MN is the only state in the contiguous US that has always held a viable gray wolf population. There is no evidence of AK wolf hybridization in MN gray wolves. What is Cunnickistani? I can find no reference on the internet. If you have some proof of AK or Cunnickistani hybridization in MN wolves I would like to see it.
Pig Doc's Link
Well HH, since MN and Canada border each other, and wolves don't know where the border is, and if they did would not be afraid to cross it, I would agree MN and eastern Canadian wolves share genetic material. Not sure what this has to do with anything as wolves have been in MN and Canada forever. MN wolves are not hybridized with AK wolves and not hybridized with "Cannuckian" wolves as they are one and the same.
If anyone is interested in learning about the taxonomy of MN wolves, the link takes you to a paper by David Mech, a world renowned wolf researcher from MN.
In the west they were eradicated for a reason. The success story with elk, moose, etc. in the west the last 50+ years was possible due to few to no wolves. They are totally unnecessary to healthy successful wildlife management. That is a fact, proven for a century or so. They are not "needed", not in any way shape or form.
They were dumped on people who overwhelmingly did not want them, by people who did not have to live nor work around them. Then screwed by a government and yet more people who don't have to deal with them when they reneged on the agreed upon levels for delisting.
I get they are here to stay now. It's still a shame those who have to live with them day to day and feel their effect are now forced to. When they never had to prior, for generations. It was forced on them, dumped in their lap. Forced on them by people with no skin in the game.
ID trying to get a handhold on them with a bounty offered now. WY stuck to their guns and have the best management by far...... off their reservation they are coyotes. No season. No tags. No limit. A dead wolf is a good wolf.... won't kill your calves, your hounds, or your elk and moose....
A good article linked above.
So, Im not sure where this "unfettered reintroduction and protection" is happening, exactly.
bb77, it sounds like you have an activist problem, not a wolf problem.
Matt - Look at Wisconsin.
Wolves are no more wild or natural than termites and cockroaches in your home. If you don't have to live with them..... no big deal. If you have them and want to get rid of them..... well, gosh, ya know they are wild and part of nature and all..... just live with them.... no big deal really....
I’m not a biologist, but feel pretty confident that they’re off by a bit.
I am asking as I reside in a no bear state. They seem to coexist with nature up there, and enough game species survive to support recreational hunting.
Wolves have been great for the economy and the environment wherever they have graced us with their presence!
Just look at the pro-wolf websites and they can tell you how beneficial the wolves have been to the economies of Wyoming and Montana! They have brought in huge amounts of money don’t you know!
And there are even beavers and willows and tweety birds that are coming back in Yellowstone NP since the wolves have reduced the overpopulation of elk and moose!
How can anyone argue with those facts?
Total BS. The problem is that they use this crap to market the politicians and nonhunting public to the point that they believe this s#!t!
The goal is to end hunting. Can’t be taking food from the poor wolves! If you can’t hunt, you don’t need a gun. If you don’t need guns, they should all be illegal. With that goal in mind, I am all in favor of total eradication of all of them. After they have been fed all the feral horses.
Many Colorado hunters were outraged when wolves were reintroduce toYellowstone. They were convinced they'd migrate to CO and devastate our elk, moose, and deer herds. We've had maybe 3 confirmed sightings in the last decade.
Much to do about nothing.
Luckily, the local folks up here have been able to minimize the impacts fairly successfully so far.
Unfortunately, the current political climate will likely ensure wolves being dumped in droves. Just wish they would dump them all in downtown Denver and Boulder so the bastards that want them can have them! We sure as Hell don’t!
Page three. Latest DNR estimate is that the Flag River Pack consists of two wolves.
Look at the picture Matt. Do you believe that those tracks were made by 2-5 wolves?
You don't really believe there are only 370 wolves in WY do you? There are also just 700 grizzlies in the GYE too.
Look, I don't think reintroduction was necesssary or well advised, but I don't think it's nearly the problem some of you make it out to be. If anything, reintroduction has provided another species to hunt in the states that have delisted them.
