For those that claim that hunting wolves will not put a dent in the population, please consider this: how was it that the old timers and homesteaders managed to nearly eradicate wolves from the area? Anyone I've talked to said they just up and shot every wolf they saw.
I'm not an expert in this, but IIRC from what I've read, a lot of baiting/trapping methods were employed which would never be allowed today. This accounted for far more wolves than those that were shot. Perhaps someone more informed can confirm or deny.
I have only hunted elk in Montana since 2008. Wolves moved into the area I hunted 2008-2010 just prior to the 2009 season. I can tell you, the change from 2008 to 2009 was drastic...and in 2010 we saw NO ELK during the season despite covering a ton of territory...and nobody else saw any either.
I hunted further east this year, but many of the locals I tipped beers with were from western Montana and told me everyone who hunted was packing up and driving east as there were no longer huntable elk populations in areas that had been rich only a few years before.
This isn't the 1700s anymore. You can't drop in a predator that has been absent for 100 years, with geography that has massively changed (ie elk are restricted to a lot less land) and not have control mechanisms to maintain balance.
The way I see this whole predator introduction, wolf and grizzly glorification on teevee and the way the feds and media take sides with predators is that it's designed to marginalize hunters.
Gun control would be MUCH easier to implement if there was little or no hunting in America. This seems to be the back-door approach they're taking.
If they can direct America's youth towards teevee and games (bread and circuses?) instead of hunting, only a small percentage of them will have any interest in firearms. The smaller the group, the easier to marginalize and demonize.
Media and Hollywood have a long history of portraying both hunters and private gun owners as a threat to society. The agenda behind this is getting clearer every day.
I'm born and raised in Kalispell, MT. I have family in Bozeman, Billings, Harden, and Libby. I have very close friends in evey corner of the state. We are a hunting family, so we've got a good idea of what is going on in the states back country. My job requires that I travel the whole northwest corner of the state. The numbers of deer and elk have changed dramaticly since the introduction of wolves... plain and simple, no question what-so-ever. I've spoke with FWP officials in the Flathead and Gallatin Valleys, as well as several outfitters and litterally several hundred hunters. There is absolutely no question that wolves are impacting game in the areas they've been introduced. Some say that they are just being pushed around to new areas, but I sure haven't seen an abundance of new critters anywhere ( neither has anyone else, FWP included)
The number of deer hit by cars on the highways (hwy93, and hwy2 show the biggest change, and happen to cross areas with some of the highest wolf numbers in the state) have been way lower over the last couple of years. You can trust me one this one, people aren't suddenly driving better!! The numbers of highway road kill doesn't just drop. The traffic is still slowly increasing, but the road kill is dropping?... The hunter harvest is dropping, but near average, winter kill has been average (not counting last winter, which was bad for winter kill, but the season isn't over so we have no numbers yet) so there are still some critters out there. But when the random kill, due to bad timing of critter and car ( a car trying to avoid critters, I might add) suddenly drops off drasticly with only one major change to the environment and no changes to the average car... well, lets just say that it's not rocket science to figure out that the game populations are being adversly effected by a new predator, or all the deer just suddenly figured out the whole moving car thing. I might add that the members of my family that hunt areas with no wolves, have seen NO CHANGE!(not counting the huge winter kill we had last winter)
It's all just what I've seen every day, for the last few years, and not documented science. But for those of us who are out there every day... we just hope we have 3 years in the wolf infested areas left. As for me, I'll be hunting elk east of the mountains this year... and I've noticed an awful lot of "big coyote" guns in guys trucks over here on the west side. Lets just hope they've got enough bullets...
I like things that go "bang"... I love things that go "BOOM!"
I'm convinced that Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks is lying to us about numbers and so is the media. The last several years most Montana newspapers have reported "higher harvest numbers than last year" and similar disinformation.
I talk to other hunters about this every chance I get. They tell me that the number of gunshots heard in specific ares is less than one tenth of what it was before the introduction of the diseased, non-endangered Canadian wolves.
If anyone really wants accurate info on the damage done by wolves, ask the local game processors, they will confirm that their volume is one tenth what it was.
My point of view is not documented science either, but it seems that those officials in charge of providing it are corrupt.
Plus one on that Dook! I just read that they are proposing to extend the wolf season till Jan31 so hunters can get nearer the target harvest number of 220 total wolves killed (Look up KCFW news, it's one of the top stories for Nov2). FWP seems to think that this will be a 25% reduction in wolf population. The article goes on to say that the supposed 425 remaining wolves in the state, will be less likely to attack livestock and wild game populations.
Again, this isn't science on my part. But removing 220 wolves isn't going to make the remaining (supposed) 425 wolves less hungry, or less like to kill for sport. I'm also wondering where they got this 425 is a good number of wolves to keep around? Especially after FWP has admitted that there are probebly several packs that they are completely unaware of. I think Dook is on to something with FWPs magical convenient numbers... If I sucked at my job as bad as they do, I'd get fired!
The BS politics of this whole situation is getting hard to swallow! Everyone if you hunt, have hunted, or ever want to hunt Montana, buy a wolf tag, and use it! (as often as possible)
I like things that go "bang"... I love things that go "BOOM!"
Last edited by threejones; 11-03-2011 at 07:57 AM.
I would urge guys to go and actually talk to the people in FWP and ask how they actually come up with numbers and what methods they use. FWP in NOT controlled solely on science, which is what a good share of them would want, there are two other bosses they answer to, social tolerance and the number one the legislature. Our current elk plan was MANDATED by the legislature NOT by science, in that plan they are required to do an elk count in the late winter which puts a large migratory herd in a lot of where I hunt, FWP knows this herd will not be here for hunting season yet they are mandated to kill a certain percentage by a bogus count, this ends up killing our local elk and hurting that much smaller population.
The wolf deal is much the same, many times the FWP gets kicked in the guts for doing a job they don't like in a way they know isn't right but they do it the way they are told or find a different job, most FWP people I know are of the same opinion we are and know how they have to do things is bogus but at work they have a job just like we do, maybe we should be raking our legislature over the coal as apposed to guys just doing their job. They are bound to the wolf plan that had to meet Federal specs, change the play book and the players my change how they play!
High Fence, Low Fence, Stuck in the Fence, if I can Tag it and Eat it, it's Hunting!
It ain't about wolves! Me thinks its a foot hole on the path to bigger things.
Years ago there was a visible and more or less open effort with a name something like the Greater Columbia ecosystem management plan or some such. It was headed by Gorbachov the used to be USSR head guy. He was working out of a "compound" in the persideo in California (Pardon misspellings)
This project included WY, MT, ID, OR and WA.
There was a time that all of the congressmen and senators from ID met with the outfit to confirm that this effort was suspended. Yeah right!
There was a thick very comprehensive document available online that pretty much described the removal of "people" from the northwest.
A map showed travel corridors for griz covering several towns and cities. Pretty impressive effort. The wolf effort is appears to me to be a step in their direction.
I've been searching for it lately and come up with nothing! Wonder where it went!
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!