Hunting season may be over but wolves are hardly in the clear

 

Yesterday marked the close of the first official hunting season for wolves ever to take place in America’s lower 48 states. More than 250 wolves were killed as a result of Montana and Idaho’s hunting seasons and more than twice that number have been killed overall since wolves lost federal protections in May of 2009.

And while assessing the true biological impact of the delisting decision and subsequent hunting season on the regional population will need further observation and time, one thing is clear: The optimistic talks of an official hunting season leading to a greater tolerance for wolves in the region were seemingly based on wishful thinking.

As the hunt draws to a close, tensions over wolf management remain high. Last year there were more illegal killings of wolves in the Northern Rockies than there were in 2008. Unscientific anti-wolf rhetoric in the West has become so commonplace and unchallenged in regional media articles that it’s in danger of becoming accepted as ‘fact.’

Recent headlines from across the region showcase the escalating persecution wolves face from many sides: from the usual vocal anti-wolf interest groups to political candidates and state legislative officials looking not to inform but to incite fear by whipping their constituents into an irrational wolf-hating frenzy.

Though unsubstantiated claims of non-native “Canadian” wolves destroying elk herds, spreading disease and posing a severe threat to human life continue to make headlines, the facts remain the same as they were before the hunt and the delisting of wolves:

The wolves currently in the Northern Rockies are a native species. Many of them descended from wolves that walked across the Canadian border on their own in the 1970s and 1980s to recolonize their historic stomping grounds. All of the region’s wolves are from the same species that lived in the area before humans killed them; Canis lupis.

Elk and deer (wolves' primary prey) are doing well in the region. With over 350,000 elk and a million deer (compared to about 1,600 wolves) there is enough game for everyone, including the predators.  While there can sometimes be local impacts by predators on prey populations, predator numbers are primarily driven by prey numbers, which in turn are controlled by the availability of food and the uncertainty of the weather. These many factors ensure that elk, deer and other ungulates are not ‘wiped out’ by the animals that eat them, demonstrating nature’s inherent method for balance.

Wolves also pose minimal health and safety risks to people. For example, the tapeworm parasite, which has spurred anti-wolf legislative proposals and articles, is present in more common species like coyotes, foxes, sheep and domestic dogs, and doesn’t pose a health threat to people unless they handle the feces of an infected animal. In fact, the reintroduced wolves were screened and treated for this parasite before being released. And the country’s wolf biologists, who have handled hundreds of wolves, have not contracted this contagious parasite.

There have been reports that wolves may be responsible for the death of two people in the last 100 years in North America. These attacks are extremely unfortunate, and our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims. But we must also remember that these cases are exceedingly rare and that more people die from road accidents with elk, deer and cattle than from all predator attacks combined. These two cases do not justify the extreme antipathy toward wolves from some in the Northern Rockies.

Wolves are an easy scapegoat for all manner of ills, which is unfortunate given the strong evidence showing how beneficial they have been to restoring biodiversity and balance to the ecosystem, attracting ecotourism to the region and inspiring millions of young Americans to learn more about our country’s natural history. Outside the Northern Rockies, wolves sometimes face a more sympathetic audience. In the Great Lakes region, for example, there is less potential wolf habitat and more than twice the number of wolves than in the Northern Rockies, yet residents, farmers and hunters there coexist with wolves on a daily basis and public support for wolf recovery remains strong.

We simply cannot allow the deep-seated yet irrational fears of a minority of people to dictate biological decisions with national implications such as the management of a keystone predator species like the wolf. Wolves make headlines and play a prominent role in fairy tales but they’re far from the most significant threat to livestock, ungulates or people. In order to ameliorate tensions and build support for wolves in the region, we must highlight the many ways in which humans and wolves can coexist.

And Defenders of Wildlife plans to do just that.  The wolf hunting season is over, and calving and lambing season is upon us. Soon young livestock will be heading out to their spring and summer grazing pastures, on both private and public ground, where a variety of wildlife lives – including wolves. We are working with ranchers and sheep producers throughout the Northern Rockies and the Pacific Northwest to reduce livestock losses to wolves, and increase tolerance for this iconic animal that we are lucky to have restored to the West.

