The Predator Death Spiral…

378
Posted November 22, 2011 by Guy Eastman in General

The Western States management systems are not set up to handle uncontrolled, “Super Predators”.

We’re continuing to see an alarming trend in Western wildlife management. I am calling it the “Predator Death Spiral.” The underlying cause of this phenomina is when a wildlife agency attempts to hide or “pad” their big game population estimates when over predation begins to take hold. This in turn creates a downward spiral that cannot easily be avoided, and is often not even noticed until the state hits both a financial and PR rock bottom. Idaho was the first state to hit the wall with the “Spiral” followed by Montana and now Wyoming has begun to slip into the Spiral’s grip. The wolf situation has caused these three Western states to slide down the jagged slope of diminishing herds, shrinking revenues and bad PR among their customers and financial lifeline…out-of-state hunters.

The details of the spiral start out very subtle. The wolves, cougars and grizzly bears start to take a few more elk and moose each year as their unchecked populations grow and expand. The state does not react at first with cuts in the tag quotas. This would mean a decrease in revenue that would have to be met with either more tags somewhere else or even worse, budget cuts. So they do what most Government agencies would do in this situation…nothing! After a few years of turning a blind eye to the situation a bad winter like the winter we had in 2006 and 2011 hit and further accelerated the problem. But, the bad winter was even worse than imagined from a wildlife management perspective. The increased snowpack and cold temps caused far more than the usual winter kill. The predators did extremely well because of the increased snowpack that gathered the herds even tighter than usual, on heavy snow accumulations that created a wolves dream come true scenario. A concentrated food source stuck in a snow bank that cannot escape…perfect. After the long cold winter is over the elk and deer that did survive go into the spring in tough shape. Many of the cows and does have aborted their young in order to survive.

The post winter mortality counts come back into the department as an alarming number. But budgets have to be met. So being ever optimistic the state decides to give the remaining quotas just one more year to see if they might bounce back. After-all, the counts could have been flawed, there is no way we could have lost that many big game assets in one year, right?

The next fall the hunters are complaining, the harvest stats are coming back very low and things are not looking good on the PR front. Many non-resident hunters are threatening not to apply the following year and the outfitters are starting to make their voices heard.

The state reacts, and cuts the elk tags inside the wolf  and winter zones. But the money has to be made up somewhere, after all a few hundred non-resident elk tags equate to big money. So the state moves to increase the quotas on elk outside the wolf zone and increase the deer and antelope tags substantially in an effort to compensate for the loss in revenue.

As wolves continue to take their toll, state Game and Fish Departments struggle to make their budgets as big game populations plummet and demand for non-resident licenses crash.

A second harsh winter strikes and wipes out the antelope and deer herd excesses. Things are looking bad, but the state budgeteers don’t give up easily. Someone recommends the idea of raising license costs to all hunters, after all supply and demand economics formulas say a non-resident elk tag should go for over $2,500. But the resident tag increases get shot down by the commission but everyone likes the idea of sticking to the non-resident hunter a bit more. They can afford it, have you seen how much a house in California is worth? (pre-2008 of course). The following fall the hunters don’t see near the game they did even the previous year. Things are getting bad. Thanks to the internet the word gets out and many of the non-resident hunters move their camps and non-resident dollars to Colorado and New Mexico to hunt elk and deer.

The next thing the state knows, they are sitting on millions of dollars worth of unclaimed and unwanted non-resident tags. Now with the wildlife resource in shambles and a multi-million dollar budget shortfall the state is finally forced to wake up and smell the coffee. This isn’t the 1970′s…it’s no surprise to us that a non-resident hunter who pays over $1,000 for an elk tag expects a good elk hunt, why should it come as a surprise to the state Game and Fish Commission? But it does. What the state fails to realize is, that once they began to charge that kind of money for tags and preference points they in affect gave up the option to simply brush it off as a “bad winter, try again next year” excuse that worked so well in the past.  In the information age non-resident hunters no longer accept excuses easily.

This is the bottom. A state is stuck to come clean and admit they are in a real hole. They don’t have the wildlife any longer to support their budgetary needs and their customers know it. This is the type of situation where a little fudge in numbers here and there has created a beast that cannot be controlled and is getting bigger, badder and uglier every year until the bottom is hit.

Why? Because it would mean that the states would have to admit to contributing to their own financial demise. Some Western Fish and Game Departments have in fact become a wolf in sheep’s clothing to their constituants. Some inside the departments have, although reluctantly, in some cases went along with the Federal Government’s master plan to re-introduce super predators back into the ecosystem to eventually control big game herds without the use of hunters. It’s almost as if the state neglected to realize that this would, in fact, slit their own throats by gutting their departments of the necessary funding to run.

And this is not just a Wyoming, Montana and Idaho problem. Wolves have already begun to take hold in Washington, Oregon and Utah. Nevada, and Colorado are certainly next. And for all of you midwest whitetail hunters out there, sorry, your not safe either. The government has devised a plan to expand the Mexican wolf North from Arizona and New Mexico into Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, North and South Dakota and Nebraska to connect with the upper midwest wolf populations in Minnesota and Wisconsin. This would give super predators a way to control whitetail deer populations minus the use of hunting as a management tool.

This is a critical situation but all is not lost yet. There have been huge strides made in the recent wolf debate and wolves are starting to be controlled now in Montana and Idaho. We all as hunters need to keep pressure on our politicians and state agencies to make sure they do the right thing for our wildlife. We pay them to manage our wildlife resource in a responsible manner, make them earn their money. Taking the easy way out is not good enough. They need to do better, our big game wildlife resource depends on it.

Drop me a line and let me know what your thoughts are…maybe I’m just a conspiracy theorist…who knows. I know what I’ve heard and seen first hand so far, though, and it’s not looking good.

Guy

 

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About the Author

Guy Eastman

Following in the footsteps of his father, Guy has taken up the reins and is now at the helm of the Eastmans’ Hunting Journal and the Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal. A fine hunter in his own right, Guy has taken several trophy animals and has become an expert in trophy hunting as well.

378 Comments


  1.  

    It couldn’t have been better said, Guy. I was in Montana 12 years ago, and we went to Yellowstone one afternoon and counted 300 head of elk, 30 buffalo, and numerous deer. We did an elk hunt in Wyoming 3 years ago with 2 Ocean Pass Outfitters (great Outfitter by the way!!) and saw 13 elk in 8 days of hunting… Went in to Yellowstone for a ride one day and never saw an animal… You are 150% right with your article Guy, Thanks




    •  
      Shane

      Thanks Guy I thought hunting was just a problem here in CA.

      I have an answer that most hunters including myself will not like to get attention to this problem!

      Get the hunters together and boycott tags for a year to get their attention.

      No wonder we don’t see any Game Wardens hunting. And then when you see a big buck that was poached – it sure makes the newspaper. But what about the Wolves?

      In Calif. we have so many bears it’s not even funny. We took 11 of them on two of our ranches last year. This year we are not allowed to use dogs. That will be good for the deer here really?

      Well, its sad but true so if we are going to continue to hunt and keep our guns we are going to have to get together on this stuff!

      Thanks again, Guy! It really is all about the money!

      Rev. & Cowboy
      Shane McDow




      •  
        Jim Carrell

        Shane, you hit the nail on the head when you wrote “we are going to have to get together on this stuff” Together is the only way to turn it around. The opposition is winning because they have been organized for a long time. This side of things has a bunch of little groups spread out and lacking unity.




    •  
      BILL R.

      Thanks guy, what happens when all elk & deer are gone then what, ive been saying since they brought the wolves back we do not have the wildlife sustain the wolves population, we dont have half million caribou or the wildlife like the YUKON OR ALASKA. They got caribou to sustain the population. We just do not have what it take to keep here in the lower 48 states. In my book the only good wolf is a dead wolf. I live in Washington, we have a problem with the teanaway wolf pack killing sheep & cattle, the game dept wont even admitt they planted the wolves. The game dept sucks here.& lie all the time.




  2.  
    Randy Kittle

    I agree with Giles , you couldn`t have said it better . As an out of state hunter , I can`t believe the prices some of the states are now charging for a license . If I decide to pay the expensive fee for a license , then I expect to see a fair amount of game and have a chance to collect an animal . I believe the predators have to be controlled so that they along with bad winters , don`t destroy the game herds in the West .We as hunters, need to let our voices be heard and hold the Game and Fish agencies responsible . As you stated , it`s their job to manage our wildlife . Thanks .




  3.  
    Brian Birkhimer

    Well said Guy. We just hunted in central Montana, where there are supposedly no wolves. The locals say don’t believe it, they have spotted them. The wolves are moving eastward.




  4.  
    John

    Guy you are right on the money! I had two buddies come in to hunt with me this year for elk in central Idaho. They are from Ohio. It has been great hunting over the last five years. I did not worry about finding the elk. However we spent over four days hunting before we even saw deer. Elk were so few we saw and heard about six bulls…..sadly no cow. The herds are gone. Idaho lets face it you screwed up with thinking wolves were your political blue chip!




  5.  
    Chris Hempstead

    I am also concerned with the management issues. I hunted the Newcastle, WY area in 2006, 2008, and 2009 with great success on Antelope and Mule Deer. 2010 roles around and the numbers are gone. Most likely due to weather than predators. Although, the coyote and bobcat population in this area is exploding!

    I enjoy hunting this area but I am concerned. I cant justify spending the gas money, lodging, and tag fees if the chance to be successful falls through the roof. Something needs to be done.

    I am all for predator control. Use it as revenue. To all of you in Wyoming and surrounded states, keep up the good fight so us out-of-state hunters can return. You have an awesome resource to protect.

    Chris Hempstead
    Kingston, Ohio




  6.  
    Ronald Wittwer

    I agree I see it as well. I’m very concerned at this point regarding the accumulation of bonus points I have been pursuing for that quality moose hunt in Wyoming that I have been putting in for the last five years.Will it ever be a quality hunt when I get the points needed to get a good zone? More so the future of the sport I love. My first passion is archery elk and I see diminishing elk numbers in several states. The greed for the money has taken control.




  7.  
    patrick veltman

    How much for the Wyoming Wolf Tag in 2012? It’s probably a nocturnal hunt like alligators in Florida.
    If a Democrat can send all the NASA engineers packing with the stroke of a pen, a Republican can send all wolf promoters.




  8.  
    Buck Parks

    You are right on the money, Guy. For all of you not living in California, what Guy is talking about is something we have seen happen here in California for years. State Game agencies are managing for perpetuation of their jobs and budgets, not wildlife. All western states, and the sportsmen and women that live in them, cannot allow what has happened to California, happen to them.




    •  

      That is so true! I’ve been in california all my life and I’ve seen it turn for the worse here. three years ago I saw all kinds of deer in one place I hunt and the last three years i’ve seen nothing to harvest. what I did see was yotie tracks and cougar tracks following just about every deer track I came across. And the cost is sky rocketing. my brother hunts in washington state and he pays for 5 or 6 tags for what it costs me to hunt two deer in california. money for nothing fro our state.




  9.  
    Dave Hoshour

    This puts more demand on CO now and will make getting drawn there more difficult. In fact, once tags offered in WY, MT and ID go down because of lower game numbers it gets harder to get drawn in them too. Then tag prices likely go up even more to make up the shortfall – all so the wackos can have their wolves back, wolves they will probably never see. When wolves gain, hunters lose. In the end, so does conservation.




  10.  
    Nick Duncan

    Agreed! I have lived in both Montana and currently in Idaho. I have witnessed the Wolf and Grizzley situation first hand. I have been an avid shed antler hunter for over a decade and being in the field late spring gives you a good perspective of what is going on. In a single drainage last spring where i shed hunt I found 12 dead elk from calves to mature bulls. This was the first time I have ever found more than a single dead elk in this area over a winter. I got a good idea what was hapening one trip in late April when i came over a rise and saw a swath of running elk tracks that was 50 yards wide accross a hillside and in the bottom of the draw was a single wolf on a calf he had taken out of the herd.
    The numbers of animals and the terrain they are in has also changed. They no longer are able to hang out in the timber where they use to feel safe now they bunch up out in the open field where they can’t be snuck up on. The number of shed antlers and animals I see has dropped dramitacly easly in half possibly more!




  11.  
    Dave Hoshour

    As game #s go down in WY, MT and ID tag prices will go up to make up revenue and pressure will go up in CO, NV, UT and NM, making it harder to get drawn.

    As wolves gain, game loses, hunters lose, Fish&Game budgets lose and conservation loses. Nice going. This is so wackos in places like CA and OR can get their way on wolves that they will likely never see. Everyone loses except people that aren’t there.




    •  
      kyle Tucker

      In response to the second portion of your comment when it comes to Oregon, Please say Portland or Multnomah county. They are the lover of wolves and cougars. The rest of us Oregonians hate the thought of wolves as we are already seeing a huge hit in our hurds. With wolves now in Oregon and the problems we already have with very high number of cougars, we are going down a dark road.




    •  
      Brad W

      UT is now a draw for General Season Deer. But,we do offer non-resident tags for general season deer. Locals, who live here, work here, raise families here, own businesses here, and contribute much more to the state than the price of a tag cannot hunt with their kids and other family member every year because of piss poor management. Another thing in Utah that I cant stand is allowing the outfitters to lease private land and obtain all the rights to hunt private ground. A group of guys that I hunted with shared a canyon. We let small bucks go. We had our pick every year of mature four points. We had developed a relationship with the land owner over the years. We respected his property, cattle, fences etc. and he allowed us to hunt. An outfitter found out about the area, leased it, and now charges $7,500 per hunter to trespass. He gets 10 tags per year for that area. The catch is he has to let 1 non paying, public draw person in there to hunt. With 8 bonus points now, my dad is trying to draw one last tag before he is too old to hunt. When we self regulated that place, we had a gold mine. Too bad someone else gets to mine all of the gold.




      •  
        Dillon

        I hear you Brad, you are talking about the CWMU, They are a nightmare, what they don’t tell you about those is the person leasing it, or the Landowner can tell you when you can hunt it. UDNR is selling to many tags in Utah for Elk right now. They are killing Cows left and right. I have hunted the Fishlake area for 30+years, in 2001 the fish and game destroyed the entire Elk herd, by the time they was done they had went from 8000 head to 800, and did an emergency hunting closure for Elk on the Unit. It came back some but they still issue cow tags by the 1000′s every year. I hunted 7 days on this unit last year and seen 5 Elk, all bigger bulls, it is a spike only unit for the general season. They are now doing the same thing to the Central Unit/Manti and a few others. Utah is on there way to destroying the herd as well.




  12.  
    Jared C Radosevich

    Guy I find what you have to say 110% right. As a Wyoming resident of 21 years and a hunter for just as many I have seen a drastic decline in our wildlife populations. I miss the days when you could go out and get a descent 3 point buck deer, an elk, and even a descent antelope. This year I first noticed this “bad winter” when I was hunting antelope. By Atlantic city/south pass there are usually plenty of old moderate goats to hunt, but this year all I could find was young, barely over there ears. Deer and elk were no different. For a month of hunting we saw 16 deer, one 2 point. Elk, all we saw were some in private, and the one cow that I was lucky to harvest. Oh did I mention the elk that were being chased by the pack of wolves, the three single wolves we saw! That’s right I saw more wolves than deer again this year. Well folks, like Guy said, it’s our time. We need to band together, young an old, join the fight for our wildlife!!!




    •  
      Apaxton

      Shoot those wolves when you see them! I promise I won’t tell




      •  

        You don’t see them. And it doesn’t matter: The packs have tons of members and lots of pups. The bears are already going hungry because wolves ate their dinner, and wolves are already killing people. Media hushes it up.




        •  

          Emily, Unfortunately, every time wolves do anything it is news. You run a game farm and do a lot of supplemental feeding. This concentrates animals in unnatural densities and facilitates the spread of disease. It represents a much greater threat to wildlife than wolves. And what do you base your claims that bears are without food on?




          •  
            Bryan

            The wolves should stick to Alaska and Northern Canada. ALL wolves in the lower 48 should be irradiated. Shot and killed on sight. Trapped and killed on sight.Put a nice shiny wolf pelt in a museum if you want to look at one.




        •  
          Dan Wildin

          BEWARE of” Bob Ferris wheel brain” he is a wolf in sheeps clothing and a OBAMA CZAR he hangs out with Barbra Boxer and Nancy Pelozi and the rest of the radicals with brain and thought dysfunction!
          he thinks that his hooked on phonics vocabulary qualifys him as an expert in NOTHING!!!!!!!!
          BEWARE! of this type of arrogance it is the demise of our culture, the pea brain will respond to this , just watch!




      •  


  13.  
    Mike Boland

    Guy, Am I an alarmist or a conspiracy theorist when I imagine that this population crisis resulting from the reintroduction of super predators is laying the groundwork for a worse problem? Playing a part in game management as hunters has always been a part of our justification for preserving our 2nd Amendment rights to the Liberals whose end goal is to take our guns away.If super predator numbers are not managed as we have managed our game herds and decimation of our herds continues through unchecked predation and our State Agencies implode for lack of finances……….then it follows in the Liberal’s minds, “why do we need hunters and if they’re not hunting, why do they need guns?”.
    I hope I am very wrong, but it’s a possibility to consider and to keep a watch out for. The Liberal’s attacks have been stopped when they come at us “head on”, so it does make some sense that they would try an “end around” attack. Finally, I have to wonder out loud here, why when there are 90 million gun owners in the country are there only 4 million NRA members? For less than the cost of a box of shells, we should all be members. Memberships make great Holiday gifts for our buddies! Thanks for letting me rant!!!




  14.  
    cliff six

    Guy, you hit it right on. My big problem is when the wolf introduction started the RMEF took a typical political stance and stayed neutral on the program and said the Game Dept. will do the right thing. WRONG. Tell that to all the old time outfitters around Jackson Hole who are out of business. I love Elk hunting and hate to see what’s going on. Cliff Six




  15.  
    Joe

    Why, when you are out hunting do you just not shoot the wolf. How many off you are gonna go cry to the Feds that someone just shot a wolf? How many Feds are walking behind the wolf protecting him? Are you complaining about. It having. On res hunters or no game? Shoot shovel and shut up.




  16.  
    Woody

    Guy, you are on target. I hunted northern New Mexico this year, and was really disappointed at the number of deer we was. Some of it was blamed on the fact that the migration out of the higher elevations of Colorado hadn’t begun yet, but you couldn’t miss all the Mountain Lion tracks. The Outfitter mentioned that the lion season is so short there is no way to control the population. I was considering Nebraska for my next hunt, but as the economic downturn hits home I must soul search doing another $6500 for a hunting trip and bringing home dirty clothes. Please keep in mind I have no issues with the outfitter. So, no SHOT show in 2012 and as the mule deer population declines maybe no hunt.




  17.  
    Beck

    Guy; As a resident of Arizona who has been hunting deer since 1973 and Elk since 1985 in AZ, UT, NM, WY, ID and MT, I have personally witnessed this. One other factor that has lead to the decline in Deer and elk populations is the decrease in hide values for predators. It used to be that a guy could run a trapline and hunt predators on the side and sell the skins as an additional source of income. With the reduction in value of these hides and the increase in cost to trap them many old trappers just quit. Now the Deer and elk herds have been decimated.

    I have a solution! The game and fish offices need to offer a free elk or deer tag to every hunter that shoots or traps a mountain lion or wolf. The tags would be for the unit the predator was killed in and can be sold to compensate the person for the cost of hunting the lion. It is said that a lion can kill up to 40 deer a year and wolves can kill about as many elk, so trading one tag for the removal of an animal that will kill 40+ times that can only help the deer and elk herd.




    •  

      Beck; You know the offering a free tag only works for one time. What will the guy get if he brings in another hide. I agree that they should re-increase the amount that a person can get for bringing in a hide of a lion, bobcat, wolf, or coyote. That would definitely create an incentive to go after these vermin. Get rid of a lot of them and then maybe us hunters can actually find a trophy animal. Instead of a two point or spike.




  18.  
    Tim

    Guy, your predator death spiral rings true far beyond wolves and grizzlies. I have lived and hunted in South Dakota for 35 years. For years we have always enjoyed a modest (quality) elk herd in the Black Hills, for residents only, and a large whitetail population for residents and non-residents. After several years of rapidly declining elk and whitetail numbers, only now is our State Game and Fish admitting the mountain line population has had an impact. Any longtime hunter in this area could have told them about the impact 10 years. Fortunately, our GFP is increasing our lion tags to reduce the numbers, but I am amazed why our state GFP takes so long to react? Your death spiral scenario explains it well.




  19.  
    P Padilla

    I have been going to Idaho for elk and deer since 2006. I refused to go this year due the lack of animals. Your article is exactly spot on, I plan on going to Oregon now. At least until the wolves make an impact in the elk there too.




  20.  
    Sid Hooper

    Great article and good responses! The animal rights people should really love this as it accomplishes what they want-no hunting! The RMEF lost my dollars years ago for their pansy stance and refusal to fight the political battles. I know a game warden who used to guide in western Wyoming. He said western Wyoming moose are gone because of the wolves. Pathetic.




  21.  
    John

    Guy, you certainly are not a conspiracy theorist. You have stated absolutley correctly what has happened and is continuing to happen. I live in Washington. Wolves are being coddled here and hunting seasons are on the chopping block, etc., etc. First we had no bait for bears, then no hounds for cats or bears now bring on the wolves to a state that dims in comparison to it’s neighbors to begin with on game numbers. It’s more than alarming – and as you described so well, this spiral seems only to gather speed until total failure is achieved. State by state follows suit?? We all are wondering about the future of our way of life – hunting. Were do we go? How much will it cost? If I hunt out of state – what state, and is that where everyone else is going to be outsourced to? If I stay in my home state, what opportunity is there? This is a huge dilema for every hunter and would be hunter. Game management is political and at least in Washington, the appointed leaders in WDFW are sort of insulated from the consumer/voter. So the hunter outcry is taken like “we hear what you’re saying but we’re going to do what we want anyway, now here’s your bill for the privilage of hunting”. Support your hunting/conservation groups!!! There is power in organized numbers.




  22.  
    Ben Rodriguez

    I couldn’t agree more. Game departments seems to just look the other way on predator issues. As an Oregon resident it is terrible what has happened to the game populations, but hey let the wolf in the mix as well. This is the first year since 2006 I have not hunted Idaho for elk couldn’t justify it. Next year plan on applying in Montana and Wyoming it will be close to $2000 that is a lot of coin for the normal working man. You would expect decent hunting. A mass boycott would end all of this ! Game departments might listen better when their revenue is 0. Politics and wildlife management do not mix. Need more people to stand up and fight.




  23.  
    Billy Purcell

    Great job Guy,
    you know the liberal wildlife management government workers get to decide what is science and what isn’t (similar to climate gate)even if it doesn’t prove out like the melting ice pack is killing polar bears lie, just to get their global warming ideology out there..similarly with predator control,we hunters know more than anybody, with all the fees going up we deserve better!! But failed science or not it’s hard to hold government employees accountable it’s a lifetime job pretty much.




  24.  
    Jon Nicholson

    I live in Idaho and the elk populations were awesome this year. I think the wolves keep the elk on the move a lot more and this means that hunters have to work for a harvest. The days of leaning over the atv to get that perfect shot may be over. This is probably another reason why not to many hunters can bag a wolf either. People are fat and lazy. The elk and deer are there you just have to put in a little sweat equity. Most these hunters should just start shooting cattle so they can relive their glory hunts. You also forgot to mention poachers and the dwindling of land. The best thing we can do to increase are chances for hunting is to have a lot more people use a condom, especially the rednecks.




