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Old August 10, 2005, 10:43 PM   #1
Randy in Arizona
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What would you do about the wolves?

I am glad I am not in this poor guys shoes!

Wolf kills

Wolf kills frustrate Avon rancher

By EVE BYRON - IR Staff Writer - 03/16/05
AVON — Last weekend, Tim Quigley found a calf that had been attacked by a wolf in his pasture, less than a half-mile from his house. When the calf died a few days later, it was the second confirmed wolf kill in 10 days; neighboring rancher Earl Stucky had a calf killed in a pasture less than a quarter mile from his home last week.

State and federal officials approved setting a trap. On Tuesday morning, it held a wolf.

A few hours later, Quigley watched in disbelief as the trap was opened and the wolf was set free.

"That's pretty damn frustrating for the ranchers," Quigley said. "The wolves come in, get my calf, we catch it and they turn it loose. Watching it lope across my meadow, knowing it's going to be back among my cattle — I'm kind of a quiet guy, but this really gets me going."
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Old August 10, 2005, 11:19 PM   #2
Handy
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That's got to be one of first wolf kills in decades.

There was recent thread about animal deaths in the Yukon. The top animals were bears, moose and horses. Wolves weren't even listed.
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Old August 10, 2005, 11:29 PM   #3
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The wolf pairs that were released in Idaho a decade or so ago, are now regularly killing cattle, sheep and dogs. Not to mention Elk and Deer. It's been documented that many of the kills are not for food, but are "sport" for these beasts. Yet the bliss ninnies have kept the farmers and ranchers at bay.

The response has been, S.S.S.
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Old August 11, 2005, 12:54 AM   #4
jeff_troop
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well thank god the wolf wasn't kicked by a hunter. the do-gooders would be up in arms!
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Old August 11, 2005, 03:16 AM   #5
yorec
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Same thing going on here Antipitas...
Big uproar in the Windriver range over some sheep that seemed to feed a wolf pair and thier cubs. Now all but one of the wolves and many of the sheep and a few dogs are dead. What a waste...

What would I do about 'em? Declare them predators and let folks shoot them at will any place they were found other than on national park land. (That was Wyoming's original plan which the feds said would not do, ya know. Gotta be closer to the management proposal of ID and MT... )
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Old August 11, 2005, 04:07 AM   #6
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Probably going to start a few fires with this (not that I really give a damn), but having grown up in Western Montana I've had a pretty good insider's look at cattle ranching there. OMG, a rancher turns a couple head of cattle loose to graze on 10,000 acres of BLM land and has a hissy-fit when one of the natural predators shows up and takes one--what a tragedy! Seen it too many times, it's cost of doing business, get over it. Predatory wildlife in the Western US has had the $hit shot out of it by the cattle industry over the last hundred years primarily because of this predator extermination attitude. As a hunter, I like to think of myself as a conservation-friendly individual. So my answer is "You wanna become a rancher--great! You wanna turn loose a bunch of big, fat, juicy beef out in the wilderness for months at a time? Fine--go for it. But keep in mind, there's more out there than a bunch of grassy medows and chipmunks. So don't go thinking you OWN said wilderness and get the idea whatever else that might happen to be there needs to be blown away just because you decide to show up with cattle. Cost of doing business. Don't like it? Go back to the city."
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Old August 11, 2005, 12:41 PM   #7
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The article mentioned the wolves making "sport kills". That's extremely rare with wolves, but like bears, they will kill, leave it for awhile, and come back to it later. I'm betting that's what the "sport kill" was.

By the way, Randy in AZ, you have wolves there too. The Mexican Wolf (pleeese, no illegal wolf wisecracks! ) was thought to be extinct since the 1940's, and has recently re-surfaced. They're a lot smaller than their northern counterparts, and they're listed as highly endangered on the fed. endangered species list.
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Old August 11, 2005, 12:49 PM   #8
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The proper response to wolves is to kill them. Shooting is best, but poison works too.

Wolves, bears, pumas, magic unicorns all should be shot.
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Old August 11, 2005, 12:54 PM   #9
sendec
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Rangefinder - well said.

People want to live in the wilderness, then get all nervous and birdlike when something wild happens. We got no shortage of cows, and they always make more.
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Old August 11, 2005, 12:55 PM   #10
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Cost of doing business for a rancher.
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Old August 11, 2005, 01:00 PM   #11
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What would I do about wolves?

