for multiple reasons. So for the most part you cannot separate “sport” or “trophy” hunting from hunting for food–most hunters are doing both. More pragmatically, you cannot create enforceable legislation based upon one’s motivation. So you won’t ever hear:

              “Sorry sir, your motivational test results suggests that you are motivated to obtain a trophy deer, and weren’t planning to eat the venison, so I cannot sell you a hunting license.”

            • Mike says:

              JB –

              I get paid for nuance. But I also get paid for sniffing out B.S.


          • WM says:


            We have been down this “harvest” road before. Every discipline I am aware of in the agriculture, natural resource, and medical field – all academic fields with sophisticated programs at colleges and universities throughout the world, uses the term. The term of art for as long as most of us know for a century or more is “harvest.” Now, let’s be clear, one harvests corn and wheat, fish and shellfish, elk, deer and bear, and a miriad of human organs for medical uses.

            There is no rational basis to give a distinction or exemption specifically for wolves, which will be managed for numbers, wherever they are, or will be in future years.

            Now tell us, sport, who is the one really doing the spin?

            • Mike says:

              WM –

              Next time you get a chance, harvest a stalk of corn. When you are finished, go into the woods and “harvest” a wolf.

              After completing those tasks, please tell me how they are similar.

            • Immer Treue says:


              You have read my posts. You know I am pro-wolf. Population management of predators is important for their social acceptance ie, the more they get in trouble the less acceptance one will find for them. As David Mech said on rhis site last week, the mist important thing to do for wolves now is to preserve good habitat for them.

              I would not hunt predators, and if I hunt it will be for deer. I eat little beef, and have gone that way, whether it works or not, as my own little protest for wolves. Venison is better than beef, to boot.

              Also,I have written my position on trapping/snaring and have repeatedly stated my opposition to those practices.

            • Mark L says:

              There’s a ‘whole world’ of wild beneath your feet that you’ve probably never explored (nor many of the hunting friends you mentioned). ‘Wild’ places still exist, they are just harder to get to…and some aim to keep it that way. You earn it by getting there, and no short cuts for lazy people (thank God).
              As far as wolves go, I’d ask if you want to see them survive, or just not shot at all. People are shot all the time, and some humans have no sympathy for them.
              Having just spent the past weekend at the middle of the Trail of Tears in north Alabama, my perspective may be different than yours for now. Maybe I see survival as the prize, and you see it as a consolation? Dunno.
              Oh, and yeah, lead sucks…especially in a shooting range or water:

            • Mike says:


              I’m glad you see how bad lead is. As long as you have that perspective, we will always get along, regardless of what you hunt.

          • Immer Treue says:

            One more thing Mike, I’ve never hunted in my life. I’ve fished for food, but never hunted. That might change soon, as I like meat, and have all but stopped buying beef. It is a matter of having somebody do the dirty work for you, or you do it yourself. So, yes, I guess that does make me pro hunting.

            • jon says:

              You can be pro-hunting if it’s hunting for food you are talking about. If you are shooting predators for fun and baiting and snaring and trapping animals that you don’t intend to eat, that is a whole different story. If one is for hunting deer and elk for meat, but are against snaring and shooting of predators for fun, does that make one an anti-hunter or pro-hunter? JB says that many Americans support hunting. He is referring to hunting for food, not hunting for sport.

            • Louise Kane says:

              Immer, you wrote

              “Population management of predators is important for their social acceptance ie, the more they get in trouble the less acceptance one will find for them.”

              I’m not sure that theory is playing out but its a convenient way to stick with the status quo. The ESA allowed wolves to be removed, harvested taken etc for livestock depredations. I know some will disagree but wolves were not the cause of primary predation issues or and did not cause significant threats to humans in the RM regions or the Great Lakes. There were no human deaths by wolves and depredations were for the most part being paid, and predating wolves were removed. I think that special exemption did more to perpetuate a reliance on killing then to assuage hatred and a desire to kill wolves in the RM and perhaps the Great Lakes.

              I have said before that we need a new paradigm for management that moves away from killing.

              And lets look at coyotes, what do coyotes do that singles them out for the especially barbaric management they often recieve. They are allowed to be baited, killed by the thousands, tortured, trapped, snared, penned, and hounded by dogs in some place every day and almost anytime. Do coyotes present a great threat to humans or livestock?