    •  
      jerome dietrich

      You are an idiot if you think wolves have not created a huge problem. You probably hunt in one of those high fence enclosures




    •  
      jsf

      We need to begin population control with kiss -ss liberal yuppies such as yourself.




    •  
      KENNY

      What a complete idot your are. I have friends in Idaho that have put more miles on thier boots than you could ever dream of and the populations for both elk and deer are way down. They have all lived and hunted in Idaho their entire lives and have witnessed the dramatic decline since the reintroduction of the wolves. As a Northern Nevadan, I and many of my hunting friends have decided when the wolves end up down here we will be forced to abide by the “shoot, shovel, and shut up” idea.




    •  
      E. Winston

      Your either an idiot or a moron or both. Did you ever make it out of the eight grade or are you still there?




    •  

      Jon, Thanks for making this comment and standing up using a real name. You are not alone in your thoughts. Bob Ferris




      •  
        Jon Doe

        Of course Bob is here defending wolves. He wants to put Oregon on same path as ID and other wolf infested states. Defend and Increase wolf population with no regard for big game, ranchers or hunters.
        Its all about the Benjamin’s.




        •  

          So Jon, just out of curiosity, is there some place in your life where making ridiculous assertions anonymously without addressing the substance of someone’s concerns or comments has proven to be a successful and welcomed form of dialogue for you?




          •  
            Jon Doe

            Bob, I’ve read your other posts on the internet. Little search goes a long ways. So please, let’s not go there.




          •  
            Dan wildin

            Bob do you think anyone is impressed with your hooked on phonics vocabulary, you are so discombobulated about the facts! your degree is from a crackerjack box, your mind is warped!
            no civil man could penetrate your titanium cranium , you are truly a wolf in sheeps clothing




            •  

              So if I get your operating thesis right it is: People who use big words do not know about wildlife. Secondarily, it is that wildlife biologists who have gone to school to learn about wildlife only read books and that is particularly true of those pursuing or holding graduate degrees. What utter crap. Wildlife biologists get into to wildlife biology because they love being outdoors and so they strive to marry avocation and vocation electing to pursue a challenging academic pathway with little hope of relative reward. And many of us do constantly read books and articles but we frequently do that in tents and by lantern light. The late Aldo Leopold who we often evoke when talking about predator-prey relationships was a big word user, a constant reader, and a bow hunter of renown who made his own bows. Harvard educated hunter Theodore Roosevelt was a bookish man who used big words too. The list of big word users and book readers who are also hunters is a long one. These are the people who care enough about wildlife and wildlands to not only experience and benefit from them but also to know them and understand them in order to make sure they are around and function for this and successive generations.




              •  
                Bob Ducharme

                Bob, There is no denying the contributions of true science in this debate, but what gets Me, is that most of the science types, I have had the opportunity to debate, deny the fact that man is the top predator in this evolutionary chain. The wolf advocates, I have debated, want to bring the Wolf back into the equation ,as if We were in the 1700′s, when the only human intervention was from Native Americans, and that just is not realistic. The impact of Wolves, Bears, and Mountain Lions on Deer and Elk is undeniable, but so to is the fact that man is at the top. In Washington State, the Wolf recovery program is just getting off the ground, and already the State had to pretty much eradicate a Pack in NE Washington, due to livestock predation. In Washington the goal for packs and breeding pairs will put wolves all along the Cascade Mountain range, and in the Olympics, which will put them in very close proximity to major population areas, and will also put them in the middle of every major Elk herd in the State.

                The reports from hunters in the field of decreased Elk and Deer populations where Wolves have been reestablished, in the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, are often times dismissed by some in the Game Depts., and are almost always dismissed by the Wolf advocates. The budgets of the Game Depts. are already effected by the reduced numbers of license sales and the extra expenses of Wolf and Predator management. The impact on Fish and Game Depts. of politics and the subsequent reduction of quality hunting and fishing opportunites, in states who are forced to manage their resources, to satisfy other agendas, is going to destroy those resources eventually. I had a debate last year with a Wolf advocate in Washington State, who claimed that the majority of the Washington State Fish and Game budget was funded by non hunter and fishers, until I pointed out that He had neglected to factor in Pittman-Robertson and other Federal and State taxes collected on the sale of hunting and fishing related items, and gas taxes to get to the opportunities. The economic impact of reduced hunting and fishing opportunities in states cannot be denied, without people willing to spend the money for the resource, there will eventually be no money to manage the resource, and therefore no resource.

                Intelligent debate is good, but the practical knowledge and experience of hunters and fishers should not be dismissed, and Our positive impact on the resource cannot be denied.




                •  

                  The personal observations and anecdotal reports you refer to are known in the field as “natural history.” Theodore Roosevelt was a natural historian and studied it at Harvard. Moreover, natural history ruled the roost for a century or so until the science of understanding the complexity of nature matured. Experimentation and hypothesis testing proved that natural history was not always reliable. This transformation was just happening when Roosevelt’s life was nearing its end and he was in communication with pioneer scientists like Aldo Leopold in his last years. Now natural history—because of its frequency of inaccuracy—is viewed as a good starting point for learning about animals but it is a stepping stone rather than an end point. I suspect that while you have certainly had discussions with wolf advocates that you have not had anything close to a formal debate with a wolf expert or even a wildlife biologist with a relevant advanced degree. You might be a bright guy in your field of expertise but your statements about elk and wolves are not credible, well-reasoned or defensible. Elk populations rise and fall for a number of factors and in those supposed instances where wolf opponents point to wolves as causes for declines like the Lolo and Yellowstone, investigation indicate that declines were habitat related and predated wolf populations. RMEF funded Arthur Middleton’s hoping they would find a smoking gun but they didn’t and you see scant mention of this work on the RMEF website. You can hate wolves all you want but you cannot justify that position based on what science tells us about elk and wolves.




              •  
                Dan Wildin

                Go back in your tent and zip up the fly, I rest my case!




              •  
                Brandy

                Bullshit Bob….You are about paralyzing every industry in the west…you are a predator worshipping lunatic that needs to go find a real job instead of preying on the emotionally weak nature void freaks you exploit for your own twisted agenda…Cascadia Wildlands SUCK and one visit to your webpage shows your true colors! Your wolf has destroyed Idaho and Montana…Our herds can not recover…It wasn’t habitat…it wasn’t weather…it is NOTHING but the wolves that are suppressing our herds.




    •  

      You are no hunter, dude. What you say ain’t so. My ranch is a place elk herds visit for pasture, and two outfitters work for me on it in Idaho.




      •  
        Aaron Paxton

        So Emily, can I come up and hunt wolves on your ranch? I have been looking at the fees for hunting in Idaho, I am kinda bummed because in WY the wolves have been put on the predator list along with coyotes and a person can shoot them anytime without any type of license or tag – Unlike Idaho. However, if I had a place where I knew of a good chance of calling in and shooting a wolf I’d make the trip up from Utah and pay ID the fees to Idaho to try.




    •  
      bart

      Nicely put Jon! Hunting has been one of my main passions as long as I can remember, and while I definitely don’t always agree with “the man,” I do believe ignorant rednecks are a bigger threat to sustaining wildlife populations than natural predators are.




  25.  
    Wally Jenkins

    Guy Thank you.




  26.  
    John Foster

    I agree Guy. As devastating as this has been, I am also hopeful that we may be turning the corner a bit. I love the fact that true wildlife advocates and coservationists (hunters) are finally banding together en masse’ to resolve this issue.




  27.  
    Jay Maisano

    I am very concerned with the wolf plan Washington fish and game is trying to draft right now, If past management plans are any indication, The hunters here in Washington are in trouble. Our wildlife laws are based more on political views than on hard science and fact’s. There already has been some impact on our Elk herds in the north east corner of the state, and the talk is to keep expanding the range and the number of wolves in the state. All one needs to do is look at our existing laws concerning the other apex predators that call Washington home to know that the expansion of the wolf population will put our herds in dire straights in a short time.




  28.  
    Emery Geis

    To some extent we are having the same problem here in Arizona except that instead of wolves it is mountain lion. The game and fish seem to be handling it in this fashion. In Arizona you are allowed to kill one mountain lion a year, except in game management unit 22 where you are allowed one a day until 12 are killed. In unit 6A, one a day until 15 are killed. In units 31 and 32 combined one a day until 20 are killed. And so on.




  29.  

    Guy; The same thing is happening here in Michigan. We see coyotes regularly and bag quite a few. Now we have wolves in lower michigan. Reports of Cougar sitings are state wide ( Save the cougar .org. ) Black Bear numbers are up too. What does Lansing think all those predators are eating. We recently found the skulls of 7 fawns at one coyote den. Its a proven fact that our Deer and your Elk populations will make a quick recovery as the number of predators decline. My belief is that every avid sportsman should add predator control, when legal to your days afield. Predator hunting is not easy but is necessary. Death by coyote or wolf is an ugly death. Anti hunters should see how Bambi really dies.




  30.  
    Dean

    Great editorial Guy, and great responses. I know what you are saying is correct. 10 years ago I elk hunted WY unit 55 on the east boundary of Yellowstone Park. The elk numbers were still OK but mild weather kept them in the park. Meanwhile I got into a confrontation with a sow grizzly with 2 cubs at close range. My group saw more grizzlies than elk. Here in MN we have more wolves than all other lower 48 states combined but northern MN has thick woods and plenty of deer to feed them so we have not suffered as much as expected. But MN moose are in serious decline and the MN DNR is in denial that wolves have anything to do with it because they have not found any radio-collared moose killed by wolves. Hello, how many radio collars do they have on newborn moose calves? For the western states they had better reduce the wolf tag price to something reasonable for nonresidents, and we need to do our part by coming out to take out as many wolves as we can. But it’s a long and expensive trip for a low chance to shoot something you cannot eat. If the western wolf seasons get taken away again, then I guess we will all have to be criminals.




  31.  
    Bryan Engebritson

    Guy, you dead on with your assessment of Predators,Nevada’s department of Wildlife has started down the slippery slope of ignoring the real problems predators are playing on wild life.




  32.  
    RJ Neild

    I hunted with Ryan Lakovitch of Wolverine Creek Outfitters in the Teton Wilderness twice this elk season. Bow hunt – no elk. Gun hunt – month and a half later – no elk. Saw more wolf and grizzly tracks than anything. Ryan knows this wilderness area better than anyone and works very hard. Best guide I’ve ever hunted with. Until they begin to manage the predators, I don’t look for things to improve.




  33.  
    Brian Williams

    Dear out-of-state hunters: after you have enjoyed a successful elk or moose hunt in one of our neighboring states, please come to Idaho and hunt a wolf. Or two. Or more. Non-resident tags are only $31.75 and you may buy two tags per calendar year (note, the hunt spans two calendar years, most areas having an open season through March 31, 2012 with some as late as June 30, 2012). If I am doing my math correctly, this means each hunter may take up to four wolves legally during this current hunting season. As of November 21, 2011, harvest limits have not been reached in some desirable zones whereas other zones have no harvest limit at all. With the messed-up politics inside the Fish & Game departments, as Guy pointed out, we cannot rely on them to manage our herds and control super predators unless we are willing to do our part. Residents of Idaho, this is for you as well. After much legal wrangling, we have an open wolf hunting season in Idaho. Let’s take advantage of the opportunity and make it a successful hunt season (i.e., high harvest numbers) – we never know when we will get another one.




  34.  
    Kevin Sailor

    The anti-huters must be jumping up and down with glee. I’ve said all along that wolf re-introduction is a smoke screen for the anti-hunter movement. They recognized long ago this was a way to do away with hunting. Sadly, they are seeing some success as the wolves have decimated big game herds in many locations. This is precisely what they have wanted (proving that animal welfare is of no actual concern to them).

    They would prefer the cruel death of being eaten alive by a predator rather than the qucik and humane death by a hunter’s bullet.

    Our wildlife agencies have been duped big time and now are paying the price due to the spiral effect described by Guy.




  35.  
    Robert

    Your exactly right Guy.
    I put in for 15 years for an OR, Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge muzzleloader deer tag because I knew the had huge deer there. I finally got drawn in 2010. In twelve days of hunting, the largest deer I saw was a 24″ 4 point that I finally took on the last day after passing him up 3 other days. Turned out that of the 15 tags issued I had taken the largest deer. Everyone I talked to said the same thing, That the deer population was way down due to the cougars and that the refuge biologist was a cat lover and said there wasn’t a problem.




  36.  

    You can add Utah to that List. I personaly saw a Wolf in Utah’s Mountains around Sheep Creek @ Strawberry Ridge. Yet the state fish and game will not acknowledge that there are any wolves in Utah at all. We know for a fact that there are at least enough for two breeding pairs and a couple of young pups running around up there. If you ask the Fish and game abouth it they deny it. How do we as Hunters in this state get the truth about this from them. I am sure they know about it but won’t admit it.




  37.  
    HerdBull

    Guy, as everybody else, I agree with you. My experience is this. I am a WA resident elk bowhunter. I routinely hunt MT, WY, and OR. After a 50% increase in the MT tag I bit the bullet and paid the ransom. Turned out to be a 100% draw out-of-state tag because not too many people were willing to pay $900 for a license and tag. Last year was bad, (one day out of seven we saw elk, multiple bulls) this year was terrible (7 days, 2 elk, we harvested a satellite bull). Locals confirmed what we suspected. Elk cow talk or bulls bugle and the wolves come a runnin’! Elk shut up and dissapear from the territory. We had large wolf tracks on top of our own tracks. The locals were in the grocery store buying wolf tags daily. It is really a sad situation. Now here in the Blue Mountains of SE Washington and NE Oregon the wolf population have started to impact the wildlife and livestock, just like in MT and ID. The thought of my grandchildren never knowing the sight of a herd of elk or waking up to the sound of chirping cow elk saddens me deeply.




  38.  

    It is just as you say. Wolves have eaten everything in Montana. I Just got back yesterday from a 7 Day Montana Elk Hunt. My first guided hunt ever. And I would never do it again, even though our guide (who has worked Montana with his dad for 40 years) worked his pants off for us, but I was the only one of 6 hunters to even get a shot at ANY elk, the only legal one we saw, a 4 point. Everyone in Hamilton MT, from the waitresses, to the restaurant owners, to the outfitters, to the “man on the street” bemoaned how bad it has gotten due to wolves. I hate to say it, beautiful Montana, but I will probably never go back. No game to hunt, and too expensive.




  39.  
    Matt Thompson

    Well said everyone. I took my son and daughter hunting deer and elk in Idaho. I left my weapon home. I was about making an experience for them. They got an experience but it was sore feet and butts looking for game. We saw very few elk or deer and plenty of wolf and bear track. I was very upset over the hunt and we are not pickup hunters. I hope all non residents vacate Idaho so they can get a clear message.
    I can’t believe the number of cow and doe tags taht are still issued during these low animal times or the number of hunters that actually feel good about filling those tags. Both of my kids could have filled their tags with doe but niether wanted to. So they ate tag sandwiches. I think they were about 10,000/lb!




  40.  
    Abe Getty

    Those game managers need to recognize the fact that for the cost of an out of state license, I can be well on my way a multi species Plains game hunt in Africa.




  41.  
    Steve Chaffin

    As an out-of-state hunter from California, where the Mountain Lion has been a sacred animal since the 1972 hunting moratorium, I have had it. I’m through with spending tons of money on preference points and tags. My brother and I hunted Southern Utah, Area 14 Nevada, California and Colorado privet land this year. The only meat in my freezer is from Colorado. Utah’s deer management is insane. No matter how far off the road I traveled I ran into other hunters looking for the same missing animal.




  42.  
    Chad Krahn

    Guy, great point! I am a life long Montanan who recently moved to Idaho for a job. I would love nothing more than to continue to hunt my beloved home state, but the financial costs are too much for the quality of hunting I have personally seen the last couple of years. I take every chance I get to let my voice be known to every clown in the MFWP department. If things don’t change for the good, (increased wolf hunting, Grizzly hunts) the hunters themselves will resort to taking care of the problem, and that will just lead to more problems and FWP knows this.




  43.  
    Dan Maule

    Guy,

    I am a resident of Michigan’s Upper Penninsula were the wolf population is starting to get out of control also. I have been hunting in Wyoming for about the last ten years and took a guided Elk hunt in Idaho’s Frank Church region back in 2008. Your conclusions could not be more correct and apply not only to these western states but also to the upper midwest. We are lucky to have outspoken people such as yourself who are not afraid to take on the various wildlife departments of these states. I firmly believe that if the sportsman of this country do not wake up and demand change that our hunting heritage will be lost forever. If you are a conspiracy theorist then so am I. We need to take these threats seriously and hold our politicians accountable.




  44.  
    Jim Millington

    Well said by all. I agree the anti hunters must indeed be jumping up and down with glee. Hunters and others that enjoy our outdoors contribute to the economy of our western states in substantial amounts, not in just tag and license fees, but to local businesses in fuel, meals, lodging, entertainment,as well as gifts and momentos for ourselves and family members at home. We as a group provide funding for projects to improve and maintain the health of the wildlife we so enjoy more so than those against our activities. We need to be just as if not more vocal than the anti hunters that seem to have more of an impact on the policy makers that are causing this devastating effect on our natural resources. Thanks for leading out on making all aware of this unacceptable situation.




  45.  
    Paul Kik

    I am seriously considering an end to purchasing the preference points in Wyoming. It’s just money out the window. The areas I had planned to hunt are now overrun with grizzly and wolfs. For the money the trip would cost, I can go elsewhere with a higher chance of success and not worry about running into Mr Griz.




  46.  
    Zac M.

    The artical I just read would be equally as true if you changed the “Wyomings” to “Utahs”. Hunting has again become a rich man’s sport due to the greed of the state agency’s “Budgets” and private landowners “free cash” resources. I have had to tighten my belt durring these hard economic times, why shouldn’t they. Wildlife populations are declining everywhere due to over hunting, predation and poor management yet no one is admitting it. I would be out of a job if I did as poorly at my job as they have been at doing theirs. They should call themselves the Division of Wildlife Mis-Management!!!




  47.  
    Eric Hopper

    Awesome and Amen! Everyone needs to forward your article to all their friends and every local hunting organization they belong to. It is time the political establishment (including the State Wildlife Agencies) wake up to reality and remember who is paying their salaries and who truly supports and pay for wildlife management.




  48.  
    Greg Niswender

    Guy,

    Well said, it is increasingly obvious that wildlife managers just really don’t want to deal with the public and especially Hunters. What better way to get rid of the problem than just replace the human predator with Wolves,Bears,Lions and Coyotes, and call it natural. That way they can stay in their warm offices create imaginary critters on their computer models. With the Hunters out of the way and not in the field to call their bluff their Happy, The US forest service wrote the book on if you keep them out you don’t have to deal with them. The wildlife Departments are just writing the next chapter. What the Wildlife managers just haven’t figured out yet! Did your ever try and get a Grizzly to sign a check?

    Greg N. Colorado




  49.  
    Nick

    Great article! Its funny i was in Idaho Fish and Games Office last year. A guy called in to report wolf sightings. When the guy hung up the phone, he laughed a little and told the lady sitting behind the desk that this guy just reported wolves in such and such area. They laughed. “it was coyotes” they said. I said well its very possible. They said well we will look into it but we get tons of calls on wolf sightings and most people have never seen a wolf. I shook my head. And left. Is this denial? Is it laziness? Stupidity? Severe case of “the public” dont have a clue? Either way, If they dont want to listen or investigate give some tag holders the info and we’ll search it out!!




  50.  
    Roger Hurst

    Guy, I live in Washington State and the wolves are coming here fast. First they said they we just coming over the boarder from Canada. Now it seems breeding pairs have been discovered in elk country in and around Ellensburg WA in the Clockum herd. Gee how did they all of a sudden get 200 miles south of the Canadian boarder? Dah




  51.  
    Murray McLennan

    Well said Guy,we are seeing the same problems with a rapidly expanding wolf population here in British Columbia.It’s not good news for you guys in the Lower 48,but even with liberal wolf limits and seasons(some areas are No Bag Limit and no closed seasons)sport hunting wolves doesn’t make a huge difference in established populations.It requires Government intervention with poisoning,aerial shooting or heavy trapping to reduce wolf populations enough to increase game herd numbers.I don’t know of a Government on either side of the border that has the stomach to take that on given todays political climate.Good luck down there,in the meantime I’ll be shooting every one I see. Murray M. BC.




  52.  
    Tom

    GREEN IS THE NEW RED




  53.  

    Guy:

    You are right on. The State and Federal Game Agencies do not face the facts. With wolves in the equation, weather thrown in, many once healthy numerous western herds have been decimated. It took 150 years to get rid of the wolves and now the preservationists (State & Federal Agencies) bring back the beasts to the detriment of the PAYING hunter. Also, the rancher in the states mentioned in your disertation would rather have their cattle than a settlement fee for wolf food. The whole scenario makes no sense.

    Further, the outfitter and lease owners are not shooting straight with the visiting hunter. I just returned from a futile Mule Deer hunt out of Tucumcari, NM. Doing my due dilligence on the area, knowing that that there was a record cold winter and extremely dry summer. I contacted the State Biologist, a game warden and the County Agent for the district that I was to hunt in prior to going. In addition to the outfitter and hunt manager, the aforementioned state officials all lied about the antler health of the deer in the hunt area. I saw about 65 Mule Deer bucks in three (3) days of hunting and did not pull the trigger on any of them. Physically big bicks among the 65 seen, but no antler development past pencil horned, obviously nutrition depraved deer during the growth period.

    I know that you cannot take a exceptional trophy of any kind on every trip, but you don’t mind paying if the big deer are there and you have a chance.

    Keep up the good work.




  54.  
    John Nelson

    I agree with you 100% Guy! It has become very clear that the states and the federal governments have allowed the enviromental movements to become so well entrenched in the managment of game that it will be many years before the herd populations will recover. You had mentioned in passing wolves in Minnesota. This is my home state and the packs have become so predominant here that the once vibrant and growing elk herds from 25 years have practically disappeared. Now it is effecting the moose population and they are quickly becoming a rare sight in Minnesota. When will the politicians learn that the best way to manage the herds and the super predetors is through the hunter. I suppose it is really everyones fault because we have become so complacent we as constituants don’t even research our candidates enough to assure that we get the right people in office to protect our rights as hunters as well as protect the populations of the herds. We rely on organizations such as SCI or the RMEF to do all the work for us. They have limited resources and can only do so much. We all need to start to make a real effort to protect the sport and the herds we love to hunt so much.




  55.  
    bredy

    Guy i do agree with you but it is not only the western states. i am a from wisconsin and believe we have as many wolves as your western states. it has effected our deer herd our elk reintroduction and the wolves are actually digging into bear dens in the winter for an easy meal. it is hurting as you say our hunting and economy. we need to stop letting people who live 1000 miles away determine what is good for our state. a pat on the back for speaking out a lot of people tip toe around it. i’d rather walk tall




  56.  
    Mike Owens

    You told the truth Guy, I have not hunted in Wy. or any western state in many years. As bad as I want to hunt Elk and deer. And bring my son along for his first, western hunt I figure am waisting my money until the predator populations are down. I am one of those hunters that can not afford a $1000. or $2500. tag. I hope some politicians open their eyes. Until then I guess I will keep hunting here in Alabama. And start hunting elk in KY.




