Oregon wolf population grows modestly in 2013, but breeding pairs down. Updated
The Oregon wolf population is at least 64 wolves at the end of 2013-
Oregon is perhaps the state with wolves that treats them the best. An official wolf count began in 2009 when 14 wolves were detected. Since then it has grown steadily though more slowly than did wolves in neighboring Idaho.
At the end of 2013, the minimum number of wolves was determined to be 64, up from 48 the previous year. In 2013 six breeding pairs of wolves were found, but in 2013 that fell to four. All the known wolves were in extreme NE Oregon, with the lone exception of famous wolf OR-7, named “Journey” by many folks. He lives in SW Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. He sometimes still ranges down into California.
Update: There just recently was a confirmed sighting that shows a second wolf has come to the Cascade Mountains. It was documented to be near Mt. Hood.
The packs are named Imnaha, Wenaha, Walla Walla, Umatilla River, Snake River, Mt Emily, Minam, and “New Pack in Catherine Cr / Keating.” Snake River, Umatilla River, Minam and Walla Walla are the packs with breeding pairs. Minam is the largest pack with 12 wolves. In 2012 the Wenaha Pack was the largest with eleven wolves. This year Minam dropped to nine, and were not considered to be a pack with a breeding pair of wolves.
There were two new packs detected in 2013 — probably five wolves in the “Catherine Cr/Keating Units.” This is near Medical Springs on the west side of the Wallowa Mountains. Four wolves were detected northwest of LaGrande, Oregon and named the Mt. Emily Pack. Mt. Emily came from a pair of wolves that had 3 pups last spring. Only one pup is thought to have survived and so Mt. Emily is not an official “breeding pair.”
All of the packs live (see map) in the part of the state where the federal government delisted wolves but they still have Oregon state endangered species status. Only OR-7 is in the part of Oregon where the federal government still maintains endangered species status for the gray wolf. The Snake River Pack spent 99% of its time in 2013 in the Hells Canyon Recreation Area, just across the Snake River from lethal Idaho.
Most of the wolf packs are genetically related, but the Walla Walla Pack is unique, not related to the other packs.
The scattered size information released on the Oregon wolves shows that those captured and weighed were all somewhat small — less than 100 pounds.
Oregon wolves were unique in that within the state’s boundaries only one of them was killed by a human. Two former Oregon wolves did die when they migrated to Idaho. One was shot in the wolf hunt and one was trapped.
– – – – – – –
Download the 2013 Oregon wolf report (pdf file)
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.
111 Responses to Oregon wolf population grows modestly in 2013, but breeding pairs down. Updated
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Yeah Oregon. I live in Oregon and I contacted the Oregon DFW in La Grande and they are working hard to make sure potential conflicts between wolves and livestock are minimized. Oregon is a “blue” state and politics here are mostly moderate in nature. Rep. Peter DeFazio is a strong supporter of wolves and is on the natural resource committee. Oregon Wild is actively promoting wolf tourism and conservation in NE Oregon. Wolves are protected by the state ESA.
A study done by Oregon State University indicated the Oregon Cascade Mountains could provide marginal habitat for wolves. There are not large elk numbers like NE Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming though.
Thank you for posting this. I’ve been anxious to see what the wolf counts are for 2013. I’ve heard some of them come out in March but does anybody know when the ID, MT,& WY wolf counts come out?
Wyoming Game and Fish releases its annual Grey Wolf report in mid April, but some of the pertinent info comes out a little sooner in the form of press releases. They wait until they have a den and estimated pup count.
I wish the oregon wolves well, this morning near Atlanta I saw 5 coyotes, looked like two adults (compring them to my two 40 lb dogs who were with me) I’d guess 40-50 pounds, with one large puppy maybe 30 pounds, and two smaller puppies. Someone needs to study eastern coyotes in the south, this is the second pack like group I’ve seen. Lots for deer in the area maybe they are hunting them like a wolf pack.
I’m was trying, just north and west of you. Not a whole lot of cooperation from any govt agencies. You have to do it on your own dime, too. Hell, even the specimens of wolves from historic samples have had ‘complications’ in getting tested. Its like a comedy and a tragedy wrapped together…..”Oh tragic mirth” as someone once said.
looks like I get a free ‘was’ with my posts tonight. Who knew?
Coyotes will hunt and hang out in family packs when left alone from intense human hunting, trapping, Snaildarter.
Watched 7 coyotes (family?) come and go one winter awhile back, as they took full advantage of a dead cow left in the meadow across from my cabin.
