Carbon Express Arrows
Sad Indeed
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
DL 22-Mar-18
Brotsky 22-Mar-18
NoWiser 22-Mar-18
Franzen 22-Mar-18
JTV 22-Mar-18
Sage Buffalo 22-Mar-18
Glunt@work 22-Mar-18
johnw 22-Mar-18
WV Mountaineer 22-Mar-18
Beendare 22-Mar-18
TD 22-Mar-18
Scar Finga 22-Mar-18
ground hunter 22-Mar-18
thedude 22-Mar-18
RogBow 22-Mar-18
Paul@thefort 23-Mar-18
Paul@thefort 23-Mar-18
Jethro 23-Mar-18
BOHUNTER09 23-Mar-18
welka 23-Mar-18
HDE 23-Mar-18
NoWiser 23-Mar-18
Amoebus 23-Mar-18
Franzen 23-Mar-18
NoWiser 23-Mar-18
Deertick 23-Mar-18
tradmt 23-Mar-18
Paul@thefort 23-Mar-18
Glunt@work 23-Mar-18
Deertick 23-Mar-18
TheTone 23-Mar-18
Trial153 23-Mar-18
Beendare 23-Mar-18
ground hunter 23-Mar-18
donnybowhunter 25-Mar-18
stealthycat 26-Mar-18
NoWiser 26-Mar-18
JTV 26-Mar-18
Beendare 26-Mar-18
Thornton 26-Mar-18
TD 26-Mar-18
DMC65 26-Mar-18
Beendare 27-Mar-18
Beendare 28-Mar-18
NoWiser 29-Mar-18
Beendare 29-Mar-18
NoWiser 29-Mar-18
Scoot 29-Mar-18
Tom 29-Mar-18
kevinfoerster 29-Mar-18
NoWiser 29-Mar-18
TrapperKayak 29-Mar-18
Scoot 29-Mar-18
Beendare 29-Mar-18
WV Mountaineer 29-Mar-18
MarkU 29-Mar-18
Amoebus 30-Mar-18
TrapperKayak 30-Mar-18
TrapperKayak 30-Mar-18
TD 30-Mar-18
Beendare 30-Mar-18
Glunt@work 30-Mar-18
Beendare 31-Mar-18
ELKMAN 01-Apr-18
From: DL
22-Mar-18

DL's embedded Photo
DL's embedded Photo
Sad in deed. Time to thin out some wolves.

From: Brotsky
22-Mar-18
Really sad when you realize now that the elk are gone the wolves will move on to the next herd to do the same thing. Shoot 'em up.

From: NoWiser
22-Mar-18
They also had a severe winter last year, which would mean fewer elk, and a mild winter this year, which would likely mean fewer elk using the feed grounds. Wolves are the default scapegoat, but I'd guess there are a few factors here. In reality, with the ticking time-bomb that is CWD getting closer to the feed grounds, lower densities of elk may be a blessing.

From: Franzen
22-Mar-18
I'm wondering if you have anything to back up the "mild winter" claim, or is it just that your default is to protect the cuddly lovable wolf? Gros Ventre snowpack looks pretty average to me, if not a tick above, based on what I've seen. There are always a number of factors, but that doesn't mean that wolves aren't one of them... and one that can be controlled to some degree.

From: JTV
22-Mar-18
again I say, the only good wolf is a dead one ... high wolf numbers equate to lower big game numbers ..

From: Sage Buffalo
22-Mar-18
Sorry but 3,000 to 86 is just not wolves. Max reduction would be 1,000 but not 86.

Something else is besides wolves is going on. In a no holds bar, no wolf reduction the YNP elk were reduced by 2/3rds and have maintained their current numbers for the last 5 years.

While the wolves play their part if you just stop there you might be missing a larger issue.

From: Glunt@work
22-Mar-18
Wolves may not be the whole problem, but if they had a pack of 22 since 2009, that's 3000 elk eaten over that time. Whatever the reason, 440 elk a year being turned in to wolf poop isn't helping

From: johnw
22-Mar-18
Shoot the wolves

22-Mar-18
Don't quote me on this but, if I remember correctly it was said that the kill rate per wolf was estimated to be 20 elk per year, per wolf, pre release. However, the actual kill rate post release was almost double that. So, I' sure other things have killed the elk. I'm also sure based on study numbers that the wolves are by and far the largest contributor, by a long shot, in that herd reduction. It is what it is and, would take real effort to not admit that reality.