  57.  
    Barrie

    I agree with you also Guy! People now can look back in our history and see why the Wolf was erradicated from the lower 48. It is indeed a super preditor, it hunts in packs and when full it will target any other game in sight and kill it also, unlike a Mountain Lion which will hunt when it needs to eat and is a very efficient killer, it can take down a Bull Elk with one chomp on the neck and down comes the Elk. A wolf will tourture its prey and as well as start eating it while it is still alive. The wolf was erradicated for a reason, depetion of game herds and live stack…not a good idea reintroducing back in the wild…it will start preying on humans! Then what will they say?




  58.  
    Smokin Chevy

    Idaho gave out 150 late season either sex elk tags in unit 62/65 this year, if every tag was filled, all the elk would be gone and the wolves would be forced to another area…..seriously..thereare a few elk around and they need to be managed better before they are all gone. Wolves can be seen regularly right in Victor, Id. They have had a serious impact on the elk wintering locally. Idaho is still allowing the late season Mule deer hunts although with reduced tags, 20 people with a rifle/muzzleoader can take out what is left of the trophy mule deer that migrate through the area. Then they will be gone too. We have seen far more black bear this year than ever before, nothing is being done about the black bear. Cougar are regularly being seen in broad daylight locally. It’s a mess. How bad will it get before the Idaho Fish and Game take the stance needed to save and restore the game herds?




  59.  
    David Kaden

    The big lie is the “mexican wolf” in AZ and NM.
    Mexican wolves do not exhibit melanistic(black) color phases. I talked to a biologist on San Carlos reservation where I was bowhunting, who has seen many LARGE black wolves. I witnessed greatly diminished vocalizations from bulls and cows, and when one bull finally did bugle(once) right at first light, a pack of wolves attacked 10 minutes later and ran a cow right over me,she was sucking air like a freight train, and had two wolves 20 ft behind.. Populations are expanding and exploding in NM also, despite claims of “only 50″ wolves..




  60.  
    Tim

    I agree, but don’t forget:

    After a horible winter in Western WY which showed fawn death in the 70% area, the license allocation was already set in January. that isn’t game management it is a gamble!

    Wyoming’s politicians got so wrapped around the axle on the wolves (which are a serious problem) that they took their eyes off the Grizzly Bear which is as much of a problem to game animals, livestock and man, and the bears are a real success story in recovery. They should have lumped the wolves and bears together and then bargained with the Feds.

    A general over the counter license sale with a quota season of say 20 Grizzly boars a year wouldn’t hurt and would help reduce depredation, instill some fear in some bears, and sell a ton of licenses increasing the G&F revenues to mismanage elsewhere. That many problem bears get killed every year by the USFWS, G&F or attacked hunters, and the number is rising each year. Let hunters have a legal crack at them!

    Wyoming now has a wet behind the ears G&F director with little experience and who probably has more concern for his young career than making any waves with either the Commission or his boss the Governor. A Puppet?




  61.  
    Mark

    Looks like we’re all in agreement Guy (except for #24 Jon Nicholson, who’s daddy should have used a condom). The problem is that preaching to the choir can’t solve the problem. You alluded to some of the economic impacts, and I believe that hitting them in the pocketbook is the only way to force a change. I personally moved out of Idaho because of the dwindling hunting opportunities. After many years of stacking up points in several states, I am now burning the points on lesser units and not getting back into the game until something changes. That point money we throw at the states every year is gravy they don’t deserve. If a large percentage of us cash cows revolt, the F&G will do what is necessary to protect their salaries.




  62.  
    jerry

    with nothing to hunt, that is one more step to take away our right to bear arms.




  63.  
    Mike

    We tryed to get the NDOW in Nevada to do something about our mule deer herds that are in a ” death spiral” from predation= All the biologist want to talk about is habitat- They have given up on the mule d :sad: eer and are only interested in planting more Big Horn Sheep and Elk. What will by grandsons have to hunt??




  64.  

    After several encounters with wolf kills, tracks, and diseased wolf scat just a few miles from our home while hiking, hunting,a nd riding our horses in North Central Idaho, I decided to take matters into my own hands and began a mapping program. My wife attempted to register her wolf kill encounter with the IDFG website and conveniently their link did not work on 3 separate occasions. In less than 2 months, I have mapped approximately 100 encounters in Idaho and have recently expanded the mapping program to include OR, MT, and WA. Please check it out at http://www.IdahoWolfSightings.org for real up to date resident reported wolf sightings and encounters.




  65.  

    Hi Guy
    Your analogy is right on, I guided many years in the Selway Wilderness of Idaho.The USFWS and the Nez Perce tribe and the rest of the cronies involved.We watched the Elk herd and whitetails disappear by 1997. Jerry Conley Idaho Fish and Game Director at the time and Ed Bangs and Carter Neimeyer were illegally bringing wolves into Idaho after the inital transplant and the Nez Perce Tribe was getting 5 Million a year to do nothing more than to ride around and monitor the wolves whereabouts. These supplemental plants of wolves were a violation of the Lacey act and were also financed by Pittman Rodman funds that were hijacked by the Clinton administration.




  66.  
    Dan Wildin

    Guy
    Finally someone with some balls to tell it like it is! I recently had a close friend and two buddys from Texas go to Idaho for a 10 day unguided hunt they saw No Elk No Deer No tracks No poop because the game animals do not exist anymore, they had not hunted there for 8 years but previously had hunted this area for 10 years straight and always harvested something ! and always seen lots of sighn as well.
    Here in Montana this fall was dismal as well in the Deer and Antelope Department.In my professional logical and common sence observations Antelope are down at least 75% from previous year and Deer about 60% these are huge #, this is due to severe winter and large # of Mountain lions and blue tongue, which by the way is said to be a naturally occuring thing, well i have lived here all my life in the great state of Montana and have only witnesed this phenomenon only in the past few years! In the big picture we need to cease all Antelope hunting in the 400 and 700 districts for the next few years so future generations might have a chance to hunt or even see Antelope in these areas but as you say this will not happen due to revenue shortfalls within the MFWP
    I could go on but space is limited!
    thanks for your great magazine and truthfull comments and opinions!
    Respectfully
    Dan Wildin
    Native Montanan
    (Endangered Species)




  67.  
    Greg

    I have not had the opportunity to hunt out West for many years, so all I can do is give an opinion based on what I believe from what I have experienced in hunting out West, as well as throughout the United States. Controversy over predator control has always been an issue. Are predators necessary? Yes, to some extent. Predators are equally important to the ecological cycle, in order to maintain a natural eco-system. Common sense shows that predators multiply faster than prey. A wolf will produce seven in a litter, where prey produce lower numbers. At these numbers, without predator control, the situation will always be out of control. I hope this issue can be resolved, so one day my children will be able to experience the herds as they should be. This is why I feel that it is important to control the population of predators, within reason.

    Thank you, Guy, for voicing your opinion on an age-old topic that has taken way too long to resolve.

    Greg




  68.  
    Scott Lovejoy

    It is a sad time in our history…the government has let us down time and time agian on various topics…just look at our ecomony. And now super predators (Canadian Wolves) are ruling our forested lands..killing hound dogs and just doing as they please…we have seen and heard them now all over Idaho, Wahington and Oregon. It is a mess for sure but I don’t have the faith in our government anymore to do the right thing….is it time to take the matter into our own hands?




  69.  
    rofc

    Montana serious about wolf control?!
    Yea RIGHT! $350.00 non-resident wolf tag and
    $10.00 conservation tag!!




  70.  
    Jim Carrell

    Guy, very well stated and well written. Don’t second guess yourself for a second…you hit the nail square on the head. I am inclined to take it a step further and pop the questions of –Why on earth would the continued expansion of non-native wolves be allowed after seeing the results in the three Gennie-pig states of Idaho,Montana and Wyoming (lets not leave out Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin). Is it possible we are witnessing an attempt to alter American rights and freedoms. Does it all tie into gun control and who will own current private property as well as who will control public property? Did our fish and game agencies really just use poor management decisions or is this all part of a grander agenda?




    •  
      Brandy

      Spot on!..Don’t forget destroying our ability to feed ourselves! The agencies ARE complicit! Absolute sell outs…infiltrated by eco twits years ago…they also use the phony NGO’s (like Bob) against us.




  71.  
    gt

    Good job Guy, but if we want to see more critters to hunt in the future, we need call out those who are also at fault. Fish and Game agencies from every state definitely make mistakes, just like the rest of us, but always making them year after year ,that’s what drives me nuts. But blaming only them for the wolf problems is mostly wrong, they’ve tried to do something to deal with the wolf situation that was dumped in their lap by (USF&W)the Feds and environmentalists. Hunters want to lay blame, pull out their RMEF Bugle magazines from 2001-2009, look up the board members and staff from that era, along with ones that are still around. Write or contact, and tell them “thanks for nothing!” States today still struggle with opposition to hunting and wildlife management; We need to support more groups that are willing to be more pro-active then re-active. Lastly, It’s OK to have fundamental disagreements with your biologist who think predators are off-limits (the rural-urban culture clash)but we need to keep pushing to keep them in balance even putting a bounty back on them.

    -gt




  72.  

    i agree with you— living in oregon, I just heard some news that a grey wolf has not gone west of the cascade crest and is in northwest douglas county. this is getting close to Eugene and Roseburg. the state last year also increased the amount of Lop tags to the big ranches. however you cannot hunt there in many cases as they save them for pay hunting. it is getting more difficult to hunt on public land as much of the blm land is locked behind the big ranches without access.
    there have been ranchers in eastern oregon getting many sheep killed and calves as well. In fact one rancher saw a pack of wolves near his calves and later that afternoon founf them dead with wolf tracks around them and was told that unless he actually saw the wolf kill the calf it might not have been the wolves so he was not allowed to shoot them. we are also getting many cougars in the state which have cut down on the elk and deer by huge amounts.




  73.  
    Scott Rockholm

    Guy,

    Thank you for taking this explosive subject on. I happen to be one of the handful of folks who are fighting on the front lines to stop this predator worshiping agenda. I know who the people are, why they are doing this, and who their supporters are.

    When the USFWS misappropriated 60+ million dollars from the Pittman Robertson Excise tax fund, and they obtained illegal permits from Idaho Fish and Game Director Jerry Conley,it was very evident of their intent.These people had no intention to preserve a balance of anything, but rather used the introduction of a Yukon Wolf to advance their agenda very much faster.

    Year after year, Fish and Game Departments falsified their data with the use of outcome based modeling. This modeling is a very good tool for departments to obfuscate reality. We were all witnessing huge declines in our ungulates, yet at the same time, Departments were reporting status quo.The set up began before “Wolf Introduction”, and continues to this day. Many of the big game managers were vital during implementation as young Grad students, moved on to their respective fields, worked in concert for the last 16 years, and here we are.

    Writing an article like this takes allot of guts. Writing an article like this, with the addition of the names of those responsible takes balls. Thank you for starting this dialogue Guy. We have needed your help, and you answered the call. My next film on this corruption will be released this coming Spring.




  74.  
    Dave Ford

    Guy, I was hunting with an outfitter this fall in an area that borders Yellowstone. I don’t think I saw a dozen elk. In my opinion the reintroduction of the wolf was a ploy by anti hunting groups to eliminate hunting all together. I think the only thing that might make the officials and the public open there eyes is when a wolf snatches someones child. God forbid.




  75.  
    Erik Bailey

    Guy, I am soon to become one of those financial losses for Wyoming. A group of us (non-res) have been backcountry DIY elk hunting every year in area 85 (Targhee NF,NW of Snake River Canyon). THe wolf problem has really cut the herd. We are discussing moving to the Flattops Wilderness in CO.
    BTW, it is not a West only issue. THe same thing is happening in VT. The North east coyote has been genetically proven to be a wolf-hybrid, with size and tactic traits of wolves. Before their dominance in this area, one deep-snow winter was not a big killer. But now it is a herd breaker. We had a record snow year last winter and we lost 1/2 of our deer (F&W is in PR denailand says 10%). THe coy-wolves had easy pickings of adult, healthy deer in the dep snow. We need to control predators bad, and just sport hunting will not get it done.




  76.  
    Kenny Stillwell

    I sgree totally with all the above statements except #24 he must be hunting an ID. I’m not familiar with. I have been a long time NR hunter in the state of MT. I can’t believe the change over the last 10 years it is unreal. I probally just took my last trip to this awesome state for many years I feel like. At least thats what I’m telling all my friends and family. The wolves and bear and other killers have ruined the populations of game. As well as the harsh winters the last few year. All in all this year sucked low low deer numbers and well elk hunting basically sucks there now. I will no longer even think about paying those high prices for a tag soup. I’ve ate my elk tag 7 years now straight so I’m done with spending my hard earned money out there any longer. Of coarse unless it’s a predator hunt for lions,bear, or wolves. maybe that is what we all need to do for a few years those hunts should be very successful. It’s a very sad situation and it all boils down to money,greed, and tree huggers whining…… :oops:




  77.  

    Guy, Thank you for printing the truth.
    I am a Commissioner on, and the immediate past Chairman of, the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners
    You must have been reading the secret Nevada Department of Wildlife playbook. You are repeating exactly what the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners has been saying the last two years, and the truth – almost word for word as you describe it – is that the ‘establishment’ in Nevada actually changed State law so it can ignore the Commission, removed a member of the Commission to bring in a Department ‘rubber stamper’, and continue the indescriminant and willful rape of Nevada’s Wildlife for exactly the reasons you point out.
    By the way, with the newly changed laws in Nevada, we are well back on the path to eliminating the little that is left of our mule deer population. In 2011 the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners cut Mule Deer quotas about 25% from Department recommendations and was publicly crucified for doing it by the NDOW Director and his toadies. (yes, they are reading this too, and the truth hurts)
    We may not have but a few wolves yet, but the ‘spiral’ is well underway, and what you say about the numbers, that is what 6 of 9 Commissioners have said at many past public meetings. Warning!!! powerful political forces (meaning they have $$$) have their heads firmly planted in the sand and are using their bio-politicians with wonderful biology pedigrees to fight the facts as you present them with high- powered bio-babble that they call SCIENCE.




  78.  
    Rich Brown

    Guy, thanks for your well informed article. My wife and I just got back from a hunt in Montana. Deer and Elk populations are down more than 50 percent.
    Montana FW&P were still selling doe tags to make up revenue. They are cutting them back now, but it way too late.
    We are not going back to Montana next year. It’s too bad that politicians arn’t businessmen, who are able to recognize an industry when they see one.
    Counting fuel, we spent $4,000.00 in Montana this year on a DIY hunt.
    I think you are right about the reduction in out of state revenue. Next year will be an eye opener to the value of hunting dollars from non-residents.




  79.  

    Hello Guy I’m mike from california and the spiral has been going down for the last few years here. I go out hunting during the season and for the last five years it has been getting tougher and tougher to find a legal buck or a doe for that fact. Doe’s aren’t legal here. But the situation in cal, is sad. I can go out and hke for miles and not see any wild life but I do see alot of tracks, most have peditor tracks following.I have even seen a coyote running across a road.This year was worse. All of my friends that I spoke to have had the same resultes. And cal, fish and game is still selling large amounts of tags for the over the counter tags. Hope next year is better,or we may have to go out of state in order to enjoy hunting.




  80.  
    Blaine Graham

    You have always had a way of bringing the topics, we as hunting conservationist should and will be concerned about Guy. I see one problem is the midwest hunters are saying this isn’t our problem it’s in the west, wake up everybody it’s all of our problems as a whole. We will lose our way of life as we hunters know it if this problem persists. I ask and challenge all hunters to write a letter to your congress men and women and let them know that we know whats going on and no wool is being pulled over our eyes. Keep up the great work Guy and happy holidays to all.




  81.  

    well said guy,iam RES here i wyoming and all the animals were way hard to find this year even with horses way back in 6 miles or so and only seen a hand full so thx for writing for all the sportman and woman all around




  82.  
    Joyce Nobles

    Guy, Thank You. That summed up what us Idaho residents have been saying for a long time. It’s great to have you on our side and see the problems we face here in Idaho




  83.  
    Rick

    Fellow Hunters, this is good dialogue but if it ends up being nothing but a criticize session we really haven’t gone anywhere. We need to learn from this, face facts, except truth, ignore myth, and change our strategy. First, the wolves are out control because the original recovery population numbers, once achieved, we’re not fought for. Now, what do have, five or ten times more, unbelievable. Lesson #1, we need to fight, and lawyer and lobby up like our enemies. Lesson #2, as noted by almost everyone doing a post, the money spent by hunters is going to crash if there are no animals to hunt. Lesson #3, beating up the game departments for their actions has its place, but ultimately they are our partners and we need to work together. Do you really think a biologist who’s worked for 35 years watching moose populations increase is happy to watch that success go up in wolf crap! Not to mention elk herds that are nearly gone in some places, or tags cut or eliminated for great hunts. Lesson #4, those who say predators aren’t really a problem are WRONG and ignore the facts, but to place the blame on them for all reduced game populations is also ignorant….#77 is correct that predation is an issue, but Nevada’s mule deer have lost millions of acres of prime habitat that is now cheatgrass, sorry bud, that’s your bigger problem in my opinion, along with out of control wild horses in certain areas. Lesson #5, see Lesson #1.




  84.  
    Dan

    yes, yes, yes and yes, it’s worse than this in Northern Idaho. The elk herd is beyond repair for the rest of my prime hunting years. The Golden Era of elk hunting in Northern Idaho is gone. Even if we all become wolf hunters, it will be a couple of decades to get back what we had.




  85.  
    Mitch Hicks

    Well said Guy. Not only is it a death spiral for big game. Local businesses and the annual vigor of hunting seasons for small communities suffer too. I am a native of Idaho and bare witness to the demise of a once thriving western big game destination state. I happen to work for a fish and wildlife management agency. Sadly, managers and commissioners don’t practice the ethics they preach. Hunters have become the hunted by the very agencies that are supposed to be our advocate. Got wolves?




  86.  
    LUKE MCKINNELL

    I can’t say enough my self , you took the words right out of my mouth . I was a first hand witness to the the devastation , as I worked as a professional guide / packer in the once great Selway Wilderness from 2003-2008 . And would stiil be there if not for the wolves . I went back to the Selway this fall looking for mule deer , and couldn’t even find a fresh track other than wolve tracks . I am a WA. resident , and have been after my game dept. to not make the same mistakes as ID. But I don’t feel like they are takeing public imput seriosly . The wolves have already made it to the east slope of the Cascades , and will soon be state wide . Our deer populations are already declineing do to growing Cougar , Bear , Coyote & Bobcat poulations . I also regret to hear from friends that the wolves are moveing south into Nev. and towards the Sierras where there is already to damn many bears and cats . Also I don’t think people grasp the severity of haveing Wolves around , I will have to put up a high fence around my pasture just to keep my Mules safe . And kids wont be safe playing in there yards .




  87.  
    John M.

    Got to hand it to you Guy, I think you hit the nail on the head! I just hunted SW Montana last week. Five hard days with a guide turned up nothing but a few old tracks. When I hunted the same area 15yr’s ago the river bottoms and fields were loaded with Witetails. The hills held a good number of Muleys. Now they are empty of both. The outfitter and guides offer no clue, only claim it’s a mistery to them where the game has gone. Not going back. Maybe the way to get their attention is in their wallet NOT mine. I live in upstate New York,but I love to hunt the west. Hunted the Black Hills of NE Wyoming, coming face to face with a cougar. Same senario. Going to give Colorado a try next year. Thanks for keeping us NR’s up to date with whats going on “out there” through your Website and great magazine EHJ. Regards John




  88.  

    I ranch in NV and part of the problem is that the rancers and hunters need to band together on these issues. The predators will take all of us out in the long run. When the rancher is gone so is the water developments that the wildlife depend on. Our state bighorns unlimited is trying actively to get rid of the sheep industry. The domestic sheepmen are the most active in predator control. Mike Stremler




  89.  
    Zack Boughton

    I totally agree Guy.




  90.  
    Tim

    Maybe when the sheep start getting slaughtered in front of the the hundreds that frequent the Snake River near Heller Bar in unit 11, then, maybe then the Sheep Hunting community and their $$$$$ might correct the problem.

    We can only hope!!!!!!




  91.  

    Guy: I can’t agree more with your story, but you left out the most perfect example in the U.S. today: California! F&G here has been into people management for years, they recently, last few years, shifted to predator management. We have almost no deer population left due to cats, bears and believe it or not, wolves. They are frequently sighted and heard in Northern Calif, a F&G documented (Not that DFG would ever admit it)Canadian gray was killed here several years ago, and the problem is getting worse. Denial of a the problem along with “what do we do now” is destroying what is left of Calif game.




  92.  

    Guy: I can’t agree more with your story, but you left out the most perfect example in the U.S. today: California! F&G here has been into people management for years, they recently, last few years, shifted to predator management. We have almost no deer population left due to cats, bears and believe it or not, wolves. They are frequently sighted and heard in Northern Calif, a F&G documented (Not that DFG would ever admit it)Canadian gray was killed here several years ago, and the problem is getting worse. Denial of a the problem along with “what do we do now” is destroying what is left of Calif game. :smile:




  93.  
    James Russell

    I have lived and hunted in Montana for the last 16 years. I live in southwest Montana, the former elk destination in Montana. I don’t even want to start talking about the wolf problem yet, because the FWP division in Montana couldn’t manage our game populations before the wolf!
    We have hunted unlimited mule deer (doe and buck) for a 6 week season, through the rut, into the winter, with rifles forever. Anyone who has ever hunted mule deer knows that is a horrible management strategy without the super predator, and shooting the amount of does we do is simply SAD! Throw in a couple bad winters, wolves, rut hunting, and you are lucky to find a mule deer in southwest Montana PERIOD; let alone a mature buck (which the FWP considers anything with 4 points a mature animal)! The private landowners are the only thing keeping the mule deer population from going extinct in my part of the state!
    The elk are now following the exact same pattern that deer went down. Unlimited cow hunting, bad winters, and super predators. The public land hunter now has about 3 hours of rifle season to find his elk on private land, because by that time all the elk still alive, have relocated to private land to avoid the over hunting and wolves.
    The only solution for me has been to hunt in the eastern part of the state for deer. This part of the state used to produce quality deer hunts on public land. This is no longer the case either, due to bad winters and mostly due to over hunting does (nearly unlimited) and hunting bucks for 6 weeks through the rut. Its sad what has taken place in Montana.

    One would think that not decreasing tag numbers and keeping our FWP revenue up, we would actually see some game management take place, but it simply isn’t happening.

    Thanks Guy and Eastman’s community for caring, and hopefully our game managers and politicians will someday care too!




  94.  
    Nonreshunter

    Great article Guy! You simply wrote what the feeling has been out here for years. We as hunters are simply being marked to for proliferation of game departments. Each year we get rosy predictions that never seem to pan out. I have hunted S/W Montana as a non resident for years and always enjoyed getting together with friends there even though game populations have plummeted to almost nonexistent. With the recent increase in the combo tag which now costs $912 and the vanishing populations of elk and deer I’m done with it. We can look to the future to see parking passes and stickers to access Federal and state lands or parks for those who simply give up hunting. Washington State is already there.