I’d never witnessed more than one or two coyotes together over the years and this group’s behavior was really interesting – tails high and wagging as they romped around, chasing each other and the magpies, ravens and eagles off from this dead cow.
Because of the distance (and winter coats) I actually thought at first it was a pack of wolves but realized after a few days (and a few improvised howling sessions) they were indeed coyotes.
Yes, good news!
Looks like we’ve had the first wolf visit to Mt. Hood!
Wonderful news. I hope the numbers continue to rise.
Lets hope they stay safe, thanks for the update. Its food news for a change
I will say, one of the few pluses to a urban environment is less gun obsession. In the south, shooting as a means for justifying having a rifle is mostly a ‘country’ thing, where a lot of ‘urban people’…for lack of a better term, seem to have a laissez faire attitude towards coyotes, like they do towards feral cats. Kind of a “What happens on the field stays on the field” attitude. Its actually kind of a nice change from the suburban ‘help me kill this animal’ attitude.
Itchy fingers – owning guns can cause use wherever it can be gotten away with.
Coyotes and wolves both have differing hunting habits dependent upon their major prey sources.
Wolves in certain seasons hunt in extremely small groups or solo. Coyotes more often hunt solo or paired than in a larger group, and both species do teach the young, at which times the packs seem larger in size than in other seasons.
Note the OR wolves’ smallness – less than 100 lb (most likely males bump that figure up). This will suggest that their prey are smaller. There is much literature accumulating from trained observation, and I hope that everyone will acquaint themselves with it.
The extremely tiny instances of predation on domestic species is particularly relevant information in the face of political and commercial resistance to the return of the wolf.
THe world’s largest elk live in WA Olympic Peninsula and in NW CA. Roosevelt elk in those areas are part of the ecosystems which once made, and can once again make for excellent wolf country.
Glad to see that wolves are doing well somewhere out west.
“Modest increase” in total numbers, perhaps. But, in terms of annual increase going from 48 to 64 confirmed wolves is a 33.3 percent increase. And, if Dr. Mech’s rule of thumb assertion that there are maybe up to 20% more in reality than a confirmed number, that would mean roughly another dozen or so (up from 8). No new recorded in-migration is not a good thing though, for the numbers, as ID appears to be a sink from what is reported.
This is, by anyone’s standard, a very positive NET increase. Breeding pairs down from 6 to 4 (recall this is looking backward in time) does not necessarily mean that is the situation in 2014, because they should be breeding and producing pups very soon. If they survive (and no wolves get in trouble requiring lethal removal), expect another 30% increase come the 2014 report a year from now. It will likely be over 100 wolves in OR, with as many as 6-9 breeding pairs.
Wonder when the WA report will be available?
Have you factored in average annual wolf mortality which is somewhere around 23% as per Rolf Peterson?
Just extrapolating the information from the information reported by Ralph in the lead narrative for the thread. So, presume Rolf Peterson’s mortality factor is already factored in. The forumula, as you know is as follows:
Pop Yr 2 = Pop Yr 1 + (net births-deaths from whatever cause) + net in/out migration.
Oregon wolf deaths were minimal this year because few got in trouble to the point they had to be removed, and no 3S (reported at least), and the couple out migrating ones that were legally killed in ID. I would not be a bit surprised if more that were NOT counted at year end, are reported before the snow goes off (just my opinion).
The majority of Dr. Petersons work is based on Isle Royal wolves where there is an incredible amount of inbreeding!
You might be correct about numbers, but I think NE Oregon might already be near its peak given the territoriality of existing packs, and the available out-migration paths that appear possible to the wolves.
Yes, migration back to Idaho will likely keep the Oregon population down. To a wolf, Idaho must appear desirable with plenty of deer and elk and other wolves to join, especially with the packs so disrupted by the hunting, trapping and state sponsored killing.
There does still appear to be wolf in-migration to Oregon. That is the likely reason the Walla Walla Pack was found to be genetically unrelated to the existing Oregon wolf packs. The pair that founded the pack probably came from Idaho.
Small animal populations usually have unstable numbers. The true growth rate was probably somewhat different than the reported rate due to undetected wolves. The same would have been true in 2012. There is a slight change it was substantial higher. On the other hand, last year might have had an almost zero rate of growth.
I wondered after readed the article what would cause the Walla Walla pack to be genetically different from the surrounding packs. So is it believed that all other packs in Oregon are descended from just a couple original dispersed wolves?