370 wolves X 20 elk per year = 7,400 elk eaten per year
Total archery take in Wyoming for 2017 is less than 3,000
They also stated that 2017 marked the 16th year in a row that the wolf population in Wyoming was above the USFW planned recovery objectives.
WY G&F also estimates that the wolf population has continued to increase since hunting was allowed to resume.
Still 100% in favor of eradicating all wolves.
1. Total elk licenses sold = 70, 593
2. Total elk harvested by hunters = 24, 535 or a 34.7% success rate
3. Total wolf licenses sold = 2527
4. Total number of wolves killed by hunters = 44 or a 1.7% success rate.
Either wolf hunters in Wyoming suck, or there isn't nearly as many wolves as some of you 'experts' think.
I don't think anyone should be for eradicating them, but their numbers, like grizzlies, are way too high.
Or several thousand square miles in this scenario...
No doubt. The horse is already out of the barn though. Hunters were screwed before we even knew it when they reintroduced these things.
I hunt around 50 miles from Ely and the hunting this year was as good as we have seen in the last 5 years. Plenty of wolves. Plenty of deer - when we have decent winters. When there are 2-3 harsh winters, then the deer go down. Pattern repeat. I grew up in N MN and had an established pack that would regularly frequent the Aitkin <-> Grand Rapids woods where we hunted.
Just a note on counting wolves. You cannot. At least, you cannot count every animal like some of you think the state wildlife agencies should. Too much land, too many wolves and too few dollars. If you want all of the DNRs monies to go to counting wolves, other things will suffer. Here is a link to how MN counts wolves each year:
I don't have any idea if other states have this robust of a methodology - MN has been doing this for a long time compared to the recent arrivals.
In MN, the count is for a mid-winter number of wolves. This is before pups are hatched. If the count is 2500 (typical MN), then it is probably 4-5000 come spring. If it is a tough year, then more than 2500 will die (from a lot of reasons - see Mech). If there are plenty of deer and other prey, then less than 2500 will die. Repeat.
I have to get back to my lunch elk burger (shot in one of the common zones that people cite as the wolves having taken over). Later, I am going to make some more brats/breakfast sausage with my deer shot in the barrens of N MN.
Good hunting all.
Do you own any acreage in the west? If so, how much? Do you manage any wildlife on the acreage you own? My answers to those questions are 'yes', '70 acres', and 'plenty', respectively. How about you?
Grey Ghost's Link
I assume you own your land in Colorado and your wolf problem is no worse than mine in KY.
Not me, but I do pick areas that are known for wolves. Hunters (like deer) are a skitterish bunch. Start a rumor that all the deer/elk are dead and it will send us scurrying like cockroaches when the lights come on.
My hunting partner for elk reported that, in its heyday, the road he puts his tent on had 50 camps in 15-20 miles. The last 2 years, we saw a total of 0 and 1 other camp. I will gladly see fewer elk/deer if it means I see fewer hunters (although in this case we see more elk and no hunters). Every forum I post on gets the message that wolves have completely destroyed that unit.
Nice dodge. How many acres do you own in KY? And what makes you more of an authority on Wyoming's wolves than their own Game and Fish Department?
I don't believe Wyoming has less than 400 wolves, just like I don't believe that the GYE grizzly population is 700. I also believe that Wyoming Fish and Game is as competent as any agency in the country. Their competence doesn't keep them from being subject to political BS though.
As far as owning land in KY? I have no need for hunting land. I have access to hunt numerous private properties and have more land to hunt than I could ever possibly hunt.
Pig Doc..... you might want to talk to those ranchers that own where you're elk hunting and ask them what they think about the wolves. Which I'm assuming are actually there where you hunt?
I've done DIY in ID a half dozen times. One trip a few years ago in Lolo, ground zero..... I think we saw 3 elk.... total. Never heard a bugle. Talking with friends they have come back a little.... but nowhere NEAR what it used to be. Never killed a monster in ID with the bow.... but have 3 raghorns to show for it. Places in ID you talk wolf with the locals, I mean the people who live and work there FULL TIME..... you'll get an ear full..... might want to tell em how you "live with the wolves" in MN...... I'm sure they'd appreciate it....
