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See a wolf... what would you do?

 
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  #15  
Old 12-24-2011, 01:08 AM
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Re: See a wolf... what would you do?

You need to look at what wolf was present in MT prior to the introduction, it is NOT the same wolf that we've had in this area and never did get completely killed of. Prior to the introduction we had plenty of wolves, but they were not the large apex predator that was introduced, they were the native wolf that was doing just fine with very few issues they did not multiply at this rate, they did not make huge impacts on the prey species, they did not wipe out our entire moose population. The largest pack of native wolves I know of was 7 members, that's it, the most I've ever tracked in a pack was 4. I've found very few kills from the wolves that were here they left very little, never had them come to my hounds while running lions even though they were in the area. This is not the case with the introduced wolf!!!

I have no interest in managing this introduced wolf I want it gone, this is not the apex predator for this ecosystem and it's abundantly clear.
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  #16  
Old 12-24-2011, 01:43 AM
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Re: See a wolf... what would you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phorwath View Post
But they were exterminated in the western states. Which is why they were re-introduced. They weren't introduced as a non-native species. They were re-introduced to lands they'd inhabited long before the white man arrived. Even within this thread there's the claim they're an invading non-native species in these western States. They were abundant until they were trapped, hunted, and poisoned to extermination.
They weren't exterminated in the Western States. That is one of the big lies. Northern Idaho and Montana have always had timber wolves being so close to Canada. Like I mentioned before there were wolves in the lower parts of ID, MT, and WY as well. I guess my point is that I don't for a minute buy that this "reintroduction" was for the purpose of wolf proliferation. They were already here. It also wasn't becuase they were endangered, there are 100's of thousands throughout the whole world and 10's of thousands in and around the Rockies. Now comes the grizzly bear "reintroduction". Like they aren't here now. Hell, maybe we can do some Jurassic park science and reintroduce the sabre tooth tiger too. They were after all originally here! Not snarling at you Phorwath, just at what I deem to be bad science based more on money and politics than any real care for wildlife.


Quote:
Originally Posted by phorwath View Post
They weren't introduced as a non-native species. They were re-introduced to lands they'd inhabited long before the white man arrived. Even within this thread there's the claim they're an invading non-native species in these western States.
The non-native or invasive wolf argument is not a topic I am willing to dismiss. Prior to 1994 I had multiple encounters with wolves in Idaho in some of the most rugged parts of the Sawtooth Mountains. Beautiful creatures and great experiences each time! In every case they were much smaller than the ones reintroduced. They were also much more cautious and elusive.
There are only a couple options here.
1. All the packs I saw were immature wolves:very unlikely. 2. The species of wolves in Idaho prior to the re-introduction were not timber wolves. Very possible. 3. Somehow the Idaho wolves prior to 1995 had grown smaller compared to their ancestors: Devolution perhaps
I am not saying I have the answer to this and I realize my info is anecdotal but there are a lot more folks saying similar things than just me and the funny thing is they are just good ol boys that work hard and grew up in this country, not some suited up politician trying to convince me of something. Sorry but I have a lot more faith in my neighbors than I do in some politician or government scientist that is very likely motivated by forces I can't see.

Option #2 is really the only options that makes sense to me. Idaho fish and game biologists have off the record made some comments that would leave me to believe that there is a genetic difference as well. I just find it interesting that we can shut down major industries to find out exactly which variation of the striped green tree frog is being harmed but in this case there is zero information on potential genetic differences. Interestingly, with the 2nd go-around of wolf re-introduction into the States, the feds are now very serious about making sure they get pure genetic Mexican wolves for reintroduction into Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. They are either learning from their mistakes or are making sure there isn't that argument to use against them this time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phorwath View Post

I am primarily noting my observation of how resistant people, including hunters, are to change. Wipe out the western timber wolf and after a generation or two they're considered an invasive, non-native species? The Indians managed to survive with wolves competing for the available game species. With modern wildlife management, we can often minimize the wild swings in populations of predator/prey species that commonly occur when simply left to mother nature.
I guess I look at it a little differently. I am not resistant to change per se. But I am very resistant to the federal government and environmentalist groups outside of our State telling us how to manage elite predators. Idaho chose long ago to bolster big game populations for the purpose of industry, recreation and food. IMO, the States and their citizenry have every right to do so. Therefore States should have the right to manage predators at lower numbers so big game numbers can be increased to reached the desired goals. We are not being allowed to do this and it is at the cost of our big game herds and 100's of millions of dollars that have been spent over the last 40-50 years.

