Washington wolf pop. nearly doubled last year, WDFW states:

Discussion in 'Wolf Hunting' started by jmden, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Why is this not surprising to anyone who has even a small understanding of what wolves are and do...

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    WDFW NEWS RELEASE
    Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
    600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
    Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

    February 15, 2013
    Contact: Donny Martorello, 360-902-2521
    Nate Pamplin, (360) 902-2693

    State's wolf population nearly doubled last year,
    according to annual survey

    OLYMPIA - The number of confirmed gray wolves and wolf packs in the state nearly doubled during the past year, according to an annual survey released today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

    Based on field reports and aerial monitoring, the 2012 survey confirms the presence of at least 51 wolves in nine wolf packs with a total of five successful breeding pairs. The previous year's survey documented 27 wolves, five wolf packs and three breeding pairs.

    A wolf pack is defined as two or more wolves traveling together. A successful breeding pair is defined as an adult male and female with at least two pups that survive until the end of the calendar year.

    "The survey shows that our state's wolf population is growing quickly," said Nate Pamplin, WDFW wildlife program director. "That growth appears to be the result of both natural reproduction and the continuing in-migration of wolves from Canada and neighboring states."

    Pamplin said the actual number of wolves in Washington state is likely much higher than the number confirmed by the survey, noting that field biologists currently suspect the existence of two additional packs. In addition, lone wolves often go uncounted and those that range into Washington but den in other states are not included in WDFW's survey, he said.

    Considering those factors, and applying an estimate of the average pack size in other western states, there could easily be as many as 100 wolves in Washington, Pamplin said.

    "The survey is the baseline we use to monitor wolves' progress toward recovery," he said. "While we've stepped up our monitoring efforts significantly over the past year, we recognize that it does not account for every wolf within our state's borders."

    One of the nine packs represented in the survey is the Wedge pack, which now has two confirmed members in northeastern Washington. Last summer, WDFW eliminated seven members of the pack to end a series of attacks on an area rancher's cattle that left six calves dead and 10 other animals injured.

    Pamplin said wildlife biologists do not know whether the two wolves living near the Canadian border in Stevens County are members of the original Wedge pack or whether they are new arrivals from inside or outside the state.

    "Either way, we were confident that wolves would repopulate that area," he said. "We really hope to prevent the kind of situation we faced with the Wedge pack last summer by working with ranchers to use non-lethal methods to protect their livestock."

    The gray wolf is currently listed by the state as an endangered species throughout Washington and is federally listed as endangered in the western two-thirds of the state. Once common, wolves were essentially eliminated in most western states during the past century because they preyed on livestock.

    Under the state's Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, wolves can be removed from the state's endangered species list once 15 successful breeding pairs are documented for three consecutive years among three designated wolf-recovery regions. Four pairs are required in Eastern Washington, four pairs in the North Cascades, four pairs in South Cascades/Northwest Coast and three pairs in any recovery region.

    More information on the state's wolf packs and the 2012 survey is available at Washington Wolf Packs | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife .

    Reports of possible wolf sightings can be made to WDFW's wildlife reporting line by calling (877) 933-9847.

    This message has been sent to the Gray Wolf Pack Updates and Information mailing list.
    Visit the WDFW News Release Archive at: News Releases | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
    To UNSUBSCRIBE from this mailing list: Unsubscribe from WDFW E-Mail Mailing Lists | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
     
  2. alaska

    alaska Well-Known Member

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    Go figure each female maybe 6 pups to the litter.....hey I am a rocket scientist!
     

  3. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting jmden. I saw this a couple of days ago, but tracks seen in one of our hunting areas has had me too close to boiling over. Lots of great moose in there, decades in the transport and making of strong herd, we'll see if they last until until 15 breeding pairs are identified. If a female has pups what do they think happened? Could be at least a hundred? We could use a rocket scientist for sure alaska.
     