Being one of the westernmost packs it seems strange that they would be the genetically unique pack since any Idaho wolf dispersing to Oregon would have travelled through the territories of the other packs to get there, interesting stuff.
WA wolf report will be in early-mid March.
and if they do keep increasing they will need to be migrating, sadly into Idaho where they will continue to be killed. How does this inability to migrate to and from affect genetic stability?
Well, it’s certainly much better news than the alterative going on in the wolf-hating states. I wonder if at some point they will fall in with the rest of the wolf-hating states as far as ‘wolf management’.
If Eastern OR livestock owners and elk hunters have any say in the matter, it will happen (going the way of the 3 NRM core states, as will Eastern WA when they get more). And, at some point the wolf numbers will have to be “managed” wherever they eventually roam in these two states. See, that is the part that is difficult for some wolf advocates to comprehend.
Oregon does already manage wolves. Last year two packs qualified for “control,” but Oregan management is based on actual wolf behavior in the recent past — if wolves slated for death are not killed within a time limit and there are no more livestock killed, the whole matter is reset to zero. This happened with the Minam? Pack.
Yes, I agree, Ralph. The “manage” concept I implied was ultimately for maximum numbers and range, via hunting (or other measures, though OR seems less likely to employ them). For example, if wolves become too fond of the Blue Mountains elk herds, and too numerous, say 3-5 years from now, expect “management” of some type, having nothing to do with livestock depredation (and the 3 strike rule).
you bet they will – because rancher/hunter hatred of wolf is so extreme that in no way their bloodthirst will be satisfied with little wolf blood [harvest].
So the realistic policy would be to allow OR wolf population to reach the size well above minimum number required by legislation and then allow ‘reasonable wolf harvest’.
Otherwise if annual wolf hunting season will be introduced when wolf numbers reach 250 then hunters will go bananas with ridiculous 75 wolf quota, one can bet on that.
From the OR Plan (adopted 2005/updated 2010):
++Seven breeding pairs for three consecutive years in eastern or western Oregon is considered the management objective, or Phase 3. Under Phase 3 a limited controlled hunt could be allowed to decrease chronic depredation or reduce pressure on wild ungulate populations.
The Plan provides wildlife managers with adaptive management strategies to address wolf predation problems on wild ungulates if confirmed wolf predation leads to declines in localized herds.++
OR will be a responsible wolf manager, consistent with the terms of its plan (and if not expect litigation over how the plan is administered. The pro wolf crowd has litigated its version and expect the antis or even those in the middle who do not ungulate populations impacted by too many wolves to have their day in court, if ODFW waffles on their plan promise. Maybe RMEF would even be a plaintiff.
Hopefully managed in a more sustaiable way than the northern rockies has tried so far.
Great information here, thanks Ralph. While I don’t have much to post in this particular article, just letting you know that a lot of us read this like a newspaper article and this provides us with some great info about a sane (for now) state regarding wolf mgmt…
Additional info on Oregon wolves……
The Cascade Mountains run the entire distance in Oregon from north to south and although they do not provide the high elk numbers like NE Oregon, they do have a healthy deer population.
Would wolves move into this type of habitat and be able to survive in low numbers?
Yes. Wolves do just fine with a diet of deer. Look at the Great Lakes States and the large wolf population in Minnesota and the rapid growth that took place in Wisconsin.
In 1947 the last wolf extirpated in Oregon was in the southern Cascades.
Perhaps these two will meet up somewhere in between. Any info on the sex of the Mount Hood wolf?
Very good that the wolf population in Wa. State is growing and also in Oregon. I can’t help but feel wary though. I have read in Wa states plan, they are looking forward to opening up hunting as a wolf control method as soon as the numbers reach an acceptable level. If it is the same as ID, MT & WY, Washington State will open to hunting when there are less than 500 wolves in the state.
Oregon, which is a state that has zero setback on placement of traps from any trail or footpath will probably follow suit to the other western states and allow hunting of wolves way early in their attempt to restablish with any meaningful numbers. California is also preparing to setup hunting regulations as a means of control, should the Gray Wolf successfully become a part of California’s ecosystem again.
my guess is they will start a limited wolf hunt in the NE part of the state after delisting.
The number of BP will have reached 18 and no waiting period will be required, population will probably be in the 360-420 range.
perhaps because Oregon and Washington are more progressive wolf advocates will find a way to keep lethal control measures confined to state management. That is the only way that makes sense. Hunting wolves is a shitty way to manage animals that are so socially reliant on each other and that have such unique pack dynamics. It does not make sense either to kill wolves that are not causing problems. Its really damn cruel and unnecessary.
