Do you have some interesting wildlife news? March 3, 2013 edition
By Ralph Maughan On March 3, 2013 · 330 Comments · In Uncategorized
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.
330 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife news? March 3, 2013 edition
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Some great conservation news in San Francisco–the return of the porpoise to San Francisco Bay after 65 years. Here is a blog entry on the story http://blog.nwf.org/2013/02/the-porpoises-who-left-their-hearts-in-san-francisco/
As well as the fun video we did: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aGy1YdRw7I
Awesome news. Welcome back!
“A hunter,fisherman gone wildlife watcher hmm”
🙂 🙂 How’s the weather your way Robert R? Got blizzard conditions in my neck of the woods right now.
*Dragged you over to the new thread Robert R. The old thread takes forever to download when it hits 400 comments.
Weather, sunny and very windy and 46.
just when you think you seen it all, the outdoors throws you something new.
Took the dogs for a walk looking for shed antlers. This horned owl flew down along a slough and when the owl came back up it had a muskrat. I have seen them with various animals and even fish but that’s the first time with a muskrat.
A hunter,fisherman gone wildlife watcher hmm!
So an owl out hunting in the daytime? A rare sight Robert R. Can count on one hand (minus a couple of fingers) the owls I’ve seen out and about, during daylight hours.
Actually over the years, I have seen quite a lot of owls hunting during the day, their prey of choice around here during the day seem to be either snowshoes or packrats, I see them quite often.
Would guess it depends on the terrain SB. Forest areas (darker by nature) vs. a wide open, sunny expanse.
Behind my home I have about 75 yards of forest before it opens up into a field that was farmed for many years, now it is just left to grow during the summer.
We have had a couple snowy owls (big dudes) for a few weeks not far from my house in the city. They hang out in some big Douglas fir trees, and swoop down in the daytime to get a squirrel, norway brown rat, or whatever. The crows hassle them all time. Often you just look and listen for the crows and you will see what looks like a flour sack containing two basketballs stacked on top of each other, high in a tree. What they do at night, other than have crow-free sleep, is hard to say.
I don’t know about snowy owls, but I can tell you the bard owl outside of our bedroom window has occupied himself with near non-stop hooting (one sound I don’t mind hearing at night). This time of year, I believe he’s looking for a mate?
I have seen quite a few short-eared owls during daylight hours – but it is usually near dusk or dawn. There is a nearby wet field that was a night time “roosting” area for northern harriers and daytime for short-eared owls. It was great to get there during the evening changing time -harriers down, owls up. The whole exchange took over an hour when it was very active with over 20 harriers and more than 10 owls.
The harriers would come in about an hour before sunset and start cruising the area, sitting on fence posts, settling into the grass and then lifting up for another pass or so over the area before settling down.
The owls would come up out of the grass at dusk, usually make a noise like a very young puppy, shake itself in mid-air and then settle on a nearby fence post or on the road for a few minutes before heading out.
The first white-tailed kite I saw was at this location. It came late in the afternoon, for several days, and hung around until all the harriers were down, than it would settle into the area for the night. After a February snow storm I never saw it there again. I assume it was the same bird on all observations.
I think it’s a few weeks early and something that I never give any thought about the daylight hunting is this owl may have little ones in a nest close by. The horned owl nest in February.
How nice! I had a juvenile sharp-shinned hawk land on my back porch. Are there young birds around this time of year? He had a lot of striping. What a beauty. I also had a rare visitor, a ruby-crowned kinglet, possibly migrating through? I wonder how climate change is affecting our birds. (Don’t get me started talking about birds.)
I hear owls a lot in my yard, and see ‘evidence’ of them in the conifers. I thought I saw a Great Horned Owl during the day once, but I couldn’t be sure because his brown feathers seemed to blend in with the tree branches. I often hear barred owls at dusk during walks. Our trees have really taken a beating this year due to the storms.
“Oregon’s ban on killing wolves spurs nonlethal options”
One notable quote- “”Idaho Fish and Game biologist Craig White said it “raised eyebrows” on both sides of the wolf debate when the livestock kills rose even as more wolves were killed.”
Really? I don’t think such an occurence would “raise eyebrows” of anyone who has read any of the studies of the effects of disruption of predator social/age structures…
Of course, Idaho’s response- “The state plans to continue killing wolves until elk herds – their primary prey and a popular game animal – start increasing, he said.”
Does anyone have 2012 livestock depredation numbers for Idaho I’d love to see them. Previous to 2012 the confirmed numbers are. 2011- 71 beef 221 sheep 3 horses ect. 2010 75 beef 148 sheep 2 horses ect. 2009 80 beef 344 sheep ect.
2009 was the highest recorded livestock depredation numbers and the start of legal wolf hunting that fall. Since 2009 the trend has been down for depredations.
Second request has anyone read a paper by (Collinge 2008) It appears a comparison of the average numbers of livestock killed per individual predators where it was found wolves were 170 times more likely to kill livestock when compared to coyotes, mountain lion, black bears given the numbers of those predators.
I believe I was called out on the first subject and did not have the time.
I believed you asked if I was surprised in a change in correct management? I am not surprised, I see you as a thinker, thinkers change course as the journey progresses. Now for one of the emotional parrots to change course that would be surprising.
My interest is waning and I have more work to get done everyone get out and enjoy the outdoors, if you have a answer to the above please post them, I’ll be back.
It would be interesting to see reliable prey numbers including animals killed by domestic dogs, over the last 20 years. I’m not against thoughtful well managed wolf hunting but I am very much against this overly aggressive mean spirited hate all wolves kill them all attitude.
We have had many conversations, but I don’t remember asking you that question. Thanks for the compliment though. Interesting that I am pro-wolf, and as a rancher, one can see why no wolves would suit your lifestyle much better, we have had no adversarial conversations in the past. One of the things that makes TWN work.
I’ve lived, enjoyed, and donated by time to wildlife in Oregon for the past 7 years. I can tell you (when compared to other states) the majority of Oregonians take our wild areas very seriously.
I feel like based on what i’ve noticed, if wolves make it to the Cascades (especially the Mt. Hood/Crater Lake area) the wolf issue is going to hit some kind of tipping point with a much higher success rate than other states.
I guarantee it. How this state is run and how it’s run by most liberals from the Portland metro area…I believe there will be much more support for them here.
I could be wrong, too.
“I feel like based on what i’ve noticed, if wolves make it to the Cascades (especially the Mt. Hood/Crater Lake area) the wolf issue is going to hit some kind of tipping point with a much higher success rate than other states.
I guarantee it. How this state is run and how it’s run by most liberals from the Portland metro area…I believe there will be much more support for them here. ”
Hmm. Interesting….a kind of ‘blockade’ theory? Break on through to the other side?
Possibly. I am just speculating how other environmental issues turn out in Oregon.
I think there’d be a lot of support from the Portland side of things, I don’t know how it’d be for the rural folks in those areas.
Portland is a very politically active city, that does pay attention to environmental issues, in certain segments of its population. They are a very liberal leaning city, with many scholars and above average education areas.
Portland carries a lot of weight in the political process in Oregon. Once you get away from that liberal base, you will find many areas, especially in the rural areas, that are exactly opposite. Once wolves become well established you will find the same amount of opposition that we have seen in other states. Like Washington, once you leave the metro areas, the view of wolves is very different.
The condor project at the Oregon zoo.
“Newer organizations with slick marketing campaigns like the Oregon (anti-wildlife) Outdoor Council belie a thinly veiled agenda against anyone who values wildlife alive more than dead or – worse yet – values the wrong kind of wildlife like cougars, wolves, coots, or coyotes.
Frighteningly, they do so while actively clamoring for the mantle of conservation. Many hunters may rightly claim cred as “the original conservationists.” Aldo Leopold, Teddy Roosevelt, and Sigurd Olson were hunters and conservationists who left a proud legacy.
Ted Nugent and the Safari Club don’t stand on quite as firm ground.
Shooting an animal doesn’t make you a conservationist any more than picking up a pair of binoculars. Neither does simply buying a fishing license or a NW Forest Pass. Recreational interests rank pretty low in determining one’s values.”
Jon, this was a good article – thanks.
I have a falconer friend who had his Goshawk catch a duck, before he could get to the bird a Great-horned owl killed the Goshawk. Various species of owls hunt during daylight hours. Short-eared owls and Burrowing owls are crepuscular with Burrowing owls hunting more in the daylight during the nesting season. Northern hawk owls do a complete reversal from other owls by being almost totally diurnal.
Here is an email I got back from the Wisconsin DNR.
Jon: I am responding on behalf of Kurt Thiede.
The DNR is an agency of the state. As such, we are required to implement the laws of the land. Legislators passed a law that requires DNR to manage wolves, as allowed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service since they have been delisted. DNR is committed to managing a sustainable wolf population. If that were not so, the federal government would take away management authority. We have had more than our management plan goal of 350 wolves since 2004, with the most recent count being over 850. Our harvest quotas are designed to slowly reduce the wolf population and keep the wolf population above the population goal. Legislation dictated the methods to be used for trapping and hunting wolves. Researchers use traps to catch, mark, release and study wolves. The same traps would be used by trappers. Snares are not allowed. Coyote hunters have routinely used hounds to chase coyotes to waiting hunters, and they hope to do the same for wolves. They believe that they can send a pack of dogs after single or pairs of wolves and have the wolves run toward a hunter waiting to ambush them rather than turning on the dogs….as they have experienced so often with wolves already while going after coyotes and bobcats. They will not be using their dogs during times when wolves are least likely to run, the denning and pup-rearing rendezvous periods.
Seems pretty straight forward, Jon. The legislature passes laws; the DNR, as an administrative agency, does what it is told by the LAW-MAKERS. A reason, perhaps, to be a bit less hard on the folks that work for these agencies?
In fairness to Jon, the crux of what he writes is about using dogs to hunt wolves. It’s his opinion, my opinion, and the opinion of many others, that this is wrong. You may get a wolf or two to run, but using the cognizant powers they possess (I guess we could go on and on about that), they ain’t gonna run away from a few dogs. There will be dog fights and dogs will get killed. The Wisconsin legislature has sanctioned this, thus has sanctioned dog fighting, and unfortunately, the DNR has to be good soldiers and support it.
All it will take is some mental moron to youtube such an incident, and you’ll get all the wolf enthusaism that you hazard a guess has subsided.
I like dogs, but using them to hunt wolves is wrong, and you can bet your ass I’ll be rooting for the wolves, and will not shed a tear for the hounders loss.
The legislature in WI knew that wolves have killed numerous hunting dogs and yet they still allowed this to go through. There are lawsuits being filed now or will in the very near future that might end up putting the wolves in WI back on the endangered species list simply because dogs are being uses to pursue wolves. There is plenty of evidence out there that shows what happens when wolves and hunting dogs run into each other. The DNR person who replied back to me in the email that I posted said that the hound hunters thinking is that their dogs are going to run after after wolves and the wolves are going to somehow run toward the hunters and then the hunter will shoot the wolf. I wonder how the WI legislature and DNR are going to explain in court why in Wisconsin is the only state in the US that allows dogs to be used on wolves.
I will be rooting for the wolves,too.
Me too. AS much as I love dogs using
them to torment wildlife is no better than teaching them to fight each other ala Michael Vick style.
Beautifully said. This is totally barbaric. I’ll feel bad for both the wolves and the dogs, so unfortunate to be caught up in more needless human cruelty for entertainment.
clap clap Immer
Here is another response back I got from the Wisconsin DNR.
Most of our dog kills occur in the summer when wolves are still at rendezvous sites protecting and rearing pups and baying hounds are after bears. Hounds are commonly used for coyotes and bobcat later in fall and winter in wolf territories, with only rare incidents of wolves killing dogs. And, hounds do sometimes chase wolves rather than the targeted coyotes and bobcat at this time of year without incident. Hound users would know better than to send a pack of dogs or a few dogs after a pack of wolves, and so they look for tracks in the snow to determine that there are no more than 1-2 wolves, which experience has shown would far more likely run than turn on the dogs. Due to wolves being in heavily forested areas, hunters would dogs would need to use scenting hounds rather than the sight hounds that are sometimes used out west to chase down and kill open country coyotes. No one knows if many hound owners are even interested in using their hounds for wolves.
But, in the end, it is the law, which DNR is obligated to implement.
Well this totally sucks…
State Dept: No Major Objections to Canada Pipeline
The draft report begins a 45-day comment period, after which the State Department will issue a final environmental report before Secretary of State John Kerry makes a recommendation about whether the pipeline is in the national interest.
Montana lawmakers seek answers to bison management
HELENA — The Montana Legislature will consider year-round bison hunting and prohibitions on the animals’ movements amid a slew of bison-related measures to be tackled during the second half of the legislative session.
I wonder how much racism against Native Americans has to do with any of this?
Immer and others….Please take a moment to post this far and wide and to call the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee. If you live in MN its crucial to attend. As Ms. Hackett points out it to be successful the bill must pass through several stages, all of which will need calls and support. This is a tremendous accomplishment and the first possible good news for wolves in a while. Please help
From Howling For Wolves
Today, legislation was introduced into the Minnesota House of Representatives to reinstate a five-year moratorium on recreational wolf hunting and trapping. Chief house author, Rep. Jason Isaacson (DFL – Shoreview) introduced H.F. 1163, the companion bill for S.F. 666 introduced by Sen. Chris Eaton. The bill calls for a five-year wait before another wolf hunting season can be proposed, and only for population management purposes after other options are explored. Read the press release here.
Mark your calendars! A Senate hearing of the bill has been scheduled on Tuesday, March 12 at noon before the Environment and Energy committee. Let’s fill the hearing room and the halls for the wolf. It was your efforts making calls and sending emails to committee members that pushed us forward.
Now we need your help to secure a hearing in the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy committee. A bill must be heard and passed out of one committee before March 15, 2013 to stay alive. Please call the committee members listed below to voice your support for H.F. 1163 and request the bill be heard and passed through committee.
House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee
Rep. David Dill (Chair) 651-296-2190
Rep. Peter Fischer (Vice Chair) 651-296-5363
Rep. Tom Hackbarth 651-296-2439
Rep. John Benson 651-296-9934
Rep. Tony Cornish 651-296-4240
Rep. Dan Fabian 651-296-9635
Rep. Andrew Falk 651-296-4228
Rep. Steve Green 651-296-9918
Rep. Rick Hansen 651-296-6828
Rep. Clark Johnson 651-296-8634
Rep. Denny McNamara 651-296-3135
Rep. John Persell 651-296-5516
Rep. Mark Uglem 651-296-5513
Rep. Jean Wagenius 651-296-4200
Rep. JoAnn Ward 651-296-7807
Rep. Barb Yarusso 651-296-0141
Please know that to work a bill into law requires many repeated actions to push it through. We will have several urgent requests for actions over the next few weeks to keep each bill moving forward to a final floor vote. In the meantime, mark your calendars for the Senate hearing on Tuesday, March 12 at 12 pm. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to attend. We want a strong showing of support at this hearing.