  4. alaska

    alaska Well-Known Member

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    Shoot shovel and Shutup

    I suggest

    Shoot shovel Shutup

    And here in Alaska and a nice wolf rug for the wall.
     
  5. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Guys we shoot coyotes on site 24 / 7 here. I have killed up to 3 a day. Most years I probably shoot 15 to 20. As does most ranchers in the area. Weekends you see the hunters from the cities come out here to shoot them too. The Gov. trapper flies shooting dozens from a helicopter. These combine efforts can't even make a dent in the population.

    Wolves are harder to kill, they are smarter and stay hidden better and use pack strategy to guard them from getting shot. Lets say the average pack of wolves is 5. Two or three of which are females. Each female has 6 pups and 5 live. That pack goes from 5 to 15 or 20 in one year. The pups will reproduce in 12 to 18 months. the second year that pack of 15 or more , now we have 8 females and 6 males, the 3rd year lets say the females only raise 4 pups ea., now the pack of 5 in 3 years is 46 total. We simply can't kill enough even if we were allowed to shoot them 24 / 7 like the we do yotes.

    But every one is a plus so I will do what I can.

    Jeff
     
  6. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Shooting a wolf is more of a social statement than a factor in controlling their numbers. Its been proven at all points of the globe, poison and aerial gunning where possible are the only effective means of keeping them in check. Shooting them may be the ultimate challenge, and I applaud anyone thats achieved it, through dogged determination, or flat ass luck. I've been fortunate to see a half dozen over the years, and I've ate almost that many tags.
     
  7. dgarrett

    dgarrett Well-Known Member

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    Harpec hit the nail on the head. Gun Hunting has little to NO effect on Wolf Populations. 10/80 was the only way that Wolves were controlled and eventually removed from the landscape. One of the arguements used to bring the wolf back was to control the Bison populations in Yellowstone. As we can see from the News just this week that was total BS just like all the rest of the lies they used. The Wolves just like any wild predator will always chose the less dangerous game to prey on. In many areas entire local populations of Elk are extinct now. If I was in a State where Wolves were just getting started I would fight to have the Legislature keep the Feds from any reintroduction measures. Requiring a 50 year Environmental Impact Study is required to cut firewood but its OK to turn loose a wolf. With many Western States again the Feds right now over gun control. Its a good time to have States fight the Feds over the Endangered Species Act. States supposably own the Wildlife within its borders. There is lots of info on what Wolves have done to our game populations. Our State was complicit with the Feds on Wolf Reintroduction to receive just a few extra jobs and study money. I hope other States saw what happened here and fight any more of this. Also check the so called great Wildlife/Hunting non-profits that are always chasing your $. Many work so close with the State F and G that they were silent for the first 5-6 years after the wolves were released. Our game animal populations were already critically low before they finally put out a public statement against Wolves. To Little to Late to ever get another dollar from me. Darn its easy to get into a long rant on this subject... dgarrett
     
  8. Mike 338

    Mike 338 Well-Known Member

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    dgarrett is correct about 10/80. Poison is how we controlled our predatory canine populations. Disease and starvation will have the greatest impact on the population but it'll be decades before hunters are willing to let the wolf population increase to the point of a major starveout. After that, the populations seem to stabilize on the low side. Until you have to many, there will never be enough disease to crash the population.

    This opinion can get you tarred and feathered.
     
  9. the shotty

    the shotty Well-Known Member

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    Had two confirmed sightings in whatcom county out of Saxon area this past season....
     
  10. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Below is a WDFW Press Release I just received. Apparently the WDFW Commission is making a rule so that landowners can protect there livestock, etc. by killing wolves. It's not a very good rule (I'd write it differently!). But, it's better than nothing. They were pressured by several legislators who in their letter to the commission stated: "Wolf populations are increasing faster than anyone had imagined."

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    WDFW NEWS RELEASE
    Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
    600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
    Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

    April 26, 2013
    Contact: Dave Ware, 360-902-2509

    Fish and Wildlife Commission takes action
    to address wolf attacks on domestic animals

    OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today enacted an emergency rule to permit ranchers, farmers, and other pet and livestock owners in the eastern third of the state to kill a wolf that is attacking their animals.

