Wolves Vacationing In The…Grand Canyon?

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Posted December 5, 2014 by Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief in General

Wolf...If any of you own a dog who has ever run away it will come as no surprise that a wolf from the greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has now traveled all of the way to – the Grand Canyon! To call this a well-traveled animal would be the understatement of the century, who knew they could travel that far! Oh wait, we knew that a long time ago when we worried that the animals would run back to Canada after their release from the pens they were held in for their first few weeks in Wyoming and Idaho.

Where this get’s even more interesting is in the court battle that is going to rage over protecting the animal and the travel corridors it used to reach the area. Which will inevitably show that the Mexican Grey Wolf that has been reintroduced in the Southwest is now capable of breeding with the wolf populations that were introduced to the Greater Yellowstone area in the 90’s.

Take a second, step back from your computer and let that information sink in.

We aren’t dealing with a predator that is living in some small portion of the country only hunting one set of animals. We aren’t just dealing with isolated pockets of wolves. We ARE dealing with an apex predator that is highly mobile, very calculated and the hardest part to fathom, is that it is unmanaged by hunters in the majority of its range.

Idaho and Montana are the only two states that have a hunter management plan for wolf populations. Washington, Oregon, and yup, California will likely hold out for many years before management will happen. Utah and Colorado will struggle to handle the predator but will likely have hunting seasons before most of the other states.

Arizona and New Mexico are years from a full scale comeback like the Northwest and northern Rocky Mountain West have experienced. However, it would be prudent for those states to start planning for when the management battle comes to their backyard. The better prepared the resident hunters are for the battle that is sure to come, the better the potential outcome.

Wyoming continues to fight with the green groups over their management plan and of course the predator zone designation. What intrigues me most about the predator zone is that wolves don’t seem to have any problem moving through Wyoming to states like Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico, even with it in place.

The argument will be that this is a single wolf in Arizona and that it needs protection. It doesn’t need protection, it needs management objectives that are strictly adhered to when the time comes. Mark my words, this wolf isn’t alone and word will come in the foreseeable future that a new pack has been established in the Grand Canyon State. I wonder what the Arizona MRS will look like, how many of your hunter dollars and decades of your preference points this predator will eat?

GuySig

 


About the Author

Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief
Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief

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.

28 Comments


  1.  
    Keith Cauwenbergh

    Guy,
    You forgot to include Wisconsin as a state with an excessive wolf population due to the tree huggers court antics. We also have a wolf hunting season which only took about a week or two to reach the quota set by our DNR. We have some many black bears, wolves, coyotes, and a few cougar such that the 2014 whitetail harvest numbers continue to drop and no one seems to understand why from the state DNR. The hunters sure do know!!!!!
    Wisconsin seems to be loosing the management focus and we’re going right down the drain in wildlife. Had a former governor and his cronies who had some nice bucks brought into the state due to lack of “suitable” quarry on their leased land and it resulted in CWD coming to Wisconsin. If you want the inside scoop, talk to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation CEO, former WI DNR wildlife biologist. He knows all about it.

    Keith Cauwenbergh




    •  
      Gerald Brunckhorst

      Keith,
      I would just like to say that your post is not only informative but a great example of the kind of responsible communication that needs to continue to occur across North America. A a hunter I understand how easy it is to become emotionally overwhelmed when preditors such as wolves chew their way through a local deer or elk herd. But as you and Guy have indicated, this issue is way beyond what anyone could have imagined, and it’s obvious that it will become much worse without proper management. Thanks for the great information about Wisconson and who has the inside scoop on what happened there. Also sorry to hear about the CWD, what irresponsible transportation of wildlife – long quarantines and testing are a must!
      Gerald Brunckhorst, Kalispell, MT.




  2.  
    mt_sourdough

    I am extremely suspicious of how this female wolf wandered from Yellowstone to the Northern Rim of the Grande Canyon. Pro reintroduction groups have stated their desire to reintroduce wolves to this area. And then Whaalaa, there it is, a female wolf with a collar.
    First off, I have been lead to believe that male wolves are the “scout wolves” that blaze the trail that other wolves will follow.
    Second, there is not more suitable habitat between Yellowstone and the Grande Canyon? I find it highly unlikely that a wold will pass through a thousand miles of elk country to end up at the edge of the Grande Canyon.




