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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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

161 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife news? Dec. 16, 2013 edition

  1. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Armed and female – states mark rise in women hunters


    Females in 2010 made up 19.5 percent of all Idaho residents applying for hunting licenses, a 10-year high. In Montana last year, women accounted for 14 percent of hunters. That compared to a national average of 9 percent.

  2. Mareks Vilkins says:

    about women hunters in WY:


    Women are a growing demographic in the hunting industry, with about 11,200 resident hunters in 2008 and about 12,300 in 2012, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Resident male hunters decreased from 64,858 to 63,799 in the same time.

  3. Mareks Vilkins says:

    2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation


  4. Ida Lupine says:

    Now it’s my turn to call bullsh*t. This is an argument that is (by design) unwinnable. It’s made to muddy the waters, making the issue about feminism and sexism when it really should be about protection of our wildlife and habitats. I don’t have a problem with anyone who hunts for food, male or female.

    But all these articles promote is selling more crap, making money, becoming a good shot, ‘personal growth and empowerment’ and other selfish human interests ad nauseam. Not once have I read an article about conservation. Just about sacrificing wildlife for more superficial human needs.

    I’m here for the protection of wildlife and habitat, and nothing else. That’s the only interest I have in hunting and fishing, if it protects and conserves wildlife and valuable habitat in a world that is eating it all up.

    • Immer Treue says:

      To somewhat support Ida from the arrowhead region of MN. All of it anecdotal. Many folks up here wear camo. However, the only women I have seen in blaze orange have been walking dogs, or hiking in woods.

      Party hunting. I know what the law says about it, but I have a hunch that many women purchase tags, but don’t actually go into the field. Don’t know how widespread this is, but it does happen.

      More males than females up here. In conversation quite sometime ago a female aquaintence made a comment that a male’s chances to attract a woman up here would improve considerably if his life was not obsessed with fishing, hunting, and of course drinking.

      But then again, when in Rome…

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I don’t mean to sound so bad about hunting. An outdoorsman is very attractive, but a compassionate one too. The outdoors is a place for everyone, really. But it’s not all take, you’ve got to give also to take care of it.

        • Donald J. Jackson says:


          You need to come out west one weekend and help us pull barb wire to open up migration routes, we do this several times every year. Then you will be exposed to hunters that give back.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        This is ancedotal, so take it with a “grain of salt,” but I don’t see many women activly hunting, although they might well be at hunting camp.

        I think there is a cachet in some places for a female hunter.

        Perhaps this is a poor example, but take
        Sarah Palin, who has gained much personally with her reputation as a moose hunting mama, but the impression I have gotten from reality TV and here and there is that she actually hunted very little compared to the men in her family.

        • Mark L says:

          To stir the pot, I’d be VERY curious to know the percentage of females that applied for a wolf tag in each state, and how many got one.

        • Elk375 says:


          I never saw very many women hunting until the last 10 years ago. It seems that about 25% of the hunters I see are women.

          I have a nice 27 old lady friend, a friend only, who I have taught to load ammunition and she hunts alone. She is from the best Northeast prep
          schools and colleges, came west and wanted to hunt. Now she and many others are hunters.

        • WM says:

          The RMEF Bugle Magazine section mentioned on the previous thread is called “Women in Elk Country.” It appears in every issue, and features an article written by a female hunter (one who actually does). This article is about a successful elk hunt that begins with a solitary walk in the woods in the opposite direction of her husband, sighting wildlife of all sorts, and taking in the smells and sounds of the forest. It ends with a successful harvest of a smaller bull (she let the big one go, apparently), the remorse that goes with taking its life and the challenge of field dressing it alone, a formidable task for any person – male or female.

          I also saw a couple female elk hunters this past October on my annual trek to ID. One in particular got my hunting partners and me talking. We discussed hunting down a very steep forested draw, part of which had burned the year before – topped out trees, but lots of downed material criss-crossing the slope. Anyone who has ever tried to walk thru this stuff knows how difficult and dangerous it can be, especially on a side-hill. We elected to leave this hunt for another day, if other alternatives didn’t pan out. It was rainy and cold. This gal and her hunting partner (male) went down thru that patch of timber and came out about a mile below where they started. They stopped to talk to us after retrieving an ATV they left at the start of their journey about 5 hours earlier. We were all impressed at the skill level and knowledge it took to find the spot, and then hunt it as they did. Both were fit, and if anything, the guy looked more tired than she, after climbing over, under, on top of and around all the downed timber for the better part of a day. Elk seem to have less of a problem with it. No joy, but they planned to hunt it again, because there was quite a bit of fresh sign.

          Sarah Palin was as much a pathetic caricature of a hunter as she was part of a national election – and certainly did not demonstrate competency or skill at either.

        • CodyCoyote says:

          Ralph- there are a great many teen , young adult , and experienced women hunters in and around Cody WY. It’s quite popular, and they hold their own. A good percentage. Surprisingly, quite a few can be found working in the outfitter camps, too. I know a couple of women who are big game outfitters.

  5. Ida Lupine says:

    I did like the paragraph where one hunter inherited her grandfather’s Remington. There’s tradition involved, of course.

  6. CodyCoyote says:

    The lawsuit against US Fish and Wildlife for allowing the Wyoming wolf management plan to proceed will be heard in US District Court in Washington D.C. on Tuesday December 17 at 10 AM.

    Earthjustice is pleading the case on behalf of a trio of environmental groups.


  7. Leslie says:

    Well the inevitable finally happened. I’m in the greater canyonlands Bluff area hiking and exploring Anazasi sites. Today I was walking my dog along a major tourist dirt road to a trailhead when he got caught in a leghold trap right on the roadside. Unlike most tourists who visit here and might walk this road (it’s in my guidebook even) I know how to release the trap and so the dog is fine.