              The killing culture inherent in the current management of predators is appalling. The only evidence I see of building tolerance is via education about the value of predators, or through projects like the Dutcher’s living with wolves, programs like project coyote, and from scientists like Jon Way who argue that there is room for advocacy within the scientific and academic realms. And through grass roots advocacy. We need new laws that do not promote killing but make it unlawful to kill, maim, harass wildlife.

              I’d reluctantly have to agree that whether I like it or not, some wolves and other predators will be killed. Yet, accepting the current management of predators as a valid way to introduce or maintain tolerance seems really questionable. Its more of the same ecologically harmful dogma. At best this philosophy is lacking in that term that is supposedly needed for best management practices, “applying the best available scientific data” to management. Its a faulty presumption that has not worked in the past and is really not working now.

              David Mech has a long history as a respected wolf biologist but he is not a social scientist. Predicting or assessing the tolerance of predators does not fall into the traditional realm of a wolf biologist. Yet his statements about the need to hunt wolves to maintain social tolerance have been accepted for the most part without question and have allowed others to jump on that particular bandwagon. Worse yet those statements are used by others to justify the overly heavy handed current management practices for wolves and predators. (

              I wish we would hear and see more from others with social science expertise to determine if this course of thinking is really effective in creating of tolerance. JB what studies do you have? Do any exist in this post delisting world to prove that killing and hunting wolves elevates the acceptance of them? I need to see proof of this before I accept that particular statement.

              I’d like to see more adaptive management strategies at play here and a healthy dose of some new ideology then more of the same.

            • Salle says:

              I agree with you, Louise. Change in the concept that the only way to settle an issue is to kill someone or something is seriously overdue. It only serves to perpetuate the concept that “some things need killing” whether the claim is that it’s for their own good or whatever, it needs to be rethought and changed. The killing culture needs to end… Look what it’s brought us as a society.

            • JB says:


              There is very little data to back up this claim; rather, it is based upon the logic of the so-called “rational-actor model” used by behavioral economists. I will try and briefly explain: The rational actor seeks to optimize utility (his/her benefits). In this case, to the extent that wolves are perceived as interfering with his/her utility maximization (e.g., killing pets or livestock, or reducing elk), allowing these individuals to locally reduce wolf populations should reduce the perceived as a threat, thereby increasing tolerance at the individual level.

              There’s another explanation that suggests that hunters will learn to view wolves as a valued game animal (like elk) with time (the so-called “hunt-to-conserve” hypothesis. I don’t buy this argument at all. Trappers derive value from wolves, but most wolf hunters in the NRMs are hunting to reduce a perceived threat to elk. Sure, a few hunters and trappers will advocate for wolves because they enjoy hunting/trapping them, but I just can’t foresee them ever becoming a majority (though I could be wrong).

              A number of us are currently setting up to test the hypothesis that delisting will create tolerance, but it just happened–testing these ideas is going to take a few years.

              • Ralph Maughan says:


                It’s good to learn you are testing the hypothesis because it informs so much policy-making.

                Inasmuch as a lot of political science moved to the rational actor school of thought in the recent past, I thought the discipline was losing its relevance to the real world because so few people are truly rational actors in the realm of politics.

            • Immer Treue says:

              May the gods hold my tongue. Louise every once in a while you write something that makes me choke on whatever it is I’m attempting to drink!

              The status quo is gone! Protect and solidify the gains made, and as Mech has said, protect that wolf habitat!

      • Salle says:

        I put up a link to one of those stories this morning. The sad part is, the Canadian government isn’t backing them up on it and enforcement may be problematic for them.

        • jon says:

          Thank you Salle.

          • louise kane says:

            Page A4
            Conservation group buys hunting rights

            Purchase from guide outfitter ends trophy bear hunt in area


            A group adamantly opposed to trophy hunting of grizzly and black bears has bought the commercial hunting rights in a vast area of the Great Bear Rainforest.The Raincoast Conservation Foundation now controls hunting in 28,000 square kilometres of the central coast and its latest acquisition of 3,500 square kilometres includes key areas around Princess Royal Island where there is the highest concentration of Kermode or spirit bears (black bears with white coats).

            “This is the heart of spirit bear country,” said Chris Genovali, Raincoast executive director.