From: Beendare
22-Mar-18
We let the quasi naturalists and anti's convince us that bringing these wolves back was a good idea. Of course these folks had literally NO IDEA WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT.

Heck there were hunters among us that were hoodwinked....its like there is no such thing as a history book to research and see why the settlers wiped these wolves out in the first place.

"Didn't see that coming"....well of course you idiots didn't.......a 4th grade science student can tell you; you can't let one vicious predator species go unchecked...and managing a highly intelligent predator species is very difficult to impossible...and you can add; labor intensive and costly.

i'm sure there are a few that will chime in and admit their folly /not

From: TD
22-Mar-18
Herd recruitment as the calves are the easiest..... only the sick and old my wrinkles....... as well as added winter stress when they need it the least, no tooth marks but the wolves killed them none the less.....

Wolves likely not the sole cause..... but what chance does herd recovery stand with those kinds of wolf numbers? This is the "balance" of nature wolf folks speak of.... they just neglect to mention the decades any kind of recovery will take. There is only a moment of "balance" as populations pass each other on the way up and on the way down.

Note: If you believe only 22..... there's this General in Nigeria you really need to talk to......

From: Scar Finga
22-Mar-18
It's not sad, It's an F'n tragedy and damn near criminal!

22-Mar-18
I was in Ontario, when "officials" were trapping pairs, for the lower,,,,,,oh no wait that did not happen................................. The guys from Ontario said "are you guys nuts"

yeah that's right, the fast growth in population, was a natural progression... For you guys in the west, that can hunt them, do a dna test on one,,,,, see if its not Canadian timber background

From: thedude
22-Mar-18
SSS

From: RogBow
22-Mar-18
Shameful waste.

From: Paul@thefort
23-Mar-18
Prior to the wolf reintroduction, bears were and still are one the major predators in the birthing elk areas especially in the YNP where there is no control over predator numbers. Then factor in other normal causes of reduced fawn recruitment, ie, disease, starvation, hard winters, stress on cow elk pregnancy, migration to lower areas were hunting is allowed. Then add in another major predator, the wolf; seems reasonable there will be less elk around. Not sure if the loss of the number of elk since 2009 to this Gross Ventre winter area is the sole result of the reintroduction of the wolf but I am sure it did have an additional large impact. I do predict there will be another elk study to prove and disprove "something"! And then there will be more follow up studies.

From: Paul@thefort
23-Mar-18
After writing what I did above, I googled "Gros Ventru elk numbers" and found an interesting newspaper (Jackson Hole News, March 2018) article, titled " Elk Count is healthy, but not its distribution". This might shed some light on "less elk on the Gros Ventru." my best, Paul

From: Jethro
23-Mar-18
The article that goes with the OP's screenshot doesn't say the elk are dead. Just says they are overwintering elsewhere.

From: BOHUNTER09
23-Mar-18
Does the article mean there are 22 wolves or 22 packs of wolves?

From: welka
23-Mar-18
You can name any other excuse you want, but the wolves are likely the dominant reason. As I have said before, I feel for those that live in the west as even if hunters take measures into their own hands, almost impossible to stop the elimination of deer and elk due to wolves. See northern WI where a harsh winter (another excuse sighted often that doesn't have near the damage as wolves) mixes with a pack and it's game over. Sad to say the least and good luck to all on your wolf venture.

From: HDE
23-Mar-18
no need for hunting if you have other predators at it 24/7...

From: NoWiser
23-Mar-18
"Some of the elk have perished but since current counts show that the overall population for the Jackson elk herd has not changed, Game and Fish officials suggest the elk have merely moved out of the Gros Ventre to winter in other places."

**GASP** You mean to tell me a 3 sentence screenshot didn't tell the whole story of a complex situation? And the wolves didn't eat 97.1% of their prey base??

You wolf haters need to settle down. Everything will be ok. There is plenty of room for us, the elk, and the wolves. Especially when states are allowed to manage wolf populations themselves.