    Apparently Utah is not only having a year round bounty on coyotes, but you can put a trap on any highway, street, whatever without marking it. This trap had no bait, no flagging, just buried on the road with scent. I’m writing the state legislator and asking him if San Juan county makes more money on trapping licenses or tourists? And telling him I’m taking my money elsewhere .

    • aves says:

      I’m sorry to hear about this, but am glad you knew what to do and that your dog is OK.

      • Chris Harbin says:

        I, too, am sorry to hear about you and your dogs experience. I hope the dog is O.K. I’m glad I have had no such experience with my dogs

    • rork says:

      Thanks for pointer. It didn’t present all the facts I’d need to be on top of the situation, but I was amazed. Lower Big Creek in the Frank Church is about the last place I’d want humans fiddling with. Maybe in Idaho, and in that area, the elk money is such a high proportion of local economy, that it gives folks even greater game park mentality than elsewhere.

      • IDhiker says:

        I have spent about sixty days in Big Creek over the last three years volunteering for the Payette National Forest. Much of it around Cabin Creek where the trapper-hunter is being based to exterminate the Monumental and Golden packs.

        This area is deep in the Frank Church and is the type of place where wolves can exist, and should exist apart from man’s interference. There are only two outfitters in Big Creek, both who use the Cabin Creek airstrip for access.

        I flew with a veteran pilot for one of the air services who flies hunters often. His comment was: “The outfitters keep blaming the wolf, but they(the outfitters)have killed off all the bulls over the years with their hunters. They created the problem themselves with over hunting.” Now, the two outfitters are pressuring the IDFG to kill off the two packs which have been there for years.

        Personally, I wish the wolves had never been reintroduced, since all it has meant is mindless killing and venomous hatred.

        • IDhiker says:

          The ranger who allowed the IDFG to use the Cabin Creek cabin to do the extermination is Anthony Botello, of the Krassel District. He’ll excuse it by saying they have an agreement with IDFG to share backcountry cabins, but I maintain that any such agreement is void if the activity is against wilderness values. It you want to directly comment to Anthony, as I did, his email is: abotello@fs.fed.us

          The Payette Forest supervisor is Keith Lannom : klannom@fs.fed.us

          Send Keith a copy!

        • JEFF E says:

          one will hear over and over by the haters that “we were told that the wolves would only be in the wilderness areas.” so now a population that is doing just that is unacceptable, to the haters.

          What a miserable low life example of humanity.

          A “wilderness” area means just that.

          If the forest burns, it burns; particularly if started by natural causes.
          If animal A gets killed by animal B that is how it is supposed to be.

          If animal B escapes animal A that is how it is supposed to be.
          (both of the above “INCLUDE” humans)

          There is NO special guarantee that one consumer should get any more of an advantage over another.

          The different wildlife species find there own balance, not an artificial balance.

          there should be NO management goal in designated wilderness other than those dictated by natural dynamics; period.

          When one enters that dynamic it should be understood that the wilderness is the overarching parameter, and that entails the full spectrum of players, of which the human hunter is only one of many. There is no guarantee of scoring a kill. You compete with all the other predators trying for the same reward. If you want a sure thing, go to the supermarket.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        If our information is accurate, this plan to hunt down two Wilderness wolf packs came from the Idaho Fish and Game Department, not the Commission.

    • Kathleen says:

      “All of their (Idaho’s) management has to abide by wilderness management rules like we do,” he (district ranger) said.

      Huh?!? So exactly HOW does slaughtering two wolf packs preserve Wilderness character???

      “The purpose of the Wilderness Act is to preserve the wilderness character of the areas to be included in the wilderness system, not to establish any particular use.” — Howard Zahniser, 1962

      • Ida Lupine says:

        The killing is necessary because wolves and other predators are eating too many elk calves, and the population has not recovered to the agency’s goals, said Jeff Gould, Idaho Fish and Game wildlife bureau chief.

        The agency’s goals. The supreme arrogance. Well, nothing is going to help.

        • jon says:

          Idaho fish and game have shown over and over again they want to turn Idaho into an elk farm. The hatred that a lot of these hunters have for predators is a big reason why so many people who care about wildlife dislike hunters very much. A conservationist who shoots wildlife with a camera is very different than someone who enjoys killing wildlife for sport.

    • jon says:

      I don’t know what planet those psychopaths live on, but it’s really absurd for that guy Mcafee to say that putting down their derby will backfire on environmentalists. Having this derby will backfire on those psychopaths. If Americans were polled and asked the question do you support killing contests where you win prizes for the most animals you kill. by far the majority of Americans would oppose these disgusting contests.

      • Ann Frances says:

        I agree Jon.

        A contest to kill wild animals is abhorrent. We are given the gift of life and yet people like McAfee and Steve Alder take it away in a violent and meaningless way from other living beings. Sports hunters are not supported by the wider public who cares about treating animals with respect and living with them peaceably. When the wider public becomes involved in wildlife management, sports hunting will die out completely as it should.

    • alf says:

      Once again, the clueless bumpkins in Lemhi county are going out of their way trying to it the nation’s laughing stock, as they did at a hearing in Salmon some 20 years ago, regarding the proposal to reintroduce grizzly bears into the Frank Church-River Of No Return Wilderness. In that fiasco, the then-mayor of Salmon TESTIFIED that if they brought grizzlies back into the
      Frank, he would file “attempted first degree murder” charges against “all of you.” !

      • alf says:

        Oops ! I left a word out of that first sentence. It should have read “Once again, the clueless bumpkins in Lemhi county are going out of their way trying to make it the nation’s laughing stock,…”

        • Kathleen says:

          I still occasionally see “NO GRIZZLY RE-INTRO” bumper stickers on crappy old trucks–usually with Ravalli Co. (MT) license plates. One good ol’ boy has them plastered on each end of his bumper; maybe that’s the bumper sticker equivalent of typing a comment in all caps?