I love it!
Wandering Wolf OR-7 May Have A Pal In The Cascades
I just hope some human fool doesn’t get any bright ideas.
It will be interesting to see what happens when they get to California. There should be lots of good habitat there
I read where wolf populations within Yellowstone NP were “self regulating” as most wolves were killed by other wolves. The literature I have read indicates that if left alone, nature will regulate wildlife populations in a ebb and flow. When populations of one prey species increases, predator numbers increase and vice-versa.
Hunters want to be successful and aerial surveys have shown a significant reduction of elk numbers since wolves have returned. Do predators need to be killed by humans to maintain “healthy” elk populations? Do wolf recovery organizations only recommend the killing of wolves when repeated livestock predation occurs?
Since wolves currently occupy only ~1% of their historic range and they have only recently (20 years) returned to the Northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest, its seems premature to begin killing them.
If anyone can recommend literature that can answer some of these questions please let me know.
The definitive work on wolves
Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation
L. David Mech, Luigi Boitani
A shorter but equally important work on wolves and prey interaction would be
Bob Hayes “Wolves of the Yukon”
Gary there are others who have written about wolves that don’t have the same attitudes about “the need to hunt wolves to increase social tolerance”. I think Mech waded into social science here and created a loophole or opened the door for the justification of killing wolves. anyhow, some will hate that statement but you can also read Gordon Haber http://www.amazon.com/Among-Wolves-Insights-Alaskas-Misunderstood/dp/1602232180 for another take
(Oregon) Ranchers: Wolf Trouble
“….noted that it would be educational for hikers and campers to see the aftermath of gore left by a wolf pack that has literally torn a cow apart. Wolf tourism should include dead and wounded game and livestock as well as the horrified look on the rancher’s face,” he said.”
“Officials then have to determine whether the animal was actually killed by a predator or if it was just scavenged by one after dying of a disease or some other cause”
That’s the nasty little secret that cattlemen don’t want to come out – their cows do die from disease and complications from calving and when left laying around in fields or dead piles, will attract a host of predators.
Long before wolves were an issue around here, coyotes were the predator most likely to “rip a fetus from the womb” and they are still the top dog when it comes to livestock predations.
I would like to add, I have hunted elk in the Wenaha and Walla Walla Units of Northeast Oregon for 40 years. In the past 4 years I have seen a dramatic change in the behavior of the elk as well as a reduction in the numbers. We hunters are a vital segment of the states wildlife economy and well being. If things don’t change, i.e., better management with wolf hunting our hunter numbers will drastically diminish hurting all wildlife. On a side note, the past three years on two different occasions I have sighted wolverine in the Walla Walla Unit.
How could wildlife possibly persist without hunters there to kill it?
“In the past 4 years I have seen a dramatic change in the behavior of the elk as well as a reduction in the numbers. We hunters are a vital segment of the states wildlife economy and well being”
Wapitime – your “game farm” hunting mentality is seeping out around the edges with that comment 🙂
No doubt its been nice hunting for you in the past few decades but a return to balance in nature would also be worth investigating and investing in since a growing majority of your fellow humans don’t hunt and would rather enjoy (and pay for the experience)just be able to see wildlife in what’s left of their natural habitat.
“Eddy points out that despite the presence of wolves, elk are overrunning the 150,000-acre Zumwalt Prairie in northeastern Oregon’s Wallowa County. An estimated 3,400 elk threaten to overgraze the unique grassland.
“We’re trying to figure out ways to get rid of them,” Eddy said of the Zumwalt elk. “And that’s where the wolves are.”
Wapitime – when you have a moment check out this live webcam.
Nature at it’s best and doing its best, to survive in a world we humans continue to encroach on.
Nancy I say, ha! I have seen all the elk on Zuwalt–they congregate there for the great pasture, and the protection of the Nature Conservacy bunch. Many have been pushed there by the wolves and that is why they are congretating there. It is obvious you do not care for elk, deer or other creatures that are the prey of the Canadian wolf, an invasive spieces. These are not the native timber wolves of Oregon’s yester-year, these are Canadian wolves, much bigger and much more predatory. They kill for the fun of it. You and I are coming from two totally different worlds. Folks like you have it out for hunters and would like to eliminate all of us. That is your goal.
Well there you have it, the old killin’ for fun Canadian wolf that’s bigger and badder then the native Oregon timber wolf argument.
Can you tell me the difference between a timber wolf and a gray wolf? while you’re at it, can you tell me why you hunt elk? For fun, perhaps?