Erin McCallum is a communications specialist for Defenders of Wildlife.

most excellent!
marty weiss
marty weiss
Apr 01, 2010 05:25 PM
Erin McCallum you are a treasure.
That's the best, most well-spoken,realistic and well-reasoned article on wolves I've read.
You made me think. Humans have to be wolves for the wolves and whales for the whales. These animals have no one else to speak for them.
You really wrote a great piece and did a lot of homework to accomplish it. I am very appreciative.
Wolves
Courtney
Courtney
Apr 02, 2010 12:23 PM
The wolf issue is extremely complicated but you're right that it's time people learn to live with wolves instead of fighting against them.
Wolf Numbers
Larry Thorngren
Larry Thorngren
Apr 02, 2010 02:40 PM
I attended the wolf hunt press conference in Boise, hosted by the Idaho Fish and Game deartment on Wednesday. The department was very proud of permiting 187 wolves to be killed this past season and are planning on reducing the present population(850+-) down to 519 wolves starting next year. An independent research team should be formed to monitor any wolf research by the IDFG as they are being pushed polically to reduce wolf numbers in Idaho.
living with wolves
Judith
Judith
Apr 02, 2010 04:21 PM
Thank you Erin, this is a great article you have written. I live in an area where there are Ranchers that are negative towards the wolves and spread here- say and exaggerations of why wolves do not belong in the wild. They also try to claim that the Canis lupis that exist in Northern Rockies area now are not the same Canis lupis that used to roam here before extermination. This is one of many rumors I have heard for excuses for a while. I of course,being a longtime wolf advocate, defend the wolves in a polite manner as possible. There is alot of work that needs to be done out there to inform Ranchers with facts, so that hearsay and fear driven accusations can be cleared and the hate that exist will diminsih more and more.
2 deaths in 5 years
TLM
TLM
Apr 02, 2010 06:31 PM
You accuse pro-wolf managment of biased reporting on the impacts of wolves, yet your story is also biased. The deaths of 2 people in FIVE years is significant. You say wolves have attracted tourism, yet the towns near Yellowstone report less tourist taxes collected.

Please do more than repeat what others say and do some research. Look into the facts from the 2009 Wolf Report put out by the Idaho Fish and Game department and find out why we need to reduce the population to 500 wolves.

Wolves have saturated all the available prime habitat. Wolves belong in the wilderness but not in our rural towns.
2 deaths in 5 years
AS
AS
Apr 03, 2010 04:07 PM
I think it is you who needs to look at the facts. To put things into perspective, 2 million people a year die due to mosquito bites (and resulting malaria), 50,000 die due to snake bites; while in North America 18 die per year from domestic dog attacks and over 150 die due to deer, most in auto related accidents, but 2 or 3 from actual deer attacks.
When wolves "saturate" their habitat they are self-regulating, as has been demonstrated in Yellowstone (where numbers have fallen from a high of 171 to less than 100 in recent years) and on Isle Royale. As with other predators, the availability of food and suitable habitat regulate numbers without human interference.
According to a report from the USFWS hunters added 138.5 million dollars to Wyoming's economy in 2006, while wildlife watchers contributed $392.5 million. Studies done by the University of Montana indicate that the chance of seeing a wolf is the number one reason people sight for making a trip to Yellowstone, and that dedicated wolf watchers bring millions to the local economy. Visitation may be down (and thus tax dollars) in this tough economy, but one has to wonder how much further it would be down without these "wolf" dollars.
I suggest that you not restrict your study of the wolf to reading "Little Red Riding Hood".
2 deaths in 5 years - help prevent the next
TLM
TLM
Apr 04, 2010 05:21 PM
Mosquitoes, fleas and ticks carry terrible diseases. Do we protect these critters or do most people kill them? Your analogy doesn't hold water and has nothing to do with the subject of wolves.

In a closed ecosystem like Isle Royal, the wolves do self regulate their population. However Idaho is not a closed ecosystem, and young wolves leave the core population (prime habitat) and form new packs in marginal habitat. The population grows and spreads, like tossing a pebble in a pond. That is how 44 wolves turned into 1700 wolves.

I suggest you do some research and not just repeat the same DoW talking points. Start with wolf population maps and realize that people, nice people with families, live in small towns where the wolf packs are. Its not just ranchers and farmer, or hunters, its someones grandma or aunt worried about the grand kids playing in their own yards.