  8. Leslie says:

    In talking with a Utah warden, he told me the following facts which I didn’t know though many of you on this site might:
    1. Utah this year allocated $1.2 million to killing coyotes
    2. This was in response to organizations such as Sportsmen for F&W who give big bucks to these guys. They are needing someone to blame for the reduced mule deer population so coyotes are always convenient.
    3. Utah changed their laws so it takes 2/3 vote on any wildlife issues to change a law
    4. The legislators allotted a $50 bounty for every coyote, plus the pelt price. This incentive has more than tripled the trappers out there.
    5. The legislature hired professional coyote trappers paying them $10,000 for 200 hours of work. Do the math!
    6. They actively seek out people who mess with traps by paying a $200 reward for reporting people and a $500 fine to the violators.

    I had taken a photo of the trap #. It turns out this trapper is in an official position, and a bad guy. If he doesn’t check his trap when he is supposed to, he’ll be fired so maybe some good will come of bad luck for my dog…who is fine because I do know how to release a leghold. But the warden told me of a tourist who didn’t and her dog had to wait 2 hours for hom to arrive. This is a very heavily touristed area in 3 seasons.

    • Kathleen says:

      Because money talks, perhaps the Utah Office of Tourism should hear from you and other visitors who might decide to go elsewhere, given your unwelcoming, distressing experience:

      “If you have any questions about visiting Utah, please call 800-200-1160, 801-538-1900, or send an email to info@visitutah.com


      • Leslie says:

        The legislators for San Juan county will absolutely hear from me and perhaps a cc to the tourism office. Blanding, Bluff, Moab, and more are all dependent onus out of staters dropping $ their way

        Thanks for the quick link!

  9. Immer Treue says:

    Well, at the end of “shooting” hours, at least the wolves in my zone of MN (northeast) are safe from LEGAL take.

  10. SaveBears says:

    Guess it is not just the “sport hunters” that like to poach, Seems Marv Hoyt, director of the Idaho chapter of the Yellowstone Coalition has plead guilty to poaching Elk.


  11. topher says:

    “Jeff Welsch, communications director for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, told the AP that Hoyt is currently on vacation through December and will resign at the end of the period. Welch said Hoyt wasn’t fired.”
    He should have been fired immediately but I guess ranchers aren’t the only members of the good ol’ boy club.

  12. SEAK Mossback says:

    Feral cattle have long been a problem on many southwestern Alaska Islands including some of the Aleutians, Shumagins, and islands around Kodiak — nearly all of which are federal wildlife refuges created to protect values (such as bird nesting habitat and archeological features) that cattle degrade. Most of these islands are seldom visited by anyone, so the problem has remained out of sight on back burner. Ranchers were attracted to the lush grass covering these tree-less islands, but raising cattle never paid because of the logistics of getting them off the islands to distant markets. The USFWS is getting serious about removing them, but faces the same logistical/financial challenges that those who brought them there faced. The best deal for the tax payer would be to simply shoot them all (with lead-free bullets) and leave them untouched for whatever cares to pick their bones, but you can imagine the moral outrage about “waste” from various quarters funneled at the service through congress, so whatever solution emerges will likely be expensive. Will western ag state representatives reflexively stand up for livestock grazing on public land even where there is no private or public interest in them?

    • Donald J. Jackson says:

      Seems this could set a very bad precedence, the state pays, then they can do what they want, if they have to pay to keep them off the list, the chances of them ever going back on the list becomes very slim no matter the number. Basically the state is saying, we are the ones paying, you have no say in what we can do.

      I can just see the future headlines, sounds like this may have backfired on the conservation groups.

      Time will tell.

      • Donald J. Jackson says:

        Sounds like a way for the states to use money to circumvent the Endangered Species Act.

  13. savageslc says:

    I hope I am wrong but I have a hunch this is the result of carcass poisoning for wolves in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. http://www.ksl.com/?sid=28088477&nid=148&title=12-bald-eagles-found-dead-in-utah&fm=home_page&s_cid=queue-1

  14. rork says:


    Deer sterilization efforts in Fairfax city. There have been many stories, but this one is most recent and pretty good. I normally think such efforts are crazy and expensive, but this is just 6 square miles and just 100 deer. I am more open-minded now: maybe there are special places where it can be mostly privately funded and even work.

  15. Mareks Vilkins says:

    in Latvia there’s one poaching inspector per 3100 sq. miles – I’d like to know how many inspectors are in MT, ID, WY or in Alaska?

    • Nancie Mccormish says:

      Mareks, when I lived in Alaska during the 1980s there was only one police officer for every 250 square miles. Can’t vouch for the situation now but expect it’s not much different in such a vast area with so few roads.

  16. jon says:


    Good for the dog owner. It is absurd for some trigger happy hunter to get away with shooting your dog.

  17. Ida Lupines says:

    Good. Sometimes you have to hit ’em where it really hurts, in the wallet. These people are getting out of control – now shooting animals that they think are wolf hybrids. They truly do want to wipe them out, and I just hope wolves can be relisted before that can happen. I cannot imagine what is going on in WI – they don’t have to report the wolves they hunted with dogs until Jan 5! Who knows what is going on, but the DNR says ‘to the best of their knowledge’ everyone is obeying the laws, so I guess we’re expected to believe that.

    • Donald J. Jackson says:


      If what is going on in Wyoming comes to pass, the Feds will not have control over wolves again, if the court allows a state to fund 100% the management of an animal, kiss the ESA goodbye as we know it.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I don’t doubt it, from the looks of things in Washington. It’s terribly sad that it is being done-in by the Democrats this time, though.

  18. Ida Lupines says:

    Here’s a link to that gorgeous PBS Nature program of the Babcocks’ year in the Frank Church Wilderness, if anyone hasn’t seen it. I’m going to have to watch it again!