Also, the Indians survived with wolves because nature was the only regulating force at that time. The ebb and flow of predator vs prey was naturally balancing. We do not live in that world any longer. We have artificially bolstered our big game numbers with sound management practices and have now introduced an elite predator to the mix that can't be managed. I would think most folks would see this for what it is, a recipe for disaster. And not just for the industry, recreation, food source and big game numbers but also for the wolves. If left unchecked the food supply will continue to crash and the wolves will starve to death until a balance is met. I wonder what all the environmental wackos will be saying when their cash cow is seen all over TV dieing one of the worse deaths possible. Like you said some wolves will try about anything to survive and WILL end up attacking a human and then all hell will break loose here. You think the wolves were persecuted in the late 1800's, wait till the something like this happens. It isn't going to be pretty. State management is the only answer and I would prefer that management to be based on the original agreement of 15 packs and 150 wolves in Idaho. This is the best way to help our economy and regain our recreational activities.

States have successfully managed other elite predator like bears and cats for 50 years. So why can't they do it with wolves? The answer is simple. There is far more wrapped up in this than wildlife management. Unfortunately it is at the very bottom of the priority list.

Scot E.
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  #17  
Old 12-24-2011, 01:46 AM
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Re: See a wolf... what would you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigngreen View Post
You need to look at what wolf was present in MT prior to the introduction, it is NOT the same wolf that we've had in this area and never did get completely killed of. Prior to the introduction we had plenty of wolves, but they were not the large apex predator that was introduced, they were the native wolf that was doing just fine with very few issues they did not multiply at this rate, they did not make huge impacts on the prey species, they did not wipe out our entire moose population. The largest pack of native wolves I know of was 7 members, that's it, the most I've ever tracked in a pack was 4. I've found very few kills from the wolves that were here they left very little, never had them come to my hounds while running lions even though they were in the area. This is not the case with the introduced wolf!!!

I have no interest in managing this introduced wolf I want it gone, this is not the apex predator for this ecosystem and it's abundantly clear.
There was a landowner near McCall that had the F&G come in and destroy 2 packs that were denned up on his property. They expected to kill about 20 wolves and ended up killing close to 60. I completely agree that these packs sizes were not what was seen before the reintroduction in the mid 90's.

Scot E.
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  #18  
Old 12-24-2011, 01:48 AM
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Re: See a wolf... what would you do?

Being a fellow Montanan, I whole hardily agree with bigngreen. I will do my part to reduce the wolf population however I can. I have as many tags as I do rounds loaded up.

These were shoved down our throats by a bunch of know it alls and look what its done to our game herds. As far as I am concerned the fwp can kiss my furry butt.
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  #19  
Old 12-24-2011, 02:19 AM
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Re: See a wolf... what would you do?

If I'm wrong on this species of wolf then my apologies. The PBS show I watched on the introduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park led me to believe wolves had historically been present in Yellowstone. I heard no mention of these introduced wolves being non-native, analogous to an invasive species. That practice is universally resisted by USFW Service in Alaska and everywhere else I've read about.

So what became of the western wolves? I have always read and believed they were exterminated. Is there a reason those original western plains wolves were not re-introduced? Are they extinct? Is the timber wolf the closest viable genetic relative to the wolves that used to inhabit the west? I expect the answer to my questions are that the timber wolf or grey wolf is the closest available match to the specific sub-species of wolf that originally lived out west, and that's why the USF&W Service chose to re-establish the area with this species of wolf. If a viable population of the exact sub-species of wolf that used to inhabit the western states was available, USF&W Service would surely have transplanted that same sub-species of wolf back into the same geographical areas they used to inhabit. Bacause that has always been their policy, to my understanding. Which leads me back to, the wolves that originally inhabited the area were virtually exterminated such that transplanting them back into their homeland wasn't a viable option. So if there's an expert on the sub-species of wolves posting here, I'm all ears to be educated on the finer points of the sub-species of wolves, those exterminated and extinct, and those surviving.

If other members think this Post constitutes fighting, then that's by their own definition and choice.

My opinion is that if the organized hunting community unites behind the stated policy that wolves should be exterminated from the country that they historically inhabited because the big game species in those areas should be prioritized for the exclusive use of hunters, that hunters will damage their cause more than they'll help it. Alaska is about as pro-hunting as it gets, yet such a policy would never prevail - not even up here. You've got the ranchers that might join the cause to rid the land of wolves, but you've also got a lot of non-hunters that use public lands. And on any Federal Lands, you've got the input of citizens from every other State in the country that sound in with fully equal affect as those residents within the States that the Federal Lands are located within.

Anybody ever heard of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge located north of Alaska's Brooks Range? Alaska has no control over whether or not oil is ever developed in ANWR. All Federally owned land.