  95.  
    Melanie Schell

    One out of 94 commenters disagrees with you…funny…seems like this person has never even been out in the woods…I saw many, many hunters this year (hunted myself, and I don’t even OWN an ATV)and granted, 4 of those hunters were FAT, but definitely not LAZY…they hiked along with everyone else…not sure where they saw all these PILES of elk-probably near Boise, as what’s left of some of these herds have flooded the “flats” to get away from their predators…very few Mulies up here-those who did get one, REALLY worked for it…no road hunting here…
    It’s just sad…sad…sad…SMH :sad:




  96.  
    chuck collier

    Hi Guy,
    Your article about the super predators is exactly what is happening in WY. I live 1/4 mile from the entrance to Shoshone National Forest and spend nearly the entire months of Sept. and Oct. in the forest bow hunting. I have seen the numbers of elk, deer and moose decrease drastically since 2004 when we moved to the Dubois area. This season, I’ve seen approximately 25% of the elk and deer and zero moose compared to last season. We heard wolves howling in Sept. and saw many tracks. The elk were silent!! The bulls would bugle once just before sunrise and sunset and that was it. (The “get up girls and get moving” bugle.) Impossible to pursue them without additional bugles. This state is close to disaster. Check the high number of elk cow tags issued in Unit 68, in spite of the major opposition of outfitters and residents. It’s all about money (license sales) in this state and the Feds don’t give a hoot about the predator problem. They have blocked Wyoming from managing the wolves for years because we refer to them as predators and want to treat them as such once they appear a reasonable distance from Yellowstone. Check the size of the Yellowstone elk herd in 1995 when the wolves were introduced and now. Also, check into the issuing of licenses to kill cow elk inside the National Elk Refuge, outside of Jackson Hole. Keep up the good work and printing articles such as this.
    Chuck Collier




  97.  

    I will agree with you onthis problem. To me wolfs need to be killed out some .i don’t have none here in south west MO . and if the conservation bring’s them in like they did the coyotes and get a population like them. the deer herd will become really scarce . i read alot about this on the internet. there is a big problem with wolf’s all over . so needless to say if they introduce them here i will introduse them to a bullet and kill every wolf i see even if it is againt the law.like coyotes the can over populate to rapidly.




  98.  
    Mike Metteauer

    Guy, I think that you did a good job with the article. The wolves almost destroyed Yellowstone and the areas around the Park. I say almost because the wolves have not been slowed down yet. It will take a major kill off of the wolves in these areas to give the elk and other game animals even a new start. We have been going to Yellowstone since 1986 and there has been a major change in the wildlife since the introduction of the Wolf. The introduction I will not address but they to this date have not been managed or controlled.




  99.  
    Mark S.

    This is what you get with unchecked governmental agency power. The FWP never listens to the hunters…the very people they should be basically representing and protecting their interest, but how is this different with any other government agency. They side with the people who have lawered up and backed by big money from hollywood and other rich bleeding heart libs. They screw it up because of politics and money. These agencies have no one to answer to that is going to knock some sense into them. The worst of it is if you stand up for what is right you are crucified and thrown out for someone who wont create waves…I believe someone already said rubberstamper. That is all they look for…kick the can down the road




  100.  
    Jim Verplancke

    Guy, I agree with you on the issues with the supper predators and the depredation that is sweeping across the West. However, there are more factors impacting our treasured wildlife primarily the lack of proper range & forest management practices. This becomes ever more important as tens of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat across the west are being higly impacted if not completely eliminated by energy extraction, renewable energy infastructure and urban sprawl. Simply said, our world class wildlife is running out of room. To further compound the problem for mule deer specifically, is the overwhelming competition from white-tailed deer and (in areas void of wolf packs) elk. As you stated, it all comes down to $$$$ and funding. Interestingly enough, does anyone know what Wyo.G&F spent the $26 million EnCana gave them to mitigate impacts to the mule deer winter range on the Pinedale Anticline because it is a mystery to me. For those not familiar with this area, the Wyo. Range mule deer has dindled by 67% of its historic population and Wyo.G&F says that it will NEVER rebound. No suprise when 4,300 gas wells are drill right in the middle of the longest big game migration route in the lower 48; There is 345 acres of physical surface disturbance (dirt turned over) for every square mile (640 acres) on the Anticline. I realize we need energy sources but we need to do a better job of developing these resources responsible. We need to be accountable for the historic rangeland use (livestock grazing) and allow the range to rebound fueled by agressive restoation efforts. We need to manage our forests and this is going to require extensive tree harvest especially of the thousands of arces of beetle killed pines before our national forests go up like a Roman candle. So I guess what I am saying is that super predators, along with a host of other issues, need to be managed to get a handle on this problem. Make no mistake, without habitat there won’t be any wildlife.




  101.  
    Holly

    I wouldn’t be counting on Oregon. Wolves have been here for YEARS and ODFW has denied their presences. The Keating Valley sheep kill forced their hand some. Had tracks right out the front door about 6 yrs ago. Boggles me some folks don’t consider them dangerous to humans.
    I am of an age…from the North Shore, I remember why they were being killed. I find the ignorance of today’s world…Daunting.
    Put the collars on them and turn them loose in the big city woodland parks. Reality check required.




  102.  

    If you think it is bad now just wait until the Forest Service fully implements their Wildlife Conservation Strategy and open up the forests to more closely resemble the “historic range of variability”. This will open up stands to enhance white headed woodpecker habitat and make it easier for wolves to spot elk. There will be less hiding habitat. Check out the latest proposal on the Payette National Forest. http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/fs-usda-pop.php/?project=31297 Read the summary and look at the expected affect on elk. This is what we have to look forward to. Comments are due on that project December 12th. The only way they see to improve elk habitat is to remove all the roads in the area. Hard to do in an area that is supposed to be managed for timber production. Fish and Game may be charged with managing the wildlife but the Forest Service is managing the habitat.




  103.  

    Very well said. People need to know the truth. It is the ones who never get off the couch and see the devastation that those of us who walk the woods do need to wake up and join in the fight. Just yesterday I watched a white tail run through the trees with 2 wolves on it’s heels. I had one in the trees watching me at 42 yards which I thought was a stump in the darkened trees, since the sun was just coming up. I never thought I would see them again or I would have had the rifle up. One of them darted across an opening only 60 yards in front of me. I whistled hoping to stop it as I was raising the rifle but it was gone. I do have a wolf tag and should’ve filled it but I was not quick enough and they did kill that deer, I am sure. No wonder the deer are as abundant in this spot as they used to be. It was later that I went over to where I thought I saw a black stump in the trees which resembled a black dog’s head with ears that I found the tracks where one had stood and watched me for over 10 minutes. I was waiting for this bull to hopefully cross as he had two mornings before. I wish I had been better prepared. My husband is an outfitter and we are feeling the crunch. I could go on for days about how unhappy I am and what a mistake our government has made. Thanks for saying it as it is.




  104.  
    Linda McKay

    IMO everybody everywhere better get ready to protect their families and pets from wolves, besrs, and cougars 24/7, because they WILL be brave enough to foray into small towns and rural homesteads just like the coyotes have.




  105.  

    Great thoughts Guy. My soon and I hunted Montana this year. The east side for deer. The locals around Savage area where saying they had seen wolves arounf there this past wummer, not good. I hunted south west Montana for elk, I usually see plenty of elk, but this year there where very few and did not fill our tags. The price was very high. Also Montana is supposed to be managing the wolves not making us noneresidents pay for everything, I am from Montana and this is pretty sad.




  106.  
    Christopher Hammond

    Guy,
    I’m a native north Idahoan and an avid outdoorsman. My family has hunted this area for close to 80 years. And we had been fairly successful up until about 5 years ago. When I started to notice a lot of impact from the population of wolves in the area. I started to see more wolf tracks and less elk or deer tracks in my scouting adventures. A lot of fecal matter and a few howls. During archery season you would here the bulls bugling around camp all night long, enough to think it was almost in your head. I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. Needless to say, the wolves have taken over. I’ve spent twice as many hours scouting, twice as much money on better equipment just to get a look at a bull during season. I’m sure you’ve heard similar stories. Now they are getting daring enough to run through the middle of my uncles camp, between the fire and a truck, and cross the creek; just to sit on the other side and howl at them. Pretty scary if you ask me. Anyway, your support is appreciated and so is your opinion. Your a respected leader to sportsmen worldwide. Thank you for your article!




  107.  
    Paul Roman

    I experienced the decline of huntable elk in Idaho long before it hit the printing press. I hunted an area three consecutive times and the elk numbers were down each time. I wasn’t sure why until I was hunting over a wallow and a bugling bull was coming in and a wolf ran directly under me. This wolf pushed the bull right into the waiting wolf pack. I have never heard anything quite like a wolf pack coming down on its prey. It is very intimidating.
    We than moved 50 miles south to a ranch and managed to take a cow elk. It was night as we continued to field dress and de-bone the elk. Again wolves came in to the smell of blood and we had to run them off. This was my last trip to Idaho. I wrote a note on Idaho’s hunting survey about my experience.
    I am and have been very unhappy about how this issue is handled. One, I believe that the right people to handle this issue are the people closest to it. Hunters and game management people. Two, look at the facts. Numbers of animals before wolves were introduced and hunters were the predators. Compared to animal numbers after wolf populations took root and they became the major predator.
    I believe that this is another tactic to stop hunting. Get enough wolves to reduce elk and deer populations than they become the endangered species and we won’t be able to hunt them.
    I think the public needs to be educated on how wolves kill indiscriminately. Not only game animals but live stock and how it not only is decimating game animal population but how it affects the livelihood of ranchers.




  108.  
    Terry

    :mad: Guy I am sure glad to read the information you take so much time to keep us informed with. We had a real bad winter kill this last year. It would be the worst the thing they could do in South Dakota with the yotes and mountain lions. Keep up the good work.




  109.  
    wally warm

    KILL THEM ALL




  110.  
    dougtheduck

    Sounds like politics and wildlife management have hit head on. Ca. has had the same thing going on for years. Its called Mt. Lions and bad deer management. Oh, don’t shoot the Mt. Lion, their nice and furry, but I don’t see the deer like I use to. I just can’t figure it out. A good wildlife biologist will not stick around to do his job if he has to beat his head against the wall.




  111.  
    Claude

    Good article Guy. The wolf has to be gotten rid of. Our forefathers saw the problem and they eradicated it. Then a minority, gets together and decides they want to bring it back. Government officials side with their money totals rather than their number totals, and the majority sits and watches, the wolf is brought back. The other animals in the areas pay the ultimate price, loss of viable population numbers and living in constant fear and both mental and physical stress, which also adds to the loss in population. Any place you go where the wolf is present all other animal populations are alot less than they should be, or used to be. Wake up fellow outdoorsmen and band together to fix the problem. Sitting around and just talking about it doesn’t get things done. Write to the government officials and be counted. One way that would get the message across real quick would be to, take any state with wolves and not buy any hunting licenses from that state until they get the wolf down to a very low number or eliminated. Bet it would only take one year, two at the most, money talks. It would be a sacrifice, a small one on our part, that would bring back and benefit alot of species that are currently facing eradication by one specie that takes everything from all and contributes nothing to any.




  112.  
    Will, Valleyford, WA

    I believe eliminating hunters and their firearms was the underlying purpose of the wolf AND grizzly reintroduction programs. We should have had busloads of sportsmen in Missoula demonstrating around the court house and federal buildings prior to the first releases. Now that we are in serious trouble, outdoorsmen of every stripe must unite, organize, raise some serious money and assert ourselves at all levels; or face extinction ourselves.




  113.  
    hunter anderson

    i agree with you guy. deer hunting in northern wisconsin is getting bad. the wolves have taken down more deer that i have seen in the last week. i have seen 5 deer and i have found ten different spots where they took a deer down. its horrible and i would love to go out west and hunt elk but its way to much money




  114.  
    z

    Kudos for the truth. I even dropped my membership to RMEF years ago. Got tired of reading how the elk and wolves co exist. I did not want to see 100 years of conservation out the window. As a resident of ND, I cant wait until the wolves hit the open prairie. The outcry will be as never heard before. I think that the US Dept of Interior should fund the short falls in state Wildlife agencies. They are the ones who released the wolves and dropped the management on the state agencies without any funding or revenue source.




  115.  
    Andy Stinson

    THANK YOU!!!! Right on!




  116.  
    Todd Crawford

    I 100% agree, I live in north Idaho, our elk and deer numbers are in the toilet. I recently spoke with IDFG representative and he assured me it is just the economy and bad winters. We have had bad winters in the past they come and go, these wolves do not come and go until there is no more food. Their was a 70-80 pound female killed about a half mile from my house, they are getting hungry, and we do not have the numbers to keep feeding the beast. Gun control at It’s finest, nothing to hunt no reason to have them.




  117.  
    Brandon

    I agree 100%. In ten years Idaho will no longer have deer or elk herds to manage if we continue with todays practices. I feel sorry for our youth. Brandon




  118.  
    Kurt

    I hunted Wyoming this fall for deer. In a 5 day hunt we saw at 10 black bear. There were days we saw more bear than deer. Nearly every canyon had a bear or at least bear sign in it. I have hunted the same area many times over the last 20 yrs, but I’m not sure when, or if, I’ll go back. Low deer numbers and terrible trophy quality make it hard to want to spend the money or time for a trip like that.




  119.  
    Kelly

    More to think about….human intervention (Game and Fish)has also played a larger roll in the demise of big game more then one might think. Winter feed stations to assist elk herds in hard winters are especially hit hard by wolves. Two years ago a feed station with over 80 head of elk was decimated by wolves. Wolves wiped out all bulls first, then cows while only eating a small portion of the animal. The elk, being fed every year for years became dependent on the food source and were/are incapable of leaving, they were taught to be dependent on it. When the snow left less then 20 head remained. What happens when you over populate an alpha predator?….you get a decimation of food, which leads to starvation, disease of that predator and leaving them with alternative food sources like, pets, livestock and yes even humans. Being an Idaho native, I can tell you that big game numbers have declined in massive amounts, with winter being a small portion of the blame. All species have and will be effected by unchecked wolf numbers, and we have not seen or been near the bottom yet…it will get much worse! Look what is happening in Florida, Texas and other states with feral hogs..once they get going they are almost impossible to stop!




  120.  
    Derry Hawker

    How true it is $$$$. here in Idaho we had some units which were announced to have had 100% fawn mortality. This announcement came after season had opened and everyone had already had a chance to get their tags. And still yet there was a doe season. I guess they figured no one was going to kill something that wasn’t there. And they would have the money. I am worried what will be left for my 3 grandsons. We are in the wolf killing mode, but it is not an easy task. I think it will take more than conventional warfare to get the number down.




  121.  

    Great article, but sad. I believe the politically correct mind set of reintroducing wolves (that were not native) to areas where there is already a dwindling resource, shrinking habitat and large user group makes no sense. Here in Wash.St. we have two legged native wolves that are decimating elk herds by the pickup load as well as these introduced wolves that have had no presence in many a year. I think maybe it is time for sportsmen to form up and take control of our resource so it can continue for our future generations. Lets get the idiot politicians out of the equation.




  122.  
    William Kornec Sr

    Man did you hit the nail on the head.
    After 50 years of hunting in Montana I have watched the ups and downs of elk and deer populations. Bad winters and diseases have taken their toll at times but the herds were always able to rebound until NON NATIVE Canadian wolves entered the picture. All the local hunting areas here have been ruined by several packs of meat inhailing wolves. For the first time since I was eleven years old I was unable to fill my elk tag this year. I am 61 and native to Montana. Angry is not even a good word to use to describe how I feel. Our State and Federal Government is working on carrying out the Agenda 21 plan. Wolves are just one portion of the Agenda 21 picture. Gun control is next. Why do folks like us need guns when there is no longer enough game for us to hunt.
    Its going to get much uglier folks!




  123.  
    Robert Owen

    My brothers and I hunted Idaho this year for deer in the general season. My brother is a resident and has hunted deer in the area we hunted before with good success. In 4 days we saw one wolf and too many wolf tracks, one deer and a cow elk; needless to say we left empty handed. I am not sure if many people that are for the wolves realize that as hunters we can control the game population easier than the wolf population. Years previous we talked to a camp host that said a pack of wolves came through and killed sheep and never ate on them. If these folks that are pro wolf ate wolf meat over elk or deer meat I am sure that they would agree with the hunter and say that the wolves are competing with us for the meat that some of us rely on to get through the winter. This day and age wolves belong in a zoo not in the wild.




  124.  
    rlb

    Yahoo News-GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A young wolf from Oregon has become a media celebrity while looking for love, tracing a zigzag path that has carried him hundreds of miles nearly to California, while his alpha male sire and a sibling that stayed home near the Idaho border are under a death warrant for killing cattle. The horse has left the barn. Elk, moose,and deer are in big trouble.




  125.  
    Bill Patt

    I have hunted CO & WY for 20 years and have met many people that live there. When I asked them–why introduce predators they replyed-”the animal rights people and gun people got together and figured out that if you don’t need humans to control game populations, you don’t need hunters and when you don’t have hunters you don’t need guns”. I personally am already seeing my adult children question the need to buy that new rifle for “out-west” when there isn’t anything to hunt. “Why spend the money to go Dad?” It makes sense to me.




  126.  
    Brett Beaudette

    As hunters we all suffer.The financial greed in this country has caught us in a pinch.When budgets are not met, states squeeze the Feds for money which comes out of our pockets one way or another.There is a huge political agenda here.I watch the land that was set aside for conservation being sold off after its was perserved for wildlife.This problem of predation is coming to a head.
    Politicians swindle.As the price of tags increases and the game herds dwindle we get older, make less money and make decisions that dont allow us to make the trips afield,pay the hefty out of state fees and the cycle continues.However political agendas continue on there course relentlessly.
    As much as i love hunting,America and the freedoms that where once protected, I also realize that out sport is turning into a game financially and politically that not many can afford to play any longer.In the future our sport will run its course like everything else in this country.This huge political wheel of empowering swindlers,liers,cheaters and offices held for financial,political and personal gain will destroy our wonderful entitlement to hunt,fish,camp in our Natural resources.
    Its a unbalanced reality i see happening all to often.We as conservationists,hunters and Americans need to be more organized to get our message and agenda out there to be heard if we want to protect our priviledges and rights in this country or we will fall victim as the the great Buffalo heards did in years past.We need a stronger agenda with unstoppable momemtum.
    Its time to get busy my fellow hunters as Guys article is a clear cut as it gets by truth.




  127.  
    Mark

    Guy, I’m am a former resident of MT 12+years now residing in GA who has been hunting big game for over 25+years that includes out of state hunts in MT,WY,&ID for 10+yrs. I decided to bite the bullet once again for out of state tags in MT, apply, pay the fees, and hire an outfitter of 35+ years experience, who would do his best to get you an opportunity to harvest, going right into the heart of the Gallatin National Forest (Northern range boundry of the Yellowstone) right up to and including the wilderness boundry edge which also included a private section or two of his own. On a six day hunt we spotted only 3 cows (one taken by wolves that evening – spotted remaining carcass myself next morning) and one bull elk (breaking timber only after dusk) being seen the entire trip for a heard that I personally witnessed to be over 4K strong prior to introduction of wolves 10+ years ago in the Dome Mountain area. With 3 guides, 3 hunters, and an observer all riding on horse back from dawn to dusk starting 3 miles in and ranging out to 10 miles daily, I personally witnessed 30+ wolves on day three of the hunt (15 skirting high and 15 low on intercept course for the ridge we were crossing eyeing us for over for brunch but then saw riders at 30 yards and decided to move on / divert course). I wanted to purchase tags to hunt wolf too, to do my part in population control earlier, but the MT state agency is not allocating enough tags to control this population. WMU390 was set for a total of 19 wolves 313/316 the heart of wolf country and the zone I would be in were broke off into sub-units allocated at 3 tags each filled during early bow / rifle which equates to less than 10% population I witnessed in 1 day (From what I understand approx. 20%overall using site evaulation estimates techniques) of the overall pack. Currently being babysitted by state G&F cesna airplane once a day so they know the numbers. Out of state tags were priced at 350 for out of state but none were given out in 313 for general rifle due to ridiculous numbers set. Also spotted a black bear, mountain lion, and had grizzly tracks within 100yards of camp.
    I doubt I’ll be applying anymore from what I’ve witnessed first hand I feel hunting big game in the lower 48 is dead and I feel sorry for the first 100 head who make it to the winter ranges in MT this season.




  128.  

    Thanks to all of you fellas’ and ladies for taking the time to respond to my blog. I know this may seem like I’m “preaching to the quire” to most of you and maybe I am, but you would be surprised how many hunters/folks out there have no idea what is really going on. Thanks again and keep the responses coming, we might break a record for the most responses to an outdoor blog soon. The passion is crystal clear here!!! -Guy Eastman




    •  

      Guy can Eastmans block all of Bob Ferris comments ? check this man out on his websites CASCADIA WILDLANDS he is a malignant tumor to our cause!
      respectfully
      Dan Wildin
      Native Montanan




      •  

        Certainly the site could engage in censorship, even if the posts violate none of the posting policies. But then you have to really ask yourself what you are afraid of. We already know that you are afraid of wolves. And now it seems you are afraid of books and ideas. Pretty sad.




  129.  
    Chuck Middleton

    Guy,
    Yes, thanks for the article, but let’s get to solutions to the problem. Wolves are the problem not the Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming F&G by far. It’s policical and the only way to solve the wolf problem is through polictics and the courts. Everyone needs to contact their Congressional leaders both House and Senate and have their friends 5-10 minmium do the same with letters, not phone calls. Phone calls can be ignored, but letters are a wriitten record. We have the wolf season for this year only and suits are filed to prevent future hunting/ management by the wolf advocates (lovers). We need to have them every year and shooting them will at best only keep their numbers from increasing further in the 3 states. We need to be able to trap them as well and here again you hunters can help us who live in the west get things like trapping into a state management plan with your comments. You can support groups who lobbied on our side for de-listing like http://www.biggameforever and SCI. There are others too. The Wild Sheep Foundation was one of the biggest contributors supporting wolf de-listing raising about 100K auctioning off a wolf pelt several times to support this cause at their convention last year.
    # 2 wolves were set for re-introduction because of an agreement that our (Idaho,Montana,Wyoming) Senators gave into back in the late 1970′s. They were forced by politics. :idea: This was with the understanding of de-listing when the population reached 150 total wolves, including 10 breeding pairs in each state. We were sold down the river over 30 years ago. I have fought this battle since I heard anything about it in 1980-81. It was not until 1984 when I obtained a copy of the 1981 plan for the Re-Introduction of the Wolf into the Northern Rocky Mountains that the Idaho F&G would admit that they had any involvement with it. Prior to that they would deny any knowledge or participation when asked directly even at public Commission meetings. Later the key people to lead the wolf re-introduction all came from IDF&G. Ed Bangs was and still is it’s leader and spokesman and Neimeyer I believe is now retired. We went to the Idaho legislature and were able to get passed a law to try prevent the IDF&G from managing wolves at that time, so the Fed’s gave it to the Nez Pierce tribe and only 1 native American was on the original group, nearly all of them were people who quit IDF&G to work in the wolf recovery effort.
    Like I said we worked for years to fight re-introduction but could not get enough people in Idaho, but more importantly from outside Idaho to stop re-introduction.
    It was sad at the same time to go and take my young family to Yellowstone Park and see the Wolf Advocate groups at Old Faithful with a canopy and banner signing people up to help get the wonderful, misunderstood wolf back to have a balance of nature. Especially since we hunters and our ancestors were so misguided and cruel.
    Also terribly frustrating was the RMEF not willing to take the position against wolf re-introduction. I said what good does it do to save habitat, if there are no elk left to occupy the habitat and that you will save more elk by preventing wolf re-introduction then you will ever do by buying habitat, but it failed. I even knew a National Board member personally because I had taken him hunting. He later became the National president in the 1990′s, but their stance was non-polictical. Defacto political.
    Only this past year has the RMEF supportted the delisting of the wolves and that was big news, just about 20 years late.
    The problem within the F&G depatments and predators goes back to the early 1970′s at least. That’s when todays highest current F&G managers were taught that predators were misunderstood and should be managed differently than in the past. The concept that there had been a balance of nature and that we could get back closer to that if we better understood the predators and their role in wildlife for its benefit. So todays leaders and and high level managers as well as most agency people believe in this philisophy that predators were just misunderstood and necessary for a balance of nature. Nature is dynamic all the time. Just take a bad winter for big game or a wet cool spring for game birds survival. Fires on the landscape both good and bad.
    We have destroyed migration routes, built sudivisions on winter range, engery developement.
    Many things we can not control, but we can do predator management to our best ability. Wolves will always be with us unless methods are used that most people would find difficult to accept today.
    # 3 While I agree not hunting in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming may sound good it is not a solution to the problem. It will not help in any way. The 3 states realize they have a problem and they want to manage wolves, but their hands are tied to the politics and courts. So, go back to # 1 and do that because the wolves are showing in other states like others are saying and they will continue to do that if we hunters do not take a stand. But, take a stand now instead of looking for another state or country to hunt in. Show up and give back. Maybe we can more management on some of the other predators as well.




