Hey ELK, I'm not sure I understand your Poll questions!
Maybe some intro is in order here so we get where you are comming from or trying to get to.
I don't live in Wolf country but many years ago the wolf was here and was a very natural predator.
There is no talk about re introducing them here but I would be fine if they did because the Coyotes are running rampid and I suspect doing about the same to our deer population as the wolf is to your Elk.
Following is a recent story in an Idaho Newspaper, I will comment afterward. Idaho Statesman
Edition Date: 04/16/08
No charges will be filed against a rancher who shot two wolves west of Ashton on April 1.
“In my opinion, there is 'reasonable doubt’ whether the wolves were, or were not, molesting livestock or domestic animals,” said Karl H. Lewies, Fremont County prosecuting attorney, in a letter to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
The case stems from the killing of two male wolves. It is the first reported case of wolves being shot in Idaho since they were removed from the endangered species list on March 28.
Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers and the Fremont County prosecutor’s office investigated the incident. The first wolf was shot was within view of the individual’s home and near the landowner’s horses. The second wolf was killed a little more than a mile from the man’s home and horses, Fish and Game officials said. After shooting the first wolf, the man had pursued the second wolf on a snowmobile.
“I have determined that no charges will be filed,” Lewies wrote.
Since delisting, wolves have been cla$$ified as big game animals in Idaho.
Owners of livestock and domestic animals are allowed to kill wolves in the act of attacking or molesting their animals. But wolves taken in this manner must be reported to Fish and Game within 72 hours.
In 1995-96, when wolves were re-introduced, there were just 35 wolves in the state. Today, there are more than 800 wolves roaming Idaho lands.
According to Idaho Fish and Game, the state plans to maintain 500 to 700 wolves.
For some of the back country hunting units in Idaho, the elk are getting scarce because of the number of wolves. Each year the wolves have been extending their range. The Idaho Fish & Game sent me a questioneer on wolf siting in Idaho the last hunting season. Following is my response: for wolves less the 50 GPS miles from Boise, Idaho. We were walking into our hunting area in the morning when we heard a wolf howl. Over the next few minutes he howled three or four more times. I know what he was saying. He was saying "I found them, someone come over and help me". So we did. It was about a quarter of a mile to where they were. When we got over there, we seen four elk running, more or less towards us. The elk were more concerned about what was behind them than they were of us. They ran past about a 100 yards from us. We did not shoot because they were running and we were muzzle-loader hunting. The wolves belong in Yellowstone Park. They should have kept them there. To say that they are unpopular is an understatement. Maybe they can reintroduce them in New York, They kill coyotes on sight...
Sadly, there was a time when nature was able to take care of her self!
Over population of one species was usually met by an increase in another predatory one to keep things in check and ballance out the echo system.
We don't ever seem to get it right when we attempt to bring natural predators back after they have been descimated.
I don't know a thing about the Elk population in Idaho or the wolf situation there as I am sure you do.
Here in NY the DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) has made more mistakes then I care to even mention. I suspect this is what is happening out by you.
For a long time we had way too many deer here and they caused major problems both on the roads with cars and in the woods with over eating and then starving. NY brought back the coyotes to keep the deer heard in check because people these days just are not hunters like they used to be.
Coyotes flourished because they can survive on just about anything. The problem is there is no natural predator for them.
Most of the farms are gone here now so there are very few corn or alfalfa fields left to feed the deer. We have a major problem with the Gypsy moth. While they are in the catipillar stage they strip thousands of acres of trees so the trees don't produce nut crops that year. The deer have no food and the coyotes now have fewer deer to feed on.
As a kid I could always go rabbit or bird hunting and always come home with dinner. Today, I would be hard pressed to even find a rabbit or pheasant because the coyotes have them just about gone.
My neighbor loves to hunt and in the past few years has taken up coyote hunting. He got 52 last winter and I can stand out on my back deck every night and hear the coyotes howling from 5 different directions.
Soon, the deer will have fawns and I will see a few in my back yard. Usually from the same doe who has been here right along. It won't be more then a week or two and I'll see her with no fawns left. I can take a walk and find the remains the coyotes left.
The only smart thing coyotes do is they seem to leave livestock and pets alone and stay in the woods. Soon though, there will be no more game for them and problems will become comon.
Seems to me that every time man tries to ballance nature he misses a couple major facts along the way.
There is a term "Don't F#@$ with mother nature" and we still have not learned to believe it.
