It is time for a new “wildlife news” thread.  Please put  your news, links and comments below in comments (“Leave a reply”)    Here is the link to the old thread now being retired (July 23, 2013).
Beaver pond in Squaw Creek, Eastern Idaho, brimming with water in the mid-August 2013  drought. If beaver ponds are retained rather than letting people trap the beavers, it is like having a big fire break constructed in that drainage. One would think that fact would dawn on some Idaho officials when their state is on fire and American taxpayers picking up the bill as usual, in part because of the bad management by Idaho Fish and Game, the Forest Service and the B.L.M. Copyright Ralph Maughan

Beaver pond in Squaw Creek, Eastern Idaho, brimming with water in the mid-August 2013 drought. If beaver ponds are retained rather than letting people trap the beavers, it is like having a big fire break constructed in that drainage. One would think that fact would dawn on some Idaho officials when their state is on fire and American taxpayers picking up the bill as usual, in part because of the bad management by Idaho Fish and Game, the Forest Service and the B.L.M. Copyright Ralph Maughan


About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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

468 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife news? August 16, 2013 edition

  1. CodyCoyote says:

    The viral Hemorrhagic Fever has reappeared in Wyoming and Montana , affecting mostly Whitetail deer in the past month . Dead carcasses have been found in the Big Horn Basin or northern Wyoming and a pocket in northern Montana near Great Falls. In recent years, the fatal fever has broken out in eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska-South Dakota.

    While this outbreak is affecting primarily Whitetail populations the viruses that cause it can also inflict Mule deer, Pronghorn, and Elk. Often confused with Bluetongue because of some similar symptoms, that virus can also affect livestock , but neither virus afflicts humans. It seems to favor drought-like conditions and is becoming more common. Animals with full blown symptoms will often head to water. The virus is usually transmitted by insect bites. The biting midges breed in water. The disease usually subsides with the first cold weather.

  2. MJ says:

    There is so much happening right now with both the wild mustangs and the grey wolf, they are both being driven from public lands for slaughter. It is a very big issue, and this is a critical time to the survival of both. As wild species they have few protections.

    Environmentally this is devastating and on a humane level this is devastating. Please cover this issue.

    • Robert R says:

      What’s the difference between these wild horses and feral hogs. Some of these wild horses were turned loose the same as the feral hogs.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Feral hogs number in the millions; feral horses in the thousands. It’s interesting which animals we want to kill of and which we don’t. Or which don’t have powerfully lobbying groups trying to get rid of them

        We still have the same tribal fears of wolves threatening our food supply, even though we now number in the billions and our food animals are in astronomical numbers. What a mess we have made of the environment.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I’ve used the words ‘tribe’ and ‘tribalism’ in the all encompassing human anthropologic sense, as we all share the same traits.

  3. Sasha Shapiro says:

    You are selling federally protected wild horses to slaughter this Saturday 8/17/13. You will not get away with this. We are all watching YOU!

    • Ken Cole says:


    • SaveBears says:

      I am going have to agree with Ken,


      • MJ says:

        There is a serious issue at the Fallon Livestock Exchange in Fallon NV, with a sale probably going to move forward on Saturday August 17. These are healthy wild mustangs rounded up by the BLM to possible slaughter for meat in other countries, since the slaughter proposal in the U.S. met opposition and delays. It was stayed in U.S. courts again, and then “suddenly” the Fort McDermott Paiute Shoshone reservation had a lot of unbranded horses (likely wild horses herded onto their land) that they want to auction for slaughter now. It’s causing a lot of heartbreak in the area.

        • Ken Cole says:

          A judge issued a restraining order last night on sale of unbranded horses.

          • WM says:


            So, if I understand the issue correctly if some of these unbranded horses were on federal land (but may have also lived part of their lives on tribal lands) they are “presumed” to be protected under the Wild Horse and Burro Act while on federal land, and may not be “herded” back on to tribal lands for roundup, loading and sale at the Fallon Livestock Exchange?

            What is WWP’s interest in this (per the article)?

            It would seem horses of whatever origin taken off the public lands (or tribal lands for that matter) would advance the WWP mission objective of public range land restoration. Is there a fear the protected feral horses would just be replaced by cows (1 horse eats about the same as a cow/calf combo)? Or, is it something else?

            Any chance of linking to linking to the Federal Judge’s Order?

    • alf says:

      I don’t think there’s a more vocal or fanatic lobby — at least involving wildlife and public land issues — that the pro-feral horse lobby

  4. Mal Adapted says:

    A rational Conservationist understands that the integrity of ecosystems takes precedence over the lives of individual animals.

    The last time horses were native to this continent, their numbers were kept in check by dire wolves, American lions and short-faced bears. The horses introduced by Spanish colonists are now over-populating the range, and are threatening the continued existence of some native species. As long as wolves, cougars and grizzlies are not allowed to control modern horse populations, I have no problem with rounding some horses up and slaughtering them.

    Feral hogs never were native here, and the ecological damage they do is horrendous. In New Mexico, even the Humane Society supports wild hog eradication by shooting them from helicopters.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      But you should have a problem with an agency that isn’t doing it’s job. An NAS report came out that said cattle are degrading the landscapes (like they will ever be the same again after humans have gotten through ruining them), not the wild horses. They also report that the BLM is mismanaging the horses and greatly contributing to any problems. As long a millions of cattle graze, it is hypocritical at best to want to destroy horses.

      • Mal Adapted says:

        I would love to see livestock grazing abolished on public lands, Ida. I see no hypocrisy in supporting the control of feral horse and hog populations as well.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Control – maybe. But to use a gov’t cliché ‘it depends on how you define control’. The BLM has been accused of mismanagement, coverups, violations of laws, and criminal activity regarding horses illegally sold to a kill buyer.

    • MJ says:

      @Mal, sorry, but I think that you are using the words rational and conservationist a little too loosely. Your intentions may be good, but the slaughters are extremely inhumane and those are healthy beautiful animals. This “logic” that unnatural and cruel extirpation of species that are bothering big business and special interests has carried a lot of weight for a long time. It is REPUGNANT and against natural laws, and it is just more political jargon to rationalize animal cruelty. The reality is that we are struggling to honor both human rights and animal rights and not doing a great job of either.

      The BLM failed to use real conservation and properly trained biologists to avoid this issue to begin with, it didn’t happen overnight. Now the animals are expected to suffer extreme cruelty because of human negligence. That is just a lack of respect for animal rights, and it isn’t necessary. It is for the benefit and at the request of ranchers and oil.

      • Mal Adapted says:

        MJ, I’m not sure what natural law means in this context. My training and experience are in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and my interest is in preserving biodiversity and the integrity of ecosystems. That’s what Conservation means to me. Animal and human rights are orthogonal to that. Your Mileage May Vary.

        • MJ says:

          Mal, when human and animal rights are independent of policy, there is an obvious question of ethics and a failure of government. That is the issue. This is NOT a personal attack, but when facts (origins of our current wild horse species) are used to rationalize what our common sense tells us is wrong (slaughter of a species) that is misuse of the facts and becomes political jargon. I am a little disturbed that your background is in biology, I would have expected business. You see to have a strong grasp of the business behind the politics. My background is in biology and medicine, and yes ethics is critical to my work. My mom was poli-sci.

          It is a serious thing when we use rhetoric to rationalize what is inhumane, and that is why I’m making such a strong objection to it. Overwhelmingly the biologists I know or find are working hard to educate the public on wildlife and the ecosystem. Human “culling” is NOT the same as the culling that evolved in Nature and in practice has been used to serve hunters, ranchers and other special interests at the expense of wildlife. And I am Native, which strongly affects my beliefs in the manner that we need to treat nature.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            …but when facts (origins of our current wild horse species) are used to rationalize what our common sense tells us is wrong (slaughter of a species) that is misuse of the facts and becomes political jargon.

            Beautifully said.

          • Mal Adapted says:

            MJ, I don’t work for a land management agency, nor am I a businessman. I’m a Conservationist by ideology, but that is informed by what I know of Biology, which is the study of all life on Earth from prokaryotes to people, and how it has evolved over at least three and a half billion years.

            I don’t know anything about right and wrong. I am an atheist and an ontological materialist, and I haven’t seen any evidence that ethics or morality are independent of the emotions of individual human beings. I only know what kind of world I want to live in. Do I approve of the way governments at every level have mis-managed my public lands? Don’t get me started (whoops, too late)! If you read all my comments on the Wildlife News blog, you’ll get a better idea of what I think. Let me just say here, if I were King things would be different.

            When I witness a horse suffering pain and terror, I wince along with you and Ida. I’m even more disturbed when I see the same animal slowly starving to death on an over-grazed patch of rangeland; and yet more so when I see that all the other animals, wild as well as domestic, on that range are starving too, because too many of one species has eaten the available forage down to bare dirt. I’m horrified by a parcel of public rangeland, formerly replete with diverse plant and animal species that evolved on it, on which the native biodiversity has been replaced by a few invasive alien weeds as a result of unsustainable human use.

            And yes, Homo sapiens is the ultimate invasive species! We all do what we can. In the world of 12,000 years after the end of the Pleistocene epoch and our invention of agriculture (our truly original sin), each of us has to decide for ourselves what our moral priorities are. You and Ida prioritize the feelings of individual horses. My effective outrage is reserved for the extinction, by anthropocentric arrogance and ignorance, of entire species that have lived here for millennia before we came along, and by the destruction of their rich pageant of complex ecological interactions down to the bugs and slugs.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              My effective outrage is reserved for the extinction, by anthropocentric arrogance and ignorance, of entire species that have lived here for millennia before we came along, and by the destruction of their rich pageant of complex ecological interactions down to the bugs and slugs.

              Beautifully said as well. I certainly do care about this also, but there are so many threats on so many levels, it’s hard to know where to begin or what action will do the most good.

            • Barb Rupers says:

              Well stated, Mal Adapted!

            • JB says:

              “This “logic” that unnatural and cruel extirpation of species that are bothering big business and special interests has carried a lot of weight for a long time. It is REPUGNANT and against natural laws, and it is just more political jargon to rationalize animal cruelty…”

              I don’t see anyone trying to rationalize animal cruelty; rather, I see a lot of conservationists trying to find an effective means of preventing an ecological harm that is impacting a variety of species–and individual animals. Wild horses absolutely can be humanely slaughtered (see the AVMA’s guide on euthanasia). That they sometimes are mistreated is a tragedy–one I hope is dealt with. But I don’t accept the premise that animal rights activists are trying to sell–i.e., that all slaughter of horses is cruel and immoral. By your definition of cruel that may be true–but many others disagree (including the people we charge with making sure our pets can be euthanized humanely).

              • MJ says:

                JB, these horses in Fallon NV are being sold to Mexican slaughterhouses, please read on the methods that they use. I am saying that this situation has been evolving for a long time. It is irresponsible that it got to this point.

              • MJ says:

                The comment about extirpation also was related to the wolf issue, and if you read on the trophy hunters and poaching, trapping, etc, there is extreme cruelty being directed at the Grey Wolf.

              • WM says:


                ++… these horses in Fallon NV are being sold to Mexican slaughterhouses, please read on the methods that they use.++

                It seems you have just made the case for “less inhumane” (as opposed to humane) slaughter of horses removed from tribal lands or maybe even from federal lands, if otherwise unprotected by the WHB Act.

                And, do recall the WHB adoption program is thought to be only marginally successful and at great cost, all the while wild horse populations continue to grow and negatively impact public lands.

                How long do you suppose it takes those horses to go thru the auction process, get loaded up on trucks and take the long, hot, dehydrating/foodless and agonizing drive to wherever in Mexico, where they are offloaded and remain in the hot sun, until they do those nasty things in their slaughter houses without the watchful eye of federal or state health officials and inspectors? And, even if these things were uncovered in MX there is not a thing we Americans who care can do about it?

              • MJ says:

                Strongly disagree that the brutality of the Mexican slaughterhouse implies that “less inhumane” slaughter in the U.S. is now justified. To answer that, please visit a factory farm, if we are now classifying wild horses in the same “legal” category as the cattle. That is sanctioned in the U.S.

                Is it that difficult of a concept that we should treat animals humanely? If we had genuine respect for them, we would not be where we are. As I said originally, the animals are expected to suffer extreme cruelty because of human negligence. Our polices have mismanaged our public lands and continue to prioritize industry. It is the cattle that graze destroying the grasses, not wild horses. Again, it is a serious thing when we use rhetoric to rationalize what is inhumane, and that is why I’m making such a strong objection to it.

                conservationist [ˌkɒnsəˈveɪʃənɪst]
                (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Environmental Science) a person who advocates or strongly promotes preservation and careful management of natural resources and of the environment

                Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

              • JB says:


                Please note, I never advocated shipping wild horses to Mexico. Your responses to me and others suggest you’re conflating two issues. Here are my thoughts on both:

                Issue 1. Humane slaughter of wild horses. The fact that it IS NOT occurring in SOME facilities in Mexico is not proof that it CAN NOT occur here in the US. As Mal points out, you seem to think you have ownership of the truth (i.e., because you find a method “cruel” or “inhumane” it therefore is cruel and inhumane). To be clear, I suspect that we agree on the general principle that we should not mistreat animals; however, we may disagree on what constitutes mistreatment. As WM points out, right now the interference of wild horse/animal rights activists means horses are being slaughtered outside the watchful eye of our federal government (read: your advocacy is making things worse for individual animals).

                Issue 2. The ecological changes caused by wild horses. You claim that wild horses are not a cause of ecological harm (e.g., “It is the cattle that graze destroying the grasses, not wild horses.”). Not true, say scientists. Well, at least half of your assertion is untrue. The fact that cattle do more damage is a rather poor justification for ignoring the damage that feral horses are doing.


                “The classification of modern American wild horses as “feral” is arbitrary and political, they are a part of our history.” The fact that wild horses play prominently in the history of the West is not adequate justification for their preservation. Using that same logic, one could argue we should preserve cattle, mining, and water theft.

                “fe·ral [feer-uhl, fer-] adj. 1.
                existing in a natural state, as animals or plants; not domesticated or cultivated; wild.”

            • MJ says:

              Mal, I believe that you mean well, but,..

              I never “prioritized” the individual over the group. I am saying that it is a flawed misuse of facts and science that supports humans performing a version of “culling” that is in opposition to the true culling that occurs in nature. We destroy ecosystems, we do not put them back in balance. The wild horse slaughter is not of starving animals, they are healthy animals on politically desirable land. It is obvious that there are a lot of politicians driving this, not environmentalists. I believe that the judgement that they are not a worthy species is far overreaching one’s bounds. The classification of modern American wild horses as “feral” is arbitrary and political, they are a part of our history. Who will we slaughter next, dogs? After we’ve extirpated the wolves again? This is the use of facts (out of context) that is leading to the destruction of our ecosystem for the benefit of special interests. It lacks perspective and an understanding of the big picture. And yes I believe that you need to have a gut instinct to know when bs is bs and oppose it.

              I think that Ida’s point about knowing where to begin is important. Mal, you seem to be saying that the point to begin taking action on an issue when we are to the point of seeing the imminent extinction of a species. I would say that is when it is too late to reverse the momentum. The belief that right and wrong, ethics, are no concern of yours in making policy is extremely disturbing! Equating ethics and morality with “emotion” concerns me, what is the implication of that? First, emotion is a normal occurrence, it’s when it is dysfunctional that it is a problem. Most emotion is not dysfunctional. Are you implying disdain for a mother’s love for her child? A soldier’s love for his or her country? Would you like us all to appease you and get away with that silliness because it makes you uncomfortable? (No.) Second, ethics and morality have to do with being socially responsible, not “emotional”. If ethics and morality are not applied in the practices of government policy, law, medicine, etc I don’t believe that you would be very happy with the kind of world you would be living in. While you may show disdain, your livelihood is dependent on those of us who take ethics very seriously.

              • Mal Adapted says:

                MJ, I can see I haven’t made myself clear to you. I can also see we’re at an impasse. You apparently believe you possess Truth, but I believe otherwise. Since, thankfully, my livelihood does not in fact depend on my penetrating the armour of your convictions, I feel no need to keep trying.

                FWIW, I gather that many Indian people feel as you do, but still disagree on how best to manage feral horse populations on their lands. An article in today’s Albuquerque Journal emphasizes the tough choices tribal land managers sometimes have to make: Delicate balance exists in Horse Nation (if you aren’t an on-line subscriber to the Journal, you’ll have to answer a couple of inane survey questions before you can read the article). It touches on the argument WM makes just above, among others.

              • Robert R says:

                JB you bring up some valid points.

              • DLB says:

                There are a number of Yakamas that wish they could get rid of some of the wild horses on the reservation.

                Some individuals claim that the horses are extremely overpopulated and have become aggressive towards other ungulates. A trip through the rez is enough to show you that land is over-grazed and unhealthy.

  5. Robert R says:

    While FWP or wildlife services always gets criticism it seems when they do something positive there is very little recognition.

  6. SaveBears says:

    Interesting article about a subject we have discussed a few times.

    Feral Cats

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      Thanks for this article. It seems very important. I had wondered (slightly) whether the dramatic change in hormones from the common method of neutering might have a significant effect on the behavior of outdoor roaming or feral cats.

  7. Ida Lupine says:

    You mean under this watchful eye of the US government?

    All The Missing Horses

    Even if slaughter would start again in the US, it doesn’t mean horses will stop being shipped to Mexico or Canada.

    No matter which animals we point the finger at to blame for the degradation of our lands and destroy – horses, wolves, sage grouse, and many others – the main culprit (us) will be continuing to encroach and destroy. It’s silly to blame horses or any other animal for degrading lands when there are approaching 9 billion humans on the planet.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      It really doesn’t take much to connect the dots here, does it:

      But in 2009 — a few months after the meetings about the holding crisis and two weeks after Salazar became head of the Interior Department — the agency started sending him [Davis] truckload after truckload, from all over the West. Soon he was by far their biggest customer.

      Talk about thugs.

    • WM says:

      ++ It’s silly to blame horses or any other animal for degrading lands when…++

      How about if those horses are on an Indian reservation and the tribe doesn’t want them, because they are destroying their lands, and wildlife habitat, and their federal overseer prevents them from reducing the number because there is no place to process/slaughter them with USDA Inspectors? I su

      I think if you have skin in the game, so to speak, the issues are a bit different. I also think, in the instance of the wild horses that may be on NF lands some of the time and on tribal lands the rest, the damn federal government ought to keep them off reservation lands if the tribe doesn’t want them on there. What do you think? I think this Wild Horse and Burro Act is one of the dumbest federal statues ever passed, as is the BLM horse adoption program under it.

      • MJ says:

        What I hear from people from the tribes in question is that tribal leadership and lack of foresight is being blamed for the excess of horses. Also fracking is not being discussed, as lack of water is an issue. The Dann sisters are Shoshone, this is one perspective:

        We need to be careful about giving too much to the argument that a good share of Native people are for the horse slaughter. The discussion that I have seen is whether the degree of poverty on the reservation is severe enough to justify falling short of one’s spiritual duty. And the insults towards those supporting slaughter are not pretty. That is just what I am seeing.

        Also, within any scientific community there will be difference of opinion, but on this subject the horses are getting a disproportionate share of the blame for damage to the wild. We are not discussing oil companies or cattle, or how much policy is influenced by lobbies.

        • WM says:


          I don’t know which tribes are in support or opposition to wild horse management, but it seems obvious that those tribes with horse problems want the matter addressed by the federal government which controls the mechanisms to reduce the numbers of wild horses and very much prevents those tribes from doing anything.

          You obviously have not been following the feral horse issue on the Yakama Reservation in WA state. They have about 12-14,000 wild horses and they have been advocating reducing the number significantly – managing the numbers – for several years. And it would appear they have the support of the Colville, Shoshone Bannock and Umatilla tribes in their efforts.

          Confrontation with adjacent non-tribal land owners and their horses (the wild ones break down fences and attempt to recruit the non-tribal horses to join their herds, creating a problem similar to what is occurring in NV on National Forest lands and the temporary injunction just issued):

          Recent history from 2004:

          • MJ says:

            “I think if you have skin in the game, so to speak, the issues are a bit different.. I think this Wild Horse and Burro Act is one of the dumbest federal statues ever passed, as is the BLM horse adoption program under it.”