    The action followed a special meeting of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, during which the commission members instructed WDFW Director Phil Anderson to put the rule into effect. WDFW also is initiating a public rule-making process for the commission to consider whether to adopt permanent rules to address these issues, with a decision expected this fall.

    Commission Chair Miranda Wecker of Naselle said the commission is striving to address the legitimate need of residents to protect their domestic animals without undermining the state's long-term goal of supporting the recovery of gray wolves. Without the emergency rule, animal owners would have had to obtain a "caught in the act" permit from the WDFW director before lethally removing a wolf.

    Today's action followed a request from 10 state legislators, who urged the commission and the department to use their rulemaking authority to address the concerns of residents whose communities are most affected by wolf recovery.

    Anderson said the department endorsed a policy allowing residents to kill wolves that are attacking domestic animals in testimony to the Legislature earlier this year. "As wolf activity increases and the annual turnout of livestock on the range is imminent, there's a greater possibility of wolf-related conflict, so it's important that we take this step now," Anderson said.

    "Wolf populations are increasing faster than anyone had imagined," the legislators said in their April 23 letter. They urged the commission to act quickly "to maintain social tolerance for gray wolves in northeast Washington in the timeliest manner for residents."

    The letter (http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/20130423_letter_to_fwc.pdf ) was signed by current and former leaders of the House and Senate natural resource committees and by several lawmakers from northeast Washington, where most of the state's wolves have established their ranges. The signers include both Republicans and Democrats.

    Anderson said the rapid increase of Washington's gray wolf population, and the experience of other states where similar rules were used during the past 10 to 15 years, make it very unlikely that the emergency rule will impede the species' long-term recovery in Washington.

    WDFW wildlife managers estimate between 50 and 100 gray wolves are present in the state, and that the wolf population nearly doubled in 2012. As of March, there were 10 confirmed packs and two suspected packs, plus two packs with dens in Oregon and British Columbia whose members range into the state. Most of the state's known wolf packs are found in Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties.

    The emergency rule (attached below) allows farmers, ranchers and other domestic animal owners, including their employees or agents, to kill one wolf if it is attacking their animals under the following conditions:

    The rule applies only in areas of Eastern Washington where the gray wolf is not listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. The gray wolf is not federally listed in the eastern third of the state, designated in the state Wolf Conservation and Management Plan as the Eastern Washington Recovery Region.
    The rule allows the owner of a domestic animal to kill only one wolf, for the duration of the regulation. If the owner can make the case that subsequent attacks are likely, he or she will need a permit from the WDFW director to kill an additional wolf during an attack.
    The lethal removal must be reported to WDFW within 24 hours, and the carcass must be provided to the department.
    The owner of the domestic animal that was attacked must grant access or help the department gain access to the property where the wolf was killed to enable investigation and data collection.
    Anyone who kills a wolf that was not attacking a domestic animal as spelled out in the rule will be subject to criminal prosecution for the illegal taking of endangered wildlife.
    "The commission remains committed to the goal of gray wolf recovery in Washington state," said Wecker. "This rule provides an important option to help animal owners, but its impact is clearly limited to cases where wolves are in the act of attacking livestock or pets."

    Anderson said the commission's action responds directly to the concerns and needs of residents in regions where wolves are recovering, and it underscores the importance of prevention.

    "No one wants to experience a wolf attack on their livestock or pets," he said. "There are several steps people can take to minimize that risk. But it can still happen, despite someone's best efforts to prevent it."