            The aim is to help First Nations and other groups pursue economic opportunities offered by bear viewing, Genovali said.

            “Ecological issues aside, the coastal trophy bear hunt cannot be justified from either an ethical or economic perspective,” he said.

            The latest purchase of hunting rights from a guide outfitter comes on the heels of a declaration this week by coastal First Nations that they are banning trophy bear hunting in their traditional territories and that they plan to monitor and enforce that ban.

            When those traditional territories, stretching from Haida Gwaii down the central coast, are added to the Raincoast tenures, it will put bear-hunting off limits on much of the coast.

            “This is a powerful onetwo punch,” Genovali said. “But certainly there are other parts of the Great Bear Rainforest that have active guide outfitter and resident hunting taking place.”

            The latest certificate purchase, which gives hunting rights in perpetuity, cost about $320,000 and the 2005 purchase of 25,000 square kilometres cost about $1.3 million.

            People who feel strongly about the hunt donated the funds, Genovali said.

            “This is part of the puzzle to get bear conservation put as a priority on the coast,” he said.

            Grizzly bear hunting provokes some of the strongest reactions among bear hunt opponents and there are disagreements about the number of bears remaining in B.C.

            The province puts the number at about 15,000.

            This year, 3,716 tags were issued for the spring and fall hunts.

            About 300 grizzlies are shot annually by both legal hunters and poachers.

            Paul Paquet, Raincoast senior scientist, said there is no certainty to the bears’ population figures.

            “How do you manage bear populations for hunting when you don’t truly know how many there are,” Paquet said.

            “That’s why [this purchase of hunting rights] is a precedent in setting a new ethic in how grizzly bears are viewed,” he said.

            Scott Ellis, Guide Outfitters Association of B.C. executive director, said his members support Raincoast’s right to buy hunting rights and would like to see First Nations take the same route.

            “We would rather the First Nations go into a willing buyer, willing seller situation and buy the guide outfitter out at fair market value,” he said.

            The price of a guideoutfitter territory can run from $200,000 to $4 million, depending on the business it generates, he said.

            The Raincoast purchases will not make a great difference to members of the association, and shooting of spirit bears and blue bears, found near the Alaska border, is already prohibited, Ellis said.

            “There are 1.9 million hectares of land protected in the central and north coasts. – We are doing a pretty good job of protecting key bear habitat,” he said.

            • jon says:

              Great news.

              “How do you manage bear populations for hunting when you don’t truly know how many there are,” Paquet said.

              They are doing the same exact thing in Idaho. Allowing a no quota 10 month long hunt on the wolf population and Idaho fish and game have no clue as to how many wolves there truly are in Idaho. My question is how are they going to know when to stop? They can continue to have a no quota wolf hunt each year and they will won’t know how many wolves there truly are in Idaho.

            • Salle says:


              My speculation is that this is a topic where Idaho is quite willing to employ imaginary numbers, like the have been for many years now.

            • Mike says:

              Wow, that is fantastic.

              Hopefully we see more of this across multiple countries.

              What a special day not only for that ecosystem but for humans in general.

            • Salle says:

              As much as some on this blog don’t like Dr. Pacquet, I have great respect and admiration for him and his work. I would tend to accept much of what he contends than many other researchers.

              If he has and agenda, I speculate that it would be in the line of teaching humankind about the importance of maintaining a healthy biosphere and how we might go about doing so. I think he’s one of the great predator (and wildlife in general)specialists of our time and I think that more people would do well to understand what he has to say about that.

    • Salle says:

      I saw that yesterday, I thought it was really interesting and cool. I would have posted it but I put up so many articles yesterday that I had to give up. Obviously most of my posts are ignored until someone else posts them anyway. Oh well. Nice image though.

      • JEFF E says:

        you have to wonder if the photographer was a few degrees left or right would he have seen the same outline, or just a indefinable mass

        • Salle says:

          Yeah, I was wondering about that. But then, some things are just meant to happen it seems. It sure was serendipitous to have been in that very spot at that exact moment.

  71. Salle says:

    “The ranchers previously lost in 3rd District Court, but appealed on grounds the state was responsible for making good their losses.

    Justices upheld the lower court ruling, determining that a 1997 letter from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game contained no promise to protect ranchers.