  3.  
    Richard Fiske

    Good point Keith, and MN has the same mess. Hmm, wonder why the moose are having such a rough go of it?? Don’t forget South Dakota either as a friend from there believes the wolves are establishing themselves in the Black Hills.




    •  

      as an older hunter. I can not believe what the tree huggers are doing. They do not have a clue in most cases of what it is like to live in the country. So they believe about anything they are told.. Having wolves in this small state could wipe out our wild life!!!




    •  
      Mike

      I was born and raised in the Black Hills.Since the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone I have seen six wolves in the hills. So how many are there that I haven’t seen. The Mountain Lions have taken a toll on our deer and elk herds, and now we are going to have to deal with wolves also. But the Game and Fish wont admit that they are here.




    •  
      Mark Van Heerde

      A year or so ago a friend of mine in S.D. who’s a lifelong predator hunter, saw 5
      wolves crossing a road at night west of the Missouri River, near S.D. & Neb. border.
      In disbelief, he stopped and checked the tracks in the snow verifying they weren’t
      coyotes. Question, is this a transient or established pack in western S.D. or Neb.




  4.  
    Gary

    I don’t blame wolves for being wolves, I blame the liars who established the initial wolf management plan and then reneged on the agreement to manage the wolves. They never intended to keep their word, how sad that their political supporters lack the integrity to do the right thing, and instead sell their souls for the votes and influence of a few radicals. I feel sorry for the wolves because it is they who will ultimately suffer starvation and death when they fall out of fashion and no longer are supported by the romantic liberals. The damage done to all wildlife between now and then will be irreparable.




    •  
      shootbrownelk

      You feel sorry for the wolves Gary? You’re probably the only one on Eastman’s that does. Bunny Huggers love the cuddly fuzzy little Wolf. Hunter’s who are losing hunting opportunities and G&F depts. losing revenues from licenses due to Wolf depredation, not so much.




      •  
        Gary

        I’ll stick with what I said: I can’t blame a wolf for being a wolf, that would be contrary to nature. I don’t personally like wolves and would remove them from the US if I could. However, I can’t, but I can be realistic about why they are a problem and dislike the people responsible for their reintroduction. I do hunt wolves here in Idaho, but they have been hunted and educated to the point where they are pretty damn smart (at least in the areas I have access to). I have seen a few in the distance but never got one yet.

        Labeling people bunny lovers, tree huggers doesn’t do much good in addressing the wolf problem in fact it gives those types of people (wolf lovers) support, since they contend most hunters are Neanderthal low intellect types. I do think that the wolves will ultimately suffer greatly because of the lack of management. To allow any animal to suffer because of human stupidity is not a good thing, even wolves and yes, I feel sorry for the suffering of any animal including the many elk and deer brutally killed by wolves, many for sport. They should be hunted and humanely killed. I don’t think that makes me a wolf lover, but rather a realistic person.

        We will succeed in dealing with the wolf problem only if we deal with it realistically and not like irrational, reactionary “red necks” which is what the wolf supporters say anyone who hunts wolves is. If I have offended you with my feelings about wolves tough ***t, I will continue to hunt them and do the best I can to support their removal. I hope you will thoughtfully do the same.




        •  
          Don

          Great reply Gary,we as hunters love the outdoors and everything god has put before us, but we have to atttack our problems in a civil manner if we are to keep our wildlife and outdoor activities. let them that are against to the name calling and then their the only ones looking silly.




  5.  
    BearDown

    Wolves travel a lot farther than most people realize. There was a collared wolf near my home in central Minnesota to travelled across northern Wisconsin, past Green Bay, down to Milwaukee and then back around the twin cities and settled in Camp Ripley Minnesota. That’s one female wolf. I am sure there are parts of the west that have wolves that have travelled hundreds of miles as well. Seeing a wolf in Arizona is no surprise.




    •  
      Mark Van Heerde

      I agree wolves travel long distances. Oregon’s radio collared wolf OR7 was born in the northeast corner of Oregon in 2009, in 2011 traveled to just North of Red Bluff, California, approx. 500 miles as the crow flies. He’s established a home territory near the Oregon and California border with a female that had pups. Now northern Cal. will have wolf issues from a reintroduction 20 years ago, a 1000+ miles away.




  6.  
    Elefar Garcia

    I have my own wolf management plan in effect whether the CO Parks n Wildlife have one or not. I just hope most of the hunters here have the same view. There have been a couple of those wolves here already and luckily one of those got run over on I-70 a couple of years ago.