If wolf hunters continue shooting wolves with collars in Idaho, there may be a slight chance to get wolves relisted under the endangered species act. If a lot of collared wolves are being killed, that makes Idaho fish and game’s job much more harder proving that they have a certain amount of wolves in Idaho.
One of those ever popular coyote mass killing contests, discussed in one of the previous “have you seen…” threads here, took place despite protests. Seems under heavy protection delivered by a maybe slightly overstressed and overeager local sheriff department. At the bottom of the article there is a nice picture showing the results of the contest.
Once again the Feds grab their ankles for the ranching community.
Just a little something lighter amidst all the bad news. I saw this segment on the news last night – and the expression on Governor’s face is priceless. 🙂
Researching non-invasive wolf research on Prince of Wales Island:
Sheep predation in WY: Coyotes are responsible for most of the predation but eagles are killing more than bears and wolves combined. I suspect this is because our rabbit population has been in a low cycle for several years now. It is starting to build up again.
Once again , the Great Unknown is predation attributable to those sneaky Cougars.
Here’s an interesting factoid to add some context to this report . Wyoming woolie producers claim they lost 44,000 sheep last year, and 55,000 the year before.
The USDA’s most recent report states that Wyoming pastured 370,000 sheep in the most recent year. That means one of every 8 sheep is lost per year. Hmmm…
The overwhelming percentage of these losses is due toe very BUT predation …things like weather, disease, trauma, accidents, the fact sheep are just plain stupid, and sheep just getting lost or otherwise going unaccounted for in lieu of human shepharding. Losses due to predators is a tiny percent overall. The report and the article says that component is increasing , but it fails to mention that it’s still a very small percentage.
Yet this article is heavily biased towards sheep being lost to predators or conflicting with other wildlife competing for water and forage. They are looking at wildlife thru a magnifying glass, and not really saying much about the other causes of losses.
This kind of statistical skew is endemic to Ag reporting. And it is counterproductive in the Big Picture.
Sheep producers need to do a better job of tending their flocks. QED.
Mountain lion protections strengthened in California
For what it’s worth
52 Members of Congress Urge Continued Federal Protections for Wolves in Lower 48 States – Press Release
I don’t believe this pertains to the areas that have already been delisted. The service had proposed to drop listing in ALL states. It has been worded in such a way to make people believe that all wolves would be placed on the list again, which right now is not true.
I agree with your conclusion. That’s why I prefaced title with “for what it’s worth”
“52 Members of Congress Urge Continued Federal Protections for Wolves in Lower 48 States”
Doing the math:
435 members in the House
52/435 = 11.9 percent will commit to paper that they think wolves should remain protected.
What does the CBD news release really mean, other than their typical spin?
Support could be less or more if the Senate is polled and commits to paper.
USFWS might consider interpreting this as a measure of little support for wolf protections, too, if CBD (or that flakey OR Rep. Defazio from the Eugene, area Congressional District) went around trying to get everybody to sign up to the letter and most declined.
WM: I don’t know, seems like politics as usual to me. A minority (however small) has just suggested that it thinks the protections for wolves in the lower 48 should be absolute (I’m interpreting the ESA’s prohibition on take here), which is a far cry from where the policy stands. Seems like a “threat” with the understanding that a compromise would be possible. Nevertheless, thinking critically, I’d be willing to bet they could get more House members to say that wolves should have no protection at all. Given the gerrymandering that’s gone on in recent years, any R in a rural district could tout this position with impunity.
Savebears: Notwithstanding my prior comments, you are one cynical SOB! (that’s son of a bear) 🙂
After working for the Government as long as I have, I am not as cynical as you might think, I am just damn tired of their bullshit and don’t trust a damn thing they say!
Every little bit is worth something.
This would change nothing, other than the agency not delisting, which is currently what we have, it is pretty much a hollow move on the part of the Congressmen, simply a publicity thing. I know Peter DeFazio and he is pretty good at this type of move.
He will use it to his advantage in the future, it is a support without risk move.
That was not “De-listing where there are essentially no wolves” Purely political on both sides.
I understood it perfectly. I don’t have the illusion that the delisting areas will turn around, and I didn’t interpret it that way. But this protects those in the rest of the country from delisting (and all the horror that goes with it), which is huge. Ed Markey is wonderful.
Ida, it is not real hard to say, we don’t want them delisted where they don’t and won’t have a chance to exist, in addition to states that have already passed legislation saying they don’t want wolves, like Utah. For the USFWS to even propose it, shows, they don’t want to deal with it any longer, as I have said in the past, from the personal that I have talked to at the agency, they want to issue gone.
Let’s see what happens. It’s what the people want – our politicians and agencies work for us.
Its what some people want Ida.
Yes I know. 🙁
And honestly after the last 20 years, thinking our representatives work for us is fantasy.
Can anyone tell me why they are thinking of doing this or how they can? I thought the rider was only for MT, ID, WY, northern Utah, and Eastern OR and WA?
It doesn’t seem like this is something they can just do.
The USFWS is the one that is in charge of recovery in this country and they are the ones that can declare a species recovered.
Some of you guys really need to sit down and read the Endangered Species Act and all of the related rules and regulations that go along with it..
I do what I can, where I can.
We all learn by different means and there is nothing wrong with asking to be educated.
Would it be better if I didn’t ask? Sorry.
No need to apologize. A really good place for details is the page on western gray wolves maintained by the USFWS: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/
For a quick over view of delisting policy, I suggest three following publications, which can be accessed here: https://bruskotter.wordpress.com/articles/
Bruskotter, J.T., Enzler, S.A., & Treves, A. 2011. Rescuing Wolves from Politics: Wildlife as a Public Trust Resource. Science 333:1828-1829.
Bruskotter, J. T., and S. A. Enzler. 2009. Narrowing the Definition of Endangered Species: Implications of the U.S. Government’s Interpretation of the Phrase “A Significant Portion of its Range” Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 14 (2):73 – 88.
Bruskotter, J. T., E. Toman, S. A. Enzler, and R. H. Schmidt. 2010. Are Gray Wolves Endangered in the Northern Rocky Mountains? A Role for Social Science in Endangered Species Listing Determinations. BioScience 60:941-948.
Thank you for helping me out and not patronizing me for asking questions like the other person did.
I am new to the whole ‘wolf game’ and I find myself getting stuck or overwhelmed at times with the amount of information out there. I understand the process and appreciate the clarity you have provided.
I guess I was just under the assumption that more had to be done with the ESA to just take something off.
Thank you, again.
I did not patronize you, I simply suggested you use the search feature to gather information then ask questions to fill in the blanks that are not answered by research.
And I still maintain, that anyone that is curious about the issues being discussed here, need to take the time to read through the pertaining laws, to at least get a basic understanding of what is going on.
You’re welcome, Zach. Believe it or not, much was done to remove wolves from the ESA in the NRMs–the process began near the end of 2002, when it was clear that wolves had met population recovery objectives. This information is detailed in the readings I provided.
Stick around and continue to ask questions. 🙂
zach you should read “of wolves and welfare ranching”, by Dale Gobel
which provides some background about the whole wolf issue but discusses in detail the shortcomings of the “special” treatment wolves received under the esa as a concession to ranchers. It was first published in the Harvard Law Review.
This is a link to an article with an easy to read overview of how the ESA is being compromised…
and here is a NY times article about the delisting of wolves and the political motivations behind the delisting.
Let me add to JB,’s contribution.
Well, Zach, I know you have a computer and probably know how to use a search engine or two, which would aid in answering the questions you pose. However, Here is your big chance to get some of your questions answered. It is amazing to me how many wildlife, and specifically “wolf advocates” there are out there, who are incredibly lazy (not saying you are specifically, but there are a number of them who comment regularly on this forum), and who may even consciously choose to remain ignorant, when it comes to understanding the how and the why of
threatened, endangered or recovered listing under the ESA.
The link to the Sept. 10, 2010 final WY wolf rule, below, gives a good background summary on how wolves got listed and delisted in various parts of the US, as well as the the current status. All these proposed and final wolf listing rules have similar narratives. Focus carefully on the heading “ BACKGROUND – Previous Federal Action.”
The only matter not addressed is FWS current consideration of delisting wolves nearly everywhere, and that may come out in a proposed rule soon, if they decide they want to do it. Why would they? I think they are tired of dealing with wolves and would rather focus more on species that truly are at greater risk. In abandoning ESA wolf protections, individual states would deal with themProtecting an animal can also be done under state ESA acts, or other state game management laws, as in the places they are currently delisted. . Some states have plans in place to protect them when they show up. Each state may have a different set of values governing how they view wolf protection. The thing to keep in mind, however, is that the NRM wolf population as a whole will not go very much below 800 – 1,000 before FWS jumps in to consider relisting in its continuing monitoring role. I think relisting is unlikely in the NRM (or the WGL ). The Mexican wolf recovery may be a different story.
Sorry, it should read:
“The link to the Sept. 10, 2012 final WY wolf rule….”
How is the Mexican wolf recovery different?
Why don’t you do the work and tell us, Mark? 😉
I have an idea of whats going on…I wanted your take on it (you have some expertise, no?) If you choose not to…so be it.
The three S’s. Stalled, stagnant, sad.
Thank you for taking the time to explain ‘the basics’. Like I said in a previous response, I am new to this stuff and it’s easy to get a little lost while trying to figure it all out.
I am going to moving to SE Idaho soon and i’d like to know what i’m going to be in for…
WM you wrote, as it pertains to providing protections for wolves under the ESA, “Why would they? I think they are tired of dealing with wolves and would rather focus more on species that truly are at greater risk. In abandoning ESA wolf protections, individual states would deal with themProtecting an animal can also be done under state ESA acts, or other state game management laws, as in the places they are currently delisted. . Some states have plans in place to protect them when they show up. Each state may have a different set of values governing how they view wolf protection. The thing to keep in mind, however, is that the NRM wolf population as a whole will not go very much below 800 – 1,000 before FWS jumps in to consider relisting in its continuing monitoring role.”
Wow. Don’t you consider the extreme hostility towards wolves as one reason they should remain listed as threatened. You know what the ESA was intended to do so why suggest that its ok for the USFWS to be tired of the whole issue. The ESA was enacted to protect species at risk. Wolves were and are at risk… under the archaic, bloodthirsty state killing plans in the NRM, and now elsewhere. A great deal can be gleaned about their needing protection when the wolf killing zealots want to remove protections nationally in places where there are no wolves or very small populations or where wolves could logically repopulate. The NRM states and Wyoming most certainly have not undertaken responsible wolf management. Your bias is loud and clear.
Zach keep digging deeper and you will become even more outraged. Wolves have gotten the short end of the stick forever. You name it, the extirpation of wolves in most states from the 1920’s to the terrible recovery plan, to the sleazy de listing to the abysmal wolf “management” aka killing plans. Wolves have targets on their backs. The management of wolves and most predators is a national tragedy and shameful. To think that the USFWS would delist Wyoming wolves under that plan is beyond comprehension, to think that a national delisting is on the table is disgraceful. Don’t get fooled about the USFWS wanting to wash their hands of the issue so the can concentrate on other species more in need of protection, that is intellectually dishonest, as some like to say here. Keep digging, you will need the facts to speak loudly and clearly for wolves.
Roadkill stew, anyone? Could be coming to MT soon.
The roadkill cafe: your grill to our grill.
That would make for a good Andrew Zimmern episode. This could create a whole new culinary fad that pulls in Seattleites by the droves – “From Road to Table”.
In the Fall, I have driven across Eastern WA to ID and MT and saw enough corn, potatoes, onions and garlic that has fallen off trucks making their way down the highway, for a good soup or stew base. Even saw a few pheasants get thumped along the way. Whether I stopped to gather the bounty, I will leave unanswered….OK I won’t deny it, for the veggies (road rash goes away quickly with a swift swipe of the knife; apples don’t usually do so well once they hit the pavement or gravel). Also picked up a couple of those black rubber cargo bungies with the galvenized S hooks, that go for about $4 each. There is something positive to be said for those who glean and recycle.
We have benefited from bends in the road near Vernita bridge (over the Columbia) when I go upriver bright fishing at my brothers. Quite a smorgy sometimes.
HSUS posted this today – meatless mondays pretty awesome
Salle and others I think you’ll like this
LA School District Embraces Meatless Mondays
Posted: 06 Mar 2013 03:21 PM PST
The second largest school district in the United States has decided, just months after the city of Los Angeles passed a resolution on the topic, to join the Meatless Monday movement. In the wake of discussions with The HSUS, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced it will offer exclusively meat-free meals in its K-12 cafeterias every Monday, and will educate students about the health benefits of eating more plant-based foods. The LAUSD serves 650,000 meals daily to one of the most ethnically diverse student populations in the world.
Check out our favorite recipes and download
a copy of our Guide to Meat-Free Meals
The federal government created Meatless Monday as a resource-saving measure during World War I, but the idea found a place in twenty-first century discussions about food choices when in 2003 the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Monday Campaigns began to promote the idea of abstaining from meat one day a week for personal and planetary health reasons. According to the Environmental Working Group, if everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, over the course of one year, the effect on greenhouse gas emissions would be the equivalent of taking more than 7 million cars off the road.
At The HSUS, in terms of our farm animal policy, we primarily focus on “refinement” and “reduction” when it comes to animal agriculture. We work to “refine” production practices by banning intensive confinement practices like gestation crates and battery cages, working with farmers who reject those methods and demonstrate more humane ways of raising animals, and encouraging consumers to make conscientious choices in the marketplace whenever they do buy meat, dairy, and egg products. We also urge consumers to “reduce” consumption, as with Meatless Mondays, since there’s no way to way to raise billions of animals in extensive systems with the current level of demand in the U.S. The resources needed for this output of meat are not economically or ecologically sustainable for our nation, or our planet.
It’s a canard for agriculture groups to argue that a modest reduction in consumption of animal products – 15 percent, by just skipping those products one day a week – would produce adverse economic outcomes for farmers. During the last 40 years, there’s been an enormous surge in confinement agriculture and a plummeting of family farming operations. Since 1970, the country has lost more than 90 percent of pig farmers, more than 95 percent of egg farmers, and more than 85 percent of dairy producers. We’ve seen a loss in economic activity and population in rural communities, and gains by vertically integrated conglomerates like Tyson Foods. These mega companies imprison animals in huge windowless buildings while extending their reach into agriculture and supply chains by hiring “contract farmers” who put up all the money for land and buildings, but don’t even own the animals they are raising. It’s a cheap-meat formula that has produced misery for animals and economic ruin for tens of thousands of farmers.
In terms of global concerns, if China and India continue to move in the direction of industrialized animal agriculture and see a loss in family farming, as occurred in the U.S., it is an animal welfare and environmental disaster in the making – with enormous implications for water loss and contamination, greenhouse gas emissions and topsoil loss.
Programs like Meatless Monday are crucial components of our global campaign to end factory farming. If all Americans participated in Meatless Monday, more than a billion animals would be spared the miseries of factory farms. Eliminating meat one day a week doesn’t require much in the way of a reconfiguring of our lives, and it provides so many benefits. If you’d like to join Los Angeles Unified School District in helping animals, the environment, and your health, it’s as easy as starting with your next meal. Here’s The HSUS’ Guide to Meat-Free Meals, and check out our Meatless Monday video.