    • Ralph Maughan says:

      I see that Isaac Babcock was not amused by the entry of the wolf killer into the Frank.

      There were a number of young men and women who worked for the Nez Perce tribe as they managed the wolves during the federal period in Idaho.

      Idaho had refused to cooperate with the wolf reintroduction, so the Tribe became the cooperating party for Idaho.

      Isaac has, in my opinion, maintained his sense of ethics. His peers mostly went on the get jobs involving wolf management. Others have not been so ethical, in my opinion. One of them now runs the State of Idaho’s wolf program which I regard as a hideous affair.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Idaho had refused to cooperate with the wolf reintroduction, so the Tribe became the cooperating party for Idaho.

        I hadn’t realized this; now the attitudes all make sense.

        This documentary really busts the myths about wolves, they are just one of many animals in the wilderness, gentle, and not even the most fearsome really. I hate to say who that ‘honor’ goes to.

    • jon says:

      What I find strange is that those people who support hunting and trapping tend to blame the owner for their dogs being caught and perhaps killed by a trap, but they blame the wolves for when they kill a dog or a person’s livestock. FWP is going to have to decide what is more important, a small group of extremists who love trapping and killing animals or the majority of people who feel their pets are much more important than traps.

      • Donald J. Jackson says:

        What I find strange is their dogs were out roaming around for a week?

        • JEFF E says:



          • Elk375 says:

            Jeff E



            People or the dogs.

            Clarkston, Montana is a railroad stop only, no commercial enterprises. The area is known as the Ponderosa Subdivision a development of approximately 500 ten acre tracts of that have in the past sold for $1000 a tract. The development has less than sterling occupants, it is the only homeowners association in Gallatin County that has to have sheriff deputies present during there twice annual homeowners meetings.

      • Montana Boy says:

        If you follow dogs in traps in Montana you’ll find most of them are just like these two dogs, free roaming on someone else’s land. Most dogs killed by wolves are dogs killed in their own yard, then you have hounds. You hear about the hounds not so much about those killed by a house. What Montana FWP has found is most important is the views of Montana people. They also know legal trapping and responsible dog owners are not in conflict.
        Question to you jon: Whose to blame when a pet gets hit by a car? Whose to blame when a dog gets to close to a porcupine?

        • jon says:

          There is clearly a conflict. People’s dogs are getting caught in these traps and who knows how many non-target animals are as well. Trapping obviously poses a danger and a risk to all animals who may come into contact with them. I suspect we will see many more stories of dogs getting caught in traps and FWP will be forced to act. They will have to decide who is more important, a small group of people who trap or pet owners.

        • jon says:

          Some owners like if their dogs get a little exercise. Are you saying dog owners should keep their dogs on a leesh all the time so they don’t get injured by traps? Why should dog owners have to change just so a small group of extremists can put their dangerous traps on public land? Seems like FWP is putting the needs of a small group of people ahead of pet owners who want their dogs to get a little exercise. I have seen hunters blame the dog owner for when their dog gets hurt by a trap, but these same people who support hunting and trapping will blame the wolves if their hounds are killed by wolves. The same can be said about livestock. Wolves kill livestock and people who hate wolves blame the wolves and think the rancher has no responsibility what so ever to look after his livestock.

          • Montana Boy says:

            There’s no reason for me to continue, I’ve concluded your unable to learn. Don’t expect me to answer your questions until you answer mine. Enjoy the holiday’s.

            • jon says:

              There is a conflict. Non-target animals and dogs are getting caught in traps and some killed. Banning trapping completely is the only thing that is going to stop this from happening. There will be more dogs and non-target animals caught in traps and some killed and some who have to have their legs amputated because of the traps. I am all for responsible dog owners, but it seems like everytime a dog is caught in a trap or killed, the wildlife killing crowd seems to blame the owner and lay no blame on the trapper. How is a regular person supposed to know where the traps are out there? The problem is the trappers and their traps. These trappers are putting the public, their pets, and non-target animals at risk and sooner or later FWP is going to have to do something about this. Trapping is a dying so called “sport” in Montana.

          • Donald J. Jackson says:


            A couple of years ago, you were calling me stupid because I let my dogs run off leash. Now once again you have changed your tune.

          • Elk375 says:


            Where this incident took place there is very little or no public land. The land ownership pattern is over 90% private land. The subdivision by-laws allow a hunter to hunt or trap on another persons 10 acre tract unless it is fenced, that was a selling point when the subdivision was created. The FWP is not going to change because of a boy from Maine.

            You must have nothing else to do but surf the Internet looking for stories like this.

            • jon says:

              That doesn’t change the fact that it happened. The evidence is clear. traps pose a danger to all animals. The FWP will be forced to change sooner or later because many more dogs and non-target animals will be caught in traps and perhaps killed. It’s absurd for the FWP to be catering to a very small group of extremists who love trapping and killing animals.

        • Leslie says:

          Mt. Boy. You are so wrong on this. I posted above how my dog and I were walking on a well used, in the guidebook, dirt road in Blanding ut the other day. My dog was off lease but on the side where I was walking ON the road only 10 feet ahead when he stepped in a leghold. This guy had set traps all up and down the road side. I could have just as easily stepped in it or been walking with a 6 year old. Maybe legal but unethical .

          A friend of mine had the same experience in Cody on a trail. Another friend stepped into a trap himself. Another guys dog was in a leghold trap for 2days and the owner couldn’t find him till the trapper came and released the dog who was able to limp home.

          I am probably more responsible than most pet owners. My dog is very well trained off lease. He responds to me and will not run after wildlife. He knows to stay close when off lease. But he’s a dog and dog scat on the road he will smell. And I think it’s a real crime that the law doesn’t at a minimum require trappers to mark their trap so a human knows it’s there. At least I can see the attractant for a bobcat, but canine traps are buried with no bait necessary. It will take a child getting trapped for people to begin to notice these laws are 100 years old and the trapper takes no responsibility for anything. In this day and age, that’s plain outrageous.