+ 10 Thanks Jay 🙂
Really, the ‘Canadian monster’ myth again? You all make elk out to be such a frail species. I wonder how they ever survived a North America with sabor-toothed cats, American lions, short-faced bears and dire wolves–all much larger than your mythical Canadian wolf? All of these predators in combination were not able to accomplish what man did in about a century. But do go on, you were telling us what a holy terror these Canadian monsters are…?
You guys are a bunch of tree huggers and if you live in Eastern Oregon you just moved there. “Game Fence” hunting as Nancy says. What an ignorant comment. I would like to see any of you do what a true sportsman hunter does—hike down deep, hike out deep. Go in light come out heavy. Take care of what you accomplished, the lean delicious meat from wild game. Hey, you guys are all ignorant. And by the way, these are Canadian wolves–not Oregon timber wolves. Hey, you guys, go hug a tree. Save an owl, blow up some SUV’s, set an SUV dealership on fire. Because that is what you do best. Eco-Terrorists. Hey, go out and howl to some wolves. Climb a tree and stop a timber harvest why don’t you. Just plain idiots all.
Actually, Canadian wolf backstrap sounds pretty good right now.
Ah, and stereotypes to boot. Actually, I will only speak for myself, and I was on this blog just the other day advocating for more tree harvest, so tree-hugger…not so much. Also grew up hunting and fishing (strike two). I own an SUV, have never set a dealership on fire and have a PhD in Natural Resource Management (so strike 3 and 4). Care to throw out any others? If you swing long enough, eventually you’ll hit something.
Absolutely brilliant response. Does Mensa know you’re available? With all that brainpower, surely you can explain the difference between an oregon timber wolf and a gray wolf?
Oh my, you are full of it, Wapitime. I have family that hunts all over the Wallowa-Whitman forest in the region that is on the Umatilla rez. LOL, he lives up there so he really just has to walk outside and go hunting. LOL, I bet he wishes he had an ATV when he’s hiking all over those fingers.
Yivvy, come on now what does that suppose to mean? Sorry, we are not allowed to hunt on the Rez, so we hit the high country during our legal hunting season. Cheers!
Wildlife would thrive if hunters were not around. The claim that there would be no wildlife without hunters is clear and utter BS.
to JB +++++1
“Montana Pioneer: What were the main characteristics that were different between the wolves from Canada and the wolves that pre-existed here in Yellowstone, say 150 years ago? Is that known?
Doug Smith: Not really. All we have are skulls to judge it from. What we know from studying the skulls are that the wolves are essentially the same. The Canadian wolves were about 7 to 8 percent larger than the pre-existing wolves of Yellowstone. Seven to eight percent is within the variation of size difference found in wolf skulls all over North America, so the difference is statistically insignificant.”
” These are not the native timber wolves of Oregon’s yester-year, these are Canadian wolves, much bigger and much more predatory. They kill for the fun of it. “You and I are coming from two totally different worlds.””
No sarcasm required, as the above quote, in particular the last sentence, speaks for itself.
Geez, did this pioneer live 150 years ago? Man, he is an old sumbeach for sure and he must know it all… So they are larger, at least to this 80 year old used car salesman, the pioneer. Really funny. I would really like to know what part of the country you tree-hugger live in…. Maybe I will calm down, come to grips and attempt to carry on an intelligent conversation with you guys….. Do any of you hunt? Are you against eating vension? How about chicken or beef? Just curious. Oh, and do you have any idea how much money sportsman put into wildlife conservation? The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation? The Mule Deer Foundation? Cabela’s? Do you have any idea? We hunters are the true protectors of habitat and wildlife. Add up the numbers.
“Maybe I will calm down, come to grips and attempt to carry on an intelligent conversation with you guys…”
🙂 Good luck with that. Might have to get some help from an adult…
“Nancy I say, ha! I have seen all the elk on Zuwalt–they congregate there for the great pasture, and the protection of the Nature Conservacy bunch.”
How can that be, only hunters are the true protectors of habitat and wildlife?
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Oh, and by the way, I do not expect to win an argument with a dozen tree hugging liberal Obama advocates. I think I will just give up for now and come back later. Hell, I am 67 years old and at this stage of my life no one is going to chance my thinking….for instance, most progressives are a curse to society… They advocate wind farms, gay marriage, and legalized pot. What is an old woodsman to thing ferchrisakes.
Get off my lawn you little bastards!!