From: Amoebus
23-Mar-18
Jethro - "The article that goes with the OP's screenshot doesn't say the elk are dead. Just says they are overwintering elsewhere." welka - "You can name any other excuse you want, but the wolves are likely the dominant reason."

So, the wolves are the reason the elk herd is the same?

I am now convinced there is a bowsite keyboard that is sent out by Pat with canned responses. Hit F1 and you get 'SSS'. Hit F2 and you get 'The only good wolf is a dead wolf'. Hit F3 and you get 'The introduced wolves and at least 3x the size of the native wolves'. Doesn't matter what the topic, nor the conclusion, if 'wolf' is mentioned somewhere in the text, the function keys get exercised.

welka - curious, what % of the herd do wolves take a year and what % does a bad winter kill take for deer?

From: Franzen
23-Mar-18

Franzen's Link
I don't know why you think you are better than the "wolf haters"? You defend them regardless of circumstance... so that makes you better how? Emotional is emotional, whether it's their hate or your love. Btw, I did your homework for you. See the link that shows snowpack slightly above average in the area as of today.

From: NoWiser
23-Mar-18
Ok, so it looks like they are having an average winter vs a terrible one last year. I read reports just a few weeks ago that some of the feedgrounds were practically free of snow.

I never claimed to be better than anyone, but the ridiculous responses this website gets every time wolves are brought up is more than a bit tiring and makes me, as a hunter, look bad. I'm embarrassed to be lumped in with the "SSS" and "the only good wolf is a dead wolf" guys. I'm not a wolf lover or wolf hater. I just happen to think they have a place on the landscape like other native animals, when states are allowed to manage them. For the record, I've probably shot more wolves than 99% of the people on this site. I received all of the typical death threats on myself and my family for doing so, and defended my position as a legal wolf hunter.

From: Deertick
23-Mar-18
I don't really care for the wolves, but, at my age I've learned that "sky-is-falling" worries (like global warming is going to kill us all, or wolves are going to lead to no need for hunters) have -- so far in my life -- been unreliable in guiding me on how to approach the world. This has a corollary: Internet forums are an unreliable place to research scientific questions.

From: tradmt
23-Mar-18
Wolves are pretty.

From: Paul@thefort
23-Mar-18
John, that is most likely true. Like Global Warming (who is at fault) and wolf/elk research, even the "experts" can not seem to find common ground and agree the reasons why and who.

my best, Paul

From: Glunt@work
23-Mar-18
Of course elk aren't all gone due to wolves arriving on the scene. But there are 400+/- wolves in WY and it takes 8000 elk a year to feed them. When there is a population dip, they keep on eating. Not the end of the world but a giant factor in elk management and if course it was a huge example of federal over reach.

From: Deertick
23-Mar-18
Paul, the science experts have increasingly become "meme-warriors" like the rest of us, and that undermines confidence on the part of the rest of us. I get that. But it doesn't really help sort out the question. I am actually MORE concerned when the experts find common ground; it usually means that they aren't criticizing each other, which is the path to the truth. But increasingly, science has become a political "team" just like the rest of us, and has lost some credibility as such. I understand that. But I don't like the increasing feeling that everything in this whole damn world has to be settled by whose "team" has the best Facebook memes.

From: TheTone
23-Mar-18
For the real wolf haters feel free to come out to ID, MT, or WY and pick up a hunting licenses and some tags. Seasons are long and there is plenty of opportunity and you won't have much competition hunting them outside of deer and elk seasons. I have people every year how they have ruined elk hunting in my local area, while I maybe see an average of one track a year and haven't seen or heard when in probably close to a decade.

Clearly wolves eat deer, elk and other things but the reality isn't as doom and gloom as some want to believe.

From: Trial153
23-Mar-18
Good post Jim.

From: Beendare
23-Mar-18
It appears there are still those in denial about wolves.....no surprise....still folks that love Hillary too.

So how do you wolf excuse makers propose to manage this highly intelligent predator effectively/inexpensively?