    Anderson said animal owners can minimize wolf conflict by:

    Removing attractants to wolves. Good sanitation practices help keep wolves from hanging around pastures containing livestock and becoming habituated to those animals as a food source.
    Moving weakened animals off the range or pasture. Like any predator, wolves are attracted to more susceptible prey. Moving sick and injured animals to protected areas is a common, effective practice.
    Showing a human presence. Wolves prefer to stay away from humans, whom they see as a threat.
    Keeping pets, especially dogs, confined and protected at night.
    Keeping dogs on a leash when walking them where wolves might be present.
    # # #

    EMERGENCY RULE AS APPROVED APRIL 26, 2013

    WAC 232-36-05100B Killing wildlife causing private property damage

    Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 232-36-051:


    An owner of domestic animals, including livestock, the owner's immediate family member, the agent of an owner, or the owner's documented employee may kill one gray wolf (Canis lupus) without a permit issued by the director, regardless of its state classification, if the wolf is attacking their domestic animals.
    This section applies to the area of the state where the gray wolf is not listed as endangered or threatened under the federal endangered species act.
    Any wolf killed under this authority must be reported to the department within twenty-four hours.
    The wolf carcass must be surrendered to the department.
    The owner of the domestic animal must grant or assist the department in gaining access to the property where the wolf was killed for the purposes of data collection or incident investigation.
    If the department finds that a private citizen killed a gray wolf that was not attacking a domestic animal, or that the killing was not consistent with this rule, then that person may be prosecuted for unlawful taking of endangered wildlife under RCW 77.15.120.
    In addition to the provisions of (1), the director may authorize additional removals under RCW 77.12.240.
    This message has been sent to the Gray Wolf Pack Updates and Information mailing list.
    Visit the WDFW News Release Archive at: News Releases | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
    To UNSUBSCRIBE from this mailing list: Unsubscribe from WDFW E-Mail Mailing Lists | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
     
  11. rooster740

    rooster740 Well-Known Member

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    I have to disagree with this statement to some extent. I have seen this statement before and kept my mouth shut. The social statement part rubs me a little. Other then this forum very few people know how my hunting of wolves ended up, hardly a social statement. I see being able to kill wolves a start, and better then nothing, which is what we had for too long. I will agree that just sport hunting is not the most effective method, but I would guess that a lot more die then are tagged, be it poor shooting, or poor tracking. I can also say that being able to legally kill more then one wolf will be a big help in killing wolves, at least in our open country.
    A friend had wolves in his sheep two days ago, and at his house today miles away there was two wolves and a grizzly. The sons-a-beachs are everywhere, if we could kill them year round we could hammer them to pieces. They did it 80 years ago with a lot less!
     
  12. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying to think of a better way to say it, and can't. Other than I do not intentionally slight those doing their part by shooting as many as opportunity presents, and enjoying hell out of it. Shooting is a good start, and makes clear which side you're on. Your passion regarding wolf control is beyond question, and with your first hand living in the middle of them experience, you know as well as anyone what it takes to keep them in check. Many don't know, and have been kind of put to sleep by the propaganda that comes out of Jellystone. The few that wandered out the park and got shot this year were made to seem like we set the population back generations, when biologically it just isn't so. If I over make the point, its with the intention of being heard over that kind of noise. Its pretty silly when you think about our government spending millions under the guise protecting the damn things, and other countries spend millions just to keep them in check. My apologies for the slight. I enjoy reading your exploits, seeing the pictures, and hope you'll continue shooting, and helping others shoot as many wolves as is humanly possible.
     
  13. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    From the AP today. Actually not too bad an article amazingly enough:

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    Draft rule ends protections for gray wolves
    Must Read?Yes 49
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    JOHN FLESHER, AP
    20 hours ago

    FILE - This undated photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sh...
    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal wildlife officials have drafted plans to lift protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, a move that could end a decades-long recovery effort that has restored the animals but only in parts of their historic range.

    The draft U.S. Department of Interior rule obtained by The Associated Press contends the roughly 6,000 wolves now living in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes are enough to prevent the species' extinction. The agency says having gray wolves elsewhere — such as the West Coast, parts of New England and elsewhere in the Rockies — is unnecessary for their long-term survival.

    A small population of Mexican wolves in the Southwest would continue to receive federal protections, as a distinct subspecies of the gray wolf.