“Hell, I am 67 years old and at this stage of my life no one is going to chance my thinking…”
Ignoring the rampant use of stereotypes (again), are you then admitting that facts won’t change your mind? If you were to do a bit of research, you’d find elk persisted alongside much larger, fiercer predators than wolves (those I mentioned above) that were extirpated some 10-20,000 years ago. Care to offer a theory on why this smaller, “Canadian wolf” is more of a threat?
And again, the SCIENCE suggests the wolves that are here now are roughly 7-8% larger than those that existed here historically (the sculls come from Museums, by the way), which is within the normal variation of NA wolves in general (so no difference).
As Ron White says, “you can’t fix stupid”.
Most of us “tree huggers” would expect you’d of gotten a ferchrisakes life by now 🙂 Wapitime if you actually gave a crap about wildlife:)
Also, pardon me for hitting the wrong keys on this old vintage Royal typewritter resulting in mispelled words.
A good carpenter doesn’t blame his tools.
I love that one. Congrats.
Going to go out now and see if I can call in a couple coyotes with my predator call. Skin ’em out for decoration. You guys/gals have a good day. Go out and have a Starbucks coffee, and a cookie or whatever you do in the big city. Ride a bike, groove on a skateboard, graffiti a few buildings? Watch White Fang re-runs…. Whatever.
See you later, troll.
Remember, the end the loud noise comes out of is the dangerous end.
Wapiti, your name and your typewriter hold you in good stead. Do come back for some ‘spirited’ discussions. 🙂
Ida, ida shot a coyote if it weren’t so danged windy today. Hey, thanks. I am not the jerk I might appear to be. To be honest, the thought of a few wolves in Oregon does not bother me. I just do not want to see in Oregon what has happened in Montana and Idaho where the wolves have decimated the elk. I have an old retired high school buddy now living in Lovell, Wyoming. Retired Ranger Kortge from Yellowstone. He has told me what wolves have done to elk in and around that county. I just do not want that to happen here. I want my son’s and grandson’s to enjoy and experience what I have. Nothing better than an elk or venison steak….but even more rewarding is what it takes to harvest, and take care of the animal at 5,600 feet in a snow storm. Character builder. You have to be fit, or you will not succeed. Cheers Ida. If I was smart ida had a gin and tonic. I will be back.
Wapitime, if you think the wolves are solely to blame for decimating the elk you’v come to the right blog. Search past articles. Read the comments and you, like I, will learn the many other factors that have influenced the elk population.
If you are what you say you are then you’ll recognize there is much more going on with the elk population than wolves.
Yvette, I love that name. I am a Life Member of The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, so I do understand habitat and elk, and wolves, cougars, etc. I am always willing to learn more. I am also a lifetime member of the NRA, so to most “progressives” I am a radical right wing redneck nut job. Whatever, I am proud of my heritage and beliefs.
“I just do not want to see in Oregon what has happened in Montana and Idaho where the wolves have decimated the elk.”
You need to do some reading if you think wolves have decimated elk in Montana and Idaho.
Montana’s elk population is currently at or above population objectives in 109 of 135 units (81%) with stated objectives (see: http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/management/elk/).
Idaho is similarly well situated. Elk hunting success in Idaho has steadily increased since 1982 for archers and muzzleloader hunters, and is relatively flat for rifle hunters. Idaho recently investigated cause-specific mortality in 11 elk management zones. Wolf mortality was the majority cause in only one of the 11 zones (see p. 23 of Idaho’s elk mgmt. report: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/wildlife/planElk.pdf).
Meanwhile, Wyoming is actually reporting NEAR RECORD HARVESTS: http://wgfd.wyo.gov/wtest/news-1001959.aspx.
Stop reading hunting blogs and do a little research and you will quickly find that the chicken little rhetoric is vastly overestimating the impact of wolves.
A sense of humor is always appreciated. I like to hear from people with opinions and experiences different from my own. If you are serious about wildlife discussion, I hope you will join us. Not all tree huggers are alike, and of course not all hunters are either.
One last comment @ Wapitime. If you want to be a serious troll learn your target audience.
A true treehugging, latte loving, vegan scone eating urbanite wouldn’t be caught dead in Starbucks. Too corporate.
Ha! Only sometimes tho, for their green tea frappaccino. 🙂
you nailed it, prophet – WM immediately left TWN forum to paint some federal buildings with graffiti, JB started to groove on his latest skateboard, but Jeff E strolled into his favorite Starbucks to enjoy his daily coffee and some cookies
I’d be willing to bet, get wolves from MN, and mix them in with wolves in the NRM, and most, if not all folks would be unable to tell the difference between them.