            I am familiar with these events. The tone of the discussion above seems to be implying that first, USDA slaughter in actual practice is humane (without being graphic that is being strongly challenged by those who are investigating, animals are often processed while still very much alive, but our regs do protect us from infection), secondly, that Native people are supporting this wholeheartedly depending on the tribe. I tried to address that succinctly above, but it is difficult to address a complex issue succinctly. I would not agree that any one I am aware of thinks slaughter is humane, and the horse is a still a sacred animal. Among the tribes in question, there are many who are extremely angry at what they feel is a lack of leadership that led to the current situation. Poverty is being blamed, and leaders are being accused of being complicit with those who do not have Native interests at heart. It is frustrating to see it implied that Native people are on board with slaughter. I feel that is inaccurate.

            Also, on the “failure” of the adoption program – I have stated previously that waiting until a situation is imminent makes it nearly impossible to stop the momentum. Public lands are used for fracking and cattle grazing, the elephant in the room that we are not addressing. Wild species have very little voice or established rights, and the horses are now to suffer because of human errors. I feel this reflects a general cultural attitude that wildlife is a commercial commodity, and until we evolve beyond that we will continue to destroy our ecosystem in an inhumane manner.

            • JB says:


              Thanks for making your positions more clear. Just a few comments:

              “The tone of the discussion above seems to be implying that first, USDA slaughter in actual practice is humane (without being graphic that is being strongly challenged by those who are investigating, animals are often processed while still very much alive, but our regs do protect us from infection)…I would not agree that any one I am aware of thinks slaughter is humane…”

              I asserted that the slaughter of horses CAN be humane. I don’t pretend to know the circumstances under which every horse is killed (and frankly, neither should you). Your response isn’t clear about whether or not you agree; you refer to the “USDA slaughter”–does that mean all horse slaughter that occurs in the US, or those methods required by the USDA?

              As for the assertion that no one thinks that slaughter is humane…well, I’m not surprised given the depictions of slaughter that you provide. However, the American Veterinary Medical Associations (comprised of doctors and scientists that spend an inordinate amount of time around dying animals) provide recommendations for euthanizing horses. To be clear, the term euthanasia is “used to describe ending the life of an individual animal in a way that minimizes or eliminates pain and distress. A good death is tantamount to the humane termination of an animal’s life” ( p. 6). Currently listed as acceptable or conditionally acceptable methods of euthanasia for horses are (a) Intravenous barbiturates, (b) penetrating captive bolt, and (c) gunshot.

              “Public lands are used for fracking and cattle grazing, the elephant in the room that we are not addressing. Wild species have very little voice or established rights, and the horses are now to suffer because of human errors.”

              Again, the conclusion that horses should not be slaughtered does is wholly unrelated to the problems of fracking and any problems cattle grazing causes. These are independent issues. I agree with you that both are problems–and both potentially dwarf the problems associated with wild horses. However, it does not logically follow that because we allow some things that harm public lands, that we should therefore allow others.

              • Ken Cole says:

                I think there are two problems with regard to the wild horse issue.

                First, I think that horses get blamed for a lot of damage caused by cattle and are targets of the BLM and ranchers who don’t want to address the unsustainable numbers of cattle on public lands. When you look at how horse use is monitored the BLM seeks out areas where horses are causing impacts. That’s fine with me but it is precisely the opposite approach they use when monitoring damage caused by livestock. In this case they routinely exclude areas of high use. I have accompanied the BLM on several trips where they explain where they can and can’t monitor. In the Winnemucca field office they were setting up a monitoring system for cattle that excluded any area within certain distances from water, fences, roads, or salt blocks or really steep country. This left only those areas that received little if any use, or about 20% of the allotment. Compare that to how they monitor horse use and the contrast is clear. They need to monitor each the same way, preferably in a manner that actually detects the impacts caused by the two.

                Second, I think there is little concern about the damage that is caused by horses when their numbers become very high. Desert landscapes are fragile and aren’t capable of withstanding grazing by cattle or horses. Places like Sheldon and Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuges have far more horses than are sustainable. The condition of the landscapes needs to factor in to horse advocates’ thinking.

                With regard to what is going on currently near McDermitt, I think there is evidence of some kind of conspiracy among ranchers who have been herding horses to the reservation where they can be more easily removed. Ranchers have been known to herd horses using planes for some time.

                Do I think that wild horses have their place? Maybe, but I think the higher priority is the need to address the damage caused by sheep and cattle which is far more widespread. It’s a loaded debate for sure.

    • rork says:

      “It’s silly to blame horses” because if we can’t solve the entire problem perfectly, we should do nothing at all, as we all know.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Well, certainly you should do something that will do some good first, and will actually make a difference.

  8. topher says:


  9. Ralph Maughan says:

    A fine hunting essay with the proper set of values.

    I was going to make a post and write an essay about this essay I really like. Thinking about it, I decided that would be kind of an odd meta essay. It’s best if I just make a comment a leave the link for folks to read and discuss if they want.

    Why I Hunt: Thoughts from a Wolf-Loving, Elk-Killing Tree Hugger” by David Stalling in From the Wild Side blog.

    • cobackcountry says:

      My sentiment exactly! Great essay. I have long been lumped amongst the ‘contradictory’ views. I whole heartedly support wolves, while knowing they will eventually be hunted. I hunt, I fish, and I advocate for conservation. I’m a realist who has the audacity to hope for balance and the greater good! More of us should speak up…I know there are many of us out there!

    • Immer Treue says:

      Great essay.

    • topher says:

      I hunt because I enjoy the the hunt , not the the killing, the hunting. Some of my most memorable hunts have ended unsuccessfully and more often than not I go home meatless from big game hunts. While I enjoy many outdoor activities in the same areas I often hunt it’s a different experience while hunting. For me it’s a better experience,I’m more tuned to whats around me and it seems to soak in a little deeper and stay with me a little longer. Lessons learned while hunting aren’t easily forgotten and the landscapes seem to etch themselves into me to the point I can remember them vividly even after many years of absence from an area. Who hasn’t overshot the road by a thousand vertical feet at least once only to have to climb back up to truck in the dark? Thats one that will stick with you for a long time. Sometimes it’s nice to have a more honest relationship with the food we eat whether its food we’ve grown in our garden or taking responsibility for the life we take when we eat meat. There are special moments experienced hunting that are hard to describe and can’t be had any other way. They are moments that have always existed suspended in time waiting for two beings to meet both knowing how it will end. It’s as if the animal gives itself to you, it’s never forced,it happens as it was meant to. If you don’t hunt or have never experienced it then it’s difficult to understand, but if you have it will stay with you for the rest of your life.

    • rork says:

      Hunting can be good, but I think for me it’s just one more excuse to go perceive what’s going on out there. What we need more of is enjoying what’s there without extraction of material, and lots of hunters and anglers aren’t at that stage. Being out there and not needing food is the more serious pleasure I think. Fishing is perhaps the easier example for me, where my pleasure fishing is nothing like the pressures of needing it for existence – I can stop and dote on anything for any reason and it’s not a loss. I don’t even need to swing the rod if I don’t want.
      Und nichts zu suchen, Das war mein Sinn.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I’m more of a ‘gatherer’, but I look forward to reading.

  10. cobackcountry says:

    My question to all f you is:

    What would this mean to Colorado’s natural resources, wildlife in specific?

    • WM says:


      ++What would this mean to Colorado’s natural resources…++

      Not really sure, but nearly all of Weld Co and those counties to the east are flatland irrigated agriculture and pretty dry grasslands. The only federal lands of consequence is the Pawnee National Grassland. It’s pretty dry except the wide and flat S. Platte River valley, and whatever it holds, augmented by Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District water from the Western slope of CO. From what I remember there is also some whooping crane habitat, but other than that it’s mostly irrigated and dry ag land, and not a lot of diverse wildlife, except migratory ducks/geese that use the agricultural reservoirs seasonally for migration. It’s that kind of landscape all the way to Nebraska.

      Strikes me Northeastern CO now has its own version of Tea Party politics going on, as it feels the I-25 urban corridor has abandoned rural plains county values, and they want whine about it, and generate a little attention and tension. What is more interesting is that you would have to go to the Fort Collins newspaper to get the story, rather than the Greeley Tribune (and Greely is home to the state teachers college and the largest continuous beef slaughter facility in the world – or at least it used to be).

      • cobackcountry says:


        Yes, and no. There are actually a number of species which are located in our flat lands. Sand Hill Cranes use the area in question considerably. There are also Black Footed Ferret projects under way.

        The land is flat, but not dead by any means. The Poudre and the Platte run through the area, and while water rights in Colorado are sketchy and deplorable, there would undoubtedly be some implication for them.

        I didn’t go to The Coloradoan per say, I subscribe. I haven’t checked the other papers, but suspect the news will be wide spread soon.

        I think the old boys network will strike again, gripping tightly to the pulse of natural resources. They are riding the wave of gun control outrage. Surely it is no coincidence that green energy is smeared secondly to gun laws. It suggests one is dependent upon another.

        The financial aspects are worrisome. A lot of hunting revenue which would be pulled away from state use. Plains deer, bird hunts etc. will be impacted and would become a new state’s right.

        Pawnee Grasslands are federally owned, and wouldn’t be as effected.

        Sorry, I may be rambling, but all of these thoughts are just popping into my head.

        The Tea Party type of rationale is rampant among the uniformed. It seems to be sinking into the minds of those who don’t look at ALL of their rights, and react quickly to the attack on one of them. I guess nobody considers how over turning the gun legislation will be with a right wing majority in office next go round. Folks don’t think before they jump the gun.

        • WM says:


          How long have there black-footed ferrets on the plains in Northern Colorado? I would be surprised if ranchers in Weld CO or elsewhere would want to support their prey base, prairie dogs.

          • cobackcountry says:


            They began reintro in Colorado in 2001.I hear through ‘the wildlife rumor mill’ that there has been another site approved in Colorado.

            I met the guy who heads the site in Colorado, his group is heading the efforts, and he also does work in South Dakota. It was an interesting lecture.

            • WM says:


              About 40 years ago, or so, the BLM did a technical series on ESA listed animals, mostly plains and lower montane critters typical of BLM lands. The reports were in those goofy velo binders, with a pen and ink image of the featured species on the cover. A couple reports were done by a biologist/artist named Carol Snow. The fine pen drawing, with exquisite detail, she did of a black-footed ferret for the cover of that technical report intrigued me (they have very expressive faces). I was in grad school at CSU at the time, and had the ability to order the technical reports for my department at no cost. As a starving student who appreciated art but could afford none, I cut out the drawing from the cover, double matted and put it in a cheap but nice frame. Snow did several other ESA species reports with illustrated covers, and I did the same with those. They hung on my office walls for years, as I moved through my various careers. People always commented on them, and only to a few, did I tell their humble origins. I communicated with the artist/biologist and eventually purchased a really nice print of a bald eagle landing on an old weathered Native totem pole with an eagle at its crest (Tlingit from Southeast AK). The symbolism of that (eagle landing on a totem eagle crest) was very powerful (since the Tlingit moities are either raven or eagle by matriarchal lineage in that area).

              After nearly forty years these are still some of my most favorite and treasured wall hangings – all from seeing an image of a black-footed ferret on a BLM technical report.

              And, they are very cool critters. I seem to recall some research and reintroduction being done in WY a few years back, but did not know there was much going in Northern CO for release sites; it makes sense if the prey base is there. I wish their reintroduction and range expansion success wherever they go. They are just so cool! [I guess I already said that]

              • cobackcountry says:

                I am a softie for mustelids. The Black Footed ferret is a clever and entertaining character.

                I was pretty relieved that they seemed to be doing well. I nearly did a summer stint working with them, but would have been gone too long for family obligations.

                I have seen the sketch you are talking about. I agree that it is a classic.

                Now that I know you also have a soft spot, I will have to post pics when I get done with a South Dakota trip.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      I noticed that the commenters were not blaming the wolves and some thought the penalty was a bit too much; overkill so to speak.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Sheep do this sort of thing. I quick search found this story from Turkey.

      450 Sheep Jump to Their Deaths in Turkey. By James Joyner. July 8. 2005.

      Cody Coyote may remember this, but it seems to me that back in about the year 2000, a hundred or so sheep turned up dead in a big pileup like this on Carter Mountain, south of the town of Cody, WY. There was debate whether they were spooked by a bear or a thunderstorm.

      • Louise Kane says:

        my question is related to exactly that. Wildlife services makes the claim that it was wolves, if one sheep only was eaten supposedly by wolves, how are they sure it was the presence of wolves that caused the stampede and hence suffocation. How do they know it was not bears, cougars, or even thunder? Siddoway hates wolves and the wildlife services do not inspire confidence in their truthfulness or thoroughness of investigations.

        • Immer Treue says:

          “Grimm said there is already a “control action” in the area. Since July 3, 12 wolves have been lethally trapped, including nine pups. The goal is to take them all, he said.”

          A lot of good this has done.

          • Rancher Bob says:

            We will never know what the killing of those 12 wolves has stopped or done only what it has not done or stopped.

            • Immer Treue says:

              Rancher Bob,

              Tough to prove a negative, yet, killing them had no effect (that we are aware of)on those 176 sheep.

      • SAP says:

        I remember that Carter Mountain pileup — sometime in the 90s. I think the herder quit and didn’t tell anyone.

  11. Ida Lupine says:

    It looks like only one of the sheep was a direct kill. Where were the herders, on coffee break? Depredation is constant with this rancher.

    • SaveBears says:


      Despite the desires and wishes, it is impossible to have a person there 24/7 365, that is not even a reasonable thought, none of us work at our job 24/7 365!

      • Ida Lupine says:

        But this guy never has anyone there.

        • Salle says:

          And, from my observations over the years, most herding operations don’t have any or enough herders present. In fact, quite a few “put” the sheep somewhere and then camp a few miles away from that “put” site, so at 1 am when nobody is close enough to even hear a disturbance let alone do anything about one…

      • JB says:

        Of course, sheep aren’t grazed on high altitude public lands 365 days a year–not even close, in fact. And since ranchers pay about 1/10 the market rate to graze public lands, they should have a lot of extra funds to hire that herder. 😉

  12. Cindy says:

    Oh boy, we’re in for it now…past history between this family and wolves if my memory serves me correctly. Darn.

    • Nancy says:

      Yep, you are correct Cindy:

      “Idaho rancher and State Senator Jeff Siddoway has introduced a bill (S1305) in the Idaho statehouse that would authorize the slaughter of wolves involved in molesting or killing livestock by any number of **creative ways”

    • jon says:

      Seems like karma got Siddoway.

      • zach says:

        Oh, this? Wolves kill 176 sheep near Victor of Siddoways?

        Really, 1 sheep was killed by the wolves, the 175 were killed because they all suffocated when they were trying to run away.

        Maybe you should keep tabs on your animals, jack ass. Maybe you should hire competent people to watch over your property. But, we’ll blame the wolves because you’re an idiot who can’t take general precautions to protect your interests.

        • WM says:


          Guess you have never heard of the concept of “proximate cause,” eh?

          Or, looking at it a slightly different way, but for the presence of and chasing by wolves would this have happened?

          Have enough facts been revealed to know where their herders and guard dogs were exactly, yet?

          And, this article says only “one animal” was eaten. It does not say how many were killed directly by wolves in the attack. Another article I saw said something like 9 were killed directly by wolves. Maybe the official incident report will reveal more.

          Usually good to understand the concepts of causation, and the facts, before drawing conclusions, don’t ya think?

          • zach says:

            Does it really matter, dude?

            If you’re business means that much to you, you need to be responsible for your property.

            Does it say what precautions he took to make sure the herd was in competent hands? No.

            So, you can try to look at all sides or you can you use your brain and pick the most obvious answer.

            Be responsible for your property.

            • Rancher Bob says:

              So 2 full time herders, 4 herding dogs and at least 4 guard dogs not responsible enough for you?
              You act as though you’ve never been in the country at 1 am, it’s dark.
              I know people who have spent an entire night with a spot light and a rifle and never had a clear shot and never been able to chase off the wolves until it got light.
              The article did say wolves CAUSED the death your the one that jumped to wolves killed the sheep.

            • SaveBears says:

              Yes, Zach, the facts goddamn well matter, we don’t have all of the facts on what happened, just being a rancher does not always mean you deserve what you get, until such time as all of the facts in the incident report(s) are published everybody is being presumptive. To add, I am not in favor of public lands ranching in the form it now exists, and have worked hard to get it changed, I am also not anti wolf, but this BS on always saying the rancher it wrong is getting real freaking old!

              • cobackcountry says:

                Wow Gents. Can we communicate without being insulting or condescending? You will never change anything to your benefit while attacking others.

                Facts matter. But there are more facts than an article gives, or than we can know here, I am sure. Neither are facts more important than the human emotional quantification of value. The both contradict and compliment one another. It is the Merry Go Round that you can’t jump from, and it still make you nauseated….we are damned to ride it until we are perfect.

                Ranching is not without it’s risks, or casualties. No business is. I may no be AS educated as some of you here, but business is my business. When the climate of business negates the productivity, business is no longer supportable.

                Has this occurred? Is the rancher still in business? If it is not profitable, why is he in business? Can we blame wolves for the demise of business? Would ranching be a business that could be sustained without benefit of assistance? Or, like most other businesses, has it largely outlived it’s usefulness? Is the rancher of greater importance than the wolf? Is the rancher’s job now a niche filled by another? Does the rancher have any responsibility he has not fulfilled? What does the conservation of wolves and the betterment of their chances require be done to balance not just the ecosystem, but the jury of public opinion? Do we all have a duty to the rancher just because he exists in a space where wolves were purposefully eradicated? Or is he a casualty of lifestyle karma? Was he blissfully oblivious to this possibility because he ranched when no wolves were a risk, and therefore deserves some help? If so, do e intercede for all at risk businesses who face unforeseen challenges? Would that not be a lot like recent bail-outs? Would he face some other risk if not wolves? To what, if any, extent do we (society) owe him? These are the kinds of questions to rationally discuss.

                The BS of defending ranchers was old long ago. Yet, it is the prevailing attitude which tempers our legislative system against rationality and science in the natural resources realm. I am not suggesting it is right, I am just pointing out that it is what it is. Don’t let your blood pressure go up too much, or like me…lose sleep and get a few ulcers. It simply does no good.

                It seems like due diligence was done to a greater extent than most would do in his place. I have great concern when anyone loses a livelihood. I have greater concern still when the livelihood of a few out weighs the rights of the many.

                Good luck fixing it. You are braver than I for trying.

              • zach says:

                I didn’t say just because you are a rancher you deserve this to happen.

                I am saying, if you didn’t take enough precautions to not let this happen, perhaps, then it is your fault.

              • zach says:

                I didn’t say the ranchers deserve it for being ranchers.

                If I would have blamed the sheep, would that have made it any better?

            • cobackcountry says:


              While I strongly oppose public land grazing, and support wolves (knowing they will be hunted), I’d have to say that being responsible doesn’t guaranty squat!

              You can do everything within your power and still lose your business booty.

              Maybe he did enough, maybe he didn’t. But we cannot just dismiss property rights either. I believe ranching is largely a romanticized relic of the past and an industry which is vastly over represented in this country. BUT- and this is the biggie- ranchers are people, citizens, and the have families, mouths to feed, bills to pay and have many of the same burdens you and I have. Could you unemploy them all? Would you? What if you made shoes and one day the elves came into your shoe shop and you suddenly had no place to make shoes? Lame analogy I know, but it is the same scenario, different players. We have to have solutions for ranchers, until such time as consumers put them out of business by changing their buying habits. Otherwise, we lose any how, because wolf supporters are the bad guys who made all the poor ranchers go bankrupt. Eventually, that image will kick us in the arss.

              • zach says:

                Dude, I agree with your saying to an extent. But, 175 sheep? That’s just negligence on someone’s part.