          • Montana Boy says:

            First of all I was talking legal set traps in Montana. There are set back laws ect. ect. Yes, I also think you and your dog walked into a bad example of regulations gone wrong and I’ll leave it at that. Problem in Montana is illegal traps are used as a platform to fight all trapping. Children and dogs use as a fear tactic.

            • jon says:

              You would be changing you stance on trapping if one of your own dogs was killed by a trap. I don’t care if trapping is legal or not. It is very clear that traps pose a significant danger to people’s pets and non-target animals. The people who support trapping are the same people who are supporting that hunter who shot a person’s dog because he thought it was a wolf. The pro-wildlife killing crowd are also blaming that guy for not taking care of his dogs instead of blaming the person who was responsible for killing his dog, the trigger happy wolf hunter.

  19. Louise Kane says:

    Subject: Wolf hunting and state management.
    This letter was written by a citizen and advocate in Wisconsin. It was sent to me by a small NGO
    I wish everyone would take the time to express their disgust at current wolf policy

    Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2013 00:22:51 -0500

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.

    In the week following over 1 million signatures delieverd to Secretary Jewell at the Department of the Interior, some of the more horrific state management policies about the brutal slaughter of one of American’s icons, the grey wolf, has started. Whether it’s a coyote and wolf killing contest in Salmon Idaho, the hiring of a bounty hunter deep within the River of No Return Wilderness area, where wolves have a rightful place to call home without human interference or in my home state of Wisconsin, where legal running and fighting of wolves with dogs is in full swing, it is evident to me, more than ever that you need not turn away from this needless slaughter and irresponsible management. This isn’t really an animal rights issue, nor am I a PETA card carrying extremist. I am a person who cares about the environment and the countless benefits of having large carnivores on the landscape. I do believe that the livestock producer, the sustenance hunter and the wolf HAVE equal right to thrive and exist on the American landscape. This open season on the grey wolf has done nothing but fuel hatred and satiate truly sociopathic trophy hunting types. What does that say about who we are?

    At testimony across the country regarding the de-listing of the Grey Wolf from the ESA and public hearings in all our wolf states, many of those who testified for delisting the wolf, were false citizens, hired by Americans for Prosperity to perpetuate lies and myths about the Grey Wolf as the ESA gets in the way of advancing mining, drilling and pipelines. In Wisconsin, we have the Welch lobby group, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation (who, in fact deviates on their opinion of wolves from the national group), Wisconsin Trappers Association and, of course, the Safari Club and NRA.


    What I do not have is thousands of dollars in lobbying money to buy off politicians to carry out my desire for bloodlust and greed, to shoot, trap or use my dogs to kill the false enemy. My only hope lies in the promise of an informed voting public, politicians who will believe in science and an actual representative government.

    Who have we become as a nation, to let this happen to an animal? I mean, really, a simple animal, easy to understand, more researched than any other large carnivore and who we can succesfully co-exist with. We have evidence of successful co-existence for the past twenty years! Who are we as a nation who cannot adapt to a 80 pound dog? Humans can change, wolves cannot adapt as quickly. It certainly does not speak highly of our technology or our intelligence that we cannot successfully share land with the cousin to our beloved dogs . I mean, really, an animal who’s hatred is based on false reports of depredation of both game animals like elk and deer along with livestock depredation and that dictates the management and not science? Here in Wisconsin, a big basis for this is because wolves are territorial and kill hunting hounds, who are not along side their owners, in fact they are often miles away tearing through the Northwoods harrassing and attacking all sorts of species in their paths. No responsible dog owner would do something like this to their dogs and yet, they get reimbursed thousands of dollars more than a hound can possibly be worth. If I had a dog worth 2500 dollars, I certainly would not be running it off leash and pitting it against wildlife. But now, these precious dogs they are so concerned about and the basis for a ridiculous hunting season here, in which the quota far exceeds scientific recommendations, are being used to track, trail and frankly, fight wolves to the death.

    Sure, it’s just a wolf. But how long are we going to keep saying that to ourselves? Until the millions of dollars we have contributed through taxes and other ESA protection groups to bring the Grey Wolf back is all but thrown into the hands of someone with a steel jaw trap and enough money to buy you? Until we start changing our views on the environment as a whole, we are in serious trouble, very serious and probably un-salvageable environmental damage. This irresponsible wolf management is symbolic and realistic of where we are headed.

    Please scroll through these images and ask yourself if this is what the ESA, wolf management and environmental protection looks like to you.

    Please watch this short video produced by Predator Defense

    And if you can stomach it, feel free to watch this video of a wolf being harvested one year off the ESA.
    You should note that the person who killed this wolf, Jamie Vee in 2012, was found to be in violation and was ticketed by our game warden. Of course after contacting the DA, it was dismissed due to “legislative interference”. He and his family killed two collared research wolves in traps this year after setting free two juveniles because, and I quote, “He wanted one with jewelry on (meaning research collar). This is NOT ethical or conservation and yet perfectly legal here in Wisconsin.


    Here is an additional video showing the use of hounds to hunt coyotes here in Wisconsin. It would be identical to wolf hounding except a wolf can fight back. Does this seem sporting or humane?


    Melissa Smith
    Delegate, Wisconsin Conservation Congress
    117 Ardmore Drive
    Madison, WI 53713

    • rork says:

      Heavy on emotional argument. Ecological argument nearly absent. Too rambling.
      “it is evident to me, more than ever that you need not turn away from this needless slaughter and irresponsible management.”
      “truly sociopathic” was name-calling in the classic counter-productive style.

      What was good: George in that Predator Defense video. Those are the considerations I want more average citizens hearing.