Last edited by phorwath; 12-24-2011 at 03:46 AM.
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  #20  
Old 12-24-2011, 02:58 AM
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Re: See a wolf... what would you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scot E View Post
Also, the Indians survived with wolves because nature was the only regulating force at that time. The ebb and flow of predator vs prey was naturally balancing. We do not live in that world any longer. We have artificially bolstered our big game numbers with sound management practices and have now introduced an elite predator to the mix that can't be managed. I would think most folks would see this for what it is, a recipe for disaster. And not just for the industry, recreation, food source and big game numbers but also for the wolves. If left unchecked the food supply will continue to crash and the wolves will starve to death until a balance is met. I wonder what all the environmental wackos will be saying when their cash cow is seen all over TV dieing one of the worse deaths possible. Like you said some wolves will try about anything to survive and WILL end up attacking a human and then all hell will break loose here. You think the wolves were persecuted in the late 1800's, wait till something like this happens. It isn't going to be pretty. State management is the only answer and I would prefer that management to be based on the original agreement of 15 packs and 150 wolves in Idaho. This is the best way to help our economy and regain our recreational activities.

States have successfully managed other elite predator like bears and cats for 50 years. So why can't they do it with wolves? The answer is simple. There is far more wrapped up in this than wildlife management. Unfortunately it is at the very bottom of the priority list.

Scot E.
We're probably drifting off-topic. Nature's ebb & flow of predator-prey populations is indeed naturally balancing, but the natural swings can be awfully extreme. Those predator-prey animals aren't thinking about maintaining maximum sustained yield. Only about survival. Humans can, given the proper tools, resources and authority, manage wildlife populations to greatly reduce the extreme swings of wildlife populations that most typically occur if solely left to mother nature and the natural predator-prey relationship. Much of Alaska is so wild that the natural ebb & flow is still in effect. And we do observe some pretty wild swings in caribou and moose populations. Minimizing the extreme natural swings of the pendulum in predator-prey populations is one of the goals of wildlife management. So my point with reference to American native's survival in competition with the wolves was: that if under the extreme predator-prep population swings that existed without professional wildlife management, the native Indians (which were heavily dependent on wildlife) were able to survive, that with modern wildlife management today we should be even better able to achieve less extreme predator-prey population swings, and sustainable yield of the game resource.

I agree absolutely that there's more wrapped up in this than pure wildlife management for maximum sustained yield of the big game population. Wildlife management is attempting to include non-human predator's into the mix. AKA wolves. Because to the disappointment of many, the wildlife in this country doesn't exist for the exclusive use of, and harvest by, hunters... except from the perspective of some hunters... That's the clear unadulterated truth. Those other user groups create the source of the competition, conflicting priorities, and politics which prevents wildlife management for the sole use of big game hunters. Conflicting preferences from the other user groups IS the 'more that's wrapped up in this'. I like to see wildlife management biased towards hunting and hunters, and it very much is in Alaska. Especially on State-owned lands. Jump onto Federal Lands, even in the wilds of Alaska, and the influence of the other user groups from all over the country gets equal consideration. And then the fight begins.

And there-from the fight continues.

Last edited by phorwath; 12-24-2011 at 03:48 AM.
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  #21  
Old 12-24-2011, 03:30 AM
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Re: See a wolf... what would you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmden View Post
phorwath,

These wolves introduced (introduced IS the correct term as something cannot be 're-introduced' that was never here in the first place) in to the Rocky Mountain west are not what was here before the wolves that were here were exterminated, as you say.

Native Rocky Mountain Wolves v. Introduced Canadian Gray Wolves - Black Bear Blog
I did read the majority of the article in this link. It confirmed that USF&W policy is to introduce native species. In fact, it states that introduction of a non-native species is against existing law. Which leads me to believe this specific point can be argued back and forth until the air turns blue. If USF&W Service is legally prohibited from introducing non-native species into any area, then clearly they felt the wolves they introduced out west were a native species. No?

I'm aware that coyotes in different parts of the country look different. Different sizes, different colors. Same with brown bears versus grizzly bears in Alaska and coastal Canada. Animals do evolve over time to a genetic strain that best enables their survival in the geographical region they live in. I'm tending to believe we're talking the same thing here with wolves. Even within the geographical area of Alaska wolves occur with differing coloration in different areas of the State. They also hang in differing pack sizes in different areas of Alaska, dependent upon whether their primary prey species is the relatively small blacktail deer in Southeast Alaska, huge Alaskan moose in SouthCentral Alaska, or caribou in other areas of the State.

Wolves have throughout American history, generated a love-hate relationship. Mostly the hate relationship. Thus the emotionally charged responses coming forward in this Thread. I suspect the subspecies argument must have been assessed and made prior to transplant of these wolves into the western States. And it's apparently an ongoing source of discussion and disagreement. This is analogous to opposing attorneys. They each hire their expert witnesses, who to no one's surprise, interpret the facts in the manner their clients prefer.

The anti-wolf comments evoked here come as no surprise. The political fight over the wolf in the western States will continue for a while. And then eventually the politics will settle into a wildlife management policy that pleases neither extreme fully, but is tolerated by the majority.
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