              • Nancy says:


                “The problem is not the wolves, but subsidized domestic sheep grazing,” said Travis Bruner, public lands director for the Western Watersheds Project.

                It costs less than one penny per sheep per day to graze public land,” Bruner said.

                The Caribou-Targhee’s Burbank allotment, where the sheep crush occurred, cost the Siddoway Sheep Company $866.70 for a three-month grazing permit, for example.

                ****Ranchers are more willing to take risks with predators, Bruner said, because the government is “almost giving away public forage to wealthy ranchers.”

                And might I add – checks to cover the depredations. Dead sheep, dead wolves (and other predators) this is someone who IMHO, has little regard for the life of other living beings.

    • Rancher Bob says:

      From the fourth paragraph, “In a very real sense, the ESA is the protection of last resort for species of unique plants and animals that are determined to be in danger of extinction, in other words, lost forever from our natural heritage.”

      SO two questions JB would you agree with that statement and do you think grey wolves are in danger of being lost from our natural heritage?

      • JB says:

        “would you agree with that statement…”

        Yes, in part. The ESA is the protection of last resort. Generally speaking, neither states, private industry, nor even the agency charged with recovering species want to list them, so I feel pretty comfortable agreeing with the statement.

        The rest of the statement–i.e., “lost forever from our natural heritage” is not as easily evaluated. In a legal sense, the ESA defines species broadly, allowing for a “species” to be listed in places even when the whole of the species is not in danger of extinction. So the ESA defines in endangerment to include any species that is in danger of extinction in all of its range, or a significant portion of its range. So from a policy perspective, a ‘distinct population’ of a particular species may be ‘endangered’ (i.e., face the threat of extinction) even though the species as a whole is secure. That means, at least in some cases, the statement you cite won’t fit (i.e., a species can be listed as endangered in a particular area (as a distinct population segment) despite the fact that the species as a whole is not faced with being ‘lost forever from our natural heritage’.

        “…do you think grey wolves are in danger of being lost from our natural heritage?”

        Canis lupus occidentalis–no.
        Canis lupus nubilus–no.
        Canis lupus baileyi–yes.

  13. jon says:

    AUGUST 23, 2013
    7 PM
    22869 Idaho 11, Weippe, ID:

    August 23, 2013

    Ron was born on a cattle ranch in central Idaho
    Ron was a founding member of the Idaho Anti- Wolf Coalition in February 2000 and became their chairman.
    The Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition did extensive research on why the Canadian Wolves cannot be managed in Idaho on any level. They also researched the serious kinds of diseases that the Canadian Wolves carry that can harm humans, pets, live stock and wild life.
    There is also, the dangers of mutilating, maiming, and killing of animals and humans by the Canadian Wolves. They are the most cruel and vicious predator in North America.
    The Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition has been a strong voice to educate Idaho politicians and general public about the misguided bungled Canadian Wolf dumped in Idaho in 1995 and 1996.

    John has 12 + years in the Anti-Wolf Coalition
    UP Concerned Sportsman of Idaho
    John worked with Senator Crapo on the Idaho Elk Corporation.
    Went before the House Resources Committee twice.
    Went before the Senate Resources Committee once and helped to get
    343 passed.
    John has been on both local and international radio shows.
    John is currently working on two documentaries.

    Anyone from Idaho going to go to see these two “wolf experts” speak? LOL This forum is made possible because of republicans in Idaho. Republicans and their war on women and wildlife sadly continues.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      This world has gone nuts. Just look at all the wars, killing, destroying that goes on in the name of humanity. I wish someday we would evolve as a species. These people have such backward views it is ridiculous, but extremely dangerous. 🙁

      Incidentally, as far as the ‘proximate cause’ of the Siddoway sheep deaths, I would think rancher foreseeability would come into play, somewhere in these repeat performances.

      • Nancy says:

        “Incidentally, as far as the ‘proximate cause’ of the Siddoway sheep deaths, I would think rancher foreseeability would come into play, somewhere in these repeat performances”

        Could not agree more with you Ida BUT….its a hell of a lot easier to blame it on something (anything) other than actual responsibility for your “product/livestock” especially when the government (taxpayers) continue to pick up the tab, year after year.

        Siddoway & Company is not a small ranching operation by any means, although you get a feeling that things have been alittle rough thru the years, as with any business:

        Definately a family steeped in tradition, but a family that you’d think by now, ought to be very familiar with WHERE they are putting/raising their “product” especially on public lands, given the concerns about endangered and threatened species, who are much more native and beneficial, to the landscape in question, then their sheep 🙂

  14. Louise Kane says:

    Immer and other MN residents take note:

    The start of the Minnesota State Fair is just a few days away and Howling For Wolves will be there. We need volunteers to fill remaining open shifts at our booth located in the Pet Center.

    The State Fair is our biggest event of the year and we need your help to make it a huge success. People seek out our booth at events and are eager to share their support with us. It’s more fun than work to volunteer at an event. More importantly, it’s the best opportunity most people have to raise awareness about wolves struggle.

    Minnesota State Fair: August 22-September 2, 2013

    Volunteer Shifts Available (daily)

    8-12 noon
    12–4 p.m
    4-8 p.m.
    Our biggest need is filling 4-8 p.m. shifts daily, but other shifts also remain open including some weekend shifts. Email us your preferences. We always pair each new volunteer with an experienced volunteer. No experience is necessary, just bring your passion for the wolves!

  15. Louise Kane says:

    first wild wolf in Kentucky in over 150 years kllled by trophy hunter. What a tragic end
    Trophy hunting is a terrible “sport”
    I felt so sick looking at that image

  16. CodyCoyote says:

    Amazing how much high value American news I am getting from the UK’s Guardian newspaper these days , on many topics.

    Today’s harvest is the interagency disagreement over the effects of the Keystone XL pipeline on wildlife.
    The Guardian is reporting that the Dept. of Interior is taking great umbrage with the US State Department’s finding that the Keystone XL pipeline will have only moderate effect on wildlife during construction , and little effect during operation. Interior’s office of Environmental protection and Compliance review of the DEIS for Keystone XL lists several potential permanent threats to wildlife, including “loss of habitat, habitat fragmentation, species displacement, barrier effect, etc”, and says that the DEIS’s conclusion that “permanent impacts are not expected” in terms of wildlife is not accurate.”

    Funny thing is, DoI and EPA were saying this to State back in April and we are just now finding out about it….from a British investigative newspaper.

    The US State Department has the final agency say in approving the project and can override Interior. President Obama must sign off before the pipeline can proceed.

  17. JB says:

    To my Republican friends: Please look at what your party is doing to the environment.

    “The administrator who oversees the state’s efforts to protect streams, lakes and wetlands from pollution says he will resign in September, after the governor asked him to step down over disputes with the coal industry.

    In an email sent to his staff yesterday and obtained by The Dispatch, George Elmaraghy, chief of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s division of surface water, wrote that the coal industry wants “permits that may have a negative impact on Ohio’s streams and wetlands and violate state and federal laws.

    “Now, due to this situation, the governor’s office and the director have asked me to resign my position.”

    • SaveBears says:


      The people in power are the ones we deserve, both parties directly react to the other, the current crop of hardcore republicans are the direct result of the efforts of the democrats over the last few decades and unfortunately, I don’t see it improving anytime soon. Our political system is symbiotic and without one your don’t have the other, it has been this way for a long time now.

  18. Louise Kane says:

    The latest report (covering the period March-June 2013) for the ongoing Michigan predator/prey study has been posted.

  19. jon says:

    Anyone interested in hunting district 2 where we hunt I just received township/range locations for every collared wolf from 08-2012 to 05-2013. We are currently waiting for the last three months, but you can start planning your hunt. Email us at for a copy

    The person who wrote this is the wolf hater from Montana that was seeking donations in order to help wolf hunters. This is troubling that wolf haters are going after collared wolves. By killing collared wolves, you make it much harder to keep track of the wolf population to see how many wolves there are.

    • Immer Treue says:

      This is why the International Wolf Center took down their telemetry data base.

  20. Guepardo Lento says:

    Wildlife Services(APHIS)administrator responds to criticism in NYT letter to the editor, attempting to justifying actions:

    • cobackcountry says:


      I have a bit on insight here. Do you disagree with use of lethal control? If so, at what point do you think management is devoid of usefulness?

      The National Wildlife Research Center under the header of APHIS is a scarcely heard of department tasked with finding viable solutions for human and wildlife conflicts, particularly with the ag sector. The amount of research and the magnitude if impact with a dwindling budget that the scientists and experts at the NWRC accomplish is astounding.

      Before anyone jumps to the defense f the animals that are handled lethally, they should figure out exactly the impact those animals have.

      Rushing to conclusions based on a few animals that spark public sympathy is unfair. The NWRC researches traps used to humanely capture invasive species which have horrific impacts on ecosystems and native species. They are finding treatments for vanishing species. They figure out how to keep over-populating species from “over” populating in an absolutely humane way (using vegetable oil to keep eggs for incubating-green, clean, effective). They find ways to actually restore natural areas to their true state. They are innovators in deterrents for species who get into trouble. At the end of the day, they are not miracle workers. would challenge anyone to find more effective ways to handle bad scenarios then this agency does. You would be hard pressed.

      I don’t see the agency as a government arm, I see the agency full of dedicated and self-sacrificing professionals who often devote their entire lives to wildlife. They don’t do their jobs hoping to kill animals, they are looking to save species I peril, and conserve species so that they don’t end up that way.

      People bash the wrong way. It is not the NWRC, or APHIS, who we should be fixing. It is the policies an the politics that govern how effective they can be, and those who determine what is most important (ie: do we kill crows so sunflowers are not damaged? How do we valuate resources and wildlife as opposed to agriculture and business).

      The editorial response was factually based.

    • Immer Treue says:


      With all due respect to Valerius Geist, there is nothing new here. All needs be said is wolves are large capable predators, the require respect. Can wolves attack people, sure. But in the same breath, where I live, how come it hasn’t become a smorgasbord for wolves. They weren’t hunted until this past year, and the population hovered near an average of 3,000 for the past ten years.using Geist’s logic, there should have been many wolf attacks on humans. None. The occasional dog, and in the west central portion of the state livestock problems.

      The hydatid problem. Interesting how the antis “cherry pick” what David Mech says/writes, but you never hear/see them quote his summation of this as, a “tempest in a teapot.”

      • Nancy says:

        🙂 🙂 🙂

      • JEFF E says:

        squirrels attack people.

        Valerius Geist: what is your point(leave out monetary compensation).

        • Peter Kiermeir says:

          There´s nothing new in that interview. Valerius, that unruly ghost (Geist = ghost) never gets tired to spread his thesis, that he developed long years ago and never bothered to update. They made him the icon of the anti-wolf movement and he feels happy with that role.

  21. JB says:

    As we approach the fall wolf season, it’s important to reflect on why we need to hunt wolves. In case you’d forgotten, here’s a reminder:

    Wyoming hunters experience record setting elk season with 46% success rate

    • JEFF E says:


      who would have thunk it.

      cant wait for the butt-ifs.

      • JEFF E says:

        man, the butt-ifs are strangely silent.
        wonder why.
        com on maine jelly fish; splain this to us.
        we need the edjumacation from useall.

        mayhap ur dumber brother AL-bert can enlightenus.

    • SEAK Mossback says:

      Not bad! I recall the published elk success rate in Wyoming being about 43% (and that was the highest of any state) in the early 70s, before most of the energy boom, drought, the wolves, the grizzly expansion, etc.

  22. Ida Lupine says:

    These are amazing – some of them could be paintings.

  23. JEFF E says:

    “VICTOR, Idaho — Cindy Siddoway’s family has raised sheep on the western slope of the Teton Mountains for more than 100 years.
    In that time, the Siddoway Ranch has dealt with a variety of predators, including grizzlies and black bears, secretive mountain lions, and more recently — wolves.
    (If they have been there that long they have had wolves—journalistic incompetence)
    Siddoway says it’s the reintroduction of wolves to the Tetons that has resulted in the largest mass sheep kill recorded in Idaho. The deaths happened early Friday morning.
    That’s when 176 of the family’s sheep — mostly lambs — died in a frightened mass on a notch in a rocky ridge line south of Victor, Idaho. The animals were grazing on public land in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
    (were grazing on public land)
    That is one thing the obscene grazing fees structure accounts for: losses by naturally occurring conditions on the landscape
    Officials with the USDA say most of the sheep suffocated, while others were trampled to death as they piled on each other while trying to escape the wolves. Less than 10 were bitten. Only one was partially consumed.
    Two gray wolves spotted by Peruvian shepherds the next day are the suspected culprits.
    “We’re putting out thousands of animals that are just sitting ducks,” Siddoway told KTVB, as she tallied up the wolf kills from the 2013 season.
    (again on public land at the lowest grazing fees ever)
    The numbers are startling for the Siddoways.
    With more than 19,000 sheep, the family’s livestock operation is big business. So far, they’ve had hundreds of sheep, several Great Pyrenees guard dogs, and even a horse killed by wolves in the last few months. (horseshit, cites? Piss poor journalism at its worst and that is being EXTREMELY charitable.)
    Each sheep is roughly valued at $200 a head, when it comes to USDA loss compensation. That means the Siddoways loss is on the scale of $35,000.
    (except: “If” they do not carry insurance then they are truly dumber than a box of rocks, AND, they will be able to claim an operating loss on this year’s taxes, and if their accountant is not able to recover 100%+ then they deserve everything they get just for being stupid.)
    For Cindy — whose husband is an Idaho senator and whose son manages the operation — the killings are a continued financial drain.

    “My husband and I have been fighting this whole issue our entire lives,” she told KTVB
    Todd Grimm is the director of Wildlife Services for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Boise. He’s charged with investigating wolf depredation in Idaho and documenting the findings.
    Grimm says the mass sheep kill isn’t anything he’s seen before.
    “I would consider this a freak incident,” Grimm said. “We have had some pile ups from time-to-time, and most of those are because of black bears, and even [mountain] lions” Grimm said.
    The reason: Grimm says wolves typically attack in packs, and tend to scatter sheep, not cause them to pile up and suffocate.
    Grimm says he’s absolutely confident that wolves were responsible for the Siddoway’s loss. His reasoning: “We had an eyewitness account — which is rare — we had evidence at the scene, tracks and scat, bite marks on the sheep.”
    “The big question is, how many did they actually bite?” Grimm told KTVB.
    Another big question: Will the Siddoway ranch get any compensation for the claims?
    Grimm says he’s not certain.
    No herders have been compensated for wolf losses through Idaho’s state-run distribution program in the last two years.
    Grimm says although money is made available through the Department of the Interior, it’s not always immediately distributed to the state, and has been lately delayed by the sequestration.”

  24. JEFF E says:

    wow, I missed a couple edit points, sorry I will clarify if needed.

  25. Louise Kane says:

    please say it isn’t so
    anyone seen anything on this

    • Jeff N. says:


      She was a member of the Bluestem pack. Pretty sad event. I had a chance to view this pack for three straight days last October.

      The good news regarding this pack is that they have produced at least 5 pups and they were alive at the end of July. When I saw this pack last year the alpha male had recently been shot, but apparently a “mystery” (previously unaccounted for) male wolf showed up, took over as alpha male, and bred with the widowed alpha female.

      That could explain why the male wolf that The recovery team released into the territory early this year never hooked up with the alpha female; she already had a new mate.

      I guess the take away could be that, although the death of this yearling female is very unfortunate, over the years the Bluestem alpha female is a very good breeder and there are certainly more “unaccounted for” wolves on the landscape, how many, who knows.

      • Jeff N. says:

        Meant to say “over the years the Bluestem alpha female has proven to be a very good breeder”

  26. Louise Kane says:
    Wisconsin, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana the heartless wolf slaughter states

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Treves says there is a high likelihood that by April 2015, the wolf hunt will have to be closed due to such a steep decline in the wolf population. That decline may result in the gray wolf being re-listed in Wisconsin as a threatened and endangered species by 2016.

      He also warns that there’s real risk that the wolf population could be driven so low that it cannot recover, and the federal government would “have to step in, again, under emergency re-listing rules of The Endangered Species Act.”

      Delisting must be the stupidest move ever for the environment and wildlife by an Administration, and so sadly predictable an outcome. Idiots.

    • rork says:

      The statement seems to be this:
      “Treves predicts Wisconsin’s wolf hunts, at their current levels, are not sustainable.”
      The important and terribly fuzzy phrase being “at their current levels”, which are levels designed to decrease the wolf population.
      If it means killing 250 per year can’t go on forever (unless wolf range and population somehow get larger), everybody knows that. It ignores the possibility that adjustments will be made. That’s not a realistic model.
      Lupine’s certainty of her low-probability predictions is tiresome. Taking bets yet?

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Don’t count your chickens yet.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        You’re very optimistic Rork, as well as tired it appears. I don’t think everybody knows anything about what will happen, or if adjustments will be made. As we know, it isn’t the scientists that are calling the shots.

        The only adjustments I can see out West are upwards, although Minnesota has cut back hunting. I don’t think we can control things as much as we’d like to think.

    • WM says:

      Good interview of Dr. Treves. He fails to mention that WI receives (and historically received) all of its wolves as a result of in-migration from neighboring state MN. So, as long as MN has a 3,000+ population, there is a continuing source of in-migration (eventually maybe some of the pup crop that some here believe is produced every year will go east to WI). He also fails to account for the fact that harvest prescriptions can be altered very quickly. If 250 wolves is too large a take-off for the coming WI season, that number could be reduced, or harvest stopped the following season and years thereafter. Nobody is going to relist WGL wolves anytime soon.

      Maybe Ma’ has some thoughts on my statement above.

      The elephant in the room, is the “significant portion of historic range” argument which harkens back to the ESA statutory language. The term was never defined in the statute, and has been a cause for much speculation with a United States with a population of 200M people in the early 1970’s. Now we have over 300M (that’s a 50% increase), using more land and resources, and lots more access to wildlands or would be rural area wolf habitat with increased road densities and state/federal hiway systems. I would submit that if wolf advocates or advocate scientists want to fall back on that cornerstone of the act – significant portion of historic range- there is a better than 50-50% chance the language will be changed, and it won’t be for the better, because there is a lot of tension with that provision. What year does one use to establish the baseline for “historic range?” Is it when the first Europeans stepped off the boat on the Eastern Seaboard, because if it is, maybe they need some wolves in the “historic range”, along with some on the Western Seaboard – of course all those places along both coasts have lots of people now, and little habitat. I would also submit “significant portion of range” is not so much a scientific provision of the act as it tends to be a political one (but advocates are trying to make it one) since the core concept at least as administered by FWS and NMF seems to rally around “threat of extinction” of a species. We have seen that does not seem to be a problem for wolves, though the ecosystems upon which they rely is – but it has been shown wolves can live most anywhere because they adapt well, except for the conflicts with humans and their tempting activities where co-habitation is attempted.

      Maybe JB will weigh in on my thoughts/predictions, as he is a co-author of recent work referenced in the Treves interview.

      • JB says:

        These are good points, WM–and they deserve more of a response than I have time for at the moment. Indeed, the SPR language is at the core of our critique of the proposed rule (note: this is a critique of the 2013 rule, which doesn’t have much to do with the Wisconsin situation).

        Re: Historic range – There is a long and ongoing debate regarding what makes the most sense for interpreting this phrase. TO your points: (1) One doesn’t use a particular year as a baseline, because range naturally fluctuates over time; in any case, defining historic range in pre-Columbian terms helps capture the range that has been lost due to the presence of people. (2) To my knowledge, every conservation scientist who has weighed in on the issue explicitly recognizes that some parts of species’ historic range will be unsuitable, the manuscript the piece alludes to makes note of this and argues for defining SPR relative to range that is currently or could plausibly be made suitable. (3) Actually, it is the FWS that is trying to make SPR a “scientific” concept (see their recent policy). In an odd sort of reversal, the scientists who have weighed in recognize that this is ambiguous legal language, they’re just looking for a straightforward rule that can be consistently applied, and conforms with the legislative intent and purpose of the ESA (i.e., to mitigate the threats to threatened and endangered species).