Yet, you believe the statistics about how many elk are killed by wolves from the same game managers. I see.
My modest ranch is a frequent home to deer, antelope, turkeys, and coyotes, as well as an assortment of small game. Less frequently I have elk, bears, and mountain lions on my property. Care to guess which species has flourished the most? If you guessed turkeys, you'd be correct, despite the fact they are the easiest targets for predators. Does that make me an expert in game management in Wyoming? Hell no. But, I do have some first hand knowledge about the topic.
So you have a rancher friend in Wyoming, eh? Speaking of anecdotal evidence, I have several, and I spend outdoor time in Wyoming every year. None of the ranchers I know have ever had any problems with wolves. Elk, on the other hand, are a constant headache for a few of them.
The bottom line is, neither of us are experts on wolves in Wyoming, and we both agree that Wyoming's Fish and Game is among the best. So, who are we to dispute the information they provide us?
I hunt public land for elk. Not into paying whiny ranchers thousands of dollars to hunt "their elk" and I really don't give a shit what they think about wolves.
I have no idea of what statistics you are talking about. I might agree with them or disagree with them if I knew what they were.
I really have no idea why we are talking about the game on your ranch? It has nothing to do with this conversation. My whole perspective on this discussion was that ranchers would disagree with wolves NOT being a problem. I never said anything about elk. Elk cause ranchers a whole different set of issues, but to my knowledge they don't kill cattle. I can promise one thing ranchers in western Wyoming are definitely not on the forefront begging for the wolf or grizzly to have ESA protection.
Pig Doc's Link
According to this link from Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission, elk harvests in ID the past 3 years are record high. Maybe you just suck at hunting elk. Looks like others are doing pretty well despite the wolves.
I came to the same conclusion.
" Hunter convicted of illegal wolf kill in Grand Teton National Park"
I know if it doesn't effect some..... they could give a chit. That it effects others, that actually have to live with it..... still don't give a chit. I get it. It's clearly been SOP. If you personally raised range cattle or sheep for your living and were losing thousands due to wolves..... my guess is war would be declared and wolves in the area eliminated. The wolf hugging or eating the losses "for a good cause" would be non-existent.
Look where they wolves are, or have been, to see the effect, not some deflecting with some unrelated statewide numbers. Better yet talk to folks that have lost hounds or cattle, livestock. They will give you the real picture. If you care, which I won't be holding my breath.
Link to ID dept of fish and game press release, 2018. They state expressly the issue is with wolves. And the management seems to be having the desired effect. They need more.
Also ID ranchers and others have formed an association and implemented a wolf bounty, plus get to keep the valuable fur. Those with the right fur bearer licenses are not limited as those buying tags. And have few limits on method of take.
I plan on taking a couple or three someday and have a lady that will make me a wolfskin coat..... plan on wearing it through an airport or something when visiting the mainland in the winter.....
cuz I could give a chit.....
Coming from a blowhard from TN with a fake registration and zero experience with wild wolves. I will give you the credibility you deserve - zero.
I hope to kill a wolf one day too TD. Legally, and unlike you, not because I hate them but because they are arguably the most intelligent wild animal in NA. I have applied for every wolf hunt MN has had and hope they are delisted so we can hunt them again soon. Just sick of people that are too narrow minded to understand wolves are a part of the wilderness and don't need to be eradicated.
Would look good with your grass skirt.
I had to laugh at that one.
When Lewis and Clark undertook their expedition wolves were in abundance, yet they had little difficulty in finding game.
Nothing wrong with people who love wolves as long as they are willing to accept balance. Again, great presentation I attended this past week about environmentalism and conservation and how we have common goals. It was recorded, I will see if I can gain permission to post it.
The quota was something like 58 for 2017. The only zones that had tags left after December were 6,7 and 8 Jackson Hole Valley. Zone 4 was only open for 4 days. Zone 11 was only open for 1 day before it was filled. So to use a total tag numbers sold argument for how many wolves are actually out there isn’t a good argument to bring forth.