Do you understand there is a huge cost to the already thin F&G budgets associated with wolves? [of course you don't]

Do you realize that tag sales funds the F&G depts....and with lost tags due to wolf predation....this is a self fulfilling prophesy that will bankrupt the F&G depts? [eventually]

So many unintended consequences with wolves.....can't you see that?????

Oh forget it...these folks won't change their minds until one bites them on the behind.

23-Mar-18
Well the losers in Washington today, expanded the federal budget for awhile, oh yeah and why they were at it, they decided to keep the Great Lakes Wolves on the ESA..... what a joke.......

There is no one that wants to get on these wolves, worse than the trappers and hunters of Wisconsin and the UP.......................

We do not have real wildlife science anymore, we have political science.................

25-Mar-18
I will shoot a wolf on site.. I don't care who likes it or not.. legal or not..

From: stealthycat
26-Mar-18
"I will shoot a wolf on site.. I don't care who likes it or not.. legal or not.. "

If every western hunter did the same, there would be no wolf issues. Yes, I know its illegal, but it all depends on what you value most, wildlife like elk and deer and moose or lefty liberals forcing wolves where people really don't want them

From: NoWiser
26-Mar-18
I'll happily turn you guys in if I catch wind of any illegal killing of wolves. I'm sure you both have vast experience hunting around wolves, being from Arkansas and Colorado.

From: JTV
26-Mar-18
"Wolves are pretty."

yea, they make into great coats and vests ;0)

From: Beendare
26-Mar-18
Still no answer to my question on how to manage these wolves...let alone cost effectively.

Yeah, lets do it....manage them I mean. But How? Hunting them your solution? Ugh no. Again, we need to learn from experience....that has never worked. They had to resort to poison in the lower 48. Then once a few dead wolf shots show up on Facebook....the F&G will be back in court at $350/hr trying to defend wolf hunting seasons. Alaska doesn't have the public pressure we have in the lower 48....and even with Alaska paying pilots $250/hr to fly and shoot them from a super cub. ...they still have a lot of wolves.

You see if folks would have actually learned from past experience with wolves, they would know how literally ridiculous the 'Manage them' comment is. Politically and economically its very difficult....and all on very thin F&G budgets already.

The hunters just can't kill enough wolves to dent the population.

From: Thornton
26-Mar-18
I would be killing every wolf I could get within range.

From: TD
26-Mar-18
Well..... don't have to worry about me and dead wolves.... I'll shake your hand in a second, especially the ranchers that have to deal with them..... just have to keep an eye on NoWiser =D

From: DMC65
26-Mar-18
Wolves are the Apex predator when man isn't allowed to prey on wolves. Wolves are extremely efficient at killing big game. We all know that . What's not being taken into consideration is that these "new " wolf populations have a virgin prey base. The elk , moose and deer herds the wolves are now involved with haven't had wolves to avoid in a century or more. It's similar to stocking musky in a lake that's never had musky. Bye bye to your walleye population. In waters where there's always been a population of musky the walleyes do just fine. In northern Saskatchewan,where there's always been wolves and whitetail deer together with little human predation on the wolves, the deer move out of areas where they become most vulnerable to wolves due to weather. Namely, winter. The deer will vacate areas where they can be flanked and pushed out on a lake by a pack of wolves. That deer population would be wiped out in short order if they had a hundred years with no wolves and then in 5 or so years a pair of introduced wolves turned into 25 wolves. If we are gonna be force fed wolves by the powers that be then we need to remain the Apex predator or there will not be a balance. Wolves will wipe out a food source and move however far they need to to find another. Distance means nothing to wolves . Hunting wolves in timbered , and timbered mountainous country is futile as a management tool. Trapping and snaring is far more effective . Poison is the most effective means of control but is morally not an option, although m-44s could come into play if used by professional agents. Wolves must be managed now that they have been allowed to propagate. If left unchecked the future of our big game herds is dismal. Just my opinion . If anyone wants to read a good non fiction wolf story check out "Lobo" by Ernest Thompson Seton. A story about a cimmaron country cattle killing wolf pack in new Mexico around 1890 or so. True story that gives alot of insight on wolves . Wolves are the same now as they were then......

From: Beendare
27-Mar-18
Not to pick on No wiser....but there are many hunters that think the same. They have this romantic notion of wolves living among us.