Yes, it’s also much more interesting in a cooking sense to enjoy cooking without meat -fun and creative, and different tastes – vegetables and grains become the stars, instead of our palate being dominated by rich meats. I’ve discovered vegan baking, and I’m amazed just how rich and delicious the desserts are. I do eat dairy and eggs though – but not nearly as much.
oops that should read ‘to enjoy cooking without meat once in awhile’. It isn’t necessary to eat as much meat as the US does, and I’m discouraged by seeing other countries when they become successful emulating our mistakes. Greed and gluttony.
Bill Targets Commercial Bobcat Trapping (California)
Was wondering what/who was driving the wildlife-bobcat fur trade.
Various papers report in Michigan that a group says over 100,000 people have signed a petition to have wolves not be game species (reversing a recent law change). Needs 161k sigs, folks want well over 200k, since it takes 161k real signers. Here’s an example:
MUCC is quoted as calling it a “yet another senseless referendum” (we had rather many last Nov), and their blogs flame the proposal. This vote wouldn’t be til 2014 if they get the signatures.
Folks in the lower peninsula get to have their way, and we have essentially no wolves (yet!), so UP folks might blow some gaskets. It’s tough having big lakes cutting the state in two.
“Folks in the lower peninsula get to have their way, and we have essentially no wolves (yet!), so UP folks might blow some gaskets. It’s tough having big lakes cutting the state in two.”
Really no different from Washington and Oregon (or Colorado, though they don’t have wolves), except the barrier in those states is a mountain range.
Personally, I don’t have any problem with the “game” species status, so long as method and timing of take are managed to be socially acceptable (i.e., acceptable for the majority of the public). Both referendum and legislative intervention are bad for wolf policy, as they only consider the desires of small segments of the populations.
MI Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill that designated the wolf as a game species in MI. The petition is not against having the wolf being designated as game but it is to put the wolf hunt to a vote by MI residents. If enough signatures, 225,000 is the ultimate goal but only (ha, yeah only) 161,000 are needed for the referendum. Sometimes people sign more than one petition, which is not allowed as this is a legal-type document. Others might make other mistakes so they (Keep Michigan Wolves Protected) want to make sure there is room for error. A few years ago a dove hunt was called off because MI residents did not want doves to be hunted. Many people in Upper MI are also signing this, as well as hunters—the ones who believe you don’t kill what you can’t eat. MI has a wolf forum/roundtable survey. Over 70% of MI residents approved of having wolves in the state and saw the benefit of having them. MI had 6 wolves when they went on the Endangered List. It took almost 40 years for them to repopulate to the est. number of 687.
For the past year, stock growers and pet owners have been legally allowed to shoot wolves that attack or repeatedly attack livestock or pets. The DNR Commission says that the wolf hunt would most likely be in localized areas of the UP. Yeah, maybe the first year but what after that? MI is also a trapping state. Would there be an increase of the bag limit? Would the area of the hunt be expanded? Would the DNR increase the number of wolves that could be taken by hunters/trappers after the first year? The first public comment meeting last week had 270 people attending. There was another one after that, not as many people attending that one and there are two more coming in the next couple of weeks. I think MI has it right, let the citizens decide, not the state’s legislature.
It’s all well and good that wolves are deemed ‘recovered’ – but I still don’t get why it means that hunting has to automatically follow. If they are recovered, leave them alone – watch and then adjust the ‘management’ accordingly.
I don’t understand why such an aggressive hunting pogrom with everything except drones is necessary to control their population. It’s very irrational. Removing them from ESA protection in the rest of the states would obviously result in the same craziness – although I do think California would do the right thing and keep them protected in their state. All of the scientific work for the Mexican wolf would go down the drain, unfortunately. This is only rivaled by the BLM for misleading the public.
Ida Lupine says,
“I don’t understand why such an aggressive hunting pogrom with everything except drones…”
in time, Ida….in time
A proposed ban on the marketting of Polar Bear parts has failed at the CITES meeting in Thailand. Even Russia lined up behind this alongside the US and many other nations, but Canada prevailed. So even though there are only ~25,000 polar bears left in the northern wild and they all are threatened by Arctic warming, the First Nations of Canada can still hunt and sell them. Most else think the current human-driven attrition rate is unsustainable.
what should be unbelievable is now commonplace. Short sighted on the road to becoming a single over populated pest like species, humans. Its terribly sad to think about the billions of human organisms making negative decisions about hundreds of thousands, tens of thousands, thousands, or hundreds of other species, with some idiots fighting against 58 of one species, like the M wolf.
REI CEO Sally Jewell faces Senate confirmation hearing
I think she’s sharp and will be well suited for the job. We need a big overhaul in the DOI.
We just need a big overhaul, not just as DOI!
Yes, Indeed, not just DOI, but all the gov’t. Good point, thx.
Regarding the Department of Interior et al, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has promised a comprehensive Up or Down vote on listing 262 animal species as Endangered. The animals have been in bureaucratic limbo as the USFWS backlog of species actions piled up and up. Some have been considered for protections for decades.
Article on this in today’s New York Times. The USFWS announced a month ago they would decide once and for all by this coming September.
I feel pretty sure the Republicans will go to war over this if they aren’t able to strongarm USFWS in coming months.
does a great job of dispelling wolf hysteria and myths of the savage unrelenting killer…
Good post. When one realizes, that most of the immigrants who came to the colonies from the British Isles had never experienced a wolf( they were long gone from the Isles, as well as most of Europe, they were in for a surprise with unattended livestock.
As the wave of mankind moved westward, the tales accompanied them. We continue to hear the DRONING, that our ancestors got rid of them for a reason… ad nauseum. They got rid of them because folks killed everything that the wolves ate, and what was left? Livestock.
Wolves are lightning rods for controversy, but as your post shows, with a little work, understanding, and knowledge, tolerance and acceptance for wolves can be achieved.
There is truth in what you say, but as I have stated here before, the first organized government in Oregon came about in the early 1840’s, as a result of needing to deal with wolves chowing down on livestock in what was called the French Prairie near the Willamette Valley, at a place called Champoeg. They have been referenced as the “wolf meetings.” The idea was to pool money for a bounty on wolves.
There are alot of things in this piece that have spin to them, and I don’t have the time or energy to deal with them specifically, except to say some of it is half-truths, alot like some of the stuff George Wuerther writes.
…and, Immer, I have a problem with this statement, if you were referring to that time in history as well.
++They got rid of them because folks killed everything that the wolves ate, and what was left? Livestock.++
It is a little more complicated than that, as I am sure you know. I bet you a beer, in nearly any scenario where a wolf has a choice for a sheep or cow with little effort, they will take it, over nearly anything that fights harder or runs away faster, creating greater risk of injury or more caloric expenditure to pursue. And, that was the problem, and may still be in some locales, without protective measures, like the turbo fladry, or penning at night.
I’d gladly supply the beer. But I will stand by my statement,I particular once the bison were gone, and market hunting took its toll in the West, the only thing remaining for wolves to eat, was livestock.
Even int the GL states, Wisconsin had elk. The wolves certainly did not kill them all.
I guess it’s a matter of how much of a price is paid to have, wild? Time to walk the dog, keeping an eye out for wolves, and hit the hay.
“It is a little more complicated than that, as I am sure you know. I bet you a beer, in nearly any scenario where a wolf has a choice for a sheep or cow with little effort, they will take it, over nearly anything that fights harder or runs away faster, creating greater risk of injury or more caloric expenditure to pursue”
Back to Canid “thought”. Would you not think there was alearning curve for wolves, to understand that sheep and cattle, where food on the hoof, if seeing them for the first time?
I don’t think there is a learning curve when it comes to predators, they pretty much sample everything.
There absolutely is a learning curve when it comes to wolves. Behavioral ecologists use the term “search image” to describe the visual recognition of a prey item. Early on in the wolf reintroduction, there was a pack that set up shop on a ranchers private lands and for months walked passed cattle to go hunt for elk. At the time, it was explained that wolves had no “search image” for cattle–they just weren’t considered prey. Likewise, the logic has been used to explain how wolf attacks on people became frequent during the black plague; human carcass was encountered and a search image was formed (i.e., people recognized as prey).
So to WM’s point: I would take his bet on any day for wolves that hadn’t yet learned that cattle are prey. It would be a harder bet to make for wolves that had.
Immer, JB, SB,
I was going to post this last night (before JB’s) comment, but did not have time.
It is probably true that a dead sheep, cow or horse left unburied provided the first opportunity to whet a future taste. Then there is the testing of the new prey, constant testing. A successful kill begets the next successful kill, and all the while the wolves are thinking to themselves in their Canid brains, “Hey this sure is easier than trying to wear down that bison, moose, or elk that has horns/antlers and knows how to use them. And, ya know these cows can’t strike out with their hooves like an elk or a moose. They don’t hide, they don’t run far, and sometimes we can run them up against a fence and into a corner where they can’t escape. Let’s teach the pups these skills, too.”
I bet you a second beer there was alot of this going on even before their natural prey became more scarce. But, no doubt scarcity of natural prey did contribute to more conflicts, compounding the problem. Learning curve from no “search image” for cattle to what’s on the menu tonight, could be pretty darn short in some instances. Hunger can be an in credible motivator. And, once the new food source is found, it is difficult to stop. Hence all the lethal control actions in modern days, wherever wolves are on the landscape all over the world.
Absolutely WM, works in humans too:
Show a youngster from the midwest a raw oyster straight from an oyster bed and then offer it for them to eat. Works with snails too (some ancient French guy must have been REALLY hungry)
A lot of TV’s food channels are all about increasing our ‘search image’ so that we will consume more exotic…and expensive…foods, and then show our friends the same. I’m working on crawdad ‘search image’ with my teenager now.
Not to beat a dead horse (cow or whatever) but the 1842 Census for the Willamette Valley (French Prairie/Champoeg) recorded very few inhabitants – all eight pages of it recorded by the only federal employee, an Indian agent, who was also a physician. Here is a link to the Census records by household including number of livestock, which outnumbered the humans, by the way. Were these humans really taking that many deer or elk away from wolves? I very seriously doubt it.
An interesting read by the way, since most of these folks were new arrivals, again reinforcing the idea that all the wolf prey had not been killed off, as JB suggested in his earlier general comments about the West.
Were Native Americans counted in that Census?
No Native Americans were recorded, though data on Canadian and British(Hudson Bay Co. employees)were recorded.
One source suggests that the confederated tribes of the Willamette Valley, the Kalapuya, were as many as 9,000 inhabitants throughout the large watershed of over 11,000 square miles, many far to the south end of the valley, but that by the 1840’s their numbers were in the low hundreds, as a result primarily of disease the Europeans (mostly Hudson Bay Co. employees) brought in earlier years. The total of non-Native Americans was about 600 in the early 1840’s, but on the rise as the Oregon Trail brought new immigrants. The Native Americans were removed to a reservation at Grand Ronde under the 1955 treaty. That was about seven years after the famous massacre that killed missionary Marcus Whitman and his family (he was killed in WA where he lived, but curiously his name shows on that early census of 1842 as living in the Willamette.
A long discussion to still say there were few humans there in the early 1840’s, but within another 15 years the Oregon Trail brought thousands to the “land of milk and honey,” as it was known.
I think it was 1855 not 1955, just checking facts.
Indeed, elk275, it was 1855.
I found that era of Washington & Oregon history, after the Lewis and Clark expedition, most fascinating. Settlers coming from the East through St. Louis beginning in the 1840’s, and the long arm of the British extending down from Western Canada into the San Juan Islands (recall the Pig War from 1859) and even earlier the sailing ships up the Columbia to what is now Oregon City/Portland. Hudson Bay Company right in the middle of all of it (sometimes as a quasi-governmental entity but as an English corporation whose business focus was trapping and hides, always looking at the bottom line).
First, In 1900 there were 20 million cattle and 25 million sheep grazing federal public lands of the West; but by 1885, bison were functionally extinct, elminated–gone. In 1903 more than 4,000 dead wolves were turned in for bounty in Montana alone. Were they eating sheep and cattle? Of course! That’s what was available, that’s what they learned to eat. So I take exception with your correcting Immer’s comment; it really isn’t any more complicated than wolves eating domestic ungulates after humans decimated wild ungulate populations.
Second, I agree that, all things being equal, wolves are going to kill the easiest (most vulnerable) prey. But all things aren’t equal, nor will they ever be… Wolves need to have a “search image”, which means they need to recognize an animal as food; cattle are generally closer to people, making them less vulnerable; cattle (in the West) are only seasonally available, and can be guarded (decreasing risk of attack); a weak or injured elk is probably more vulnerable than a cow; a female elk is probably more vulnerable than varieties of cattle (e.g., Texas longhorns), etc. So what is the point of this exercise?
Wait a minute. The OR meetings in Champoeg were in 1841. There was a problem begging for a solution prior to that time. Not many folks in OR then, and yet wolves were eating cows or other livestock. That was the context of my comment. No bison there to my knowledge, by the way. Let’s back the discussion to that earlier date and that location, not the later period when the Westward expansion gained momentum and when lots of bad stuff happened to bison on the plains.
By the way, Eastern Canadians had their own wolf problems, and hatred which continues today. in southern parts of the eastern provinces. That is why you won’t likely find wolves making their way south of the St. Lawrence River into the New England states.
Sorry, while I think it is complicated, I am not buying the idea that the natural prey has to be diminshed before the testing and sampling of livestock begins. Plenty of deer in MN, yet wolves found an affinity for turkeys in the early 1990’s, if I recall. One year they got something like 1,200-1,400, and then the turkey farmers started to clean up their act.
And, let me add this (responding to the point of the exercise from your earlier post). On the one hand behavior ecologists (and wolf advocates) will assert wolves are intelligent, curious, adaptive problem-solvers. I agree with that.
On the other, why wouldn’t an animal with such traits seek out new food sources, which provide less risk of harm to itself and at lesser caloric expenditure, than whatever it had been eating before. Recall those salmon eating wolves on the BC coast; they will eat berries too. It makes perfect sense that a wolf would tend to acquire a new “search image” fairly quickly once tested and tried. Again, learning to adapt to new food sources can quick with hunger as a motivator.
“Sorry, while I think it is complicated, I am not buying the idea that the natural prey has to be diminshed before the testing and sampling of livestock begins. Plenty of deer in MN, yet wolves found an affinity for turkeys in the early 1990′s, if I recall. One year they got something like 1,200-1,400, and then the turkey farmers started to clean up their act.”
I agree. The ‘Maneaters of Tsavo’ (2 maneless lions that ate people) started because 1 had an absessed tooth (per Field Museum of Nat. History in Chicago) and would have had a hard time attacking natural prey. I guess in this case we were the ‘turkeys’ from your example, but the same applies.
Even in 1840’s Oregon (admittedly I was not there) I would presume that settlers had great impact on wild game, which were replaced with livestock. Once wolves “learned” that this was easy Pickens, the game was over.