    The court also awarded attorneys’ fees to Fish and Game”

    It’s about time someone pulled the those overgrown teat-suckers of the public nipple. If they can’t afford to raise their sheep on their own property, they should go out and find a real job instead of life-long public welfare that depletes the public’s wildlife.

  72. jburnham says:

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation

    Interesting data on fishing, hunting and wildlife watching.

  73. Salle says:

    Behind the ‘Green Economy’: Profiting from environmental and climate crisis

  74. louise kane says:

    Indiana judge upholds plaintiff’s right to sue on behalf of animals. An interesting case upholding the “standing” of plaintiffs and recognizing that individuals do have an interest in wildlife as a public trust resource that allows them to have standing to sue.

  75. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    jon, Salle –
    Of course the wolf population numbers reported by the IDFG are “known”. As I and others have explained numerous times, the reported number of wolves in Idaho is a known MINIMUM number of wolves within the state. Understanding a minimum population size, basing management decisions on that UNDER-estimate, means that management decisions are CONSERVATIVE, i.e most likely to prevent the Idaho wolf population from dropping below the management objective. Of course it is the management objective that is the issue – not the spurious argument that the true population size is being inaccurately estimated (or as Salle suggests – intentionally mis-reported).

    • Mike says:

      Mark –

      Has this season’s devastating wildfires factored into the wolf hunting regulations? One would think this serious reduction in habitat would trigger adjustments to a variety of species in terms of tag limits (or lack thereof).

      Since wolves were very recently an endangered species in Idaho, It would be prudent to understand what was lost in these fires. It has to be around 500,000 acres of prime wolf habitat up in smoke.

      • louise kane says:

        good question Mike
        Mark would you be kind enough to answer

        • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Mike, Louise –
          It is too early to know what impact the fires will have on management objectives for wolves or other wildlife. Large fires, such as we are experiencing this year, significantly reduce hunting effort in the affected area(s).
          The implied imperative to adjust hunting seasons or make other immediate adjustments to wildlife management programs is premature.

          • Salle says:

            Yup, so just go ahead with the “kill ’em all” by any means possible agenda… because we all know that after the damage is done there’s nothing more to say than, “Oh well. We didn’t know that was going to happen and according to our guesstimates of a ‘robust’ population, that shouldn’t have happened. Meanwhile, we’ll just go on with our imaginary numbers pogrom because… look how well it worked, we’ve reduced the wolf population to the barest minimum and they can still be considered robust by our guestimations (since we didn’t want any of them here in the first place)”.

            Mind explaining how it is that after such loss of habitat that there’s no reason to consider making any adjustments in hunting quotas? I’m sure you don’t like that we already don’t buy your process of guestimating and your description and definitions for “robust” with regard to the wolf population. I’m sure that now the explanation with swirl around the idea that because there’s so much habitat devastation for all wildlife in these area that you’ll just have to kill more wolves because the elk have no place to be after the fires are done. I’m watching, and so are others.

          • Immer Treue says:

            Interesting that IDFG gets it from both sides in regard to wolf count, and for that matter elk count. Pro-wolf: wolf population overestimated; elk population either fine or underestimated. Anti-wolf: wolf population underestimated; elk population overestimated….

            Mark, can you give, in simple terms, the estimated wolf and elk populations for Idaho. Rough estimate in numbers will be fine.


            • jon says:

              One wolf hater in Idaho recently said that there are 5000-6000 wolves.

              Exactly, the MINIMUM Mark meaning that Idaho fish and game have no idea how many wolves there are in Idaho. If you don’t know the true number of wolves, then there shouldn’t be a 10 month long no quota season allowed on wolves and wolves are not treated like bears and cougars and you know it. Hunters as I understand it are not allowed 5 tags each calendar year for bear and cougar, but they are for wolves. One hunter could kill 5 wolves this year and 5 wolves next year and trap another 10 this year and next year. Wolves are not treated like other predators and you know it. Killing wolves is also not going to magically make all of the elk and deer reappear again like some hunters think.

            • Louise Kane says:

              Immer that would be helpful and please indicate why with the extent of habitat loss that making “other immediate adjustments to wildlife management programs (would be) premature”.