They also have not considered the very difficult and costly endeavor....all the while forwarding the anti hunting crowds agenda.

Then they knock the 'SSS' crowd. Well I will take and SSS solution as the other option; 1) Very expensive court battle just to manage wolves 2) extensive studies- which are not only costly but suck up F&G resources 3) management plan- HA! an oxymoron when it comes to wolves 4) effective implementation which is one of 3 things; Poison [never happen] , Trapping or flying and shooting from the air. Sure you can kill some in hunting seasons...but not enough to "Control" wolves

^ this is all stuff the wolf proponents have never considered- no surprise

So what will it be?

I personally wouldn't shoot a wolf out of season....but I can surely understand why some do.

From: Beendare
28-Mar-18
Hmmmm....crickets from the wolf defenders.

So they must have thought it over and said, "Beendare, you are right, I changed my mind"

Ha! Yeah right! Facts should never get in the way of a strong opinion

From: NoWiser
29-Mar-18
Crickets because arguing about this anymore is pointless. We obviously have vastly different opinions on what the landscape of this country should look like. I have no problem with that and I'm obviously not going to change your mind.

From: Beendare
29-Mar-18
I'm all ears if you have solutions.....all i hear from the hunters sucked into the 'wolves are good' philosophy is, "Manage them"

Which, IMO is so oversimplified as to be nonsensical.

From: NoWiser
29-Mar-18
A solution to what? I don't view a native animal on the landscape as this huge problem. You do. That's why this argument is pointless.

From: Scoot
29-Mar-18
OK, I'll jump in and stir the pot a little... First I'll confess that I consider NoWiser a friend and I'll tell you up front that I think he's a level-headed guy who isn't a liberal tree hugger! :) It does strike me that it's hard to lump a guy into the wolf lover category when his thoughts on dealing with wolves is to manage their numbers through hunting. Hell, he's shot wolves, so I don't think it's justified to call him a wolf lover. I'm not perfectly on the same page with him on this issue, but I'm also not completely in disagreement with him either.

NoWiser, your plan to deal with wolves is to manage their population. Beendare's response seems to be simply this- that doesn't work worth a darn and isn't a reasonable plan given it's oversimplification of the issue and general ineffectiveness. Your thoughts??? :)

From: Tom
29-Mar-18
" I don't view a native animal on the landscape as this huge problem", problem may be that the animal they reintroduce is a much larger sub species than what was there. They should have come to MN and taken some of them instead of the larger Canadian wolves, smaller like the original specie that was there. And I here that they were not as extinct as we all were led to believe. Locals who live in Wyoming tell me that there were wolves still alive near Yellowstone park. And that fish and wildlife now know this because of DNA. Now if this is really true or not?? Doubt we will ever know but this info came to me from a couple of guys who work with those wolves and get rid of the cattle killers, who are then taken in and their DNA checked and overall health examined. Don't know why they would make up this info, but.... Wolves could be a part of the eco system, but the problem is their population as gone un-checked for to long. Thats just my view on it.

29-Mar-18
I was bison hunting the elk refuge outside jackson hole in 2016/2017, there were over 7,000 elk there, just ridiculous how many elk you could see. The mild winter is why there are no animals on the refuge, including buffalo.

From: NoWiser
29-Mar-18
Scoot is a troublemaker! But, I like his kid, so I'll let it slide.

Beendare makes good points. I will not argue that. I think the two of us have such a different tolerance level for wolves that we are really not even arguing the same thing. Where he is looking for a solution, I don't necessarily see a problem. His definition of a "managed" population and mine are likely very different.

Honestly, I think we are barking up the wrong tree. If we want to look for real threats to hunting, long term, we need to be paying more attention to CWD. Wolves may have short term impacts on populations but wait until CWD hits those feedgrounds in NW Wyoming. It's only a matter of time, and it's going to be ugly. Who knows, maybe wolves will be our ally when it comes time to battle CWD. I'm afraid that battle will come sooner rather than later.

I'm not going to argue with Scoot because I have a general rule against debating with people who I know are smarter than me, but at least I know I'm better looking!