The animals that were here 40 years ago when I was a kid were Deer, Bear, Mink, Fox, Racoons, Beaver, Muskrat, Rabbit, Partridge and Pheasants. Now we have very few of these left and plenty of coyotes that were re introduced back in the early 1980s.
Time to tune up the .223 and buy a rabbit call box to bring in the coyotes I guess.
Your problems with the wolves will likely get alot worse before it gets better so my thought would be similar for you and I don't plan on doing much reporting like we are supposed to.
I think my wife summed it up best. A bunch of people were talking about the wolves, spotted owls and other creatures and they asked my wife if she liked wild animals. She replied that she just loved them, especially fried. :angel:
It looks like everyone is choosing up sides. Following is a report put out by Idaho F & G: Wolf Report: Hunting Seasons Considered
Deep and lingering snows are keeping wolves in lower elevations mostly along winter range later than usual this year, providing more opportunity for wolves to be in close proximity to cattle calving operations.
But this year may be the first time in Idaho history that a wolf hunting season will help control numbers in some areas.
Fish and Game biologists have set this schedule for wolf rule setting:
April 28 - Statewide recommendations were sent to regional offices.
April 30 through May 16 - Public review and comment period.
May 16 - Summaries of regional public comments, and final regional recommendations are due to headquarters.
May 21-22 - Idaho Fish and Game Commission scheduled to consider wolf hunting rules and seasons during meeting at Jerome Fish and Game office.
The number of wolf depredations has increased every year since reintroductions and the resultant wolf control actions under federal authority correlate to the increasing wolf population and wolf activity in areas with high wolf-livestock conflict potential.
Wolf control in April has gone from one depredation incident and no wolf control action in 2005 to 14 depredation incidents and nine wolves killed in 2008.
Many depredation incidents are occurring in areas without historically high levels of depredations, including Council-Cambridge area, Horseshoe Bend, Lemhi, Pahsimeroi, Ashton, Mountain Home and other locations on private ground far from core wolf areas.
From March 28 through April 24 officials recorded 17 wolf mortalities: nine kills authorized in livestock depredations, two illegal takes, three killed under state law, two vehicle collisions, and one natural death.
Meanwhile, 12 conservation groups Monday, April 28, sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over delisting the gray wolf in the Northern Rocky Mountains.
The groups are asking the U.S. District Court in Missoula to suspend state management of wolves until the case is resolved.
We have the same problem here but with coyotes.They kill about 3 to 4 calves every year and we kill every coyote we see.But it seems like every coyote u kill 3 takes it place.I dont think u can get rid of them.
I see in the Junes issue of Field and Stream they have an article about the wolves in the northwest. One of the things they stated was that there has only been one documented case where wolves had attack and killed a person. I think its like a tree falling in the forest and because no one was around to hear it, no sound was made. What a bunch of B.S.
Idaho has enacted wolf hunting rules and fees. Now it is up to the courts to decide whether the hunting season will occur. Following is an excerpt from the wolf season rules.
Wolf hunting will start on Sept. 15 in backcountry units in the Frank Church and Selway wilderness, and Oct. 1 in remaining units. The season will run until Dec. 31 unless quotas are met, and F&G can extend the season into the winter of 2009.
Hunters will be allowed one wolf per year. A wolf tag will cost $10.50.
Hunters will have to report a kill within 72 hours and check the pelt into an F&G office for inspection within 10 days.
No trapping will be allowed in 2008, but F&G will consider it in the future.
No wolf hunting will be allowed within one-half mile of an F&G game feeding site.
Any weapon legal for deer hunting will be legal for wolves.
Electronic calls are not allowed.
Baiting is illegal.
Dogs cannot be used to pursue or attract wolves.
Wolf hunters are not required to retrieve the meat.
This story was posted on the Idaho Fish and Game web site.