On a side note 30 wolves were reported killed outside the wolf management area in 2017. As far as total wolf numbers out there posted by Gand F could be accurate. It could also be purposely deflated for various reasons.
I elk hunted in 2017 in one of Wyoming’s wolf units. I heard wolves every night. I only seen one wolf the 2 weeks I was there. In two weeks of hunting I can only think of one occasion wolves affected my hunt. We had a bull talking one morning. When a wolf howled across the highway. The bull went silent. What I found really interesting on that hunt was the amount of coyotes I heard howl every night.
I am sure wolves and grizzlies affected the elk population in the unit I hunted. I still had a fun hunt and still shot a bull. Packing an elk out at night in grizzly country will make you change the way you do things however. Ike and I packed my bull out in one trip just to avoid going back to a carcass. Wow what a heavy pack that was. Lol
I just wish we could hunt wolves in Mn. The wolf lovers definitely use them against us. I am with you and Matt on the it’s not doom and gloom when it comes to hunters and wolves both hunting. On a side note Mn started a 2 year moose mortality study. After the first year 75% of the moose deaths were related to wolves. I am still curious why nothing had been printed on year number 2. My suspicion is they cancelled the study after the first year.
When Lewis and Clark had there expedition there were what 60 million bison running around. There also wasn’t millions of hunters targeting game animals either at that time.
I can see why they had no problems acquiring game animals.
Asking sincerely...are the 30 reportedly killed the real total? How many succumb to the three S "virus"?
I agree, but reading some of the posts above wolves kill more than Bowhunters do. Wolves certainly were not capable of eliminating the buffalo, white man did.
Hunter numbers are poised to fall by most forecasts. Deer numbers dropped measurably a few years ago where I hunt. Not because of coyotes, but liberal harvests.
I love to hear yotes call, and I bet most true outdoorsman love wolf music as well. Heck, I would be glad to have more non-human predators and less humans in the woods.
4. Total number of wolves killed by hunters = 44 or a 1.7% success rate.
Either wolf hunters in Wyoming suck, or there isn't nearly as many wolves as some of you 'experts' think."
1) Most of those tags sold are to people who buy them to have as an incidental take. They don't actually go wolf hunting. They have a tag just in case they see one while hunting something else like elk or deer.
2) Wolves, as is the case with all predators, are very difficult to hunt due to their elusive nature, low overall numbers per square mile, and often times nocturnal habits. This is why bears and lions are often times hunted with dogs. You can't just get in a tree and wait for one to waltz by like you can any ruminant. You could, but it's not going to be very effective.
3) Wolves are not a game animal insofar as they don't provide meat, so people don't go after them like they do deer and elk, which are a far more traditional hunting target.
I would think the number not reported is not 0. The 30 number is what Wyoming G and F published.
If I was a betting man I would think Mn has a fair amount of that going on as well. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out why Mn has hovered on a 3000 wolf number for years.
Might wolf hunting also gain in popularity like yote hunting did?
I am going to hunt wolves one of these years and I will be calling for them just like I do for coyotes.
When Mn had its wolf season. The quota was filled fairly quickly as well. Easier terrain to hunt once snow flys.
I attempted to provide those official estimates and provided a photo that could cause one to infer that those estimates are in error.
Interestingly enough, not too long ago the WIDNR revised their bear population estimates. They increased their estimate by a factor of three.
I would suggest that logic points to the game managers in WI being in error.
I would suggest that politics may have a great deal to do with that.
I have never suggested that wolves be extirpated in WI. However, I believe that they need to be managed. Which they are not.
I believe that there is evidence to support my assertions... regardless of my “nobody on an Internet forum” status.
And from my experience, a personal attack from you seems to be out of character. You alright brother?
If it effects hunting tags, seasons.... opportunity.... they don't make enough wolves worth losing that for me..... much less effect the livelihood of folks forced to live and and work there with them..... that had them stuffed down their throats with the barrel of a gun.
Just ponder that a moment..... having such a thing forced on you where you live. Be like suddenly feral pigs are protected and they're going to introduce them across your state. Too bad about you farmers getting your fields destroyed, what it costs you.... they serve no real purpose... but we think they're cute....