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Now we have over 300M (that’s a 50% increase), using more land and resources, and lots more access to wildlands or would be rural area wolf habitat with increased road densities and state/federal hiway systems.

        Nobody seriously expects wolves to occupy their former range, or even most of their former range today. This is a weak, smokescreen of an attempt to muddy the fact that their is still plenty of range that they could occupy, such as the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and Northern Maine. JB is a lot kinder than me; I don’t take this excuse seriously.

      • ma'iingan says:

        He fails to mention that WI receives (and historically received) all of its wolves as a result of in-migration from neighboring state MN.

        Well… we lose wolves to the bordering states, as well. Dispersing wolves choose random directions, so the net effect is probably negligible.

        Wisconsin has a very short land border with MN, so there’s no superhighway for immigration/emigration – especially since any dispersers have to run the gauntlet of some very high wolf density along that border.

        Any sourcing/sinking in the WGL has been absent for some time – densities in occupied wolf habitat are fairly uniform

        • WM says:


          My speculation was made in the context of a reduction of wolves in WI as large as was suggested by Dr. Treves. Would that not make it more likely more wolves would move to what now might be less densely occupied WI, over time. The point was there are still lots of source wolves from MN to fill any void created in MN, acknowledging that wolves can and do in and out migrate.

          More importantly, what is your take on Dr. Treves statements?

          • JB says:

            Minnesota is currently having its own worries about wolves. After last year’s harvest dropped the pop. estimate 24% they decided to halve the harvest this year. Ma’s point is a good one. Minnesota is shielded (in part) from overharvest by having a long border with Canada (along with “robust” pops to the north). Wisconsin and Michigan are both relatively isolated from other wolf populations by the Great Lakes–meaning they need to be a bit more careful with their policy.

          • Immer Treue says:



            Map in this article show wolf populations in MN, WI, and MI. WI and the UP of MI have a much larger common border with less human activity, than the MN/WI border. I would think that more flow will occur between WI and MI.

            Scroll down to map.

            • JB says:

              Thanks, Immer. I ran into this article this morning and it seems relevant–at least for those asking why we’re seeking to reduce the wolf population:

              Too Many Deer: A Bigger Threat to Eastern Forests than Climate Change? – See more at:


              “No native vertebrate species in the eastern United States has a more direct effect on habitat integrity than the white-tailed deer. There are no hard numbers, but in many states deer populations continue to rise well beyond historical norms. In many areas of the country deer have changed the composition and structure of forests by preferentially feeding on select plant species.
              In northern Minnesota, TNC staff demonstrated that decades of overbrowsing led to recruitment failure for many tree species, a shift in subcanopy and canopy dominance towards non-preferred white spruce, and significantly lower forest productivity (White 2012). In New York, TNC scientists report that one-third of New York’s forests are currently compromised as a result of excessive herbivory (see New York Forest Regeneration Study).”

          • ma'iingan says:

            “More importantly, what is your take on Dr. Treves statements?”

            A perennial harvest of 250 wolves from the Wisconsin landscape is certainly not sustainable, however WDNR adjusts quotas annually for most game and furbearer species – so I think we will see continuing annual adjustments to maintain gradual downward pressure on the wolf population. The 2012 take of 117 animals by hunting and an additional 75 by lethal control actions seemed to have stabilized the population but did not reduce it.

            The latest models show a risk of extirpation in WI only if the surrounding states also harvest wolves at an annual rate of 30% or greater – which appears unlikely.

            There is an effort underway to revise the WI Wolf Management Plan for 2014, and the scientists will be suggesting that the management target be raised from its current level of 350 animals. I don’t know where it might end up, but 350 is obviously under 1/2 of carrying capacity.

            Those of you who understand density dependence know that managing a population at less than 1/2 carrying capacity results in a great deal of instability – and requires micro-management ($$$) to prevent a downward spiral.

            The higher harvest quota of 251 animals (up from 117 in 2012) for the 2013 season will be somewhat offset by significantly lower mortality from lethal control actions.

            There were 75 wolves killed by agents or landowners last year for depredation control – many of those were the result of “pent up demand” where producers had been dealing with depredation for years, with no lethal treatment possible while wolves were still on the ESL. As a result of these control actions, depredation has been greatly reduced so far in 2013.

            Dr. Treves and his students have done a lot of good work on modeling depredation risk, and his suggestions have been to direct control actions to those areas, and leave the rest of the wolf population alone.

            The significant drop in depredation this summer, and the emerging science showing that wolves are a negligible factor in white-tailed deer mortality are serving to bolster his argument.

            • Louise Kane says:

              why allow a public hunt to “control” depredations when surgical removal of offending animals better addresses these complaints? Its BS

              of course I think killing wild predators in response to the negligible number of livestock depredations is unwarranted in many instances and could be corrected with better husbandry, and non lethal options.

              • ma'iingan says:

                “why allow a public hunt to “control” depredations when surgical removal of offending animals better addresses these complaints?”

                And who is going to provide that “surgical removal”? Apparently it won’t be Wildlife Services – this was part of your comment re WS on August 9th –

                “get rid of that inhumane, wildlife killing machine”


              • Louise Kane says:

                I’d be willing to bet that with the budgets they pay to wildlife services an independent contractor could be paid. I stand by that comment wildlife services needs to go. They are out of control, they are deliberately abuse their discretion, the agency seems to attract some real sadists, and they have become very adept at spin and hiding their actions from the public.


                “Since 2000, its employees have killed nearly a million coyotes, mostly in the West. They have destroyed millions of birds, from nonnative starlings to migratory shorebirds, along with a colorful menagerie of more than 300 other species, including black bears, beavers, porcupines, river otters, mountain lions and wolves.

                And in most cases, they have officially revealed little or no detail about where the creatures were killed, or why. But a Bee investigation has found the agency’s practices to be indiscriminate, at odds with science, inhumane and sometimes illegal.

                The Bee’s findings include:

                • With steel traps, wire snares and poison, agency employees have accidentally killed more than 50,000 animals since 2000 that were not problems, including federally protected golden and bald eagles; more than 1,100 dogs, including family pets; and several species considered rare or imperiled by wildlife biologists.
                • Since 1987, at least 18 employees and several members of the public have been exposed to cyanide when they triggered spring-loaded cartridges laced with poison meant to kill coyotes. They survived – but 10 people have died and many others have been injured in crashes during agency aerial gunning operations since 1979.

                • A growing body of science has found the agency’s war against predators, waged to protect livestock and big game, is altering ecosystems in ways that diminish biodiversity, degrade habitat and invite disease.

                Sometimes wild animals must be destroyed – from bears that ransack mountain cabins to geese swirling over an airport runway. But because lethal control stirs strong emotions, Wildlife Services prefers to operate in the shadows.

                “We pride ourselves on our ability to go in and get the job done quietly without many people knowing about it,” said Dennis Orthmeyer, acting state director of Wildlife Services in California.

                Basic facts are tightly guarded. “This information is Not intended for indiscriminate distribution!!!” wrote one Wildlife Services manager in an email to a municipal worker in Elk Grove about the number of beavers killed there.”

                this agency killed nearly one million coyotes, living animals who are shy,elusive and have adapted their lifestyles to become mainly nocturnal to avoid humans. they also killed hundreds of thousands of other animals. This surely must be something we can agree on? that this agency needs to go. There is a reason they hide their activites….

              • ma'iingan says:

                “There is a reason they hide their activites….”

                I know, right? Wildlife Service “activites” are sure hard to find.


                Maybe you can find a private contractor with the skill set to “surgically remove” a depredating wolf pack? Check your local Yellow Pages and let me know what you come up with.

              • Louise Kane says:

                what exactly is your point about wildlife services, is it that they are necessary, justified, doing a public good.
                I don’t agree with you

              • JB says:


                I *think* the point is that you cannot logically call for the use of ‘surgical removal’ and elimination of the only entity that provides such removal.

                A few points for consideration…

                (1)Wildlife Services is much greater than its predator control program. One of my colleagues, who works for the NWRC, spends most of his time attempting to control the spread zoonotic diseases. This is but one example–the agency as a whole provides many valuable services. I suggest folks who want to criticize focus on the program not the agency.

                (2)The agency generally works with landowners, who control what can be done on their property. If the landowner wants to try non-lethal, the agency will do that.

                (3)The law of unintended consequences. Ask yourself what would happen if you got your wish and WS’s (or the predator control program) were eliminated. Are wolves, coyotes, etc., still going to be killed? You bet. Will the people who do the killing be professional about it? Some will, but you can damn well bet there will be much more variance in professionalism and this will have consequences of its own (e.g., more non-target captures/kills).

                And who will do the killing? It will depend upon what laws states enact in lieu of federal oversight. Some will simply pawn off these activities to private contractors, others will set up state-based versions of WS. Will the rules and regulations that govern how animals are removed be as strict at the state level? Not in Wyoming, Idaho or Utah.

                Getting rid of the federal agency would also mean lack of federal oversight. No FOIA. No publication of statistics. No standardized BMPs.

                Better the devil you know…

              • ma'iingan says:

                “what exactly is your point about wildlife services, is it that they are necessary, justified, doing a public good.”

                You picked up on that, huh?

                “I don’t agree with you”

                Yeah, I figured that out. But the major point is that you know virtually nothing about Wildlife Services. And you don’t want to know – you get stuck on “kill” and then the blinders are on.

                Who do you think does all the R&D on non-lethal deterrents? Your mythical private contractor?

                And forget about wolves – you got a private contractor who can administer oral rabies vaccine on a landscape scale? How about dealing with 1/4 million starlings at a grain storage facility? Or maybe you can find private contractors to work on Endangered Species preservation. I’m sure there are some real experts available –


  27. Jeff N. says:

    Sadly the future doesn’t look too bright for these pups. They are being food conditioned.

    Immer…..are you aware of this situation? I believe this is in your neck of the woods.

    • Immer Treue says:


      As the crow flies, I’m ~ 60 miles North. Not good for the wolves at all. From a behavioral/adaptive point of view, this is probably how the domestication process began over 10,000 years ago. The wolves adapted to and adopted man.

  28. MAD says:

    was reading in the print version of the Great Falls Tribune, it’s not in the online version, that the 74 head of genetically pure bison on the Fort Peck reservation were rounded up to be tested for brucellosis. If they’re ok, 35 will be transferred to Fort Belnap.

    had to give a shout out to my north-eastern Montana peeps for keeping the faith for 5 years

  29. MAD says:

    forgive me, Fort Belknap

    • JB says:

      Interesting. Our German Shepherd only ever howls when we leave her with other people (away from home). We left at 5:00AM recently for a flight and she started howling 5 minutes after we left. It’s nice to feel loved. 🙂

      • JEFF E says:

        my domestic only howls. never barks in the 3+ years that I have had this one. My pervious domestic of 13yr also never barked, or my two domestics of 25+yrs before that.

        I do have two schipperkes that now howl in concert with the big guy; kind of a roots thing I guess; but pretty pitiful in the rendition.

        My daughter had to have a rabbit, and said rabbit watches the “concert” with rapt attention. I told her if the goddamn rabbit starts to howl they are all going to the pound.

    • Ida Lupine says:


    • Louise Kane says:

      the wolves have much to howl about now as their family members are ruthlessly slaughtered.

      • WM says:


        And the sad irony is that the more wolves there are in more places, the more will get into trouble or otherwise require “management” of their numbers. So, there will be more wolves having “much to howl about as their family members are ruthlessly slaughtered.”

        So, reaching the conclusion of this logic syllogism (with the following unstated premise or enthymeme) – wolf advocates are responsible for more wolves in more places.

        Therefore, wolf advocates are responsible for more wolves having more to “howl about now as their family members are ruthlessly slaughtered.”

        Kind of ironic, don’t you think?

        And, by the way as one who supports more wolves in more place (but not at high density), I would be among those who are responsible, as well.

        • Louise Kane says:

          WM I don’t agree with your statements or their conclusions. as has been discussed before, if wolves had not been reintroduced they would have recolonized through migration. albeit more slowly. I also do not buy into the idea that just because wolves are present that more will get into trouble. In fact, MN was a good example of a stable population of wolves that were creating relatively few problems for humans. I also strongly believe that the idea of wildlife as “problems” or that they get into trouble is a reflection of how people are conditioned to treating wildlife and predators and that this is the problem, not the wildlife or wolves. Often predators are perceived as problems because of the potential for a threat to humans or their livestock. This perception is validated because humans have been accustomed to being allowed to remove aka kill snakes, bugs, predators or basically anything that might possibly present a threat real or perceived or cause injury to us or our property, now or in the future.

          Our legislators and federal and state agencies develop, use and apply anti predator laws as insurance for ranchers,sports hunters, the agriculture and livestock industries. In doing so they legitimize killing wildlife in the eyes of the general public and have conditioned humans to believe that we can not coexist with wildlife or predators, without management . this is patently untrue.

          These laws, whether its good for the species, for the environment, or for our long term health as a planet, are the problem. People stock raid, mouse poison , traps, and all kinds of toxic bee and wasp sprays so whenever they see something they think has the potential to cause harm they kill it. They call the wildlife services ib their towns thinking that removing wildlife means relocating them. Its all legal, sanitized and entrenched in our culture. Its all wrong.

          Humans need to be conditioned to take some risk to coexist with other species and to see killing as a first response as the abhorrent activity it is. I understand that is hard but its necessary.

          In any event, I don’t buy into any of the hypothesis that starts with, the more wolves there are in more places the more will get into trouble and require “management”. or that wolf advocates cause the increase in numbers and are thus partly and sadly responsible.
          perhaps wolf advocates are responsible, in the short term for areas that are home to more wolves, but wolves would have recolonized if they remained under ESA protections…in any event, this is not the reason that wolves now have more to howl about. Wolves have more to howl about because the laws do not protect them adequately and because people cling to destructive policies that enable them to kill wild things during even the most benign encounters. The third and unspoken line of reasoning that would make this an enthymeme is that because humans are so ignorant and do not use good discretion, laws need to change.

          • Rancher Bob says:

            “In any event, I don’t buy into any of the hypothesis that starts with, the more wolves there are in more places the more will get into trouble and require “management”. or that wolf advocates cause the increase in numbers and are thus partly and sadly responsible.” Maybe Louise you should look at annual wolf reports for Montana and Idaho before hunting of wolves in 2009. You would see a close relationship between wolf populations and livestock killed by wolves. Sure you can bury your head in the sand but the relationship is there even if you don’t want to believe.
            You like to bring up Minnesota so what has been the largest cause of death to wolves in that state in the past? I would say you and people like you because wolves kill more wolves in Minnesota than any other cause of death. You approve of wolves fighting to the death. You approve of a population level of wolves, where they must constantly do battle with other wolves. Wolf advocates are the biggest reason wolves howl for lost wolves in Minnesota. Do the math.

  30. Ida Lupine says:

    A little ironic humor:

    Be Careful What We Wish For

  31. Louise Kane says:
    wolves howl differently in response to the absence of different pack members

  32. Ida Lupine says:

    I think a glaring question is: if you have either hunting to ‘manage’ populations and thereby keep depredations down (or at least that’s what they tell us), or wildlife services to do it, why do we need both?

  33. Immer Treue says:

    Wolves killing beagles or someone dumping beagles. Casperson speaks and then some information appears.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Ha! Interesting that it is happening in the UP, the location of a contested upcoming hunt.

      • Immer Treue says:


        It really read as if the individual was dumping his dogs. Even if not, the experiences I have had with beagle users, is they just let the beagles run. Beagles Running through the woods of wolf country is just plain fn stooooooooooooooopid.

        • jon says:

          “I continue to hear of more about the very real danger that wolves present, including incidents of wolves killing pets, wildlife and livestock,” Casperson said.”

          Wolves killing wildlife is considered a real danger? That’s absurd. A wolf hunting season solves nothing. You are not targeting the wolves that are causing problems. It’s an open season on any wolves that aren’t causing problems to begin with. I suspect if this wolf hunt does happen in MI this year, it will most likely be the last one. I do feel bad for the beagles and I am sure many pro-wolf advocates never like to hear when dogs are killed by wild animals like wolves.

          • Rancher Bob says:

            “Wolves killing wildlife is considered a real danger? That’s absurd.”
            How about wolves killing wolverines or fisher or lynx or any endangered wildlife because that’s what wolves do right jon. Why worry about natures impact on nature?

            • Immer Treue says:


              You are correct that wolves will kill other wildlife, yet, I think we can safely assume that Casperson was not referring to fishers and wolverines(a risky proposition that) but deer.

              The GL states are infested with deer. The deer population needs to go down. Got nothing to do with anti hunting, but in regard to traffic accidents and impact on forests and agriculture, the deer is prolific. A small portion of the human population will bitch, if wolves effectively bring deer populations down to sane levels. Casperson was doing nothing more than pandering to those shoo will “whine” about fewer deer.

              • Robert R says:

                Immer I always factor in one more part of the puzzle.
                It’s no different where I live. The ungulate population cannot be hunted if it can’t be accessed because of private land or land locked public land. The other part is outfitters or hunting groups tying up large tracks of private land. This allows for only a limited number of animals killed. In both cases predators are not tolerated because they don’t make money.

              • Rancher Bob says:

                I understand the predator/prey relationship and how some use change as a reason for fear, both sides have a habit of doing so. Just saw a opening to bring up a point not discussed here.
                I should start shipping you mountain lions just so you have different predator tools maybe a few grizzlies just for a total wildlife thrill package.

              • Immer Treue says:

                Rancher Bob,

                There have been sitings of lions in this neck of the woods, rare, but a few. Don’t know how grizzly would do here, even if accepted by people. Off the top of my head, I don’t even know if this area was ever, at least since Columbus, grizzly habitat. 🙂

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Yes, especially since one ‘owner’ didn’t want his dog back when it was found, malnourished. Really bad.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            I have been told that some less-than-ethical hunters abandon their hunting dogs if they aren’t up to the task.

            • Elk275 says:

              Do not believe everything you are told or read Ida. Hunters love they dogs more than most other pet owners.

  34. Ida Lupine says:

    I’m sure there are some hunters who love their dogs, but far from all. I’m certainly going to take the word of my veterinarian and other, more ethical hunters and dog owners. There’s a very ugly side to pet ownership. I live in a rural area where there are farms and hunters, and some people who want to get rid of inconvenient wildlife. Hint: It’s not the farmers or the hunters.

  35. aves says:

    The NRA recently labeled those working to conserve California condors as “enemies” of gun rights, hunting, god, America, apple pie, etc. They believe, perhaps correctly, that ignoring science and scaring people will create more donations and obedience to their every word.

    Here is a classy, informative response by the director of the Ventana Wildlife Society:

  36. Elk275 says:

    Here is article that I picked up on another forum:


    • rork says:

      link broken perhaps.
      16 year old boy attacked by wolf near Lake Winnibigoshish, MI.
      Forcasts that such problems means we can’t live with wolves are common near me. I do not agree.

      • rork says:

        Crap, MN not MI.

      • Peter Kiermeir says:

        From a different article:
        “The wolf that was killed Monday had a deformed jaw. The top and bottom were out of alignment, and it was missing a canine tooth, Provost said, meaning the animal likely had learned to survive by hanging around campgrounds”
        “It was trapped in an area where it was likely habituated to humans and had the ability to grab easy food,” he said. “That’s not normal behavior.” “In fact, other campers reported that the wolf was behaving in an entirely unwolf-like way”.

      • Immer Treue says:

        Similar to an event or two that happened, I believe in Algonquin Provincial Park in Canada. Wolf grabbed a sleeping bag, and started yanking it out of tent. I think the boy in the bag received puncture wounds to his head.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          “Apparently”, “I believe”, “allegedly” etc. These terms would imply that there is doubt. For scientists, some seem to quick take anecdote and hearsay as proof. That said, there will be sometimes be conflicts with wildlife when people go out into wild areas. But reading Rork’s comment, that to many in his or her neck of the woods, this incident means ‘we can’t live with wolves’ puts the whole thing into doubt. Lies and deception: it’s what separates man from beast!

          • Immer Treue says:


            Just a matter of time before something like this happened. Doesn’t change anything. Lets see how food habituated this wolf was, and what type of injuries led to jaw malformation. No excuses, a wolf did this, and it will most likely happen again. Still does not change anything.