    •  
      ricknmontana

      You have the right idea. If we have a problem, we better take care of it. Because if we don’t we will lose our game eventually. I’ve seen it in Alaska, Idaho and Montana. It is sickening having so much great habitat that is devoid of deer and elk. Been hunting over 50 years and am sorry you young guys are satisfied with seeing a couple elk a day.
      S.S. and SHUT UP!!!




  7.  
    Jim Nurse

    Well, if it was a collard individual then surly someone was keeping track of it’s location. Who keeps track of that information and would it be too much to ask for the date and time records of that individual? Or would that be incriminating? In simple terms would you then discover that the wolf was able to travel at 65mph?! Just a thought…..




    •  
      Mark Van Heerde

      Excellent point Jim




    •  
      mt_sourdough

      That is basically along the lines that I am thinking. As I live in Arizona, I know the biggest concern among the G&F here is that the critter will now wonder out of the park making it vulnerable to mistaken identity to a coyote hunter. It seems they are working to try to keep it in the National Park boundaries to protect it.
      I also think the 700 miles this wolf traveled is across some landscapes not exactly fitting to a Rocky Mountain Critter. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a sort of island ecosystem surrounded by desserts.




      •  
        Clifford Jaramillo from SW Colorado

        I read an article not to long ago about a buffalo herd in the Grand Canyon being over populated and over grazing. Hunting the buffalo is out of the question being in a National Park. Is there something fishy here or is it merely coincidence?




    •  
      Butch Obert

      You have just pondered exactly what I was pondering Jim…Good luck trying to get that info from Oregon DNR,,,,

      .




      •  
        Jim Nurse

        The other part of the discussion that has not been examined; How does a wolf magically appear in one particular spot, in this case the Grand Canyon, and not any number of places that would be much less interesting to anyone that did not have some sort of agenda…I mean…really….the Grand Canyon of all places…remember the old notion that the road to success is dottecd with many convenient parking placers.

        I sincerely do not believe we are dealing with honest brokers.




  8.  

    I believe the wolves in oregon ca and arizona have been trapped and transplanted probably in a vw van full of pot smoking hippies




  9.  

    Sometimes you just shoot and shut up… just sayin’.




  10.  
    Rich GOTTSCHALDT

    Michigan has a problem too
    Wolves population in u.p. Has exploded now decimated deer and destroying introduced moose in all of the u.p.!
    650 predators need controlled and managed!
    When the wolves start targeting kids waiting for the bus maybe people will pay attention.
    It’s inevitable!




  11.  
    Edward Wright

    The bigger threat has yet to show it’s self. The wolf was the catalyst, and the grizzly, but the real damage is not reversable.
    Drops in herbavore numbers nationwide from apex predation will continue, and the loss in license revenues will be felt to the point of insolvency in the branches of wildlife management. This will trigger frantic revenue searches among all avenues, and lead to multiple use targets to generate revenue lost.

    The voice from the multiple use entity is where anti-hunting crowd surface, and they will become the louder voice in divisional ears, and hunting will become a nitch revenue.
    Non-hunting managers will be appointed to appease the mutltiple use crowd, and hunting will be sidelined, science will give way to emotional rule, and conservation will end

    The course is enivitable




    •  
      Butch Obert

      Unfortunately, all of this scenario has already played itself out in Minnesota; where twenty years ago we had thousands of moose and deer, and a few hundred wolves in the north part of the state, we now have thousands of wolves and a few moose and deer. Mn DNR blamed woodticks and global warming because few of the radio collared cows were killed by wolves; but observed that calf recruitment was practically non-existant. They finally radio collared some calves and found that most had been killed in a very short time by wolves and bears, A responsible DNR, managing wildlife population in favor of hunters that pay the bills would have promptly expanded the reduction of predators; not so; approximately the same number of wolves and bears will be removed from the population this year as last year, and moose and deer populations continue to dwindle.
      One can only conclude that the Mn DNR has been taken over by forces that seek to end hunting, and appear to be nearing their goal. Once the prey species are reduced to unhuntable levels, there will be no hunting; this has already happened with the moose and will soon happen with deer. And, hunters will have financed their own demise by funding the DNR through license monies they paid themselves. If nothing else, Progressives are certainly clever…..





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