Also, one quick amusing story from Husseman: “I was woken up Tuesday about midnight to a noise right outside my tent, which I immediately dismissed as a rodent, and tried to go back to sleep. However, about a minute later I heard the sound of plastic crunching as something was picking up one of the 2.5 gallon water jugs just outside my tent door. I immediately thought “bear,” and clapped my hands and yelled to run it off. I waited a bit to see what would happen, and shortly after I heard the plastic jug crunching about 20 yards above my tent. I reluctantly decided to brave the cold rain coming down and run this critter off, so I
put my headlamp on and got out to go to my truck for a bigger flashlight. One quick glance up hill in my headlamp on the way to the truck revealed two green-yellow glowing eyes attached to a prone black form. I got the flashlight and walked towards the glowing eyes, and as I got to 20 yards or so could make out the shape of a youngish looking black wolf. He laid there until I started yelling, then finally got up and walked slowly up the hill. I eventually got him chased off, and then went to retrieve my water jug, which turns out was the nearly full one. Also, in addition to taking my water, I found my catch pole laying there, which apparently was the source of the first noise that initially woke me up and another item this wolf apparently was interested in. The jug was pretty well chewed up in the short time my visitor was there, and I now have a nice memento with perfect canine bite impressions to remember him by.”
Editor’s Note: Wolves can usually be easily scared away from camps day or night by yelling, banging pots, using noise makers, pepper spray etc., but similar to all carnivores they may be attracted to camps by the smell of foods, meat hanging, scents around camp, dogs, etc. They may also be using the area you are visiting as a rendezvous site. To avoid conflicts with wolves, bears, and other wildlife, please keep a clean camp and store food in a hard sided vehicle or hang between two trees 10 feet off the ground, or use bear resistant containers. Please report any incident to the nearest Fish and Game office or online at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/wolf_report/
Following is the latest update by Idaho F. & G. I think these people belong to one of the three types of people that Cathead77 talks about in his signature.
IDAHO FISH AND GAME
HEADQUARTERS NEWS RELEASE
Date: July 14, 2008
Contact: Ed Mitchell
wolf report: f&g investigates wolf killings
Idaho Fish and Game and federal officers are investigating three wolf killings.
A June 27 investigation showed a wolf killed by a sheepherder on June 21 on Thorne Butte in Boise County was determined to be legal under state law. The wolf was attacking the sheepherder's two border collies.
Officials investigated an illegally taken wolf in Casner Creek near Lowman. The wolf was shot with a small caliber rifle, either .22-250 or .223. The investigation is ongoing.
Fish and Game and U.S.D.A. Wildlife Service officers investigated a call that an Arco landowner and rancher had killed a wolf that was in with his cattle on the south side of Timbered Dome. The investigation showed that the take was legal under state law.
Wildlife Services on June 28 confirmed that wolves had killed a calf on BLM public land in the Pahsimeroi. This is the third confirmed depredation by this pack in the past two months. Wildlife Service killed two wolves on July 2 and 3.
On July 8, Wildlife Services investigated a report that wolves had killed several sheep on a Boise National Forest grazing allotment in Lester Creek, just west of Anderson Ranch Reservoir. The carcasses had deteriorated and federal agents could conclude only a "probable' wolf depredation on two sheep.
Wildlife Service confirmed on July 9 that wolves from the Galena pack killed a calf on private property near Obsidian.
Also on July 9, Wildlife Service confirmed that wolves killed a ewe and six lambs and injured another lamb that is unlikely to survive. The incident occurred between Burgdorf and the Salmon River on the Payette National Forest. Two days later, federal agents trapped and killed an adult, gray male and shot and killed another adult, gray male wolf that was seen chasing a guard dog.
On July 10, Wildlife Services confirmed that a pair of wolves killed a calf on private land on Smith's Prairie near Anderson Ranch Reservoir.
A wolf monitoring research project involving the University of Montana, Nez Perce Tribe and Idaho Fish and Game is in its second year and is off to a good start again this year. The field season is 40 percent complete and the scat survey crew has already collected more than 600 genetic samples. This does not mean a change in population but a refinement of the sampling protocol after learning from last year's field season.
The telemetry-howlbox crew continues to obtain data and pup counts - 66 percent of study packs have pup counts and breeding-pair determination - on packs in the four study areas. The crew also continues to test and refine the howlboxes, remote devices that track wolves by recording their howls. Field work will continue through August.
No decision has yet resulted from the May 28 Missoula court hearing on a preliminary injunction in a legal challenge to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to delist gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains.
The injunction was sought by 12 environmental, conservation and animal rights groups, pending the outcome of the lawsuit.