            • Elk275 says:

              They killed a habituated wolf in Gardiner the other day. I have an approintment but it article is in both the Billings Gazette and Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              Yes, about 250 years. Well, whose fault is the habituation of our wildlife? You’re right, nothing does change. Let’s see what the result of the ‘investigation’ is.

            • rork says:

              People are bad at weighing risks. I use stuff like this: In MI deer martyrs cause about 50000 (reported) accidents, >100 million dollars costs, and 8 human deaths per year (minimum – folks hit trees allot for unknown reasons).

              • JB says:


                If you have some time on your hands, read the dialogue in the link below. I’ve made similar arguments (regarding risk) with the anti-wolf crowd.


              • Immer Treue says:


                I’ve read that exchange in the past and it was great how you handled it. One of the two, not Fanning, has been a frequent advocate for the use of poison on wolves.

                I’ve had exchanges with others, as well as ma’iingan in regard to the number of deer/auto collisions in Wisconsin since wolves have been on the road to recovery in that state. The last data I had was deer/auto collisions were down, not just in more populated Areas where teams wer sent in to cull deer populations, but consistently through rural counties.

              • JB says:

                Thanks, Immer. I found it to be an instructive (though not constructive) exchange.

              • rork says:

                Thanks JB. Your troll’s Godwining about Aldo Leopold was astonishing. The kernal of troll’s ideas however, that wolves bring no benefits, is so much harder to dispel. If we aren’t all dead yet, that proves our actions sustainable I guess (for another year or two anyway).

  37. Ida Lupine says:

    What Could Be the First Ever Documented Attack By A Wolf in the Lower 48

    Color me skeptical, but right before hunting season too. Who’d have thunk it.

      • save bears says:

        Well thee wounds they showed on the news were real

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I wonder if it was a dog? We’ll see. I’ll stand corrected if it was a wolf. But it sounds like a campfire tale until then.

          • save bears says:

            Ida, I would hate to live such a pesimistc and cynical life!

            • Harley says:

              If it proves to be a wolf to Ida’s satisfaction, I’m sure there will be something the kid did to make the wolf bite him because it sure as hell can’t be that a wolf would do something like this. That’s the case with every single wolf bite/attack I’ve seen discussed. Heck, the kid shouldn’t have even been there, right? After all, it’s the wolf’s territory.

              Man, I’m in a foul mood today, this shoved it over the edge.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Not true. It’s just that wolves have been getting unfair treatment for years – so a little skepticism isn’t out of the question? I don’t expect there to not be legitimate wildlife conflicts, but some have been exaggerated or outright falsehoods. We’re supposedly the smart ones, so if there was something the kid did that he shouldn’t have done – or maybe something someone else has done, to make wolves less afraid of humans, perhaps it can be a learning we can learn from it.

                I know I must be out of line to even suggest such heresy, that a kid or adult especially might have been irresponsible – but I’m sure any hurt feelings will recover. Dead wolves will not.

              • Barb Rupers says:

                From reports I read the wolf had an injured jaw, a broken canine, and no pack. Apparently he had been hanging around humans for some time – possibly getting food.

                There is no need to blame the person or the wolf for the incident.

              • SaveBears says:

                Just one other little tidbit, I personally know of two fatal grizzly attacks, that the other campers in the campground slept through it and never reported or knew anything until the next morning when they were woke up by investigating officers.

              • Immer Treue says:

                Wolf human incidents in Algonquin Provincial Park, one very similar to the MN “attack”.


            • Ida Lupine says:

              You’ve got me all wrong, SB. I’m very optimistic and hopeful – but I don’t hold any illusions about human nature, either.

              • Harley says:

                On human nature we can agree but I’m willing to bet we won’t agree on specifics.

              • Harley says:

                Sorry, I should really avoid the internet and blogs when I’m in such a pissy mood!

              • SaveBears says:

                Yes you should Harley, and Ida, I don’t believe you, I have read to many of your negative messages to believe you are an optimistic person, sorry.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                SB, I am not a fool. You only read my comments about wildlife – that’s probably about 1/100th of my personality.

                I said that if I am wrong, I would be the first to admit it about this incident. But I take nothing at face value, ever.

              • SaveBears says:

                To add Ida, I have seen the worst of human nature, and am always hopeful, I hope I never loose my ability to believe in humans and believe me I have seen reasons to write the human off!

              • SaveBears says:

                Ida, what else would I base my opinion on? It is not like we have hung out and had beers together, I have one thing to base my opinion on, right?

              • SaveBears says:

                Ida, what I really find revealing, is your are not willing to wait, until the whole story comes out, before you offer an opinion. You have already offered, it was a dog, it was right before hunting season? Come on, you are better that this.

              • SaveBears says:

                Ida, you say, you will be the first to admit it, if you are wrong, but what is so bad, is your are the first to condemn it, with very little information.. We need to let all of the facts come out to see what really happened, the news report I watched this morning on CBS was pretty graphic and pretty believable.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                SB, I know you have probably seen the worst and it’s good that you are still hopeful.

                In my way, I am too – but my patience for this matter was gone a long time ago. I cannot believe that we have to protect wolves from extinction for the second time. I do get cynical when I hear one story after the other that is most likely false, and the backroom deals made to get rid of them, and the general apathy and willingness to believe anything they are told by the general public. You’d think we’d have learned what to expect from our leaders by now.

                I agree with you – we need to wait and see for this one.

              • SaveBears says:

                Ida, the key is, they are not in jeopardy of going extinct again, you might not consider their population to be safe, but they are doing quite well and despite hunting them, outside of Yellowstone, their numbers are increasing, they are getting harder to find, which is a good thing if you are in favor of them. We will never know how many are in the lower 48 and the key is, no will anyone else. All of the learned people in the world, will never rally know how many wolves are out there and they will never learn how to get rid of all of the wolves out there.

              • SaveBears says:

                Also as far as our leaders! That is a joke and it is going to take a long time for things to change, why do you think so many in this country are say to hell with Washington?

              • Ida Lupine says:

                I need to make something clear. It isn’t the kid I’m blaming, but the follow up of using it as justification for eliminating wolves that is surely going to follow. That’s what I’ve got the problem with. I don’t know how it has been turned into ‘picking on the poor kid’. Typical.

                The story is a bit outlandish, you’ve got to admit.

              • SaveBears says:


                No, after working with wildlife for over 20 years, I don’t consider it outlandish and I have not yet, seen anything about how wolves need to be eliminated.

                See that is the problem, you think you can predict the future, nothing else has come out, other than a wolf attacked a kid in a campground and the wolf was habituated to humans, because of a deformed jaw.

                I have heard nothing about getting rid of all wolves, I have not heard anything about vigilantes out roaming the woods to kill wolves.

                As I said, you have turn to the cynical and pessimistic side of life, what has really happened to you to have you do this? I really am not cynical, I am disenchanted with our government, but that is only after working for them for so many years. You on the other hand are basing your statements on things that have not even happened yet! Come on…..

              • SaveBears says:

                By the way, who said you or anyone else was picking on the poor kid? I think we are talking about different information Ida?

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Well, Harley said that ‘if I receive and answer to my satisfaction, then it will probably be something the kid did….’ She’s always quick to post alleged wolf attacks, and seems upset that someone would have the audacity to question these reports. The fact remains that there have been no documented attacks on humans in the lower 48, despite having much more wolves.

                All I was basing my opinions on was the non-committal tone of the news reports. I should think an answer to somebody’s satisfaction would be in order. I find it a little difficult to believe that fellow campers slept through it, and that the kid’s father’s answer was ‘call 911’. Maybe it’s just poor reporting. There are more dogs than wolves running around unleashed at campgrounds, and a lot of them do bite.

                Nothing has happened to make me a cynic (I consider myself a realist), it’s not always about me – other than disappointment in our leadership, especially today. I have eyes to see and a functioning brain, and I read history. Why does everyone think something has to ‘happen’ to make somebody a certain way? Maybe they are born that way and the world really does suck?

                I have to say that I appreciate JB’s comment about Wildlife Services and the good they do – I was glad to read about the wildlife vaccines for rabies. They just need to stop organizing personal dogfights with the taxpayers’ money. I’d be fine with having a ‘new and improved’ wildlife services, but again, do we need both hunting and wildlife services to stop depredation of livestock?

              • SaveBears says:

                Well Ida,

                I guess this conversation it about ended, you have your views, I have mine, I still have hope and at most every report express this, you on the other hand….

                Have a great night.

              • SaveBears says:

                opps, this should have been a reply to this part of the conversation!

                Just one other little tidbit, I personally know of two fatal grizzly attacks, that the other campers in the campground slept through it and never reported or knew anything until the next morning when they were woke up by investigating officers.

              • WM says:

                It is not inconceivable that this kid was attacked by a hungry (and maybe genetically challenged, injured or rapid) wolf.

                Hunger can be a great motivator of wildlife doing things they might not otherwise do.

                If wolves attack humans in other countries why not here, under the right circumstances? It isn’t all folk lore, but probably is exaggerated to some degree, even in art – or maybe not.


              • WM says:

                Sorry, “rabid”

              • WM says:

                Or, a more matter of fact report involving rabid wolves killing and dogs in AK because they are an easy meal:


                Wolf advocates who deny the possibility of this potential behavior are as ignorant as people who once thought the world was flat.

              • Harley says:

                Ida, my apologies but in my experience, every time I’ve seen a report of a wolf attack, there is always a backlash of how the person involved should have been doing something different and it’s all their fault and not the fault of the animal. Example, the woman killed in Alaska. Many here were quick to jump on the fact that she shouldn’t have been jogging or shouldn’t have worn her headphones. In all fairness this was some good advice, but the topic was turned away from the fact there was a wolf attack that resulted in a woman dying. People who defend wolves in such a rabid way only hurt their cause because they are turning it into a blame game and it makes them appear to only have concern for the animal and not the person that was injured.

                As far as posting attacks, most of the things I’ve posted have been coyote more than wolf. I keep hearing how ‘rare’ these sorts of things are but they keep happening and at a rate that is starting to make them not so rare.

              • Harley says:

                And yes, I know, as human’s we’re supposed to ‘know better’ and ‘act better’ but things happen, accidents happen and when there is more compassion and understanding for the animal rather than the person, sometimes it just hard to swallow. I don’t hate the wolf that killed that woman. I don’t think they all need to be annihilated because of that incident. I guess I just find it wrong, in my humble opinion, to focus more on the animal than what happened to the person.

              • Harley says:

                Another thought that just occurred to me is that this is kinda like blaming a victim of a rape instead of the rapist. I have heard of some studies and trains of thought that say some people are just wired that way. If they are wired that way, unless they get some therapy, they are just doing what they are wired to do, right? Or maybe I’m making a stretch here. I dunno, it was just a passing thought.

  38. Rita k Sharpe says:

    Far be it, from me, being an authority on animal behavior, but the wolf seemed to have had serve enough wounds that it was it wasn’t able to hunt. It wasn’t with a pack so maybe, and I do mean maybe, it was chased of by fellow pack members. The bottom line, he got himself in trouble and stayed to close to camps for easy access to food. Either way, both extremes, might have a field day with this, if they let it. If a bear did this, it would have resulted in the same ending.

  39. Matthew Durrant says:

    More bull from Utah:

    The Governor just asked them to reconsider:

    Only when SFW (same group that got the phony $300,000 for the Utah wolf “study”)and RMEF get upset does anyone listen, mostly because they’re the ones that have bought and paid for our current legislature.

  40. Ida Lupine says:

    You have a great night too, SB. Goodnight!

  41. Ida Lupine says:

    All I can say is that there’s a petition drive to have Minnesota’s upcoming wolf hunt cancelled. And then lo and behold – we have an attack on a teenager. The first in the state’s history. I’m not the only one who thinks it is outlandish – the news reports themselves are calling it ‘freakish’, ‘rare’, ‘abnormal’ and ‘unprecedented’. There might be some truth to it, but there’s too much lurid videos and it smells of the same propaganda we’ve heard much too often lately. First everybody slept through it, then they didn’t. And of course to make it all sound good, it was a church group. In the videos I’ve seen, the kid seems to have made a remarkable recovery after having been ‘nearly killed’. There is a wound, but the video interview doesn’t spend a lot of time showing it. All of this would lend a little skepticism. A little too convenient.

  42. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Rare clip of a party of Trophy Hunters at work.
    A Trophyhunter from Russia and his „outfitters“, locals out of Tyrol in Austria, near the town of Innsbruck, “hunt” a chamois. That´s where it went awfully wrong! A tourist from the Netherlands, hiking nearby, was able to video the mess and put the clip on Youtube (where it is withdrawn now). Authorities have taken over and investigate for cruelty against animals and hunting misdemeanor. The most cynical part for me is the scene where that mighty Nimrod is handed over the Trophy, the freshly cut “Gamsbart” the bundle of neck hairs from the chamois.
    (Beware, the clip is quite graphic!)
    Disclaimer: To avoid any misunderstandings, No, I´m not anti-hunting!

    • rork says:

      My experience in Germany and Austria is that their ethical standards are higher than ours (USA).
      Guides, beware. Don’t assume your client knows anything, even if they talk big, or are the governor of Alaska.

  43. rork says:

    The non-cynic is right. Must be a conspiracy. Any other explanation is inconceivable.

  44. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Wolf trapped, killed near Bull Creek
    On Aug. 16, a control officer for the Sheridan County Predator Management District trapped and killed a gray wolf responsible for killing 21 sheep in the Bighorn Mountains. The wolf was the first documented kill in the Bighorn Mountains by the predator management district. – See more at:

    • CodyCoyote says:

      -paragraph 9 in this article refers to this lone disperser female wolf being ” descended from a Yellowstone herd of wolves”.

      Herd of wolves. Hmmm…

    • Leslie says:

      Wolves have wandered into the Bighorns before and USF&WS was shooting them. They’ve killed sheep there before so this is nothing new. I understand that elk were eliminated in the Bighorns by, guess who, hunters, way back when. A systematic reintroduction and recovery program over the years helped them return in sufficient numbers so now they can be hunted again. So, the Bighorns are good wolf, and bear, habitat. No surprise there. Just the surprise that that wolf had to travel across the desert to get there.

      • Leslie says:

        “She was not transplanted into the Bighorn Mountains”

        That is a weird statement as well. ‘Transplanted’ like when I transplant my tomatoes.

  45. Ida Lupine says:

    Wolf advocates who deny the possibility of this potential behavior are as ignorant as people who once thought the world was flat.

    I loved the “wolves were wondering by” part. I don’t doubt that they are wondering what the hell has happened in their world lately.

    Very true. I would say that people who are ‘surprised’ by wildlife conflict or use it to promote anti-wolf policies are throwbacks too. Some of those comments that JB provided give new meaning to the term rabid.

  46. Rita k Sharpe says:

    As for the comment that” are as ignorant as the people who once thought the world was flat,” could be said about some of the views of the antis. The extremes hurts both sides.

    • Harley says:

      Yes, you are very correct. Extremes on either side derail the sane ones in the middle. I can’t stand anyone who thinks all wolves need to be killed. that’s a pretty ignorant statement.

  47. Kathleen says:

    Took a quick glance, didn’t see this posted, but might have missed it? Wolf killed at Jardine, MT–a collared pup whose mom was the Lamar Canyon alpha killed by a bullet last fall.

    Anyone who’s been to Jardine knows how remote it is and how close it is to Yellowstone’s northern boundary.
    Map here

    View into the park from Jardine (from one of the nicer places) here

    • Leslie says:

      Really too bad. Jardine is right next to the Park and very small and rural. Chickens? Everything eats chickens. Expect your chickens to be killed if you live in grizzly or wolf country, unless you put up an electric fence. Why don’t we have those laws in place for people living in wildlife areas?

      • SaveBears says:

        Actually it is not uncommon for the FWP to take actions against bears and coyotes for the exact same thing.

        • Leslie says:

          yes, grizzlies are removed or moved for killing chickens. If you live in grizzly habitat, use an electric fence for chickens or pigs. Who can resist chicken for dinner?

          Besides, living in Jardine is like living right inside the Park. What is it? About 1 mile away from the boundary line?

      • WM says:

        Truly too bad for this sometimes Park resident wolf. But here is the problem part, from the article:

        ++…Attempts were made by FWP and residents to haze the animal, yet it wasn’t frightened.++

        That will get a wolf removed. They learn to know when you are bluffing, just like a dog, which emboldens the behavior (I think Dr. Geist mentions that in his little list of behaviors, by the way, but probably using different words – constantly testing). The chickens are secondary.

    • Mike says:

      Jardine is an eyesore.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Anyone who writes a story like this and does not say that Park wildlife in general are in Jardine because it is just yards the Park is leaving out critical information. Is anyone surprised that there are elk in Gardiner?

      However, Brett French, the author, did say it was close to the Park. Perhaps he did not stress it enough.

      I think people in these towns should be more tolerant of wildlife. If it wasn’t for the Park, they wouldn’t exist.

  48. Ida Lupine says:

    Harley, if any apologies are in order it should come from me. I shouldn’t have been so quick to jump – it’s just that I feel that extreme anti groups are coming up with a lot of things to justify hunting and even eradicating the wolf again. It isn’t so in every case.

    There will be conflicts with wildlife when people go into wild areas.

    • Harley says:


      This is what happens when people feel strongly for something. I’m usually a cool headed person, most of the time and I feel I kinda came on a bit strong last night. I should not have responded when my own emotions were compromised.

  49. alf says:

    The Brits are blaming TB in cattle herds on, of all things, BADGERS (!), and are planning a badger slaughter.

    Here in the US, all the alleged woes of the livestock industry is blamed on wolves and coyotes. They long ago eliminated the wolf from the British Isles, so they can’t scapegoat them, so they need a new villain, and they’ve apparently settled on the European badger as it.

    Good grief !! I thought (hoped) the Blokes had more sense that we do, but I guess not.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Oh no. I thought I read somewhere that human TB was in existence first, and transmitted to cattle by humans. Who knows how the badgers are getting it:

      Their research suggests that the disease migrated from humans to cattle — not the reverse, as has long been assumed. The research estimates that the evolutionary leap took place prior to the domestication of cows — more than 113,000 years ago — indicating M. tuberculosis is a much older pathogen than previously believed.

  50. Leslie says:

    Y2Y, ATV representative, and scientist talk about how to manage the Alberta eastern slopes. Interesting.

  51. Barb Rupers says:

    Can anyone tell me the source of the picture for “Bighorn Sheep” that looks as though the ram is rimmed in ice located in the introductory pictures for this forum?

    • CodyCoyote says:

      Barb- that “ice-rimmed” Bighorn ram is an average photo of a sheep that has been put thru some artistic Filters in Photoshop.

      Most folks don’t realize that Photoshop ( or its equivalent apps like Pixelmator , among others ) is best described as a painting program . You can even create images from scratch . It has an infinite number of brushes and effects, and is often used to turn digital photos into ” paintings”.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        Just came across your answer to my question while checking out another topic. Thanks.

  52. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Not really wildlife, but….
    Detroit grapples with stray dog epidemic

      • WM says:

        French Camp/Stockton goat kills sound like a good job for the folks with the black helicopters – if WS hires out to remove domestic animals like that. Damn pitbulls are the most dangerous dog breed generally, and if they are feral even worse. Matching owners who select for this breed and subsequently abandon them, as in the case of Detroit, it makes it even worse. Of course, these are the same folks that don’t have them neutered, so the problem grows.

        • Immer Treue says:


          Pit bulls. There are responsible pit bull owners and gentle pit bulls out there. The problem was the macho image, and the my dog can kick your dogs ass mindset that led to a proliferation of misplaced dogs.

          My conversations with pit bull owners/rescuers has all but fallen on deaf ears in regard to that one breed of dog has made it more difficult for the owners of every other breed of large powerful dogs.

          Two short conversations with people in an urban setting, with my now very old, but then young German Shepherd. “Does he bite?” Answer no. Reply, “what good is he.”