Wolves were NEVER "eradicated" much less ever "endangered" in NA. Never. Anyone's claims as such are a lie. You don't pay people to shoot endangered animals out of aircraft. What they did is introduced them into a landscape of literally islands of habitat where they haven't been in a century. Then seemed shocked when things went south. They are not necessary to that environment in any way shape or form, again, haven't been for a century..... but for some romantic notion. If they looked like opossums instead of yuppie puppies like fluffy nobody would give a rip.
They turned loose the true alpha predator.... one with a high rate of reproduction that hunts 24/7 365 days a year with no limit nor regulation.... nor any natural control but for killing themselves out of house and home and moving on. It cost taxpayers millions to introduce them (sooo cute...).... millions more in litigation after being more than 3 times over goals, lying to peoples face and reneging on the original agreed upon goals for delisting. And as evidence to such a wonderful natural "balance"..... now millions more to pay for "management" such as aerial depredation needed now to try and minimize their damage to wildlife and property after just a few years of establishment.
Yotes... and big yotes are pretty much the only things I'd consider picking up a rifle for. I'd shoot all I had a chance at, always have and always will. Was a bounty on yotes in CA when I was a kid and did everything from rifle over call and bait, trapping.... and was a gunner in a cub once with an 870, pretty thilling. But hunting them as game animals is a joke WRT management. Wolves that bump into other packs will kill more wolves than hunters will. They ARE the hole in the ground you dump money into WRT wildlife and management. Ask some AK guys. Folks with experience with what wolves are, and do. Game herds don't recover without wolf "management".
WRT MN..... glad you folks like em there. (although ya should talk to some WI folks that aren't real thrilled....) It's your turf, be nice if it was actually up to you one way or another, but I get it. I should have no say in it, I don't live there. People that do live there should. I know I'll never hunt there, see no attraction for out of state, deer and such elsewhere are better.
I understand local hunting, grew up on a 2000 acre farm in the mountains of northern CA with OK hunting, killed a bunch of deer, blacktail and muleys, ran a lot of bears.... but better in many western states, depending. Not many plan NR CA mule deer hunts. Especially after putting lions on the protected list....sigh.... deer in the area aren't extinct.... just not many left. Fewer to eat they're moving into towns and eating pets.... attacking people. And spending a fortune on lion management, paying state hunters. If anyone actually read, you know, the OP.... very similar. Stupid management is all. Management by emotion and politics.
I've been involved in 2 official Game and Fish head counts. In my case it was for Bighorn Sheep, which are one of the most highly managed species in Colorado. I know that these counts aren't an exact science. But, after scouting the unit for 5 months, and hunting it for a total of 4 weeks over 2 seasons, I think I knew where at least 90% of the sheep were in the unit. The head count estimates were pretty darn accurate.
In Wyoming's case, 85% of the state can kill wolves on sight with no license. You know damn well there aren't many wolves in those areas. So, that leaves 15% of the state with a managed wolf population. 400-500 wolves seems like a very believable number to me.
Everything I'm reading from a wildlife management perspective indicates the Yellowstone wolf reintroduction accomplished it's intended goals and was a success. It seems they are doing a good job of managing the wolf population at a level were they can coexist, which I personally think is a good thing.
On that, I'm out. 16" of fresh powder on the slopes is calling my name.
I'm guessing the wolves and Indians felt the same when a bunch of white folks showed up with guns and poison. Who was there first TD?
I'm out too. Made my points. Headed to Big Sky for a week and hoping there is fresh powder there too.
Doc.... I'll take your heartfelt shark jumping statements a little more seriously when I see that you've deeded all your property back to the tribes.....
They didn't introduce Native Americans into your back yard...... a century or two after the fact..... maybe write some African Americans a check as reparations for slavery while your at it.... I've got some family grievances with Great Briton I've been meaning to write them about too..... but none of that will pay ranchers for their livestock, houndsmen for their hounds or increase tags and opportunity for hunters.
Have a great weekend folks. I'm bowhunting Sunday, bird season's over......