  130.  

    Dear Mr. Eastman,
    First off, let me tell you that to me you are on my top 5 list of “most respected fair chase hunters”. That said, your words are golden to me, and you’re as right as rain.

    I’ve been outfitting north of Gardiner for the past 14 seasons. Prior to that, I worked in Yellowstone Park. I was there for the wolf introduction from start to finish.

    During my first year as a guide here at Dome Mountain I helped to provide natural food in the form of cow elk to nearly 200 Montana residents during the legendary “Gardiner Late Hunt”. Though it got a bit ugly at times, we always made sure every harvest went to a good cause-to some hard working families dinner table!

    I also operated 3 regular elk season camps, 2 backcountry and one lodge hunt. Each week we offered outstanding hunting opportunities to upwards of 20 non-resident hunters. After a full season, we provided a great experience and most of the time good food to nearly 100 non-residents.

    I remember these days fondly. The town of Gardiner’s most common sight was “NO VACANCY”. Small businesses couldn’t keep enough product on the shelves. Local guides couldn’t even think about a day off.

    That was a long time ago. This past season I took only 30 clients. We harvested about a dozen bull elk. The legendary late hunt is gone. Gardiner is a ghost town. A ride through Lamar valley in Yellowstone Park will show the paying tourist some Bison, maybe a dozen Antelope and of course, if they’re lucky, plenty of wolves.

    Things have changed. I had to borrow, steal and beg for wild game meat to fill my own freezer this winter. Many of my neighbors will also have to make that trip to the grocery store to burn gas, burn dollars and sell their souls. We’re in a dark place right now. Hopefully folks like you will lead us to the light.

    Thanks again for all you do. See you in Reno!
    JB Klyap




  131.  
    Aaron

    I think one point that you alluded to but didn’t come out and say it is that the wolf advocates will use this as an argument against gun ownership potentially in the future. If there are no hunters, why would any of us need guns, right? I believe it is a hidden agenda by the left to control gun rights by taking the right to harvest animals out of the debate.




  132.  
    Grant durtschi

    Thanks Guy, I think some low level fish and game people see the problem but the higher ups aren’t listening. Keep up the good work Grant




  133.  
    Grant durtschi

    Thanks Guy.




  134.  
    Ron Hoagland

    Guy
    I live just noth of Yellowstone Park and it is sad, the moose are gone and most of the elk too, it is the best move the antis have ever made.




  135.  

    I think that you may be on to some thing. I know that a few years ago, about 30 miles from here in ( Indiana) the Ohio NDR released 90 pait of coyotes. There is a magor river that connects the 2 states. The first thing was a large drop in the turkey poulation. And for the past few year the IN DNR has been raising the limit on does, most countys are 4-8, and that is over the archery and muzzle loaded tags already there. This year id the first that most hunters have noticed, that the deer be harvested are big, and mature. But the over all numbers are down. Most of people that I hunt with are saying very few young deer are being seen, several mature does with no fawns, and many more coyotes being seen. Now there is a season on the coyotes, to limit when they can be hunted, and the DNR is makeing a longer deer season, and opening to more weapons, and more tags. The good old days of seeing deer most days in the field are over here in Indiana.




  136.  

    I agree on all issues here. Not only are large predators wreaking havoc, but smaller predators i.e. coyotes, bobcats, fox, and predatory birds, are suffering from the competition for food. Fawn deer and antelope predation is getting higher as well as large predatory birds having easy picking on antelope that are suffeing from harsh winter conditions. All predators with the exception of licensed hunters are going unchecked and the big and small game and upland birds are suffering. How many years has it been since predator bounties have been done away with? There has been a constant, steady rise in predator populations since John Q. Public can’t go out with his kids or friends for a weekend and kill a few coyotes, fox and or bobcats and get a pretty good bounty that would more than pay all of his expenses barring any mechanical mishaps. I don’t think Guy is wrong when he says there is a conspiriacy unfolding here. I think it boils down to one simple thing. CONTROL. If the powers that be can control game populations with uncontrolable predation, then we hunters don’t need to hunt game animals to control populations and if we don’t need to hunt then we don’t need guns.




  137.  
    MJH

    Maybe for one year, hunters should not apply for tags and put the money they would normally spend on tags into a lobby group that could have the financial backing (and hopefully the backbone) to get something done. Money is all that talks in our world.




  138.  
    brian

    I agree with Guy. The fish and game needs to pull their head out of their shorts and take a look around. They are ruining it for the sportsmen and women as a whole and something needs to change now before it is to late.




  139.  
    Tom Claycomb III

    Yea, about right. I live in Idaho. Hunted 20 days. Saw 3 bulls.




  140.  

    Guy:Your article had nothing to do with conspiracy but everything to do with truthfulness.Being truthful is something Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) can’t do. NDOW started this predator death spiral over two decades ago with the mismanagement of our mule deer. NDOW admits we have lost over 60% of our deer. However they can’t even be truthful about that as the loss is much greater. Knowledgeable people believe they have been “cooking the books” on deer numbers to increase revenues. In Nevada, our problem is not only coyotes and lions but lyin’ NDOW employees, i.e. some biologists and the director. I formed an organization (www.huntersalert.org) in 1989 to inform sportsmen of exactly what you stated in your article. Keep up the good work. Maybe someday the truth will prevail. Cecil




  141.  
    JASON BEAMAN

    so i just want to know if any one has heard much in washington state if we have wolves to worry about. i have seen pics. from guys in montana and videos. this made me look at the wolf in a different way now. is there a way to slow them down, and is there a group such as the rocky moutain elk foundation that could help with this. we pay money for these groups. im just looking for some help with my questions.




  142.  
    JASON BEAMAN

    this year for elk hunting just sucked. we like to say that we had no good weather. could the wolves be here and how high will the climb to get to the heards?




  143.  
    Lois Herbst

    This is a good article. The wolf and grizzly bear lovers are the folks who are more to blame than the Game and Fish managers. The persons who wanted the wolves reintroduced also want to eliminate livestock grazing on federal lands at any cost! Governor Meade of Wyoming is working to have a plan for the wolf to be managed by the state. Wyoming Farm Bureau members have approved the Governor’s wolf management plan. Environmental groups are also against any use of natural resources such as oil and gas drilling, pipeline construction, coal mining and electricity generated by use of coal and definitely working hard to eliminate livestock grazing. I am a retired rancher, and managing lands started with homesteading in 1906. I welcome hunters on our properties. I am thankful for the Big Brother who has taught my grandson to trap, fish and hunt.




  144.  
    Echo

    You are dead-on with this article. We live outside Yellowstone Natl Park in NW Wyoming, and we’ve seen this coming for a while now.

    My father-in-law’s family homesteaded this area in 1897, and has been ranching here since.

    My mother-in-law’s family was at Pitchfork Ranch during the 1920′s & 1930′s. When she was a young girl, her father would rope and capture day-old baby antelope. She and her sister would bottle feed the babies. The Phelps-Beldens and pilot Bill Monday transported these antelope literally across the globe to zoos, to share these fascinating creatures with the world.

    My father-in-law was a big game outfitter here for 30 years, and built a hunting lodge in the 1970′s. My father-in-law passed away in 2007, and the new lodge owners tore down the lodge 2 years ago. No more need for a hunting lodge, apparently.

    This fall, there was a hunter here from Washington who went home empty-handed and angry because he couldn’t even find a trophy mule deer to shoot. I expect the Wyoming Department of Fish & Game to hit the ‘bottom’ you wrote about within the next year.

    People think ranchers are in the business only to make money. We do have to make a profit, or like any business, we wouldn’t be in business very long. Unlike other businesses, however, when ranchers go out of business, the land is often overtaken with subdivisions and development. People sometimes think ranchers hate wildlife, and want the land only for livestock. They do not realize the care we give our land and water helps wildlife right along with livestock. They don’t realize we enjoy wildlife. I take great pleasure in seeing moose, elk, deer, antelope, fox, weasel and other creatures God made literally right here in our yard. I don’t hate wolves – in fact I think they are fascinating creatures. I do, however, hate what I’ve seen them so – eat a particular cow moose’s baby so she hasn’t been able to raise a calf in five years; hamstring elk and leave them limping and in pain; kill all manner of wildlife and livestock for the sport without eating a bite of the meat; tearing animals open to leave them bleeding, bawling and in pain; attacking and injuring 100 sheep in one night for the sport; ripping open horse’s bellies and leaving them to bleed and die; killing ranch dogs and pets right in front of their owners. This is not opinion – this is FACT.

    ***It is time for wildlife management agencies to stop doing the politically correct thing, and start doing the RIGHT thing – MANAGE WILDLIFE, and that means PREDATOR MANAGEMENT. Some bleeding hearts aren’t going to like it – that’s okay, they don’t have to like it. That’s why wildlife agencies have a PR department – start educating the public on wildlife, predator management and doing the right thing instead of letting their lack of knowledge of the facts, their emotions and loud voices dictate YOUR policy.***




  145.  
    Steve

    Well said Echo. I have been accumulating points in many western states for 4-5 years now in the hopes of being able to draw a premium tag. It is hard to see such a valuable resource being eliminated by outside forces. Sometimes i do wonder if these individuals that advocate for wolves/bear rights have witnessed a wolf kill. It is one of the most gruesome events i have seen. Those groups that are for the humane treatment of animals surely are not advocates for the humane treatment of elk,deer etc… If they were i am not sure how they could support the current wolf population. It is not logical to me. If the current process continues more pressure will likely be placed on areas/units without the wolf and bear problems. Slipperly slope. I also find it strange that our neighbor to the north (Canada) offers bounties on the gray wolf yet we in the lower 48 are bound by countless laws and judges who are out of touch.




  146.  
    William Kornec Sr

    To answer Jason’s question. Comment 141.
    Yes Jason there has been some wolf loving idiots that pressured the Washington Fish and Game into planting wolves in Washington. Two weeks ago I received an article stating that several pair of Canadian wolves were planted in your state. Two years ago I saw trail cam pictures that showed there were already wolves from Idaho spilling into Washington. Kiss your wildlife good bye Jason. You too are about to witness the worst wildlife disaster in American history.




  147.  
    chad

    Hunted mule deer at clause pk in wyoming for a week.What a dissapointment.All i seen was a forkhorn and three does.Top it off i wasted three points a weeks vacation and some hard earned money.




  148.  
    mtguide1

    Even if it is a game management fumble, perhaps they have done us a favor. Once the Rocky Mountain elk is listed as “endangered” the lawsuits will fly and “best science” will wind up outlawing elk hunting throughout the subspecie’s entire range. Anyone that thinks wold “recovery” is about wolves or the ecosystem is a rube. Why would the founder of Handguns, Inc., Charles Orasin wind up working for Defenders of Wildlife? That’s my conspiracy theory. You make the call…




  149.  
    Rick Marvel

    I think we all agree that this predetor thing has gotten well out of hand.
    If you all take and copy this article and you all e-mail to the Fish,Wildlife,Parks departments “ALL THE DEPARTMENTS” it will be mind boggling to them. Please do this ASAP. I have, Thanks.




  150.  
    Joe

    This article is spot on with regards to current condintions found within Idaho … it is shameful that the very corp of conservation agencies (USFWS, IDFG, amoung others )assigned to protect the local ecosystems are the very ones who are destroying it … we need a better system of check and balance if we wish to have these resources available for the future generations …




  151.  
    Tom Stegeman

    Guy Good, fair assessment article. It’s certainly not right for these agecies to keep hiding behind fake wolf numbers. There are a lot of wolves in these states. Far more than they are saying exist. I live in BIllings, Mt. It was just in the news that a 98 pounder was killed all the way east to Ekalaka whihc is on the Dakota border!! It travelled all the way from Yellowstone to Jackson hole and then onto Ekalaka!! Nothing can really stop them EXCEPT man!!! They need to be hunted wtih dogs, just like cougars. Otherwise, almost unhuntable!




  152.  
    Paul Connelly

    Nice write up Guy! And, extremely accurate. I live in eastern Wyoming. Between the wolves and the cats in the Bighorn Mtns. the elk and deer are on a serious down slide. Just like the whitetails in the Blackhills. Cat predation is really being noticed along with the the hard winters helping them out. Our Game and Fish really need to wake up.




  153.  
    WILDMAN WALKER

    HELLO GUY! YOU ARE SO RIGHT WHEN GOV. AND MONEY GETS TOGETHER THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU GET “GREED”. I LIVE IN THE MIDWEST AND A LONG DREAM OF MINE WAS TO GO ON MULE BACKPACK HUNT IN THE ROCKIES, BUT ITS GOT WAY TO EXPENSIVE FOR ME! THERE IS A DEFINITELY A PROBLEM WITH THE WOLVES AND IF THE PROBLEM IS NOT ADDRESSED THERE WILL BE NO LARGE GAME TO HUNT ANYWHERE. PREDETORS ARE GETTING MORE AGGRESIVE EVERYWHERE BUT IN A LOT OF STATES THERE ARE LAWS TO PROTECT THEM, IF THEY KILL THEY SHOULD BE HUNTED! MAYBE ALL STATES SHOULD GET ON THE SAME PAGE! TO MANY OF THE FATCAT POLITIANS ARE LINING THERE POCKETS WITH HUNTERS FEES. THE FUTURE OF HUNTING IS GOING BACKWARDS, EVERY HUNTER SHOULD BE CONCERNED,BAITING,RAISING ZOMBIE DEER IN HIGH FENCES,TO THE INTRODUCTION OF PREDETORS TO THE HERDS ARE THREATING OUR NATURAL RIGHT OF FAIRCHASE AND EQUALIZING THE FAIRNESS TO ALL HUNTERS. THANK YOU GUY FOR TELLING LIKE IT IS! WILDMAN….




  154.  
    Truman Powell

    The issue is not only about wolves, but finances as stated in the article. Having recently returned from a very sad “hunt” in Colorado, the experience sounds familiar. Colorado is focused on dollars for hunting (financed by non-resident hunters)- quantity – rather than quality.




  155.  
    ElkAmuck

    THANKS GUY!! How refreshing to see the truth published!! I hope this article shows up in the magazine and anywhere else you can get it. The wolves and, in my area, grizzlies have taken such a toll on our game herds that hunting is no longer a pursuit followed with a reasonable expectation of harvest. This is true especially for bull elk. The Wyoming Game and Fish has long had a management strategy of wait and see and hope the problem goes away on it’s own. When pinned down any Game Officer will tell you that in the end the Bean Counters in Cheyenne call the shots, revenue is first. Our state game agency motto is “Conserving Wildlife, Serving People”. NEITHER is being done, our wildlife is being managed for maximum profits, minimum opportunity and little to no trophy quality. Wolf zone herds are hit hard and the shift goes to other areas without wolves creating a ripple effect across the state. Padding the numbers is an absolute fact! The Cody Elk Herd contains 7 units, many of which are in moderate to excellent shape (those outside or on the fringe of the wolf/grizzly zone and LQ areas). A couple, however, are in dismal condition and the Game and Fish uses the overall # of the combined units, including new herds established outside Wolf Zones, to pad the loss in the 2 hardest hit areas and say we are “over objective”. The spiral you describe is very real and will be the downfall of hunting in the backcountry of these three states.




  156.  
    Bob Friel

    Thanks for the article Guy. You are dead on!
    The time is past when sportmen can sit around and complain about the incompetent policies of wildlife agencies and do nothing. We have got to be organized and put political pressure on the right places or it’s game over. The anti hunting groups are too well funded and are agressively working to destroy the tradition of hunting. We have got to educate and motivate.
    Thanks for your efforts.
    Bob Friel




  157.  
    jerry

    So what are we to do? maybe buying my hunting license,cougar tag, bear tag and start predator hunting only this year. No wolf tag here yet. They are just large coyotes are they not? Less money for the F & G dept. Maybe this might start a message sent to the right place and help renew our game at the same time. We have to all start doing something besides talk. Got any Ideas???




  158.  
    James Barnes

    The wolf situation is something that should have been addressed a long time ago by those who have been in positions to make positive management changes. The recovery will take too long at this point. The damage has already been done to Wyoming’s wildlife and surrounding states. The best we can hope for is that management will quickly be turned into the hands of the State.

    James




  159.  
    Pat Dennis

    Great article. I have been hunting big game in Montana’s region 7 since 1962 when I turned 12 years old. Never in all those years have I witnessed such a non-game hunting season as this year. The deer are almost non-existent in most areas and the antelope have suffered a terrible loss. The turkeys are gone completely. Haven’t seen any turkeys since the fall of 2010. The only positive thing I can say is there are more elk here in region 7 than ever before. The lion population is thriving and wolf sightings in this area have increased. Most people won’t tell the FWP about the wolves because they are still denying they are here and will make light of any sightings. I have seen two in the past year near Ashland Montana on the Custer Forest. The next problem we will see is hunger setting in on the predators because the deer herds are gone. They will seek alternate food sources near residential areas. The lion sitings around the residential areas of Ashland have been increasing in numbers since last year.
    You hit the nail on the head with your articel. Good job. If I can help in any way please let me know.




  160.  
    Bud Sonnentag

    In the state where I live, Nevada Department of Wildlife(NDOW)has sold
    out to Nevada Bighorns Unlimited(NBU). NBU admitted to giving NDOW
    $294,729 in their NBU Journal. This is only a fraction of the money that
    they have given to NDOW. Simply put,they have bought off NDOW to the
    point the agency is only concerned about bighorn sheep. It is akin to a
    John(NBU)who gives money to a prostitute(NDOW)to get what they want.
    Because of NDOW’s failures(mismanagement)to control predators,they have
    lost millions in mule deer revenues. This has resulted in NDOW being a
    prostitute for funds.

    Guy, you were right when you stated wildlife agencies “pad” their big
    game populations. NDOW is doing this with deer numbers for revenue. You
    were right when you said states don’t cut tag quotas because of
    predation. One year NDOW deer counts revealed they had a 1% decrease in
    deer numbers but they increased tag numbers by 10%.

    Again you were right about fish and game agencies selling out to the feds on the wolf issue. NDOW director Ken Mayer decided to make the wolf a big game animal in Nevada although there was never any documented evidence that they were in this state.

    I would ask your bloggers to go to this website, http://www.huntersalert.org and read the article entitled “Why NDOW will not do predator control”. This article will explain how this disaster was created in all western states. Please don’t let up on fish and game agencies’ failure to recognize a serious problem and then do nothing about it except lie.




  161.  
    Wally Kangas

    Guy ……. I believe you are “spot on”… Here in Vermont we are facing the same thing only with coyotes. Our fish and game just don’t get it !

    Great article.

    Wally Kangas
    Chester, Vermont




  162.  
    Bud Sonnentag

    In the state where I live, Nevada Department of Wildlife(NDOW)has sold
    out to Nevada Bighorns Unlimited(NBU). NBU admitted to giving NDOW
    $294,729 in their NBU Journal. This is only a fraction of the money that
    they have given to NDOW. Simply put,they have bought off NDOW to the
    point the agency is only concerned about bighorn sheep. It is akin to a
    John(NBU)who gives money to a prostitute(NDOW)to get what they want.
    Because of NDOW’s failures(mismanagement)to control predators,they have
    lost millions in mule deer revenues. This has resulted in NDOW being a
    prostitute for funds.

    Guy, you were right when you stated wildlife agencies “pad” their big
    game populations. NDOW is doing this with deer numbers for revenue. You
    were right when you said states don’t cut tag quotas because of
    predation. One year NDOW deer counts revealed they had a 1% decrease in
    deer numbers but they increased tag numbers by 10%.




  163.  
    Scott Woodlands

    Guy,
    You are right on the money with exactly everthing you said! I have lived in Idaho last 14 years. Herds are disappearing. It’s sickening. Thank you for making this a topic of conversation and presenting the real issues of the west and now america to the public!! Please continue to help this country and protect our God given rights and heritage!




  164.  
    Randy

    Guy you are right on… Oregon is now having a problem. The only thing that is helping a little is that hunters are SSS shoot/shovel and shut up… ODFW will never solve our issue.

    We love your show and magazine.




  165.  
    Matt S.

    Guy,
    I agree with you completely. I live in Michigan and hunt in the UP. The wolf population is exploding there. It’s nothing to see a wolf while out and about. The deer population has been on a decline and I am starting to believe it’s largely due to the wolf pop. I now question the need to reintroduce/protect predator populations. It’s the hunters money which makes successful game management possible. I don’t understand what the state wildlife agencies are thinking or what they don’t get. It’s sad the part that politics and greed have played in this process.
    By the way, I love your show and your journals. I just wish I would win one of those hunts. I’ll keep trying.




  166.  
    johnnie erickson

    You are right on, I wish all sportsman could unite together and let our voices be heard. Our numbers could get something done about the wolves.




  167.  
    Eugene Brumbaugh

    Guy you are exactly right on the money.I am an alternate member of the Cody elk working group.
    If the general public only understood what was really happening.You and everyone else should be attending any of the meetings that they can if they ever want to have a quality elk hunt in Cody country




  168.  
    Gary

    If you look at who most strongly supports the wolf reintroduction you will see they are not friends of the hunter.In their view now that the wolf is controlling game populations there is no need for the hunter nor can our existence be justified by excess game numbers. Now that the wolf is strongly entrenched the next battle will be NO hunting because the game numbers are to low.In there view nature is now in balance without us and off to court they will go arguing game numbers are to low to sustain hunting.




  169.  
    Bill Brown

    Guy you are exactly right on the money. We have successfully archery hunted elk & deer in eastern Oregon since 95, off and on Idaho. I had to sit out 2009, and 2010 (family member illness) went back to Oregon 2011. I have hunted the 3 same herds for years.
    When I returned I was shocked how much they have thinned out and the lack of yearlings, young fawns and very few young cows.
    I saw more predators this year alone than I have in all the combined years. Even thought we got on the deer and elk what a big disappointment. The wolves are there to, sorry to say. The Wolf is controlling game populations and you can tell from the behavior of the game, when you don’t live in the area you come and go you see things that are missing, like the abundance of small games like the rabbits and the squirrels are now like California amazed to see one or two.
    We all could have filled Cougar tags for “all” but being from California … need I say more.
    We have already booked our Colorado elk hunt for October 2012 and planning the Colorado Deer (archery).
    We have no plans of returning to Oregon or Idaho.

    Bill




  170.  
    Mac Huff

    Guy,
    Your comments fit right in with my observations this fall in Northeast Oregon. I drive through the Sled Springs hunting unit on a regular basis in the fall and I noted, synically, that word had gotten out that hunting sucked here, because there were no camps along the highway. Locations that have had annual hunting camps for the past 20 years were empty. Duh!