          Conversation two. “Does he bite?” answer you’d have to do something really stupid. Reply,”like what?” Answer. That’s a good start.

          Any dog can bite. But as above, that one breed and the horrible mindset that went along with owning that breed by all the wrong people, made it tougher for every other dog owner in this country.

          • JB says:

            Couldn’t agree more, Immer. In general, I’ve found pits to be extremely nice dogs that make for good pets. However, they are powerful and intense, and in the wrong hands…

          • Louise Kane says:

            My son was watching a pit bull for a friend of a friend about 5 years ago. During his caregiving he discovered the dog had scars all over her paws and elbows and that she cringed every time he moved. When my son went to find the owner at the time he was supposed to return he found a chain and cement area that the dog had been tied to endlessly. My son told the owner he was not returning the dog and so we kept (Cocoa)… and I have to admit I was terrified of her, at first. She “looked” mean. But when my son started fishing and going offshore, guess who needed to step and take care of the pitbull. Cocoa adored me, she could not help herself in her zeal to please me. She definitely needed socialization and my german shepherd looked a little nervous around her. But soon they became friends. Cocoa never quite learned how to play all that well with my shepherd but back then he was young and ignored her bad manners. We learned she was about 11 when my son took her away from her life of hell. She lived the next 3 years with us until she passed peacefully outside. My Shepherd mourned for weeks, and to my surprise so did I. These dogs need good owners not breed specific legislation against them.

            • Yvette says:

              ++ Louise and Immer. I have a pitbull, or pit mix. It’s a long story, but I found her in front of my office building one morning after a flood. She was emaciated, covered in mange, eyes and nose crusted, and to me, she looked like she had less than a week of life left if I left her be. I picked her up and put her in my car and drove the 40 miles back to Tulsa. She was too weak to hold her head up. I figured that I would be taking her to the vet to be euthanized since I didn’t think she would eat or drink. I had a Great Dane and 3 cats at the time, and I didn’t want a second dog. The short story is I still have her. August 20th made 8 years since that day I brought home this pitifully abused, neglected and near dead pitbull. My dog is afraid of strangers and hides when people come in my house. She rides with me when I go on short trips or when we go to the creek to swim or hiking. (she is NOT a good trail dog as she slows me down and tires out too quickly). I learned that lesson this year. She does fine at the dog park when I take her, which is rarely. When my dane was still living I went there more often, but I was cautious because it was the people that worried me. Big dogs and the power dogs like pits will always get the blame if any incident occurs. Always. I had a pug owner allow her little dog to nip at my great dane’s heels until I stepped in to ask her to control her dog. My dane was cool as she could be but all it would have taken was one bite and the pug would have been history.

              My mom has had a pit. Another rescue and I loved that dog so much but he died a few days before my mom moved in with me. I give all dogs their due respect. Any dog can bite, but some will do more damage. The pits I’ve been around are 100% dedicated to their human. Maybe that is one of the problems. They are too devoted, so when they end up with trashy mean people you get mean and dangerous dogs. I’ve really had no problems with people but I take extra caution with my dog because of her looks and breed. People misconstrue pits behavior. I know this so I try to protect her.

  53. CodyCoyote says:

    The annual Yellowstone Park summer Bison aerial census is complete. The Park’s population is now reckoned at 4600 animals, including 700 calves of the year. It is close to what researchers expected.

    I do wonder what the ideal population would be reckoned at given the carrying capacity of the Park in these days of climate change and more robust predator populations.

    By comparison , my Park county Wyoming just east of Yellowstone pastures between 45,000 and 55,000 domestic cattle depending on the year, ten times the number of Yellowstone bison.

  54. Robert R says:

    Habituated Collared Wolf Shot in Jardine Area
    A female collared wolf was shot by a private citizen in the Jardine area Saturday after displaying clear signs of escalating habituation. This wolf had recently come in close proximity to a number of homes, killed a cat as well as several chickens.

    Over the last few months, this wolf displayed unusually bold behavior as attempts were made by FWP and members of the public to haze the animal away from properties.

    Until the spring of this year, this wolf lived primarily in Yellowstone National Park as a member of the Lamar Canyon pack. It dispersed from the pack and has lived in the Jardine area since that time.

    FWP investigated the wolf mortality in consultation with USDA-Wildlife Services.

  55. SEAK Mossback says:

    We’re in the midst of an all-time record pink salmon run in Alaska and north America as a whole, by far. Because pink salmon are most numerous of the salmon, that also means total salmon numbers are at a record. Fishing for pinks is still ongoing for a short while longer, but the Alaska pink catch is currently at 209 million (previous record is 161 million for Alaska and 170 million for North America) and the all-species catch to date is 260 million. In this region, where they are nearly all of wild origin, the catch to date is 84 million pinks (with dock-side value well north of $100 million to SEAK purse seiners from pinks alone). Allowable catches could be substantially higher but processors have been swamped, and many streams are receiving almost frightening numbers of fish. No big die-offs yet, but we really need rain. There are of course substantial benefits to aquatic and bordering terrestrial systems from the nutrient windfall — bears even at the bottom of the totem pole are getting a chance to eat well and will sleep well this winter. I’ve also heard pinks are showing up in the millions in Puget Sound, and its turning out to be one of our very best coho salmon returns in SEAK, which will continue to arrive well into the fall.

  56. Peter Kiermeir says:

    British rule in India shows up in tiger genes
    “A new study by Clemson University into the impact of landscape on tiger and leopard gene flow reveals two interesting human impacts on tiger genes caused by man”.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Fascinating. Never let it be said that human activity doesn’t affect the environment in major ways. I hope we take this into consideration for the welfare of our wildlife here in the US.

  57. Rich says:

    Perhaps some favorable news regarding bison and prairie restoration.

  58. JEFF E says:

    (looks like there is no climate change category any more so it looks like here will do)

    News you never hear about.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      These photographs are outstanding, Jeff – each one seems so more than the next.

  59. Ida Lupine says:

    Some good news – talk about cause for optimism and hope:

    “The forest recovery is especially breathtaking. New England is a supreme example of forest comeback,’’ said David Foster, director of the Harvard Forest, the university’s 106-year-old center for forestry research whose scientists work in 3,500 acres of wooded tracts and laboratories headquartered in Petersham.

    New England Sees A Return of Forests, Wildlife

    It’s time for our own wolf reintroduction.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      The interesting thing is that we don’t have the farm and ranchland that western states have – so a reintroduction would be ideal here. If the West wants to become a barren wasteland, fine – but they do not dictate wildlife policy for the rest of this country. We’d be more than happy to encourage your recreation $$$ out this way also. Keep up the good work out there!

      • Jon Way says:

        Ida, we kind of already do. The animal most ppl call eastern coyote is a coyote x wolf hybrid and has native genes that the original eastern wolf did. South of the boreal forest of northern New England it is questionable if the gray wolf ever lived there. Better protection of the coywolf (new name for eastern coyote) may enable eastern wolves to make it without getting shot and killed. They sometimes do get here, but may just hybridize with coywolves already living here.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Before we started messing with the St. Lawrence as a shipping route, I bet wolves migrated to and from Canada all the time. I don’t know if I buy that wolves never lived here – it seems highly improbable and rather convenient. I’m no expert of course.

          I would like our Eastern wolves to be brought back. I think it would keep the coyote population in check, and the high deer population and reduce Lyme disease naturally. Those a******s out in the West may be lords of their domain out there, but not here. They shouldn’t have the right to dictate Endangered Species protection.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Just think if they were more numerous, sighting such as this would probably have happened quite frequently:

            Rare Gray Wolf Appears In Massachusetts 2008

            I’m not advocating for a return everywhere of course, just in the most remote, unpopulated and deeply forested areas. As we know, our human population is mostly concentrated around our major cities, we don’t have the farmland we once did, and it isn’t as expansive. I don’t think hunting and fishing is as big here as it is in the Western states, although we do have it. People don’t associate ‘wilderness’ with the East anymore, but it is here.

          • SaveBears says:

            Ida, Really, A******s?

            Come on!

            • Ida Lupine says:

              I don’t mean the citizens, just some of the politicians and leadership, and the Smoke A Pack crowd. Perhaps I should have used a word less offensive, but they are offensive.

              • SaveBears says:

                The truth is, the majority are not like this, but when you use blanket statements, it leads others to believe we are!

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Everyone here knows what I mean – I don’t mean the people of the West. My apologies, SB.

                Rockwell, Fanning, Bridges, on the other hand….

              • SaveBears says:

                Everybody here knows Ida, but everybody here is not the majority that may stumble across this blog, those are extreme examples of those who live in the west in the areas that have wolves.

                People need to realize, those of us that contribute here are only a very small part of those that read here, we are vocal and we are the minority, there are a great many reading this blog, that never comment, that form opinions based on what is on this blog and other blogs.

    • ma'iingan says:

      “It’s time for our own wolf reintroduction.”

      The habitat may exist, but I don’t see how anyone could make a biological case for wolf reintroduction in the NE. Any introduced gray wolves would be quickly absorbed into the Eastern coyote/coywolf/New England canid admixture.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        So we have permanently damaged the wolf population.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I say that because coyotes are coyotes and wolves are wolves. I’m happy we have coywolves, but there is a glaring niche that is empty because the native wolves are gone.

          Let me ask you this: why didn’t this interbreeding happen in the West? If enough were reintroduced, would they be absorbed? In Canada, they I believe have shown that it isn’t happening as they thought?

          • SaveBears says:


            There is nobody studying the inbreeding, so no one can say it has not happened, there is just no data one way or another.

            • ma'iingan says:

              “There is nobody studying the inbreeding, so no one can say it has not happened, there is just no data one way or another.”

              It has happened, and there is a wealth of supporting data.


              • Ida Lupine says:

                Their evolutionary origin has been explained either as a consequence of admixture between coyotes and varieties of the gray wolf, or as parallel evolution of a wolf-like phenotype independently in the New World from a common coyote-like ancestor (Fig. 1; Supplemental Table S1). Origin through ancient hybridization or an independent New World evolution might warrant greater preservation efforts and legal protection, whereas origin through recent hybridization would suggest a dynamic evolutionary zone of questionable conservation status, although the ecological significance of such hybrids should also be considered (Crandall et al. 2000; Kyle et al. 2006; Leonard and Wayne 2008). Specifically, the red wolf is protected as a distinct endangered species under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) and wildlife management agencies dedicate considerable resources to study, monitor, and protect the red wolf (Phillips et al. 2003).

                When did this occur, as a consequence of the Great Attempt at Eradication? I worry because the article says that the more recent hybridization might have ‘questionable’ conservation status, but if it was in response to this unnatural event, shouldn’t it have as much conservation status as any of the other species and subspecies? This reminds me of the study Peter K. sent us re the results of human activity on the Indian tiger.

                I like the new term – Enigmatic Wolf-Like Canids.

              • SaveBears says:


                I have read this report/study and talked to some of those involved and I am still not convinced that this qualifies as a valid study.

              • jon way says:

                Yes, Save Bears… That study has many questions that other biologists disagree with. The most accepted theory is that a unique species, the eastern wolf, originally lived here. The eastern coyote or coywolf is intermediate between western coyotes and eastern wolves so has native wolf genes to the Northeast.

                Ma is right – eastern wolves may just be absorbed into the coywolf gene pool. Gray wolf x eastern wolf hybrids (like which live around the Great Lakes) may form their own populations without hybridization. There are no pure gray wolves in the east that don’t have some eastern wolf DNA. And that is why, Cody, there is not hybridization between gray wolves and coyotes in the west. Grays and coyotes don’t hybridize. The eastern wolf is the bridge for both coyotes and gray wolves for hybridization.

                Ida, your comment that we need wolves to control coyotes in the east is very problematic. Even with wolves back, they won’t live in most places and coywolves will likely still be the dominant canid just like coyotes still are over much of the west. So why do coyotes/coywolves need to be controlled in the first place? They self limit their populations just like wolf advocates argue that wolves do? While you may have made that comment in jest it hints toward favoring one species over another as coywolves may be an apex predator in deer dominated areas as well as urbanized landscapes.

              • JB says:

                Jon, Ma’, et al.

                I’m not convinced we can predict how a gray wolf reintroduction would work in the east? Seems to me that a variety of factors (e.g., wolf and coyote/coywolf densities, behavior of individuals) are potentially implicated, yet poorly understood?

      • CodyCoyote says:

        It is fairly difficult to crossbreed Canis lupus with Canis letrans…wolves with coyotes… but it can be done.

        It is ridiculously easy to crossbreed Canis lupus with about any breed of Domestic Dog , a/k/a/ Canis lupus familiaris.

        All dogs from Chihuahua to newfoundland Mastiff are a subspecie of wolves, one of 37-39 subspecies of wolves . Coyotes are a separate but closely related full specie.

        Only the Australian Dingo is considered a separate subspecie of Dog.

        I wonder why we hear so many reports from the East about Coywolves and not Wolf-Dog hybrids ?

        • ma'iingan says:

          “I wonder why we hear so many reports from the East about Coywolves and not Wolf-Dog hybrids?”

          Wild wolves and dogs don’t breed readily.

  60. Ida Lupine says:


    I’m surprised you would comment like that. No, I don’t prefer one species over the other. But we have constant complaints that we have too many, and I personally would prefer a natural predator over human hunting and grotesque hunting contests. I would think that would be obvious from my history of comments. I do not think human hunting and so-called human management can take the place of the natural way of things. The only exception I can make is for legitimate livestock depredation. As I have said, there is a glaring ecological niche that is empty here in the Northeast.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I also have questions about whether the coyotes or coywolves are able to prey on deer, if they are large and strong enough. If so, it doesn’t seem to be making much of an impact on the deer herds here.

      • Jon Way says:

        I am responding directly to your post and what you said. You hear of constant complaints and that is the purpose of education as I am sure you know. Informing ppl that they are here to stay and there are simple ways to avoid interactions from occurring. These will likely be the same ppl complaining that there are too many wolves and also screaming at them for doing the same thing coywolves already do.

        Also, I don’t think that wolves will ever reduce deer herds any more than coywolves already do in the Northeast. In some places, like Maine, they are already blamed for reducing deer #s. In other places (especially urbanized areas), wolves will never live and besides humans, coywolves are the best chance to reduce their numbers. I think that once deer get so prolific it is difficult to reduce their numbers without more than 1 mortality source like wolves/coyotes AND winter, or wolves/coyotes AND human hunting. Just my 2 cents. The only glaring ecological niche is in northern parts of New England where moose predominate. The main effect true wolves with no coyote blood will have is on moose, and I do agree that gray wolf/eastern wolf hybrids (like the wolves in the Great Lakes) would be a good thing in northern New England as coywolves don’t seem to even prey on moose fawns. However, I don’t see a big ecological difference btwn the two down in southern New England where deer are the dominant ungulate.

      • WM says:


        We need to broaden your wildlife intellectual horizon. This from West Virginia, DNR. You would get similar results with the right search terms (took me about 15 seconds to find this). “Coyotes are a significant predator of deer fawns.” I would guess, they could also help remove old, weakened or injured mature deer as well, especially with two or three of them working together.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Thanks but no thanks.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          In New England, the deer population has exploded – and so has Lyme disease. The coyotes don’t seem to be making an impact. Did you say you were a lawyer, at one time?

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I know this is a sensitive issue for you, (why I don’t know because you appear to live in the Pacific Northwest), wolves returning to the East Coast, so here’s some more for you to chew on:

          There are many people still living who were born before the Coyote came to New England.”>

          I do my own research.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Oh – and as far as newspaper articles, the ones I posted from USAToday were only posting even-handed facts or what were known to be facts – there was no exaggerated story or hyperbole. While our journalism appears to be taking a downward, sensational trend, it’s not true of all of it.

            The big break for coyotes came when settlers pushed West, wiping out the resident wolves.

            I’m glad that we have coyotes and I love to hear them. It’s good to know that our wildlife here in New England is coming back; however, that glaring ecological niche is still there. I see coyotes occasionally and they do appear to be larger than what I’ve seen out West and maybe a different color?, although I haven’t visited the Rockies in quite some time.

          • WM says:

            Yes. And, not a sensitive issue at all, for me. I think some wolves ought to be in New England if the states, voicing their preferences through duly elected governments, want them. I don’t tend to believe the all-powerful federal government ought to, all the time, be the arbiter of this particular decision under the ESA, without significant input from states, and maybe force-feeding them a diet of wolves they may not want, or maybe do.

            I tend to offer factual (and stated policy) input on what might be obstacles to wolf re-population of the NE, because some here simply want to ignore these potential, yet practical, constraints.

            And, again, I personally think it would be nice to have wolves in at least the North Country of the New England states. Now, we just need to talk to those scorched earth Canadian farmers in Quebec, Eastern Ontario and New Brunswick (which may or may not have wolves since the late 18oo’s), and convince them let a few across the border to a welcoming New England state.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              I agree with you. Up in Northern Vermont and Maine and perhaps the Adirondacks, it wouldn’t be possible in some areas. I’d just like to know they haven’t been wiped out entirely and do live in the northernmost reaches. I don’t think for iconic areas the Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes, extreme Northern New England, and other areas is too much to ask for a limited reintroduction program to be considered successful and complete.

              • WM says:

                Are you suggesting “re-introduction” (a term you used), or “repopulation” (a term I used)?

                They are different concepts with different rules and management options (for the time-being as long as wolves are ESA listed). The WGL was a “repopulation”; the NRM (except Northwestern MT and Northeastern WA) and the Mexican wolf were “reintroductions.” They also carry very different political baggage and perception.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                I’m not sure – I think they both mean the same thing? I would say ‘reintroduction’ if the animal has been extirpated, like in the Rockies; ‘repopulated’ if there is a small population left (Great Lakes)? In New England just over the border to Canada, there are Eastern Wolves, I believe, which would lead me to believe they were here at one time.

                I appreciate your comments although I do get a little strident at times. 🙂

  61. CodyCoyote says:

    A $ 100,000 ” prize” has been awarded to Yale wildlife ecologist Arthur Middleton PhD – late of the University of Wyoming grad school- and South Dakota wildlife photographer Joe Riis to study Elk productivity, conservation, and migration in and around Yellowstone. The prize was the first of what is expected to be an annual ” contest” sponsored by the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody and the University of Wyoming and largely underwritten by the eldest of the late Grace Kelly’s kids, Prince Albert II of Monaco , who has family ties to Cody Wyoming and Buffalo Bill. He will be attending a black tie gala in Cody later this month to officially award the prize among other royal duties.

    Middleton you may recall was the lead researcher on the Absaroka Elk Ecology Study done across the past 6 yeas northwest of Cody and funded by ( mostly) a cadre of the large elite hunting clubs and a shooting sports foundation from Los Angeles. That study showed that it was climate change and seasonal changes in the vegetative cycle that had to most impact on declining Elk pregnancy rates and calf recruitment, especially among migratory elk. The funders of the study had expected or even nudged Middleton’s team to come back with a bulletproof result showing that wolves were the main reason elk herds were so f#$@ked up in northwest Wyoming these days…good quantity but poor quality and demographics in the herd units. The science went elsewhere.

    Here’s a brief article at Yellowsone Gate on this ” Camp Monaco” prize.

  62. SaveBears says:

    Gator is pretty good eating and is quite prevalent on menu’s down south.

  63. JEFF E says:

    WOLVES. On the 6th of June, 1794, Gideon Lewis entered 68 acres under tbe Three Tops mountain,” at what is now Creston (Deed Book A, Ashe county, p.38.) Gideon and his family were great hunters; but his sons, Gideon Nathan, were for years the great wolf hunters of Ashe county. They would follow the gaunt female to her den, and while waited outside, the other brother crawled in and secured the pups, from six to ten in each litter, but allowing the mother to escape. The young were then skalped, the skaip of a young wolf being paid for the same as that of the mature animal. For each skaip the county paid $2.50. When asked why he never kiHed grown wolves, Gideon Lewis answered: “Would you expect a man to kill his milch-cow?” Wolves had greatly increased during the Civil War, and soon after its close the late Thomas Sutherland of Ashe county, with other cattle herders, hired the late Welborn Waters to kill all the wolves from the White Top to the Roan mountain. He would conceal himself in the wildest parts of the mountains and howl in imitation of a wolf. When the wolves which had heard him came, he shot them from his place of concealment. This soon exterminated the breed along the Tennessee line.