Not to argue that wolves won’t prey upon livestock, they do… But elk/deer populations have been restablished, perhaps well over the historical numbers of pre-settlement days.
To return to Louise’s post, one would hope with the a availability of natural prey, depredation avoidance practices that will continue to evolve, and education accompanied by sound management of wolf populations, that tolerance for this much maligned animal will increase.
It will be interesting to see if wolf numbers increase/decrease in MN and WI, as well as depredation occurrences. The postulations have been put out there by biologists and arm chair biologists alike that disruption of pack stability may lead to more breeding and more depredation.
In that respect, we will all have to wait and see. In MN, the age breakdown of wolves taken should be released late Spring/early Summer. 52 % of wolves harvested were female.
“On the other, why wouldn’t an animal with such traits seek out new food sources, which provide less risk of harm to itself and at lesser caloric expenditure, than whatever it had been eating before.”
Of course they will! The unanswered question is what leads them to this behavior? In many instances wolves have “co-existed” alongside cattle without killing them for long periods–meaning, they are NOT constantly testing every organism they encounter as your post implies. Certainly we are easier to kill than cattle. If testing was constant, wolf encounters with people would frequently end in attacks–yet attacks are extremely rare; thus, testing new sources of food must also be a relatively rare occurrence.
One of the things noticed as a hunter is spine direction, before wolves we could crawl up to bedded elk because we did not fit the human picture. More than once I have been knocked around by a cow when bending over to suck a calf when the cow wasn’t watching, and looked back to see a horizontal spine. To a apex predator any thing with a horizontal spine fits a image of dinner. Try it some time human form is vertical and usually not to be mess with.
For some wolves the leap to cattle takes time the local pack liked to only dine on beef on labor day weekend and seemed to hang out with my cows all summer until the end of season. One reason was they were eating all the deer that came into the cows salt and rested with the cows. It is not a black and white deal. One thing I’ve learned is of all the predators I live with wolves are more likely to kill beef than all other predator together.
“One reason was they were eating all the deer that came into the cows..” and “One thing I’ve learned is of all the predators I live with wolves are more likely to kill beef than all other predator together” (emphasis mine).
Nice conjecture. Now for some facts. Fact: According to USDA Wildlife Services researchers, the period of greatest wolf population growth in Idaho corresponds to a decrease in overall sheep predation. Why? Short answer: we don’t know, but the researchers found a strong negative correlation between Idaho’s wolf population and summer coyote depredation (r = -.64), suggesting that wolves may have been killing or displacing coyotes.
Okay, now you and WM can go back to telling us how terrible wolves are for livestock producers.
Now for some facts try looking at the numbers of each predator and the number of depredation for each predator species. Wolves have a low depredation rate because there are less of them. I was talking on a personal level when I said wolves give me the largest problem and I was talking beef.
Give me views on a paper, Relative risk of predation posed by individual wolves. Collinge 2008. I can’t make a link work but you’ll find it in a search.
Yes, Bob. I’m familiar with the concept of relative risk. The issue, as you note, is that wolves exist at much lower densities than coyotes or black bears, which are an order of magnitude more numerous; thus, while individual wolves are more likely to kill sheep (and certainly cattle) than coyotes, there make far fewer kills. Moreoever, where they reduce or displace far more numerous coyotes, there seems to be an actual positive impact on depredation at a relatively large (i.e., statewide) geographic scale. Which is why your rhetoric of fear rings so hollow.
You can play the reduction in coyote numbers all you want, most beef producers don’t have much of a problem with coyotes. So unless your large landscape has sheep the coyote population reduction is just that fewer coyote not a reduction in risk. You deflection of wolves killing more beef than other predators by talking coyotes is just that.
Wolves are more likely to kill beef than any other predator and you can’t prove other wise.
“Wolves are more likely to kill beef than any other predator and you can’t prove other wise.”
According to USDA NASS data, which grossly inflates the importance of predation, 6.6% of all cattle deaths in Idaho were do to predation; 30% of these were due to wolves–this is according to the ranchers themselves (27% were due to coyotes; these were calves). So you can play the relative risk card all you like, but at the end of the day wolves are a less important for cattle death then…well, just about anything.
I see you’ve been deflecting again, can’t prove me wrong so you go to the tried and true “the percentage of livestock killed by wolves is very small compared to all causes of death.”
What you should be telling producers is that for every wolf living in your state producers will loose an average of .5 to 4 head of livestock. That 600 wolves will kill more livestock than 20,000 black bears or 20,000 coyotes or 2000 mountain lion. Instead you tell producers by comparison you loose many more to weather, which I seem to have no control over. How about that producers loose more to dogs, well if the dog has a owner I get paid for all damages not just the confirmed dead ones. I could go on playing your numbers game but there is little point, Ralph and Ken always carry on about the universities in Idaho,
seems all professors have a agenda. You seem to try and hold yourself above the fray so, do so. Anyway this is a bit late but, I’ve other things to do and I prefer life that way.
I guess I don’t know what your definition of a “deflection” is. I got involved in the conversation because I see consistent efforts among some individuals–yourself included–to cast wolves in a negative light. From my perspective, both animals killed/predator and the total losses to predator species are relevant data points. However, I object when you haul out a single gray literature citation to “prove” that wolves kill more livestock per individual than other predators. Now I could counter argue the study you cited, pointing out the fact that it relies upon USDA survey data of ranchers, who have a vested interest in inflating losses to predators–especially wolves; I might also point out that cougar and black bear are more likely to make kills in cover, which effects detectabiliy (not a problem for radio collar studies, but this was no radio collar study). But rather than point out the limitations of the single study that you seem to take as scripture, I decided it would be better to point out the bottom line. Apparently, that’s a deflection. So be it.
BTW: My agenda is simple: (1) keep institution of wildlife management relevant; (2) keep the conversation honest.
I understand your where your coming from and your views most the time but I get tired of the same old sugar coated pro wolf living with wolves BS coming from people who have never lived with wolves. I’ve been living with a ever growing wolf population for 19 years have my loses been great, no but all my loses to predators have been to wolves. Grizzlies, blacks lions, coyotes and wolves all present. The truth is day in and day out each wolf has a higher cause of livestock mortality in the Montana than any other predator. Until you can admit that your not being honest.
“. Grizzlies, blacks lions, coyotes and wolves all present”
Blacks? Sorry but couldn’t resist. 🙂
I love history and currently reading Andrew Carneigie by David Nasaw. When I read history I can remember every detail but it is the opposite with computers, I remember very little.
I spend several years in Washington and Oregon buying oil and gas leases and went to all of the historical sites. My favorites were Fort Vancouver in Vancouver, Washington and the Whitman Mission in Eastern Washington. It would be very interesting to study the history of Washington and Oregon.
JB and RB –
I can’t settle your disagreement, but I can offer a contrasting perspective to depredation issues in the West – here in Wisconsin our ~32,000 black bear cause significantly more ag damage than our ~900 wolves.
Bears cause almost twice as much damage in terms of dollars – of course on this landscape a lot of the damage is to crops, not livestock. We trapped and relocated almost 700 bears last year, and another 100+ were killed under landowner permit.
Contrast that with 76 wolves killed for depredation, yet the wolves drive all the hysteria and the bear issues are almost totally under the radar.
On a animal basis, if you divide the number of animals into the amount of damage, which animal has more damage per animal. Montana has many animals killed by coyotes but our coyote population 30 times bigger. That’s my point the “damage per animal” not the total damage.
Thanks for the education JB, but in truth I was make a smart aleck comment!
SB: Sorry, you’re not allowed to be both a cynic and a smart aleck. 😉
What you “allow” me to be, has no bearing on what I will be, you should know better.
WOW! This has been one very interesting conversation! Thanks for the good read!
Here’s an interesting comment:
In 2005, human thieves took 5 times as many livestock as wolves in MT, ID, and WY.
Over, 1,200 were stolen by human thieves Malheur County alone over a 3-year period.
What did they do about cattle rustlers in the old days?
C-Span2 is showing the complete hearings of Sally Jewell. Quite interesting.
Democrats or republicans, the Senate committee priorities and questions are all about resource extraction and their expansion.
Man….I miss the days of Babbitt….and Domeback.
Legislators steering another $300,000 to anti-wolf crusade
Politics » Private group says it needs the money to lobby federal officials against the predator’s reintroduction.
Wow! “It’s [wolf recovery] destroying jobs, private property and rural economies,” said Peay …”
OK, I can name a handful of outfitters here on the Montana edges of Yellowstone whose businesses were really hurt in the past 15 years — but those elk herds declined for many reasons. [See especially Vucetich et al. 2005, who concluded: “Within the limits of uncertainty, which are not trivial, climate and harvest rate are justified explanations for most of the observed elk decline.”
It’s hard to say that some of these elk herds even “declined,” since they may have simply moved somewhere they wouldn’t be so vulnerable to wolves (ranchers around Cody say this is taking place, and we may be seeing same in the Madison Valley). From an outfitter’s standpoint, however, it’s a decline in elk available for them to hunt in a certain area.
Anyway: to argue that rural economies have been “destroyed” by wolf recovery? How about some data? Especially before you take $300K out of the public coffers to lobby against wolves?
So how is it that economists, business analysts, investment advisors, etc. who write about and project economic trends have completely missed these “devastating” effects on rural economies of wolves. Is it that Don Peay, Ryan Bensen and the Utah state legislature have some vital insight?
Looks like Peay & Bensen have special insights into getting $600,000 paydays with virtually no strings attached. That’s gotta be a boost to the very very local economies of the Peay and Bensen households!
Money up front, no deliverables, contract renewed before an reporting done on original contract. Takes a lot of gall to do that while squawking abut locking up public employees for “misappropriation.”
Come to think about it, there would be no multi-million dollar ANTI-wolf business without wolves!
It’s really an off-shoot of this scam:
Not to say that there are no “scammers” who trade in hysterics on the left-progressive-green end of the spectrum. But seriously — the NRA-Fox-Limbaugh axis is all about manufacturing fear for fun and profit. Advertising, speaking fees, “consultancies,” (combine “con” and “insult” and you get “consult” 😉 ), and endorsements (Glenn Beck getting paid to tell people to buy gold because Glenn Beck knows the US Treasury is about to collapse).
In comparison, the anti-wolf revenue stream looks like a cottage industry — a few films, some bumper stickers and t-shirts . . . but start throwing in speaking fees and add in six-figure “lobbying” contracts with the State of Utah, and we’re talking serious cash.
Yes, of course, folks will point out that there is a far more lucrative pro-wolf industry. Point taken. And some on the pro-wolf side have told a few whoppers from time to time (or are they “howlers”?). But $600,000 to tell the people of Utah that wolf recovery has been a disaster? Along with an undefined bundle of activities to save the people of Utah from a similar fate? That doesn’t pass the straight face test.
” That’s gotta be a boost to the very very local economies of the Peay and Bensen households!”
I got the impression that the lobbying would be done in DC? If so, Don and Co. will be using Utah money to line the pockets of folks from other states.
Thanks for posting this. This is just insanity. Give that kind of money to someone to fight wolf reintroduction into their state when there are no plans to reintroduce wolves back in the first place? This is what normal people call wasteful spending.
…one would hope with the a availability of natural prey, depredation avoidance practices that will continue to evolve, and education accompanied by sound management of wolf populations, that tolerance for this much maligned animal will increase.
One would. Good post.
At any rate, it is another environmental problem that humans have created, introducing a foreign species that wolves and other predators quite naturally would adapt to, as they were designed to, as we ourselves were designed to. I hope we could come up with a better and more intelligent solution than just killing and wiping them out into extinction because they are inconvenient.
This seems to be a disturbing, but not surprising trend. Every time when the subject of wolves comes up on a hunting website or facebook page, you commonly see a lot of hunters advocating illegal activity when it comes to wolves. Why is that? The extreme hatred that a lot of these hunters have for wolves is very disturbing to see.
That’s why delisting and immediate hunting are so bad – nobody is paying any attention to laws at all now. You’ve got hunting, going over limits, and the 3S crowd. When they were protected, you only had the 3S crowd. Another thing that is up for debate is what recovered and sustainable numbers means. Just a token population is what some would like, I fear.
And targeting the collared wolves. The anti-wolf crowd is insincere (and we know the state politicians are) if they can’t respect the work of biologists in the park.
I think a lot of these hunters who advocate this aren’t doing it themselves, but them advocating it is very troubling given that the that hunters like to claim they are conservationists. Does a conservationist advocate illegal activity or eradication of a species he doesn’t like just because that species may eat elk or deer?
If these types of things are so disturbing why do you spent so much of your day looking for them?
Are you a long range hunter?
Someone who enjoys looking for things that disturb them, it must have a name, anyone know?
“the yellowstone wolves have contracted parvo
& the gov is tagging breeding females to find the den & vacinate the pups”
This is simply not true, of course, and these guys fire themselves up with lies to fuel their hatred. We had an illegal wolf kill in Feb. on the north fork; probably the same guy who killed two last year same place. It’s just better to keep quiet about how many wolves are where when you see them.
Parallel universe of wolf craziness.
It would appear the S. Dakota Legislature is taking a stand on whatever few wolves move in from the WGL (it shares its eastern border with MN):
About as close to scorched earth as one can get, by looking at the margins of the votes in both legislative bodies. Geez.
I wish they’d put thieves, rapists and pedophiles in the same category – shoot the vermin on sight! lol
Some interesting comments w/the article:
Yes there is Nancy, Yes, there is.
Kind of like this blog, don’t ya think SB?
Yes, indeed. (:
How friggin’ weird is this ?
“Outdoors TV show host killed in Whitefish murder-suicide ” from the Missoulian.
As the host of “A Rifleman’s Journal,” the victim Gregory Rodriguez of Texas chronicled his adventures as an outdoor writer, outfitter and marksmanship instructor. He traveled the globe in pursuit of big game, jet-setting to exotic locations in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and the South Pacific, according to a biography posted on the Sportsman Channel’s website.
In addition to his television persona, Rodriguez was the founder and CEO of Global Adventure Outfitters, was an editor at Shooting Times Magazine and a contributing editor at Petersen’s Hunting, Guns & Ammo, and Dangerous Game. He has a wife and two children.
After shooting Rodriguez point blank , Wayne Bengston, 41, then beat and pistol-whipped his wife before fleeing the residence with the couple’s 2-year-old son, Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial said. Bengston brought the unharmed boy to a relative’s home and drove to his home in West Glacier, where he shot and killed himself.
The fictional TV crime drama shows will never run out of plotlines if they just watch the news . (Just remember to change the names and locations)
It is really weird, I knew all of the players in this, I can’t imagine what happened, very shocking.
This is an article about the collapse of the industrial size wind farm that was supposed to be built on Steens Mountain in SE Oregon. This is great news for Oregon.
This is really good news!
Thanks for putting this up. I might have missed it. I am still adjusting back to finding news and writing stories after my month long vacation to the southwest deserts.
Anytime! The SE Oregon desert is beautiful. If you have a few free minutes and haven’t already, check this out:
It’s the Oregon Natural Desert Association’s Oregon desert and wind topical report. It’s a really interesting read regarding wind potential in Oregon. Unfortunately, it’s not the last we’ll have to worry about wind turbines in the area.