I'd keep a good flat shooting, scoped rifle, plenty of good varmint loads, a sharpshooter shovel and a regular shovel.
I would keep a few nursery trees, roots in burlap and wet and when I saw a wolf I would use his bod to fertilize a new tree planting. In fact I'd kill every damned one of them when the Government wasn't looking!
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Old August 11, 2005, 01:18 PM   #12
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Well, the fact of the matter is that the Feds have really spun the wolf re-population facts. Elk populations in WY, MT and ID are being hit VERY hard by the packs and hunters I speak to tell me they're seeing far less calves than ever before.

The wolf population out west has soared compared to the original estimates; much due to the myth that only the alpha's breed. Ultimately, the answer is going to be managing the wolf packs with licenses and tags, same as any other wild game.

Just returned from Dubois, WY where Fed Permits are already being granted.

As to the ranchers having the audacity to protect their cattle: I like beef. I like the price of beef. I don't like to be competing for that beef with predators. Wolves that kill cattle should be shot on sight and trapped when not sighted....we'd do as much if Fluffy the Cat was attacked.
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Old August 11, 2005, 01:52 PM   #13
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Well not quite, Buzz_knox... At least in the Wyoming case, IIRC the sheep ground is private and has been owned and ranched by that family for over a hundred years. Due to the "endangered" regulations the ranchers couldn't stop them killing the sheep, though they knew of thier presence and called the G&F before any killing started. But too late, the adults of the pack and four pups started taking sheep and killed 13 or so in a couple of days. (yeah, for future consumption I'm sure. ) Finally F&W came in and destoryed the pups and adults - though they couldn't locate the adult male who I'll bet won't ever turn up without the use of a shovel! End result - a couple dozen of dead livestock and one dead pack of wolves.

Who's to pay for it? Cost of doing business for the rancher you say... Well, ignorance is indeed bliss too. But it will not be the rancher I assure you - insurance and the government will see he doesn't suffer immediatly financially, but we the public will end up footing the bill elsewhere and you know what insurance premiums do when you start making claims on them...

Wolves were run outta hereabouts long ago, with a few stragglers and/or transients living here that knew to keep thier heads down and fangs outta the livestock.

Now they import 'em into the ranchers' backyard and tell 'em they can't stop predation. Uncontrolled predators cause problems in many forms - not just cause they can eat you.

We're not talking about wilderness areas or national parks here, this is private property and places I (or maybe you) take your dog for a walk and the kids on picnics... Well, used to.

Wolves were run outta here for reasons people were smart enough to recognize a hundred years ago - people who forget thier history and are doomed to repeat it.

Wanna hear wolves - go to the wilderness and national parks, or Canada where there's plenty of unsettled land they still populate, but keep them outta my back yard!

A few interesting articles for more info:
Attacks -
http://www.usa4id.com/Documents/Docu...%20Attacks.htm
http://www.aws.vcn.com/wolf_attacks_on_humans.html
http://www.natureswolves.com/human/aws_wolfattacks.htm
http://www.casperstartribune.net/art...360006278d.txt - walkin' your dog will never be the same again...

Who's going to pay for it? -
http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/nov03/183660.asp
http://www.wolf.org/wolf/learn/iwmag...ok/infobk8.asp

What Wyoming wants to do -
http://www.casperstartribune.net/art...32000694a2.txt (Also mentions the incident I talk about in my post.)
http://www.casperstartribune.net/art...2f008082ea.txt (And more on the incident by Farson)
http://www.casperstartribune.net/art...30000a6331.txt

And a neighbor's editorial who sums up my feelings quite welll -
http://www.casperstartribune.net/art...390021163f.txt

Ugh!! - all the stuff from the Casper star didn't come across - I'll leave the links in place in case someone with more knowhow wants to look 'em up... I located them with a quick article search for "wolf."

Wolves are best had worn on a cold day.
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Old August 11, 2005, 02:11 PM   #14
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Speaking of cost to he public for reintroduction of wolves: A few years back the USF&WS offered three options and their costs for reintroducing the Mexican wolf into New Mexico, Arizona and west Texas.

Full implementation: $13 million per year.
Partial implementation: $8 million per year.
No action: $4 million per year.

What I want to know is, how does doing nothing cost $4 million per year?

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Old August 11, 2005, 02:17 PM   #15
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I like beef and all...