    (about five minuets of flipping thru the web while bored)

    • JEFF E says:

      “Wolves had greatly increased during the Civil War”
      this is an interesting statement to me because as I understand it the two armies were reduced to foraging whatever was available and the civilian populace was at or below starvation levels in wide swaths of the war zone.

      how could wolves be increasing in population?
      What was the food source?

  64. JEFF E says:

    of course we could always trust a newspaper article as our intellectual bedrock, They nevvveeer misconstrue the facts for the sake of a dollar.

    Ask any world renowned world conspiracy researcher.
    (LOL. u could not find your own ass with both your own hands and a spotlight)

    • JEFF E says:

      of course I guess wherever your hands landed would find all ass.

    • WM says:

      Jeff E.,

      Interesting story – and it is a copyrighted “story,” -entertainment- told in abourt 1907 about an event which was alleged to have occurred in 1856 (which may or may not be true). The conditions include winter, wolves and hunger. I would suggest all the right elements to get wolves to deviate from what might otherwise be normal behavior. Or, it could be normal behavior. In fact, I am not sure what in the story was not normal wolf behavior – under those conditions. Afterall, two hungry wolves took down a diminuitive human runner in AK, because they were reportedly hungry (just had to mention that).

      [The print can be read by zooming in with the computer mouse, as well as moving it around in the small window. Guess the illustrator didn’t read the story closely and forgot the tiny antlers of a young buck, which appears much larger than one would expect of a “not so fat” young buck.]

  65. SEAK Mossback says:

    NOAA has been petitioned to de-list the humpback whale by a fishing group in Hawaii. It’s a similar recovery success story to NRM wolf recovery, and could potentially be as controversial only because — well its charismatic megafauna so there will always be people who will be able to articulate some principle why it should not (either right now or never) be delisted.

    However, nobody is talking about hunting humpbacks. I suppose natives could petition for a hunt, but I don’t believe the Tlingit ever hunted whales — although I suppose there may have been a few humpbacks taken further down the coast. There are strict vessel regulations on vessel separation from them, that NMFS has (wisely) not been aggressive in enforcing. They really don’t seem to mind vessels much and public sentiment would go downhill pretty quickly if people were hauled into court every time a whale appeared with 100 yards of their boat (I had to dodge offshore to keep clear of a minke whale on my way to work this morning). An occasional one is hit and killed by a fast moving cruise ship.

    Basically, because of the Marine Mammals Protection Act it is unlikely that much would change. We have seen quite an increase in humpbacks in recent years, and the mark-recapture estimates are pretty good — based on the unique patterns on their tail flukes, ranging from almost pure white to almost pure black with all kinds of distinctive irregularities. A few winters ago I helped a friend who contracts to collect data used for the estimates made by NOAA, working from his personal 17 foot skiff. Basically, there were about 30 whales boiling around us all the time feeding on krill, with different ones moving through – seemingly ignoring our little boat while managing to keep from contacting it even as water from their feeding exertions boiled up around us (it was a bit frightening). He held the motor tiller in one hand and a camera with telephoto in the other photographing tails at the beginning of their third (deep) dive while I was very busy recording GPS coordinates and other data that he called out. On occasion when one would leap clear of the water and come crashing down, he would race over and try to dip net a piece of sinking skin (that sloughed off from the water impact) for a genetic sample. The big coup was if he could match a tail photo with a skin sample, but we didn’t manage it on that trip.

  66. Ida Lupine says:

    I don’t see why a group of fishermen would care about ‘environmental balance’ if it didn’t have some sort of economic benefit to them – not to mention who is really behind it. Scratch the surface and I’ll be the Pacific Legal Foundation of some such group could be behind this (they were instrumental in having the Bald Eagle removed from the Endangered Species List, and have been involved in many property rights issues.) Hunting may not be an issue now, but it could be disastrous in the future unless the scope is made very narrow. Look what’s happening to the wolves. Taking the humpback whale off the endangered list would open the door to more drilling, wind farms, etc. I’d say don’t let the foot in the door on this one.

    • SEAK Mossback says:

      Ida – you’ve made my case. I am mainly curious about this decision as a potential opposing test case about political influence in ESA decisions. When the NOAA rep recently ticked off on the radio a list of things they would be looking at in considering delisting, I counted through them mentally “not hunted – check, other protective regulations in place — check, habitat relatively secure – check, population stable or increasing – check.” He also mentioned that they expected to hear a lot of very strong opinions.

      So, does it all come down to how loud and influential the respective parties are? We may find out here. With wolves, advocates of protection found themselves outgunned and outmaneuvered politically, and delisting took place (and may be expanded geographically) despite what could be described as a rather draconian population floor in terms of “other protective regulations in place”. Now you have the opportunity to try to push a purportedly scientific decision your way — surely the same national groups who’ve been smoked politically on wolves will be able to muster enough political force nationally around another charismatic species to overcome a few Hawaiian fishermen? Surely this democratic administration will throw them that bone and let them rally their colors over a small piece of weakly contested ground of minimal adverse political consequence?

      Or maybe the ESA review process will simply proceed diligently like blind justice, rendering an unbiased decision based on only the best available science? Stay tuned.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Ida – you’ve made my case.

        Ha! They say even a broken clock is right twice a day! 🙂

        I’m obviously no expert, but I do care a lot about these things, and have learned so much from many here.

        Yes, I wasn’t sure if the fishermen are native Hawaiian fishermen – hunting of a culture is of a much smaller scale, and I didn’t know if the article made that clear. I don’t think humpbacks have made that much of a recovery that they should be delisted generally.

        Yes, they are an iconic species too – I’ll always remember when I first saw one come up (gently) from around and underneath a boat.

  67. Ida Lupine says:

    This isn’t directly wildlife related, but getting outdoors related, all life is connected:

  68. Louise Kane says:

    10 year old girl shot in the face, sheriff urges hunters to be careful/safe

    is there anything safe about a 10 year old child carrying a gun?

    • SaveBears says:

      I started hunting when I was 8 Louise.

      • JEFF E says:

        as did I.
        get over Louise. The kid was involved in a tragic accident. How many 8 yr olds are injured in all other incidents?

        just admit you are totally anti gun/hunting.
        At least you will then be truthful.

        • Louise Kane says:

          I think that the gun lobbies and the NRA have created an atmosphere in America that makes people afraid to express their discontent regarding the rampant and irresponsible use of guns. If you don’t endorse a blanket approval of gun use you are anti-american. In post 911 an atmosphere of disapproval reigned for those who opposed war. I think the NRA has been very successful in proposing that the constitution was meant to allow citizens to have machine guns, to allow crazy people to kill and maim wildlife, and to allow kids to carry weapons… anything goes. isn;t there a saying about unwrapping one’s cold dead fingers …..the American patriot denies there are too many guns, too many nuts with guns and too much killing. do I think eight and ten year olds are mature enough to be making life and death decisions behind a gun, no I don’t. Do I hate all the violence, yes I do.

          • SaveBears says:

            See your rant Louise, I am not an NRA member, I don’t believe in the manner they push their cause, I am simply a person who owns guns, started hunting when I was 8 years old and continue to teach others how to handle guns safely. I will continue to teach my hunting safety classes to anyone that is legally old enough to hunt, I feel a child taught the proper handling of a gun is much safer than a child in Detroit that buys a gun from a street dealer.

            If you want to change things, why don’t you focus where the real problem is?

            • SaveBears says:

              By the way, I don’t believe you are un-American, but I do believe you are uniformed and misguided in many of your rants.

          • JEFF E says:

            I have never been a member of the NRA, nor has anyone in my family or extended family: we have been here from 1620.

            the NRA, like you, are nutjobs.

          • topher says:

            Eight and ten year olds are required to have an adult present who should be helping them make decisions.

            • JEFF E says:

              maybe now, not always.
              subject for debate? that’s up to you, and will be a very lonely debate.

          • Elk275 says:

            I was having breakfast with my friend, a Missouri Breaks rancher,yesterday morning. When he was ten years old, old enough to open gates, he and his younger brother would saddle their horses get a gun and ride twenty miles several times a week into the Missouri Breaks checking their cattle with the only stipulation is that they had to be home by dinner time. A gun, that was nothing, how many ten year olds then or now ride 20 miles a day into roadless country.

            • Elk275 says:

              In Montana a 12 year old can have a hunting license with the completion of a hunter safety course but must has an adult 18 or older present until they are 14 and at 15 they can get a driver’s license. The sooner one grows up the better.

            • Mike says:

              This mentality was based on the exploration of this country.

              Back then, it was wise to give guns to kids early so they could help with the hunt and/or possibly defend themselves.

              But its antiquated today. There’s a strip mall pretty much everywhere, and our food is mostly gotten from crops. We can drive anywhere we want within minutes. Open spaces are depleted. But, sadly, the gun-is-Jesus tradition has carried on in an overpopulated and overdeveloped America. There’s no need for it anymore unless you live in the Alaska outback or the Yukon.

        • JB says:

          I started at the age of 12 too–and now believe that was too early. Having worked four years (during HS and college) at summer camps for kids, I’m certain that most 12 year olds should not ever be handed a gun. In most states you have to be 16 to drive a car, 18 to vote and 21 to drink alcohol, yet you can hand an 10 year old a gun? (Yes, I support hunting. Yes, I support gun ownership. No, I don’t support the NRA.)

          • SaveBears says:


            Millions of kids over the years started before the age of 12 with no mishaps, My parents refused to give me a BB gun, I just recently bought one, but they gave me a .22 and taught me how to use it properly, the only mishap I ever had, was when I was in the service and that jerk shot me, he was trying to kill me, but was not successful. By the way, I started driving when I was 12 as well. Back then we could get a permit to drive on the farms, and we did venture out on the road every once in a while during haying season.

            • Harley says:

              I grew up being afraid of guns. Gun violence and the big city go hand in hand. Now my feelings have changed. I don’t know if I’ll ever own a gun but I do want to learn how to handle one safely and not be afraid anymore.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Me too! I do think Westerners’ views of teaching respect is a good thing.

                I’ve always been against owning guns and still don’t know if I could ever use one – but with less police protection in cities and towns, we need to protect ourselves, and I seem to be changing my mind about responsible gun ownership. Who knew?

              • Harley says:

                Ida, what part of the country are you from again?

              • Ida Lupine says:


                I’m born and raised in the Boston area.

              • Harley says:

                I have always wanted to visit out east! Missed the chance when my son was stationed in Jersey. Now he’s on the west coast. Who knows? Maybe his re-sign will take him back east! Of course, wouldn’t mind the west coast either now that I’m thinking….

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Me as well! My husband is originally from Northern CA, lived in Idaho for a time. I could be very happy in Northern CA too. 🙂

          • topher says:

            Correct me if I’m wrong but in Idaho I thought you had to be twelve to hunt with a licensed adult and sixteen to hunt alone.

          • WM says:

            I also started to learn about guns when I was about 9 (first bb gun, which sort of allows you to make mistakes, though there were no excuses in the home I grew up in with any type of device that sends projectiles at high velocity) and trips to the farm with my father to shoot a .22 rifle. That part was a special time, and I still have that rifle.

            I went through the NRA hunter safety course when I was 11, and hunted deer at 12. I had many peers at that age who had pretty much the same path. The hunter safety course also included time at the gun range. The NRA (and the Junior Marksmanship program) was a different organization then. The Department of Defense actually supplied ammunition (and bolt action target .22’s) for juvenile shooters at the range. It was a highly disciplined and competitive environment, with target shooting from various positions, and colorful badges earned based on demonstrated proficiency. I suppose the logic was to develop skills with youth in the pipeline that could be used if the Cold War became something greater on the ground, and probably served some value during the Viet Nam conflict.

            I think I am with JB on this issue, and generally kids shouldn’t handle firearms these days until sometime well after the age of 12. The problem is that guns – hand guns and other non-sporting guns- are more readily available than ever to kids, which means they really should learn respect and how to handle them at an earlier age. How should that be accomplished? And, almost everywhere you look there are television and movie plots that involve incredibly violent use of high capacity and high rate of fire arms that have only one purpose. Compare that to TV and movies of the 1950’s and early 60’s, where guns were used sparingly in a relative sense, and a single action Colt in a matinee Western is a bunch different from a Mac 10 or a street sweeper shotgun. And, maybe the shows interspersed with morality family shows like Leave It to Beaver, or Andy Griffith, offered a little perspective on the real world.

            Things have changed, and not for the better, IMHO.

            • SaveBears says:


              I disagree, in the area that I live it, the 10/22 and the Model 66 are still the prevalent guns, you don’t see a lot of assault style rifles in the field and not many handguns other than an old six shooter.

              Yes, things have changed, in the cities, but us that live in the rural areas have not see as much change, at least not enough to completely change a lifestyle that is still working. Teach them responsibility and you would be amazed at how far it will go in shaping their future as an adult.

              • JB says:

                Yes, SB, it is about responsibility. The problem, as I see it, is that I can’t rely upon others to teach their kids to be responsible around guns. And I disagree that there have been “no mishaps”. When I was 20 or so I traveled to the UP (MI) for vacation, staying up near Munising. When we arrived (we were staying in a rental cabin), a very nice, but very sad looking woman came to deliver the keys to the cabin. After some coaxing, she explained that the owner’s son (~11, if memory serves) had killed himself accidentally while he and a friend were playing with a firearm.

              • SaveBears says:

                The key word in your little story JB is “Playing” there was no responsibility being shown by either the parents or the kids, guns are only allowed to be in the hands of the younger people I know with adult supervision, guns are not for playing with.

              • JB says:

                That’s right, SB, the key word is “playing”. Playing is what kids do–even (sometimes) with guns. The *key* here is whether you trust (a) the parents to be responsible enough to teach their children appropriate gun safety AND to supervise their kids, and (b) whether you trust children to act responsibly.

              • SaveBears says:


                I don’t expect 11 years olds to be handling guns without adult supervision. I have been handling guns since the age of 8 and I can in all honestly say, I have never “Played” with a gun, guns are serious business, I was taught guns are serious business and I was not allowed access until there was a parent or a trusted adult supervising me. Any parent or supervisor that allows a young person access to a gun without supervision should be charged with reckless endangerment at the least and if something happens it should be man slaughter.

            • JEFF E says:

              I was taught to shoot at about 7-8 by my Dad, hunted deer/elk at twelve and later my skill set greatly expanded by the military.

              I have the privilege of having started my daughter shooting when she was 9. She has her own rifle now, a 30-30, which she keeps in her room and is responsible for. In a few weeks we will be going deer hunting together along with Mom, for a few days.

              • JEFF E says:

                If my daughter is fortunate enough to fill her tag, then she will then be fortunate enough to learn how to care for the increase and support her family now and in the future.

              • JEFF E says:

                should my wife and /or myself take a deer then that should put us over the top for the next year, but I have to admit I spend most of the fall (deer season) harvesting choke cherries. There is absolutely nothing better than choke cherry jam or syrup. the problem is it takes some work and I highly doubt $3, jon, Kathleen, or jerry Black, has what it takes.
                they will always want someone else to do the work.

              • JEFF E says:

                of course I am also buying my 1/2 of beef that is 100% raised on private pasture, no antibiotics, no growth hormones, finished to my specifications. I am also going to get whole pig under the same conditions, and because my wife is tired of me whining about Campbell’s soup discontinuing Scotch Broth, I will be looking at the market for sheep that meet my above parameters of privately pastured, 100% organic, no antibiotics and no growth hormones, finished to my specifications.

              • JEFF E says:

                then my wife went down and participated in an effort to can 5000 gal of peaches this past week which will be distributed worldwide.

                so what do you contribute?

              • topher says:

                My daughter started shooting at 12 and I had big plans for her but she never really showed any interest in hunting. While I would love to take her some time I respect her decision not to and am glad she knows how to safely handle a firearm.I still have several nephews I would love to teach to hunt if they are interested when they get older.

              • JB says:

                I made a gun rack in shop in 7th grade (age 13). After that, the 20 and 16 gauges were kept in my room, the shells in my closet.

              • topher says:

                My fathers guns were stored in a closet but the ammunition was always stored in a storage shed a couple miles from home. Now my guns are always locked up when not in use and ammo locked in a seperate cabinet.

          • Kathleen says:

            A child’s brain simply isn’t developed at 8 years old (or even 12). Areas of the brain responsible for cognitive & behavioral skills–decision making, self regulation, risk taking, etc.–and fine motor skills are undeveloped.

            • Jerry Black says:

              Thankyou Kathleen…….explains a lot about some of those that comment on here.

              • WM says:


                I think topher is correct. We have segued from firearm deaths to children children, to firearm deaths generally (the amazing top 20 state data), then to homicide deaths, which is even further afield from the starting topic.

                My warnings were not to look at only one year of data. I think it is a valid one, generally.

                However, and I found this after posting my comment, a map from an earlier year, 2008, using CDC data which does exactly what I thought might be useful – seeing how the states fall out spatially. Some of the narrative is useful, too, and maybe not that time sensitive for general conclusions Low and behold, what state has a higher firearm death rate than AK? Washington DC.

                The map also seems to suggest the 2011 states with the highest were also roughly the same as 2008 (note the clustering of those Southern states), along with some speculation as to why some rates are higher.


            • Mike says:

              Be very careful with facts here, Kathleen. 😉

              • SaveBears says:

                The facts are, that millions of young people hunt every year, they shoot guns and very few incidents happen, that is the facts. Remember we are not talking about kids on the streets in Chicago or Detroit.

              • Elk275 says:

                More hunters drown duck hunting than are shot.

              • Mike says:

                ++The facts are, that millions of young people hunt every year, they shoot guns and very few incidents happen, that is the facts. Remember we are not talking about kids on the streets in Chicago or Detroit.++

                You’re right. It’s worse:


              • JB says:

                Those data are amazing! A great example of the availability heuristic– we hear about gun violence in the cities, and so everyone thinks cities are really dangerous. But the states with the most urbanized populations actually have way fewer gun deaths per capita. (Maybe I can get Save Bears to come visit me after all!) 😉

              • Elk275 says:

                In Montana the increase in gun deaths is from suicides.

              • JB says:


                Actually, according to the CDC the suicide rate in the US is approximately double the rate of homicides. Here (link below) is a recent article on the Freakonomics blog. Bear in mind that these stats do NOT include accidental deaths.


              • WM says:


                The “data” may be amazing, but I would suggest a break-down would be helpful.

                1. For gun deaths they looked at the last year for which data were available – problems there, I think arising from “small numbers” phenomenon. Are stats from only one year representative? CDC could have given them more, and I bet did, which they chose not to use.

                2. What are the particulars that constitutes a “permissive gun law?”

                3. It would also be interesting to plot the “data” from the different states on a map to see how that plays – lots of “high risk” states in the Southeast, too. Maybe taken an extra step and break down some of the urban areas, which could have higher rates. Detroit might be different story than Ann Arbor, or Winnetka from South Chicago.

                4. What percentage of gun deaths are from suicide, crime generally, crimes of passion (do drive by shooting count in this category?), or hunting accidents.

                Portland, OR had for many years had the highest, or one of the highest suicide rates (so if you were a middle-aged, male dentist living in Portland in February in some past years, you were very high risk). Now (2011 only one year, by the way) the highest suicide rate is Las Vegas, NV, and the cause was not gambling, it was unemployment 34+ deaths/100,000 people. I bet they weren’t all jumping from buildings or OD’ing on drugs. Makes me wonder about the gun stats from this DAILY BEAST (which is a US News online uh source, since they exited the real investigative news business).

                Maybe they should also include deaths per capita by other causes (other than natural) so we can look at comparative risk. Then overlay on that how many military service men/women who committed suicide did so while on US soil with guns. The suicide rate from all causes has been about 15-20/100,000 the last couple years.

                Lots of questions about this information (not even going to call it data at this point). It could well be schlock journalism. In fact, I think I’ll go with that conclusion for now.