From: TrapperKayak
29-Mar-18
So with elk numbers way down in Gros Ventre, the wolves will either now starve and pack numbers decrease, or they will be forced to move on. Thus making room for elk numbers to either re-populate or redistribute back to Gros Ventre. Eventually an equilibrium will be reached, just like with any other predator/prey relationship. Obviously before the 1800's when whites came to the west and decimated EVERYTHING, the wolves had for millenia not destroyed the elk population, or there would be no elk to this day. So where is the problem? Look at Colorado with no wolves. CWD rampant throughout the elk herd. I think there needs to be some kind of natural predation management going on there (no I am NOT advocating wolf reintroduction to Colorado - please remain calm), maybe natural predator redistribution...which would require some sort of predator protection. Yeah, I know that sounds like a contradiction. But I don't mean to physically bring predators to CO, just let them filter in naturally over a long period of time. Obviously man made management strategies for the benefit of human hunters is negatively impacting ALL elk by their overpopulation to suit the needs of human overpopulation. I think the problem is not necessarily wolves, it is far too many HUMANS being greedy. And I HATE HILLARY, LEFT WINGERS, AND POLITICAL POSTURING FOR AN ANTI HUNTING AGENDA AS MUCH AS THE MOST ENTHUSIASTIC OF YOU HERE. I view this from a logical point of view having been educated as a fish and wildlife and wildlife population dynamics biologist. This even goes against some of my spiritual beliefs that God will bring forth from Abraham 'as many as the stars in the sky.' But I think humans overpopulations are far more to blame for any elk population changes, reductions, or redistributions than any wild predator impacts. IMO, Colorado is doomed to have decreasing numbers of elk in the next 15 years for two reasons: 1), too many people moving to the eastern front (esp. with left wing agendas), thus potentially negatively impacting wildlife with both human displacement and habitat destruction, and biased management strategies with their destructive desires to ban hunting and reintro ARTIFICALLY a new predator all too quickly, both causing game populations to crash, and 2) not allowing natural selection to take place on its own and nature to cull the sick, diseased, and weak from CWD in an overpopulated situation. What may ultimately happen is a total crash of the population and real strain on many factors including hunting and fish and game funding issues. This is not the best way to achieve equilibrium. Sound logical?

From: Scoot
29-Mar-18
"Scoot is a troublemaker! But, I like his kid, so I'll let it slide."

Yes, my kid is a whole lot more likable than me. :) ...and yes, I may be a bit of a trouble maker... In my defense I admitted to stirring the pot right away, so I think that makes it OK. :)

"I'm not going to argue with Scoot because I have a general rule against debating with people who I know are smarter than me, but at least I know I'm better looking!"

Jim, I hate to break it to you, but I think you were wrong twice in that statement!

From: Beendare
29-Mar-18
Well I appreciate a discussion with reasonable people.

It is possible I am off base in my characterization of the wolf issue.

I tried getting the numbers from MT F&G on what they devote to wolves....not going to happen in the 1/2 hr I'm willing to spend on the issue...but if anyone wants to try to dig down, heres the number 406 444-3186.

I did talk to the wolf coordinator Diane. She covers a 1100 sq mile area mostly by herself. Her budget is $30k...so they don't do much flying. She does her job and doesn't get into the politics- I enjoyed talking to her.

Rough est on fees from wolf licenses and trapping was higher than I expected; $400k

You can imagine with that small budget and very little flying they don't have a exact count on wolves. They think its between 600-900, and the goal is 15 breeding pairs or 150 wolves. Wolves eat 10-15#s of meat a day....she wouldn't give me an est on how many animals a yr a wolf kills.

She did say these wolves are getting really smart and its getting harder for her to catch/collar them.

She was way more interesting to talk to than the admin folks.

29-Mar-18
I had to edit.

600 wolves x 10 pounds of meat a day. That's 6000 pounds of elk meat a day dying in Montana for a over goal wolf population. At an average of 475 pounds for cows and bulls combined. At 6000 pounds a day for 365 days a year for all 600 wolves , that equals 2,130,000 pounds of meat per year dying in Montana to wolves. Divide that by an average elk weight of 475 pounds and that comes up to roughly 4484 elk a year. This is only assuming they eat just elk. This is assuming an average elk weight of only adult animals, both sexes combined. And, this is the best case scenario on numbers of wolves. But, you get the point that they KILL a lot of meat.