    The loss of federal protections would be welcomed by ranchers and others in the agriculture industry, whose stock at times become prey for hungry wolf packs. Yet wildlife advocates say the proposal threatens to cut short the gray wolf's dramatic recovery from widespread extermination.

    The proposal was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday the rule was under review and would be published in the Federal Register and opened to public comment before a final decision is made.

    If the rule is enacted, it would transfer control of wolves to state wildlife agencies by removing them from the federal list of endangered species. The government has been considering such a move since at least 2011, but previously held off given concerns among scientists and wildlife advocates who warn it could effectively halt the species' expansion.

    John Vucetich, a wolf specialist and biologist at Michigan Tech University, said suitable habitat remains in large sections of the Rockies, the nation's midsection and the Northeast. Wolves presently occupy only about 15 percent of their historical range, but that could be greatly expanded if humans allow it, he said.

    "It ends up being a political question more than a biological one," Vucetich said. "It's very unlikely the wolves will make it to places like the Dakotas and the Northeast unless the federal government provides some kind of leadership."

    Meanwhile, increasing wolf numbers in parts of the country have stirred a backlash from agricultural and hunting groups upset by the predator's attacks on livestock and big game herds such as elk. Their complaints spurred Western lawmakers two years ago to remove wolves from the endangered list in five states by force, after the issue got bogged down by environmentalists' lawsuits.

    Paul Schlegel with the American Farm Bureau Federation said any step toward dropping wolves from the endangered list would be welcome to ranchers who have lost cattle, sheep and other animals to wolves or fear they might if the predators enlarge their territory.

    "There's a lot of anxiety when a listed species attacks your livestock and you have no way of protecting them," he said.

    The National Cattlemen's Beef Association said the government also should remove protections for wolves in the Southwest, where agencies have struggled to re-establish wolves in parts of New Mexico and Arizona. That population is believed to number only about 75 animals.

    "Repeated failed attempts to achieve unnaturally high population levels in that region have put undue strain on livestock producers" and government resources, spokesman Chase Adams said.

    Some biologists have argued wolves will continue spreading regardless of their legal status. The animals are prolific breeders, known to journey hundreds of miles in search of new territory. They were wiped out across most of the U.S. early last century following a government sponsored poisoning and trapping campaign.

    In an emailed statement, the Fish and Wildlife Service pointed to "robust" populations of the animals in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes as evidence that gray wolf recovery "is one of the world's great conservation successes."

    Wolves in those two areas lost protections under the Endangered Species Act over the last two years. Advocacy groups have filed federal suits challenging decisions to lift protected status from wolves in Wyoming, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

    "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is evaluating the appropriate management status of the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act outside of these recovered population areas," the agency said in its Friday statement. "This is a matter still under internal review and discussion."

    In some states where wolves have recovered, regulated hunting and trapping already has been used to drive down their populations, largely in response to wolf attacks on livestock and big game herds. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently released data showing wolf numbers dropped 7 percent last year in the face of newly-expanded hunting and trapping seasons in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. That's the most significant decrease since they were reintroduced in the mid-1990s.

    "There's a race to the bottom to see who can be more anti-wolf," said Don Barry, a former Interior Department assistant secretary under President Bill Clinton and now a vice president at Defenders of Wildlife. "They're basically giving up on wolf recovery before the job is done."

    Federal officials have said they are monitoring the states' actions, but see no immediate threat to the gray wolf's survival.

    In Oregon and Washington, which have small but rapidly growing wolf populations, the animals remained protected under state laws even after federal protections were lifted in portions of the two states.

    Between 1991 and 2011, the federal government spent $102 million on gray wolf recovery programs and state agencies chipped in $15.6 million. Federal spending likely would drop if the proposal to lift protections goes through, while state spending would increase.

    ——

    Flesher reported from Traverse City, Mich.
     
  14. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger Well-Known Member

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    Ahh, kill em all!