                And, did you notice the District of Columbia (Washington DC) was not included in the ranking? I’ll bet its right up there in the top 20.

              • JB says:


                Skepticism is healthy, but combined with some intelligence, it can also be used as a tool to distort facts (especially when one implies improper motives without any evidence).

                Here’s the CDC table with 2010. It pretty much mirrors the state rankings from the article. Draw your own conclusions:


              • JB says:

                And you might also be interested in this (see link below) CDC report. It shows that the rate of firearm homicides in cities (i.e., metropolitan statistical areas) is slightly higher (4.3/100K) than for the country overall (3.7/100K); however, the firearm suicide rate was significantly less in cities (5.4) than for the country as a whole (7.0) (these are 2009-10 data), and more deaths are from suicide.

                “All-ages firearm homicide rates during 2009–2010 varied widely by MSA, ranging from 1.1 to 19.0 per 100,000 residents per year (Table). The rate for all MSAs combined was 4.3, compared with a national rate of 3.7. This represents a decrease from 2006–2007, when the combined MSA rate was 5.2 and the national rate was 4.2. Firearm homicide rates decreased for 78% of MSAs (39 of 50) across reporting periods, accounting for most of the national decrease.”

                Here are the cities with the highest (>6.0) firearm homicide rates:

                New Orleans – 19.0
                Memphis – 9.4
                Detroit – 8.6
                Birmingham (AL) – 8.4
                St. Louis – 8.1
                Baltimore (MD) – 7.7
                Jacksonville – 7.4
                Kansas City (MO) – 6.8
                Philadelphia – 6.2

                Here are the cities with the lowest rates (<3.0):

                San Diego – 1.1
                Minneapolis – 1.3
                San Jose – 1.3
                Portland/Vancouver (OR/WA) – 1.4
                Salt Lake City – 1.5
                Seattle 1.5
                Austin – 1.7
                Boston – 1.8
                Providence – 1.8
                Denver – 2.3
                Raleigh – 2.3
                New York – 2.8


              • topher says:

                I thought the discussion was accidental shootings by children.

              • WM says:


                Oooops! Got my reply to you out of place. See response just above Mike’s September 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm admonition to “be careful with facts, here.”

              • JB says:


                Yes, DC (though not a state) has the highest rate of firearm deaths, though look at the cluster of other states with high rates and you see the South and the West. From the article you cite:

                “… Having a high percentage of working class jobs is closely associated with firearm deaths (.55).
                And, not surprisingly, firearm-related deaths are positively correlated with the rates of high school students that carry weapons on school property (.54).

                … Firearm-related deaths were positively associated with states that voted for McCain (.66) and negatively associated with states that voted for Obama (-.66). […]

                Firearm deaths were far less likely to occur in states with higher levels of college graduates (-.64) and more creative class jobs (-.52).

                Gun deaths were also less likely in states with higher levels of economic development (with a correlation of -.32 to economic output) and higher levels of happiness and well-being (-.41).

                And for all the terrifying talk about violence-prone immigrants, states with more immigrants have lower levels of gun-related deaths (the correlation between the two being -.34). […]”

    • topher says:

      I started at the age of twelve not far from where this happened. It’s a neat area and can be excellent dove hunting.

      • JEFF E says:

        I understand there was a bit of rain over there.?

        • topher says:

          If you mean Pocatello you understand correctly. I live near the river and the road turned into a river twice now. FEMA has required flood insurance in my neighborhood for several years which is great but most the people I know that flooded live on the east side of town and none of them had flood insurance that I’m aware of. Thankfully the rain hasn’t been quite as bad south of town where the Charlotte fire burned last year.

      • Nancy says:

        Be sure and check out the link in the second paragraph:

        • WM says:


          It would appear the first paragraph referring to a Boy Scout merit badge for learning about robotics (computer science) is true. The second paragraph, a merit badge for hunting and the tongue in cheek commentary (and link to a Sasquatch site) is a spoof. There is a badge for fish and wildlife management, however.

          Want to go snipe hunting? I would be glad to take you and jon, maybe Louise. I bet we could get SB to go along and maybe show you some pointers on how its done. 😉

          • SaveBears says:

            Boy, snipe hunting, that brings back some memories!

          • Nancy says:

            Ahh… yeah WM, I realized it was a spoof 🙂

            • WM says:

              Actually, Nancy, the activity I (and SB) was referring to involves a gunny sack and no firearms. Maybe you knew that, but wanted to go a different direction.

              • save bears says:

                I sent a whole unit of my guys on a snipe hunt, when I assumed my first command!

              • Nancy says:

                I remember the Cheers episode well, WM.

                The direction I was heading had to do with the fact that the Boy Scout organization has been around for over a century and hunting was never apart of their “program”

                Curious that it only qualifies as an elective in an advanced part of the organization – Venturing Ranger


                A post from someone on a blog about Boy Scouts (in 2004) re: hunting:

                Boy Scouts of America/Hunting Merit badge
                Hi All,

                I was at first excited to read that the Boy Scouts are testing a new program that will lead to a hunting merit Badge…the bad news is that the scouts are required to go on a hunt and “take a photo”, not kill the game and turn it in to the leader. I am an Eagle Scout and a hunter, and I find this to a tremendous victory for the politically correct antis and a tremendous loss to hunters. They have sanitized the hunt, and submitted to the antis and the threats of lawsuits. Willing Scouts need to hunt animals, kill them, butcher them, and eat them. That’s education of the highest order. They can take a photo of the dinner table for crying out loud!!!

              • WM says:

                Ah come on Nancy, let’s cut the spin, here. This is the official BSA policy (and the implied reasoning has to do with risk management and potential liability):

                12.Hunting is not an authorized Cub Scout or Boy Scout activity, although hunting safety is part of the program curriculum.

                (The purpose of this policy is to restrict chartered packs, troops, and teams from conducting hunting trips. However, this policy does not restrict Venturing* crews from conducting hunting trips or special adult hunting expeditions provided that adequate safety procedures are followed and that all participants have obtained necessary permits and/or licenses from either state or federal agencies. While hunter safety education might not be required prior to obtaining a hunting license, successful completion of the respective state voluntary program is required before participating in the activity.)

                * Venturing is a Boy Scout program focusing on young adults (boys and girls) over the age of 14, or 13 and having completed 8th grade, but under 21.

    • Mike says:

      Maybe in 1750.

  69. jon says:

    Very sick person. Holding the severed head of a grizzly bear he killed for sport. Trophy hunters like this guy is why a lot of people hate hunters. Killing animals for sport is a sickness.

  70. Mike says:

    Devastating Rim fire caused by…a hunter.

    Not the brightest members of society, are they?

    • Elk275 says:

      I was just waiting for your comment. It could happen to anyone. In 1988 I was guiding a couple on a Yellowstone Float fly fishing trip. After that trip they were going on a wilderness trip into Hellroaring Creek North of Yellowstone Park. They started the Hellroaring fire of 1988, he was a very large whole sale steel dealer and she was an OB/GYN both were brighter than the average member of society. Shit happens and it can happen to sharpest knife in the kitchen or the dullest knife in the kitchen. It could happen to you Mike.

      • JEFF E says:

        $3 dollar does not care. It only gives him justification in his small, pitiful existence. His only reason for existence is if some one acknowledges that existence.
        (thank you Immer)

      • Mike says:

        Yes, it could happen to anyone. But it just seems to happen to hunters the most.

        Shooting rare species, starting fires, putting bullet holes in signs, etc. for the most part, hunters are the dumbest members of society.

      • Mike says:

        By the way, Elk, you missed this juicy line from the article:

        “hunter’s illegal camp fire”

        Typical hunter style.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          It certainly gives pause. Big man when it comes to killing animals, no guts when it comes to reporting a fire. The national news is giving him the dubious distinction of The Man That Almost Destroyed The Giant Sequoias!

          I’m not saying all hunters are this selfish and gutless. Throw the book at him!

          • SaveBears says:

            Every hunter or anything other person that goes in the woods and causes problems, especially fires should be prosecuted to the fullest extent available, it is bullshit to allow these people, no matter who they are to get away with this crap!

          • Mike says:


            It takes no guts or skill to kill a wild animal. None. Any untrained person can walk into the woods and kill something.

            • SaveBears says:

              I would love to see you even try to hit a target with my longbow Mike, that would be a real fun thing to watch. Then tell me it takes no skill to hunt.

              Ralph, I really have to wonder why you allow such a condescending person who never has anything good to say, to continue to post here against your statement about hunting.

              • Elk275 says:

                Save Bears,

                ++Ralph, I really have to wonder why you allow such a condescending person who never has anything good to say, to continue to post here against your statement about hunting.++

                Get rid of Mike! Mike is the new Calvin and Hobbs, we all need a daily laugh.

            • topher says:

              It takes no intelligence to make blanket statements. Maybe thats why Mike is so good at it.

      • CodyCoyote says:

        The huge North Fork Fire amid the Yellowstone Fires of ’88 that burned all the way across the north half of the Park was started just outside the Park boundary by a guy cutting wood with a crappy chain saw that had no spark arrestor, if I recall.

        As for the source of the Yosemite fire, before the Forest Service gave out this ” official” proclamation today that the Yosemite fire was started by a reckless hunter, now in custody , the out front theory had in fact been ignition from an illegal backcountry marijuana cultivation. Some small town fire chief blurted that out without one whit of attribution , and the SoCal amateur newsies stoked it . Even the Washington Post took the bait. I was waiting for the inevitable Cheech and Chong tie-in.

        • Mike says:

          It’s time to start getting the guns and chainsaws out of our woods.

          • SaveBears says:

            Get over it Mike, it is not going to happen. What we really need to get out of the woods is people like you.

            • Rancher Bob says:

              I doubt we have to worry about Mike getting to far in the woods being a big car camper. As for those 1000’s of grizzly pictures he does like Missoula, home of the University of Montana Grizzlies. There’s only a dozen stuffed ones around town and then the 1000’s wearing grizzly apparel. Look there’s a grizzly, click.

              • topher says:

                “It’s time to start getting the guns and chainsaws out of our woods.” Said the occasional tourist.

            • Mike says:

              ++Get over it Mike, it is not going to happen. What we really need to get out of the woods is people like you.++

              Yes, let’s keep the peaceful people out, and let the ones who shoot each other, shoot rare animals, and almost burn down the sequoias into the woods.

              • SaveBears says:

                You are not going to get rid of hunting and logging Mike, you need to join reality, in fact, there is no way you are going to keep people out of the woods, no matter what they do, look at how many drug growers are in the same area.

        • SAP says:

          Cody – most sources say the North Fork Fire came from a cigarette.

  71. Nancy says:

    “Ah come on Nancy, let’s cut the spin, here. This is the official BSA policy (and the implied reasoning has to do with risk management and potential liability)”

    Ah come on WM – Am I missing something here? Who the hell gave a crap about “risk management and potential liability” 100 years ago? 50 years ago, even 10 years ago?

    Fact is, there’s been NO badge for “hunting” in Boy Scout history and I’m just wondering why? Given how dedicated this organization is to preparing boys to be men?

    • WM says:

      Actually, Nancy, with due respect, I think you are (missing something, that is).

      If the concerns expressed here about age and good judgment, as well as proper training in firearm safety, are valid today, I do expect safety of one’s self and those for which one is responsible (as an adult to juveniles under their temporary supervision and care) has always been a concern. Though it is probably true we are even more vigilant today.

      Most people, I know at least, are pretty picky about choosing those they might hunt with, for safety reasons. Just imagine a volunteer parent or two, taking a half-dozen kids of unknown background, toting firearms, in dense cover or birding in a cornfield. Strikes me as a recipe for stupidity every bit as much then, as it is now. And, of course the adults supervising these activities being volunteers, some themselves are equipped with better judgment and training than others. No way would an umbrella organization like BSA even in the early 1900’s, want the exposure to be financially liable and responsible for a hunting accident, or want the publicity that would go with it. Besides, parents are supposed to teach these skills, even as more people began moving to the cities away from farms.

      And, hunter education courses did not begin until the mid-1940’s, with the NRA apparently taking the lead to offer standardized course materials and instructor certification.

      Have you a better explanation?

    • JEFF E says:

      Perhaps you should look up “Rifle Shooting Merit Badge” and read this carefully.

    • Nancy says:

      Probably because its old news Wolf Mod 🙂

      “It wasn’t until the 1990s that park and forestry guards observed the first wolves in the country in more than 60 years. Protected by both French and international law, the wolves, which came from Italy, developed a foothold in the Alps. Since then, their numbers and territory have expanded. By 2009, the State Ministries’ monitoring efforts showed that about 200 wolves lived in France.

      Two things are responsible for their return, Boitani explains. First, people began moving from rural and mountainous spaces to cities and towns, and abandoned farmland became wilderness. Second, wildlife, including boar and deer, a main food source for wolves, expanded and relocated into those areas”

      Some interesting facts about sheep farming in France:

      France has a population of 65 mil. (and is about the size of a couple of our western states) and raises over 7 mil sheep (most of them in factory like settings) Large farms are heavily susidized by the government. I suspect the French enjoy their lamb, mutton, cheese and milk 🙂 none of which seem to be a high priority in this country because of price.

  72. Salle says:


    Hunter shoots the first endangered wolf seen in Kentucky in 150 years

    • Immer Treue says:


      This had been posted a while ago, I believe…

      “Normally, hunters targeting grey wolves would face prosecution for killing an endangered species, but authorities have decided that Troyer had mistakenly thought it was a coyote — an animal which can be hunted under state law.”

      I don’t understand this. It’s a case of shooting something that was misidentified. A wolf this time, but as the seasons begin, the human here and the human there. Some sort of fine needed to be levied for the not being able to identify what said individual was shooting at.

      • Nancy says:

        I don’t understand it either Immer, given the fact that those that feel the need to “blow” wildlife away at every opportunity, don’t come close in numbers to those that would just appreciate being able to “see” wildlife:

        • Rancher Bob says:

          Having read this survey a few times in the past, this time I noticed, a 3% increase in outdoor activities. Claimed as a dramatic increase most of that increase was in people who hunted and fished. The number of hunters was the same as the number of people who liked to watch land mammals.
          Given that humans have been blowing away wildlife as you say “at every opportunity” for some time, wildlife viewing is at the best it has been for some time. Then again for some the glass is always half full, and the rest of the world should change to be like ME mentality.

      • Salle says:

        Thanks Immer,

        I didn’t see it in any earlier posts, probably when I wasn’t paying attention.

        I agree, though, that there should be a fine for blasting something when you can’t identify it. Hell, there’s a fine for inattentive driving, you’d think there would be some consideration for killing things without actually knowing what you’re shooting at. Perhaps it would be less dangerous for a large population of hunters and folks out in the wild who aren’t hunting.

        • Immer Treue says:


          I don’t want to beat a dead horse on this issue, but there are a number of dispersing wolves that are mistaken for coyotes and killed annually. Perhaps if Jerry Kysar hadn’t shot that black “coyote” prior to reintroduction, there would have been no need for reintroduction.

          Don’t want to hear the crap if someone mistakenly shoots the wrong thing, they let it lie. Because invariably, folks get shot every year, mistaken as deer, bear, etc.

          Also, with bear season ramping up, the difference between a black and grizzly bear.

    • Mike says:

      These people are the worst. Just the absolute worst.

  73. Ida Lupine says:

    And, did you notice the District of Columbia (Washington DC) was not included in the ranking?

    We did.

  74. Ida Lupine says:

    We ‘sequed’ because after the first article someone jumped to the conclusion that cities were ‘safer’ as far as gun violence than the less populated areas (unless they were being facetious). I think the interactive map I posted shows interestingly that regardless of gun control laws, certain crimes are still high due to illegal guns.

    I don’t know how they came to the statistics for MA and the Northeast, because every day there is a gun crime happening of some sort. Someone posted about a child having the unfortunate hunting accident, but there are children getting shot on drive-bys in cities, sometimes very young. A random shooting of a child in a stroller is a recent example.

    I remember a in a statistics class one of the required texts was “How to Lie With Statistics.” 🙂

  75. Bill Jenkins says:

    Dr. Lisa Simms-Ferguson (Phd Zoology) under scrutiny….

    (Livingston, Montana) Dr. Lisa Simms-Ferguson from the University of Maryland (College Park) has recently come under scrutiny for possibly falsifying photos and sighting reports of a Wolverine (Gulo gulo) in Yellowstone National Park.

    Dr Lisa Simms-Ferguson is the head researcher and educator at the Maryland Mountain Lion Research Center and has worked towards conservation of the cats in the East. It is unknown what project she may have been involved with in Yellowstone National Park.

    Her actions are being scrutinized because the wolverine may soon find itself protected under the U.S.’s Endangered Species Act (ESA) as climate change melts away its preferred habitat. Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced it was proposing to place the world’s largest terrestrial mustelid on the list. Only 250-300 wolverines are believed to survive in the contiguous U.S.

    “Scientific evidence suggests that a warming climate will greatly reduce the wolverine’s snowpack habitat,” said Noreen Walsh, Director of the FWS’s Mountain-Prairie Region.

    Wolverines live, hunt, and breed in high mountainous areas near the tree-line. Since female wolverines depend on large snowpacks for building dens and raising kits, researchers fear that worsening climate change will constrict the wolverine’s range.

    The FWS decision comes after a long battle with environmentalists to have the wolverine listed. The Bush Administration twice denied protection to the wolverine in 2003 and 2008. In 2010, the Obama Administration admitted the wolverine deserved protection but stated that it was not a priority. Now, at the end of a court-ordered deadline, the administration is finally talking protection for the wolverine.

    The listing, if it goes ahead, would prohibit hunting and trapping of the animal, but will not limit snowmobiling, skiing, logging, or development in wolverine habitat as it the U.S. FWS does not believe such activities “constitute significant threats to the wolverine,” according to a press release.

    However, Dr Lisa Simms-Ferguson’s actions could have been to undermine the efforts of those working to protect the Wolverine. By claiming that wolverines are frequenting non-traditional habitats and expanding territories in new directions, it could indicate that they, nor their high altitude habitat need protection.

    Dr. Lisa Simms-Ferguson reported on a social media website that she had seen a wolverine in a low-lying riparian zone, and that wolverines had been frequenting the area of Slough Creek in Yellowstone. She also posted a photo that she claimed to have taken herself. It was later determined that Dr. Lisa Simms-Ferguson did not take the photo, because an outside party came forward with information about the true origin of the picture (a wolverine in Colorado). She was then repeatedly asked by other users of the social media site to explain her actions, and at this time she still has not made a statement. Advocates for Endangered Species are still asking her for a statement.

    Below is the photo Dr. Lisa Simms-Ferguson posted on “The Yellowstone Daily” facebook:

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Well I see Dr. Lisa Simms-Ferguson became suddenly silent when Sam Parks commented on the photo: “Sam Parks This image was NOT taken by Lisa Simms Ferguson and it wasn’t taken anywhere near Slough Creek. This image was taken in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado in 2009 by a friend of mine, Ray Rafiti. This is famous wolverine M56, and these were the first photos taken of him and possibly the first wild live wolverine to ever be photographed in Colorado. It is disturbing to me that someone would so blatantly pass of Ray’s work as their own.”

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Here is where Simms-Ferguson’s photo actually came from, rather than Yellowstone.
      On the photo page Simms-Ferguson used, it says “All rights reserved © 2007- 2012 Ray Rafiti”

      The link above did say the wolverine originated in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

      • Rich says:


        Why isn’t this posted in the current Sept 6, 2013 “Do you have ….” thread where it is easier to follow?

        • Ralph Maughan says:


          The person who commented sent it to the older news . . . probably a mistake on his part.

          There’s nothing I can do except delete it, follow up at the old thread, or email him and ask him to repost.

          I will see if anyone is interested before I bother to contact him.

  76. Ida Lupine says:

    The listing, if it goes ahead, would prohibit hunting and trapping of the animal, but will not limit snowmobiling, skiing, logging, or development in wolverine habitat as it the U.S. FWS does not believe such activities “constitute significant threats to the wolverine,” according to a press release.

    LOL! Based on what?


August 2013


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

~ Edward Abbey

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