            • Louise Kane says:

              meant to say that Mark an answer to Immer’s question would be helpful and please answer Salle’s question

            • Salle says:

              Indeed, Louise. To date, adding up current fire acreage burned in active fires in Idaho alone, we’re looking at 787,634 acres of potentially lost habitat. These are all active blazes not contained and still continuing to take more acreage of habitat from all wildlife in the just the state of Idaho.


              So Mr. markIDF$G, what’s premature about even considering that there might be some significant adjustments to consider at this point? I repeat; 787,634acres of habitat loss on National Forests in Idaho so far with how many weeks of potential fire season left? (I know my neighbor isn’t coming home from fire fighter duties until at least October 1st. And he’s in Idaho.)

            • jon says:

              Why is it that you are allowed to trap and snare wolves, but not bears and cougars? There are far less wolves in Idaho than bears and cougars, yet hunters can buy 5 wolf hunting and trapping tags each calendar year. Makes no sense to me. It’s clear to me that wolves are not being killed like bears and cougars are. For the 2013-2014 wolf hunting season, it is going to be another 10 month long no quota hunt Mark?

            • elk275 says:


              In Northern Idaho one can buy 2 black bear tags and 2 mountain lion tags. Bear can be baited and lion hunted with dogs.

            • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

              Immer, Louise, Salle….
              I also posted this response on the current HYCAAI thread. Immer, I’ll post our latest state-wide wolf and elk population estimates next.

              Why not pre-emptive action(s) to adjust hunting seasons, quotas, other adjustments, due to habitat loss from the on-going Idaho fires?

              I’m assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that you mean: “why not reduce quotas, reduce hunting opportunities for wolves and/or wolf prey species (elk, deer, moose) – due to less available habitat to support pre-fire numbers of wolves and prey?”

              IF I understand your question correctly, recognize that reducing hunting opportunity and therefor hunting harvest/kill/take of wolves or prey species to conserve or protect those animals surviving the fire would leave them to rely on ….. WHAT HABITAT….. in the intervening years before the burned habitat regains productive potential to again support the wolf and prey populations occupying the burned habitat? Are you suggesting that quotas and/or hunting seasons be increased to REDUCE numbers of wolves and prey species to accomodate a temporary net reduction in available habitat?

          • Ralph Maughan says:

            I understand that a major reason why bull elk went on the decline in the Frank Church after 2000 was that the giant fires of that year allowed them to be seen and outfitters clients cleaned them out.

  76. Salle says:

    Wolf-trapping classes in Billings offered for the state’s first season

    I’m not convinced that this is a non-biased piece…

    “Tom Barnes, president of the Montana Trappers Association, said the classes are popular for a simple reason.

    “Because they want to get rid of the damn wolves,” he said. “A lot of us didn’t want wolves. And now that they are here, all that the citizens and sportsmen of Montana are asking is that we control the buggers.” Not the only negative statement and even the MTF&G guy did little to dissuade this attitude set.

    • Nancy says:

      Barnes is in my neck of the woods Salle and I’m not at all surprised by his comments.

      He and is ilk, could give a sh*t about wildlife unless it happens to be waiting (and suffering) at the end of one of their traplines.

      • Salle says:

        His statement pretty much exposes that mindset. I wonder how many of these, now, “trained and certified” trappers will consider maintaining compliance with the rules with regard to ethics. I feel that people who think like that are not only a danger to wildlife but a danger to everyone and everything.

  77. Salle says:

    This sucks:

    Appeals court upholds DeChristopher conviction

    Tim DeChristopher’s attorneys disappointed but not surprised.

    [Need] to decide whether to request an ‘en banc’ hearing with more justices.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      I’m not surprised. He took on the oil companies. In their minds they probably think he is as bad as any terrorist who killed a lot of people.

      • Salle says:

        A modern day Henry David Thoreau of sorts. At least it’s only two years but that’s still a long time and to emerge with an albatross of federal crime for the rest of time. Although, it can be hoped that he will find a position as spokesperson thereafter. I think he deserves better.

  78. jon says:

    “During the March 21st public hearing at Idaho Department of Fish and Game, commission chairman Tony McDermott repeated the claim that Idaho is adhering to its public commitment to manage wolves like cougar and bears. But, compare how these species are managed and judge for yourself if this is true.