  171.  
    Sean McAfee

    Nailed it Guy! We have a serious problem, and not just with the predators, but the financial end of things here in MT. It is problem that will take years to fix, if it is fixable. Kinda makes me sad to tell you the honest the truth.

    Lifetime MT resident, Guide and Outfitter Yaak, MT

    Sean McAfee




  172.  
    Kasey Basso

    Great blog, and guy you hit every point. It seems like this fall/beginning of winter has exploded with the problem. Born and raised in Northwestern Montana it kills to see what direction the state has headed with this. Living in Reno, NV now and working at Cabela’s I get to meet with guides and clients on a regular basis and it’s already evident that the wolves have made it to NV. Northeastern NV is beginning to see them, and one rancher took one right around Thanksgiving outside of Ryndon, NV. It’s sad to see where things have gone.




  173.  
    Dustin Yeadon

    Guy thanks for opening a lot of eyes to this problem we have here in mt…but it’s not just game but fish too…the kootenai river here in lincoln county is full of bulltrout another predator of the swimming variety…a bulltrout will eat every fish in the hole. We are told here to throw them back in the river below the Libby dam….so in essance eventually the river will be full of a fish we cannot keep and noone wants to cuz they’re not very good to eat anyhow…the days of catching a nice bow are quickly diminishing…alot of the bulltrout people catch end up on the bank and not thrown back…residents of MT are fed up with the bulltrout and the wolf and are now taking it into their own hands…be forewarned if state and gov officials dont take care of this problem like we pay them to then WE WILL!!!




  174.  
    kerry

    you are absolutely correct guy.for some reason the politicians that sit in their office making decisions about our wildlife never seem to listen to the people that are actually out in the field and see what is happening.i am an out of state hunter who has finally decided after 20 years,enough is enough.licensing fees are going thru the roof { look at montana now} for astronomically declined populations.i think at some point even though it is against the law and sportmens ethics,we are going to have to take matters into our own hands to control predation.




  175.  
    joe hinton

    spot on. well said. did, have,and am seeing it here in alaska and it is very sad….and so obvious if you are out in the woods at all




  176.  
    Charles Feney

    Our ancestors knew what wolves do to game and stock, and they worked hard to eliminate them. The managers in Alberta thought we were insane for bringing these wolves back in.

    Hunters sat meekly by, like good little serfs, as rabid enviros and federal pseudo-scientists experimented with their inheritance of abundant game herds. Our great grandfathers would be ashamed of us for kowtowing to this tyranny!

    A Russian biologist told me that the only way we could have so many large predators, especially wolves, is if we had a fast reproducing prey species to take the pressure off the slow reproducing ungulates.
    He said we need to bring in Russian Boar, to supplement the prey base.

    We had better do something, and fast. I suggest we all start treating wolves like coyotes.




  177.  
    Bill

    Guy, I would urge your readers to read the article in the December issue of Fur, Fish and Game entitled “Coyotes in the Mountains”.

    You are right when you stated government agencies do nothing, this is especially true of the Nevada Dept. of Wildlife. Here’s a paragraph from that article proving that the Nevada Dept. of Wildlife does nothing:

    “In a single winter on this small range, I personally confirmed seventeen coyote-killed deer. Everything from yearlings to solo bucks. I reported this to a state deer biologist who questioned the count. The same fellow later dismissed the photos I took of the three coyotes killing the buck as an aberration.

    “Other than keeping a seat warm at the office, this “armchair biologist” apparantly considers it is his job to uphold the notion that coyote predation never hurts deer herds.”

    Guy, keep exposing the fradulent do-nothing fish and game agencies, such as the Nevada Dept. of Wildlife. You are right, and they are wrong.




  178.  
    Nate

    Guy,
    You may be right that many “wildlife” agencies are operating as a business rather than a conservation service. And although unsupported, you could be right that they incorrectly maintain high harvest levels after drops in populations. But, you are VERY wrong to blame this on predators. Like you, I have no evidence of support (except a graduate degree in wildlife), but could not imagine that the isolated areas of predator increase in the last decade and the small numbers of increase could possibly have as great an effect as you indicate.

    Please do not jump to a conclusion that vilifies ‘top’ (not ‘super’) predators – that is an antiquated and ignorant philosphy. The ‘predators are bad’ philosophy was that of many people in the early 20th century and the only place it got us was NO predators, NOT more game! (read Aldo Leopold). The huge removal of predators was never replaced by enough hunting, but rather by development (oil and gas, exurban), which led to limited resources, game populations meeting carrying capacities and a collapse of local populations. Add to that the stochastic nature of severe winters and you have a highly variable game population.

    Hunting is a tool of management and a replacement of the now rare or extinct predator. The benefits to humans to reintroduce predators in order to have a complete and intact ecosystem outweighs the financial benefits of hunting. However, that is not to say we can’t have both – subsistence hunting (not trophy; ie, use the entire animal) can easily coexist.

    So, all in all, predators are not the enemy – if you think so you should take an ecology class.
    -Nate




    •  
      George Machado

      Nate! Ya got a screw loose!




    •  
      Dave Loy

      Sorry, Nate, a degree doesn’t automatically relate to common sense. Don’t know where you practice your degree, but, you need to see the destruction here in the Yellowstone country first hand, I guess, till you believe, what the drastic effects caused by introducing a NON-NATIVE, and yes, SUPER KILLING MACHINE is actually, physically doing here!
      But thanx for your educated, non common sense input.




    •  
      Bob Ducharme

      Nate, The word “stochastic”, in Your narrative, tells Me all I need to know about Your knowledge of wildlife management, it was all learned in a book. Families like the Eastman’s learned what they know, over generations of living the life of wildlife management, observing the ups and downs of game populations, and it does not take a graduate degree in “Wildlife” to know that the reintroduction of the Wolf will and is having a devastating effect on Deer and Elk populations, and left unchecked will result in the loss of the ability of State Agencies to manage the resource due to loss of revenue. Those of Us who love and live the life of wildlife, have seen first hand what the predator, left unchecked will do to game populations, and just as much what management practices that are based on politics will do. I have hunted and fished in the West for over 60 years, but I have watched the opportunities, to enjoy the outdoors, in My State of Washington, be drastically reduced over the years, due to management practices being influenced more by politics, than by solid wildlife science.

      So Nate, The Eastman’s and most of the people who have lived a lifetime enjoying and studying the wildlife populations of the west, do not need to take an ecology class, they could teach a graduate level class in the subject.




      •  
        Charles McMurrough

        Bob,
        You are spot on, exactly correct.
        Thank you for your attempt to enlighten this ignorant person. Perhaps he should go to work for Fish and Game so he could be surrounded by like minds.




  179.  

    I very a lot enjoy your web site here, thank you so significantly you have helped me out significantly Smile spread the really enjoy.




  180.  

    Comment number 179 is exactly why we are in this predicament. Mr. Nate is the type of person our Game and Fish Agencies are hiring to manage OUR game herds. Everything he knows is from a book, that was written by a guy who learned it from a book, who learned it from a book and so on. There isn’t a book on the planet that can match over 35 years of hands on experience in the outdoors, watching all of this happen. If these people cannot site “book” examples than they appear to know nothing. Very frustrating for the rest of us who have been there and seen it first hand. I live with it brother, you need not lecture me with your intellectual elitism. Sorry to say it Nate, but with all due respect you are DEAD wrong, period!!!

    G-




    •  
      Dan Wildin

      Guy be careful ,Nate is related to Bob Faris and they rely soley on data that has no common scence, but is discombobulated rubbish!
      Unfortuneatley no matter what you show them or prove to them they have there own rabid twisted agenda and mind thought so the truth will never set them or their kind free!




      •  

        Dan, Really? Thank you for your kind words. The only thing that relates Nate with me is education in the topic we are discussing.




        •  
          Dan Wildin

          Bob I hope someday you Nate are out in the wild with your educated pompus selves and happen upon some of your genetic friends and they break you down and slowly eat your asshole out while you are still alive and I doubt the Lord will answer your cry, because you are SUPREME!




  181.  
    Nate

    Sometimes a book IS right, sometimes intellect is actually valuable, sometimes education is important. You are one example of the war on education. 35 years hunting is experience, but highly biased towards the wants of hunters, and highly localized geographically. Though I haven’t lived 35 years, my whole life has been outdoors, over the entire west – from AK to AZ. You can have both experience and book smarts and then you’d also be intellectual. Ecology is much bigger than what you can witness and more complex than you can comprehend.

    That said, I can’t understand what you would not agree with me on? Maybe be specific so we can have an intelligent discussion. We both find faults in wildlife management (lets not call it game management, it implies the true but wrong centrism on game species). I hope we both think that hunting should be managed responsibly for the health of the heard. I hope you understand the basic premise that an intact ecosystem is far healthier for OUR game herds than an incomplete and fragmented system. It is extremely ignorant to think that predators are the problem. I could cite numerous peer-reviewed multi-year monitoring studies that indicate very low predator numbers, in isolated regions, with relatively small predation of game species – but, I’m sure you would simply dismiss these as ‘intellectual elitism’ because they contradict your dogma. I cited Aldo Leopold – it was back in the 1940s that he realized this dogma was incorrect and would only hurt our game species, read his book, “Game Management” (and don’t tell me Aldo read a book about this!), also, google the logistic growth curve and notice the carrying capacity (k) that limits a species population within a given area. I could go on…

    Who would be DEAD, if I was dead wrong, and you were managing game species, would be your own game species. Sorry!




  182.  
    William R. Messner

    I want everyone to know who I am, William R. Messner. Everyone knows who Guy is, but this Nate wants to hide, tell us how smart he is(graduate degree in wildlife), and call Guy names(“extremely ignorant”). The name calling tends to lead me to believe that he is a liberal, because that is what they do. You can’t really put much stock in what he is saying because for all we know he belongs to PETA, without identifying himself.
    I lived in Cody in the 70s and 80s. Came out hunting a few times in the late 90s and early 2000s. What I lived and saw was just like others had to say.It’s all political,if there wasn’t a G+F and us as hunters (predators) managed the game herd there would not be a problem with too many wolves. How is it that the people on the east and west coast make policy for people and areas they don’t know or understand. Because we let them.
    When do we take our country back? When do you people living there have enough? Where is the tipping point?
    Hey Nate, voting for Obama again this time?




  183.  
    Nate

    Bill and Guy,
    I know we could go back and forth for a long time here, but its a waste of all of our time. I used the term extremely ignorant, possibly out of context, in place of stupid. Because, you two are NOT stupid at all – you just aren’t educated in ecology. And thats fine, I would just recommend you refrain from speaking out on the topic. Its a good thing that you don’t make policy.
    You brought up politics – and thats the root of the problem. Politics has no place in science.
    Now, I’m gonna sign off for good from here and go back to my research and publishing peer-reviewed articles that influence policy. I can do that, because wildlife managers still make decisions based on the quality research of educated ecologists.

    Sincerely,
    Nathan F. Jones, Colorado State University




    •  
      Dave Loy

      As my grandfather once said, “you have to have a college education to be that stupid, takes training!”
      When you degrade experience over classroom studies as the way it is, you’ve just ended any credibility to your opinion.




  184.  
    Bill

    Nate, I know your not signing off for good. You had to come back and see what I had to say. Your statement that you recommend we refrain from speaking out on the topic,(shut the hell up you dumbasses)tells me that you are young and intollerant of any one elses ideas. I would go with Guy’s 35 years of in the field experience over your 3 years of college.




  185.  
    Bill

    Simply someone who thinks they are elite, telling us whats best for us because we are not as educated as they are. That way of thinking has got our country into the situation that it’s in.




  186.  
    Bill

    Nate, I know we could go back and forth for a long time here,but it’s a waste of all our time. I used the term liberal, possibly out of context, in place of dumb ass, unrealistic in the real world. What you don’t consider is that man is part of the food chain, and that wolves are our competition. That’s why we need to regulate them also. By us killing them as needed. Your just not educated in the real world yet at your young age.




  187.  
    Wolfscat

    Sportsmen in Colorado and surrounding states need to read this article. Now you too are about to experience the loss of your hunting heritage.
    http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20120210/OPINION03/702109971/0/opinion/




  188.  
    Kurt

    Guy, Great Article! you are right on the money because that is all that the agencies worry about! As long as they get the big money from out of state hunters they are fine. They don’t care if people have a good or succesful hunt. The wolves must be managed or the game numbers will continue to plummet. Thanks for the great article and keep up the good work.




  189.  
    Jake Cutler

    I entirely agree that predators and mismanagement by wildlife agencies are a cause of the decline in big game numbers in the west. According to Bowhunter Magazine, in 2007 (when wolf numbers peaked in Idaho) the estimated elk population was 125,000. In 2012: 103,000. In Montana, the 2007 estimate was 170,000. This year: 120,000. The Northern Yellowstone elk herd has dropped from 16,791 in the wolf reintroduction year of 1995, to just 4,635 in 2011. I hope Wyoming finally gets to have a wolf season like Idaho and Montana, or else they might be in big trouble. However, there are other problems to consider. Like Jim Verplancke said, America continues to grow and expand urban areas into wildlife habitat. Also, energy extraction often happens to be in prime wildlife areas. As hunters and conservationists, we need to look at this issue with a wide eye and consider all the factors that continue to cause our wildlife to suffer.




  190.  
    COL-ret. Craig Cheney

    Guy, you know I’m a big fan of yours and Mike’s and greatly value your hunting expertise. (I’m also proud to be a relative.) Thanks for this and other articles about the predator problems in the West. I have just a few comments. First, my heritage is that my Dad (former Jackson Hole sheriff) and his brother-in-law were on the government team in the 1920s which eradicated the wolves in NW Wyoming in order to protect the ranchers and their livestock. Second, I used to be able to go deer hunting before or after high school classes in Jackson (if I was late because of hunting, the teachers didn’t mind). I shot my first elk at age 14 with a 30-30. Third, in 1995 when the Canadian wolves were being introduced into Wyoming and neighboring states I gave a speech in a Washington DC forum against the fact that Easterners had decided what was best for Westerners. I noted that the ecologists’ view of wolves was as Disney harmless critters, rather than super predators which could quickly reduce the moose, elk and deer herds below sustainable levels–unless the wolves were controlled. (It was not well received.) Fourth, I now live in Utah, where the buck season is down to 4-5 days, and you see plenty of does but few bucks. Further, I drew a cow elk permit (one of 60) for an area that was completely private–no access! Also, the same Utah Fish & Game recently prosecuted a bow hunter during elk season for shooting a bear that broke into his cabin with him on the menu; when he properly reported the incident, he was charged $5000 as a poacher! On the plus side for Utah, as of 2010, when wolves were sighted in northern Utah, the state notified the federal govt that its management plan did not allow for a wolf pack. However, the govt stonewalled their plan; as far as I know, that situation has not changed. Finally, although Montana and Idaho have made some gains, the eastern ecologists’ romance with wolves continues to hamstring my home state of Wyoming in attempting to control the wolf over-population. Hunters and outfitters, keep your anti-wolf letters, faxes and emails going to your representatives and senators!




  191.  
    Keith Cauwenbergh

    You can count Wisconsin in on this despicable practice. Our DNR reported only about 1/2 the number of bear for years until an independent study revealed the flaw in reporting. For years the DNR refused to acknowledge the presence of cougar in Wisconsin until unrefutable evidence caused them to loose face and they finally sheepishly acknowledged cougar presence. Now we have double the number of wolves since their introduction and the anti’s have kept us from keeping a manageable lid on their numbers. RESULT = fewer deer than I’ve ever seen in 40+ years of hunting despite what the DNR proclaims from year to year. So our governor brought in Dr. James Kroll to fix the situation. A fix is not likely until the DNR learns to count and report better or finds a way to complete more accurate studies. They may need to go back to school, but our governor is getting rid of the schools in Wisconsin so that may not be the answer either. Doesn’t look to promising here in the badger state if you are a hunter. I’m starting to look north to Canada for any good hunting possibilities! At 66, my years are numbered. I hope I live to see the day when this starts getting straightened out. My grand kids deserve the opportunity to experience what I have had in my earlier years. Appreciate anything you can do to right this sinking ship!!!!!!!




  192.  
    Doug

    Folks, I’m a 55 yr. old that lives to hunt and fish as most of you, have hunted mule deer and Elk mostly archery and have been fortunate enough to take some very nice animals over the years, I have first hand witnessed the elk damage in Idaho where until about 5 yrs ago went every year to bowhunt elk, have not been back the last 5 and will not return, didn’t see wolves but heard them every night last time we were there!!
    I was so worked up last night after reading all of these great comments that I couldn’t even get to sleep, I’m so disappointed that my young nephew that is only 2 now will never get to experience the wonderful things that I have got to experience in my lifetime.
    I’m done hunting out west for the most part, do have a bunch of points in Colo that I will probably try to burn here quickly before that state is ruined also by the wolves etc. do have a couple of trips to Canada planned and will look there for my hunting that I so dearly love. Hunted a couple yrs ago in Wyo, had an alright hunt for mulies, however my buddy says might as well save my money now between the winter kill and the cats and wolves.
    It sickens me to think of whats going on here, what can we do? I live in South Dakota and we too have seen terrible things happen to our nice Black Hills deer and elk herds too many cats that the GFP denyed for years!! and now wolf have been reported there also Where does it end!

    We have to save this for our children! I believe it can be reversed and saved, however I’ll be too old to enjoy it by then Thanks Guy for starting this discussion




  193.  
    Bill

    Ol know it all Nate, he doesn’t know whipped shit from cooked pumpkin.




  194.  
    Jerome Dietrich

    You are right on the money. When state agencenys look only at budgets because their staffs have become too large only hunters and wildlife suffer. I have a quick fix for the wolf and bear problem and do not have a fancy degree to make it work. Don’t dare put it in writing or some anti or government watchdog would have a fit.




  195.  

    Guy,
    You are 100% on track with this situation. Montana has been reporting increased elk herds in the state since day one of the wolf reintroduction. Very easy to distort the numbers on the east side where they controll the number of animals that are taken. Currently the Crazies are over population, many factors here but one is I’m sure the MFWG dept allowed this over the years to account for more elk in the state. Another subject that needs to be addressed is the fact that the wolf causes major changes to all game movement and how other amnimals coexist. The mountain lion for example, We have a huge study in the Bitteroot right now that is tring to portray the mountain lion as the culprit. First we had increasing herds when all we had was bears and mountain lions. Now we have no herds, and of corse the lion has had to adapt also, lions today have to make 10 times the kills they did in the past. Today they make a kill and are run off by the wolf, never to return to this kill again. Yes lions are very efficent and because of the wolf have to work twice has hard, many days in our lion season it is very common now to find lions crossing roads during the middle of the day, unheard of in the past. There are more factors playing out than just the fact that the wolf has take down his meal for the day. So much of this is common sense and our game departments need to stop spending money on studys that point the finger in the wrong direction. We all know what the changing factors has been, and the simple fact that he was under managed and allowed to over populate. Maybe there is bigger reason to think about why the wolf was reintroduced.




  196.  

    Well I read your article and you are a 100 % correct in your observation. I used to hunt TOm Miner Basin north of Gardner for elk started in 1985 there were lots of elk in fact when they introduced the wolves in 96 the northern herd was at 25,000 head last January their count was 2700, but of course the wildlife biologist say it was grizzlies and hunters that hurt the population. You now have to get a bull permit to shoot a bull north of Gardner. I have pout in for 10 years for elk south of Malta and still have not got drawn. I had 9 preference points for moose and quit that one this year because the moose population has droppped by 50%. THe north Fork of the Flathead used to give out 25 permits and now it is down to 12. THe extreme eviros have destroyed our state. I have seen a dramatic drop in wildlife populations up the North Fork of the Flathead because there has been no logging allowed up there for years. It has turned into a jungle no more grass clearcuts. THen our US government built a muti million dollar log border crossing house north of Polebridge at the Canadian line and it is not even manned on the Canadian side. Makes alot of sense. MOntana FIsh and Game are over staff in the office.Montana Fish and Game has also been buying up prime hunting land with no controls and that takes it of the tax roles and deletes the game populations at the same time. In the 70′s when I was outfitting up the North Fork of the Flathead taking spring bers hunters in 5 days they could get a 6ft. bear if they went 3 days they could get a 5 ft. bear. Now you can hunt the same area hunt 5 days and not see a black but see at least 12- to 20 different grizzly.Back when Charles Yunkel studied bears up the north Fork and Glacier they said there about 60 grizz, now you see the studies and they still say there are about 700 grizz. I guess those darn bears where using contraceptives. THanks for bring this issue you out and we need to get the word out to non residents not to buy tags in Montana and maybe the Fish and Game will wake up.




  197.  

    Guy One reason the elk population has increased in the Crazies is because there is alot of private ranches that border it and they will not let you in to hunt or charge a heffty fee for state owned wildlife.




  198.  
    Mike Fisher

    Your comments are on target. One large problem for the state agencies is that the anti-hunting and animal rights groups have huge amounts of money and it intimidates the agencies when they
    think of the cost litigating against them before liberal Federal Judges or managing what resource they have with the limited budgets. If this isn’t resolved by sportsman the end of the hunting industry my be closer than we think.




  199.  
    Mark Masters

    Guy,
    You nailed it! Just a note from what I heard on the radio here in Missoula, Montana the other day. The game check outside of Bonner had over 8,000 hunters come through this season. Their numbers were 60 elk and less than 350 deer harvested. Thats less than a 5% deer and 1% elk success rate! Unacceptable. Hunting, other than predator hunting, will be a thing of the past very soon in western Montana.




  200.  
    Kevin Larson

    Great insight Guy. We all see it in the field and know it in our gut and intellect but the political forces deny the reality of the situation and their underlying plan. Their half truths and out right lies are resulting in what we see today.We need to be active both politically and in the field. I for one will do all i can this winter to fill my 1 Mountain Lion tag and 5 wolf tags. They are so thick that the lions are killing house cats and dogs in our town of Red Lodge MT and the wolves or their tracks are seen all around the edge of town. The Grizzlies killed numerous cattle/calves and sheep this summer here, 5 Grizzlies were trapped, 2 killed and 3 relocated.




  201.  
    charlie

    Guy, thank you for the insights. I didn’t read all the comments so pardon any duplication. Your story hit home and I fear Colorado is taking the same course as Wyoming and Idaho. What’s more unnerving is that Colorado is supposed to have more elk than other western states. This was my worst year ever hunting either elk or deer in CO. I am convinced the bureaucrats are inflating their game counts to support/justify more tags = more revenue. I’m not a trophy hunter and I usually hunt pretty hard. My colleagues and I saw no more than 25 elk in areas where we consistently see hundreds. And those 25 were on private. The lion population is unreal in Colorado and the biologists turn a blind eye. I heard second hand that the Division does their count and adds 40%. There is no way that can be justified.




  202.  
    mike williams

    Don’t forget that they also continue to inflate numbers after the disaster by counting the large herds of elk taking refuge from predators on private land.




  203.  
    Tony

    Sad situations :(




  204.  
    Ray Payton

    Spot on! I live in unit 18 in Idaho. 83% of our County is Public Land. We are facing an even more permanent threat however. It is called Land Swaps. Research UPPER LOCHSA LAND EXCHANGE as just one example. There are Politicians actively working to sell Public Lands to the highest bidders. Part of their Ideology includes “there should be no BLM or USFS lands in our State”. We are looking at losing 65k acres of prime elk habitat in this one swap. There are Governors and Senators working at this moment to trade or sell Public Lands to bolster a sagging economy and put these lands back in production and on their Tax Rolls. If we don’t get organized we will wake up one day and it will be posted “No Trespassing”!