Not all people that see the need for management are "anti wolf" - we realize the benefits of a balanced ecosystem. We also realize that wolves should not be living around where people live, and as more wolves become habituated to humans, more attacks will likely occur. Why is it so wrong to educate people and try and prevent another tragedy?
Get a grip....
AS
AS
Apr 05, 2010 09:31 AM
Your chance of dying in an accident in your own home, or even of being struck by lightning, are greater than your chance of being killed by ANY animal. chances are greater that you will be killed by your own dog than by a wolf. Fact is that ANY animal, wild or domestic, can be dangerous if cornered, teased, habituated, sick, injured etc. Not one person has even been scratched by a wolf in the lower forty eight; and despite the fact that there are 6-8,000 wolves in Alaska and thousands more than that in Canada, you have one proven death and one possible death (still being investigated). Why is it that when a "mega-fauna" such as a wolf or bear or croc kills or injures someone it is blown way out of proportion and makes the national news; yet if someone is gored by their pet steer, killed by a snake or spider bite or sent to the hospital by their pet border collie (not to mention killed by an errant deer on the highway) it's lucky to make the local paper? The reason: death by mega-fauna is so darned rare that it is news, while these other things are common place.
Many facinating studies have been done regarding predator/prey relationships. For example the relationship between Canada Linx populations and the population of their principle prey, snowshoe hairs.
Documented for over one hundred years, whenever hair numbers would fall linx numbers inevitably crashed the following year; when hair numbers recovered so did linx. The same is being illustrated today on Isle Royale and currently in Yellowstone where falling elk numbers have resulted in lower survival rates in wolves, and a dramatic drop in overall wolf numbers. There is no hunting in the park.
Believe it or not, man is not God. If man did not exist Nature would get along just fine.
I live in a small town right next to Yellowstone. I have not heard of any wolf packs roaming the streets of rural American. Please provide documentation. I have, however, seen 7 point bull elk in rut wander through town along with an occassional grizzly bear; even a mountain lion once. No one seems to panic about them. The kids all seem to know to keep their distance. Life goes on.
Regarding the "protected" status of wolves (as opposed to mosquitoes etc.); of the top ten most dangerous animals, a list which wolves, grizzly bears and mountain lions don't even come close to making, #7, the elephant, status: protected. #5 African lion, status: protected. #4, great white shark, status: protected. Regarding wolves, over 3,000 have been killed, mostly by the so-called "Wildlife Services" since re-introduction; so don't talk to me about how wolves haven't been "managed" (killed).
Meantime, I would advise that grandma and Auntie Em worry about snakes and spiders in the wood pile, the neighbor's dogs, bee stings, falls from the roof top and what is truly the most dangerous animal out there, human predators.
Or would you suggest that we simply lock our kids in sterile, rubber- lined rooms and feed them through a double airlock?
wolves
bob
bob
Apr 12, 2010 07:09 AM
"We also realize that wolves should not be living around where people live,"

or perhaps people shouldn't be living where wolves live. afraid of wolf attacks? MOVE.
2 deaths in 5 years - help prevent the next
lonewolf
lonewolf
Oct 20, 2010 05:58 PM
actually, wolves kill less ppl then a cocanut does, the only time a wolf attacks a human, is when theyre prevoked, they dont attack for no reason, wolves are like us in many ways, they protect theyre young like we do, and ive seen wolves, wild wolves, prtect a human child from danger, if u want to protect ur child from wolves, just bring them in teh house when u see a wolf, dont litter in ur town so wolves dont have a chance to scavenge for food, and how do u know a wolf killed these ppl, mountain lions and wolves live in the same area u know
Congratulations
wendy muffet
wendy muffet
Apr 02, 2010 08:28 PM
Congratulations on an informative, balanced, passionate piece of reporting Erin.
As an Aussie farmer I understand the need to do my best to take a balanced approach to the ecosystem in which I operate. It's not always easy to see the "whole" when your lively hood is involved but it is vitally important to do so and always has unexpected positive outcomes.
Keep up the great work!
 
when hard words are the truth
marty weiss
marty weiss
Apr 03, 2010 11:50 PM
The rancher strings barbed wire across the range, drills wells and bulldozes stock ponds everywhere, drives off the elk and antelope and bighorn sheep, poisons coyotes and prairie dogs, shoots eagle and bear and cougar on sight, supplants the native bluestem and grama grass with tumbleweed, cow sh*t, cheat grass, snakeweed, anthills, poverty weed, mud and dust and flies--and then leans back and smiles broadly at the Tee Vee cameras and tells us how much he loves the West.