    Cougar and bear cannot be sport trapped or snared in Idaho. Wolves can. Cougar and bear are managed for abundant populations. There are approximately 3,000 cougar and 20,000 black bears in Idaho, whilst wolf numbers are approximately 548 adult wolves remaining in Idaho after the state allowed hunters and trappers to kill almost 400 wolves in this season alone.”

  79. Salle says:

    hmmmm inded.

    “Pearce made a 70-yard shot with an arrow, which hit the wolf in the right front leg and passed through the rib cage. The wolf went down, then made its way into some timber. Pearce followed the blood trail. The wolf got up, growled and lunged at him. Pearce finished him off with his .22 caliber pistol.

    As Pearce got his ATV to retrieve the carcass, the other wolves kept circling, staying within 60-70 yards.

    “I thought it was kind of strange they hung around,” Pearce said. “People assume they will take off and run.” These wolves, however, were pretty aggressive, he said.

    Pearce wants to give other hunters a heads-up that wolves may be more aggressive than expected. This pack didn’t back down when he stopped calling elk and showed himself. “They still thought dinner was in the area. It wasn’t me, though.”

    No possibility that they were curious? Just aggressive, kind of sets a mood for upcoming statements…

    • JEFF E says:

      Also no mention if the hunter was using a scent attractant which is pretty common in bow hunting, especially during mating season which is now. If one sounds like an elk,and smells like an elk but does not look like an elk the wolves could be thinking WTF is this thing and hang around trying to figuer it out.

      • Salle says:


      • Salle says:

        And once he downed that wolf, it’s not like they would just run off and leave one of their familial group. That fact never seems to be part of the rationale. According to this guy, they should fear him, the superior hunter-man who vanquished this big wolf with his trusty arrow… at how many yards? 70 he said, that’s 210ft. Quite a distance, hmmm… and then had to actually kill it with a handgun.

        So how many tags can one person have for wolves in a season?

        • JEFF E says:

          210ft at dusk….and heard the wolf panting at 120 feet.


          • Salle says:

            Oh yeah, that part made me wonder too. Panting is something you have to be pretty damned close to hear. So maybe this guy is a piss poor judge of distance or has superman’s hearing abilities or is a big time bs artist – or maybe two out of three of those (and I don’t think the superman hearing is one of them). The reporter sure bought all that. It’s a pretty close-knit bunch over there.

            • Salle says:

              One more thing, this is in the zone of major fire disruption… dispersal is a prominent factor at this point.

              Do you get the picture on that Mr MarkIDF$G? To date: 810,975 acres of habitat loss as of 8:30am active and still burning in the state of Idaho alone! So let’s not be hasty and reconsider any hunting parameters by using the obvious facts here.

            • elk275 says:

              Did you ever think that the wolf might have been closer before he shot and move some distance before the arrow was released. Seventy yards is a long shot with a bow.

            • JEFF E says:

              do you think you could here a wolf pant at 120 ft. Maybe in the dead of night when all background noises are at a min. But at dusk, in the mountains that is when the wind kicks up, birds are calling, water is sounding, My own breathing is elevated because wolves are near….


            • JEFF E says:

              actually, more than anything, I believe it is the “editing” factor.

              After all, a newspapers primary objective is to sell as many copies as humanly possible, and the accuracy of the story is secondary….or less.

    • Mark L says:

      Sounds to me like the wolf died a noble but agonizing death, and he acted like a b/tch on his ATV. Also, is it a requirement to retreive a carcuss, or was that just his choice? Odd….never even a mention that HE could be the reason the wolves are more agressive….20/20 vision and he still can’t see.

    • Louise Kane says:

      no possibility that the wolves were reluctant to leave their pack member. I wonder why anyone would think it strange or aggressive for an animal that was shot with an arrow to try and defend itself.
      Creepy creepy past time, killing for fun. Narratives like that make me feel sick and hopeless. What terrible conditions we impose on large carnivores. Never to live free from being hunted as a trophy. Traps, snares, arrows all extremely painful, wasteful and unnecessary ways to die.

      • Salle says:

        …and hunters always claim that they do research about the animals they hunt, right. If that were the case, these vapid hunting tales would not be part of the tradition.

    • Salle says:

      Jerry, that’s totally awesome!! Thanks.

      I think you should transfer that post to the new news thread that went up yesterday.


August 2012


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

~ Edward Abbey