Heck, if they’re shooting grizzlies, mistaking them for black bears, these pseudo experts would have a very difficult time separating these giant Canadian wolves from those of MN.
I’mmer woodsman Immer and what you say is probably true. Hang in there. Do not put all of the great American hunters into the same cubicle. That is a mistake. We true woodsman know the difference between a red or blonde phased black bear in Hells Canyon and a griz in the Absaroka. We are most of us, true outdoorsman. I am one, and it takes one to know one.
“Do not put all of the great American hunters into the same cubicle.”
Take your own advice and don’t stereotype everyone that doesn’t go out and “kill for fun” like yourself. Some of us actually hunt for food.
Note to folks,
I let Wapitime comment here because I thought he might know something more than stereotypes about wildlife and people.
Wapitime, if you want to continue to post, give us some real information about NE Oregon wildlife. This newspaper comes out of Idaho, written by Idahoans, so don’t lecture to us about how the elk are all gone or about Canadian wolves. The wolves in Oregon originated in Idaho.
Now what you wrote about wolverines was interesting. More please!
Okay Ralph, am I suppose to feel privileged to post here? What is this site, a branch of PRAVDA? I really do not need your site to voice my opinion. I believe if you really knew my credentials you might be “impressed” but I really don’t care…. I have written numerous articles for numerous publications. Oh by the way Ralph, I know our wolves came from Idaho, also know that Idaho’s elk have taken a huge hit because of the wolf….. Enjoyed your site and sparring a bit.
Maybe you didn’t read JB’s comment above where he cites actual data. The data show that elk are doing well in Idaho and extremely well in Montana and Wyoming.
What you see out hunting or whatever and what is the actual case in an area is the result of luck and perception as well as actual numbers.
In recent years when I go out, I see coyotes, deer, elk and pronghorn. It has been a 3-4 years since I saw a wolf or a bear in Idaho. It’s been 25 years since a saw a cougar in the wild in Idaho. So can I rightly conclude that wolves, bears and cougars are almost wiped out in Idaho?
Okay, I apologize for my antics. But I will contend that wolves cannot be good for elk and deer populations. I do a lot of reading, Bugle, Eastman’s Journal, and watch a lot of outdoor programs and I cannot imagine they are making up stories. To be honest I like the idea of a few wolves but I have grave concerns that they will become mismanaged and their numbers will get out of control. I have a good friend, a retired Park Ranger from Yellowstone and now living in Lovell, Wyoming that has told me about the havoc wolves have had on the elk and moose.
“But I will contend that wolves cannot be good for elk and deer populations. ”
Tens of thousands if years of natural selection contradict this statement. Elk, deer, wolves, and all the critters in this scenario evolved together. Which would translate that none are good without the other.
The only way your statement floats is artificially high ungulate populations for hunting, period. Up here in NE MN emergency deer feeding programs were initiated because if an unusually severe winter, which might translate to too many deer for the habitat. Even with gross deer starvation, the MN deer hunter association (MDHA) wants more wolves killed. Bullshit! The time for this game farm mentality needs to come to an end.
And prior to jumping to conclusions about me, I do hunt, live rural, have wolves around my place, and I do hug trees, at least the young red and white pines that don’t have a chance because the deer are mowing them down.
I saw you earlier questioning backgrounds and credentials of folks who read and post here. It varies quite a bit. Some are pretty well formally educated or experienced in the natural resource fields; there are hunters as well, and some of us are even “tree huggers,” whatever that term means these days. There are others that just express their “emotions and passion” for wild things, not giving much thought to the realities of living in a changing world. Some of us even live in the Western states, or even in places like Northern MN, where wolves have been in pretty good numbers for years. And, importantly, there are also folks who know a lot about wolves (and when I say this, I mean a whole lot as in scientists who study them), coyotes, elk and deer. They might even be inclined to cite some scientific articles of past and current research on the topic.
Not that I don’t find some of the magazines you say you read as interesting (I have been a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation since about 1988), and maybe evidence of a little common sense needs to be applied to wolf management in some places.
I’d be real careful who you pick a fight/debate with, because it is likely you will get a whooping.