      • JEFF E says:


      • Jake Jenson says:

        Does anyone know the number of elk tags Idaho was selling in 1995? And then in the 2010-2011-2012, and 2013 seasons? How about George?

        • Immer Treue says:

          Why don’t you bring up Lolo and we can spar on that one?

          • Jake Jenson says:

            Irregardless of the several causes of elk hunting reductions taking place in various regions of Idaho based on Idaho’s own regulations past and present, possibly including the “Lolo”, and including wild predator take, I was wondering when Idaho would be selling more elk tags based on George’s reasoning that Idaho is only killing wolves for the very purpose of fielding more elk hunters for a profit. Any predictions when Idaho may return to 1995 elk hunting options and even surpass those previous numbers?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Barred owls migrated from the East in the 1950s and have become the single biggest threat to spotted owl survival.

      Somehow I doubt that.

  20. jon says:


    from the article,

    He worries dogs infected by sniffing or eating wolf feces could transmit the tapeworm to humans, where they could cause cysts.

    “The people of our town are tired of the threat of the disease,” McAfee contends.

    In fact, human infections are rarely reported in Idaho. A firm link between humans and wolves isn’t established.

    A 2011 report produced by Mark Drew, a wildlife veterinarian with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, found just a few documented human cases that may have originated in Idaho. All were reported before wolves were re-introduced 18 years ago.

    In 2011, state epidemiologist Dr. Christine Hahn issued a call to Idaho’s medical community for possible cases as concerns surfaced about the parasite being transmitted to humans.

    In an interview Thursday, however, Hahn said that effort uncovered no evidence of such cases. People concerned about the parasite should take appropriate precautions, she said: Treat their dogs and cats for tapeworm, practice good hygiene, avoid harvesting sick animals, and wear rubber gloves when field dressing wild game, among other things.

    “Echinococcus granulosis is one of many naturally occurring parasites that occur in wildlife,” she said. “Precautions for Echinococcus are really no different than for a host of other diseases that occur naturally in the environment and can infect humans.”

    • Ida Lupines says:

      There are only a few hundred wolves in this country scattered over wide ranges. Rarely would they come into contact with humans unless they were deliberately being tracked. There are millions of domesticated dogs in this country who sometimes do get intestinal parasites, and yet humans aren’t in any danger from it. There are medications that pets can be given.

  21. Ida Lupines says:

    Comment periods:

    Does anyone think that comment periods are just perfunctory, as in time is given for public comment to comply with regulations and legal requirements? Especially after what happened in MI. It shouldn’t be assumed that we aren’t doing anything but bitching online, I’ve been writing to DC for years, and sometimes only get a nice form letter in response. Not that we should give up, but I’m not very optimistic about public commenting.

    • aves says:

      Yes. Public commenting seems to be merely a requirement now rather than the information and opinion gathering tool that it used to be.

  22. jon says:


    Toby is trying to make the link that the wolves reintroduced are mongrel dogs that should be shot on sight because they are chasing wildlife.

    • CodyCoyote says:

      I guess nobody ever told Toby that every domestic dog on Earth is a wolf. The only exception is the Australian dingo , being its own species . Every other dog from St. Bernard to Poodle lapdog et al is a member of a single subspecie of the Grey Wolf…Canis lupus familiaris , domesticated over a period of 8,000 years or so and diversified by selective breeding for desired characteristics to produce a ” type” or ” breed” of dog, but not any new subspecie. There are 36 – 39 subspecies of wolves, depending on whose taxonomy table you use.

      Thankfully , there is only one Toby Bridges…Homo not_so_sapiens. And as usual, he is utterly off in the weeds.

    • Immer Treue says:

      In that regard, if dogs are chasing wildlife, and should be shot for doing so, I’m loading up and going to old Wisconsin zone 3 and shoot me some of those wolf chasin hounds!

      • JEFF E says:


        I do not know about the mid-west, but in the NRM states wolves are classed as “big game” so I believe it is illegal for dogs to pursue them and if I saw that happing there might well be some less canis familiars on the landscape.

  23. jon says:


    This story will make any dog owner extremely mad. Not only do you have to worry about traps, now you gotta worry about hunters shooting your dogs. Sad sad story and I hope these hunters pay for what they did to these two innocent dogs.

    • jon says:

      “She was taken away by one stupid incident that never should have been, never should have happened,” Ostrom said.

      Maggie was out running with its mother, a black Labrador retriever named Daisy, when they heard two shots. Both dogs were wearing blaze orange collars. Nikki and John Ostrom say they could hear the dogs yelping, and with deer hunters out and about, John knew it wasn’t good.

      A close friend of the Ostroms, Tim Yotter, owned the lab. He and John Ostrom followed the fresh tracks to confront the hunters at a nearby home. The hunters allegedly had the dead dogs, and the owners wanted their pets and an explanation.

      “I asked for the dogs back,” Yotter said. “Finally, they had said, ‘They are dead. Why do you want them back? They are dead.'”

      Read more: Animal cruelty charges for Minn. hunter who shot 2 dogs – KMSP-TV http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/24216660/animal-cruelty-charges-for-minn-hunter-who-shot-2-dogs#ixzz2oGHSmKKe

      Immer, did you hear about this story? It seems like quite a few dogs are being killed over there in MN by hunters and traps

      • Immer Treue says:


        Yes, I have heard about this story. Depending on the time if the year, if dogs are running deer, they can be shot. In this case, from what I recall, dogs were just running around in the woods. No reason to shoot them. Not to blame the victim, but it is poor judgement to allow dogs to run loose during deer season

  24. Salle says:

    Bethine Church dies at age 90

    Bethine Church, Idaho Democratic icon and widow of the late Idaho Sen. Frank Church, died Saturday at age 90; this campaign photo shows Frank and Bethine Church in 1962. Her son, Chase, posted this announcement on Facebook:

    My mother Jean Bethine Church 2-19-1923 to 12-21-2013 passed away at 6:15 PM tonight from old age. She had been on home hospice for the last two weeks. Myself and my wife Pam were by her side. She passed peacefully listening to Christmas music and looking at a Poinsettia and candle. She wasn’t in any pain and she always wanted to pass at home and not at a hospital or care center.

