"I will not just drop every predator I see, because I do not think that them being around overly effect my hunting. I hunted or have buddies that have hunted in all the states that have had wolves reintroduced and we all get animals every time we go."
If you went out predator calling and walked 5 + mile loops according to a gps and in doing that a few times in the same region you saw 1 pronghorn and 1 desert mule deer w/coyote tracks and coyote scat full of deer hair -would you shoot the coyotes you see ?
I'm sure you would and you'd be doing the right thing.
When i go out and shoot every coyote i see -what fraction of a percent does that take out of the overall coyote population ?
Matter of fact i'm going after them this evening.
I think the whole discussion here is not about wanting to see ALL big predators dead it's about a gov't putting laws on the books to fully protect them.
Had the wolves that were already in the rocky mountain states been managed there would be plenty of wolves in tolerable numbers.There was no need in bringing canadian timber wolves here ,as you say let the hunters due what hunters do.
When i hear a coyote howl in the distance i love it it's all part of the outdoor expierence ,but if that coyote was protected by law and was killing peoples livestock and pets then i'd feel differently.
AIPAC for president !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think I have a bit of info since I have a Ranch in Idaho with wolves on it (in the Nez Perce area) but also live in California. From here, you don't hear ANY of the problems these wolves actually cause, but once you hit Idaho and start reading up or watching the news you'll hear of what mindless killers these packs of wolves are. In one weekend a pack of Wolves in the Stanely area of Idaho killed 6 elk and left them, killed them for sport. Whereas in California you'll get the Lions who will kill - and sometimes kill and bury with the intention of EATING. The wolves however have no such intention. California's Lions are going to become a huge problem soon as food runs out and people keep encroaching on their territories. I feel within the next decade Lion attacks will go up in California due to the fact we aren't allowed to control populations. To me, I would rather hunt the Lions down to safer numbers then know they are dying due to starvation. Very rarely will a lion attack a human unless it's starving. I don't feel it's a fair comparison...
Maybe we should send the California Liberals to Idaho to teach the wolves about bag limits
Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference. - George Washington
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First off, let me say I hope this convesation will stay good hearted. Heated debate is one thing but no need to flame each other which I do not think anyone is doing at this time so I hope it stays this way.
Also, when I refer to the west and east coast liberals, that is exactly who I am referring to. I never did and do not believe you are one of these. I am fully aware of the fine folks that live in your state including yourself that are no different then any other nature loving person. BUT you have to agree that the liberals in these areas are a much larger voice then your conservative voice and that is why we now have wolves in Yellowstone and also Wyoming, Montana and Idaho and at the rate they are going, there will be many more states with them soon.
Now to your comments in preply to mine.
Yes, Predators are enjoyable to watch. That comment has nothing to do with saying it is enjoyable to watch a calf elk being pulled from its mother and eaten alive by a pack of wolves. Does this happen in nature, yes when the wolves were here naturally. SHould it happen now, in my opinion, NO. The reason, there is no need for it. We do not need the wolves to control the game populations, humans can do it much more effiecently and without waste then any wolve pack can and also without the added headaches that come with the packs.
The area I hunt in is in north central Montana, flat land, river bottom hunting that until recently has not had a wolf in it since early in the 1900s. That said, last summer a wolf was hit on the highway just 3 miles from my house. The game populations in my area have not been intruded upon by wolf packs, YET, but if it stays the way it is, they will be before my kids will be able to hunt.
I HAVE witnessed hunting areas that offered 2000 permits a season for either sex elk just a decade ago that now offer less then 100 permits????? IS that effecting how I hunt, you bet it does, figure if 14,000 people apply for 2000 permits every year. What the pecentages of being drawn. Now figure what the odds are with 14,000 people are competing for 100 permits............. Yes it effects me and everyone else in my state as well as the out of staters that get a 10% cut of all our permits as well. So that cuts the number of permits down to only 90 for instate hunters........ Yes it effects me.
Your comment about this is how it will be until the predators start carrying rifles will not hold true either. IT was not like this before the wolves were reintroduced. It does not have to be this way now. The wolves are not a critical componant of the natural ballance in the area, they have not been for decades but now that they have been dropped into an ecosystem that has not had them in it for nearly 100 years, its like dropping a mad man with a gun in the middle of a crowded mall. Only thing is that in this case, there would be no one able to stop the gunman. They could just go and do what they wanted under the rule of natures law. When an ecosystem is not used to a large natural predator in the area, you will not get a natural balance result.
You are correct that lions will bury their kills. SO will grizzlies simply because they can not eat everything in one setting. It is also true that at times they will not return to their kills but more times then not this is because they themselves have been disrupted by human interaction or something has disturbed their kill sight by stinking it up with human smell.
That said, a single cat or bear will not kill nearly as many head of game as a pack of wolves. Cats are also dramatically more efficent killers then wolves. Yes there are some problem cats that need to be eliminated because they are a problem to live stock but this is very rare compared to wild dogs causing problems.
The problem with California cats is that they have no reason to fear humans simply because of the laws your vocal liberal lawmakers have passed not allowing you to hunt them. ITs getting the same way here with the grizzlies. They hear a rifle go off and they know there is a fresh gut pile waiting for them and they come running. They have no fear of humans because there is no reason to, that is why hunters are now being killed in Montana by grizzlies being taken right off their kills. This has not happened yet with wolves but I suspect it will not be long until they figure it out.
If your state would allow cats to be hunted, maybe a few less of those high class hikers would be attacked by cats!!!! We do not have a cat problem in Montana, they fear us and keep their distance in most cases because they have a reason to. The wolves and grizzlies have no reason to fear humans and because of that they do not. Again, another problem with having wolves around. Grizzlies are not that bad, they will not come down in your back yard unless you live right on the front, wolves will follow whereever the herds go.
