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Pups Poached And Claimed Claws


If we want to have a case for keeping animals off of the endangered species list or getting them delisted, we have to win the battle of public opinion. The public opinion on hunting is largely indifferent. Except when stupid things happen that put hunters in a very poor light. Things like someone killing wolf pups in Idaho while they were in their den. Yup, that actually happened.

As a hunter I have seen the damage done by years of zero wolf management in Wyoming. The idea of a few less of them on the mountain doesn’t bother me at all. What does bother me is that whoever decided that this was the best plan of action, has painted a very broad stroke on those of us who live, hunt and recreate in the West. They have done a very good job of making those of us who hunt look like blood-thirsty animals rather than the conservation minded people we are. Even if it isn’t a hunter who did this, don’t believe it won’t be pinned on us.

The green groups who are waging their eternal battle in the court system to make sure that large predators never leave the protection of the ESA are licking their chops when things like this happen. We shouldn’t give them these types of opportunities, we need to outsmart them and that means being more patient than they are. Patient enough for their money to run dry when they lose a few cases, which will happen eventually.

We have waited a long time to see grizzly bears delisted. They are on their way to state management in the Yellowstone area and from everything that we have heard the intent is for hunting to occur. The last time they were delisted it was the whitebark pine nut that was the pawn keeping them on the list until the issue could be studied. As we speak, an investigation is ongoing about a bear that was poached and left to rot, except for it’s claws. The claws were taken obviously as souvenirs. You better believe this event will be used as a pawn in some fashion. Our patience and hard work has been rewarded with a potential delisting, why ruin our opportunity?

Even scarier is that we are looking at a potential listing for moose in Minnesota. With the problems facing bullwinkle, other populations may be on the proposed list coming our way soon. Want to see it become really easy for the green groups to make sure that your years of moose points get flushed down the toilet? This is how it happens. Paint hunters as the bad guys, convince the public that the moose crisis is terrible and cite that hunters are ruthless killers who don’t care about herd health because they will poach wolf pups. They will even rip out grizzly bear claws after they kill and leave one to rot.

I am a firm believer that our punishments for major big game violations aren’t stiff enough. If we want our patience rewarded with delisting, then we need to make sure that our voices are heard, punishments for poaching violations are more than a slap on the wrist. When this happens people can see we don’t want violators ruining the good things we have. What say you? How do we prevent things like this from happening?

GuySig (1)




P.S. Look for an analysis in next week’s E-News of the Wyoming big game draw results. Looks like I will be heading to general units again this year.

P.S.S. Make sure your subscription is current to both EBJ and EHJ, Jason Peak will be tackling poaching punishment issues in upcoming issues this summer.

About Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief

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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.

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  1. Guy, I am on board with you 100% we as hunters have a voice. We do need to put it out there that the fines for poaching are not stiff enough. We need to let the public know that our love for hunting is just as much loved as our time watching these animals reach maturity. I have hunted since I was very young back east growing up chasing white tails and turkeys in the river bottoms of southern Indiana. I now am a resident of Wyoming and have been off and on since 2005. I will retire here in Wyoming. I am in on the push for grizzly bear and wolf delisting and the hard work it will take to get this done. What we don’t need is stupidity running loose ruining it for everyone else I am sorry but I believe if you take the life of a endangered listed animal you should loose your right to hunt all 50 states for life unless it is a life or death situation and can be proved so! My thoughts hope to see more comments on this topic.

  2. We need to stop comparing these types of people as hunters and make sure they are called what they are “criminals”.

  3. I am with you, but the way I have been told is even if they the taxpayer foots the bill so their money won’t run dry until this is changed

  4. Edward Wright

    It is exactly as I have said before, it is up to the people of Wyoming to put their fist, and foot down, and demand the Governor push his Congressman, and Senator to delist, and if they refuse, threaten the oil, and gas industry in your state to help or get out. That will put plenty of gunpowder in the barrel if Wyoming’s rifle. The wolves need to be hunted to the border of Yellowstone, and the Grizzly population will withdraw to the interior when they are hunted enough, and then the general public will be safer, and the ungulates can move away from alpha predators more easily.

  5. Well I am going to tell you something Guy. Don’t and I mean Don’t put it above the hugger groups to do something like this. It helps to serve their purpose.

    • shootbrownelk

      Something like this is just what the anti’s want to end hunting. The wolves were step one in their goal. Moose listing is another distinct threat if that’s what goes down in Minnesota. The anti’s are relentless & patient.

  6. I live in WA state. Poaching and wildlife crimes are punished with a slap on the wrist. We are politically controlled by one county. King County contains Seattle. this one county has summarily held the rest of us hostage to the oppression of the majority. We can not hunt with dogs for bear or cougar because of referendum balloting. Since that dog restriction our population of deer and some elk herds has plummeted. We have a very large wildlife department, studying predators. There is little consideration of ungulates in my opinion. We will never (i believe) legally be able to shoot a wolf in this state, because of one ill informed group of King county voters. the Wildlife dept. says there are now 19 requisite breeding packs in the state, and a total of 90 wolves. If you believe these total population figures, I have bridge in Brooklyn I should sell you. By the way, there is no requirement for any wolves in western WA, where all the antis live.This anti hunting agenda is alive and well in the USA. Do not go quietly. Speak up and oppose this insanity. We can only hope the likes of judge Malloy become endangered, not the Moose in this state.

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