    Born Jean Bethine Clark in Mackay, Idaho in 1923, Bethine Church was the daughter of an Idaho governor and federal district judge, Chase Clark; the niece of Idaho Gov. Barzilla Clark; and the cousin of U.S. Sen. D. Worth Clark. A graduate of Boise High School, where she met Frank, she held a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. The two were married at Robinson Bar Ranch, the Clark family ranch in the Sawtooth Mountains, in 1947. They had two children, Frank Forrester Church IV, a minister, theologian and author who died in 2009, and Chase Church.

    Frank was an Idaho senator from 1957 to 1981 and a candidate for president in 1976, when he lost the Democratic nomination to Jimmy Carter. He chaired the Church Committee in the 1970s, which held ground-breaking hearings on CIA and FBI abuses in intelligence-gathering and covert operations; Bethine was his partner in all things, earning the nickname “Idaho’s third senator.”

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      She was incredible, and we were still getting hand written Christmas cards from her until a few years ago. I hadn’t seen here for over 20 years.

  25. Salle says:


    I recall you mentioning her a few times and, if I recall correctly, it seems you had mentioned seeing her up in Stanley about 15 years ago. But then, it may have been twenty years ago… All the same, I thought of you when I read that she had passes, I know you’ve always had high regard and respect for her. She was incredible, I’m glad she had an easy passing – or that’s what it sounds like from her son’s note.

    I thought I’d post the news here so that others can learn about her if they didn’t know who she was and what she accomplished for all of us… along with other persons of note! Idaho used to have a far more palatable, reasonable and commons oriented set of state officials, what happened and why aren’t there any others available now?


  26. Montana Boy says:

    Another example of delayed by lawsuit but not stopped only made harder, now the move is during the winter.


  27. Immer Treue says:

    To all the folks who run, moderate, and participate, on The Wildlife News

    Merry Christmas

  28. Ida Lupines says:


    Merry Christmas, and all good things in the New Year!


  29. Joe says:


    Another legal and political battle brewing over delisting the grizzly bear.

  30. Nancie Mccormish says:

    Old friend has a blog online I just discovered… well worth reading, and a visit to the Hoarfrost if you are inclined to pursue a “lifetime” experience. I haven’t been there in 20 years but my stay there is one of my life’s highlights.


  31. JB says:

    New publication about the potential ‘rescue’ of Isle Royale Wolves:


  32. Kathleen says:

    “Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed. It is a many-faceted treasure…”
    ~Richard Nixon, ESA signing statement, 12/28/73
    (entire text: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=4090 )

    ESA 40th anniversary video

  33. Louise Kane says:


    video of divers removing fishing line from dolphin that appears to be seeking help!

  34. Louise Kane says:

    From Nancy Warren at Wolf Watcher

    please forward
    here is a chance for the hunters to speak up

    Those opposed to wolf hunting are often labeled as “anti-hunting” however, it has been our experience that hunters with the greatest understanding of wolf biology, pack dynamics and the role wolves play in the ecosystem oppose wolf hunting.

    If you are an educated hunter, the National Wolfwatcher Coalition wants to hear from you and share your story in an upcoming newsletter.

    Send us:
    Your Name (we will only publish your first name, unless you give us permission to use your full name)

    The City/State where you live (we will only publish your state)

    The State(s) where you have purchased a license to hunt (this may be subject to verification) – we want to feature licensed hunters.

    What animals you hunt

    How many years you have hunted

    Why you oppose wolf hunting in 100 words or less

    Send your response to me or to info@wolfwatcher.org by January 10th.

    Thanks for your help & please pass along to hunters to know!


  35. Louise Kane says:


    NY TImes editorial on wolf killing in Idaho wilderness and Salmon derby

  36. Nancy says:

    Something to ponder when it comes to the “shoot em cuz we can” crowd:


  37. Tim says:

    Here is a video of rotting fish in a gill net on the Hoh river. I wonder when it will be illegal for everyone to use gill nets? What a waste!

    • Montana Boy says:

      Just a guess but experience tells me only the natives and biologist can legally use gill net. So good luck with the illegal option.

  38. Ida Lupine says:

    This is what I was referring to, whether the hunter violated hunting regulations by shooting too close to a public roadway. It should not be the responsibility of the general public who many times aren’t aware of hunting laws and where traps are located – it should be the responsibility and concern of an ethical hunter to care about other people and their pets. Laws need to be tightened up and enforced, and it won’t interfere with hunting:


  39. Nancy says:

    A Happy and Healthy New Year to all who comment here!!

  40. Ida Lupine says:

    Same to you Nancy, and Happy New Year to everyone at TWN!

  41. Nancy says:

    Coyote season open year round, statewide now? 257 wolves shot in the last couple of months – talk about fiddling while Rome burns. Gee, do you think this disease might be spreading there & in other parts of the country BECAUSE OF more intense “predator control”


    • Immer Treue says:

      Another case of Koyaanisqatsi. The game farm mentality of ungulates (good mammals) must end. After reading Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel”, one becomes enlightened that most of the diseases that affect humans have been vectored to humans from old livestock. Might something like CWD be the next “big one”.

      I’m sure someone, if necessary, will correct me, but aren’t these prions that cause CWD rather indestructible? Don’t they just lay about in the soil, with higher concentrations where deer/elk congregate in greater numbers?