As far as the inefficent care of the game herds in yellowstone, thats a federal issue my friend, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming has done and are still doing a great job managing the elk herds in those three states. Our elk herds have grown steadily over the years in areas away from wolve packs in spite of may consectutive years of drought.
So what is the cure, well, to be honest, the best would have been to allow selective game harvesting inside the park under very strick supervision which certainly could have been done correctly but again, could you imagine the stick that would have been raised by the liberals screaming about elk being hunted in Yellowstone park!!!! My god it would be better to let the elk herds die off from starvation or disease then that which is what was about to happen.
Fortunately, the libbers came up with the great idea to put in a totally unregulated, unrestricted predator in this ecosystem. Read the sarcasm there!!!
A disease would have been better because once its goes through a herd its over and the herd rebuilds, with wolves, the disease only gets stronger and larger in number until there is no more game to support it and then they move to a different game species or livestock. Again it was not needed to introduce wolves into the area. Humans could have easily managed the elk herds much more efficently if the liberal, progressive minds would have not taken over the issue.
As to your two points of comments that you feel we disagree with.
1. I will not shoot predators on site either. I hunt coyotes in the fall and winter when their pelts are quality. I do not shoot them in the spring when I know they have a den full of pups that will starve to death if I kill their parents. I will however shoot them if they are attacking deer and I see it. This may sound hypicritical to you and if so thats fine but in this area, there are so many small game animals that deer are not a major source of food for coyotes. That is until recently when we have witnessed coyotes hunting in larger packs specifically for deer. This is an evolved behavior and I will do everything I can to eliminate the pack leaders that are teaching this to the rest of the pack. So far, in this area anyway, we have done pretty good at doing this.
I will not shoot a cat on sight, not a bear and probably not a wolf inspite of really wanting to do so to the latter. Now if any were threatening livestock it would be a done deal and I would deal with what came later.
2. We are in agreement here as well. Most people have no idea what they are reintroducing into the wild because they have never seen what really happens in the wild!!!! Unfortunately most people that have the loudest voices come from the big cities and somehow they have the power to tell us what to do. Funny thing is that those people protecting this country, far and away come from the country compared to big city folks, so basically the country folk give the big city libbers the ability to control us.. How ironic is that.
I think by and large we are not disagreeing with much at all expect a few personal experiences that have molded our point of view. If you had wolves in your back yard, I suspect your reaction would be similiar to that of what you did with the domesitc dogs, which by the way is exactly what I would and have done!!!
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+1 Kirby, you expressed our problems nicely. When I start seeing wolf tracks between Gt. Falls and Ft. Benton, (which I have already), I know it wont be long before those tracks become more plentiful. If we dont get a legal way to controll the territory acquisition the packs take, we (ranchers, farmers, and hunters alike) will all be up the creek without a paddle. Breaking the law is not the way to do it, but unless the lawmakers get off their duff and provide for a legal control method, it may be too late.
Most surveys taken believe that deer populations are actually higher than they were at the time of the pilgrims. The belief is that we wiped out all their natural predators, so they have boomed.
This would seem to be born out by the fact that there were something like 1.5 MILLION plus deer/car collisions in the United States last year!
Buffalo populations are down, essentially because we hunted them to the brink of extinction. Elk populations are PROBABLY down from pre-Pilgrim times, but mostly because we pushed them off their native habitat, the open prairies of the US and Canada, and up into the mountains, because we wanted to farm the prairies.
Both Buffalo and Elk populations were HUGE prior to OUR depredations, even with normal Wolf/Cougar/Coyote populations.
Do wolves kill without need, sometimes, maybe. Some of the excess kills are simply young wolves practicing their killing skills, according to researchers.
Do wolves kill livestock? You bet!! Four legged grass eaters are all the same to wolves; they taste good, and if they are easy to kill because they are slow or fenced in, all the better! We bred cows and sheep to be slow, by the way, so that we could keep track of them easier!
Are the wolf populations wiping out the huntable elk and deer?
Maybe they have had some impact, but before you lay all the blame on the wolves and other predators, look at ALL the factors that play a part. Water availability, snow fall, summer temperatures, winter temperatures, forest fires, human encroachment, etc.
I've seen areas that had lots of deer for years suddenly be barren, only to find an area 20 miles away that had no deer suddenly have dozens. There are too many factors to blame it all on predator populations.
It's sort of like global warming. Blaming ALL of global warming on fossil fuel consumption is poor science. There simply isn't enough data over a long enough period to draw the conclusion. Might it be playing a part? Of course! Should we be paying attention? Of course! But drawing conclusions after 2 decades in a system that is as complex and long lived as Earth's? Well that is just bad science.
Predator impact on game animals is in the same place. Are they having an impact? Of course! But just how much impact is still up in the air! I live in Central Washington where we have watched Mule deer populations rise and fall and rise and fall, and we don't have ANY major predators anymore, unless you count coyotes.
As a final example, I have lived in the same house for 9 years, inside of city limits, in a developed neighborhood, although one with large lots. In that time, prior to June of this year, we had had 2 encounters with skunks, both when our dog was off leash at night and found them.
Since June, though, we have had 6 encounters, and I have trapped 4 skunks in a live trap.
Why the sudden increase? Well, I think it is because a developer is putting in a new neighborhood blocks away and the skunks are being pushed out. Can I prove that? Nope! Maybe we've always had skunks in my yard and we just got lucky for all those years!
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.