Quote Author Abbey, Edward
Bio Dates 1927 - 1989
Bio Thoreau of the West, and John Muir and Sophocles, Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Rachel Carson, too.


In order to just simply survive, we have to live
in harmony with Nature, not John Deere, Monsanto,
Dow or Heinhold or Chase.
It is Nature who feeds us.
All of us and all of those beneath us on the food chain
who make it possible for us to survive.
Edward Abbey's words describe a vision of the land fast becoming untenable.
Those who kill indiscriminately will not endure.
interested
chinese peeping
chinese peeping
Apr 04, 2010 08:28 PM
i am a chinese girl, very interested in getting to know about what american foresters are doing , and this site definitely gives me a quick window to lift and peep.

looking forward to finding something valuable here
welcome, dear Chinese girl
marty weiss
marty weiss
Apr 04, 2010 10:36 PM
you have come to an unusually good place for your investigation.
This is a great place for the overview of current ideas and practices, and for a realistic look at what residents are thinking about, both from the interest of landowners and from the experts on science and biodiversity.
I am pleased to welcome you.
peep to your heart's content
marty weiss
marty weiss
Apr 06, 2010 04:52 PM
I offer you a chinese saying in welcome.
"where the mystery is the deepest
is the source of all that is subtle and wonderful."

From English translation of the Book of T'ao.
the wolf hunting
Venecija Levi Breder
Venecija Levi Breder
Apr 08, 2010 12:51 PM
One day the protection of the wolves will be achieved only with same methods, methods with guns .Unfortunately ,this is the only reality that is going to be understood by those who’s only talk is the gun’s talk .Progressive part of the humanity is parting from barbaric part of the human society.
Wolves
Pat
Pat
Apr 08, 2010 04:17 PM
It would appear a highly respected conservation organization disagrees with the take in this article. Food for thought.

MISSOULA, Mont.—In letters to legislators and newspapers across the West, the Rocky
Mountain Elk Foundation is calling out groups like Defenders of Wildlife, Western Wildlife Conservancy and others for their disingenuous use of data on wolves and elk. The RMEF action was prompted by each group’s recent op-ed articles in the media, as well as testimony before Utah lawmakers by Western Wildlife Conservancy Executive Director Kirk Robinson. All cited RMEF statistics to argue that restored wolf populations have somehow translated to growing elk herds in the northern Rockies.
“The theory that wolves haven’t had a significant adverse impact on some elk populations is not accurate. We’ve become all too familiar with these groups’ tactic of cherry-picking select pieces of information to support their own agenda, even when it is misleading,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “We will not allow that claim to go unchallenged.”

RMEF population data, which come from state wildlife agencies, show that elk populations are expanding the most in areas of the northern Rockies where wolves are not present. However, where elk share habitat with wolves, such as the greater Yellowstone area, some elk populations are declining fast. In fact, since the mid-1990s introduction of gray wolves, the northern Yellowstone elk herd has dropped from about 17,000 to 7,100 animals—a 58 percent decline. Other localities in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming also are documenting precipitous downward trends.

Additionally, some research shows that elk remaining in areas of concentrated wolf populations are suffering nutrition loss, lower body weights and decreasing birth rates. Allen said, “Every wildlife conservation agency, both state and federal, working at ground zero of wolf restoration—Idaho, Montana and Wyoming—has abundant data to demonstrate how undermanaged wolf populations can compromise local elk herds and local livestock production. There’s just no dispute, and emotion-over-science is not the way to professionally manage wildlife.”

RMEF continues to support state-regulated wolf management to include hunting and other viable methods. This position is supported by new reports of diseased wolf populations in the Yellowstone area.
“When wolves are too abundant, they’re more susceptible to diseases, just like all wildlife. The viruses and mange now spreading through wolf packs is another sign of way too many wolves,” said Allen. “Defenders of Wildlife would like to spin sick wolves as a reason to end hunting. But real conservationists know that diseased wildlife populations need better management. Hunting as a management tool delivers that, period.”

He added, “Remember, pro-wolf groups make their living by prolonging this conflict.
There is no real incentive for them to admit that wolves are overly recovered. Fundraising is their major motive and they’ve built a goldmine by filing lawsuits and preaching that nature will find its own equilibrium between predators and prey if man would just leave it alone. That’s a myth. The truth is that people are the most important part of the equation.