      MN is trying to keep this contained to the SE portion of the state. The DNR here clearly informs people not to feed deer. Yet people continue to do so. Up where I live, we have three natural (not counting hunting)barriers to the spread of CWD: wolves/coyotes; bears; winter. December, except for a few days around Christmas has been brutal. Winters of 95/96 and 96/97 estimated 30% winter kill of does, and we are headed in that direction again, yet the uniformed will continue to bellow the wolves are killing all the deer.

      • CodyCoyote says:

        Yer right, Immer. Creutzfeld-Jakob disease in humans, Bovine spongiform Encephelopathy in cattle ( a/k/a/ Mad Cow ) , and Chronic Wasting Disease in the Deer family are all half sisters with different mothers fathered by that twisted rounder Joe Prion and his degenerate protein.

        The first instance of a human being diagnosed with CJD in the hot zones of a CWD case and/or any spikes of BSE will be a biologic mushroom cloud. Currently 2/3rds of those potential overlapping hot zones are in Wyoming and Colorado. The Mad Cow component springs up arbitrarily in the commercial Bovinosphere… Britain, Alberta, California. Over 180,000 cattle died of it in Europe before BSE was contained, but the other cases were ” atypical” whose source could not be back traced. And that scares the britches off the epidemiologists.

        Prions are almost considered immortal.

        • Mark L says:

          “Prions are almost considered immortal.”

          Some say all the way back to the dinosaurs. Humbling thought to our future.

  42. Immer Treue says:

    A – 26° Happy New Year Greeting to all.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      🙂 Same to you Immer – we’re getting a foot of snow out my way. It’s a good think I love winter and the holidays. Yay!!!!

    • Nancy says:

      BRRRRRRRRR!!! Over 50 degrees warmer here Immer! Hang in there 🙂

  43. CodyCoyote says:

    It appears that Wyoming will not reach its expected quota of 26 “trophy” Wolf kills for 2013. The two hunt areas in the Upper Green River were each one wolf short , and Area 12 ( a/k/a/ The Flex Zone along the Idaho border ) was also one wolf short at year’s end.

    The 2013 quota of 26 wolves was half the initial 2012 hunt quota of 52. The area northwest of Cody commonly called Sunlight Basin actually went over its quota of 4 wolves by one this year , to 5. The effect of that is more acute than most hunt areas since the wolves that frequent Sunlight generally spend a lot of time inside Yellowstone, too.

    Those numbers have to be taken with the usual skepticism , however.

  44. Yvette says:

    Yahoo news has an op-ed by Andrew Wetzler, Director of Land & Wildlife Program with NRDC. Reading the number of comments that state wolves have decimated elk and deer populations, in addition to, the exaggerated rants of depredation on livestock make me want to bang my head against a brick wall.

    What drives people to become so entrenched with hysteria and a lack of common sense?


    • rork says:

      I disagreed with the authors conclusion that delisting is not about politics – I actually don’t think author really thinks that either, but rather is being disingenuous.
      Let us calculate: How many votes will swing for democrats should they be nicer to wolves? I guess near zero. However the risks are not zero.

      PS: I was amused by the number of “it’s the wrong wolf, too big” comments, as if selection won’t right-size them quickly if that’s the case. Maybe there’s still a remnant of the thought that species characteristics were specified, and are nearly immutable.

  45. Immer Treue says:

    Had to drive into Ely today and saw my first ever Smoke a pack a day bumper sticker. What struck me was the ignorance of putting something like that on a bumper. Goes right along with the anti gay stuff one might find…

    Gay Rights: under gods law the only rights gays have is the right to die.

    Moderators, feel free to remove this. It’s got nothing to do with pushing an anti gay agenda, but everything to do with the total lack of cognizance while advertising mutual ignorance.

    • Rita k Sharpe says:

      To bad one can’t counter the sign with something like,Stop smoking,save a Pack. I still do not understand why they feel that they have to put stickers on their cars to advertise their beliefs, but that is their right. Around here, where I live, you wouldn’t want a democratic candidate bumper sticker on your car,in a republican state. You thought the weather is cold, it’s get icy here from stares and gestures if you run against the flow or not going with the flavor of the week.

      • Immer Treue says:


        Odd how rural folks will metaphorically cut your throat if you do not subscribe to their beliefs/values, but in the same breath will give you the shirt off their backs if you need help.

        • Rita k Sharpe says:

          Indeed ,Immer, I know what you are saying.

          • Leslie says:

            Wyoming has taught me to speak up. People around here are assuming you agree with their ‘radical’ beliefs. I have found I can respectfully disagree to let them know others feel differently. I think its important they know not everyone feels like they do. And maybe, just maybe, over time esp. with people I have a relationship with, they might soften and their wildlife views widen.

  46. Jeff N. says:


    Very good article about the Mexican Gray Wolf. Of course there is some typical hyperbole about the wolf being a threat to human lives but it is a pretty balanced article.

    How refreshing it would be if we could eliminate the fringe nonsense on each side of the pendulum swing and tackle these issues with real workable solutions. Everyone needs to bend a little without having to bend over.

    • rork says:

      I hate to comment just to say a comment was good, but that last part was pretty good to my mind. Maybe a bit of depravity entered my thoughts near the end, but I’m prone to that.

  47. Immer Treue says:

    Dogs align themselves with stable magnetic fields when they poop!


    OK all you folks with dogs, how about we do a tally and seen how often they alight themselves with that magnetic axis when it’s time to go.

    Odd things about dog habits. Whether in water or on land when retrieving my GSD always turns to his left once target object is grabbed.

    • Rita k Sharpe says:

      My lab just looked for a cleared spot, but my spaniel, strangely, lines herself east to west to poop. Looks like a air field runway.

    • rork says:

      When jumping over a brook, I push off on left and land on right typically. I’m not surprised I have a preference. With age, I’m less ambidextrous about many tasks.
      I’ll be watching Owlbait.

  48. Nancy says:

    In addition to the fine, they should of had their snowboards taken away AND been banned from the ski resort.



December 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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