But that beef happens to be in the wolf's natural habitat, and became convenient dinner. We really don't have any natural rights to do away with wildlife, as has happened with the wolves and other endangered animals. If I am in the wilderness, I would much rather see wildlife than cattle. Sorry, but I am on the wolves' side on this one.


Save a wolf, eat a cow!

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Old August 11, 2005, 05:29 PM   #16
Rich Lucibella
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Quote:
But that beef happens to be in the wolf's natural habitat
[snip]
If I am in the wilderness...
If you are in the wilderness, you are also in the wolf's natural habitat; so is your child and your family pet.....food chain is food chain.

OTOH, the wolf is also in **your** natural habitat and you have as much right to be part of that ecosystem as he; were we to allow "nature" to take its course, the wolf would "naturally" loose to the better predator....you.

I doubt anyone here is calling for their eradication. Plenty of protected, tax paid land out their for them to flourish without artificial protections allowing them to kill livestock for personal kicks.
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Old August 11, 2005, 09:05 PM   #17
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Rangefinder you should take a closer look at the BLM issue. Or a better term would be land grab by the government! Much of the BLM land was land taken away from people during the Clinton administration.
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Old August 11, 2005, 11:10 PM   #18
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Hmmmmm

I forget what % of the land out West is owned by BLM, but it is quite large. I don't believe that Clinton made any significant increase in it though.
See:


As far as the wolves eating lots of elk calves... I don't know... I do know that ranchers in MN were reporting lots of calf losses due to wolves, for pregnant cattle that were left out in the bush with all the others. When some research was done by the state, it was found that these ranchers were (A) reporting losses for calves they never saw (B) weren't very good at understanding when their cows were pregnant.

I am sure that wolves are taking some grazers... a wolf's gotta eat, and doesn't only eat mice, but as far as them representing an actual threat to grazer numbers - I can't understand why that would be true. When the first Europeans came here, there were wolves and mountain lions all over, and yet there were vast numbers of grazers.

When I was in Norway, and asked the Norwegians (famed for shipbuilding, seafaring, and fishing prowess) what happened to all the fish in their fjords, they insisted - "seals ate them all". Nevermind those huge ships with sophisticated electronic sonar and helicopter spotters, giant nets, onboard catch processing, feeding a global population of 6 billion 75kg bipeds with their work - the Norwegians I spoke with, anyway, had no doubt - it was the seals that are responsible for the fish declines. Their plan - clear out all the seals too (not kidding).
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Old August 11, 2005, 11:29 PM   #19
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CarbineCaleb you would be surprised at how much land was taken from people and the press said nothing! Why! Because the press loved Clinton. And the BLM in there minds was a good thing because it put land back to "Wild" so to speak.
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Old August 12, 2005, 12:00 AM   #20
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Common sense will work.

People should be allowed to protect their property.

People shouldn't be allowed to engage in eradication efforts.

The problem with totally banning wolf-killing is that if they are allowed to subsist on livestock they can hunt their other prey to the point of extinction.

What keeps predator populations in check is the population of their prey. If they kill a lot of prey the prey population decreases which means that the predator population will die down as well. When they can live off livestock in the hard times, that means that even when normal prey populations start to plummet, large numbers of wolves can keep hunting them.

The problem with eradication is that the wolves are an important part of the life-cycle. If they are kept in check and prevented from eating livestock, they should ultimately improve the overall health of their normal prey by culling the herds. Humans aren't so good at that. We like to kill the best and we do because we can.

So, to deal with the problems caused by this artificial situation, you have to control the wolf population.

When they start eating livestock either they've learned bad habits or their normal prey populations are low. Either way it's time to kill some wolves.

As far as the hunting issues (low numbers of elk/deer, etc.), that should take care of itself once the livestock predation is reduced or eliminated.
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Old August 12, 2005, 12:11 AM   #21
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impact: Hm! you mean taken by "eminent domain"? Folks were given "an offer they couldn't refuse" for land they owned free and clear? No, I didn't hear that happened a lot in recent years, but I would be grateful for any details/source you may happen to know of though. I try to keep up broadly speaking at least with resource management stuff.