This isn’t the Wild West anymore. People live here—actually quite a lot of us. So our land and resources must be managed. Wildlife must be managed. Radical spikes and dips in populations show that we should be doing it better. It’s not profitable for plaintiffs, but the rest of us would be better served if the conflict ended and conservation professionals were allowed to get on with their business of managing wildlife, including a well regulated hunting strategy.”
Northern Elk Herd
AS
AS
Apr 13, 2010 02:41 PM
"In fact, since the mid-1990s introduction of gray wolves, the northern Yellowstone elk herd has dropped from about 17,000 to 7,100 animals—a 58 percent decline."
Ahhh yes, the infamous Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd!! At least I give them credit for not claiming this herd was 19,000 strong at re-introduction, as many claim. The fact, of course, is that over 2,000 animals died of starvation the winter BEFORE re-introduction. Another couple of thousand died of starvation the winter OF re-introduction. A testament perhaps of just how "healthy" this herd was?
A few things are conveniently not mentioned by those who scream "17,000" or "19,000". The first is that historically this herd was never that high. Prior to wolf extirpation the population of elk was close to what it is today; as it was during the 40's, 50's and 60's when Park Rangers culled thousands of animals in an attempt to keep a healthy, sustainable population of 6-10 thousand elk. Indeed, 50 or 60 years ago park biologists wrote a paper (available at the park web-site) that even at those numbers elk were destroying aspen, willows and cottonwood (and with them habitat for moose, beaver and songbirds). Biologists now know that it is more than population, but also habits of elk that matter. Wolves keep elk moving. Culling of elk was halted in the 60's due to public outcry, and without natural predators the population began to explode. Even grizzlies were far and few in between in the 70's and 80's.
I remember the park in the 90's. You couldn't drive through the northern range without waiting for sometimes hundreds of elk to clear the road. Landowners north of the park were screaming for something to be done, as the elk were eating them out of house and home. The Gardner late winter hunt was started for one purpose and one purpose only; an attempt (that failed) to get this herd under control. In fact, one of the reasons wolves were re-introduced was for that very reason; which leads us to another small fact rarely mentioned: The population of this herd, as it stands today, is very close to Montana Fish and Game goals for it! That's right! Wolves or not, it has been the express goal of the State of Montana to get the population of this herd down to where it is now.
Radical changes in wildlife populations are perfectly natural as they respond to habitat changes, drought, flood, harsh weather and good; as well as populations of natural enemies. Wolves HAVE BEEN being "managed" by man since re-introduction; over 3,000 have been killed.
Northern Elk Herd
Pat
Pat
Apr 13, 2010 04:03 PM
No screaming here. Link below is interesting for intellectually curious.