Welcome back to reality. I am jealous you got to spend so much time out there, I know how beautiful the desert can be in the winter, it’s especially nice because there’s a lot less people to deal with.
I am moving to SE Idaho in a few months and hope it’s as beautiful there as it is in SE Oregon.
Oregon backs Klamath Tribe’s senior water rights to Klamath Basin. This was in the news yesterday in Portland. A hopeful positive step forward.
Very good article about Don Peay.
Garbage hunters, of course.
Did you read the article?
In the various articles I read, the investigators had pretty much ruled out hunters.
All sorts of “hunters” out there anymore SB, what with the economy and all.
A rather dated article, but you can just imagine what bladders and paws might be going for now. I mean, all you need is a gun and a couple of friends, happy to split the profits and willing to take the risk.
“A Grizzly or Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) gallbladder can sell for up to $10,000 on the black market, and the larger the gallbladder, the higher the price. A Black Bear gallbladder can be purchased from a **poacher** in Idaho for $15, but in Hawaii, it brings $1,500, and in Korea, as much as $15,000 (Barron 1991)”
And to add………Legislation to ban U.S. sales failed in recent Congressional sessions, but was reintroduced in 2001.
And it seems its gotten “shot down” and reintroduced every year since:
by guess who:
Organizations Opposing H.R.3480
National Rifle Association
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
national assembly of sportsmen’s caucuses
National Shooting Sports Foundation
North American Bear Foundation
…and 17 more.
I know you don’t like hunters, but I was just saying what I had read in the articles that was quoted by the people investigating this situation.
Don’t think I’ve ever said I don’t like hunters SB (short of head hunters & slob hunters) I was just putting out there what type of hunter(poacher) this bear might of run into.
Nancy, you always blame the hunter first, when something happens. I was simply posting what I had read. The investigators have pretty much cleared the hunters, and are focusing on someone associated with the sheep station.
The troubling thing is that the animal went missing two weeks after it was radio collared. So while it may not have been a hunter, it could have been a poacher – which I consider two different breeds.
Yes, they are Ida, but the investigators have speculated that they are suspecting someone at the Sheep Station. If it was, it would still be a poacher, I can say, it would not be easy to get rid of a bear this size by yourself, it would have taken a couple of people to do it.
Yes, the black market for animal parts is too lucrative to dismiss, I think. 🙁
“So while it may not have been a hunter, it could have been a poacher – which I consider two different breeds”
Would be interesting to know how many poachers started out as hunters Ida.
And SB – if that sounds like I’m blaming hunters first – well, if the shoe fits.
See Nancy, I told you so..Why can’t you folks, follow the story and realize, they are not focusing on hunters, they are focusing on employees of the sheep station!
And JB calls me a Cynic!
Nancy, I was wondering if the sheep ranchers have the radio collar information?
Why is it, that people always jump to the conclusion that people have the collar information? For the most part, it is illegal to hand that information out, unless a specific need is shown. I have not read anything to suggest a specific reason exist for anyone other than the researchers had need of the collar information.
I will add, when it comes to Grizzlies and Wolves, there are some areas it is hard to NOT see animals with collars, sometimes when out and about, I think all of them are collared!
I wasn’t aware there was a season on garbage but I, as I’m sure many here agree, am glad Mike made it through the season unscathed.
That put a smile on my face topher, thank you!
Nancy, I was wondering if the sheep ranchers have the radio collar information?
Ida as SB said “its illegal to hand that information out”
A related article from a year ago:
Washington State Senate OK’s wolf kill bill…I can’t imagine it is going to pass the house or the governors desk.
My two cents: I’d look at WY-MT-ID and ask, has allowing livestock or pet owners to kill wolves that are attacking/chasing/threatening led to a whole bunch of dead wolves?
I don’t think that it has caused problems here, other than a handful of cases, at least one of which was prosecuted.
One way of looking at the question is that attacks happen rarely enough, why do people need the flexibility to kill a wolf in defense of their animals? Another way of looking at it is that it happens rarely enough that allowing people to shoot attacking/chasing/threatening wolves shouldn’t be a major source of mortality.
Pragmatically, I’d say that it’s a good move to give people this flexibility. It hasn’t been a major mortality source here in the Rockies.
The big source of mortality is hysteria, driving knee-jerk policies that are all about greatly reducing wolf populations. Letting people know that they can defend their animals is an important step in countering anti-wolf hysteria.
Agreed. MN last year. 413 wolves killed legally during the wolf seasons. 270 wolves killed during government actions due to livestock depredation. Poaching, estimates in the past have run as high as 400.
MN livestock and pet owners protecting their animals killed 17 wolves.
Thanks for that MN perspective, Immer.
One caveat is that these cases do need to be thoroughly and honestly investigated.
Immer, I’d like to sometime see actual statistics on circumstances in which dogs are killed instead of just numbers. My suspicion is that most of those dogs were either livestock guarding dogs and/or hunting dogs that were not close to their owners at the time.
I’ve also wondered about the circumstances in which horses were killed. We have 50 head of horses here and many times I’ve seen wolves run right through the herd and the horses don’t stop eating. One moose tho will get them running. I suspect most of the horses killed are corralled.
I think it’s still quite rare for wolves to bring down horses directly (not saying it never happens). Most wolf-associated horse injuries I’ve heard of had to do with the horse running through a wire fence. For those who aren’t closely involved with livestock – cattle can bust through a fence with nary a visible scratch. They’ve got pretty tough hide. Horses, on the other hand, can sustain life-threatening injuries from simple wire cuts.
re moose & horses: I’ve ridden my Morgan right by moose (maybe 20′ away) numerous times. He’s not too worried about them. Once, here in the Madison, I went out to catch horses. Found them all grazing contentedly, but was confused by the extra dark chestunut in the bunch. I whistled, and they all looked up — including the “new horse,” who turned out to be a young bull moose.
Rutting bull moose can be a different story, but for the most part my crew seems to accept them just fine.
I’d be interested to see some hard numbers on horses killed by wolves. On one hand I know they are ‘herd’ animals but there’s always that flight or fight mentality too. I remember pictures circulating not so long ago of a horse that was killed by wolves out west, can’t remember the location exactly but man, my brain still pulls up the images of that horse. I know you said that it’s rare but it does happen, I’m just wondering how often, or how less.
I liked the mental image of the new ‘horse’ in your herd by the way! Gave me a good chuckle.
Ok, so here is an article that I found online as I was searching for death by wolf incidents for horses dated almost 2 years ago. That one incident I mentioned before, the horse killed and the pictures that I had seen, happened in Darby, Montana in 2011.
Anyway, as I was reading this article, a couple of questions popped into my head.
“Arabian named Tapper, returned to the barn with an apparent animal bite.”
What distinguishes a dog bite from a wolf bite? How can they know for certain if it’s one or the other? Just curious, not saying it wasn’t a wolf or it was!
“It is not common for wolves to go after horses,” said Hart, noting that there is not a lot of livestock in Northern Minnesota and attacks primarily occur on pet dogs, chickens, goats or llamas.”
I’m kinda back to my original question. Why isn’t it common for wolves to go after horses? They can take down a moose, which is one tough animal. They take down elk. Why are horses not considered a choice meal on a wolf’s menu I wonder?
“Legal battles over the status of the wolf currently have the gray wolf under federal protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Hart said that decision means that wolves in Minnesota can only be killed by the public to protect human life and that only authorized federal and state agency personnel are allowed to take wolves that cause damage to domestic animals. “
Ok, I know this is kind of a moot point since wolves have been delisted, but there’s a few things I’m trying to wrap my brain around. So before delisting, if you saw a wolf going after cattle or a pet or anything other than a human on your property, if you shot it, you’d be in trouble? I am understanding this correctly, right? I think that would kinda piss me off if I was the owner of said livestock or pets. It’s no wonder some people are a tad bit frustrated. I realize it’s one thing if you come across one of your animals that has been killed, something you haven’t witnessed. I dunno, that kinda struck me in the wrong way I guess.
“Watson expressed frustration that wolves cannot be trapped in Management Zone I. He noted that the number of deer he sees is way down, which he said might be the problem. “We are always aware of wolves—we’ve always seen sign of wolves. But we’ve also always seen does and fawns around. I haven’t seen any this year at all. It’s weird.”
I suppose this too is a moot point seeing as wolves are now delisted in Minnesota, but again, I go back to one of my original arguments. If deer, elk, fill in the blank with any other wild prey, if that prey base is down, doesn’t it make sense to implement some sort of control over predators in general? Won’t a wolf start looking for a meal somewhere he probably shouldn’t?
Found another interesting article. I’ve seen this kind of information before. Wondering what kind of thoughts people have on it? It kinda goes parellel with what I’ve thought. What happens when the natural prey base is down so low.
In the link you posted for this article was another from August 2012, having to do with the impact of newly arriving wolves in Roquefort, France, where the famous cheese is made. Some sheep growers have had wolf attacks on stoc which resulted in having to pen their sheep. Penning, apparently is not acceptable for sheep used to make Roquefort cheese as it is a breach of a representation that the cheese is made from free roaming sheep according to the appellation rules (apparently cheese has to adhere to location and technique requirements much the same as grapes used for wine to assure legal labeling compliance). Seems these guys are a bit pissed about having to pen their sheep in light of, “…30 recent attacks, with 62 ruminants killed and 73 injured.”
The difference between a dog and wolf bite is mostly strength and distance between fangs. On a beef there will be hundreds of marks like a razor cut 1/16 inch deep where the fangs pull the hair out. Once the fang breaks the hide you’ll have two nice holes about 2 inches apart at center, with the holes big enough you can almost fit a finger in each. The biggest difference between a moose and horse is eye sight as SAP said you can approach one very close as long as you understand what can happen. There are parts of the world where horse is a regular part of the wolf diet. As SAP said most horse wolf interaction results in wire cuts from the flight.
As for protecting your property from a wolf it all depended on where the lines were drawn. Where I live you could take no action that may injure a wolf, that meant none except a phone call to report what happened. People in the southern part of the state could protect their animals. Thus was the main reason for many SSS.
As for what happens when prey numbers don’t match the current wolf populations needs, all one has to do is look at current Yellowstone, wolves leaving the park, wolves kill each other at a higher rate, population crash. The jury is still out on that question on a larger landscape.
Maybe that will help some, one opinion.
I don’t think the dogs in MN killed by wolves had much to do with either livestock or hunting. Just dogs in rural areas.
Here is a summary of USF&W WY wolf predation from 2003-2012
As far as the dog killed by wolves go, some anecdotes. Today I spoke with a friend who said her neighbor liked wolves until they got into her yard and threatened her dogs. I asked if they really went after the dogs or she got scared. My friend thought she got scared.
The only personal story I know of where wolves took a dog was a while back in the early days a local outfitter took his 3 dogs and goods to his outfitting camp by the NE area of the Park border. He left the dogs overnight without a human to guard the goods, then returned with his clients to find one dog killed by wolves.
In my valley where there’s always a few packs running around, we’ve had people loose their dogs while shed hunting or whatever, sometimes for weeks. invariably the dog finds its way back to someplace, untouched by wolves. One fellow a few months ago lost his dog who jumped out of the truck; the dog got his leg caught in a trap; trappers came and freed the dog, then the dog came limping to the valley and sat on the fellows weekend home porch. On friday night, with the dog on the porch and no owners there yet, the wolf pack killed a deer in their front yard. Dog unmolested by wolves, just impaired by trappers.
There was one dog killed by wolves here several years ago and guess what…that dog was hunting cougars.
I can’t either, but you never know. Stranger things have happened. What I worry is if this does pass, it will most likely be abused. Any rancher can lie and say that wolves are threatening his cattle when they really aren’t and he can kill those wolves and probably get away with it. If this bill does pass, it will also probably mean that wolf delisting in Washington will take longer to achieve. You got the Colville tribes who just ended their wolf hunting season. I don’t know if they killed any wolves.
Jon, weigh the potential for abuse against the fear and resentment caused by laws that forbid you taking protective action in real time. I talked to a lot of folks in WA last fall, and this came up over and over again.
It is to some extent a symbolic / psychological issue, because wolves do remain very rare and these attack events rarer still. But it’s a comfort to people to know that the law does give them the freedom to do right by their animals if push came to shove.
I live in wolf country. I have dogs, horses and a mule. I take reasonable precautions (dogs stick close, under voice control, they wear bells so I can keep track of them; equines are generally fairly safe but I keep close track of them and what’s going on in their pasture). They are like family to me, they have worked hard for me and delivered under difficult circumstances, in many different contexts.
Regardless of jurisdiction or laws, if I had to lethally intervene to protect them, I have no doubt what I would do. (And popular as one of the dogs is here locally, I have no doubt we could raise a legal defense fund in very short order.)
Another pragmatic aspect to this: if wolves are indeed hunting livestock, odds are fairly high that they’ll get removed one way or another, maybe later rather than sooner. Maybe after stock-hunting behavior has spread through the whole pack. Maybe — most likely — after a huge amount of ill will and anti-wolf sentiment has arisen because of losses. If — BIG IF — someone can catch them in the act early on, and remove individual wolves engaged in that behavior, it could save the rest of the pack, and save all that ill will.
Once again, abuse can be limited by making sure that investigations are thorough, competent, and honest.
Well said, SAP. Jon: Think of this as a means of preventing another swing in public opinion that would ultimately hurt wolf populations.
Explain to me why you and other want such a robust wolf population. Are you trying to eliminate hunting, gain total control over the environment. It’s always about preserving the wolf and nothing else maters or so it seems.
There is an agenda here and it’s further reaching than relisting the wolf.
I don’t want the wolf eliminated, only managed.
Sap said catch them in the act early on, and remove individual wolves engaged in that behavior, it could save the rest of the pack, and save all that ill will.
The wolf is teaching how and what to hunt and isn’t an easy kill part of the teaching.
“The wolf is teaching how and what to hunt and isn’t an easy kill part of the teaching.”
Yep – makes sense to get the biggest payoff for the energy you burn. All of us do that. But if you’re a social carnivore (like wolves) and you see one of your own end up dead, you’re not likely to keep thinking it’s an easy kill.
I can’t speak for JB or others. My agenda doesn’t have anything to do with any kind of a plan to stop other people from living their lives, hunting, recreating, ranching, whatever. I have no goals related to curtailing those things.
The kind of goals I do have, are about wolves, wherever free, reasonable people can work it out, fitting back into the landscape and fulfilling the role that God designed them for.
Beyond Yellowstone Park or the Bob Marshall, do I know where that will work? No, I do not. It’s going to be a work in progress. I’m not trying to destroy hunting (I myself hunt) or anything or negative spin folks might put on it. I acknowledge that wolves aren’t going to fit back into all of their historic range; at the same time, I don’t think any of us can draw sharp, defined lines around where wolves will or will not fit in. It’s a process of negotiation and learning.
Yes, beautifully said.
“Explain to me why you and other want such a robust wolf population. Are you trying to eliminate hunting, gain total control over the environment.”