Supposing they were at goal numbers of 150 wolves, they'd eat 1500 pounds of elk meat a day, eat 547,500 pounds of elk a year for all 150 wolves, and kill roughly 1153 elk a year. This is assuming the same variables as above. This is also assuming that goal numbers considered appropriate were adhered to and used to determine common sense management instead of lawsuit inflicted, anti hunter driven wolf management. I'd include hunters themselves, that think they know better then the professional biologists in that assumption but, I simply don't have a description for them.

So, in this hypothetical situation, a population at least 4 times over goal, are killing four times more elk then was originally intended. And, have been for a while. It has been said by some here that this increased and unaccounted for effect of too many wolves hasn't put a strain on that resource to the point it has affected hunter opportunity. Really?

The simple fact is hunters that call for a decrease in wolves are being lumped in a category that makes arguing for this injustice easy. It gets over looked every time that hunters call for a decrease in wolf numbers to a much more sensible numbers, (original goal numbers). I don't know why. I can't understand why the topic gets manipulated to something it isn't. Especially when the professionals in charge of setting management goals agree that the wolves need a major decrease in numbers. If that is the case, how is it that anyone could say those that agree are the ones that need to adjust their opinion? How is it those that think wolf numbers are fine where they are at, are correct when the biologists are incorrect? Inquiring minds want to know?

From: MarkU
29-Mar-18
Go the the Idaho F&G website and read their long term elk management plan where they address predation, and also a recent news release on air control of wolves in the Lolo zone. Also check out how many elk zones are at or above population objectives. Also check out how many elk shoulder seasons Montana has to reduce elk numbers.

I personally know quite a few elk hunters who are very successful, year after year, and I never hear them complain about wolves, even though they hunt wolf country. I also know a few who couldn't kill an elk if they were put in a pen with one, and they tend to cry about wolves a lot. In over twenty years of hunting in wolf country, I've only seen two, and one was on the highway. They are the last thing I will worry about when I go elk hunting.

From: Amoebus
30-Mar-18

Amoebus's Link
Beendare - impressive that you were willing to go beyond just the usual talk.

Link is to the MN dnr wolf page for how we are keeping an eye on the 2500-3000 in my state. 'Status & Statistics' page is fascinating if you like the science behind counting something (with the obvious limitations of incoming money).

Also interesting because they have radio collared wolves in areas to determine pack size. One of the packs up where I hunt looks to be similar in size to Mille Lacs lake (207 square miles). Most appear to be close to Winnie (90 square miles) in size.

"You can imagine with that small budget and very little flying they don't have a exact count on wolves."

The wildlife biologists on the site can probably give a lot more details, but unless a species is down to < 50-100 individuals, EVERY count they do is an estimate. Same with deer/elk/moose/cougars/etc. As long as they are doing the same methodology each year, the relative estimates each year give the important data.

Looking at the counts for MN is interesting for the long-term outlook for states that will get wolves. We have had them all along but since the mid-1990s the number has been relatively stable (vary between 2200-3020 but none of the years fall outside the 90% confidence interval). This means to me that, given the available pack land, abundance of deer (main food) and territorial nature of wolves, MN has reached its saturation point. Also note that the northern 1/2 of the state has some of the highest abundances of deer - all is not gloom and doom.

To dig further into the food variety and quantity, go find yourself Mech's book The Wolf.

If you couldn't tell, I pretty much agree with MarkU. I have purposely picked the areas in MN and ID (Lolo) just because of the general hunter fear of the wolves. I have hunted CO during rifle in the past and spent 15 miles driving to the end of the FS road - passing 8-10 hunting camps / mile - similar situation in MT. If I can avoid that zoo, I will.