<http://newsletter.rmef.org/[…]3MTU0OTkA.HTML?D=2010-04-10
Somebody's screaming..
AS
AS
Apr 13, 2010 10:05 PM
"The Northern Yellowstone herd, trend count has dropped from nearly 19,000 elk in 1995 before the introduction of the Canadian gray wolf to just over 6,000 elk in 2008. At the same time wolf numbers in this same area are on a steady increase. Nowhere can I find where a 60% reduction of
this herd was a goal of the wolf introduction."
Wow! I was wrong, they are using the totally bogus figure of 19,000!! Incredible! Reducing this herd WAS one of the intentions of the wolf reintroduction (please note that word: reintroduction, not introduction. Wolves lived here, co-existing with elk, for tens of thousands of years before man arbitrarily removed them). Even if it wasn't, the reduction of this herd by close to 60% absolutely was the goal of Montana Fish and Game!! Just check their target numbers for this herd. Easy enough.
Interestingly, wolf numbers are not growing exponentially as some would have us believe. In Yellowstone in recent years they have dropped rather dramatically (without being hunted). The high a few years ago was 171 I believe, and now it is well under 100. An example of how Nature works if given a chance."
"Studies show that each wolf kills up to 23 elk from November through April; that equates to up to 40,000 elk killed in six months. This number does not include those elk killed for food by wolves from May through October." Wolves eat elk. There's a shocker!
They make it sound like there shouldn't be any elk left in the Rockies by this time next year! Let's meet back here in a year and see! There are thousands of wolves in Canada. I am sure that elk and moose must be extinct up there by now!
The arguement that gray wolves are not endangered because there are plenty of them in Canada holds water no more than my telling you to stop worrying about elk....there are plenty of THEM in Canada. Afterall, who needs wildlife in the lower forty eight?
The really amazing thing is that these people (RMEF)are only interested in saving elk from wolves so they can hunt and kill them themselves!
Sometimes "managing" wildlife means NOT killing them. If folks are really worried about the population of elk in the Rocky Mountains then they should be more than happy to do something about it. Have a two year moratorium on hunting them. Just two years! You will have elk out the gazoo.
If folks are really serious that elk are in danger this should be a no brainer. A minor sacrifice. Hunt something else for two or three years and see what happens.
The reality is that all three states have elk populations at or near management goals. Of course you can pick out sub-herds or local areas where you may be below, but overall the population is very strong; and let's face it, wildlife moves around. You can't ignore the fact that elk on the north side of a river are way over goals just because those on the south side are below (they moved to the north side).
Wolves and Elk
Dave Kangas
Dave Kangas
Apr 14, 2010 08:04 AM
You know, a hundred years ago, there was little wildlife left in the United States. Since then, converedn sportsman, government agencies have spent millions of dollars to support wild life conservation through HUNTING! Hunters are conservationists, they preserve, protect wildlife for hunting and fund it also! Wolves were forced on the states, let me repeat that, they were forced on the states, we didn't want them. period. now that they are here they need to be managed to support healthy populations of all species. The longer wolves are protected, the more elk herds are reduced due to depradation, hatred and resistance for the wolf will continue to grow. Alaska and Canada are waging a full scale war to cdontrol the wolf to protect the other species, BEFORE their populations plummet. No they will not go extinct, but their populations will plummet. I would love to see an article about the life of an elk in todays world of the wolf. Visit, www.saveelk.com if you dare.
Do we know better than God?
AS
AS
Apr 14, 2010 11:39 AM
Dave, I'm not anti-hunting. I agree with everything you said about hunters being conservationists. Teddy Roosevelt was a hunter and as an environmentalist (conservationist) I thank God for Teddy Roosevelt and those other farseeing early hunters every day, and the work that they did.
Hunters and environmentalists are on the same side, or should be, on most issues. We certainly have more in common with each other than we do with welfare ranchers running their cows (an invasive species BTW) through wildlife habitat, or developers.
My comments above about a moratorium on elk hunting were made to make a point. Fact is, while you can find a herd here or there where the population is down (local population flucuations are normal, with or without wolves...check the eratic history of the Yellowstone herd prior to re-introduction), elk in the Northern Rockies are thriving. Some herds, if you want to pick and choose, are increasing even where there are wolves. Elk and other wildlife will leave areas of heavy predation and move to other areas that are "safer". This happens even where human hunting pressure is high. Many animals have been known to move onto private land where hunting isn't allowed, for example.
BTW, I live in Montana. I, like the majority of people in the Rocky Mountain States that were polled prior to re-introduction, favored the return of the wolf. I get a kick out of this, "We, the people of the Rocky Mountains, did not want the wolf" crap. I live in the Rockies. What am I, chipped beef?
You talk about moving the bar, that is exactly what state wildlife managers are doing by constantly lowering the number of wolves to be allowed. Utah has even passed a law (an illegal waste of taxpayer money law) that none should be allowed. Idaho is slowly working its way down to the bare minimum (just wait and see what happens if Judge Molloy doesn't relist them). Wyoming wants "shoot on sight" for god's sake! American taxpayers spent millions of dollars to reintroduce wolves and heal the ecosystem just so yahoos in Wyoming have something to target practice with?! In Montana they were shooting Park wolves (in which much research time and money had been invested) as they came across the border. Most wolf advocates do not oppose an eventual well regulated wolf hunt (though some do not agree with killing something you are not going to eat), but as long as states are only required to maintain the bare minimum (100/300) number of wolves they will not be fully recovered.
Predators are self regulating given half a chance. This has been proven again and again. God put both wolves and elk here together because they are both important parts of the puzzle. They co-existed for tens of thousands of years before European emigrants decided that wolves were bad and had to go away. Some people feel that they know better than the All Mighty. I don't think so.
 
Wolves
Pat
Pat
Apr 14, 2010 04:09 PM
I think we've got it: You're glad there are lots of wolves, the elk aren't extinct, and need be, we'll stop elk hunting. Perhaps there is another more nuanced approach. The North American wildlife model (Leupold, Roosevelt, et al) has always subscribed to carefully manage species to ensure their their balance. When something gets out of balance, adjust.