Robert R: I can’t speak for others, but my primary interest is in the survival of the institution of wildlife management. That survival will depend, in part, on how the institution (think agencies, collectively) handle controversial issues. I’d like to see agencies adapt to a changing social environment to become more representative, more transparent, and more flexible. Ideally, I’d like to see them handle issues like wolves using collaborative processes rather than hastily-constructed, ill-informed legislation (think bottom-up, as opposed to top-down decision making).
I have spoken out many times in favor of hunting as a tool for wildlife management. In fact, I have never wavered in this regard. However, I do NOT believe that hunting and hunters should direct wildlife management, which is increasingly what is happening in the West (specifically, what are supposed to be democratic institutions are being co-opted by a small, vocal few with cash and political influence).
More than a decade ago, Ben Peyton wrote an influential paper pondering the purpose of wildlife management: do we crop to manage wildlife, or manage them as a crop? I believe that wildlife management is at its best when it does the former; when we take the latter route, we reduce management to game farming.
“I can’t speak for JB…”
Maybe not, but I agree with everything you’ve written, SAP. 🙂
“Explain to me why you and other want such a robust wolf population. Are you trying to eliminate hunting, gain total control over the environment. It’s always about preserving the wolf and nothing else maters or so it seems.
There is an agenda here and it’s further reaching than relisting the wolf.
I don’t want the wolf eliminated, only managed.”
Except for your last sentence, it sounds as though you are buying into the entire agenda 21 paranoia.
JB and many others of us on this blog site have never been against sound, thoughtful, fair wolf management. This whole wolves are part of the agenda to take away hunting and guns is more of the, throw so much garbage out there and folks who throw the garbage out begin to believe it.
Methinks your biggest fear would be the privatization of public lands ala the Thread about Peay and his plans.
I’m not buying into any agenda 21 because both pro and anti have there own agenda.
Immer you are the only one with common sence.
I got the responses I wanted.
I cannot wait for the grizzly bear debate.
You asked, I answered. If you believe my response is lacking in common sense, it would be nice of you to point out where you disagree. Opinion without justification isn’t really useful.
A lengthy NY Times article on the disproportionate political weight of “small states” (population/not land area) in calling the tune of the nation, particularly through the Senate. Not wildlife news, but the topic of the disporportionate voice of less populated states of the West comes up quite often here.
UK calls this animal torture
The sickest part of this is that – this is penning, hounding and or legalized “pest control that happens all the time in the US . One sentence in the story points out, we are seeing increased infliction of cruelty on wild mammals using dogs. No kidding, dogs hunting wolves (a recently recovered species in the US), penning, Wildlife Services employees killing wild animals, hounding. All legal. The citizens of the United States have allowed our states to use the same gratuitous killing, torture and atrocities against wildlife to protect the rights of the sadists who want to pen coyotes and foxes and or chase down terrified mammals with dogs. What is the difference between these sadistic monsters, and the sadists that get legal permits to hound terrified wildlife, trap and snare mammals, and or what is allowed daily by our corrupt fish and game departments to allow some perverts to engage “sports” that terrorize wild animals and make their habitat a living hell. There is no difference and it needs to be stopped.
You are saying that Wildlife Services killing a animal is the same as putting a fox in a cage with dogs to watch the dogs kill it? Are you saying using beagles to hunt rabbits is just as bad?
The thinking before was kill as many coyotes as possible and deer will increase. This article turns that thinking upside down.
I don’t think that demonstrates “upside down”, seemed more like failure to demonstrate.
1200 dead coyotes over 4 years. In Michigan that would be a homeopathic remedy, and I wouldn’t expect any effect, unless it were highly concentrated in a test area.
2) Are the deer near carrying capacity? Time was in northern MI that reducing fawn kill of any kind had no effect, cause most years, so few fawns survived the winter.
Here, the weather puts so much noise in the data that it’s almost beyond modeling. We have essentially no idea how wolf or coyote numbers affect deer numbers (except the people who know “it’s a disaster” and “it’s obvious”).
I’d like to see these kids be held accountable for this. To a degree where there little redneck friends take notice. This kind of mean-spirited behavior as juveniles doesn’t bode well for their hunting ethics when they get older. Teach ’em a lesson now while they’re young.
“Their” little redneck friends even.
Should we replace multiple use with dominant use on public lands?
“We don’t have to choose between hunting and protecting wildlife,” said Jennifer Fearing of the Humane Society of the United States. “Removing lead from the environment isn’t just good science. It’s also the right thing to do.”
A really beautiful read. I’m going to read it again thoroughly when I have more time.
This came out of nowhere. Two elk harvested last autumn in the Big Horn Mountains 125 miles from Yellowstone Park across a desert tested positive for Brucellosis. Neither Wyo G&F nor the State Veterinarian have any clue where the elk were exposed to B. abortus. The usual suspect is their brethren in Yellowstone NP or Bison there. It is also unlikely ( but not impossible) that these two particular elk migrated from Yellowstone.
Followup to above story . G&F released more information about the two Elk in the Big Horns that tested positive for brucellosis. This does not indicate if the animals tested seropositive for the brucellosis antigens, or had the disease itself. it reads like the disease, but that might be sloppy reporting. Either ways it’s a bombshell for the livestock industry in northern Wyoming .
Here’s some further info:
(quote) ” CHEYENNE—The Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Wyoming Livestock Board today released additional information about two elk that tested positive for brucellosis in the Bighorn Mountains of northern Wyoming.
Both elk, one bull and one cow, were harvested by hunters during the 2012 hunting season in elk hunt area 40, approximately 15 miles west of Burgess Junction. The bull was reported harvested on October 18 in the Bear Creek drainage. The cow was reported harvested on October 16 on Bald Mountain. Both hunters submitted blood samples to the WGFD as part of the department’s statewide voluntary brucellosis surveillance program. Through this program, samples are collected from hunters in the fall and early winter, then analyzed at the WGFD lab throughout the winter.
“At this point, we don’t know how or where these elk were exposed to brucellosis,” said WGFD Chief Game Warden Brian Nesvik. “We will increase our sampling for brucellosis in this area during the 2013 elk hunting season to begin to get a better idea of how prevalent the disease might be.”
Brucellosis has not been documented in livestock in this area. The Wyoming State Veterinarian and Livestock Board are workingclosely with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department to determine potential risks to the cattle industry. “Our approach will be to minimize impacts to livestock producers while proactively conducting risk assessments and determining surveillance testing needs,” said Wyoming Livestock Board Director Leanne Correll. “Discussions between the Livestock Board, producers, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and Brucellosis Coordination Team will occur prior to implementing any additional livestock surveillance testing.”
The Wyoming Brucellosis Coordination Team will meet on April 3 in Lander. These new cases in elk will be on the team’s meeting agenda. WGFD and WLSB are planning a public meeting in the Greybull area on April 4th to discuss this issue with producers and others.
Brucellosis has been present for nearly a century in elk and bison in the Greater Yellowstone Area, including the northwest corner of Wyoming. For more information on brucellosis, visit: wyomingbrucellosis.com. ”
Footnote: there was a story circulating in the past two weeks that no elk in southwest Montana / Madison River area – migratory or otherwise – have yet tested positive for brucellosis
CC – I heard that report on a local radio station this morning.
“Testing done during the study’s first two years also found no sign of brucellosis in elk captured south of Bannack, while five of 93 elk near Dillon and 12 of 100 in the Ruby Range tested positive for brucellosis exposure”
Just wondering now when the “sh*t is gonna hit the fan” and will decisions be made behind closed doors, to yet another threat to the livestock industry, a threat that I’m guessing, is much bigger than a few pesky wolves hanging around the ole ranch.
First few years of the reintroduction – wolves, not appreciated, nor wanted back on the landscape by most ranchers.
Then within a few years – wolves were killing all the elk – (heard it first hand from a rancher 🙂 hunters and ranchers happily united.
And now – the “concern” seems to have shifted again.
The “potential” spread of brucellosis by elk, who happen to wander freely, all over the state of Montana (unlike bison, the culprits for years in the livestock/brucellosis blame game) and are much appreciated by hunters, both in and out of state.
what needs to be understood about Montana is that the livestock industry thru the auspices of the DOL are the de facto rulers of that state. Nothing, and I mean nothing, happens in Montana without their sign off.
They will tolerate a token wildlife population only if said population does not interfere with growing cows.(sheep are barely tolerated).
and why do we see uncontrollable violence in the US against people and animals? People like this monster. he is one sick sob
I can’t imagine that being Ted Nugent really feels very good. Just being reminded that he’s out there feels kind of like an infected ingrown toenail. Compassion for those tortured souls who go through life like that.
The problem is that Ted Nugent represents a lot of sportsmen. I would know…I was one of them back when I didn’t know better. I went to “outdoor” shows, looked at all the tacky stuffed animal mounts, looked at the brochures of slobs sitting next to bears next to ice-cream cone-filled bait stations.
It was all about the “manliness”, asking not what I could do for the environment, but what it could do for me. It was salivating over guns to mask my own insecurities and my lack of knowledge on a wide range of subjects.
One day, I watched my friends (I was probably 18 or so at the time) sitting around the noon campfire and drinking. They were drunk as hell, shooting off weapons. One of them shot a crow for no reason. I went to my truck, and looked at my map and decided to explore a wilderness area that day, to maybe learn something new.
A few months later I saw Ralph Maughan posting on Usenet about roadless areas. This fascinated me, and I began an exhaustive study of ecosystems and why some places had roadless areas and some didn’t/ With each passing month, the outdoors became something so much more than shooting things and making idiotic jokes and off-roading.
I’m so glad I escaped. But many do not. Ted Nugent represents them.
Its crazy that doing something like Nugent describes is legal, any killing sprees or contests….really disgusting behavior. This guy is insane.
Immer and others who may live in MN- news from Howling For Wolves about the hearing in MN about the hearing in MN to reinstate the 5 year moratorium on hunting wolves. Ms Hackett conducted a poll showing 66% of Minnesotans do not want a wolf hunt. Information on how to attend the meeting is provided. This meeting needs to have a strong showing. Please post widely and if you can – attend.
From Howling for Wolves
Howling For Wolves released data from a recently conducted statewide poll that shows the majority of Minnesota voters support reinstating the five-year waiting period on recreational wolf hunting and trapping. In fact, two thirds (66%) of respondents believe that there is no need for a wolf hunt if Minnesotans already have the legal authority to kill a wolf if it threatens people, livestock, and property. Just 25% disagree, saying that a wolf hunt is still necessary. Read the full press release.
Reminder: The Senate hearing of S.F. 666 to reinstate a five-year waiting period on wolf hunting and trapping is Thursday, March 14th at 12 pm, but be there early. Wear your Howling For Wolves t-shirts and buttons, but leave your rally signs at home. We’ll have shirts and buttons available immediately preceding the hearing for those interested (see below).
The hearing will take place in the State Capitol building, Room 107. To get to the hearing room, go in through the main Capitol entrance and go straight through the Rotunda, across the hallway and into the next corridor. Room 107 will be on the left side. Seating is limited so plan to arrive early. We recommend arriving by 11:30 am. Of course we want so many people that the hallway is filled too.
We want to make our presence felt on Thursday, but we need to remember that we are ambassadors of the wolf. The hearing will be filmed and we want to show that we are respectful and polite. Anything less will be forever on record. So let’s stay composed before, during and after the hearing. Observers need to remain quiet and be respectful at all times. No clapping or verbal outbursts are allowed. Senators and Representatives not on the committee will be in attendance along with the media. So you never know who might be observing our behavior or within earshot.
Howling For Wolves T-Shirts and Buttons
We will have t-shirts and buttons available outside of hearing room 107 from 11 am -12 pm. Look for the volunteers wearing Howling For Wolves t-shirts. We will have t-shirts in x-large, large, medium, small, and some youth sizes for $20 each. If you don’t want to purchase a t-shirt, we’ll have some available that you can wear for the hearing and then return afterwards. We also need volunteers to hold signs that we will have outside the hearing room. Let a volunteer know on Thursday if you are interested in holding a sign for the lawmakers to see in the hall.
For purchases, please bring cash or a check made out to “Howling For Wolves Action Fund”. We cannot accept payments via debit or credit card. All proceeds directly support our efforts to protect Minnesota’s gray wolves.
Date: Thursday, March 14
Time: 12 pm (we recommend arriving by 11:30 am)
Location: Room 107, Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard., St Paul, MN 55155 Click for map
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As I predicted and fully expected, the new Governor of Montana has changed the makeup of the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission.
Governor Overhauls Fish Wildlife and Parks Commission
These appointments have a lot concerned about predator management. There is also many complaining about FWP buying land.
Robert, being a former employee of FWP, I am well aware of what is going on.
It could be a good thing if they do what is for the good of the (state of Montana) and lobbyist and out of state intrest keep out of Montana’s problems.
I could use analysis, cause just from that article I don’t follow where that is taking things.
What a joke!!! Here we go again using a protected animal to prohibit or control hunting etc. I cannot wait until the fire storm starts in 2014 for the grizzly.
Where does the lunacy stop.
Wait a sec. This is Grand Teton National Park we’re talking about. NPS has a dominant (as opposed to multiple) use mission–and that mission is preservation of park resources, followed by the enjoyment of the public.
Moreover, you apparently missed the fact that the hunt is not only continuing, but the Park has plans to make the hunt better for hunters:
“Meanwhile, Grand Teton plans to change the timing and possibly the length of this year’s hunt, in part to better reflect the migration of elk from their summer ranges in the park to their winter range on the National Elk Refuge just south of the park.”
Talk about paranoia.
There is no paranoia here its thinking about the worst case scenario and survival.
It’s not about having more than seven shells to shoot an elk more than once because you made a bad shot or the pepper spray.
Sometime people spend overnight in the woods after shooting an animal and sometime people get lost or injured.
The hunter should take a high percentage shot for a one shot kill. If predators get accustom to a gun shot being a dinner bell for gut pile things can turn bad in a hurry.
I have been on the receiving end of this when a black bear claimed a deer that I let it have. I could have easily shot the bear had it not been a sow.
Is not pepper spray a one time use only?
Bear pepper spray contains up to about 7-10 seconds of spray, and it can be shot for 1 second and have 6-9 seconds still left in the can, so it can be used more than once depending on the scenario.
SB…..I recently inquired about the longevity of bear spray…. The manufacturer of “Counter Assault” says, 3 years and it begins to break down. If anyone doubts this, I have 6 canisters I’ll donate to you.
The shelf life on the cans of counter assault I own, are 4 years, and I have spoken to the owner of the company, who stated that what can happen after the expiration date, is the propellent may start to leak, who did you speak to at counter assault? They are located about 40 miles from where I live, so I do see it in almost every store that sells bear spray in the local area. The person you want to talk to is the owner of the company, his name is Pride.
The information I posted to Robert did not pertain to the product breaking down, it says how long it will spray on the label of the cans and the expiration date is also printed on the labels of the cans I own.
Great news! hunting sucks and most hunters are douchebags.
It would appear your vocabulary skills seem to be tracking your mental age, and critical thinking skills.
Say, whatever happened to your planned move to Missoula?