  205.  
    Timothy Gundry

    Living in Ct. had a friend build a home in Colorado, with the rising cost to non-res. hunters he fin
    ally gave up and sold the place I’ve since lost all of my points for my dream of going on an elk hunt and for the thinking that all non-res hunters carry overflowing bill folds I for one would have to save for years to be able to hunt out west and why would I want to hunt an animal that dousn’t exist. I’m disgusted by our present state of affairs we are being run over by the liberals in this country and sometimes we don’t even see them coming. I wish to tell them please leave my way of life alone it is the way I wish to live I don’t come into your home stay out of mine!!!




  206.  

    This is what happens when people who have never been involved with hunting, get involved. They have no first hand experience, and simply go by what smoke people are blowing at them. If you want a similar scenario, think about these same people who are pushing for big gun control laws. Again, no first hand experience, going by what politicians say, etc.

    I totally agree that populations are down big time. Also, we had a bad case of EHD virus killing TONS of whitetail in various areas of MT this year. Add that to an early winter and climbing number of predators, and the game species here don’t have much of a chance.




  207.  
    jim rusnak

    Here in wi we have just went threw one of the worst hunting seasons in recent years…….wolf season is now here..and we are making a dent but it will be a couple years till we rebound in the north….. There was a reason our grandfather’s killed them off…the old saying of if it isn’t broken don’t fix it……should have applied before they reintroduced the wolves…………




  208.  
    Jim Vastbinder

    Absolutely spot on with the death spiral. No conspiracy theory at all. I knew it was a mistake from the first pack being established. Now, even if they eradicate the wolves, the parasites they introduced with them will continue to kill big game animals for many years. Valerious Geist warned them, they should have listened. Now, those decision makers should be held accountable for thier actions in a court of law.




  209.  
    Dave Loy

    Pretty true to the mark, send this article to the Wyo. game n fish! As a hunter and former guide in the Jackson area, I’ve seen it first hand. Also, went so far as calling gov. Mead’s office in opposition to license fee increases, even resident fee’s are soon to outprice the average Wyo. resident from hunting, not to mention, younger, new hunters.




  210.  
    Jim Vastbinder

    Nathon F Jones, You are part of the problem , educated idiot is your shoe, wear it with pride.




  211.  
    James

    There’s another flaw in this analysis. Out-of-state hunters who travel to your beautiful home states out west are not all rich. Many of us save for several years to afford an opportunity to travel to the high country from the east coast. Many, if not most, of us do not have a “next year.” As we do indeed read more and more about the declining numbers of elk and mule deer at the paws and jaws of uncontrolled predatory populations, we start to think about whether the already hefty price tag is worth the risk at all. I’m fortunate to have had a few successful trips to Wyoming and Idaho, but I have grave fear that by the time my 4 year old son is old enough to travel with me the cost and minimal likelihood for success will deter me from sharing your wonderful country with him. Therein lies the true tragedy for me. I can live without going back and having the success I’ve enjoyed in the past, but it greatly saddens me that my son is highly unlikely to enjoy the same wide-eyed amazement an east coaster gets while watching elk in their native range in perhaps the most beautiful region on earth. I talk about it with him daily, but am I feeding a longing that will never be satisfied? Am I setting him up for disappointment? Perhaps the DNR’s of your states will take action and allow me as a grateful outsider to continue to help foot the bill. If numbers continue to decline, I speak for countless others who literally save for years to enjoy a week in elk country in saying that it will soon be hardly worth the freight.




  212.  
    joe kelleher

    You are right on the money . In Wyoming the new trend is to stop letting people buy archery tag for certain areas instead make more type 9 tags and raising the quota on those tags when they have leftover nonres. quickly pick them up at nonres. prices a bonus for the buget dept. with a lower success rate. I believe they should tell the truth on predator numbers I mean really 600 grizzly in whole yellowstone eco system when in WY we have 800 adult bear tagged and 200 sub adult tagged and most aren’t tagged. Anyone putting forth these kind of BS data should be fired on the spot and any upper level people who require them to report fictitious data should also be fired. I feel this is the only way we could hope for good data. Alberta never had a Wolf season until it became politically correct and they had enough to send us some even after 100 years of 27 / 7 / 365 hunting. Keep up the good work.




  213.  
    John Mallow

    Your article is so dead on! I sent an E-Mail to our Div. of Wildlife in Colorado with my concerns about Wolves, the growing number of black bears, and coyotes in Colorado. Their reply to my e-mail was that they assured me there were no wolves in Colorado at this time, and if they do show up that they would manage them accordingly. Whatever that means? They never addressed my question on the black bear problem, nor the coyote problem. We used to have a spring bear hunt in Colorado, and you could bait bears in the spring, and the animal activist’s got together and stopped that. Now we are experiencing a bear population explosion, and the DOW asked for the input of sportsmen, on how they could come up with a plan to control their population, but, apparently all of the suggestions fell on deaf ears. Maybe when they go broke they will wake up to the fact that we have a huge problem with predators! Not only in our state, but all of the western states!




  214.  
    Mathew Manzanares

    I agree with you 100 % my theory is that the old timers got rid of the wolf for a reason plus on top of that the wolves they re introduced are not a native species to the lower 48 they are a much larger dog. The Colorado division of wildlife is just as messed up as the rest of them they are in it for one thing money and they get it however they can and the way this state manages their predators is ridiculous I’ve seen the bear population grow an amazing amount since I’ve been archery hunting, as well as mtn lions, coyotes, ect the turkey population was way more impressive 8 years ago til now and I mentioned it to a Dow officer and he told me that he didn’t believe that the predators had little to do with the decline. I can only imagine what will happen here if wolves start showing up don’t get me wrong every living thing has the right to survive and it’s not the wolves, bears, lions, etc but there has to be a management plan in effect. The Colorado Division of Wildlife is a JOKE there predator management as well as there fishing management sucks if you are looking for a rag horn bull or a two point buck to fill the freezer it’s not to bad on a public land, DIY hunt anyway I could go on for days about the management in this state but at least we don’t have wolves yet




  215.  
    E. Winston

    The wolves are finding their way into Colorado. The nuts are trying to get them released into all the wilderness areas and Rocky Mountain National Park. Hunters better wise up and open their eyes and ears to whats going on or it will be too late here too. It’s all about the almighty dollar for the CDPW. They have increased the handouts to the big landowners with more private land tags for them to sell, reducing tags that the average JOE HUNTER would have gotten. Way too many people at the state wildlife agencies are non-hunters. Government jobs—-government bennies.




  216.  
    Darral calacgno

    we have the wolves and cougers killing our elk now




    •  
      John Mallow

      My thought on this,is that as you said, you will price yourself out of business. What I don’t understand though, is that, the majority of the private land owners in Colorado can justify charging hunter’s ten to twelve thousand a person for a guided hunt, and they are getting that! I guess I’m old school, in that there is no way I would shell out ten grand to kill an elk. I believe in DIY hunting. You are totally correct on raising the price of a license isn’t the answere. Because eventually, where doe’s it end.




  217.  
    Antoine

    Can we trap some of these wolves and take them to congress and turn them lose???????????? And let’s see how they like it when the enemy is brought to their front door.




  218.  
    Jodi Hawks

    Very well said! we like to eat the Elk, white tail, bison etc…its a lot healthier and tastes good, its out of control and makes me sad that I don’t see as many of the wildlife that I use to! Something needs to be done, not the wolves fault, however isn’t this messing with the whole system as far as the animal population goes? Don’t they each have a purpose, even the coyotes are being killed and they keep the population of varments under control, what will happen if they no longer can do this because there isn’t enough of them?? I think wolves are a beautiful animal but this is ridiculous! Thanks for this post and I will share it…is there a hunting season on wolves? I think that might help a bit




    •  
      Jodi

      By the way im from West Yellowstone Mt. and hunting big game is a BIG thing here, what to do?
      Jodi Hawks




      •  
        John Mallow

        Good Morning Jodi! You live in some Very Beautiful Country! I agree! There has to be a balance. And everything has been thrown out of balance. We are the stewards of our lands, and we need to protect, and keep our wildlife in balance!




  219.  
    Renee Solberg

    In Northeast Minnesota we did not have a moose season this year due to their decreased numbers this year. We keep hearing they don’t know what is happening to our moose and feel its a illness killing them. However they tagged several moose calves this year and the majority of them were killed by predators. Our deer harvest was down this year also. Our timber wolf numbers are at a all time high. I live in the middle of a small town ( Babbitt MN ) and have had wolfs chasing deer in my back yard and even had one killed right on the side walk behind my house. We have had timber wolfs take dogs right off of their leash’s in town. Thankfully the DNR took the timber wolf off the endangered species list and have allowed a lottery hunt the last two years. The DNR had quiet a fight on there hands to prove that this needed to happen as many people do not understand the need to hunt the wolf. We still have people protesting the hunt. Now because the overpopulation of wolves we now have a rather severe mange problem among them. We have seen several bald wolves in the area. I worry what that is going to do to the other fur bearing animals in our woods. My son got a wolf tag this year and had a successful hunt. The one he shot did have a spot of mange on his back so pretty sure this animal wouldn’t have made it thru the winter anyway but at least it cant spread the mange to other animals.




    •  
      John Mallow

      I’m glad to see that they are trying to get a handle on the problem there! And the problem we face as sportsmen, and women, is that the non hunting public doesn’t understand the problem. They have the mindset that predators will live in harmony with all of the other wildlife, just like a Disney Movie! Those same people think that it is horrible that hunters harvest wild animals, but don’t think twice about buying steak at a super market! It makes no sense!




  220.  
    CNY KYLE

    We hunted Lima Montana this year early with bows. we saw 2 5X5′s in 8 days. We did end up harvesting one, then hunted hard all week and never saw another elk. Something is up. A bigger group went back for gun season and they didn’t see any then either. By gun they figured elk would be pushed in to that region from Idaho hunters and snow fall, but they didn’t come. I’m from UPSTATE NY and don’t know if I would go for a $950 tag next year to not see an elk. Something needs to break before changes are made.




  221.  
    Mike Kemper

    I do not have much knowledge about what is going on out west, but I certainly can chime in on the Midwest. I have hunted northern Wisconsin for 20 years. When the wolves were reintroduced, coyote and bear populations boomed, and now having cougar sightings the deer population has taken a major hit! I could count 30 whitetail deer in a day, now I am lucky to see a deer! The only thing that we find is wolf, coyote, and bear tracks all over the land. The DNR denies the existence of a reproducing population of cougars, but many people in the northwoods will tell you that they are wrong!
    The wolf population has exceeded three times the goal on conservative estimates! We are supposed to have 300 wolves and they are conservatively estimating our population around 1000! We have opened a hunting season on wolves, but it was a long journey with continuous lawsuits by multiple organizations including the humane society. The Indians have not helped with the control of these wolves either, they take 50% of the tags that are issued and do not use them. The quota set each year is way less than it should be to control them here. As I hear less and less residents travel to the Northwoods for hunting all of the local businesses are suffering. I hope that these predators are controlled for the good of our big game population, the sportsmen, and the local economies that are suffering.




  222.  
    Captain Dave Burk

    Better late than “Never” I guess..Still disappointed you Eastmans didn’t get on the Ball earlier, like 10 yrs…ago when all the killing was going on.My mothers family raised sheep and cattle on south park in the 20′s Then moved to Victor when she was 8. She’s 93 now..Still glad your on this now..




    •  
      John Mallow

      It is better late than never. But the wolf should have never been reintroduced in the first place! As their packs grow they are going to relocate themselves to find food. Be it wild or domestic. You nor I can’t blame the Eastman’s for getting on the bandwagon sooner. The blame for this whole debacle is with our politician’s, and the animal right’s activist’s, who couldn’t pour p..ss out of boot, if the direction’s were written on the heel!




    •  
      CR Rains

      Capt CR Rains of Texas / USAF /AAL here …hope you are impressed with my bona fides Capt Burk…now…why lay this on the Eastman’s ?…it is my and your responsibility to resist this malfeasance of game management by our governmental officials, NOT the Eastman’s. They are simply using their audience to educate…if your mother is 93 …you must be aged enough to have identified these short comings way back when this Eastman clan were just boys. I guess I better let a disappointed ” better-later” “get-on-the-baller” contemplate his own shortcomings while I support the Eastman’s efforts.




  223.  
    Donna Berg

    You are spot on with the mountain lions killing our deer. Here in Nevada, we are able to take two lions a year, but the lions are still killing off our deer herds, and working hard of the desert bighorn sheep in our area. We are avid lion hunters, keep hounds (at no small expense) and have taken many lions, and we still have no shortage of cats. While hunting in the Ely, Nevada area in December, we observed three full grown wolves, we have also seen them in the Winnemucca area.




  224.  
    Gulchdweller

    As was shown in the Bitterroot study, elk populations plummet for a hell of a lot of reasons, and the greatest threats to our big ungulates are subdivision of land and too many B tags, followed by Mtn Lions, not wolves.

    I live and hunt in Montana and have since before reintroduction. Populations go up and go down. FWP makes good choices and poor choices. Predators effect ungulate populations as they always have. The sky ain’t fallin.

    Thanks to level headed management in Montana post-wolf, (can’t say the same for Wyoming) I can practically hunt year round, and for a new challenging species. Where is the Eastman public land wolf hunting episode? You can whine or be a part of the solution. What’s done is done, and I’m going wolf hunting.




    •  
      CRaTXn

      Be very careful when hunting around wolf dens…i.e. clean your boot soles with alcohol in case you have been around distemper or parvo…that could be devastating to the alien Canadian grey wolf’s immune system with devastating consequences.




  225.  
    Paul

    These wolves were introduced not re-introduced. This large northern species was never native here and is designed to hunt large moose and caribou and survive Northern winters. They tear through are elk and deer populations like a buzz saw. It may just be an Anti-hunters dream. I live here in Colorado and cringe when I hear stories from Montana, Idaho an Wyoming. We had some rough winters that had effects on population. The Gunnison deer herd is still recovering. The last thing we need is wolves. By the way we have already had some confirmed wolf sightings in Colorado, though the DOW denies it. Already people are talking shovel and shut-up conservation. The correct solution is calling the Colorado DOW and voicing your concerns now. It is never to early or late to raise attention to a serious topic that effects all hunters. I wish there was more people like the Eastmans that promote Western conservation and awareness.




  226.  
    pat whidden

    It is happening here in Northern British Columbia as well




  227.  
    Bryant

    Guy, thanks for the report. As a new resident of Colorado, and first time hunter of Elk anf Mule Deer. The pulse of conversation with veteran hunters in this area is the same. Not to the extent of the northern states but its coming and we see it. A fully grown male Mountain Lion will take over 125 Mule deer in a year. I don’t know the numbers for elk and other game.The scary thing is that game management agencies know this and and their resource allocation is limited. (cause and effect).
    Thanks again

    Bryant




  228.  
    CHARLES McMURROUGH

    Thank you for all the research. You are exactly right, the stupid managers didn’t realize they were killing their source of income. As I remember it cost the taxpayers $30,000.00 per wolf to capture and transport via helicopter to the release points. Then each cow or calf ( bovine ) killed by a wolf cost the taxpayers $600.00, paid to the rancher. Obviously this was the most preposterous idea ever spawned by the bunny huggers. Here in Alaska we able to enjoy Moose and Caribou hunting, it is the source of winter protein for a lot of us. Thank goodness our game biologists watch herd numbers and allow us to shoot wolves from airplanes if necessary, one wolf will consume 12 Moose or 36 Caribou a year. Go Figure….




  229.  
    Pete Savitz

    Mr. Eastman,

    I have some input. This isn’t recent but it did affect our decision as hunters from Pa to not go back since 2008. We(4 of us) hunted in the Craig area of Colorado for mule deer and elk in the 3rd rifle season in 2004, 2006 and 2008. The first year was awesome, 4 bull elk, 1 cow, and 4 nice mule deer and we were tagged out in 3 days. We saw hundreds of elk and muleys. In 2006 we did very well also. 3 Elk, one very nice 6X6, and 4 muleys. The muleys were’nt as big but still not to bad. In 2008 it really took a dive. I never saw one elk, we did get 3 muleys but they were smaller. The conditions were very good. Fresh snow to push the animals down. We talked with a few of the locals and hunters about the situation and a bad winter was to blame. I called CDW when we returned home and they said the animals were on the other side of the mountains. That sounded like a pretty lame answer but maybe that was the case. I know we spent a bunch of money on elk tags and the trip so to come home with no elk was very disappointing. We haven’t been back. Sure would like to! Beautiful country!

    Thanks,

    Pete




  230.  

    As a hunter and wildlife scientist (started as deer biologist and now work more on predator-prey dynamics) I am dismayed by these comments. There are many reasons why ungulate populations decline. Here are ten off the top of my head that are not predator related: 1) plant succession and maturing landscapes; 2) disease; 3) competition with other ungulates (native and livestock grazing); 4) secondary compounds in plants; 5) parasites loads; 6) gene flow or lack thereof; 7) commercial and residential development; 8) human disturbances (i.e., roads, snowmobiles, and timber harvests); weather effects (rain, drought, heavy snows many of which are influenced by climate change); 9) alien invasive species; and 10) pollution in its many forms. Yet the poster and many of you commenting on this blog without hesitation and in the absence of any supporting studies or anything that approaches rigorous research are absolutely convinced that it is the result of predators and some shadowy conspiracy undertaken by the various wildlife agencies. Really?

    What’s more, this notion seems to apply (in your minds) across the entire West and under a broad spectrum of situations. Some things to think about. The decimations as you are all characterize them are absolutely not universal and the ones most talked about for elk—Yellowstone and Lolo—started before wolves were on the scene.

    In addition, it is puzzling in your reporting of “observations” that you are not at the same time seeing an abundance of cattle or bovine tracks during your scouting trips or seeing the absence of residual winter foliage on those public lands that play host to cattle. Or even make the connection or even be curious about the fact that decline in mule deer populations in the West tracks pretty well with the rise of elk and whitetail populations.

    I would also wonder with all of this concern about predators that you are not at the same time delving into the growing body of work dealing with the consequences of disruption of predator population dynamics and social structure. For instance, when you kill that old tom cat that has been defending a territory what happens? The simple answer is that more, younger cats move in. And when you kill coyotes they breed faster and have higher food needs at just the time when ungulate young are most vulnerable. Also there are questions such as is it better to have a few wolves that are coursing hunters (a selective pressure) and are reproductively conservative or a lot of coyotes that take young regardless of genetic fitness and reproduce more readily? The question of which predators are best where and in what combinations and numbers is as tricky as figuring out what is causing declines or if they are simply part of natural phenomenon.

    These are the types of issues hunters should be concerned about and discussing. Otherwise you are simply building unfounded rationales to shoot predators whenever and wherever they are seen which violates a couple of the core tenets of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation as well as a good number of people’s interpretation of fair chase or hunting ethics.




    •  
      Mitch McFarland

      Bob, those are all good points, but for me the biggest problem with the whole wolf intro is that man is playing god about what constitutes a balanced game population and the correct predator/ prey relationship. And yes people like you have been educated in order to make intelligent decisions regarding this but there is still an element of ‘let’s try this and see what happens’ to it. In my mind the science behind the impacts of the wolf intro was flawed or non existent and I seriously doubt any work was done to evaluate how wolves would fit into the equations you mention. It was pushed by the animal rights community without regard for any of the science you mention. Idaho had viable native wolf populations in at least two areas I know of. I saw wolves personally in these areas and if you talked to any of the old loggers or outfitters in the Salmon, ID area they had all seen wolves. Conveniently or from ineptitude, or from a political position the fish & game dept. didn’t seem to acknowledge this to my knowledge. All of the things you mention comprise an incredibly complex system that I don’t think anyone understands well enough to say what will happen if you change one of the variables. And yet everyone talks like nature was restored to it’s natural state and is now in balance by the re-intro. I am sorry but I have to call bullshit on that!




      •  

        Mitch, First the playing God part was when wolves were removed in the first place not when they were given an opportunity to recover from man’s actions. As to wolf restoration lacking science and being the product of the animal rights community, no not by a long shot. Theodore Roosevelt remarked before his death in 1919 that elk in Yellowstone would need to be controlled or there would be problems. In the 1940s Aldo Leopold suggested strongly that wolves be returned to Yellowstone. This has been examined and debated in the scientific community for at least the last 50 years and was part of my wildlife management curriculum 45 years ago when I started my studies. The animal right community has only recently become interested in issues beyond hunting and trapping.




        •  
          Mitch McFarland

          I’ll give you the god part, Bob, but are you saying that the reason wolves were introduced into the Frank Church was because after intense scientific study the wildlife biologists determined that, first of all there was an imbalance to start with, and the best way to solve it was by introducing wolves? I’m sorry but I don’t buy that, maybe they studied Yellowstone enough to make that determination, I am not as familiar with that part of introduction, so I won’t argue that point, but would amazed if they studied the Frank Church to that extent and if you are aware of any studies along those lines I would appreciate a reference to them so I can be more informed. If that was truly the case in Idaho then they handled it very poorly because they didn’t give the public that perception and my interactions with the wildlife biologists out of the Salmon office have not left me with any confidence that they have more than a very rough guess as to the wildlife populations and the impact of their management decisions. I will say tho that what I consider a flaw to the Yellowstone plan is that the wolf, nor the elk or bison,know where the park boundary is. That kinda becomes the rub, how to naturally manage the wildlife in the park(although as devils advocate you argue that if you are managing it it is not so natural) and not have an unbalanced effect outside the park where man is one of the predators in the equation and some of the impacts you mention, like habitat encroachment, are more intense and the whole problem becomes more complicated. I understand and completely agree that this is a complex problem and being a wildlife biologist gives you a set of skills and knowledge and insight into the problem I don’t have and I appreciate your input. And as a final note I would venture that you probably belong to the 2nd oldest profession, man has been doing his best to manage wildlife in some form or another since we were all hunting with rocks and spears, and the concept of an ecosystem that is truly natural probably does not exist.




          •  

            Wildlife biology like all science evolves. At its inception it was about maximizing populations and then optimizing. These first two approaches led to huge population fluctuations and damaged habitats. The prevailing view, at least in conservation biology, is that we need to manage for biodiversity and that means that we need to restore species as well as function to create a more stable system that is not going to experience the fluctuations of the past. For instance, if you clearcut large expanses of forest and kill all the predators you will get large populations of ungulates for a while until early seral habitats age and then you have huge expanses of habitat in poor condition (witness the Lolo NF that went from 45% early seral habitat to 15%). If you manage for say 20% early seral and have predators that eliminate less fit animals and keep them from over-browsing/grazing degrading the habitat and healthier animals pulling through the winter you likely have more deer and elk to hunt, we have predators and we have more stable timber production. If done carefully and thoughtfully, it works out better ecologically and economically. I would be cautious about being too hard on biologists unless you know what they are recommending and then how much of that gets through the Wildlife Commission. It is tough being a biologist and being kicked by the commissions for making recommendations and then being kicked by the public when your recommendations are not followed. FYI–there was a five scientist panel that reviewed wolf control in the Lolo in 2009 and 4 of them thought that the case was not made and questioned IDFW population goals in the face of diminishing early seral habitat.




            •  
              Mitch McFarland

              Thank you for the detailed comment, I appreciate it and you are right I may be too hard on the biologists. It must be very frustrating for them to make recommendations based on science and fact and then have it be overridden or ignored due to politics or economics. This issue would probably be better resolved were the biologists the ones making the final decision. There are a lot of diverse interests who have a passionate(if uninformed) opinion, including me, about how we got here and how we should proceed which just adds more complication and can potentially carry more weight than the science.