People are part of this formula which I think is something important the RMEF is trying to convey. Another point they are making, is where wolves are concentrated, elk and moose numbers are plummeting. The last being, USFWS (the scientists) say the wolves are more than recovered.

We can all do better by considering that there may be other options than the extreme ends of the debate. Reasonable wolf management including hunting to control their numbers where needed, seems a plausible consideration in that formula.
Do we know better than God?
Joann F.
Joann F.
Apr 17, 2010 10:04 AM
I will say up front that I am I lover of wolves. I understand reluctently the need for some type of management. What I do not understand is people say the elk and moose herds are hurting because of the wolves, yet those people are saying that because they want to hunt them. Is there something wrong with that logic? Are they that poor that this is the only way to feed their families? I would not think so if they can afford the gun, ammo and license. Are they using the hides to make clothes for their family? The answer again would be no. I have no problem with hunting. I do have a problem with them hunting female wolves, killing the pups. I have a problem when they say aerial hunting is a sport. Until humans came along the balance of nature between predator and prey was well kept. The Native Americans lived side by side with both. They killed what was needed to survive. Now if they could do it without modern technology, why can't we? We have intruded into the animals territories. We are the intruder. We have upset the balance and yet we crucify what we do not understand. If we treated our families as well as the wolf treats theirs, we would have a lot less domestic violence. We would treasure our elders. We would work together for a common goal.
thoughts
peter spatz
peter spatz
Apr 11, 2010 09:15 AM
"... our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims."? Really? Little too sensitive there missy. You don't care, I don't care, nobody cares THAT much. Do your thoughts go out to all the thousands of family and friends every time someone dies of bee stings, snake bites, or malaria? Doubt it. And you're not allowed to pick and choose where you direct your sympathies just because those thousands are daily, and the other is extremely rare. As concrete as self-preservation, death by animal is sometimes the price of doing business on planet Earth ... Earth's a bitch, and that's the way it is. You don't have to be PC to write a good report. Keep reporting, report the facts, but don't pander.
Wolves and Hunting
Dave Kangas
Dave Kangas
Apr 14, 2010 09:32 AM
Erin, it is hilarious to read your cooments lambasting anti wolf rhetoric while spewing every half truth in existence today about wolves in the west.
Yes, anti-wolf sentinment is spreading, because of the devastastion wolves are inflicting on the elk herds. It is spreading in Wyoming, because they don't want them! At the least they want control to manage them as they have successfully managed all game species in the State for a 100 years! Fisg and Game departments have successfult managed game species in every state for dacades and they are funded by hunters! Hunters do more for promoting games species than all the environmental organizations combined, because the money goes toward the animals not attorneys!
Wolves are spreading disease! It is documented, it is verified and it is true! They are spreading mange, parvo and parasites that can be transferred to humans! Sure ignore it, spread your rhetoric, create confusion so you can raise money. But really, what are you accomplishing that it positive?
Erin, you are so full baloney are you sure you don't seel cars too?
Hunting season may be over.......
Venecija Levi Breder
Venecija Levi Breder
May 02, 2010 06:03 PM
It is interesting to read haw hunters, so calld,..”sportsmen’are trying to give the reason to their bloody “sport”, when they talk about certain groups of animals they have to control..Wolws, dear, elk, for instance. What they are thinking? The better future of the world is going to be without that kind of “sportsmen”. Hunters feel that and fear that. And that is why they are trying to ply the game of knowledge…Unfortunately, what ever they try to say or explain when is mixed with blood of they trophy’s they show their real intentions. Very agly.They take away the wildlife that belongs to every body on this planet not just to the few full of ….power of the guns.
wolf hunting
lonewolf
lonewolf
Oct 20, 2010 05:48 PM
i think ppl should let wolves live, stop hunting them, would u hunt ur own dog, didnt think so, where do u think our dogs came from, im a wolf person, i love and cherish the canine family, every animal survay ive taken i came out as a wolf, so i find anyone that kills a wolf a menace to the wolf, and i find it very offencive to me because of my passion to the wolves
Man or Wolve
linda
linda
Jan 17, 2011 06:32 PM
God created Man !God created Animals !Had Adam Name the Aninmals! God gave man Domain over what is on this earth... Over the Aninmals>>!! Did not give the earth or Animails domain over Man !! Man was here First!!!! Read your Bible