They are not closing the season Mike, they are changing the logistics of the season, which will improve hunters chances as well and diminish the conflicts that have developed in certain areas.
Robert R – curious what you mean when you write that you “cannot wait until the fire storm starts in 2014 for the grizzly”?
This might shed more light on the subject.
There will be countless lawsuits over delisting and hunting the grizzly and that is the firestorm.
A study now out hints at what many of us here have long suspected: persistent trophy hunting of the biggest and best endowed male animals with antlers or horns over time diminishes those genetic traits. In other words, trophy hunting is contributing significantly to smaller racks on smaller bulls , bucks , and rams. presumably this is due to the persistent removal of the prize ” monarch” males for the gene pool in their prime, allowing younger less genetically gifted males to do the breeding.
Link to a story about this: rib.com/news/updates/study-shows-some-rack-sizes-are-shrinking/article_6bc79efe-9bb0-5045-958a-83fa42ca9e59.html
I’m gonna add one historical anecdote to this discussion , paraphrased from mountain man Osborne Russell’s ” Journal of a Trapper , a detailed diary he kept from 1834-1843 while trapping the Rocky Mountains.
“…at a small branch of the Gallatin (River, west side of Yellowstone Park ) we encamped…and killed the fattest elk I ever saw. It was a large Buck ( bull) and the fat on its rump measured seven inches thick. He had 14 spikes on the left horn and 12 on the right… ”
Been a while since we’ve seen any of THOSE… between Russell’s time in the 1830’s and the end of that century came the era of the Market Hunters and the great kill off of American West game. The Yellowstone Park region was brutalized.
“…persistent trophy hunting of the biggest and best endowed male animals with antlers or horns over time diminishes those genetic traits. In other words, trophy hunting is contributing significantly to smaller racks on smaller bulls , bucks , and rams. presumably this is due to the persistent removal of the prize ” monarch” males for the gene pool in their prime, allowing younger less genetically gifted males to do the breeding.”
Cody – this is not what the monograph states at all. This is what you want it to state. Some critical reading is suggested. The monograph states that selective hunting pressure likely has shifted AGE CLASSES of harvested horned/antlered males.
“…our results provided moderate support for the hypothesis that intensive harvest may have resulted in a gradual shift in male age structure towards younger males (H1), and limited support for genetic effects as a result of selective male harvest (H2), as
potential explanations for observed trends in size of horn-like structures.” In fact the predicted outcome: “Trophy categories for which horn or antler size is difficult to assess in the field will be less prone to selection against large horn-like structures and thus, less likely to exhibit a negative trend” was SUPPORTED by their meta-analysis.
Sorry, Todd, but so-called ” managed hunting” in Wyoming has done exactly what I ascribe to it… devalued the genetics of the targetted wildlife. My Wyoming Game and Fish is complicit in deprecating Elk with overhunting, especially in the commercially outfitted high country areas that seed the general population. The herds are unbalanced. What you are saying is smaller racked bulls will be passed over for the larger racks if they are present. What if there aren’t any to begin with ? Regardless of age?? And why is that ???
Maybe having 75 backcountry elk camps just in my Park-Teton County area abutting Yellowstone all trying to draw a bead on a trophy bull might be what we call ” hunting pressure ” ?
Once upon a time ( pre-Pilgrim colonization) there were 12 million Elk in the Lower 48 States region , from Massachusetts all the way to the Pacific. By 1890 when Wyoming became a state, there were less than 200,000 , a reduction of 98.5 percent , the remainders mostly pushed back into the higher harsher Rockies from the animals preferred lower elevation habitat.
We ain’t out of those woods yet…
Hey..one other thing mr. Cornish …two elk taken in the Big Horns testing positive for brucellosis a few months ago. What’s the watercooler talk around your State Vet facility about THAT ?
Oops…the link in the above post is incomplete. The story is at the Casper Star Tribune today :
PARK SERVICE – Finally starts to address the horrors of the Grand Teton Nat’l. Park Elk Reduction program….
Minnesota moves to end wolf hunting:
Part of me says yeah and part of me says nay.I do not like wolves being called a renewable resource. That type of language must end. I thought wolf hunting and trapping in the NE zone of the state was irresponsible. This is not where wolf, problems were occurring. Kids were not being threatened at bus stops. The real problem was in the NW part of the state. If any type of wolf season were to take place, that’s where it should have been.
Now what we might end up with is less $180K going into DNR. An expected reaction from those that believe that wolves should be hunted, and all the rhetoric that will accompany the pro vs anti wolf camps. Back to the yo-yo if hunting/trapping end.
This is far from a done deal. I’d be happy if it passes for no other reason than this is what happens with a rush to hunt, as conservative as the hunt was. Better yet, what I would like to see is a moratorium on wolf hunting, while data is processed,(will this disrupt pack structure, increase breeding, increase depredation) and all stake holders once again sit at the round table, rather than legislators ram it down folks throats. Take a couple years off, see what happens and adjust accordingly.
Ranchers/farmers/pet owners should still be able to protect their animals. Illegal killing will undoubtedly continue; as will trappers in response to depredations which has been a point of agreement in the past to all stakeholders.
You and I aren’t far apart on this issue, Immer. Personally, I worry that these type of actions only feed the rhetoric of fear concerning the “anti-hunters”. What people need to realize is that when one “side” wins an all out victory, they only motivate the other side to work harder to reverse course. In the end we have policy that swings on a pendulum between “over-protection” and “over-exploitation”–sensible policy be damned.
what is over protection JB? where are wolves overprotected and when have they been, Not even under ESA protections where they were allowed to be removed for killing livestock. That exemption itself was a corruption of the ESA and made a mockery of its intent. Wolves have never been over protected.
Louise, the NRM wolves south of I-90 were actually classified as a non-essential experimental population, so they could easily be removed for problems, north of I-90 they enjoyed the full protection of the ESA, it was very difficult to have them removed if they posed a problem.
++NRM wolves south of I-90 were actually classified as a non-essential experimental population, so they could easily be removed for problems,…++
That is a distinction some here will never understand, never acknowledge and ever concede, though the basis exists in federal law, and was absolutely instrumental in the reintroduction in the first place.
It seems disingenuous for some wolf advocates to on the one hand say we need to follow federal law on the one hand, and on the other to be catagorically dismissive of those provisions which were integral to the effort to initially place wolves in YNP and Central ID in 1995.
Louise, are you reading this?
Louise, see: http://bruskotter.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/dave-mech-on-wolves-at-the-midwest-fw-conference/
“Another questioner asked how hunting wolves was going to build tolerance for the species if, as Mech had maintained, hunting would have little effect on wolf populations. Rather than address this directly, Mech pointed to Poland where he asserted that wolves had gone through three cycles of “overprotection” followed by wolf eradication, implying that the same could happen here in the U.S. While I would concede Mech’s point, I would argue that, given the differences in our culture and system of government here in the U.S., one cannot assume that the same events will transpire–in fact, the science on the matter is certainly less clear than it is on any of the issues Mech had argued were far from settled. Personally, I happen to agree with Mech’s assessment that this is a legitimate risk…”
++ What people need to realize is that when one “side” wins an all out victory, they only motivate the other side to work harder to reverse course. In the end we have policy that swings on a pendulum between “over-protection” and “over-exploitation”–sensible policy be damned. ++
There is such a thing as “right and wrong”. Not every issue has a middle. For example, recreational trapping
I agree with you about judgments concerning what is right or wrong. However, you must understand that, in large part, what is defined as “right” or “wrong” is inherited from one’s culture. That is, while we all agree that “right” and “wrong” are universal concepts, what is considered right/wrong varies depending upon one’s culture. Numerous behaviors that you and I find abhorrent have been accepted and condoned by other cultures (e.g., cannibalism, genital mutilation, rape, incest, slavery); (note, it is not my intention to compare trapping with these practices, they merely illustrate that far more abhorrent behaviors have been and are currently condoned).
Consider the fact that cultures all over the world condone hunting and trapping of wild animals for a variety of purposes (e.g., food, trophy, to prove one’s manhood, etc.). So at the risk of being labeled a relativist, what gives you the right to decide what is wrong? Who made you judge and jury?
I’m expecting a backlash with an all out frenzied reaction by groups like Big Game Forever but the tide has to turn sometime and I’m hoping this victory inspires other citizens in states to lash out against the anti wolf craziness and blood bath that has been non stop since the delisting. I’m so very happy,… and happy for you Immer that maybe you’ll continue to hear the wolves that you’ve written about hearing instead of listening to silence void of howling. You have to hand it to Howling for Wolves, they are amazing.
“I do not like wolves being called a renewable resource. That type of language must end.”
I am with you 100%. They are not a renewable resource. They are a wild animal with a life. Why don’t hunters understand this? Also, what must end is calling wolf killing a harvst. It’s not a harvest, it’s killing plain and simple. These animals are not crops. They are creatures with lives that god put on earth for a reason and that reason is not to be killed by hunters who only see wild animals as trophies and shooting targets.
Agreed: I try to never say harvest or use any euphemistic term, and chide others when they ask me if I caught a deer, or any such.
I’ll complain again that your stuff sounds anti-evolution. I find it exceedingly beautiful to think that wolves (and even trees) are literally related to me (by common decent). It helps to not confuse what the effects of an organism (or gene) are with thinking that is it’s function – at least in what I do.
I find it exceedingly beautiful to think that wolves (and even trees) are literally related to me (by common decent).
Yes. So do I. Very much so. 🙂
The DNR has been saying for the last few years that Minnesota’s wolf population is stable at around 3000 wolves. I don’t believe this for one second. You have wolves dying of natural causes all the time and you have hunters and ranchers who have resorted to illegally killing wolves. Who knows how many wolves have been killed by poachers. Just because the DNR may think they have a big wolf population in MN does not mean that they should start allowing a lot of wolves to be killed.
Each year, 200 plus wolves have been removed by DNR for depredations. An estimate as high as 400 per year have been illegally taken. Add in those that die of natural causes: old age; injury; mange; traffic; etc and we are probably getting close to 30% of the population removed each year.
Now, are the 400+ wolves removed to hunting/trapping additive or compensatory?
And as I alluded to and JB drove home, a ban on hunting, especially five years, will drive up the illegal take.
Haste makes waste, and neither side will truly “win”. And the wolves are caught in the middle.
400 wolves are illegally taken each year? That doesn’t count all of the wolves that are illegally killed and never found. We have no idea how many wolf pups will be born and how many will survive into adulthood.
An estimate as high as 400, Jon, there is nothing definitive in that statement, it is a guess.
as I have stated before, I have a great deal of respect for you but I am not sure where you are coming from when you state “haste makes waste and neither side will win” . I assume you are referring to the 5 year moratorium that Howling for Wolves is working to reinstate? Howling for Wolves is running a well organized campaign, that is directed at engaging the public, making the state live up to its promise to keep wolves protected for 5 years after delisting, and making the state look at its citizen’s input. Presumably MN enacted a 5 year moratorium, as nod to the past history of “wolf management” which included extirpating wolves from most of the lower 48. Wisely they decided to include this provision/rule to prevent the knee jerk killing spree that the rest of states are involved in. There is nothing hasty about the move to organize and deliberately get voters to stand behind enforcing a rule that is intended to prevent the carnage that is taking place everywhere else. The hasty part took place when organizations like Big Game Forever, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Safari Club International lobbied dirty and hard to have wolves removed from ESA protections, and then hunted mercilessly with ever increasing seasons and methods. I think Ms. Hackett has run a brilliant campaign and for once maybe wolves will get a reprieve… as well as people like me who hate hate hate the slaughter and endless persecution by loud mouth hateful ignorant special interests. And slaughter is the only word that seems appropriate in my mind. Asking the state to reinforce the moratorium is not a hasty move its a necessary, intelligent, and well thought out response to a hasty, ignorant, cruel and unnecessary hunt. One last thought… about the idea that reinforcing the 5 year moratorium will only create greater poaching. I don’t buy it, its the same every so faulty premise that hunting for wolves acts like a relief valve to allow people to vent their frustrations and will make wolves more acceptable….wrong wrong wrong hunting wolves brought the same old perverse management back to the table and legitimized and perpetuated a hate culture of an amazing animal that should by now be much better tolerated. Hunting wolves has brought us back into the dark ages and it is inexcusable that these animals are treated as they are, then and now. To tolerate wolves we need strong education, no tolerance of poaching, and laws to protect predators and wolves. The bullies have been running the show for far too long…
“haste” meant the race toward an immediate wolf season after formal delisting. WM has been eloquent in explaining in the past why the five year waiting period may have been a mute point. However, there was an obvious objection in MN to the immediacy of last years wolf hunting.
One can say the true color of wolf hunting/trapping came through with the comment about wolves being a “renewable resource”. No, the haste/race to hunt wolves was the perceived danger to livestock pets and people that was pushed forward by Senators Klobuchar and & others and the continued lawsuits of rancher Dale Lueck.
So what was it? a little of both? Starting to look more like the renewable resource, and there are an awful lot of folks in MN who are steadfast in the if you don’t eat it, don’t kill it camp.
In the very least, we can hope Maureen Hacketts movement will prevent expansion of numbers taken and season length. Management of one type or another will continue (it has been going on for years in regard to depredation removal, pretty much with no complaints), so perhaps the best one can hope from this is the season will be severely reduced in terms of overall numbers of wolves taken, and concentrated in areas of livestock depredation.
Reduction in overall wolf numbers may be beneficial in regard to reduction in mange among wolves, but then again, the illegal take has “always” been going on. And I’d be willing to bet that more than one wolf was killed to fill the ticket of someone who had already shot or trapped a wolf, but found it had mange, and it’s coat was worthless.
So. I hope that more than clarifies my haste makes waste comment.
Immer, yes thanks for clarification. I’m so excited by the progress Ms Hackett has made in an otherwise bleak and depressing time for wolves. Its almost too much to hope that wolves may get a fair shake in MN. You wrote…”Management of one type or another will continue (it has been going on for years in regard to depredation removal, pretty much with no complaints), so perhaps the best one can hope from this is the season will be severely reduced in terms of overall numbers of wolves taken, and concentrated in areas of livestock depredation.” I agree that management will continue, all MS Hackett is pushing for is that its done by the state in the same way it was before delisting. The most important aspect of your statement was that this form of management was conducted pretty much without complaint!
. I don’t buy it, its the same every so faulty premise that hunting for wolves acts like a relief valve to allow people to vent their frustrations and will make wolves more acceptable….wrong wrong wrong…
Consider this: Alaska and most of Canada have wolf hunting and trapping seasons, and with a few exceptions they have not had the same hysteria and fear that have accompanied wolves in the lower 48. Summarily dismissing an argument because you don’t like it doesn’t make you right.
My biggest worry is that those “affected” individuals–that is, the rural dwellers living within wolves range already see this as a symbolic struggle over who gets control of “their” wildlife and who gets to do what on “their” lands. If that is the case, legal and illegal killing of wolves may be undertaken as a type of retribution and protest against what they see as unwanted inteference with their affairs. In fact, I would argue that much of the legislation we’ve witnessed since wolves’ removal from ESA protections feels like an equal mix of symbolic protest and retribution for having forced listing for so long.