I went muzzle loader hunting in an area today that I usually see a number of deer, I didn't see any tracks. I did see 1 elk track and 8 grouse of which I got two of the grouse. I went over the top of the ridge, which is the boundary between two hunting units. This unit was open for archery hunting. This area is called Hole-in-the-Wall, There are usually a lot of animals in it but because of the tall brush and timber it is usually difficult to see anything. I did not see any deer tracks, and again I saw just one elk track. What I did see though was a young wolf. He had a black radio collar on. He obviously could read that wolves were back on the endangered species list because he just sauntered side hill away from me and walked over the hill. About ten minutes later. I saw a very big wolf. He obviously had not heard the news yet. He was gone so fast that even the dust he kicked up dissipated quickly. Both wolves were within 50 yards of me. Maybe I should leave my weapons and appetite at home and just take my camera with me. It has a very fast shutter speed.
The Canadian Grey Wolf has devastated our Big Game Herds here in Idaho and all thru the other two western states that was also included in the reintroduction of this Wildlife Terrorists. The Moose have almost been completely eliminated and the Elk population is not far behind. We need to quit protecting the Wolf and start protecting our Big Game Herds before that are completely gone. See how these terrorists eat their prey alive! Copy and paste.
Here we go again, maybe we will get a hunting season now. Wolves are smart, as soon as they realize that they are being hunted, they will move away from the rural areas and back into the primitive areas where they should be.
Following is the most recent news in this saga:
Otter says wolf delisting is good for Idaho BOISE -- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he is upholding a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and the Great Lakes from the federal endangered list.
Salazar said Friday wolves would remain a protected species in Wyoming because its law and management plans are not strong enough.
He says the Endangered Species Act successfully had kept the wolf from going extinct in the two regions.
Gov. Otter says the Interior Secretary's decision to uphold the removal of gray wolves from the Endangered Species list will benefit Idaho.
Otter told reporters Friday that allowing the state to manage wolves will be a boon to the $35 million hunting and fishing industry.
Ken Salazar's decision gives Idaho and other states the responsibility for managing wolves under plans already approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. There are an estimated 850 wolves in Idaho.
Wolves in Montana and Idaho had been removed from the list in January. President Barack Obama stalled the change after his inauguration in order to review all executive orders made before he took office.
Otter said he still wants the first available wolf hunting tag.
Idaho is finally going to get a wolf season. It is too late for many of the elk in Idaho. Last year they had an unlimited muzzle loader draw in one elk unit (Sawtooth), this year they only had 50 permits. Hopefully with some wolf control, the elk can re-establish. I hope it is not too late. Following is the recent press release on the establishment of a wolf season in Idaho:
Idaho Fish & Game Commission sets wolf hunt limits
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission, Monday, August 17, set harvest limits for Idaho's first public wolf hunting season this fall.
Fish and Game models indicate Idaho now has at least 1,000 wolves. The population increases at a rate of about 20 percent a year, without hunting.
The commissioners adopted a strategy that would help meet the state's wolf population objective, as outlined in the 2008 Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan.
Hunters will be allowed to take up to 220 wolves this fall and winter. Wolf tags go on sale at 10 a.m. August 24, at all license vendors. A resident tag costs $11.75, and a nonresident tag costs $186.
One of the commission's top considerations is retaining state management of Idaho's growing wolf population. Idaho has an approved wolf management plan, developed with public involvement. The plan was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and found acceptable by a federal judge.
The commissioners' decision is consistent with the population goals set out in the plan.
In 1995 and 1996, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service introduced 35 wolves to central Idaho. Since then they have increased in numbers and expanded their distribution.
Fish and Game has a responsibility to manage those wolves in balance with their prey and their habitat - just as the agency manages other fish and wildlife species. As with other species, hunting seasons on wolves would be part of managing the population.
A wolf hunting season gives Idaho Fish and Game an opportunity to learn how public hunting fits into managing wolves. As Fish and Game learns how effective regulated hunting is, seasons can be adjusted in areas where wolves are causing unacceptable problems for big game herds or domestic livestock.
Wolf managers will use the harvest limits the same way already used effectively with other species that Fish and Game manages. When limits are reached, the season ends.
The commissioners set harvest limits for each of the state's 12 wolf management zones. When the limit is reached in a zone, the season would close in that zone.
Commissioners want to manage the wolf population toward the 2005 level of 520 wolves through regulated hunting (five-times higher than the federal recovery goal). The 2005 wolf population figure was used as a target number because wolf conflicts both with wildlife and livestock increased significantly that year.
Wolves in Idaho and Montana were removed from the endangered species list in May and have been managed under state law since then. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's rule delisting wolves, however, faces challenges in federal court. The outcome of those challenges could affect Idaho wolf hunting season.