From: TrapperKayak
30-Mar-18
'Especially when the professionals in charge of setting management goals agree that the wolves need a major decrease in numbers.' 'How is it those that think wolf numbers are fine where they are at, are correct when the biologists are incorrect? Inquiring minds want to know?' Because the ones actually influencing the outcome of wolf management, ie the ones allowing the goal to be 4x higher, are the politicians with the money to influence the outcome, not the actual biologist professionals who know that the numbers should be 150, not 600. The science is rarely used when the politicians (the ones with the real influence) suck up to the money holders. The scientists are correct, but they are not heard and their opinions not heeded. A SOLUTION to this is for the science to be much more well funded and backed by big money sources. Its damn tough to achieve that with all the left wingnuts out there nowdays.

From: TrapperKayak
30-Mar-18
Amoebus, that MN gray wolf policy is exactly what I'm talking about. Full protection is not the answer. High numbers there do not support the need for full ESA protection. Its politics, period. Bunnyhugger left wing nutjob politics. Not science. As for Montana and other states allowing science based managed hunting and trapping wolves, bravo. But the politics are still too influential. The realistic goals should be far lower than the actual numbers seen. But since 80% of the yahoos who now live in Gallatin County and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are from CA and who-knows-where leftyville, and the place is turning into a new CA, God help the elk. I shold have stayed and helped offset this trend with science based facts I was trained in. Now I can only attempt to enlighten from 'here'. I'm not a expert, but it is just plain logic.

From: TD
30-Mar-18
If it effects tag numbers and allocations..... that's an issue. If you're ok with loss of opportunity for a decade or 3 until it all "balances" out and it swings the other way then you donate your hunting to the cause..... not someone else's. Several units across the west lost tags and opportunity directly due to the wolf introductions. People who scratched out some seasonal income guiding or just grocery stores and gas stations are effected. Maybe talk to some hound guys about how much they love em when the wolves kill their dogs..... WRT game populations, there is a reason AK does aerial shooting in units the moose are struggling. If they don't the moose either don't recover or may take decades to. Elk in the west MOST places still have healthy populations, moose, sheep, recovery's in many areas are on the ropes..... recovery with a year round killing machine.... good luck.

Secondly folks should try to talk some ranchers about the donation of their livestock to the cause. I'm sure they are fine with it, for the cause an' all...... Folks seem to live in their fantasy bubble at times and don't take into account people that are forced to live and work around the issues created by others. The easy popular stances are ones you don't have to make any effort or sacrifice for.

In the west wolves had not been a factor in the wild for over a 100 years. They are still not a factor in many states that have very good, healthy, well managed wildlife populations. They are proven over time to be completely unnecessary to a "healthy" environment. A great many theories on "why" they were introduced, from emotional romanticism to a master plan to eliminate man and hunting as a management tool. But none were a necessity, not in any way shape or form. Now somebody has to shoulder the effects of living and dealing with them 24/7/365. People who didn't sign up for it, but was forced on them anyhow.

Part of nature..... termites and cockroaches are a part of nature as well. And I'll still "manage" every single one I come across by any means possible, given the chance. Well, you know..... as long as I have termite tags and they're in season....

Good luck CO, CA, OR, WA, etc....... you're going to need it. Because folks with no skin in the game and don't have to live with their issues are going to force them on you, kicking in the front door or sneaking them in the back...... one way or another.... like it or not..... then leave it up to someone else to have to deal with it.

From: Beendare
30-Mar-18
^good points TD.

Yeah, i have an open mind....but when I hear a gal in charge tell me she covers a 1100 sqmi area solo with a $30k budget....easy to read between the lines; she can't possibly know how many wolves there are.

If we truly are going to manage them, how do we do that with limited resources, a F&G that doesn't have an accurate count and a political environment where the pros aren't making the decisions?

A total Chit show, IMO

From: Glunt@work
30-Mar-18
I would guess her budget may be $30K but that is not the total MFW&P budget for wolves. Their estimated budget for wolves was $765K back in 2002. Not sure what it is now but my guess is its higher than 16 years ago.

From: Beendare
31-Mar-18
^Oh yeah, her budget is only a small part of it.

Trying to get to the whole budget.....including the time wardens spend dealing with this, lawyers, academics doing the research, office staff dealing with wolf stuff....my guess is its a pretty significant % of their annual budget ...which is essentially my point;

Are Wolves really worth all of this?

From: ELKMAN
01-Apr-18
^^^Bruce has it right as usual...

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