If I’m right, the longer the ‘never shoot ’em ever’ crowd draws this thing out, the more motivated the other side will become. And this scenario could be worse than a simple upswing in poaching–it could make illegal killing of wolves the norm in these communities.
Allowing hunting of wolves will not make the wingnuts who hate them change their minds–but it isn’t the wingnuts that I’m worried about.
Up early/late/can’t sleep? 🙂
Nice post. JMHO– Think back to Birmingham in the 60’s….dogs, firehoses (oh wait, we already have the ‘dogs’ part coming again).
I think there’s a lot more at stake here than some people want to accept (darkness cannot drive out darkness).
Thanks, Mark. Normally, I try to avoid comparisons with civil rights era…but in this case, you’re right about the fit of the analogy.
Immer: Got up to feed the baby and couldn’t fall back asleep. 🙁
JB you wrote ” If that is the case, legal and illegal killing of wolves may be undertaken as a type of retribution and protest against what they see as unwanted inteference with their affairs.” For God’s sake that argument does not make any sense. so in essence are you saying leave them be and they will work out out? I’m not clear what you think should be done. The evidence is in, the states have not changed their attitudes about wolves one bit. The fear and hysteria has escalated, not diminished. Incrementally the actions against wolves have become more aggressive, inhumane and more taxing on their populations. They are still poached now only now they are also being killed legally too.
I think the biggest change in attitudes will occur through relisting with a new recovery goal. And a plan that requires federal intervention combined with a serious education program about wolves, predators and wildlife, combined with no tolerance poaching laws. Will more tolerance be accomplished overnight? Probably not, but it will if children and younger adults are exposed repeatedly to valid, even tempered, scientifically sound information. Just recently posters here rtelated the story of a rancher who recently adopted a coyote and raised him. The rancher looked back in horror at all the coyotes he killed because he was exposed to and had a positive experience to compare his dated stereotype and irrational hatred to. It may take many epiphanies of sorts to change the hearts and minds of people and time, but in the meantime advocating for more of the same is wrong. and allowing people to trap, snare, gut shoot, and wantonly kill wildlife only perpetuates further disrespect and validates their ignorance. When I stated that it was illogical to assume that hunting wolves was going to reduce intolerance (aka when I said, “I don’t buy it, its the same every so faulty premise that hunting for wolves acts like a relief valve to allow people to vent their frustrations and will make wolves more acceptable….wrong wrong wrong…” that statement was not made because I don’t like hunting of wolves – although I don’t- it comes from the clear evidence that all the RM states have become ever increasingly hostile and inhumane towards wolves. As for claiming there is more tolerance in Canada and Alaska, I can’t argue that statement with studies but I do know that the same special interests that create killing contests, advocate for the killing of wolves based on trumped up charges of livestock depredation or that wolves negatively impact elk and other ungulate herds, or that wolves present threats to human safety exist/persist in their campaigns against wolves as pervasively in these areas as they do in the lower 48. An appalling number of wolves are killed each year in Canada and Alaska under absurdly, irresponsible, inhumane laws and policies that do not support or follow a sound ecosystem management approach. Canadians advocates and citizens are just as outraged as Americans. Alaska still slaughters wolves from helicopters and snaring and trapping are rampant, against many Alaskans opinions. The wolf that many adored, Romeo, and who many thought was fairly tame was shot and killed for nothing. The people of Anchorage were horrified. The polices that allow people to kill wolves and predators relentlessly and for trophies are archaic, and from what is known about wolves and their sociality they are downright baseless, cruel and barbaric. I’d like to see some real change. I don’t think change will come about by waiting for the states to do the right thing, or by allowing them the room to vent their misplaced anger on a species that has already suffered relentless persecution throughout the centuries. The federal government has coddled these states and their special interest anti wolf – anti predator cronies long enough. The treatment of predators and wolves is a black stain in our past, to resurrect and tolerate the same polices, again, without objection is stupid, shortsighted and in my opinion not likely to affect any change or enhance tolerance. The directed campaign that Howling for Wolves is conducting is an excellent step in the right direction. They used public opinion, marketing, and the law to fight back and help wolves. This is not a ” ‘never shoot ‘em ever’ crowd (that is ) draw(ing) this thing out,” as you put it, its a focused attempt to make the state live up to its rule and policies that were put into place to protect a resource that the citizen’s value. The approach is brilliant I think. They may or may not be successful but for once an organization is asking their state to keep looking forward, to not step back into an anti predator/anti wolf mindset and to go one step further to require that wolves that are killed, after the 5 year moratorium, only be killed after non lethal options are attempted and that these removals be done by state officials. Where wolves are concerned, I think this measure will go a long way in preventing the lynch mob mentality of hunting wolves from starting in the first place. The notion that wolves need to be hunted to control their numbers has been dispelled many times, here and elsewhere. As for the RM states, allowing wolves to be hunted has done nothing by increase intolerance and killed a huge number of wolves – for what, at what cost? really its 2013 should states be allowed to reduce populations of an animal to their lowest minimal viability population estimates? These states avail themselves of federal money, they profit from the public lands that are encompassed within their state borders, the lawlessness toward wolves and wildlife should not be allowed to fester like a national boil. Its really time to stop coddling these states, and for Americans to get a grip on the abuses that are heaped on most predators, to get engaged and grow up. and when organizations like Howling for Wolves make some headway toward shifting the paradigm, I say celebrate, step out of the dark ages. Its not 1890.
Let’s tackle this one issue at a time?
So why might increased protections actually be worse for wolves? Let’s try a very simple analogy. Billy Bob and Ethan are fighting over a balloon they found. Billy Bob says he saw the balloon first, so it is his and Ethan should bugger off and get his own. Ethan says it doesn’t matter who saw the balloon first, and Billy Bob has had it for an hour so he should get a turn. The recess lady, being a friend of Billy Bob’s mother, sides with him. However, when they get back to the classroom the teacher says that Billy Bob has had the balloon for long enough, it’s time to share. [Okay, this part is important] Billy Bob hates the thought of losing the balloon, but he hates Ethan even more…so he pops the balloon.
And to be clear…
I’m not expressing a policy preference; I’m not trying to tell you what is right, or what is wrong; and I’m definitely not trying to justify less protection for wolves. I’m simply trying to get you to understand how the policies you seek to put in place may actually back fire, if your goal is greater tolerance for wolves.
Or to make this whole conversation more simple, I think maybe Newton’s third law of motion might also apply to wolf policy.
It seems louise doesn’t share well. Your right on target though promises were made early in the wolf reintroduction talks about hunting and trapping. Take those rights away now and there will be more than balloons popped. Carter N has hinted the same thing. Wish you luck in explaining any of that to louise.
So what happens when we get a Republican president that supports wolves? Who is the good guy and who is the bad guy then?
JB it appears the kids have already popped the ballon in their selfish childlike and thoughtless way. Lets say the kids get another balloon does the Mom and teacher let the kids do the same thing or should they step in, like all good parents and teachers when things get out of control, create some sharing rules, and explain to the kids how to play nice and then enforce the rules until they are grown up enough to be trusted. Understand
Rancher Bob your snarky comment is not surprising.
I get what you are saying I just don’t agree. And my apologies for the terrible grammar in the lengthy response written to you. Nothing like the combination of being rushed, posting on a blog, and hitting the send button too quickly to make for embarrassing oversights… noticed to late.
I’d rather concentrate on changing policy within the states than at the federal level. It’s partly cause I’d like to alter other game and land management tactics in my state, and I need more people to get involved on my side of many issues (it’s not been going too well lately, but I’m optimistic). Wolves provide one of the most teachable moments I know of. For me at least, it makes you ask big questions about what living properly on the landscape means. I want that to be a common thing to talk about.
You also have pups being born every year and living to maturity. What information do you have to actually prove that DNR is incorrect in their population numbers?
This is extremely troubling. Wildlife services needs to go.
It was a productive day for Gary Strader when he pulled his vehicle up to a remote site in northeast Nevada and found nine coyotes caught in leg hold snares set by the federal government. As was routine, Strader, a former trapper with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, signaled his dogs to attack.
His supervisor, who had accompanied him that day, watched and laughed as the dogs circled the coyotes and ripped into them, Strader recalled.
“You let your dogs fight with them. That was part of the job,” said Strader. “There’s not a person in Wildlife Services who is not aware of it.”
I am glad that the truth about this despicable agency is finally being exposed. Too bad it didn’t happen sooner.
FYI. I put this up on the original story today.
Interesting comparison between last year and this year:
Three explanations, which may all apply:
1) Wolf population has been reduced.
2) Wolves getting wise to hunting & trapping.
3) Trapper/hunter effort reduced because it’s hard work (especially because see 1 & 2).
4)It cost approximately $125 a day to go hunting: $75 in gas, food and lodging, plus time.
I don’t know Elk – 4) the interest certainly seems to be there given all the “locals” who suddenly signed up for wolf trapping classes this past year (both here in Montana and in Idaho) and the market would appear to be there also, for those that want to get beyond the hatred of having wolves around (and cash in) or those that just want to “cash in” on a few wolves.
And then, there are all those “other” fur bearing, “yeah, I love being alive and having my skin/fur to stay warm” species being trapped, (killed by what ever means without “damaging the pelt” ) and sold, as if THEIR lives have absolutly no meaning – as in “expendable” – a commodity:
I LOVE being in my skin and the years associated with that skin. And I would hate the thought that I’d loose it and my life…. for profit, to some simpleton who couldn’t appreciate nor relate to, those years 🙂
You have it all wrong. They are renewable resources. Sarcasm intended.
I have said this all along, the wolf will adapt to being hunted and trapped the same as the coyote has and the wolf will not be eliminated and avoid man and become more nocturnal to survive. These wolves are using high vantage points to both watch prey and human activity.
I don’t know about the wolf population in the upper big hole but the lower end the wolf is doing quite well.
The sound of anything motorized, a door shutting or the sound of human voices and they are laying down hiding or leaving the vicinity.
How the hell can wolves “adapt” to thousands of traps and snares placed everywhere, thousands of hunters trying to kill them, state run removals, helicopters….
and why the hell should nay living thing have to “adapt” to that kind of pressure? we need to adapt to allow wild animals space, habitat and respect for their place in the natural world.
Once again you show how little you know about wolves.
Let me also explain JB’s story more bluntly since you missed the point. Your a spoiled selfish immature child who wants her way and will throw any tantrum to get that way. Just because you don’t like others humans killing wolves. Now you want to go to the teacher and make a rule that only you and your friends get to play with the wolf. What you forget is the other people have more invested into the wolf reintroduction than you and your friends. We’ve been told if we agreed to reintroduction that a number of things would happen. One of those was a managed population. So go ahead change the rules if you want but I promise that if the RMA wolf population is listed again with the population being over 250 wolves per state there will be a shit storm like you can,t even dream. Not that any of this will sink in but I told you so just the same ” pop the balloon indeed.”
“We’ve been told if we agreed to reintroduction that a number of things would happen. One of those was a managed population”
L,LOL RB! To another spoiled, selfish immature child, who wants HIS way and will throw a tantrum to get it 🙂 BECAUSE its been the way of the west and its been the way of the west, for maybe too long?
I have no problem with a wolf population, I enjoy seeing and hearing them as much as anyone, but I bear a cost that you or others do not bear. I know there’s a cost to a ever growing population, and I don’t want Montana to go through what Yellowstone has with a population crash.
I spend a lot of time watching wolves and have had wolves at less than 10 yards several times and they are still alive. I gave up my way and shared Montana with those who wanted wolves. I share my land and the wildlife around me with all types of predators. I don’t hold myself above the animals. I don’t hold myself above my neighbors and I don’t blame them for my problems.
Rancher Bob….say something new. Like your sick of seeing wolves scapegoated. Sick of the death and traps and snares everywhere and open to some new way of doing things……
Rancher Bob BS
can you be creative instead of trying to work JB’s line?
Its not that I don’t want anyone playing with my wolves….I’m just tired of the hateful, ignorant, unjustified, trumped up reasons to kill as many wolves as can be killed wherever they can be found by any method. Its a damn disgrace. not that any of this will sink in but wolves are generally less of a problem then cougar, bears, illnesses, and other causes of mortality for cattle. So stop whining about wolves.
Neither side will ever quit whining about wolves listen to your self.
How do you propose to control the wolf population, naturally will not work if hunting of ungulates is in place.
propose exactly as they were being “controlled” under the ESA – use non lethal methods first and then “surgically” remove only those wolves proven to be recidivist cattle killers. protect the rest. and your statement about needing to control wolves in the presence of ungulates is faulty.
Louise they still have to be killed one way or another. Does not WS kill whole packs where as hunters only killed one or two given the amount of tags issued.
That’s a matter of opinion Robert.
“I have said this all along, the wolf will adapt to being hunted and trapped the same as the coyote has and the wolf will not be eliminated and avoid man and become more nocturnal to survive”
Yeah but Robert R – more and more studies are shedding light on the fact that killing predators only increases their populations (because, those populations are trying to adjust and make up for) that age old balance in the ecosystem, that we humans just can’t allow ourselves to wrap our minds around as we “off” their numbers, with ever increasing efficency, with agencies like WS)
So the question really is, given what’s left of true wilderness areas – why should the wolf (bear, coyote, mountain lion, fox, badger, etc.) adapt, when such a tiny fraction of our population, is actually affected by their presence?
“more and more studies are shedding light on the fact that killing predators only increases their populations (because, those populations are trying to adjust and make up for)”
If the above quote is true, why have there been so many cries about wolves being wiped out by hunters? Unless I missed something in the translation, which is definitely possible.
Had the same discussion about a year ago here.
Been here 20 years Harley. 17 of those years included the reintroduction of wolves to the landscape. And personally? I’ve seen wolves twice in all those years, even though they seem to killing “all the elk” livestock, etc 🙂
While wolf numbers do increase, its interesting to note, their numbers will never gain any kind of balance as long as the goal posts keep getting “adjusted” (more hunting & trapping tags) to accommodate the few who didn’t want them back to begin with.
Want alttle glimpse of what predator hunting is all about in Montana, Harley?
I had to turn the sound down but I had no problem identifying with the coyote (still left standing) voicing its outrage over the lose of a family member by these “weekend warriors” and their dogs.
I have seen a lot of videos and pictures and articles decrying the hunting of wolves. I’ve read arguments back and forth about hunting wolves, not hunting wolves, management, letting nature manage it’self. I was just curious about that quote and you linked me to a discussion that really doesn’t verify it. In actuality, I think that quote was about coyotes and not predators in general.
It’s interesting you use the term moving the goal posts. I’ve seen that quite a bit from those that live out west in connection to the wolf numbers they were ‘promised’.
As for that video, I won’t watch it. I don’t watch hunting footage. I don’t condone wholesale slaughter and that’s what that sounded like. And even if it wasn’t, it’s just not something I want to spend my time on. I also didn’t like that video that showed wolves running down and killing a curious coyote in, I believe it was Yellowstone.
I have just put up a new thread for Wildlife News. Go to http://tinyurl.com/c8r69mj