The thing that I have often heard in the past is that there is some fair controversy over how the BLM lands are managed. Lumber rights, mineral rights, water and grazing rights, (basically leasing for specific exploitation uses) seem to be sold at handout prices... then you have stuff like clearcut logging of forests and overgrazing of prairies - essentially the people who rent the land don't really pay much or own it, and so really have no stake in taking care of it - they just try to extract as much money as they can, as fast as they can... meanwhile, that land actually belongs to everyone but is being trashed. Because these lands are often so desolate in the first place, not many folks aware of that... if a company clearcut Central Park in NYC, or left huge piles of toxic mining tailings just outside a Dallas subdivison, I think folks would notice, and there might just be a little noise made.
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Old August 12, 2005, 12:27 AM   #22
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Quote:
- I can't understand why that would be true. When the first Europeans came here, there were wolves and mountain lions all over, and yet there were vast numbers of grazers.
An ecosystem MUST be in balance, especially in predator / prey ratio, to survive. When white men came to America with firearms, the beginning of the end arrived too. There was wholesale slaughter of wildlife. Trainloads of men crossed the great plains with the sole purpose of shooting tens of thousands of buffalo from train cars for sport. Even the great Teddy Roosevelt did his part. He hunted the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and was angered that mountain lions were taking their share of the spoils. At that time, North Rim had the highest population of lions per square mile in the world. He hired a hunter named Jimmy Owens to kill lions, and kill lions he did. Over 500 lions were taken by him. What's the problem with that, you ask? Have you ever heard of high-lining? Rangers were finding every bit of green from the ground to 12 feet high or more gone in the Spring as if a huge mower had gone through. What was happening was a massive explosion of population in the mule deer herd, and they ate everything in sight. The reason for the 12+ feet height was that they were standing on the winter snows, on their hind feet, to graze. That's called high-lining. Eventually they ate that too, and there was massive starvation and disease that affected all species, and the ecosystem was almost completely destroyed, all because the predators were killed off, and the balance disrupted. The balance has been destroyed all over the country, and that's why hunting is necessary. We have to take the place of the predators, but we're doing a poor job of it. When things are balanced, predators take the old, sick, and weak first, leaving the strong to pass on their strength to the next generation. Native Americans have a saying: "The wolf kills the elk, but it is the wolf that makes the elk strong". They understood this. But what do we as hunters take today? Do we shoot the old, the sick, the weak? Hell, no. We go for the biggest, healthiest, most magnificent of the breed, and leave the lesser beasts to breed. In time, we weaken the elk, mule deer, etc. as a species. These are more susceptible to diseases like rabies, distemper, and even plague. Today, outbreaks of these diseases can eventually be traced to man's intervention. Bottom line: we simply cannot take the place of the predators. The balance must be re-established and that can only be done by the careful re-introduction of predators. Otherwise, we are only just now seeing the tip of the iceberg.
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Old August 12, 2005, 12:31 AM   #23
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JohnKSa

It seems we were thinking the same, and typing at the same time .
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Old August 12, 2005, 12:44 AM   #24
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Back to the wolves IIRC in Minnesota, ranchers could submit claims for reimbursement for any livestock actually poached by wolves, so they would not be out any $$$. I thought this was an interesting compromise.

If I really thought that the wolves were a threat to populations of livestock or wild grazers, I would say cut em back, fine. It's just that there are so few wolves - hundreds? in the lower 48, and so many livestock - according to the USDA, in 2002 there were about:
- 6 million sheep
- 60 million hogs and pigs
- 95 million cattle
- 335 million chickens (over 8 billion sold that year)

... it's just hard to understand how there'd be any significant impact, even if every wolf ate only livestock. In the US, you have 280 million people averaging 150lb each (check that - in the US, it's probably 220lb these days ), and a few hundred wolves, averaging 100lb each... If you just consider us to be competing predators, how much could the wolves possibly be stealing any significant fraction of our food?
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Old August 12, 2005, 01:08 AM   #25
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Canadian Wolves: Canada is estimated to have about 55,000 wolves. And yet, Canada, to my knowledge, also raises livestock on a commercial scale, quite profitably. How is that possible, with so many wolves, if wolves make livestock raising impossible or at least unprofitable?

They also have 25,000 grizzlies in Canada - that other livestock slaughtering machine, that can kill a fullgrown bull just by looking at it! (ok, I made that last clause up )

Heck, the climate alone must be brutal on livestock, greatly reducing production (you won't find livestock in Iceland for example), and what with the wilds just teeming with beef/mutton/pork slaughtering wolf-gluttons and bear-gluttons, it's a wonder that there are any livestock in existance in Canada - how is it possible? Something is wrong with this picture.
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