              •  

                It is a complicated world out there and not all is what it seems. Bob




                •  
                  Dan Wildin

                  Bob
                  I want you to run for President you are good at canned answers, your constituents would be amazed at the hooked on phonics vocabulary you have! with a mesmerizing tone !
                  But you are clearly a wolf in sheeps clothing!
                  the science is great but you wont respond to numerous facts that these introduced wolves are not the same genetics that was here to begin with!
                  Dan




                  •  

                    Dan, I am replying again because I do not believe this site allows links. The current view on the genetics per Robert Wayne out of UCLA is that there are three genetic units of wolves in the West: Mexican, Pacific Coastal and Rockies. The wolves taken from Canada are part of the Rockies unit which would have been what was there before. This is collaborated by observations by Theodore Roosevelt who remarked that the wolves in the Rockies and Washington state are quite large and bigger than the plains wolves. The President was a naturalist and considered himself an expert on wolves famously criticizing Jack London for inaccuracies in his book Call of the Wild.




                    •  

                      Bob, I have seen both the original wolves we had here in the Yellowstone area, and the non-native species introduced with my own eyes, there is a substantial size difference, they are not the same, I respectfully completely disagree with you and Teddy on that point!




                    •  

                      National Geographic had a display at their headquarters in DC several years ago that challenged folks to tell whether or not they were seeing a grizzly or a black bear in a photograph. The pictures were taken of young animals or adults at different angles. I toured the exhibit with a few bear biologists and collectively we missed identified the species in the pictures as often as we got it right. My point is that even experts and I sure that you have been in the field a lot cannot rely solely on visual information.




  231.  
    Clay Edwards

    As a montana resident that has applied for an area 324 buck mule deer permit for 9 years, I drew this year. I spent 25 days in October and November scouting and hunting for a very god mule deer buck. I found none. There were many days I did not see a deer at all. I was not sitting in a truck, days were 5 to 12 mile hikes in what years ago was prime mule deer country, and I was extremely suprised that the populations were so low. I do not believe the mule deer population can ever recover to previous levels. Yes, i do believe that mismangement
    is responsible along with the increase in predators, I also call that the error of the Mont. dept of fish wildlife and parks. I saw a total of 6 mule deer bucks, 5 were small 2 and 3 points, one was 5 days before season and was a good 3 point that I may have shot on the last day of the season. I feel very bad that my grandchildren may never experience the opportunities I had when hunting!!!




  232.  

    I ran a 500-acre elk sanctuary in central Idaho. There were two herds of 100 elk that would pass by to enjoy the grass. They became one herd of less than ten individuals, none of whom were of reproducing age. The wolf disease infects almost every animal hunted. Your bullet passing through internal organs puts those cysts in you, and IF you are diagnosed in time (not likely), chemotherapy and surgery may save part of you. FISH AND GAME did this on purpose, and the first diseased foreign wolves they released were illegally done. Idaho for Wildlife is onto this. Oh yeah. All the Idaho native wolves are wiped out by the giant Canadian/Alaskan wolves FaG selected (diseased at that time – the FaG knew it because Alaska was shooting wolves from helicopters for this reason) to import. This disease was unknown to the lower 48 before FaG infected us with it. Canines (yes your dog) are hosts, not victims. Their scat spreads the eggs by wind, water, and contact with soil.
    This was done on purpose, just like not treating millions of acres of pine from Texas to Canada with SOAP AND WATER to kill the beetles, and then refusing to let the dead standing trees be removed for lumber also created destruction of habitat, forest fires, and dead wildlife.




  233.  
    Tommy Kirby

    Guy you are 100% right it kills me and I can not understand why they have done this with the wolfs. they act like the wolfs are going to buy the elk and deer tags. thank you for being a voice for all of us and please keep up the hard work to take are hunting back from the wolfs. The wolfs are great hunters but I thank we are better hunters then them and we can control the numbers one thing I would like to ask from every one when you go on a hunting trip in wolf area’s please purchase the wolf tags and try and fill them after you tag out on deer or elk. Thank you Tommy




  234.  
    Tommy Kirby

    Bob Ferris you named off all teh reasons elk and deer can die but you forgot to name the number 1 reason WOLFS are the number one killer of elk and deer none of the above that you stated. You can looked it up with the states the number of elk and deer kills by wolfs compared to all that you named above. Look it up before you start telling us all this nonesence that you have posted on here the number one killer of the elk and deer are the WOLFS and I do not need you telling me what we as hunters need to be concerned with or the core tenets of conservation or about fair chase just because you kill a predator does not apply as unfair or unethically hunting.




    •  

      Tommy, I am a professional wildlife biologist who enter that field because my passion for hunting and angling. And I have read the literature and spent decades studying the complexity of predator-prey relationships. I would agree that killing a predator per se is not a violation of fair chase but when one engages in or encourages what amounts to a holy war against predators where “read bellies” are greeted with cheers that is absolutely outside the boundaries of fair chase. And that is what were seeing.




      •  
        CR Rains

        Bob are you a PHD [ Piled Higher & Deeper ]. Up until 35 years ago we had state sanctioned predator management and then the Federally initiated shift to habitat centered management . That just happens to coincide with the decline on the mule deer. Hunters pay the salaries of those now mostly greenie young idiots coming out of the universities in wildlife management…when the money stops coming in from licenses and the grants aren’t renewed…you will find who the real customers are and it isn’t your vegan PRESERVATIONIST liberal animal rights activist. It is either the wolves, mountain lions, bears, and highway reapers or US hunters. I wasted almost two decades raising funds for habitat with DU as a regional director and their attendant wildlife biologists that told us predator control was useless…I will tell you what or rather who was useless…PHDs…In the movie A FEW GOOD MEN Jack Nicholson as Col Jessup had it right gentlemen…”the truth…you can’t handle the truth” !




        •  

          One of the problems of people of with ranks is they think that authority equals knowledge which is does not. It took a lot of time and training for you to become a pilot and I suspect that you would scoff at someone thinking they could come in and through casual observation suddenly fly a jumbo jet. The idea is ludicrous and so is an airline pilot making broad pronouncements about wildlife habitat and predator-prey relationships. You were a cog in the DU fundraising machine good for you. But that does not suddenly and magically grant you some hallowed insight regarding all that is going on in the world of wildlife. The biologists were giving you sage advice–wolf extermination has brought us coyotes, coyote control has brought us more coyotes that breed at an earlier age and have larger litters. Killing tom mountain lions opens the once defended territory to more young cats with greater impact. Stick to what you actually know and remember that you command in a cockpit because you trained hard and are qualified in wildlife management you have yet to earn your wings.




      •  
        Dan Wildin

        Bob
        I am so glad you have so many credentials, obviously common sence is not one of them, you are probably the author and backer of GLOBAL WARMING TOO!
        just for the record i wish the government would have introduced “NATIVE wolves back into our system instead of the Steroid injected version that you “Professionally Studied”




  235.  
    Tommy Kirby

    Bob Ferris and nate do you know why Alaska and Canada is not having the same problems as the lower 48 because they hunt wolfs and kill them.




  236.  
    CR Rains

    This is one of the legs of the low information voter’s Second Amendment rationalization for gun ownership. Hunting, then home defense, competitive shooting sports and uh uh what was the other reason our founders said about King George. If you don’t think minimalizing our numbers with fewer and fewer new hunters each year will distance the electorate from gun familiarization and ownership…you probably think Joseph McCarthy was an over-reacting commie hater. Yep, fewer and fewer mulies means fewer and fewer hunters and fewer and fewer NRA members and fewer and fewer to disarm.




  237.  
    Dan Wildin

    Guy
    I always appreiciate the “TRUTH” your comments are based on observation not opinion! I too see everything in the same perspective as you do and for the first time in many years my sons and i were not able to fill antlerless doe tags because there wasnt anything to attach a tag too.
    i am sure you are very popular with the Fish and Game bean counters who are like corporate america, everything is about the” bottom line and return on investment to the stockholders” they too have lost perspective on who and what is the real fabric and the Glue of our way of life and how we were raised and brought up.
    I was horrified three weeks ago in the Missouri breaks , after encountering two wolves right in the smack dab middle of my hunting grounds, i was so confused as to what i was realy seeing that it took 30 seconds to register in my mind , that this was not a mirage but expansion of these @#$%ing critters, i had heard they were in the area but now I have wittnessed their presence.
    I stand with you on your soap box!!
    Dan Wildin
    Billings Montana




  238.  
    Mitch McFarland

    Well written Guy. I think you are right on. I grew up in Idaho and now live in Montana and have seen first hand how the wolves have impacted the game and how poorly fish & game depts. have adjusted. I was in the outfitting business in Idaho before the wolf re-intro and my biggest problem is that from the very being this has been more about politics and stopping or limiting hunting than anything else. In Idaho we had native populations of wolves, we just didn’t have a politically correct number. I have heard that Idaho fudged their game numbers to facilitate the wolf intro there, but have no proof. I do know that when I bought my outfitting business in the Frank Church that they didn’t have a clue about the real game populations. They do their annual helicopter game count, go back to the office, pump the numbers into the computer, add a statistical(fudge factor) adjustment and say this what we have. And you are right, it is more about the money than true game management. I can’t understand how Montana can have the highest non-resident elk/deer tags going and the cheapest sheep tags in the country even tho we have arguably the best sheep hunting in the world. Makes no sense to me, just like a lot of the things they do. I could rant on for hours, but will get off my soapbox for now.




  239.  
    Charles McMurrough

    Yes it’s true, you are under the control of idiots who only want job security which equates to MONEY. Each wolf eats the equivalent of 12 Moose or 36 Caribou a year ( Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game ) I moved to Alaska to escape this persecution of Game and Hunters. Up here we control wolves by shooting them from airplanes, Trapping and other methods. A wolf found dead on a trail the other day was determined to have died of High Velocity Lead Poisoning. We have delicious Moose, cut and wrapped in the deep freeze, the wolves didn’t get this one. Stop buying licenses and tags and see what happens. Too bad the Wolves have priority over you fellows down there in America.
    Charles McMurrough, Anchorage




    •  
      Dan Wildin

      Thanks Charles I think the rest of the Fish and game Depts. should see the data you posted about the mortality rate on game (Alaska Dept. Fish &Game) I always said here in Montana conservatively if a Mountain lion kills one deer a week and there are 4 in 5 square miles that’s 208 deer a year doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the deer in that area are few .
      same goes for the Wolves.
      Dan Wildin Billings Montana




  240.  
    terry

    You are not only correct about the wolves but the game fish and parks seem to think they own all the public land we use to hunt fish camp hike. It is congress that is most of the problem




  241.  
    D W Murray

    You have described Utah perfectly! Deer hunting in Utah USED to be fantastic… not anymore! It’s been declining for years and years, and with the same old “hard winter” excuses!! It’s sad.




  242.  
    Bill

    On March 9th Bob said, “at National Geographic headquarters in DC”. Enough said, thank you.




  243.  
    Bill

    These people get so immersed in the bullshit, that they believe it themselves. Bob’s laboratory is in DC, and you hunter’s laboratory is in elk habitat. He’s one of the I know what’s best for you elitist.




    •  

      Bill, I support that you can make up any narrative that supports your core thesis but my “lab” as you call it was always in the West and outdoors. I did work in DC after completing graduate school, but the vast majority of my field work as well as my hunting and angling happened in the West.




  244.  
    Tom Hooker

    Well said Guy,
    Wolves have already slipped into Northern Utah from other states as they wander and not many know about them. The only way that I know is thanks to trail cameras. My Buddy caught them on his camera tracking an Elk and he wanted to know what it was. I told him it was a big coyote and to shoot it. The fish cops later told him that they are not accepted here and he could shoot them.




    •  
      Dan Wildin

      My sentiments EXACTLY! Thanks Tom for your common sence way of thinking , I hope our Stupid wanna be Wolf biologist sees your comment!




  245.  
    JUstinov

    living in Idaho and seeing it on a first-hand day to day basis i couldn’t have said it better myself..!!




  246.  
    jaden thomas

    Bob you are a product of the incorrect but somehow wildly growing thought that intelligence and book smarts is power. how about you get your nose out of a book and get your ass out in the field and just tell me how many deer and elk you come in Contact with opposed to any type of predator maybe then your tree hugging hippy ass will understand then that not just the west but the United states in general has a problem and us real people have to fix what you so called smart people have gone and screwed up




    •  

      Nicely said Jaden, but you will have to come to a conclusion as I have that Bob is so twisted in his hooked on phonics vocabulary that he cant see his utter ignorance! but he will tell you how many days he has spent in a tent! only in his dreams!




    •  

      Jaden, The irony here is that I just returned last night from the field. And it may surprise you but there are many of us out there who not only read books but get in the field as well. Theodore Roosevelt, for example, was a huge reader with tons of field experience. This was true for Aldo Leopold and the Murie clan too. They were also accomplished writers and therefore would likely have blanched at your poorly written screed above. Call me old fashion but subject and verb agreement and general competency in grammar generally tell a lot about someone.




    •  

      JADEN and EVERYONE PLEASE LOOK UP BOBS website CASCADIA WILDLANDS BOB FERRIS and you will vomit at the content of these Wolf foundation lovers, look and evaluate the agenda here and your answer of these pukes is at hand.
      Bob loves to quote Teddy Roosevelt but Teddy would shoot the poor bastard if he had to stomach this parasite!




      •  

        Dan. Theodore Roosevelt was a Harvard-educated biologist who corresponded with Aldo Leopold when Dr. Leopold was making a name for himself. He also worked regularly with John Muir founder of the Sierra as well as George Bird Grinnell founder of the Audubon Society which he greatly respected. Roosevelt was also a founder of the progressive movement in the US and an avid birder in addition to being a hunter. Before you presuppose his allegiance to your cause you should learn a little about his life and beliefs as well as where he stood relative to others of his time. I respect TR and have studied and written about him over the years and am supremely confident that he and I are more intellectually and philosophically aligned than you would ever be (see: http://www.cascwild.org/updating-roosevelt-teddy-and-the-wolves/). So vomit all you will, but please tell me between heaves what you find so objectionable about rational management of public lands so they support sustainable populations of fish and wildlife, the protection of wilderness areas needed by elk and deer, and not letting corporations despoil and over exploit our public resources. or befoul our waters and air. These, incidentally, are all initiatives and values that were heartily and regularly supported by Mr. Roosevelt.




  247.  
    Thomas

    Good and the right observation. When Will they learn? We have the same thing going in scandinavia sadly, goverment lying about numbers and Moose and deer population dropps to critical low number.




  248.  
    Mark Damanski Cicero N.Y.

    Three years back my faimly of brothers and sons hunted White Sulfer Springs and after several trips since 1971 that trip will be our last .We didn’t see alot of game but lots of hunters who used to hunt farther west had moved into central Montana because of the Wolf problem.But how can you park your vehicle along the road when all you heard was ‘GO back home” and local hunters flipping us off while traveling down the road.My advice to other hunters is don’t go to montana to hunt if you have out of state plates on your vehicle. They don’t want you there>




  249.  

    Bob you still are a MALIGNANT TUMOR and yes I am afraid of Wolves and people like you! and this will be my last correspondence to you and the rest of your intellectual supreme arena of losers who will never get it! I hope to bump into you in your tent someday maybe I will find your ass eaten out by your canine buddys! you probably will salivate at the thought!
    Love Dan
    tell Teddy hello for me




  250.  
    Milan Plachy

    Once Mt FWP got away from cow elk over the counter in wintering areas, elk rebounded
    Also besides the wolf and harsh winters, too many hunters in some areas and it shows
    Sometimes we as hunters still think, that elk numbers are unlimited and act accordingly by filling freezer no matter what
    I believe we can coexist with predators. After all, they were always here and sky is not falling.
    Game numbers will go up and down and we have to accept that fact like it or not
    Milan




    •  
      Bob Ducharme

      “They were always here”, but Man was not always here in the numbers they are now, thus the reason for strict management by hunting them!!!




      •  

        So you would be against those uses of lands that tend to lower deer and elk populations? So does that mean you would opposed herbicide use on forest lands that seeks to eliminate understory needed by deer and elk in winter as well as opposing public lands grazing of cattle and sheep that alter vegetative patterns and compete with deer and elk for habitat at a critical time?




        •  
          Bob Ducharme

          Control and management of Predators by hunting, land use management, for the benefit of Wildlife, Cattle and Sheep, as determined by “Man”, not too difficult to figure out. While it is true that many practices of Our Forefathers may not have been the best, the Wolf activists that I have debated want no controls. The Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife had to eradicate a whole pack in the NE part of the State, due to Livestock predation. The goal in Washington is to establish packs in virtually every forest system in the State, putting Wolves in every major Elk herd in the state. Every Elk killed by a Wolf, is one less available for a hunter. Fish and Game are no longer managed to benefit Sportsman, politics has taken over, and whenever the politicos are allowed to manage anything, it is all over.




          •  

            Look up the terms compensatory versus additive predation. And I suspect that “man” would include all citizens including those who might want to see wolves in these habitat as well as full ecosystem function. These same people might also be a little dubious about the cattle and sheep situation which benefits a few at the cost of many who subsidize these public lands operations. You should also do a little research on the public lands grazer for whom that pack was killed.




            •  
              Bob Ducharme

              Blah! Blah! Blah! I know about the “Public Land grazer”, your research source may be suspect. Most of the people in that part of Wash. that are being affected by the Wolf reintro., consider them just large Coyotes, to be dealt with accordingly. Your continued rhetoric bores Me, I am done debating You, I will not change Your mind, and You will not change mine.




              •  

                Maybe the problem in you do not understand what the work debate means in terms of offering up ideas and then defending them rationally. There is a huge body of science that indicates that public lands grazing and herbicide use forest products industry damage habitat–which is really what the game is all about not predators. You can continue on with this prejudice that was discounted in the wildlife science community nearly a century ago, but don’t think that some else’s research is faulty because it does not agree with yours. .




            •  
              charles McMurrough

              Bob, I agree again. Somewhat.




        •  
          Charles McMurrough

          Yes Bob, that is correct.




    •  
      Charles McMurrough

      Dear Milan, My grandfather would shoot coyotes that were eating his chickens so that we might have food for sustenance, there were hardly any deer left, coyotes again. Finally the government hired professional trappers who not only used traps but also M-80 cyanide guns. The chickens and deer were available again. If you have a garden and invasive weeds are choking out your edible plants what do you do? Chop down or spray the weeds that are competing for your food.
      This is not Rocket Science. We here in Alaska shoot Wolves as necessary, even out of Airplanes to maintain the food source. Go Figure.




      •  

        Charles, There are a lot of things done during our grandfather’s time that have since been proven un-wise, e.g., smoking was thought to be healthy, DDT was all the rage, and thalidomide was thought to be a wonderful drug. Many of the broad-based predator control programs are in the same category. Shooting animals from planes or helicopters is hardly fair chase (isn’t that one of the core themes of this site?) And ecological relationships are frequently as or more complicated than so-called “rocket science” which has many more hard and fast rules and more controllable variables than ecological systems.




  251.  
    Packer

    Here in Montana they have given the Lion big game status . So now they are everywhere. They have a practice season where guys with hounds can tree them, but cannot kill them . A friend
    treed over thirty different cats last fall in SW Montana. The mountain deer population is gone.




  252.  
    jim young

    i think you are spot on ! I shot a nice 6×6 in lolo district of idaho in 2009, I saw 8 wolves that year, now the area is devastated, I read elk populations went from 23000 to 2000 in the area. we don’t hunt Montana anymore, as they do not want nonresidents, the highest cost of any state ! we now hunt Colorado, headed out next week for 2nd and 3rd rifle seasons, in my 60s now ,with 2 new knee replacements, I will keep hunting the rockies as long as I can, keep us posted, thanks jim young, master maine guide,




  253.  
    Rex

    Has everyone forgot why we killed off the wolves in the first place. They destroy our herds. Guy you are spot on with your comment. As hunters, we need to take control of the wolf situation if we cant get help from our politicians.




  254.  
    Hunter

    I live In Utah an am a avid hunter but we are going in the opposite direction. They have killed out a very high number of our predators. An now our deer herd is suffering from CWD, A study was done on a in Colorado on Cougar kills. The study showed that 66% of deer kills had CWD where as kills made by hunters an cars only about 5% had CWD. So yes predators can be over populated, but you need a good amount to keep a good steady population.




  255.  
    hunter

    An yes we need to kill the shit out of the wolfs!!




  256.  

    You would think that there is a lesson to be learned from what is going on in Africa.They do not have the resources and law enforcement that we do and they have their own downward spiral.African history repeating itself with the exception that now mass extinction is assured.
    The people that would seek to take hunting out of wildlife management had better wake up.Hunters dollars and support are the only reason we have what we have.A hundred years of wildlife management prove that.
    Well written post Guy.




  257.  
    Jeff

    I believe this going to come down to the hunters and outdoorsmen taking things into there own hands. The number of wolf and bear encounters is unbelievable I remember being able to go to the mountains without fear of running into anything other than a coyote. I also remember elk and deer being the main course for dinner and almost always filling a tag for both species. Now it’s seems that you are more likely to see a wolf or bear than a elk more times than not lately I have seen bear and wolf sign while hunting even close to residential areas. These predators are no longer scared of man we are just another part of the food chain we were once on top of. I believe regardless of the game and fish or wildlife activist groups and their standpoints we as outdoorsmen and hunters are going to have to stand up and make our voices heard even if that means regulating the wolfs and bears ourselves to protect our wildlife herds. This should not be up to the government or activist groups to decide but the residents who live, eat, sleep, and breath in the outdoors this is a major problem that is not growing away by itself time to stand up and take matters into our own hands words can only go so far.




  258.  

    Bravo this is one of the best and most honest articles I’ve ever seen written on this topic. You cover some hard truths but they need to be said and people need to start listening. Hunters, conservationists & everyday citizens need to speak up now. thank you for the courage to speak up.




  259.  
    Pat

    I live in Montana and my father was a hunting guide in the Colorado Rockies in the 1940′s and 50′s. I am a gun owner but no longer hunt. I prefer to fish. The Western United States is nothing more than a managed zoo. The cycle between predator and prey worked well for millions of years. It isn’t the predators fault that the system is broken, it’s us. We now have 89 million cattle in North America competing with our “so called” natural resources. The latest wolf census of the Northern Rocky Mountain region puts the population at 1691.

    Let’s remove ten million cattle from the equation and see how our elk and deer populations fare. Sorry, this may result in fewer “Happy Meals”. Let’s quit building along the traditional game corridors; streams and river valleys . Let’s quit “strip malling” the Western United States’ valleys which are the traditional game corridors. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, farming and ranching are responsible for 68 percent of all species endangerment in the United States.

    If you are really interested in finding a solution to our game declines it should be as simple as looking in a mirror. We are at 319 million and counting but let’s blame 1600 wolves. Jeez.




    •  
      Pat

      By the way, I do agree with the article to a certain degree unfortunately it’s based on limited logic. We are talking about the death of a thousand cuts to our wildlife populations. Wolves are just one small part of this poorly managed equation.




    •  
      Bob

      At one time there were 100′s of millions of bison in this region so your competing rational fails. According to many sources over 70% on Montana’s wildlife live on private lands and over 80% of endangered species use private lands. There is no research which shows wolves are needed on a human filled landscape.

      http://www.mtpioneer.com/2014-January-Top-Yellowstone-Expert.html





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