Candidly, I don’t think you have enough wolves in Eastern OR to create much of an impact on numbers of elk/deer YET. But, the few you do have may loally affect age structure (taking young of the year and older ones, included rut weakened herd bulls). Wolves, will affect the way elk behave in some locations, keeping them on steeper ground, higher elevations and eating less nutritious feed (browse over grass). That could mean you are seeing fewer and less sign in places where you might have seen evidence of more elk before. That has been my experience in an area of ID, I have hunted for the last 25 years, pre-wolf, present, and with changing habitat from less logging in some places. And, do remember a wolf will eat 12-23 ungulates/year, so generally the more wolves there are, potentially the fewer elk, at some point. And, despite what some may say, it does affect localized populations (hence a counter to the summary data to which JB above cites about state-wide data “showing elk are at or above management objective,” in some states (which of course might be true with mild winters, early green up and aggressive wolf control as is currently taking place in ID, MT and WY the last four years, or so.
But, just let me say in closing, if you think the wolves you have now in OR, are larger than those that historically inhabited Eastern OR, you are full of horse shit. And, somebody on this forum will likely show up sooner or later with a scientific paper, including weights and measures of the wolves re-introduced into ID and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, along with some historical data from a hundred years ago to prove it.
Otherwise, stick around, you might learn something, and you might offer some thoughtful local insight if you choose your words carefully, living where wolves now actually are in Eastern OR.
By the way, if you feel inclined to share, what are the impressive “credentials,” you say you have?
Theodore Roosevelt from over 100 years ago:
The difference even among the wolves of different sections of our own country is very notable. It may be true that the species as a whole is rather weaker and less ferocious than the European wolf; but it is
certainly not true of the wolves of certain localities. The great
timber wolf of the central and northern chains of the Rockies and
coast ranges is in every way a more formidable creature than the buffalo wolf of the plains, although they intergrade.
A full-grown dog-wolf of the northern Rockies, an exceptional
instances, reaches a height of thirty-two inches and a weight of 130 pounds; a big buffalo wolf of the upper Missouri stands thirty or
thirty-one inches at the shoulder and weighs about 110 pounds.
The bitch-wolves are smaller; and moreover there is often great
variation even in the wolves of closely neighboring localities.
So I am full of horse shit? I am not opposed to that… Last year elk hunting in the Walla Walla Unit which is adjacent to the Wenaha, we watched two wolves frolicking across the ravine from just below Reser Cabin…This was the day before the elk opener…watched them on a beautiful morning right after of bear backstrap and eggs. They finally heard something or smelled something on took off rapidly towards the timber. The year before we heard howls as we approached a group of elk in the bottom of the canyon, saw 5 inch wolf tracks in the snow and never saw those elk again…. Anyway the two wolves we saw the prior year were not that big. However several years ago on a spring bear hunt by Sheep Creek north of Joseph and not far from Zumwalt Prairie we saw a huge wolf…that was about a year before confirmation of wolves being here.
I was reading that that the wolves from Canada are the same DNA as the wolves that lived here before and the size changes with climate, like the bears, that some wolves are larger as you go north, but get smalller in the south. I just read a story that said that as the wolves continue to live in oregon that each new generation will alter to mach their climate. Is this wrong or right?
Some information from those involved in the reintroduction of wolves from Alberta in 1995 with links to 1996:
So, Wapitime, from your writing above you have 2 anecdotal observations of a total of 3 wolves and one set of large tracks which allow you to draw a conclusion about wolf size in OR as compared to elsewhere and historical size there? None were weighed or measured, and you submit this as conclusive proof?
Kinda sketchy, don’t ya think?
I have driven the Alaska Highway 17 times and seem numerous wolves in British Columbia and the Yukon. I have seen wolves in Yellowstone Parks and a few in Southwest Montana. They was never a noticeable difference in size.
Yes it is a privilege to post here.
This is private property, Ralph’s private property to be exact.
The same as your front door step. what do YOU allow on that space. Just anybody to come along and spew whatever they want?
That seems to be a common misconception out there that one can come on this site and vomit whatever BS that is sloping around in there head. Seems to be especially prevalent amongst the ones that cry the loudest about how “their” rights are being trammeled on with respect to public lands; in particular the wolf issue.
There are others that just express their “emotions and passion” for wild things, not giving much thought to the realities of living in a changing world.
That reminds me of “The Peace of Wild Things”.
In this mornings Oregonian there is a report that OR-7 has found a mate, a black female. Camera’s have video of them together in Jackson County, in the southeast Oregon Cascades. The say they have denned up together. Thought you wolf lovers might find the news interesting.
Also, I have read bushels of books written by and about T.R. What an amazing, interesting person he was.
ODFG put the news out yesterday, I reported it yesterday elsewhere.
Link to story and pictures of those and other Oregon wolves: